… if you don’t…

“Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, ‘Teacher, rebuke your disciples!’ ‘I tell you,’ he replied, ‘if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out’ ” (Luke 19:39-40, NIV). 

How do you feel when you watch someone do something you know you’re supposed to be doing?

I had an experience at church yesterday that made me really want to do the things God wants me to do. We had a Thanksgiving service and I was told last minute I was going to lead the Thanksgiving portion– being Nigerian, that meant upbeat songs people could dance to. I couldn’t think of songs so I kept asking my fellow choir members to help me. Things seemed fine, I thought I was doing a good job until a minister came and took the microphone from me. Culturally, I had to step down and allow him to lead the rest of the time.

At first I was embarrassed, then irritated, then angry; then I quickly got over it when I realized that, perhaps, I wasn’t doing such a good job, that things weren’t fine. As I kept singing, backing him up, I was pleading with God, asking Him to not let another do the job He wants me to do– in other words, I don’t want to be replaced by another. That was my plea.

I kept thinking about this seemingly tiny incident; it shook me to the core. I confided in my friend and she gave me a different perspective, letting me understand that God is patient with us, that when we trust in Him, He will be with us every step of the way until we fulfill our purpose and destiny.

I agree with her… But I also think that we have to be willing to actually do our own part, you know..? The passage above came to mind.  The context is the Triumphal Entry. We see people praising Jesus, welcoming Him; and in the midst of this beautiful scene, the Pharisees, ever the enemies of Jesus, were telling Him to keep His disciples quiet. What I understand from Jesus’ response is this: if you don’t do what you’re supposed to (the Pharisees weren’t praising Jesus as they ought to have been doing), someone else could be raised up to do it.  Am I wrong? Imagine a stone praising God instead of you!

If our purpose is to bring glory to God, why shouldn’t we do it with every zeal in us? Why shouldn’t we praise God on the spot, trusting that He will give us songs to sing? Why shouldn’t we serve Him as if the time is our last on earth?

You see, I want to fulfill my destiny, and by God’s grace I will! I want to be available. I don’t want anyone to do the things (even if it’s giving a cup of water to someone) that I have been created to do!

Lord, you’ve created one of me. May I fulfill my purpose. In Jesus’ name.

New Beginnings

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?” (Isaiah 43:19, NIV).

“For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?” (Isaiah 43:19, NLT).

“Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it?” (Isaiah 43:19, KJV).

I love reading certain verses in different versions because each version offers a different meaning, but same message– if that makes sense. Anyway…

Today is a day of newness, not just for me, but for one of my dear friends.

Let me show you a glimpse of my life so far. You see, since I moved back to Amherst, MA (in hopes of being in Collegiate Ministry with The Navigators), I have been looking for a job! Mind you, I have been applying since, pretty much, November 2015. Even after having no job, I moved to my apartment. The entire journey is a story (testimony) for another day. Anyway, I kept applying, at first to places that I was qualified for; then I was advised to apply anywhere, so I started applying to places I was way over-qualified for. The process, I think, was a breaking of my pride and so-called identity. Long-story-short, I got hired as a cashier  last week at a local grocery store ; it’s a part-time position. It is certainly not an ideal situation, but I thank God  because I can pay rent, tithe, give gifts, etc. I even have the opportunity to work another part time job, which I hope will add to my experience and boost my resume (for grad school)!

All that information is to say that I started work today! Day 1 of training! After having been unemployed since May 2015, having something to call a job is pretty nice. Like I said, it’s not ideal, but I want to be worshipful and reveal God to everyone I come in contact with! I want to be a good steward of the time and resource God has given me. It is certainly a new beginning for this baby 🙂 I am actually excited for what God is going to do in (through) me!!

The other new thing God did today was that He granted my friend another year! Today is my friend’s birthday! Her testimony is AWESOME. This time last year, I know what she was going through, but God has been so gracious and kind to her! I am just SUPER-DUPER excited for this new year for her!!!! I know it’ll be great– why? Because she serves a GREAT GOD!

Anyway, that’s it for today. It’s a new day, a new age, a new stage; and it’s all because of God, and for His glory! My prayer is that we (my friend, you, and I) all take and live in this  (daily) newness, knowing that our Father in Heaven is in control, that when He does (starts) something new, the end result is indeed AWESOME!!

Can you tell I’m excited? 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

There is NO Other One!

“Turn to me and be saved, all you ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:22, NIV).

I have been in the book of Isaiah for a while now, and it has been quite the journey, to say the least. At first, I was wondering why people have been telling me how great Isaiah is; honestly, I did not find it appealing because it was all pronouncements of woes and judgments on the nations. Then, I read chapter 35, which has been my favorite chapter so far; it’s now one of my favorite passages in the Bible. Anyway, this chapter, I think, was a turning point for me because after this chapter, my eyes were opened, somehow, and I started connecting with the following chapters, finding principles to follow; the chapters kept speaking to my life and current situation. Now, don’t get me wrong; I am not saying that the other chapters were not “good”, but I just really wasn’t connecting with them as much.

So, what does this have to do with anything? Well, allow me to tell you something that has got me thinking. The last couple of chapters, 44 and 45, have been hammering on the fact that GOD IS GOD; THERE IS NO OTHER GOD. What that means is that He is Creator and Maker, He is Sustainer and Keeper; He knows who He is and is secure in Himself; He is Power and powerful; He is Savior and Redeemer; He is Just and Justice; He is Omniscient; He is Director and Writer; He is Giver of things; He is Truth; He is the One who speaks and His words come to fulfillment, no matter how long they take! He is the One in whom all thing are made; He is the only ONE who can and does save! Chapter 45 is filled with A LOT of things that I want to discuss, but for the time being, let’s acknowledge that God is GOD, and there is none like Him. He knows that, but do we know that?

We know that He loves us, whether or not we reciprocate that love; and since the Old Testament, He has been reaching out to us, asking (pleading, begging, admonishing) us to turn to Him! That is all we need to do; the rest is in His hands! So, friends, let us turn to Him! Let us look to Him, and let Him handle the rest!

The best part of this is that He is ready to do the work. In fact, He has already done it, through Jesus Christ! Won’t you turn to Him, look at Him, and receive Him!?! Trust me, your life will change forever, for the better!

Look! Be saved! Live!

Day 2: My Encourager

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9, NIV).

Day 2 went well, glory to God. I thank God for allowing me to start the day in prayer. I woke up today from a terrible dream, but I thank God that the Holy Spirit removed the fear and put me in an act of worship instead. Praise God for that!

After prayer, I washed the bathrooms at my apartment (it was my turn this week; now I don’t have to wash them anymore). Then, and this is the highlight of the day (one of the highlights), one of my friends called to encourage me about my mission! I felt the encouragement of God! I felt the love of God upon me– she went out of her way to encourage me! Here are a few points she made:

  • God has a purpose for me, so I should stop doubting Him. 
  • As a child of God, I can’t make a mistake– even my “mistakes” aren’t mistakes because at the end of the day, everything works together for good. Therefore, I cannot lose (cue Romans 8). 
  • Don’t look at the present situation because our God is a God of the future. 
  • For mission: remember how God confirmed your work to you in the first place. Hold onto that because it is your revelation. 
  • When God gives you something, don’t undermine (or question) it. 
  • Remind yourself why you decided to even do the work of God in the first place. 
  • Remember that destiny involves a breaking. 
  • ASK GOD TO ORDER YOUR STEPS. 

These were the main points of our conversation. I was so happy because it was needed, much needed. It was important for me to be reminded on those things and continue to focus on God and His work in my life. As a missionary, life is hard, but my God is better!

The rest of the day was filled with being in the presence of God. I was of reminded why it is important to have good Christian friends, friends you can watch something with, confirm whether or not it’s in the Bible, encourage each other, get blown away by revelations, and then pray together… It is ABSOLUTELY priceless! My two friends came to visit me, alleviating my alone-ness; it was a pleasure to have them around.

After, we went to choir practice. I came back, had dinner, watched some videos, talked with my pastor (who also encouraged me), and now I am writing this (journal).

I thank God! I’m happy for His encouragement! He sees my future– my future is secure in Him alone! I’m grateful and happy about that!

Now, I’ll go spend some quality time with my Father!

Day 1: My Satisfier

“My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning…” (Psalm 130:6)

Today is February 1st. Glory to God! Oh, February! The month of love (so I call it 🙂 )

Since I became a follower of Jesus, the month of February has been a month strictly dedicated to Jesus, a month where I am conscious of showing my love to Christ. I try to do different things each year; last year, for example, I was able to survive the Daniel’s fast (with some alterations, for health reasons). This year, by the grace of God I am doing a man fast.

I first heard of a man fast from a friend with whom I served in Croatia. Then, early last month, when asking God about how I can show Him love this time around, I saw an article on Facebook about a man fast; I was intrigued. I tried researching into a man fast really is, but I got little info– the title itself is self explanatory; the women who have done it simply focused more on God and didn’t entertain men who could be romantic partners. Anyway, my aim and hope is that I’ll be in God’s bosom, embedded in His heart, and grow more intimate with Him!

So… Day 1: 

I prayed A LOT! I prayed those Nigerian fire-thunder-die prayers… very refreshing, I must add. I am grateful to God that I did that because it showed me how much I missed praying. I also listened to a lot of sermons, which was helpful as well. Perhaps the most important part of the day was reading the Word! I read Isaiah 14, and verse one really struck me, “The Lord will have compassion on Jacob; once again he will choose Israel and will settle them in their own land” (NIV). I love this verse because it shows the caring (loving– He can’t help Himself because He is love) nature of God. It encouraged me that, at the end of the day, God is on my side.

But, what I was reminded of, which is the whole point of this fast for me, was that God is my satisfier. I can do a man fast from now till Kingdom come, but if I am not completely satisfied (focused) in Christ, this entire month will just be a month will be a waste. I thank God for reminding me that it’s all about Him– and He did it in the most gentle way!

So, I think Day 1 was successful. I really enjoyed being in the presence of God, being able to just take the day to pray, hear His word, and bask in His ambiance! Here’s to 28 more days! I expect more days to be challenging than others, but I am at rest in the fact that His grace and mercy will see me through each day! Praise Jesus for that assurance!

Let me Brag

“Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob, whose hope is in the Lord his God, the Maker of heaven and earth, the sea, and everything in them– the Lord, who remains faithful forever” (Psalm 146:5-6, NIV).

So, I love reading the Bible! It’s fun, exciting; sometimes I find it tedious (like the book of Numbers, for example); but at the end of the day it is still the Word of our heavenly Father! Seriously, think about it: we have access to the Word of God! In it one finds many things, i.e. instructions, advice, commandments, etc. Lately, what I have enjoyed seeing in the Word of God are the attributes/characteristics of God; they show us just a glimpse of who He is!

I have been in the book of Psalm for about two months now and it has been a wonderful experience! One of the passages I read today was Psalm 146. In a nutshell, it’s a psalm that praises who God is and what He does. The first time I read it, I didn’t really see that. But, after giving it a second read, I believe the Holy Spirit opened my eyes to see the actions (always present) that God does for His own. Verses 5-10 are too sweet! The verbs there are in the present tense, meaning that these actions of God are part of who He is; they cannot change or stop.

So, please give me a moment to hail my God:

  • He remains (v.6)
  • He upholds (v.7)
  • He gives food and sight  (vs. 7&8)
  • He sets free (v. 7)
  • He lifts up (v. 8)
  • He loves (v. 8)
  • He watches (v.9)
  • He sustains (v. 9)
  • He frustrates the plans of the wicked (v. 9)
  • He reigns (v. 10)

So, my dear friends, our God is pretty awesome! My God is pretty awesome. He is ever present, always and forever! Amen!

When in doubt, remind yourself of this. Search the scriptures and remind yourself of who your God is! Trust me, it’ll turn you around completely!

A God of WHEN

“When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion, we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV).

I received good news from a very dear friend of mine this morning. As much as there was (is) joy in my heart about what she shared with me, the Word and promise of God in Psalm 126, especially today, has really put me on a whole other level!

Verse 1 really touches my heart. Whoever wrote Psalm 126 didn’t say, “If…”, but “When…”, telling me that my God is a God in charge of time and timing. The problem is we do not know when His “when” is, which means that we have to wait for it, which is a problem for all of us. But, when God promises, He fulfills. When God speaks, it comes to pass. When God saves, it is sure. When God opens a door, it can’t be closed; when He closes a door, it can’t be opened. When God writes your name in the Book of Life, no one can take it away. “When” suggests to me a finality that only God possesses.

It’s not as if I don’t know the character of God; but the thing about the Bible is that the Holy Spirit teaches and re-teaches you things until you fully understand them and transform them into heart knowledge. By the grace of God, I have a different view to my circumstances (Romans 12:1-2). I am convinced now that my God is a God of when, not. As I was reading the chapter I kept telling myself that God will do what He wants to do when He wants to do it. I have accepted my breakthrough by faith!  When God does allow me to be fully funded… when He gives me a husband… when He gives me financial breakthrough… My victory is coming! In fact, it is here! That is the power of my God!

The chapter itself is just very encouraging! I implore you to read it and let it bless you! Apart from that word “When”, the other part that really caught my attention was “we were like men who dreamed” (Psalm 126:1, NIV). What that suggests to me is that perhaps they had lost hope that deliverance will actually come; perhaps they were only dreaming of a freedom they didn’t really believe in. But when it actually happened, I can just imagine them saying “We can’t believe it!” But, I’m here to encourage you today, friends, to believe that your Father in Heaven, when He delivers you and grants your requests, you will be like a dreamer. Hold onto your dreams and the vision you have for your life, marriage, finances, ministry, children, spouse, etc.

Because your God is One who does immeasurably more than you can ask or imagine, the joy and peace you will feel WHEN He shows up and shows off in your life will certainly be immeasurably more than you are even thinking at this moment!

Are You Good?

“He who finds a wife finds what is good and receives favor from the Lord” (Proverbs 18:22, NIV).

Alonzo

Solomon may have been a womanizer, but this particular verse really hit the nail on the head. Ladies, do you know you are a good thing? Do you know that you are the embodiment of favor?

When I was thinking about what to write today (at 12 am, mind you), this verse came to my mind– it is popular, but I am never sure where it is exactly; but thank God for the Holy Spirit for directing to the correct passage! I read this verse and it dawned on me that I am a good thing and I bring favor to my husband. That’s pretty awesome!

Some of you may say, “But you’re not good. Even Jesus questioned someone calling Him good in Luke 18:19.” And I will say you’re right. In and of myself, in my own human nature, I am not good; far from it, even. But, because I am in Christ and He is in me, because God Himself lives in me through the Holy Spirit, dare I say that I am indeed good?

I looked at the verse in different versions to see how “good thing” was translated. For the most part it remained “good thing”, but NLT used “a treasure”, and NET used “enjoyable”.  So, ladies, know today that you are a good thing, but only through the grace and power of Jesus Christ.

To be a good thing, you need to look at the life of Jesus because we know God through Him (John 14:6). What does it mean to be good? Assess yourself; compare yourself to Jesus. Do you love? Do you forgive seventy times seven times? Do you desire and allow only God’s will to be done? Are you self sacrificing? Do you teach or lead those around you in the way of the Lord? Do you obey God at all times? Are you uncompromising when it comes to the things of God?  Are you clothed in humility? Are you steadfast and persevering in suffering? Are you prayerful? How’s your faith? Do you return all glory to God or take some for yourself? Are you a servant? Are you about your Father’s business? These are just some of the things that come to mind when I look at Jesus and who He is.

Practically, too, ask yourself: can I cook? can I keep a clean house? can I pray for my husband? can I support my husband? can I submit to my husband? can I work hard? can I get up early in the morning to prepare breakfast for my family? can I serve the poor? how’s my intuition? can I respect my husband? can I raise my children in the way of the Lord?

Ladies, to be a good thing is a high calling. My question is: are you up for it? God called you a helper (Genesis 2:18) for your man. You have a high calling on your life as a servant of God, a woman, a wife, a mother, a sister, and a friend.  But understand that you cannot do it on your own! It takes the grace of God and His grace is definitely sufficient for you (2nd Corinthians 12:9).

Another revelation that I got from reading this verse is the fact that you are a favor from God to your husband! You are that special gift from God! Like, what?!?! So, yeah, you’re kind of a big deal. Relish in that!

Single? Married? Spinster? You are a big deal. You are favor from God to your brothers, husbands, etc. So, whenever the devil tries to get you in a mindset that will get you down, know that you are good because God lives in you, you are a gift someone out there is waiting and praying for; you are favor, someone cherish-able, love-able, admirable.

Are you good?! I know I am!

God Does the Impossible

” ‘All the trees of the field will know that I the Lord bring down the tall tree and make the low tree grow tall. I dry up the green tree and make the dry tree flourish’ ” (Ezekiel 17:24, NIV).

I admit that I’m not really a fan of the Old Testament– but I will say that my journey through it has been very good. I have never read Ezekiel but this morning I opened to a random part in the Bible and landed on Ezekiel 17 and the last verse really stood out to me. In all honesty, I don’t even remember what the chapter was really about, but I have been thinking about verse 24 all day.

Before going to sleep at 3 am, I watched the trailer for a movie coming up next March. In it, this little girl was really sick but then something happened to her and she was healed; the mother asked how that was possible. I’m guessing the movie is about faith. Faith in God can do the impossible– but it’s not really the faith; it’s God working in the background and our faith receiving it.

So, I’ve been asking myself why. Why does God do the impossible? Why does God change the “natural” order of things?  The answer I keep coming back to is: Because He can! He is God and He can do whatever He wants. This pastor said in a sermon, that God can do eleven months’ work in a day and overwhelm you! He is God. He can even change the way things are supposed to be, according to the world and our own understanding. That verse really hit me because God Himself said that He will bring down the tall tree and raise the low one. I took that and I applied it to my own life. God can make me the president of a company one day; He can make me the manager of an organization one day; He can give me all my heart’s desires, especially for this year, today if He wants to. On the other hand, He can also allow me to experience what Job experienced.

But why would God do these things? I mean, He doesn’t have to prove Himself to us. I believe He does it out of love. You know, God’s love and faithfulness is everlasting! He cannot help Himself but love us! So, if God takes you from having $2 in your account to having $2,000,000 in a matter of 24 hours, it’s because He loves you! And if He decides to reverse that and make you go from having $2,000,000 to having $2 in a matter of 24 hours, it is also out of love!

So, why does God do the impossible? Because He can and because He wants to show His love, power, strength, faithfulness, majesty, etc. to me and you. One thing I have always loved about God, even before I gave my life to Him, is the fact that He doesn’t lord the fact that He is God over us. However, He is always reaching out to each of us, one way or the other. May we recognize His reaching out and accept Him!

Amen!

Testimony Thursday: The Peace of God

“Send us around the world with the news of your saving power and your eternal plan for all mankind” (Psalm 67:2, TLB).

It is with great excitement that I can say that I will be going to Croatia, by the grace of God, in a few hours! I honestly cannot believe that God has chosen me, of all people, to be part of what He is doing in this world! I am amazed and I am overwhelmed. I thank God for the desire He has given me to go into all the world! The joy that’s in my heart cannot be expressed with words but I thank God for it!

But this is my testimony:

This morning, I woke up earlier than I had expected and it dawned on me that it’s the 30th! Continue reading “Testimony Thursday: The Peace of God”