Categories
Faith

In order to make progress in life, we must face challenges by faith

When Pharaoh gave the Israelites freedom to leave for the promised land, he later regretted his decision and decided to pursue them.

Related: Faith is “uncommon sense.”

In spite of their joy of freedom from captivity and slavery, they encountered a situation of utter despondency and despair. Caught between two giants, their courage and peace were displaced by fear and anxiety. The fierce Egyptian army was about to break their legs while the massive Red sea was waiting to swallow them alive.

Are you crying a cry of faith or you’re crying a cry of fear?

So they cried and complained to Moses. Moses cried to God. The Israelites focused on the giants instead of focusing on the promise. To them, the problem became bigger than the promise, even bigger than their God. They cried a cry of fear but Moses cried a cry of faith.

Moses had faith in God, thus he focused on the promise and the promise giver. To him, his God and the promise were bigger than Pharaoh and his army. His faith made God show up with an immediate powerful response.

“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”

Exodus 14:13-14.

Moses by God’s instructions divided the sea, so they comfortably crossed over to the other side. When the Egyptians attempted to follow suit, they were swallowed by the sea.

While moving from here to there, you’re going to encounter challenges on your way. They’re guaranteed. Obstacles are going to obstruct your pathway. The enemy will bring distractions causing fear and doubt in an attempt to steal your faith and halt your progress. He wants to blind you so you won’t see God’s provisions for you.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.”

1 Peter 5:8-9.

What are you doing in the middle of that challenge? What are you doing as you experience that pain? Who are you crying to in that sickness? What is your response when you’re not getting feedback on the job you applied for? Are you blaming people and yourself? In that financial impasse who are you looking to? God or people? How’re you responding to that rejection?

“Your present circumstances do not determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start.”

Jimmy Dean.

Are you going to lift your hands in surrender to the challenge or you’re going to lift them in surrender to God?

The challenge could be external like the Egyptians and the Red sea. It could be internal like bitterness or anxiety. It could be huge or small. Regardless of its nature, you can choose to either face it or bow to it.

You can either be like Moses who by faith declared, “You shall see the Egyptians no more forever”, or you can be like the Israelites who cried, blamed and complained to Moses instead of facing and speaking to the challenge by faith.

You can tell the enemy to keep off your path. That it is your path and no one else is authorized to walk on it, or you can invite him to walk along with you. The choice is yours.

Your faith attracts God’s attention, for without faith it is impossible to please God.

It is your faith that attracts God’s attention and His ability to transform an impossibility into a possibility. And for your faith to grow you must hear and obey His voice. God’s voice is found in His word by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.

You can choose right now, in faith to face the challenge you’re experiencing and move to the bright future God has given you. Or let fear in, give up, stagnate and retrogress to the familiar dark past.

“Now  the just shall live by faith;
But if anyone draws back,
My soul has no pleasure in him. But we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe to the saving of the soul.”

Hebrews 10:38-39.

You’re blessed!

Kingdom Titbits,

By Joseph.

Categories
Uncategorized

There is a void in your soul. What fills it?

There are so many things that are competing for our space, time and attention. Like neon advert signs they are always flashing on and off, ever beckoning, “welcome, welcome…”

But not everything that entices us, not everything that captures our attention should be welcomed. Nor should we always say yes to every invitation.

Despite their glamour, we can stop and ask ourselves, “does this give glory to God? Is this in harmony with God’s will? Is it aligned with my goals? Is it productive? Does this reflect my values? Will this distort my integrity? Then we can adjust accordingly.

There is a void in man. Emptiness. nothingness. Dark abyss…This gap is always demanding to be filled. We, therefore, need to be extra cautious about choosing the things to fill it with.

“There is, in every event, whether lived or told, always a hole or gap, often more than one. if we allow ourselves to get caught in it, we find it opening into a void that, once we have slipped into it, we can never escape.”

Brian Evenson.

However, it is appalling that many people, say and do things they know are bad. A lot of people are too hasty to open the door to their hearts to everything that knocks. Especially when they are given considerable incentives, power, position, fame, affection etc. And when inappropriate things are done by the majority, particularly leaders, mentors, role models and celebrities, they seem to be fascinating, get noticed and draw in more attention.

Now people start believing that those things aren’t as bad as initially thought. Because they are done by people of influence, expected and perceived to be good.

Thus, enough people are lured, attracted, snatched and entangled in bad behaviours. Then the bad habits are seen as common and normal, therefore becoming commonplace and eventually the new norm. This ultimately leads to moral decay in society.

But you and I can resist this propensity. When we realize that we are not crowd followers. When we acknowledge that the choices we make, make us. When we understand and uphold the fact that the choices we make and our behaviours aren’t dictated by others.

Having chosen your own path and started walking on it toward your purpose, you don’t do things because the majority are doing. For your path and purpose are not theirs. They are yours alone. Nor do you accept incentives, rewards or bribes to do what you know is wrong.

When you’re feeling empty, broken, feeble, down, vulnerable… you don’t seek for cravings and bad habits to fill that void. You avoid quick fixes. You avoid shortcuts that are short of God’s glory. You don’t sow and nourish seeds of hatred, corruption, lies, cruelty, injustice, pain and any other vice you can imagine. These can not fill that emptiness.

When you acquire power and position, and the very many benefits that accompany power and position follow, you don’t intimidate people. You don’t give pride a chance to rob your integrity and values. You don’t develop manipulative behaviours…

You yearn, seek, pursue and obtain righteousness and your void is filled. When the vessel is full of righteousness, seeds of love, peace, joy, mercy, grace, humility, integrity, purity, truth, forgiveness, and many other virtues that come with righteousness sprout and thrive.

When these seeds are nourished, nurtured, pampered…they yield palatable fruits to benefit you, your family and the world at large.

Has anything seduced you to do or utter words that do not give glory to God? Has anything due to its attractiveness tempted you out of your path and God’s presence? Have you ever been applauded, honoured and pampered only to be persecuted later and left feeling empty? Maybe it seemed plausible at first but later you realized that you had taken a wrong path. In such situations, how can you find your worth and fullness in God?

You can choose to give priority to Jesus. Once Jesus is the centre of your life, He can give you spiritual and physical blessings to your full fulfilment. He is the only one who can completely fill that void, that hollow hole which no man, no tangible or intangible commodity can fill. He himself is your righteousness. He says:

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.”

Matthew 5:6

God loves you.

Kingdom Titbits,

By Joseph.

Categories
Relationships

Forgiveness is our spiritual mandate

A zen parable tells of a lonely wanderer on a lonely road who came upon a torrential stream that had washed out the bridge. He couldn’t swim and was afraid to wade across. He built a solid and a heavy raft to carry him safely across the flood. 

On the other side of the bank, he thought, “This is a good raft-if there is another stream ahead, I can use it.” And so he carried the raft for the rest of his life.

Let me borrow from this parable in order to portray a better understanding on this topic. My lesson and application could be different from the original. The common denominator, however, is that there are things that helped us at one point in life, but they are no longer useful. The horrible thing is that we tend to hold them too dear that we’ve refused to detach ourselves from them, and we carry them wherever we go. They have become our relevant burdens.

We must offload the heavy load that is impeding our progress

Think about this: which things were helpful to you but are now useless and you’re still holding them?

If they’re material things, you can help yourself by offloading that junk to someone else who could be in need. That which could be a burden to you now could be a great consolation to somebody else. Let someone carry that burden for you and you’ll be amazed how light and swift you’ll be to fly to the next level.

The only wealth which you keep forever is the wealth you’ve given away.”

Marcus Aurelius.

Forgiving someone who has hurt, violated and harmed us is no easy feat. However, we can choose to forgive

You and I know the pain of being hurt. We’ve been heartbroken. We’ve been despised. We’ve been smashed with crude weapons of unpleasant words. We’ve been kicked on our bottoms, knocked down and down-trodden. The list is endless.

I am not trying to open old wounds, rather I’m trying to help heal them completely. It is time we chose to offload that bitter burden of unforgiveness. It is time we entered into a new realm of healing and freedom.

Forgiving someone who hurt, violated, and mistreated us is no easy feat. It could be like adding salt to the wound. However, when you choose to forgive, you’re fulfilling your spiritual mandate. You’re starting to walk on a new and brighter path toward your healing and growth.

“The best revenge is to be unlike him who performed the injury.”

Marcus Aurelius.

Perhaps when you consider the gravity of the pain, you cannot reckon how you can forgive.

I recall somebody who was asked to forgive when she was in her deathbed but she declined. Another one declared that she won’t forgive even if they met with that person in hell.

Why carry that heavy burden to the grave and hell when you can choose to forgive and live? No matter what happened you can choose right now to forgive and unlock your door to freedom. I know it is a tough decision to make. But it’ll help you out of captivity.

Those who have received great forgiveness should forgive more

Peter an apostle of Jesus like us was disturbed by this question of forgiveness.

“Then Peter came to Him and said, Lord, how often shall my brother sin against me and I forgive him? Up to seven times?”‘

Matthew 18:21.

Jesus used a parable to answer Peter and us. (Matthew 18:22-35).

“I don’t say to you, up to seven times, but up to seventy times seven.”

Matthew 18:22.

From this parable, we can learn that those who have been remarkably forgiven should extend more forgiveness. You and I received much forgiveness at the cross. Jesus paid the price for our sin.

When our spiritual eyes open widely to truly see, understand, and embrace this truth, we’ll extend forgiveness to others.

We’ll banish our bitterness from old wounds. We’ll quit liking and nurturing our own way. We’ll not allow unforgiveness to block our way into freedom.

Nor will we fix boundaries and conditions on forgiveness when we’re hurt. Forgiveness will freely flow out of our hearts without force. Because God forgave us without conditions, without limits, infinitely. God’s forgiveness should be the standard for our forgiveness.

Choose to forgive and live, decline to forgive and chain your own feet so you won’t get out of that prison.

Many people think forgiveness is weakness. But it is not. It is a doorway to freedom, to recreating damaged relationships, to living in peace with oneself and others. It is key to restoring lost love and joy.

Apostle Paul had a misunderstanding with Barnabas concerning the ministry. I believe before they parted, they had reached a consensus. Paul cautions that when we’re angry we should not sin by nursing our grudge.

And now, right now, you and I can make this tough decision. You can take your phone and call that person you’ve never spoken to since they hurt you. You can organise a meeting with the other person. You can visit the other one.

You can choose to follow that small voice, the inner voice in your heart that whispers, “forgive.” Don’t listen to the loud voice in your mind, the incessant voice that boasts, “revenge.” Only your heart will tell you the truth. Because it is your heart that is hurting. And it is your heart that will continue suffering if you refuse to forgive.

Give your burden to Jesus

Maybe right now the giant of unforgiveness is weighing you down. Perhaps you’ve tried to forgive but to no avail. Tell Jesus to help you. There’s nothing impossible with Him. He is willing to help you. He is calling on you:

Come to me all those who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest… for my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

Matthew 11:28-35.

God loves you!

Kingdom Titbits,

By Joseph.