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Thursday, 28 December 2017

PRAYETUDE


DON’T GUESS THE MODE OF HIS CATERING
Come what may
Let me begin with the three Hebrews words:
Dan 3:17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. 
Dan 3:18  But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. 
My faith looks up to Jesus always for grace to continue to uphold this resoluteness. The disciples followed Christ even when He told them how they would be hated and afflicted because of His Name. But song would be close to
Where could I go
Where could I go
Seeking a refuge for my soul
Needing a friend
To help me in the end
Where could I go but to the Lord
That is a song by J. B. Coats that is the description of the resoluteness of the disciples. The three Hebrews knew God could deliver them –that is settled. And He will deliver them –that’s faith. But when we have prayed with faith and anticipated results we often felt let down when the results failed to come, perhaps, not when desired. We may be faced with situations that we desperately wanted God’s intervention and it seemed God’s too busy with some other businesses and peoples. Whatever may come my way, my life is in His hands. I have decided to follow Him and there’s no turning back. You have to follow Him and there’s no turning back.

God’s not answerable to faith
The prayer of faith will heal the sick? Yes it will. But in a gathering, will it heal all the sick at a time? No, it won’t, not even in Kathryn Kuhlman’s shrine. But why is that the case? I’m sorry, I don’t know. Faith like a mustard seed can move a mountain? Yes it can. Does that mean if it does not move the mountain God is a liar? No, never! Does that mean I have committed one sin? No, not necessarily and yes, that may be the case.
Bishop Oyedepo’s testimony is wonderful. His wife was sick and he prayed for her healing. But he waited and had to tell God that whether God healed her or not He will still continue to be God, and his God. God healed her. Glory! But many have departed from God because of such a case of praying for healing while their beloved eventually died. Many became God’s enemy and started to campaign against anything called god.
It is in this light that we must know that even faith does not make God answerable to us. We have faith in His words that assert His promises. Do we have trust in His words that assert patience? He’s unquestionable, not even to faith! Remember Paul understood faith deeply yet he prayed on one thing and his request wasn’t granted. So, I cannot ask, “Why haven’t you answered my prayers of faith?” in a way that shows I’m disappointed and frustrated. But I can pray and ask Him why, in a way that portrays trust, humility and dependence on Him.
The three Hebrew did not only express that they have faith but also that they know God as supreme. “But if not… if God will not deliver us, He must have a good reason for that and we trust Him. So, we will still not deny Him.

His thoughts are good (Jer. 29:11)
There’s a song by Dorinda Clark Cole, “Be not dismayed whatever betides; God will take care of you.” That is the confidence that must keep us going in every situation. And unpleasant situations are supposed to be sometimes, in fact very rarely. Job’s case was once. A life filled with difficulties in all aspects is a life that is not operating in the freedom and power of Christ. God tests the righteous. Yes, He does. And it’s for a time. A lasting trial has got to stop. Pray about it. Peace is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. It is within. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. That is without. Peace in our mind will be Joy in our expressions. When we have peace through the confidence in his good thoughts towards us then our Joy will never be attacked or suppressed by roars of lions or seas neither by whistles of the wind and hunters.

We chose to practice in lack
Early December, after my roommate and I had settled bills and bought some things, we could not refill gas because if we did there’d be no money to buy food stuffs. So we started to eat #100 fried potatoes in the morning, close to midday and same at night. At times we’ll take gaari in the morning. And that continued for about two weeks –for that long because we’re lucky. If it’s not become a testimony I’d not have shared it.
Pray, though God sees you
I knew my God is in control of all situations and He knew what I was passing through and what I was working on. My life is in His hands. I trust His word in Proverbs 10:3 that “The LORD will not suffer the soul of the righteous to famish.” I didn’t read that Elijah prayed or worried when God intervened in Elijah’s case. He never lacked supplies. But Elijah was a man of prayer. So, in my prayers I didn’t really specify what my urgent needs were. God sees everything and there’s no doubt He’s with me. O Holy Jesus! He won’t let me die. But He could watch me look up to the hills and suffer hunger until I learn to ask. I have no excuse. Jesus, being Christ, still prayed. And He taught us to ask and to pray and not be weary. So, God waited until I came to myself. Whatever the holiness, whatever the faith we must still pray and ask. That’s how we demonstrate our childhood to His Fatherhood.

Unto the Lord
Someone saw two presentable men. He’s very happy. “Wow!” said he in his mind, “these two are rich.” He set his eyes on them with his hapless composure. Now, when the men reached him and stopped he was happy that his misery got their attention. O how often some people, especially in the needy category tell hard luck stories –appealing to pity! But the two men redirected the man’s gaze to the Lord. They had nothing but Christ:
Act 3:6  Then Peter said, Silver and gold have I none; but such as I have give I thee: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. 
Act 3:7  And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength. 
Act 3:8  And he leaping up stood, and walked, and entered with them into the temple, walking, and leaping, and praising God. 
Act 3:9  And all the people saw him walking and praising God: 
El Elyon God Most High who chose me to love thank You. The Holy Spirit knew I had exhausted all options and then I would listen well. So, He whispered it that I should pray even about daily food –my daily bread. And then I prayed. I told God I wanted to eat delicious meal. I wanted to eat meat. The Israelites prayed and they ate richly. I love amala but I didn’t specify. One thing was now sure –I’ll eat good food.
How will it happen?
I had decided not to get into God’s way after I have asked Him to take charge except He leads me to do a thing. But this time, I waited and looked unto God in two directions. One really promised to brings us sufficient gaari but she wouldn’t. Another wouldn’t come with food or stuff as expected. And that’s good.
God ways are different
I had even forgotten that I prayed about this. Until the Holy Spirit reminded me and told me I have to thank God. Looking at the plate of amala and the vegetable soup rich in egusi and spices and meat, He said, “You prayed that you wanted this. Didn’t you?” Immediately I remembered. I smiled. We didn’t refill gas but a colleague gave us electric cooker which he said was too slow but was too or very fast for us. That’s a miracle. I must say that it’s not the colleague that owned the cooker but his neighbour who became tired of the slow cooker. And we got money in ways we never expected and went to the market. And my soul is not famished
.Why food?
Why should I share testimony about God’s miracle on food? Since I’ve come to the North I’ve learnt that to eat good food is normal for many yet it’s not normal for many. And I share this testimony to teach prayer –prayer and praising for everything including daily needs. We should pray to God for all our needs (and thank Him for all our provisions and needs too). Our wisdom and efforts may yield results but they are not substitute to God’s catering for us. Rather, they are God’s grace upon us actualizing His goodness and mercy for us.
On other things
We should take everything to the Lord in prayer that we may not forfeit privileges. I have prayed on several things and God has answered many. But often times we suffer in little things because we focus on the big things too much and ignore the little things that also matter. I mean it’s true we’re the one to buy stuffs and cook what we want to eat. I mean we must work. I will never campaign for faith without works for that’s scripturally a dead faith. But even in and on our daily food we should pray.

I have a better plan
My father sold a portion of land to someone in 2011. In 2015 that he upon advice and encouragement sold that same land to someone else. When I could not discourage him from doing so, I prayed that the land must never be sold. A woman bought it, I laughed. She asked for her money and said she didn’t want the land again. Many came and didn’t buy. But I was at the Chapel of Christ Our Light in the University of Lagos when the Holy Spirit told me that he had a better plan. “O wow! No problem the, Thy will be done!”  And the following day the land was sold. My father didn’t pay the first buyer. He gave the money to a friend, the agent in between him and the buyer. And that agent spent the money.

Great trouble
I never expected trouble or any legal case to arise from the land issue. Trouble started and we were to forfeit another portion of land on which my father has built his house. I did my logic, we calculated and gathered what we had, we’d get more. And people would lend us money. I left Ogun State and went to Kano State for NYSC, anxious. Then I got a call that the one who would give 150 thousand naira now said it’s not more than 30 thousand naira. My God! The whole planned has already failed with that disappointment. The -source who would give 100 thousand said it’s now sixty. Jesus! What a shame! And the agent relocated to nowhere in Lagos. Gbam! My plans failed. We can hardly guess the mode of his answering correctly. We should just be faithful in following instructions. Most times, he won’t reveal everything unto us. We will just get instructions in bits and in levels. Ours is to follow. I asked the Holy Spirit of the better plans but he didn’t say anything. We were to pay all debt in November of vacate the land. I prayed and November became December, I was still very anxious. One day, as November was going to end, the Holy Ghost put a song in my heart, “My God is in control of all situations.” I sang-prayed it. I then rested assured it was all settled. First I learnt never to attempt to run on my own or fight on my own. Never! At every point I must always ask myself, “Hope God’s involved or Hope God’s in charge of this situation, am I the one in charge instead of God?” And everything was settled with no more running. It’s a great testimony. Anxiety cannot do anything. It’s better to let God handle every case. We will only need to follow His lead and stay calm, trusting Him if He’s not leading us.
I now thank God for the troubles that arose that caused me to take steps that I will forever be glad I took. The trouble pushed from dreams to goals. The trouble caused me to develop passion for planning and taking actions. Later, I understood the better plan. He settled the case. But He used it as a catalyst for my potentials. How would I have known that that was what He meant? Also, I learnt many a lesson from that situation and I’m refined. Have you taken your situation to God? If you have not, please do. If you have, then all is settled. Just wait upon Him and continue with other things.
Without God or religiosity
Who says you cannot succeed without praying or tithing? Many are not Christians and they’re successful. China has the very many irreligious people in the world. And they’re doing fine. People in other religions, in their practices, if they work hard, can succeed. The truth is that prayer is not a substitute to working. You can apply your logic and strength at every time necessary. It can work. Nevertheless, even the richest always say that hard work is not always the answer. So, they exalt knowledge and financial skills over strength. Both are not sinful but approved. But those who succeed without God will not tell you of millions who failed woefully and tragically without God. We will scarcely hear people tell us Mark Zuckerberg was raised a Jew and is still a Jew but they’ll tell us he’s an atheist. Well, not anymore. They will not tell us that he now believes in God. They’ll not tell you Bill Gates family are religious and he is proud of that but they will tell you Bill is irreligious. I think it’s just the Billionaires’ style, except the Jews, to hide their religious believes until later in their lives simply because they want to show that study, skill, sense, science, technology and business can make one rich rather than religiosity. And they’re right. But most of the billionaires are religious, and godly.
You should commit your ways unto the Lord and trust Him and He will cause it to come to fulfilment. That means that you should continue to make plans and work towards your dreams. But always commit your ways unto Him. In that way, since your life belongs to Him, you will be able to give Him all the glory that He deserves. There are blessings attached to giving, no controversy! There are benefits to tithing! To me, tithing is not erasable! It’s scriptural and necessary. I chose to see that truth. But many are not paying and are even trying to tell others not to pay. And they’re successful. It’s possible to be the greatest observant of the laws and still be the greatest needy. One can be the ‘holiest’ and still be the President of the destitute. Life has rules, Divinity set the rules for nature –sow and you shall reap. So, it’s possible to apply skills and succeed even as an atheist without praying or tithing to God.
Who owns the glory?
In life, for every success there’s at least a factor and a person or people to praise or commend, rightly or wrongly. For failure there’s at least a factor also and a person or people to blame, rightly or wrongly.  As Christians, we believe that all the glory must be unto the Lord and no man should boast or glory in anything other than in knowing God. If you, without the knowledge of God’s involvement achieve everything then you will become what such people are and experience what they do experience. You will trust in yourself. You will also trust in your wisdom and strength. Then you will trust in your wealth and achievement. Like the Babylonian king, you will say that your might had brought you all your accomplishments. Then you will become proud and separated from God, perhaps gradually speedily. And you would have won yourself a friend –the spirit of pride and blasphemy –the agents of Satan.
The Holy Spirit
The Holy Spirit is our teacher who knows how to use the Word, nature and dreams and ministers to enrich our knowledge. At times He will make us learn through situations and until we’re reflective and attentive; until we have learnt such we may have to remain in that situational classroom. The point we must get is that there’s nothing too big that should get all our attention and cause us to ignore other things that are important as well. The Church, Our country, Families, ministers, friends, siblings, professions, journeying, goals, appearance, spouse, health, spirit, scholarship, money, ambitions, food, provisions, ministry, talents and everything need our prayers for without Him we can do nothing and have nothing except we’re not part of His own. And when we have prayed we should let the Holy Spirit guide us rather than set our eyes on a fig tree with abundant green leaves but no fruit.

Monday, 25 December 2017

The Fate of Suco and Friends 7




Friends of Anas ne’er forgot
Anas jingled bell upon the table
And with tails wagging, Suco jumped in
And devoured bones with grunts of gratefulness
And seeing her master in angels’s apparel
After gathered bones were crushed
Suco jumped and danced around Anas.
“O bitch, stop it,
That my garment be fit for royal gathering.”
“O master, this isn’t a first day we have played like this,
Thou shall stroke my head and fondle your pet.”

The boat that climbed hills to that palace
Ne’er wait to reason and though smeared,
Anas snooze to the river.
Iyemoja’s asleep
Or in chamber of Olokun
Or she’s angry
For sacrifice in calabash’s not drowned.
Swimmers thus feared peddles
But Anas must chant before princes beyond rivers
Where a chief proclaimed,
“O welcome thou coveting our gloryland
Show thyself and thy saintly garment”

Guards pushed Anas, dog barked him
And in his pool of tears
And river raging fears, boat abandoned,
Anas waddled across banks for days

COPING WITH COMPLEXITIES IN THE CHURCH CHAPTER FIVE



 
VARIATIONS IN HEAVEN II
We must know that there is variations in heaven even till now. Even in hell there are inequalities.
In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple. 
Isa 6:2  Above it stood the seraphims: each one had six wings; with twain he covered his face, and with twain he covered his feet, and with twain he did fly. 
The Lord is not sitting in the temple but on His throne and his train filled the temple. We see Seraphims in verse two. They have three pairs of wings for different functions. There are verses and descriptions of Cherubs also and they are close to the Mercy seat. But that is not all. In heaven there are different beings and titles and roles
Rev 4:1  After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter. 
Rev 4:2  And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne. 
Rev 4:3  And he that sat was to look upon like a jasper and a sardine stone: and there was a rainbow round about the throne, in sight like unto an emerald. 
Rev 4:4  And round about the throne were four and twenty seats: and upon the seats I saw four and twenty elders sitting, clothed in white raiment; and they had on their heads crowns of gold. 
Rev 4:5  And out of the throne proceeded lightnings and thunderings and voices: and there were seven lamps of fire burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God. 
Rev 4:6  And before the throne there was a sea of glass like unto crystal: and in the midst of the throne, and round about the throne, were four beasts full of eyes before and behind. 
Rev 4:7  And the first beast was like a lion, and the second beast like a calf, and the third beast had a face as a man, and the fourth beast was like a flying eagle. 
Rev 4:8  And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. 
Rev 4:9  And when those beasts give glory and honour and thanks to him that sat on the throne, who liveth for ever and ever, 
Rev 4:10  The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast t heir crowns before the throne, saying, 
Rev 4:11  Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. 
The twenty four are ranked with the word ‘elders’ and they are also close to the throne. They have crowns. They off them and bow to God. There are four creatures with different characteristics.
In heaven there are those that fly and those that bow. Some have wings to cover their faces. Some do not need to cover their faces. It is all to the glory of God. It is all about The One Sitting upon the throne. It’s all about looking unto God and worshipping Him. It’s never about the different creatures and ranks. All exist for one reason –to fulfill the desire of the creator. Actually, some run errand and some stand before Him.
Dan 7:10  A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

We do know that min the spirit world there are arch angels, Seraphs, Cherubs, powers, principalities, dominions and all have different characteristics. And we do know that one that had the tendency to accuse others was banished from the place of glory and beauty.
Rev 12:10  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 

Accuser of Brethren
First, why would Satan be an accuser of brethren? The first reason is that he is a liar and a father of lie, from the beginning. The second reason is that it is possible that he is not always pleased with the characteristics of others. They did something he thought was improper and he accused them. He might be right that the brethren did wrong. After all, even in angels he found no perfection.
Job_4:18  Behold, he put no trust in his servants; and his angels he charged with folly.
Psa_8:5  For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
So, if man is made (whether) a little lower (or not) than the angels how then would heaven be surprised that he demonstrate folly.

Accuser banished
Second, why was Satan cast down? He was cast down because no place was found for him, as an accuser of the brethren in heaven. If he is Lucifer then he’s cast down because he sought to overthrow his maker. To plan a coup there must be an attempt to besmirch a leader figure. In other words, the coup chief has to accuse the coup target. So, Satan even accused God and his followers agreed with his accusations –they’re convinced by Satan against God. The one who sees only errors in others exhibit three traits of Satan or Lucifer: he is a calumny proponent who has pride and who is jealousy. He’s not afraid to find fault in his Maker. He’s not afraid to challenge His God. His vaulting ambition caused him to see only faults in others.

Accusers and fault finders
It is not brethrenic to see only the faults of others. Fault finders are judgmental. And Jesus told such people to look into their eyes for logs of wood before picking dust in other people’s eyes. If you’re fault finder you’re filled with pride and the spirit of it. If you aren’t a finder but just a seer of faults, you’re plagued with the gift of pride and calumny. We do not mean that we should ignore errors. The fruit of every individual will prove him.

An accuser of a corrector
An accuser is or does one thing, a corrector is or does the opposite
The one who is an accuser is always right (in his own eyes).
An accuser never accuses only one person but people.
An accuser enjoys accusing others.
An accuser does not seek amendment but defamation of his target.
An accuser is not set against an error but against a person(s)
An accuser is not reacting to an error but reacting to a culture
An accuser does not see error once or twice but always.
An accuser is not a listener or a learner.
An accuser is not teachable but wants to teach.
An accuser’s language has no love but hate.

What are you?
What is your motive? What do you feel? What do you see and say? How do you see and say? What do you want? Why are you doing what you’re doing and how often? The fact that there are people who commend you for accusing others in the Christian fold does not make you right. No, commendations do not make your actions right. Commendation is just expression of delight and concord. Note that even Satan, killers, Homosexuals, porn stars, thieves, and other Evil agents have followers who can die for them. There are people who need a voice to lead them in error they already associate with. What are you? Just check yourself!


To cope
To cope with complexities in the church we must do everything possible to exhibit love and jettison hate; we must correct rather than accuse; we must uplift rather than denigrate; we must rebuild rather than destroy; we must shun accusation tendency and embrace correction tendency. We must deal with evil pride and jealousy. We must realize that even in heaven there are differences. And we must learn to let those with sings wings fly, those with crowns off them, those with trumpet blow them, those with drums beat them, those with voices sing and shout, those with seats sit, those without seat stand, those walking walk, those running run, those flying fly, those growing grow. That is what the church is all about –expressions of love and unity –correcting and taking correction. No one holds the key to absolute knowledge. No one is super righteous or right except Christ Jesus, the Holy Child of God. And it is from Him we receive grace upon grace. So, we can only boast in that we know Him and how do we know Him or love Him without loving the brother we see? It is unchristian for a Christ follower to malign another Christian in the face of Christ’s enemies.