Keeping your peace

I believe God wants me to share with you about keeping your peace. Many Christians have porous hearts. Jesus said in John 10:1, “…anyone that comes in some other way is a thief and a robber.” There are so many people who have opened “other ways” for the thief and the rubber (the enemy) in their hearts, and he just keeps looting them of joy, faith, revelation knowledge, the anointing and the grace of God; because there is no guard. The guard in your spirit is the peace of God. {Phil 4:7} In John 3:10, Jesus talked about the gatekeeper, who recognizes the voice of the shepherd and opens for him. There is so much deception, and many people think they can discern the Lord by being suspicious of other people or by putting up a judgmental attitude. None of these would help you discern the voice of the shepherd. Peace is the key. Peace will guard your heart. Peace will lead you into the accurate will of God.

I had an experience some years back. I had to make a crucial decision. I worried that I would miss the will of God. “What if I didn’t hear correctly? What if God says to me what I do not want to do?” I just worried myself to sleep each night, hoping God would boom out of the sky at me. Finally he said to me: “I cannot talk to you about this issue this way. You will not hear me. Worry is not my language. Faith is. Move on to faith so that we can talk.” I repented and obeyed, and we talked. We had a long heart to heart talk. I slept soundly for the first time in many days.  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, lean not on your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.” To “trust in the Lord,” means to operate from a base of peace because Isaiah 26:3 says: “Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is set on thee, because he trusteth in thee.” That is, if you trust God, then you will walk in peace, and you will have direction from God. If you do not trust, you will lose your peace and you will have confusion and make mistakes.

Now pay attention to this; if you feel in your spirit like there is a gap, and you need restoration, then you better have a grasp on the revelation of the God of peace, because if you can lay hold on his peace in your situation, there is going to be an automatic recovery of every missing thing, and an addition of every spiritual blessing hitherto withheld. If all you need is fresh fire, to drop wrong habits, change wrong attitudes, or be disciplined enough to stay with your resolutions; the key is to STAY IN PEACE. If the devil can agitate you, make you feel like a looser and keep you worried and depressed, you will never get over that situation. Hebrews 13:20 says:  “Now may the God of peace [Who is the Author and the Giver of peace] who brought again from among the dead our Lord Jesus, that great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood [that sealed, ratified] the everlasting agreement {covenant, testament] Strengthen {complete, perfect} and make you what you ought to be and equip you with every good that you may carry out his will; {while He Himself} works in you and accomplishes that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus the Messiah; to whom be the glory forever and ever{to the ages of the ages} Amen.” Please understand this. When we know the God of peace, then we are strengthened and made what we ought to be, accomplishing things that please him. Point is; we get in the way a lot. I finally figured that worrying that I wasn’t  good enough and that I wasn’t doing it right and that I was going to fail God eventually always ensured that I did! I deliberately switch into peace as much as I can. How do I do that? I trust God. {Isaiah 26:3}

If he says he will complete the good work he has started in me, I stop fretting that it’s not going to happen. I just take his word for it. If I can see him as the God of peace, he is going to strengthen me, he is going to equip me, he is going to anoint me to do his will, he is going to perfect me. And all I have to do is just stay in His Peace. Now you can understand why the devil is constantly bombarding your mind and trying to steal your peace. If you can keep your peace, you just took his ground in your life. Another way to stay in peace is to recognize the “great shepherd of the sheep.” “The Lord is my Shepherd…He makes me lie down…He leads me beside the still and restful waters. He refreshes and restores my life {myself}…” If you want freshness and/or restoration, then follow the shepherd. The
sheep doesn’t have an independent mind. He doesn’t have a plan or any direction outside of the rod and the staff. If you are not being led, you will never arrive the still and restful waters, and until you are there, there can be no peace, no restoration, no refreshing.
Let me just point to  three things you can check when you loose your peace. Check:
{i}  Your believing  [Romans 15:13]
{ii} Who you have been listening to. [John 16:33]
{iii} Your Obedience [Psalm 32:2-4]
Once you have checked yourself, repented and adjusted, nothing else has the capacity, legally, to hold on to your peace, unless of course with your permission. “The Chastisement of our peace was upon Him”; that is Jesus. This means the punishment that bought us peace was borne by Jesus. Next time things are not so smooth, next time you are not so sure, next time something you thought was going to come through doesn’t, next time it looks like everything is going wrong, next time it seems disaster is looming, next time you are misunderstood, you can say, “I’m not going to loose my peace over this. The punishment that brought me peace was upon Jesus. He paid for this situation. He took the naturally resulting consequence to the cross with him. I am going to stay in the word and stay in Peace. Then this situation will be reversed and corrected and I will be restored and completed.” I tell myself this all the time, and I tell the devil often; “I am not giving up my peace!” I had some issues with someone at work the other day. It started to get at me and I began to be touchy and threw ‘silent tantrums.’ The Holy Spirit convicted me a little later, and I realized that I would have to stay in peace to be able to call the shots and stay atop in this situation. I have not mastered staying put in peace all the time, but ‘practicing’ is the key word. I can tell you that learning to keep your peace is one sure way to slam the door in the face of the enemy, while downloading in your life and situation all of the glory and grace that God has for you in every season.

Enjoy!

Everyone that asks receives… (Matthew 7:8)

“What leads to strife… You are jealous and covet what others have and your desires and your desires go unfulfilled so you become murderers…{James 4:1-4 AMP} A wise friend once said, ‘To be jealous is to see others have something you desire and wish that you were the one that had it in place of them. Envy is to resent them for having it.’ When there is no inner joy and ease that comes only from answered prayers leading to fulfilled desires, we could carry our battles over into the flesh and blood realm, turning into some sort of spiritual vampire. Paul warned the Galatian church; “but if you bite and devour one another, beware lest you be consumed by one another!” {Gal 5:15} Without receiving your own; {your own forgiveness and sanctification, your own endorsement and authorization from the father, your own path, purpose and destiny} your love-walk towards others will continue to be a struggle.

The other day, Mary and Martha were with Jesus. Mary was having this deep intimate conversation with the Lord and Martha was also serving the Lord. But because of her inner turmoil, Martha could not serve right. Notice Martha’s prayer. It was about Mary. It sounded something like this; “Lord, Mary is not getting it right. I am the one getting it right. You just let Mary get by with it. Tell her to help me. Tell her to get up from there Lord.” But you do not tell the Lord what to tell another handmaiden or manservant of His. You have to rest in Him and receive your own in closet prayers {intimacy with God} first. Then He may tell you what He wants to tell another, but not the other way round. Jesus never said; “Martha, it is wrong to have an excellent spirit to serve.” Instead he said to her; “You are worried and troubled about many things…” {Luke 10:38}

We are worried and troubled about many things because we are not receiving from the Spirit of God those things that are already and exclusively prepared for us. “…Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit…” {1 Corinth 2:9&10} I feel strongly that the Lord will have your heart reassured; “… for everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” {Matthew 7:8} We do everything but ask. We work up ourselves, have sleepless nights, throw temper tantrums and complain to others but we never just settle down and pray through these issues. Just like Martha, we mistake our occasional flippant, fearful and impatient grumblings at the Lord for prayer. In this so called prayer, we neither come to know nor trust the Father.  Someone is saying, “But I have asked before.” Then receive. Mary sat at His feet, not just talking, but listening. That is how she came about that good portion which no man could take away from her {Luke 10:42}. Receive by the Spirit what is your own. Settle down, settle in and pay the price of waiting. Stop wasting your time eyeing another man’s censer. There will never come a time in the kingdom when the Bridegroom will command a wise virgin to give out her precious oil to a foolish one. {Matthew 25:1-13} As for now, the Lord is holding out the same offer to us all. Each of us can have as much as we have the capacity to receive. So go and borrow vessels – not a few. Then go in and shut your door upon yourself in your secret place. {2 kings 4:1-6} “…And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.” {Matthew 6:6}

Doubt will make us lose what is already given.The Father says concerning Himself; “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!”  {Matthew 7:11}  Our heavenly Father knows, and He has given good things. Not stone, or serpent, or scorpion. These days, before we even get pregnant, we have shopped and the house is filled with the best we can afford for the coming babies. We have opened bank accounts for them as infants and we are laying up investments in their names, for their sakes. How much more our Heavenly Father? It’s not about what you can do right or wrong. No matter your stage of growth and maturity, Daddy is not accusing you of anything. Daddy loves you more than anything and He has already laid up the best for you. So cease from striving. It is the same old dirty trick the enemy plays on our mind. God said; “Let us make man in our own image and likeness.” The likeness of God was already given to Adam and Eve. But the serpent laid hold of Eve’s mind one day and convinced her that God did not really want her to be like Him{Genesis 3:1 – 5}. She was already like God! Do you see how it is that a double-minded man is unstable in ALL his ways? {James 1:5&6} Doubt will drive you deeper and deeper into the mess. But faith in the revealed word will bring you out and establish your feet on the solid rock. You are not alone. Do not look at Mary and say; “Lord, you do not care…” {Luke 10:40} The Lord will have me tell you; “I love you. You are safe in my arms. The thoughts I have towards you are thoughts of peace and not of evil. Therefore Arise, and put on the mind of Christ and enter into the thoughts of God. I have something to tell you.”

We have listened to the enemy too long. Now God has something to tell us. As we go into our closet and close the doors behind us, our heavenly father will clothe us with grace, and with the mind of Christ. It will come to pass that as we hear His voice and press into knowing Him, He reveals His face and He touches us. Our anger and resentment problems will cease. No more strife and quarrelling, no more cold wars. We would have contentment, because peace comes from the presence of God. When you know that your prayers are being answered, you will have peace. This Month, re-enact the covenant of His peace in your life by praying about every little detail, everything. Do not hold anything back. Pray about your ministry, your relationships, your qualms and your idiosyncrasies. Pray for your children, and your journeys and your business and your health. Ask, Receive and Rest; “For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.”

The divine love song

I have found the best of my day aside devotional time consistently to be the first few minutes I wake up in the morning. As soon as I open my eyes, my husband starts singing to me and I just break into an involuntary smile. He has a new song for each day and he sings in his local language about ‘the beautiful wife.’ I have found that as much as I am not really into looks, I have found his love songs very assuring especially while I was pregnant and sometimes just felt like a ‘toad.’ 🙂

I am not the best of wives possible, I honestly don’t think so. I am not indolent, but I know much more dutiful wives than I. In fact I take a lot for granted to be honest. But my husband’s love does not seem to be ‘rewarding’ my efforts, it just seems that it is there anyway, whatever I am able or unable to do.

As I travelled to work this morning, I was thinking about it, and it got me thinking about God, my heavenly Father. My husband is just a man. He has his limitations, but God’s love is by far and infinitely more superior to the way any man is able to love. As the scriptures say, ‘God is LOVE.’ So I got bold, and began to pray in a certain bold way. There are some things I am believing God for but my prayers have been ‘very weak’ because I didn’t think I was doing well enough to impress God enough to make Him do those things. But guess what? I don’t need to impress my husband to earn a love song in the morning. I don’t have to be all dressed, have cooked a nice meal, or cleaned his shoes or anything. And when he is singing like that, I know I can ask anything in his power to give me – he will bend over backwards no matter how hard. God is infinitely so much more unconditionally loving than that. He sings over you every minute. He is continually delighted in his children. And you can ask anything in faith and be filled with joyful expectation, knowing that you have it because HE has heard you.

This is the only stability you can have in life; the truth that God loves you. You are going to make mistakes. Some of them may tend to be fatal. You are going to be misunderstood and misjudged. Some people you care deeply about will not care to have the same mindset towards you. Some people may withhold forgiveness from you, and sometimes; you may even find it hard to forgive yourself. But if you live in the truth that God loves you unconditionally, then you will know that your sins are forgiven and you are accepted in the beloved because the same love that saved you at the first will save you to the uttermost. This is the foundation; the right you would require in order to just sit down at the Lord’s feet, and enjoy intimacy with Him without being moved into self-righteousness.

Any time my husband sings like that, to tear myself away from him and get ready for work is always a problem. I just want to stay and look at his face till he leaves. I am not a ‘morning’ person, I usually do not have much to say at that time. But I am content to stay close to him. I have begun to discover that knowing and accepting and abiding in God’s love is the foundation of true spiritual intimacy, not my works. Being close to the Lord’s heart is nothing about striving to be seen by others as spiritual. Some may scorn and reject you. But the Lord knows everything about you, and he still cherishes you. It is not about you trying to qualify. While we were yet sinners, Christ died for the ungodly. {Romans 5:8} So we are not striving to be anything. We are only responding in faith to His love. That is all you need to be stable, faithful and spiritual – faith; working by love {Gal 5:6}

I want to encourage you today to set your mind on receiving the revelation of the Father’s love. Let this be your new pursuit. It will bring a certain freshness, newness and life-force into your spiritual experience. I know you have set your mind on ‘doing’ a lot more, and it’s noble but maybe what you need to move forward is to ‘receive.’ Pray with a new found confidence my friend, because the Father loves you – unconditionally. This is no nice cliché, it is the simple truth. Rise up with new found joy, hope and faith because this is the only thing God has against you – NOTHING!

Blow your Trumpet

Did you fight tears last night like me? 🙂 Do you find your soul sometimes torn between believing the scriptures and just dealing with your circumstances; what God has promised and ‘stark reality?’ Are you constantly fighting discouragement, frustration and desperation? Jesus said something really significant as he faced the most difficult period of his life. He said: “Hereafter, I will not talk much with you…: (John 14:30). Sometimes I don’t even want to talk and I am misunderstood as secretive but I know now much talking does not solve my problems. Neither does crying which happens easily if I try to talk about a situation that is really bugging me. Not that I never pour out when I need to but I am more concerned to stay strong in my spirit and bring forth a kind of spiritual communication that does not leave me even more vulnerable but that sets me on a sure victory path. I don’t have any tears, any pain to waste on the enemy. Everything must be in the end to the Glory of God.

You see, when we are faced with the issues of life, naturally, we want to respond. God has a plan for this. In Numbers 10:10 says, “When you go to war in your land against the enemy who oppresses you, then you shall sound an alarm with the trumpets, and you will be remembered before the Lord your God and you will be saved from your enemies.” What ‘trumpet’ is it talking about? Numbers 10: 2, God had said, “Make two silver trumpets for yourself; you shall make them of hammered work, you shall use them for calling the congregation and for directing the movements of the camps.” God gave instructions to Moses to make 2 trumpets. For what purpose?

1. For the assembling or gathering of the people to God.
2. For the directing the journeying of the people towards the promise of God.

The trumpets were NOT made primarily for the purpose of battles. But if Israel found themselves in a battle situation, God said blow the trumpet.

Let me explain all these. Like the church in the wilderness, we are also on a journey through time to eternity. We are looking for that city whose builder and maker is God. The blowing of trumpet precedes every step of the way towards God. All your experiences in God are sounds in the spirit by which you move forward in God. Those are the sounds by which you broke camp {left your previous level in God}, and moved forward in the things of the spirit because those were the experiences that taught you God. Now without these sounds in your spirit, you cannot blow in the day of battle. When you open your mouth, you will produce a strange sound in the spirit. The type of sound you make in the realm of the spirit has everything to do with if you have a trumpet. Have you being ‘coming’ to God before now? Are you a person of his presence? Do you fellowship? Have you been making progress in your walk with God? Because otherwise you have a wrong sound coming out of you in battle. The trumpet was not made primarily to be blown in battle, it was made to summon to God and to walk with God but if you face battle and you have no trumpet, then you have no victory sound, and you will be in trouble.

I will give you an example. What do you think would have happened to David, and indeed the whole of Israel that fateful day Goliath of Philistine came out against the armies of God had not David the right sound? When you look at I Samuel 17, it looks at the surface like all they just did was trade words. But this was not the case at all since it was a war situation. Adversity draws a certain sound out of you. They were all making different types of “sounds.” I Samuel 17: 24&25 says: “And all the men of Israel , when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. And…said, have ye seen this man that is come up: surely to defy the host of Israel he is come up…” Why did Israel run? Why were they full of fear like that? Watch their sound! “And the men of Israel said, Have you seen this man that is come up…” They did not see God at all. If they did, they would not have seen “the man” at the same time, because when you see God, he’s so big, he’s the only one you see. Now you can understand the cause of the fear, and the dread and all the depression, you saw ‘the man’, come up!’David did not see the man come up, he saw the man ‘come down.’ {I Samuel 17:37} Saul said to David, “You can’t take the man down, you cannot take this problem down. Let us face the ‘reality’. It is too big for you. It is too wild a dream. The odds are against you. Your chances are nil. Don’t waste your life” {I Sam 16: 33 Paraphrased.} But David had a different sound from all of them. How do I know? Because he said in verse 47 of I Samuel 16, “ And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saveth not with sword and spear: for the battle is the Lord’s…” David knew the Lord. He had been with Him before this battle. In his spirit, not in his head, he was informed that the battle belongs to the Lord. He said to Saul, “I have been here before. I know the Lord of hosts. I saw God fight before today. It will happen again, because God is faithful and he does not change…” {I Samuel 17: 34 – 37}. The purpose of all these experiences is to get you to know the Lord not to frustrate you. They are designed to make you grow, not make you sore, afraid and miserable.

Can I take it a step further? When you were still in secondary school or high school and you had no money and no provisions and you prayed to God in your hunger, God sent somebody. God came through for you somehow. When you were in the university, and you needed this so-and-so amount of money to complete your assignment and deadlines were drawing close and just at the nick of time God came through for you, somehow. Now you have another financial need. It’s a much bigger sum. It’s a more pressing need. You have been to everyone and every place and it’s not just happening. Now you are fretting and anxious and depressed. God says you’re erring in your heart and your heart is evil, because you do not believe. He said of that generation, “…they have not known my ways…” (Hebrews 3:10-12) If you had known the ways of God, you will not have murmured. You would not have complained. You would not have been afraid. You would have known that whether it is about N200.00, or N2 000.00, or N200 000.00, or N20 000 000.00, Jehovah Jireh does not change. When it was common cold, God healed you. When it was malaria, God healed you. Now the doctors have come up with this big name. Don’t fret. Pull out your trumpet and blow it, you’ve been here before. The name of the problem changed but Jehovah Rapha does not change. The other time, the enemy’s costume was that of a circus lion. The other day, it was a bear’s. But once you learn the name of the lord, it does not matter the costume the enemy chooses, you are no longer tricked. Goliath was six cubits in height, had a helmet of brass, wore a coat of mail, had a staff like a weaver’s beam…and all the other details. {I Samuel 17:4-7) Sometimes the problems come at us six cubit tall, wearing a brass helmet and a coat of mail. All Israel was fooled until David came. I can hear David laughing in the face of the enemy saying, “I’ve been here before. I know who you are. We met in the lion and in the bear. Your costume is great today, but I’m not fooled. You are the same old defeated guy. I am not afraid of you.” Once you learn God’s ways, you can always make the victory sound in the face of any issue in life. It does not matter if that thing grows sixteen heads and six legs, once it shows up; like the masquerades that show up at the festival, you know immediately it is all just dressed up. You can tell the enemy, “I know you. We met before today. You are that same defeated foe from 2000 years ago. I have a victory sound. I don’t care what you choose to call your name this time, its just a costume, and I am going to undress you and take you down because greater is he that is in me, than he who is in the world.” {I John 4:4}

This is not just important to overcoming adversity, this is the way you learn stability and maturity and the ways of God. When you read that God taught Moses his ways and the children of Israel his acts, this was the process. The children of Israel never learnt God’s ways because they had an evil heart. Moses did their repenting, their praying, and their believing. No matter the victory God wrought for them, once they faced another adversity, they are all the way back into fretting and murmuring and complaining – again. That’s the way it is with us many times. When we will do nothing but agitate, fret and be worried, we do not even have enough soundness to discern sin how much more repent. We cannot do any effective praying; we cannot have the kind of faith in God that not only moves mountains, but accounts for righteousness. All our previous experiences in God are our ammunition. They make up our sound in the spirit. I encourage you to repent if you have been fretting instead of blowing your trumpet. In case your sound is rusty, {that is; your fellowship is suffering,} you can also correct that right away. Psalm 86:5 says: “For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive: and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee.” Next to this, you need to talk back to your enemy. You need to make a sound. Determine that this is a situation with which like David, you are going to teach the armies that stand by, the way of the Lord, which you have known. {I Samuel 17:47} Then charge at Goliath, bring him down and cut off his head, he’s just a costume.

Remember to blow your trumpet …“also in the days of your gladness…and in the beginning of months…over your burnt offerings and over the sacrifices of your peace offerings…I am the Lord.” {Numbers 10:10} This means you do not remember the Lord in battle alone. When you needed those travel papers, or that job, or that university admission; you blew your trumpet, you called upon him. Now that you are done, blow your trumpet. Worship him. He is the Lord. Before you go out to dinner with your friends, bow your face to the ground before God. Call him the name you have come to know him by from that experience. Call him Faithful. Call him Worthy. Call him Holy. He is the Lord. As you walk in the spirit in your everyday life; offering yourself as living sacrifice to God, keep blowing your trumpet over that sacrifice. Don’t wait for battle. Say to him, “Lord God Almighty, your works are great and marvellous. Your ways are just and true. You are the king of the ages. You are holy. Your manifest your judgements, all nations worship you…You are the Lord.” {Revelation 15:3-4} Don’t ever be without a sound and don’t ever make the wrong sound either. Keep blowing the victory sound. Keep confessing his Lordship at all times and in all situations. This is ‘Power-living!’

When you are not just sure

I once started a blog several times over times over without really starting.
I just was not sure.
What I doubted was not my ability to write but…there were just so many other doubts. What if I did not find inspiration? What if I did not have the time to update or respond to people regularly? What if I just found it difficult to go around my site because I just find it all too technical? ( I really don’t know my way around computers except on the keyboard :)) And chief of all doubts… What do I have to say anyway?

But that desire never went away, that knowing that this is something I not only can do, but something that I ought to do. And I kept procrastinating, but I never made up my mind when I was going to start or to deliberately overcome my doubts in order to start; I just kept pushing it in the background.

I had a little time on my hands one day. I entered into my office and I said, “Lord, please show me what to do with this time.” The blog came up in my mind immediately. I still found it difficult to navigate the site. I still didn’t know what to write. I still wasn’t sure if I was going to find the time on a regular basis but I had made up my mind – I would start blogging actively from that morning.

There is that ‘morning’ sister, that fateful defining moment so pivotal to divine destiny, where you find courage and grace to step out, still not sure. You rise up to the occasion, still not sure. You go back to that place you know you belong, still not sure. You pick up that project, still not sure. The only thing you are sure about is this – ‘GOD is with me.’

I am writing to help you rise from that paralysis caused by fear, misgivings, and just plain self-consciousness. Maybe you do have cause to be anxious, but you cannot hand over your life to the bondage of fear. You have to arise and move, knowing that you are walking with a God that is Faithful and can be trusted. When you arise from that couch of depression, self-consciousness and/or self-pity and and go after your destiny, grace will meet with you; bringing you courage, passion and faith to launch forward.

That ‘morning’ is not ‘a.m’ time. It is right now as you read and you feel that stirring within you. Don’t shut it down by going down that road of excessive reasoning again. Instead, think about your future in terms of your dreams, those things that you know you can do, those things you know you are meant for, those things that God has spoken to you. Don’t put it off indefinitely anymore. Stop giving yourself excuses. “I don’t have time… It is because of what has happened in the past I laid off… Nobody is there to help me… What will so and so person think or say?” Etc The questions to answer is; ‘Am I going to cheaply quit on my future in God or am I going to belong with the few that set foot in and taste of the fruit of the ‘promised land?’

My greatest desire as I write this is that a holy resolve will rise in you to say; ‘I am not handing over my life to my circumstances. I will arise again!’