THE PRESENCE OF GOD

The presence of God is a place of making. It is a place of version updates. Some features and functions you possess in your present version will become obsolete or unsuitable for 2019, therefore you need to upgrade/update to tap into your full potential for this year.

When you come into the presence of God He updates you and add features that are more suitable for the challenges of 2019. He also removes viruses and bugs that has been causing malfunctions in your life.

No matter what, determine and consciously strive to stay in the presence of God this year.

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ARE YOU ENJOYING A BLISSFUL MARRIAGE AT THE EXPENSE OF YOUR PARTNER?

I recently observed that a lot of people seem to be enjoying a blissful marriage at the expense of their wives or husbands. This happens when one person thinks everything is all sunny and rosy in the marriage while the other partner is hurting, angry and bitter in the marriage. It is therefore of utmost importance to ensure that you and your partner are on the same page or else that marital bliss will be one sided.

One of the major source of tension in marriage is decision making. Who makes or takes all the decisions in marriage? In my few years of working at the public sector, I observed that the staff make the decisions while the head takes the decision or decisions as the case may be. What is the difference, when there’s an issue at hand and you are assigned to work on it, after introducing and analyzing the issues in the first four or five paragraphs, the last paragraph is for recommendations. In that paragraph you propose a possible soluble for the matter at hand and submit for consideration. If your recommendations are apt, it will be approved by the head for execution.

So what’s the difference between decision making and decision taking? In decision making, everybody lays down their cards on the table and it is all carefully considered. After a careful considerations of all options and opinions, the most suitable one is taken, this is decision taking.

How does this apply to marriage? When an issue is on ground, both husband and wife should be allowed to make their input, or recommendations. When one person makes and takes all the decisions, it becomes an autocracy not marriage. The advantage of decision making is that it allows one to be creative and objective in their thought pattern, it also make one feel important that your decision was considered even if not taken.

Amos 3:3
Can two walk together, except they be agreed? (KJV)

Agree means to be of one opinion about something. Notice that King James used the word ‘agreed’ indicating that before the walk even started both of parties had agreed. This means before any decision is made in marriage both husband and wife should have agreed on it before even starting the execution. If one person makes and takes the decision, they’re are walking alone, not together.

Most people are unhappy in their marriages today not because their decisions were not taken but because they were not even given an opportunity to make a decision not to talk of considering their decisions. Some are forced, tricked, blackmailed or intimidated into accepting a decision. The decision maker/taker goes off saying how good the marriage is why the other partner languishes in bitterness.

What happens when a decision cannot be reached?
Watch out for my next article.

JOANNA CHUZA: A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE

During our female bible character study with my group, we discussed Joanna in Luke 8:3, how she, Susanna and other women provided for Jesus and His ministry out of their own substance.
Luke 8:3 (KJV)
and Joanna the wife of Chuza, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who provided for Him from their substance.
So it got me thinking, this must be where the term ‘woman of substance’ came from.

The story struck a cord in my heart because it is the will of God for women to be prosperous and possess their own substance irrespective of who their husband is or what he has. Joanna was a highly placed, wealthy and influential woman as a result of her husband’s position as Herod’s steward/manager. However, she still had her own substance, her own money (which she chose to use to support Jesus’ ministry).

From the story, the bible did not say that it was their husband’s money that these women used, it was their own personal money and resources that they used for a course they chose…ministry.
Luke 8:3 (ERV)
Also with these women were Joanna, the wife of Chuza (the manager of Herod’s property), Susanna, and many other women. These women used their own money to help Jesus and his apostles.

As a woman, what substance do we have and what are we using it for? What are we giving to the Lord?
Joanna had her own substance and used it for the gospel. What do you have to support the gospel? Are you just a follower of Jesus or are you also a financial partner? Ministry work need finances to thrive, even in the time of old, Jesus’ ministry still needed finances to run and we can see from this passage that women were among His sponsors.

Who says as a woman you cannot sow a seed faith? Who says you cannot make a pledge just because your husband has already pledged? Who says you cannot be financially committed to God just because you are married? No wonder in some homes men seem to be the only one financially prosperous while their women keep depending on them for every little thing, even money for offering. It’s time to break the shackles of ‘no money’ by partnering financially with Jesus, no matter how small. Joanna’s name was mentioned in the bible not just because she was healed of sicknesses and had demons cast out of her but also because she was a huge financial pillar in Jesus’ ministry.

Another point to note from the story of Joanna is the company she kept. She was not friends with women who only thinks of spending on frivolities. Her friends were also people who believed in the ministry of Jesus and were willing to support Him with their money. Who are your friends and what do you spend money on when you are around them?

Joanna in a nutshell
– She was delivered of infirmities and demons
– She was a wealthy man’s wife
– She had her own money
– She was a financial pillar in Jesus ministry
– She was also a follower of Jesus
– She belonged to the company of women who chose to use their money to promote the ministry of Jesus

You can be the Joanna of your time, partner with the Lord today.

SONS OF THE KINGDOM

Romans 8:19 (KJV)
For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.

It has been quite worrisome for me when I see Christians not fully manifesting their potentials as the sons of God. It is like the world is saying “so you too claim to be the son of God, let’s wait and see what you can do”. It us rather unfortunate that the creatures wait in vain because most of the time they do not see any manifestation. They see Christians living in depression, sin, poverty, sickness, defeat etc, and they are wondering “I thought these ones claim to be the sons of God, why are they living like this?”.

While pondering on these things, the Holy Spirit started teaching me why this is happening. There’s been a misplaced priority, a lot of people are more interested in the manifestation than in the sonship. Most Christians today only think of showing off what they’ve got and what they can do but are not actually interested in whose they are. The creatures are not waiting for just any and every body to manifest, they are earnestly waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.

There is need to develop our relationship with God because it’s the level of our relationship with God that determines the level of our manifestation. Remember, people are not always interested in what you do or can do, but are interested in who or whose you are. That is why advert companies spend millions in getting a celebrity endorsement to help promote a product or a brand in the matket. People want to be associated with a brand, they want to stick to what they know and are sure of. Whose brand are you? If you are fake you can never stand the test of time. A lot of people may walk, talk and act like the sons of God, deceiving people, but time will tell. Even demons know and identify brand names. Check out
Acts 19:15
But one time when they tried it, the evil spirit replied, “I know Jesus, and I know Paul, but who are you?

That question has been ringing in my head, “but who are you?”. When you show up what and who will you be recognised as?

In a home there are certain places one can not have access to except you are a member of that household. Sons have access everywhere, their movements are unrestricted.
However, depending of their age/maturity there are certain places they are not permitted to enter until they are of age; eg safe/strong room where treasures and important documents are kept, store where breakables are kept eg China, porcelain. This is because the child is too young to understand how sensitive and delicate certain things are. No wonder the bible said in
Galatians 4:1 (New Living Translation)
Think of it this way. If a father dies and leaves an inheritance for his young children, those children are not much better off than slaves until they grow up, even though they actually own everything their father had.

A lot of Christians are not manifesting today because they have not grown, they are not much better of than a slave. The Father is eagerly waiting to transfer ownership to the son when he comes of age, however, the son has refused to grow up! You cannot hand over your priced ferrari to an eight year old child. You cannot handover the management of your estate to an eleven year old. Sometimes even when children come of age you can identify certain potentials in each of them and know who you hand over what to. It is surprising to discover that during the reign of kings in the bible that kingship did not naturally come to you by virtue of your position as the first son, sometimes it goes to the youngest or even the middle son. We can see this in the case of Solomon succeeding David. Solomon had older brothers; Absalom, Amnon, Adonijah, Nathan, Chileab, Shephatiah. Solomon however appeared to be the most qualified to take the throne of David and he got it.

Could it be that we still have restricted access to certain things/places in the kingdom of our God just because we are not old enough to handle it? Could it be that the world is yet to see us manifest because we are yet to embrace our sonship? It is time to grow up. It is time to develop your relationship with God. It is time to study and learn the ways of God. Show yourself as a son of God not just a young child who is no better of than a slave.

Shalom…

Prayer focus:
Help me function as a son/daughter of the kingdom.
Teach me kingdom principles. Give me the keys to the kingdom, because God has given us dominion over the kingdom of the earth.

BAD PARENTING: ANY CONSEQUENCES?

Parenting is one subject God has recently been drawing my attention to. A lot of parents will be judged by God for they did or failed to do in the lives of their children on the last day, so parenting shouldn’t be taken just lightly.
Being a parent is so much more than just being a sperm or egg donor in the making of a child, it involves being totally committed to making constant sacrifices to raise a child to align to God’s plans and purpose for his or her life.

During my quiet time while studying the book of Mark 9, I ran into a verse that gave me the chills and made me realise the seriousness of the responsibility of parenting.
Mark 9:42
“But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neck.

This was not my first time reading this scripture but on this particular day it struck a cord in me. I decided to do more research on it, I discovered that it was documented by the all synoptic gospel but the account surrounding when Jesus made the statement differed in all gospels.
For example, Matthew’s account started off with the disciples asking Jesus who was the greatest in the kingdom, Jesus then called a child and put him among them and charged them to become like a child to be able to get into the kingdom of God. After that he then made the statement that anyone who causes any little one who believes in him to stumble is better of being drawn in the sea with a millstone around his neck.
(Matthew 18:1-6)

Mark’s account on this same subject was introduced with the disciples informing Jesus about someone who was casting out demons in his name but was not in their group. Jesus told them not to stop him because anyone who is for him is not against him. After saying that he made the same statement that anyone who causes any little one who believes in him to stumble is better of being drawn in the sea with a millstone around his neck.
(Mark 9:38-42)

Luke’s account pretty much went straight into the subject. He started by talking about how temptation to sin is imminent, but he then warns that anyone that causes any little one to fall into sin, it is better to be thrown into the sea with a millstone hung around your neck!
(Matthew 17:1-4)

We can see that the scenario leading to Jesus making this statement were all different, the first one, that is Matthew’s account, Jesus was talking of literal little children, while in Mark and Luke’s account, he was talking of spiritual children ie new converts.
The warning seem to be for everyone in the society because Jesus was talking generally. But the scary thing there is, if Jesus could hold the society accountable for a child sinning, how much more the parents?!

Out of all the people on earth, God saw you fit to entrust a child in your care, what are you doing with that child?
You will be held accountable if that child stumbles or goes astray.
Our lifestyle is the number one thing our children look at and copy, but it’s sad that most parents apply the ‘do as I say and not do as I do’ principle. It does not work. Children are the greatest copycats on earth, they watch and digest your every move.
Parenting calls for us to make conscious effort to live a life worthy of replication by our children.

Bible admonished us to train a child in the way he should go, but most parents are conspicuously absent from the lives of their children to train them or be practical examples for this children to emulate. Absentee Parenting is now the bane of our society.
Today, the Lord is drawing our attention to the fact that he will hold us accountable for that child that has not come into God’s purpose for his or her life as a result of what we failed to do as parents.

I also strongly believe that parents have a lot to do to help control what the society pollutes our children with especially through the media. The media is another topic for another day, I believe it is the 2nd highest rank of things that cause children to fall into sin after the parents. God will hold accountable all the porn sellers and producers, violence marketers, gangster promoter, hard drug sellers etc. that caused children to stumble.

Hanging a millstone around someone’s neck and throwing them into a sea is death. This is a wake up call for me, for you and for all of us. Parenting is a huge responsibility that has consequences when not properly carried out, today is another opportunity to turn around and make amends.

SUBMISSION

Submission…this is a word that has been under scrutiny and contention especially when it comes to marriage. Women are beginning to find the word derogatory and offensive especially with this new wave of women emancipation and empowerment going on all over the word. Women feel submission is taking away a woman’s rights, subjecting the woman to mistreatment, making her voiceless, making the woman unintelligent and taking the ability of the woman to think and make decisions for herself.

To some extent this seems to be true but the truth of the matter is that nobody forces you to submit, you totally decide on your own to do so. Submission has to do with your own will and decision to give up or abdicate your right to another person. It is you asking and accepting another person to be your head.

I will like to look at the dictionary meaning of the word submit which is the root word for submission

submit/səbˈmɪt/
verb
1. accept or yield to a superior force or to the authority or will of another person.
2. subject to a particular process, treatment, or condition.
3. present (a proposal, application, or other document) to a person or body for consideration or judgement.

From the above definitions we can see that to submit totally depends on you because you can decide not to. Submission is not by force, it has to do with your own will, that is why sometimes when we write exams, they ask us to submit our papers, it simply means on your own, with your own hand drop your paper when you are done or when your time is up. Nobody actually forces anyone to submit his or her exam sheet, you can actually decide not to submit it or even go home with it, it’s your choice, your decision and of course, your consequences.

The issue of submission in marriage has to do with a woman realising how strong she is, how powerful she is, how intelligent, rich, exposed, spiritual is and deciding to willingly give it all up to a man. Submission is saying I may have a better knowledge of something, I may be stronger than you are or even have a better sense of judgment, but I am going to let you take the lead.
Why do we even need to submit to a man you may ask?
Answer: because he is privileged to be given the mantle of leadership by God!
Genesis 3:16 (KJV)
Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee.

This was one of the punishments given to the woman after the fall, that is establishing the man’s rulership and mantle of authority over her. The New Living Translation made that verse so interesting:
Then he said to the woman, “I will sharpen the pain of your pregnancy, and in pain you will give birth. And you will desire to control your husband, but he will rule over you.”

It says the woman will desire to control her husband but unfortunately the mantle of rulership is the man’s.
Check out English Standard Version:
To the woman he said, “I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing; in pain you shall bring forth children. Your desire shall be contrary to your husband, but he shall rule over you.”

It’s basically saying, yes you are going to have conflicting ideas, desires, feelings etc but your husband’s desire or decision is what should be followed! You may have a superior knowledge on a matter but once your husband says no, then the decision is no.
This is the true gospel, pure and simple!
The devil played on Eve’s intelligence and talked her into taking a decision on behalf of the man and she did! Ideally, if Eve has understood the place of Adam’s rulership in her life, she would have asked him what his opinion was on the serpent’s analogy instead of taking a decision for the family.
Having established the fact that the man has the upper hand in marriage, what then should the woman do?
1. Be very very sure before you say I do to a man. Find out if he has what it takes to be a good head, if he can make and take good decisions concerning your home, because you are about to give up your right of ownership and decision making to the man.
2. Pray for your husband constantly, invoking the seven spirits of God upon him daily using this powerful scripture in Isaiah 11:2
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD.

A man with the 7 spirits of God is least likely to lead you astray.

Pray more for your husband’s leadership in the home more than you want to make your points heard in an argument. These days a lot of women have so intimidated men with their aggressiveness that men seem to be crawling into a shell and yet we complain that we can’t find a real man! There’s no real man! It only takes a real woman who knows her place and stays there to make a real man. When you drag a man’s position with him, he may eventually leave it for you and you run into difficulties. Stay on your job and let him do his. Be the best support system you can be for him.
So dear wife, in that argument that it seems you both can’t reach a compromise, your husband’s privileged right has automatically won it to his favour, let it go.
Submission is your right, you make the decision who to give it to or who not to give it to. If you must follow God’s way, you MUST give it to your husband. It is better not to have a christian wedding than having one and refusing to abide by its rules or selecting the ones that suits us, because having a christian wedding is saying I completely agree to all terms and conditions.

Shalom…