Archive | August 2014

Rejoice In The Midst of Your Trial

One day as I was on a walk, I was talking with the Lord thinking about the heartbreak that I was going through and asking him why I was going through so much. This picture came to me of releasing a dove but it came back to me and I held it close to my heart. God said to me when I was ready that it is okay for me to release the dove. Why am I sharing this with you, well the dove represent me holding onto the hurt and pain of heartbreak not yet ready to release it to him and yet I was still walking with the Lord even though I was not yet ready to release the dove back in the sky. Recently I’ve been seeing myself releasing the dove smiling, rejoicing, and continuing to walk with the Lord but this time more joy. I finally realized that I was rejoicing in my suffering, and not because it was the end of it, but because I became closer to God and I got to a point where I was able to say thank you Lord for allowing me to go through this not because you saved me from the “wrong” guy but because I grew closer to you and you helped me through this, grown, and was healed of all my past hurts.

Have you heard these phrases?  Rejoice in the Lord through your suffering for it produces endurance, character, perseverance, and hope or count it all joy when you go through many trials. Both are found in the bible Romans 5:3-5 and James 1:2. But you may have read it and went that doesn’t sound like you want to rejoice when you are in pain or suffering or may have said that applies to Christians who are going through percussion.

How can we mature without going through a trial or many trials of suffering? The truth is that we cannot. Our suffering increases our faith in God. Our suffering increases our hope in God. Our suffering increases our dependence on God. Our suffering makes us take up the cross and carry it. Personally I think if we never went through suffering/hurt/pain our faith would remain very babyish and never fully develop. As you are in the process you are being purified and made stronger!

Suffering at the time does not feel good at all. Going through a heartbreaking situation does not feel good at all. Being in pain does not feel good at all but it is for our own good! Think about David, look at how he suffered before becoming king. Look at Sarah suffering without a child until God fulfilled the promise. Look at Jesus whose friends abandoned him, being beaten, whipped, and crucified suffering for us!

The truth is when you are going through a hurt, a pain or a trial you will either run to Jesus or away from Jesus. Some blame God for what they are going through and say how can you love me? Others  will open up their hearts to the Lord so much that they can endure the trial even when they cannot understand it, and it is at that point that they are able to rejoice and count it all joy! Not be like Job’s wife “curse God and die.” No that is not the response we should go for instead we are able to praise him in the midst of the trial, able to go to him and ask why, and allow him to answer.

Rejoice and know that he is walking with you in this trial. That he is not going to leave you nor forsake you. He will stand by you through it all. I found this to be true of God of every trial I have gone through (financial, work, personal, and even ministry life). He will not forsake you not for a moment!

Here is the real question will you run to God or will you run away from God in your suffering trial?

Beware of Who You Date and Marry

Last night I had a dream. In this dream a friend of mines was joking about having a future ex-wife with another friend of ours. We were just nodding. The dream flashed to their dating and the problems that were in the dating life, and especially a big one the girl wasn’t a Christian but he was a strong follower of Christ. As I woke up I quickly started to pray.

I see friends around me at a high rate marrying non-believers, believing that in time and with their help that they can change or make their spouse into a believer. Sadly these kinds of thought patterns usually fail into the believer either moving away from the church or a divorce. I believe that the church today is silent when it comes to this issue. It’s like we are afraid to call them out!

In 2 Corinthians 6:14 Paul writes that we are not to yoke ourselves to unbelievers because what do we have in common, righteousness vs. wickedness, light vs. darkness. I know what you are thinking at this point what if the person is really good for me and is a good person?  The person maybe good, but think about how does the person influence you  in your life, are you away from church, do you argue about going to church or church events, do you feel a disconnect between you and God? If you are you just proved this scripture what do you have in common spiritually? You won’t be able to worship God together or raise your children in a Godly environment. What do you have in common?

Let me flip the coin for a second what if the person is spiritually curious, goes to church, have Christian friends, etc. The answer is wait and seek The Lord! This is a very thin line. The other day I came across a couple story in Nigeria. The woman Bella was a Christian and one day after she finished her schooling she fasted and prayed and asked God what kind of man should she marry. The next day a friend of hers Danyo called but on their second date she found out that he was a Muslim. She immediately informed him that they could not date any longer and dropped him. That night God came to her and said continued dating him for he will come into salvation. She did as the Lord instructed her to do. Two years later nothing changed, she had people abandoned her because of who she was dating but because of the situation she was more on her knees and her relationship with God grew so beautifully. Well, one day Danyo asked Bella father for her hand in marriage, he said no. Bella knew a decision was to be made, she went to God and asked was I to marry before his salvation or after. Well immediately after she finished praying her mother called and said God just told me to tell you that you are not to marry Danyo until he is saved but that his salvation is close in hand. Well it happened about two or something later he became a Christian. One thing to mention Danyo was curious about Christianity because of Bella submission to the Lord won him over.

Now before you jump the boat and say see we can. There are a couple of things you need to realize. One Bella had an instruction and a promise from God that Danyo would become a follower and they would marry. Bella didn’t continue to date Danyo on her own but rather with God’s help. Two she continued to ask God and follow his instruction, his word and did not move ahead of him, she truly sought God out for an answer. Three she waited for the fulfillment of God’s promise and when she wanted to move ahead she asked first! Basically throughout her story God was there leading and guiding her she did not take a step or move away from God, she was obedient and faithful. Her reward wasn’t just a husband but a deep personal relationship she developed with God.

What about you? Will you wait for God’s leading in your relationship or will you jump ahead of him? That’s the heart of the matter. We can meet great people and have fun but because of loneliness, desperation, the thrill of meeting the “one” that we can jump ahead of God. When he says wait, we run! If he says drop the person but we hang on is it good for us?

I’ve entitled this Beware of who you Date and Marry, because we have stop following the leading of God and follow our own desires. The divorce rate is up in the Christian Community and this is one of the reasons. WE have stopped listening to what God says in this area in a rush to be married or have sex. God cares for each single aspect of our lives this does include who we should marry.  WE have stop asking and move with our feelings or guts, or believe that God leaves us to figure it out on our own. I have an announcement from the Father I’M STILL SPEAKING TO YOU! YOU ARE JUST NOT LISTENING TO ME!

There is the heart of the matter! We are not asking Him, we are not realizing that He is speaking; we are not listening to him; we are just being disobedient to what He has said for countless generations. I know many people who twist the verse from 2 Corinthians saying it’s not about marriage. It is talking about marriage, but there are other places in the bible where it says don’t marry foreigners. I know that a lot of people who use that for the argument against interracial marriage but that’s another twist. See foreigners did not worship God, they worshipped idols (Baal, Ra etc.) and God knew if they did intermarry that the people would stop worshipping him, look at Solomon and his many wives as an example.  Speaking of examples look at Ruth and Rahab foreign women who worshiped and follow God and who married into the Israelites. He permitted it because they followed Him!

Here is the warning is this; if you date without express permission from God a non-believer and marry there will be trouble in your marriage and most likely will end in divorce.

God cares for you and loves you, and wants you to be happy. He is looking out for your best interest, so trust in Him!