Sunday, 24 July 2011

Offenses (2)

"Offenses must come!" Here's another statement of fact that Jesus made when He taught on the subject of offenses. With this statement, He highlighted the reality that humans know so well: the world in which we live is saturated with offenses. Whether you want it or not, whether you cause it or not, that evil, corrosive thing called offenses will come your way. The question is, what are you going to do about it?

The very atmosphere of Eden was offense-free, until the spirit of deception, the old serpent, found a way to corrupt the heart of Eve and her husband. Outside Eden, however, offense is the order of day. Whichever way you turn, it is always making its way towards you. Like invisible radio waves, offense is a part of the fallen world - so also is the unregenerate mind of man that so easily picks them up. If only believers will operate in this life as Christ did! He chose not to tune in to the "offense channel", neither did He receive or broadcast worldly offenses. He was tuned to the Father; He spoke words from the Father and responded to earthly words in the way the Father's Spirit led Him - no matter the consequences. He did this always and never for once faltered.

The result of Christ's spiritual disposition was that provocations never provoked Him; accusations never bothered Him; misrepresentations never unruffled Him; betrayals never surprised Him. It did not matter how many times the prince of this world came to Him, nothing of this world could be found in Him.

How unlike the average believer today! We easily offend and are easily offended. Is this not an evidence that we are more attuned to the flesh than to the Spirit? Those who are led by the Spirit always, whose heart are consistently manifesting His fruit, will know the blessedness of an offense-free life. Surely, offenses must come, but we need not be the originators, receptors, transmitters or facilitators of them.

"My little children, keep your hearts from offenses" - GOD!


Friday, 15 July 2011

Offences! (1)

I recently found in the book Matthew, a statement Christ made about offenses. It just stood out to me and left an indelible mark upon my heart. After seeing this statement, I understood more than ever before why the Lord used very strong words whenever He discussed the matter. The statement I found is strong and true.

In Matthew 18:7, the first part, Jesus said, "Woe to the world because of offenses!" What a precise statement of fact. If there is anything that has caused much moral and spiritual decay in the world today, it is offenses. In fact, the first sin man created was facilitated by an offense at God. The devil succeeded in making Eve think that God was keeping something good from them, and this thought process led to rebellion and sin. What about the murder of Abel by Cain, was it not because of the feeling of offense aimed at God and Abel?

I have found out that some of the most frustrated believers today, not to talk of those who are not in the faith, do not know the reality of peace with God and the peace of God. They are offended at what they consider to be God's slowness or His seemingly uncaring attitude to their predicaments. This offense at God so easily manifests as offense at man - the root of a million atrocities in this life.

Woe to the world because of offenses! How true. Every war, feud, genocide and disharmony since the beginning of time has offenses written all over them. Just a little feeling of offense, real or perceived, is enough to cause unspeakable havoc between people and nations. Offenses have literally tipped us all in the direction of irreversible destruction. If not for the cross of Christ, the rock of offense that corrects this deadly imbalance, the world would have imploded long time ago. The privilege we have in Christ is the ability to lay hold of divine wisdom that can help us maintain an offense-free heart in an offense-ridden world. We need not be victims of the world's woes. We can find refuge in Christ and be partakers of the divine nature of God - our only guarantee of a life of victory over the force of offenses.

Thank you Jesus for this immeasurable victory!

(To be continued...)


Wednesday, 6 July 2011

JESUS IS MY LORD! The full implication of this

After Thomas placed his finger in the nail piercings in Jesus' hands, he exclaimed "My Lord and my God" (John 20:27,28). From that moment on, all his doubts about the resurrection of Christ and the glory of His Person faded away. In their place rose faith and a lifelong commitment to the purpose for which Christ had called him. When I declare, "Jesus is my Lord", I would like to believe it is borne out of no less a realisation and resolve.

First, Jesus has ownership over me. I do not own my life and thus cannot determine my course. The devil once owned me but he can no longer stake a claim on me. The blood flowing from the hands of Jesus is proof of His purchase of my life.

Second, Jesus has the rule over me. He directs my going out and coming in. He is Lord over my pursuits. His word is the light guiding all that I do. He establishes my purpose and sends me forth to be fruitful for Him.

Third, Jesus holds all rights to me. I am His through and through. I cannot hold anything back. His rights over my time, treasure and talents are exclusive. There's nothing that I have apart from what He has given me.

Fourth, Jesus is worthy of glory from me. My pursuit of purpose is for His glory. Everything I do is to make His name great in the earth. Every well I dig in this life is for His praise. He is Lord over all I my achievements.

Fifth, Jesus entrusts His authority to me. I am His ambassador in this life. All I do is in His stead. For this purpose, I have access to all that He has. All that my Lord has is mine and I am His. I don't take this lightly but live with a sense of responsibility - as one who would one day give an account.

There is no fear, doubt or pretense as I declare Jesus is MY Lord!


Thursday, 30 June 2011

He makes all things beautiful

God is never too late or too early. He is never in a hurry either. He knows that to everything there is a time and a season, and when the time is right time for the manifestation of a thing, it is always beautiful.

We are the ones who are usually in a hurry. We want everything now. Blessings, now. Promotion, now. Manifestation of prophecies, now. A fruit eaten before its ripe time only causes tummy upsets. It is better to wait for the right season and cease upsetting ourselves and everyone around us.

This makes me recall the dream of a dear friend (who has since passed on to glory). In his dream, he saw himself in a news studio. Cameras were focusing; lights were beaming; it was time for the news to be read. Backstage, my friend was restless - he wanted to be the one broadcasting the news. He kept on saying, "I want to read the news, I want to read the news", and eventually he was allowed to take centre stage and read the news.

As he took his seat in front of the lights and cameras, he suddenly realised he did not have the day's news. "I don't have any news! I don't have any news!" he kept on saying to himself, and then he woke up...

It is better to wait patiently for our ordained season, than to step out prematurely and fail woefully. God makes all things beautiful in their season.

Your season is coming and has now come! No more hurrying; no more worrying! In Jesus' name!


Saturday, 25 June 2011

Get rid of those maggots!

There is a reason why Jesus said we should forgive those who offend us - every time they offend us. Even if we are offended as many as seventy seven times in a day, Jesus said we should still forgive (Matthew 18:21,22; Luke 17:1-4). This instruction is not to make us look weak and foolish; instead, as we shall see, it is for our inner sanctity and strength.

Ultimately, every offence from men is aimed at the heart. The same can be said of every unfavourable circumstance that affects us on the inside. No matter what happens or how it happens, we feel the pain of hurts and disappointment in our hearts. When we retain and process them for any length of time, they turn into bitterness, hatred, rage, depression and other unholy vices. This is why Jesus said we should let go of offences as soon as they occur. And when they seem to linger for a while, the counsel is, "do not let the sun go down on your wrath" (Ephesians 4:26).

Offences and discouragements retained in the heart longer than a day contaminate us on the inside. When we brood upon them, they drain us of strength and become much harder to deal with; they rob us of grace and cause is to defile many (Hebrews 12:15).

When Israel kept the heavenly manna for longer than a day, it turned into maggots and stank (Exodus 16:20). Can you just imagine what happens when we keep offences in the heart beyond the setting of the sun? The truth is, many a believer's heart is full of maggots that keep on multiplying sunset after sunset. Whenever they speak out of their bitter heart, the stench is practically unbearable. It is not a sign of weakness when you forgive others; it is a wise action of someone who understands the value of a clean heart.

"Keep and guard your heart", therefore, "with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life." (Proverbs 4:23 AMP). In other words, "Get rid of all the maggots in your heart and guard against them finding a breeding place in you. Only out of a maggot-free heart flows the spring of life that builds up others."

Cleanse our hearts O Lord!


Thursday, 23 June 2011

Have you finished digging your first well?

One of your goals in life should be to become a digger of wells, and not just a drinker of water. Many spend all their lives surviving as a mere water-drinker and never experience the paradigm shift of a well-digger. No one remembers the water-drinker for the volume of water that he consumed. However, generations of men will remember the well-digger for the volume of water that he produced.

I want to iterate the need to possess a vision of digging a few wells in your lifetime - structures and establishments that will continue to serve communities of men long after you have gone. The world cannot do without such visionaries, for without well-diggers, the people perish. The survival of many water-drinkers is linked to the significance of one well-drinker. Be the significant one and not the surviving many.

There is one well that is essential before you embark on the digging of more. You cannot overlook this well and busy yourself with others. Your first well will produce the strength and inspiration you need for every other well. This first well is the well of your heart. It must flow with life, wisdom, grace and understanding. It must be free from hurts, offences, filth and burdens. It must be the source of all else you do - the channel through which God's power ceaselessly flows.

So I ask: Have you finished digging your first well? Are you busy with many secondary things and are neglecting the condition of your heart? Until you break through on the inside you cannot experience a breakthrough on the outside. Breakdowns in your circumstances are sometimes traceable to breakdowns on the inside. With all your digging, make sure you finish digging your first well!

Your first well is you; dig it well! Let the real you be seen! Let the life in you be released!


Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Watch and pray (4)

This dual activity, watching and praying, was one of the secrets of Christ's victorious life on earth. Everything He did in life and ministry was born out of watchfulness and prayerfulness. If we will follow in His steps, we cannot but do the same.

Jesus did not react to circumstances around Him; He responded by the leading of the Spirit.
Jesus did not entrust Himself to the appearances of man; He was always led by the Spirit.
Jesus did not embrace every opportunity that came His way; He was led by the Spirit.
Jesus was led by the Spirit always because He was watching and praying always.

The message here is simple: when all our actions, associations and decisions are the product of watching and praying, we are being led by the Spirit of God, and those who are led by the Spirit are the sons of God (Romans 8:14).

If we will follow in Christ's steps, we cannot but do what He did - watch and pray!


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Watch and pray! (3)

Which is more important, watching or praying? The answer is straightforward: neither. Both watching and praying are of equal importance, hence the conjunction "and". We are not to do one without the other.

Some do more watching than praying, while others do more praying than watching. Both sets of people, after a while, will end up lopsided in spirit and life. Believers who truly watch and pray experience a balance in their lives that ultimately bears the fruit of wisdom. For those who only watch presume the sole responsibility for action is theirs, those who only pray shelve the responsibility for action solely on God, but those who watch and pray become co-workers with God for the fulfillment of purpose and destiny.

O how sweet it is to walk with Jesus! To enjoy fellowship with Him and become a co-worker with Him! A commitment to watching and praying will ensure that we enter into the blessedness in Christ.


Saturday, 11 June 2011

Obedience is key!

The things God shows us about our life at different times, the pronouncements He makes about our future, they generate much excitement in our spirit. And better to be excited than downcast! However, excitement alone will not bring us to the place where we realise the prophecies spoken over us. After excitement in the spirit, we need to bring our soul and flesh to the place of obedience. Complete obedience is key to reaching that place called destiny.

When God gives us an instruction, no matter how little or illogical, we need to promptly obey and resist every temptation to find an excuse not to do what He is saying. Obedience moves us forward. Disobedience takes us backward. Inactivity, which is akin to disobedience, keeps us stagnant. The direction our lives is going - forward, backward or nowhere - is dependent on our attitude to God's instructions.

Go! Speak! Write! Stop! Forgive! Give!... Instructions. These are your connectors to purpose and destiny. Don't take them lightly.

"Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life." (Proverbs 4:13)


Tuesday, 7 June 2011

A New Season!

A new season has dawned upon many in the Body of Christ, and with it is fresh grace for the race. Those who have remained faithful to God and His Word in the times of littleness will find their steps increasingly ordered to the place of purpose and fruitfulness. Doors will open for these ones and through watchfulness, they will enter into the right door - God's door; one that cannot be shut by man or circumstances - and encounter much favour on the other side.

It is time, then, to arise! Time to shine! Light has come from the Lord and glory is breaking forth from the heavens. Do not miss this season through unbelief; do not hinder yourself through disobedience. Whatever the Lord says, do. Wherever the Lord leads, go. We walk by faith and triumph in joy!...

For nearly two years, the Lord had spoken to me about the next phase of my life and ministerial journey. I am now stepping into what He told me, yes, the beginnings of it. So, I believe every word of this prophecy and know that the One who has spoken is faithful.

I will soon begin to share more about this "next phase" and the work the Lord is calling me and mine to. Meanwhile, be inspired by the word of the Lord and do not shrink back from sharing your story too. Who knows, you may just be the inspiration that someone needs to enter into the fullness of their season!


Monday, 6 June 2011

Watch and pray! (2)

Many believers pray and pray and pray... but they are not obeying the commandment to watch. If we are not watchful, how will we see danger that needs to be avoided on our path? Again, if we are not watchful, how will we know when the Lord opens the doors of opportunity before us? What about when multiple doors open and we have to determine which one is the Lord and which one is the enemy? Watching is a must; we cannot survive in the spirit without being watchful.

Watching engages all our spiritual faculties; it requires an ability to judge rightly and respond accordingly. We dare not watch casually, otherwise we will become a casualty. Jesus never took watching lightly, which is why nothing ever took Him by surprise.

I am expectant in the spirit; not apprehensive, but watchful. I will not miss all that God has for me because I am watching, and He is watching over me. (I pray the same for you too!).


Tuesday, 31 May 2011

Watch and pray!

Many believers engage in the discipline of prayer, but I am beginning to find out that prayer alone is not enough in the realm of the spirit. Jesus taught and instructed us to pray quite alright, but He also enjoined us to watch and pray. If we really understand what He meant by those words, we would appreciate that this is a "do both" admonition and not just a use of interchangeable words. Watching is a spiritual activity and so is prayer. We need to actively do both to enjoy victory in this life.

When we pray to God but do no take happenings in the spirit realm into consideration, we set ourselves up for catastrophe. The dreams we have in the night, the words God speaks in the ears of our heart, the impressions that grab our attention, the circumstances that require a spiritual interpretation, all these are as important as the prayers we say. Again, our prayers will not be effective if our heart, the place from where the wellspring of life flows, is unguarded against all sorts of offences and bitterness. These and more are part of the watching dimension of our prayer lives.

At the final analysis, true prayer is not done with the mouth only, but also with the eyes, ears, spiritual insight and understanding. God will help us all!

(There's surely more that I will be writing about this Watch and Pray command!)


Saturday, 28 May 2011

God really knows your name!

A lot of the times when God had called each of us by name, it was not just to catch our attention. Of course, He does need our attention at different times, and sometimes has to deliver us from our many distractions by calling out to us. But usually, He is doing more than this. When He calls us by name, He is making a direct reference to the purpose for which He has called us. He is not just identifying our name tag, but acknowledging the fullness of our calling and destiny.

When God created you, He had a purpose in mind, and after He finished the work of bringing you forth, He gave you a name - a name that is linked to the purpose of your creation. This is the name by which He knows and calls you. This is much deeper than the earthly names we bear (even though it may be necessary for some to change their earthly names to one that the mouth of the Lord will call). This is an eternal dimension of our earthly existence.

So, do you know the name by which God calls you in the eternal realms? You should. You should locate yourself in His heart and discover yourself in His book. God has a book in the heavens in which He has recorded all names and all purposes. The earthly copy of His book, the Bible, is a good place to start. Let the Holy Spirit, the Author of His books, guide you as you search yourself out. Who knows, you may find that the book was referring to you when it called some, "oaks of righteousness" (Is 61:3), "restorer of desolate places" (Is 61:4) or "priest of the Lord" (Is 61:6).

Seriously, ask the Lord and He will tell you great and mighty things that you do not presently know. And this revelation will be the beginning of a new journey of becoming all that He has created and named you to be.


Friday, 27 May 2011

The three invitations of Christ

The first invitation that Christ gives to all in the world is a "come". Everyone is invited to come unto Him with all their burdens, fears and weights. In exchange, the Lord has promised to give rest, much-needed rest to much-weary souls. This is the rest we receive at salvation. Oh what a joyous day this is both on earth (in the heart of the saved) and in heaven (in the company of angels)! If you have known this joy - this endless joy of salvation - you have already come. Praise God!

The second invitation narrows down a bit, because it is not to everyone but to those who have already come to Him. To these ones Christ will say, "sit". After coming to receive rest, we are expected to sit at His feet and learn of Him - His heart, His ways, His passion and His agenda. We learn His meekness and begin to conform to His image. Oh what a process this is, one that strips us of ourselves and cloaks us with His self - His life. Many who come to Christ hurriedly leave. They do not have the patience to sit, to learn and to mature through obedience. They leave with their blessing of rest without yet knowing the place of rest. Not knowing how to sustain the blessing, it is only a matter of time before they have to come again with burdens, needing rest and thus repeating the process all over.

The third invitation narrows down even more. It is to those who have not only come but have also sat for a season. Amongst these, the Lord extends an invitation for active involvement in His eternal programme. To these ones the Lord will say, "go!" This go launches them into the reason for which they were created. Fully equipped with the knowledge of the Holy One and His Spirit, they set out in obedience to fulfill their Master's bidding. They are no longer settlers in this world, but pioneers with a heavenly, ambassadorial agenda. Oh the joy of partnership with the Lord in His glorious work on earth!

Which of the invitations have you hearkened? Come? Sit? Go?

I beseech you, don't just come to God for blessings; sit at His feet and learn of Him. Don't be a forgetful learner that always needs to repeat the lessons of life; drop every personal ambition and pursue the Kingdom and the righteousness thereof. Understand that there is a "go" that you have to obey in this life; the purpose for which you will be remembered amongst men and judged amongst saints.

The Lord is still calling: Come! Sit! Go!


Thursday, 26 May 2011

Nowhere to hide!

As David once wrote, there is nowhere on earth or under the earth that a person can go to hide from God. Not that I am looking for somewhere to hide or any such thing; I am just acknowledging His Omnipotence that continues to benefit those who belong to Him.

I belong to God, but this 'belonging' cannot be by mouth. It must be substantiated by constant obedience. Whenever we are in disobedience - whatever the issue - it does feel like we are hiding, because God's Spirit will continuously tug on us and speak to our spirits. From this tugging, there is nowhere to hide. Those who are truly His will recognise this grace and yield to the Lord, whatever He is saying and demanding.

Okay. It's confession time! No, I have not done anything worthy of death. My confession is that I have not posted any blog for a long, long time (even though the Lord had wanted me to; He was the One who got this thing going in the first place!). From this reality, there is nowhere for me to hide. I now yield myself (again!) to the Lord and to this ministry.

Thank you Lord, for grace for every new beginning!

(Friend, is there anything you are hiding from? Remember, there's nowhere to hide from God!)


Wednesday, 19 January 2011

I have found water!

That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. They said, "We've found water!" He called it Shibah, and to this day the name of the town has been Beersheba. (Genesis 26:32)

God's plan is for each of us to be a channel that refreshes lives and communities around us. As channels, we are meant to connect and remain connected to God, the immeasurable and unending Source of life. The deeper our connection into God, the greater the flow of life from within. We will also remain fresh as long as we abide in the place of our connection.

It is only a matter of time for the present place of connection to become a place of ease, comfort and disobedience - if we neglect the call to continue in our pursuit of God. When laxity enters our fellowship with God, all sorts of compromise will seek to take advantage. The life from within is polluted, first unnoticed and later evidently to all. It's either that or an overwhelming dryness that only God can reverse. May we never get to that level of spiritual contamination or spiritual emptiness.

We need to keep on digging, keep on transitioning, keep on seeking God - because God is always moving and calling. If we continue to behold the face of Christ through His Spirit, we will be changed from glory to glory. If we take our eyes off the Lord and stop obeying His promptings, we will remain pegged in the glory of yesterday. There will be no joyous exclamation, "I have found water!"

Jesus said, the water that He gives will become a spring of eternal life within us. This water connects deeply and blesses widely. However, when we stop coming to Him to drink (when we think we have drunk enough), the flow of life ceases - slowly but surely.

Keep on digging deep into God! Keep on drinking from His Spirit! Do not mind the enemy who will try to contend with the life you receive from God. Though he tries, he will fail woefully. He has failed already. God will bring you into your Rehoboth, the place of much room for greater fruitfulness. I pray a cry will rise up within you once again: I have found water!


Friday, 14 January 2011


Our walk with God and our pursuit of purpose is a journey. A long one. It's not a quick dash or a momentary attainment. The Kingdom we are called to seek is an ever-increasing Government of peace. So is our journey in the Kingdom. Hence the different transitions at different times.

After a few posts last year about becoming a bestseller, I began to sense another level of the transition I was already experiencing. And by God's grace, I have learnt and am still learning the importance of following the Spirit's leading, whether to the left or to the right. There was a shift indeed, and I just could not continue with the posts (apologies to everyone who was following the series).

During this transition, I had written and published The Shift of A Lifetime, a sociological study of and timely message for Nigerians aged between 40 and 50. Many consider it a classic, for which I humbly give God glory. There is still a lot of work to do for the book's potential to break forth. And the transition continues...

I am experiencing change in preparation to obey God's call to missions. I am also getting clarity regarding my calling and purpose as a writer. For me, these two go hand-in-hand. They are major reasons for the present transition.

We are expected, as believers, to walk in the Spirit and be led by the Spirit. In other words, we must always welcome transitions when they are initiated by God. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.


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