For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, but the wicked stumble when calamity strikes.
The journey will not always be smooth. There will be hurdles along the way which will require your attention. Life is not a bed of roses, it comes with its own challenges.
May I say that what lies ahead of us is what determines how we react to circumstances happening around us. If you know what price is set before you, you prepare and work hard to obtain that. Every challenge comes to reveal what we are made up of.
Athletes undergo strict training for crowns that do not last (1 Corinthians 9:25). Irrespective of the hurdles they face in their training, they try to overcome it and psyche themselves for the best.
No one actually prepares for a loss. But when it does happen, you need to rise up and move on. The righteous will fall seven times, but they will rise up (Proverbs 24:16). The shortfalls do not matter as much as your response to them.
A winner is not one who has never failed, but one who has learnt to overcome the “pressures” of failure and has used it as a catalyst to win again and again.
When achievers fail, they see it as a momentary event, not a lifelong epidemic.
Maxwell, John C. Failing forward. Harper Collins, 2007 pp. 28
Some thoughts you should consider:
Am I facing any challenges in my quest to achieve my goals?
Are these challenges due to my ignorance or mistakes?
How can I solve these issues?
What have I learnt from these shortfalls?
God bless you and remain a blessing. With lots of love.
“”I would like to gain something from our relationship”, Akua told me. She added, “After so many years of our friendship, I do not want to walk out of this relationship having been cheated. Set out the terms and conditions and clearly define the benefits before I can commit to this lasting relationship””. A friend actually confessed to me a few days ago. I had a conversation with another friend who said that she is okay to marry any man when the terms of the marriage are beneficial.
“You do me, I do you”, a new cliche to popularise the concept of revenge has become the common mishap in society. Everyone is waiting to return evil with even more evil. As wise as a serpent we may want to become, we have become over-cautious to the extent of putting ourselves and our needs above anyone else. To be hurt and made to look like a fool is a sad thing, and as much as possible we may want to protect ourselves.
However, I sat and imagined a world where everyone was thinking about himself and his needs. Looking for terms and conditions that favour him/her without considering what effects it may have on the other party, the world would have been in a chaos. The clash of wants would have led to many prevented wars and the loss of many resources.
I really thank God that a section of people know this and as such don’t mind sacrificing some of their wants to make sure the other party also benefits from their service. Avoiding any hypocritic love show, they really do not mind what they get, but are really concerned about what all of them would benefit. They are committed to the success of everyone, rather than individual success. Guess you may be wondering which class of people are these. Christ was the perfect example for His church.
A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.
John 13:34-35 (NIV)
Selfless devotion starts when we love each other affectionately. When you want the other party to treat you the same way you are treating him now , then you are really demonstrating that you are committed to a greater cause than yourself.
Look beyond what you can gain in this season. Even though people may not be able to offer you anything in exchange for what you have done for them, it still is necessary that you still demonstrate the love of God for all to see. Let love lead.
God bless you and remain a blessing. With lots of love.
There are various ways we respond to situations. This stems from the way we process the information we have and the knowledge we have gained from various sources. We may experience the same challenges, but we will all respond differently.
The greatest asset of westernisation is education. Science and arts have been the bargaining commodity in the western world. It comes to assert the fact that receiving information, processing the information and responding appropriately becomes very necessary.
In this COVID-19 pandemic season, we have been hearing a lot of information and many of us have processed it differently. I do not want to add up to the information out there in the media, but I would want to encourage and instill hope in us to face the crisis season.
The Mockery of world knowledge.
Change is inevitable in our world. People respond to change differently. Some actually need time to process the information they have received, see some initial results before they believe and others would still not accept the change.
People do not naturally resist change; they resist being changed.
Maxwell, John C. Developing the leader within you. Harper Collins, 1993.
We would appreciate things if they are always like what we have learnt they should be. However, we learn from new challenges. We gain new experiences when we process new challenges with an open mind and respond appropriately.
The sophisticated systems of this world have been developed by the researches of people. I do accept that fact. What we see physically can be attributed to human efforts, of which have trademarks, copyrights and others to secure their ownership. World knowledge presents facts as truth, but they keep investigating the results they have published and keep changing them.
However, whatever happens physically has its spiritual roots and agenda. Sometimes, in the complexities of situations, we need to accept the fact that our human wisdom is limited. We can take it as a challenge to learn something new, but the greatest lesson of it all is that we need to understand the spiritual agenda and deal with it as Christians.
When God speaks
Science and medicine have been up to task on whatever crisis the world has been facing. The media have taken this up and have done a great deal of work educating the masses. Amidst all these, some of us have responded to the information we have received with fear and panic.
However, I want to use this platform to encourage someone to keep hope alive. This is what He has said in His word:
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heavens:
The world is sustained by the powerful word of His mouth. Our efforts are nothing compared to what His word does. Its a season for us to all rely on the promises of God and His covenant promises. Let us not doubt His word that He is with us. He will surely see us through this season.
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10 (NIV)
Let us all live wisely. Study the word of God to keep your faith alive in this moment of crisis. Prayer will be a backbone to rely on as a believer. Moreover, let us follow the directives from the government agencies and the health workers.
God bless you and remain a blessing. With lots of love.
In the moments of trials, our judgements are mostly clouded with what is rather than should be. In many instances, we are tempted to believe that the story end with our complaining of situations to other people. But if we are going to make a difference in this world by breaking forth from any pit we have been hidden in, then we need to check what we declare.
What life has to offer us is what we have created with our declarations. Its your season to breakforth, declare it and the light will shine upon your ways and lead you to the destination.
Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
Isaiah 58:8 (NIV)
Our decisions of the past may be the hindrance to the extent of our impact today. Repentance is, therefore, the key to breaking forth.
Everyone has a light that should shine. If you are a Christian, then the Bible explicitly states that we are the light of the world. However, the preceding verses of the opening scripture reveal some actions of the people of Israel that inhibited them from living out their full potential. Irrespective of their acclaimed spirituality through fasting, they still could not see the glory of God. If they could, therefore, deal with their actions, then their light will break forth like the dawn.
In this year, we want to look at some of the actions we need to put away and others we need to pick up to break forth. The world is out for our possession; the earlier we come out of our shelves and cause changes, the better it would be for the world at large.
They said to each other, “Come, let’s make bricks and bake them thoroughly.” (Genesis 11:2)
We must admit we don’t live in a secluded world. In God’s creation, He had made things interdependent. The proof of this is in the order of His creation.
In building the future, we will need to connect with other people. We may need mentors, colleagues and even people we may deem as adversaries. Each of these people has a significant role to play in the building of your future.
You will need the mentors to help you build the right foundation. Having lived the life you want to live, the mentor can open up to you on what the life at the top of the tower is, what challenges you may have not perceived and encourage you to build the future you have perceived. Samuel needed Eli, Ruth needed Naomi, you will your mentors.
You will also need colleagues. I refer to them as colleagues because you can only move together unless you agree. The card of leader or follower is not played, but whatever position you find yourself, the card of responsibility is presented. So your colleague may be your leader, your followers, your friends, your spouses etc. These are the people you have around you that will see you build the foundation to the roof.
You may need the people you may call adversaries. Adversaries are those who may oppose your vision and may do everything to stop your progress. But you get opposition when you are in position. These people come to actually streamline your conviction and motivation for the project, and in the long run, manifest who you really are.
A few questions to ponder on in this section:
Do you have experienced people you can seek advice from? They can be your mentors.
Do you have other people who are supporting your vision, who are actually going to help you build the future? They are your colleagues.
Do you have people who are opposing the building of your future? They are your adversaries.
“To everything, there is a season, a time for every purpose under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 3:1).
After counting your cost and identifying the need to move into the future, you actually need to act on it.
A hindrance to building the future is procrastination. We want to always shift the starting date of our vision into the “tomorrow” that never seems to come. The challenge has always been that “tomorrow never comes”. If you want to build into the future, then the time is now.
The journey may seem far in the future to achieve. However, as the saying goes, “Rome was not built in a day”, you need to start from a point and gradually work the future out.
Every man has a chance and time. Many things may seem unbalanced, but to everyman comes a time and a chance to break forth and through. Opportunities are time-bound; if the time elapses, you will miss the opportunity. If you discern that this is the opportunity God has opened for you, make the move. God may send Goliath (your opportunity) to reveal you.
Another reason we are not making the move is that we are stuck in our past. Feeling obliged to the decision we made in the past, we feel indebted due to the commitments and resort to staying put with our messes than shaking them off and moving into the future we have envisioned for ourselves. In other cases, we may be comfortable with the circumstances that surround our past. Although we feel there is a sense to move, we are too quick to look at the comforts and resort to staying put. I guess Paul has an advice for you. He says:
“I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me.13 No, dear brothers and sisters, I have not achieved it,[a] but I focus on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead,14 I press on to reach the end of the race and receive the heavenly prize for which God, through Christ Jesus, is calling us.” (Philippians 3:12-14)
A few questions to ponder on:
Are you convinced this is the future you want to build?
Have you counted your cost?
Have you asked for the will of God concerning the set action? Is the response a yes or a sense of peace in your spirit. Then start packing and start acting on it.
“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won’t you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? (Luke 14:18, NIV)
Everyone is building, whether knowingly or unknowingly. Every decision we make are the ingredients that go into making the building either strong or weak. It is therefore important that one becomes conscious of what he builds with.
The first consideration in building the future is to consider the cost of that building. Not speaking in material terms, this term cost refers to the sacrifice that one is willing to make in order to achieve the set goal. Unless you are aware of the cost, you will be discouraged in the course of the journey.
Jesus puts it this way: who, wanting to build a tower would not first sit down to consider the cost and find out if there are enough resources to complete it? (Luke 14:28). The necessity of finding the cost is to make sure the tower is completed, the precedent to finding the cost is to sit down and the motivation for the sitting down is the vision and mission you have.
A few questions to ponder on:
Do I have a vision? Clearly write them down.
Do I have a plan to see to its accomplishment? You need to sit down.
Have I considered the sacrifices versus the resources to get the vision materialised? Count the cost.
So he asked Jesse, “Are these all the sons you have?”
“There is still the youngest,” Jesse answered. “He is tending the sheep.”
Samuel said, “Send for him; we will not sit down until he arrives.”
David probably thought of one day becoming a king when he was in the forest. However, it was in the forest that his faithfulness was made manifest.
Some of us are still in the wilderness because we have failed to prove ourselves faithful to be entrusted with greater tasks. God did not need another Saul to lead the people, but a man who will do as He wanted. Will you be ready when God sends a “Samuel” to your house and you have been called forth?
The time for deployment is the time for preparation. Let us make the most of every opportunity we have. Your wilderness is the stage you need to prepare yourself for the crown. If you can’t sacrifice the comfort of your father’s house and tend for the sheep, then you will sacrifice the sheep for your stomach when you are given the throne.
While they were worshipping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.”3 So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.
We have been chosen to do something and not everything. In unison, we achieve a lot through our diverse assignments.
I wish it was our choice when it comes to where you want to be deployed to and what you want to do. The only choice you have is probably not to accept the deployment and do what you like, risking the reward God would have offered you. In their prayers, the Holy Spirit read out that the deployment letter for Paul and Barnabas was ready. So they should be separated for the assignment that He had for them.
God has a purpose for your life. You have a particular assignment to take care of. This assignment will demand that you partner with others and in unity achieve the greater goal.