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Archive for the month “June, 2013”

WHAT CAN YOU HEAR?

You see, my faith in God has in recent times needed some work.

I’ve had a scripture on repeat in my spirit for a day or so now. I guess I really need to hear what it has to say. Here it is:

So then ‘faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’-Romans 10:17

The reoccurrence of this scripture is so apt.

Faith comes by hearing.

If all I hear are stories of marriages breaking down, I will begin to believe all marriages break down.

If all I hear are stories of people being out of jobs for years, I will begin to believe it.

Whatever I continue to hear, I will begin to believe.

What are you listening to?

To build your faith in someone or something, all you need to do is keeping hearing about that person or thing.

To build my faith in God, I need to listen to Him.

His word should be all I hear constantly.

He’s given it to me on a platter of gold.

I just need to tune out the noise of the world and listen to what He’s saying

I need constantly to hear the right things.

When asked the question what can you hear? I need to be able to answer:

I can hear God.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

YOUR WORK SPACE, HIS PULPIT

I came across a reference to the calling of Peter in Luke 5:1-11 today and I learnt a few lessons from Peter I thought I should share.

In that story, Peter was at the end of a very long work night. I’m sure he was eager to get home. Then Jesus shows up, wants to put the boat that was on shore already back in the water.

Talk about interruptions and additional work but Peter obliged.

Can God interrupt your carefully orchestrated plans or are you so set in your ways that even God can’t step in and rearrange things?

Think about it.

Jesus then turned Peter’s boat into His pulpit. You see Peter boat was to him then what your work space is to you today. It was the place he earned his living, yet he allowed Jesus direct its use.

Is Jesus allowed in your work space? Can he direct the use of everything in there? Or is that one of those areas you think you can handle without him?

And the punch line of the story is the point where Jesus tells Peter where and how to fish.  Peter initially objected but said the five words I love so much ‘at you word I will’….

And we know the end of the story.

Do you allow Jesus to teach you how to do your work?

Peter allowed his work space to become Jesus’ pulpit and every known law of fishing was broken.

He never remained the same.

Jesus wants to use your work space too.

He’ll rewrite the law on effectiveness at work in the process,but you need to let him use the space first.

Let Him control what you do and how you do it.

I’m not talking about reeling out your day planner to God and asking Him to bless it, I’m challenging you to let God re-arrange your workday.

You’ll be amazed at what you’ll accomplish.

Be warned though, It’ll point back to Him. He’ll get all the glory.

Ask Peter.

I need to consciously invite God into my work space. I need to let Him run the show.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

SILENCE IS PRAYER TOO

This  last week I followed and participated in a discussion on prayer. 

One thing struck me that I felt I should share.

When we are asked to define prayer, everyone is quick to answer:

‘Prayer is communication with God.’ I immediately remembered something from my ‘Use of English’ days in the university. We were taught that communication is not complete until there is feedback.

I immediately thought about my communication with God.-My prayer times.

Until a while ago, I was the only one doing all the talking whenever I decided to communicate with God. I had so much to say God could never get a word in. As a result, my relationship with God was not growing and I was unhappy.

Then it hit me. If I had a friend who constantly dominated the conversation every time we were talking and never let me get a word in, that relationship would probably never thrive.

Real friends listen to each other. They respect each other enough to let the other person have a say. That’s how relationships grow.

To effectively communicate, you have to listen

To listen you have to keep quiet. You cannot talk and listen at the same time.

In prayer, don’t just talk, listen.

To listen you have to keep quiet.

I need listen more than I talk when I pray.

Silence is prayer too

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 

 

 

JUST BE A WITNESS

I was wondering what to write about today and this part of a very popular scripture dropped into my mind:

….and you shall be my witnesses, in Judea, in Samaria and to the ends of the earth.-Acts 1:8

Christ calls us to simply be witnesses but unfortunately we’ve turned ourselves into defense attorneys trying to convince a judge or a jury of our peers.

Am I losing you a little with the legal analogies? Bear with me, I’ll find you in a second.

You see, in law, a witness has only one job- tell the court what you’ve seen, heard or experienced.

You can only be an effective witness if you have direct information about a case. In most cases third party information –things you were told is regarded in law as inadmissible hearsay.

The case here is Jesus. How much of direct information do you have about him? Or is all the information you have ‘inadmissible hearsay’?

It is not the job or business of the witness to make the judge or the jury believe him. All he has to do is state the facts as he knows them.

It is the job of the advocate that called the witness to use the witness’ statement(s) to convince the court.

As a Christian, You job ends at stating the fact as you know them. It is not your job to convince anyone of the authenticity or otherwise of the facts you’ve stated.

That’s the job of the Holy Spirit. He’s the one that is called ‘The Advocate’.

I’ve erroneously spent too much time trying to be both witness and advocate.

That’s why evangelism has been so hard.

That’s why I keep feeling like I’m failing.

I need to stick to my job description.

I need to just be a witness.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

GOOD SUCCESS?

In an earlier post,:https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/god-is-your-source/: I alluded to the fact that God taught me what success really meant while he was teaching me another a lesson about Him being my source. Today I’ll share what I learnt about success from a very common scripture.

‘This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success’. – Joshua 1:8

The first thing that I see in this verse is the need to speak the word of God. It does not say the book of the law shall not depart from your head, or from your heart but from your mouth. So I need to keep speaking the word. What are you saying?

The next thing I need to do is to meditate on the word all the time. I’ve come to realise that the word ‘meditate’ seems to get people confused. Meditation is quite easy. If you know how to worry, you know how to meditate. Just switch your constant thoughts to the word and viola, you’ve got meditation on the word done.

Next step, do what the word says. Not just some of it, but all of it, not just sometimes but all the time.

If you can do all the above, you will make your way prosperous and have good success.

Notice it says ‘You’ will make your way prosperous….. You have to do your part to ensure the ‘God’ kind of success.

Am I the only one that notices that the word ‘success’ in this scripture is preceded by the qualifier ‘good’?

This says to me that any other kind of success that takes you out of the word of God is ‘bad’ success and not of God.

Note: The God kind of success will not let you sin to get ahead. You may not have all the things others in the world may have but you’ll have one thing that’s irreplaceable- your salvation.

Now I’ve learnt that making heaven and taking as many people with me is the true definition of success in God’s books. All other things are just added perks- Mathew 6:33

The good thing is, God does add the perks.

So how do you define success?’ What kind of success are you pursuing?

By the real deal or the added perks? Good success or Bad success?

I choose to define success God’s way.

I choose to pursue good success.

I choose to pursue heaven

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

GOD IS YOUR SOURCE

Somehow I have always worked in jobs that have a pay package that could not pay my bills.

And these jobs were God given jobs.

For a while on my first job, I wanted to change jobs so badly- especially those days I caught up with a few of my classmates and I heard the figures they were earning. I was green with envy. They had glamorous lives, went to all the happening places, could afford so many things…. I wanted to be ‘successful’ like them.

I begged, cajoled, negotiated- the whole nine yards. God was not going to budge. I was not going to get another job.

At least not from Him.

For a very long time, I could not reconcile the God that I knew who wants me to prosper- 3 John 2; with the God who was making me stay in a job that could not even pay my bills not to talk of any extras.  I was in this quiet state of discontent until I heard my dad use these words in a prayer session:

‘And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth….’-Deut 8:18

I spent all day thinking about that scripture and then sometime after that, someone said something that I have never forgotten:

‘God is your source and He determines your resources. And then it hit me.

Your employers don’t, your profit margin doesn’t, your parents don’t, God does.

It does not matter how much you earn or don’t earn, God determines your resources because He is your source.

As I nodded in enlightenment, it was almost as if God was saying,’ Now you get it’.

God provides for what He ordains. Relax, if you’re in His will you’ll never be without help.

Ask me, I went four months without pay in God’s will and I did not run into debt. That could only have been God.

Am I advocating staying in jobs that don’t pay well when you can get a better one? No chance!  Even the bible says: ‘Money is a defence’-Eccl 7:12

I’m just saying ‘stay in God’s will. His provision will meet you there.

By the way I learnt what it truly meant to be successful by the time God was done with that phase.

So if doing what God wants you to do, and resources are looking tight, Remember, God is your source and He determines your resources.

Nothing or no one else has that privilege.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba.

HE’S BUILDING YOUR FAITH, HE’LL GET ALL THE PRAISE

Have you ever felt like God set you up? Like He led you in a certain direction and all you got for your obedience was trouble?

If you have not, I’m happy for you. If you have, Read on kindred spirits.

You see, I’ve been in those kinds of situations a few times. I mean I obeyed God’s instruction to the letter and all I get for my obedience is trouble that ‘almost’ breaks me.

If you’re like me, it’s very easy to get angry with God when you obey him completely and it does not turn out to be smooth sailing.

If I was disobedient and I got into trouble, at least I would be able to justify the trouble I was in. So I got angry with God and questioned Him.

For a long time I had no answers so I filed it under the list of ’things I’ll never understand’ until recently: I was reading the story of Jesus walking on the water- Mathew 14:22-33,

 A few things struck me that have completely changed the way I see God’s Set Up’s (as I like to call them).

Jesus made His disciples get in the boat and go. The disciples obeyed. The next thing they know they are in a storm like no other that is threatening to sink them and they are struggling to stay afloat. They are throwing everything they have at it and Jesus, who told them to go seems to be missing in action.

Does that sound like your story?

It gets worse; Jesus does not show up until the 4th watch of the night. This means that they had been in the storm for almost 12 hours!

Does that sound like you? Has your obedience to God put you in the kind of trouble that seems to have no end in sight?

There’s good news. Jesus does come. He takes His time, but He does show up and He does calm the storm.

And when He does show up, we’ll see why He took His time.

He’s building your faith. Ask Peter.

He’ll get all the praise. Ask all the other disciples.

So while I’m waiting for Him to show up, I’ll trust the plan.

He’s building my faith; He’ll get all the praise.

Isn’t that the whole essence of the Christian walk?

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 

 

LIVE IN TODAY

Every time I read the story of the’ commissioning’ of Moses, it always strikes me that when Moses asked how to introduce his God, God answered: Tell them the ‘I Am’ sent you.-Exodus 3:13-15.

I keep thinking to myself, there are more prestigious and high sounding names that God could have used, why use something  related to time?

The words ‘I Am’ in English Language is called the present tense.

Mind you, He’s the one person that can go back and go forward, yet he does not refer to that ability, He chooses to stay in the present.

I thought I was going off tangent with this until I found:  ‘Before Abraham was, I Am-John 8:58

To me, that sounds grammatically wrong. It should have been ‘I was’, yet Jesus maintains the present tense even when it would have been correct on all sides to refer to the past.

What does this tell me? I need to take my cue from God and stay in the present.

A lot of the times I’m thinking of all the things that could have, would have or should have been. I need to realise I cannot go back. It cannot be changed.

Another thing I do often is to go off thinking and thinking of what will be.  I need to realise I’m not there yet. I cannot predict the future.

Little wonder the bible admonishes us not to worry about tomorrow-Mathew 6:34

Most of my anxieties are either over mistakes of the past or the possibilities of tomorrow.

I need to learn from the master.

I need to learn to take my cue from my present tense father and live in today. He’ll meet today’s needs today and tomorrow’s needs tomorrow. What’s more He deals with the past as well.

Learn from the past, Plan for the future but please live in today.

It’s the road to peace!

I choose to live in today.

So help me God.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

ALLOW PEACE

I have always had an issue with worry. I used to make a joke that if they handed out degrees based on a person’s ability to worry, I would be on my way to getting a PHD by now if I didn’t have one.

Don’t get me wrong, I know and I’ve taught that worry is a sin- Philippians 4:6. When God told us not to worry, he was not joking, he meant it. Every time I consciously or unconsciously flout that instruction I commit a sin. 

I keep confessing and asking for forgiveness for this particular issue but I never fully repented from it.  This was one of the issues I alluded to in a previous post. (Read that post here: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/dont-just-confess-repent/).

I was not repenting because I didn’t know how to do it. Trust me, I really wanted to repent but I did not know how to NOT worry. I know prayer works but some worry sessions were still seeping through the prayer cracks. Why?

Can anyone relate?  If you can, keep reading.

Here’s what I found recently:

Peace is the antithesis of worry. I cannot worry and have peace. Fortunately when Christ died he gave me His peace- His perfect peace-John 14:27

Then why was I not walking in the peace that became mine the day Jesus became my Lord and Saviour?

This is what I found in Colossians 3:15 (AMP) ‘And let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds……’

To have peace, I had to allow peace. I have to choose to let the peace which Christ has given me be the default setting of my emotions and I should always choose to remain in this default setting.

Peace is already available, but I have to choose it.

Worry is a choice. I can choose to worry or NOT worry.

You can make that choice too

There are two choices; worry or peace. Each of them is knocking at the door of my mind and I can only allow one.

I choose to allow peace.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 

TRUST HIS TIMING, TRUST HIS VISION

I have been going through a phase recently that has me questioning God. I find myself asking- ‘What are you doing?

You see, I see so many things that I perceive as ‘unjust or unfair’ and the inequality in life just rubs me off the wrong way. Then to further solidify the need for this post, someone essentially asked the same question in one of the Christian groups that I belong to. In the Holy Spirit’s  quiet way, this was what He reminded me:

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.’-Ecclesiastes 3:1

God is a time conscious God. He created and controls time. The story of creation clearly illustrates that. Everything was created on a separate day including a day set out to rest.

When we as humans work with time, we  do it based on our limited knowledge and insight, but when God works with time, he does it based on His limitless knowledge, hindsight and foresight.

This obviously translates to differences in our perception of the things that are happen around us.

Think about it, If you had a ten month old baby wanting to play with a knife would you allow it?

Almost all of us would not because we love the child and know that a knife would be harmful. Even if the child started to cry and bang his head against a wall, you would not change your mind. Why?

Your sight is better than the child’s own. You can foresee consequences he can’t even comprehend.

When it seems like God is not being fair, think about Him the same way. He is a loving parent who sees more than we can ever even imagine. He sees the end of a thing before it even begins and He wants the best for you and for me.

As a result:

He’s going to have to say no to some of my requests;

He’s going to have to make me wait for some things even If i think I’m ready for them;

He’s going to have to allow me go through some painful experiences;

He’s going to have to define justice differently than I would sometimes.

Most of us have since  realised that all those things we classified as ‘wicked’ when we were growing up was actually training by our parents to equip us for the future.

The time is coming when we will look at the things that seem unfair now and thank God for them.

But while we still don’t get it, what do we do?

We trust his timing and trust His vision.

He has perfect timing and perfect vision.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

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