A STRONG WEAKNESS

This week has been one of those weeks I have when I start getting down on myself for all the things I’m not, haven’t done and quite honestly cannot do (except a miracle happens).

My head was so full of it that I ended up having a conversation with God about it.

And as usual, The Holy Spirit drops ‘the word’. I call it ‘the word’ because He’s said this to me the dozens of times we’ve had this conversation. This time I read ‘The Word’ in the message translation and one word- Wow!

Read with me: Because of the extravagance of those revelations, and so I wouldn’t get a big head, I was given the gift of a handicap to keep me in constant touch with my limitations. Satan’s angel did his best to get me down; what he in fact did was push me to my knees. No danger then of walking around high and mighty! At first I didn’t think of it as a gift, and begged God to remove it. Three times I did that, and then he told me,

My grace is enough; it’s all you need.
My strength comes into its own in your weakness.-2 Corinthians 13:7-9

It’s a long read today but it sums it up. The weaknesses I have are a strong weakness because Christ works through them.  It’s in those weaknesses that He shines through the most.

I have enough Grace (supernatural enablement) to do all that I have been called to do. The weaknesses I have are strong weakness because Christ works in them and through them.

And most of the time, I can say with Paul that: Once I heard that, I was glad to let it happen. I quit focusing on the handicap and began appreciating the gift. It was a case of Christ’s strength moving in on my weakness. Now I take limitations in stride, and with good cheer, these limitations that cut me down to size—abuse, accidents, opposition, bad breaks. I just let Christ take over! And so the weaker I get, the stronger I become.-2 Corinthians 13:10

My weaknesses (handicap) will probably never go away but that’s fine. They take on the strength that Christ gives and they become ‘strengths’ from which Christ gets al the glory.

What else can I ask for?

So if you’re like me and you have certain weakness that you bemoan from time to time, why not turn them over to Christ and let him turn them into strengths you can rejoice in?

I’ve turned over my weaknesses to Christ.

I’m rejoicing in my strong weakness.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

 

 

 

 

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TRUST HIS CHARACTER

Last week I wrote about learning about God’s character in a post. (Read that post here: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/10/12/his-ways-or-his-acts/) and sometime over the weekend I had a test.  During the course of the test, I learnt a lesson and I thought to share to encourage someone.

As I was saying, during the weekend, I had a test. I had been praying about something or should I say trying to pray about something and I couldn’t settle my mind enough to hear God even though I was quite certain that He was speaking.

There’s this discomfort that comes when your flesh and your spirit are in conflict.

Any witnesses in the house?

I was in the middle of that conflict during service on Sunday when I finally turned to God and said. Okay Lord, Speak. I’ll listen, I won’t argue and I won’t rationalize.(Amen).

Immediately a scripture dropped in my spirit. Read with me:

‘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’

And then the Holy Spirit continued, Tobiloba, trust my character. You know  I am a good God. I only do good things and I only know how to give good gifts to my children.

And then it hit me, I know God’s character but sometimes I don’t trust it-enough.

I immediately repented and since then, I’ve been basking in the knowledge that my God knows how to give me only good gifts.

And when the doubts hit as they always will, I repeat to myself,

‘My God is a good God and He gives good gifts to His Children’.

The doubts fly out the window.

This brings to mind something I read from my all- time favourite author-Max Lucado once about faith and trust in God. He said something to the effect that:

‘We know He can, we are not sure if He will.’

But I learnt something on Sunday. He can and He will.

I just need to trust His character more.

I’m enjoying the peace that comes from trusting my God’s character and I learn to trust Him more.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

  

HIS WAYS OR HIS ACTS?

While preparing to teach a lesson last weekend, we read a scripture I had known for a while but as usual, stuck me anew and I thought to share.

Read with me: He made known His ways unto Moses; His acts unto the children of Israel-Psalm 103:7 (NKJV)

If you still don’t see it, read it with me in another translation I just found: He revealed His character to Moses, His deeds to the people of Israel- Psalm 103:7 (NLT)

We were reading and it hit me. The children of Israel had access to God Moses had access to. Moses however learnt His character; the children of Israel only saw His actions.

Why?

Moses cultivated a deep personal relationship with God and therefore it was not about what God could do or not do but about who He is.  Moses spent time with God; he got to know God-personally and intimately. He got to know God’s character.

The children of Israel preferred the God of a distance- Deuteronomy 5:25-27 they were fine with intermediaries. They only went to Him when they needed something; hence they only knew what God could do-His acts, not who He was.

That’s why it was easy for Israel to constantly forget God and Moses never could.

You judge a person based on what you know about that person. If you know a person is ‘good’, when they do something that everyone perceives as bad, you’re quick to see beyond the present action to the ‘why’ behind the action.

However if all you know about a person is what they do, you simply judge their actions as they come.

Who do you think gets a clearer picture? Who do you think knows more?

You have the same access to God as to the ‘most anointed’ man of God on earth does.

What makes the difference is what you know of God.

What do you know of God? His acts or His ways?

Not sure? Here’s a litmus test only you can answer.

When seeming senseless tragedy strikes or something bad happens, how do you respond?

Is your response to God ‘Why this-? (Character) or Why me? (Actions)

Knowing God’s character is a lifelong journey that solidifies your faith in God every step of the way.

You can only know God’s Character if you cultivate a relationship with Him.

I’m learning the character of my God and loving it!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba.

RELIGION OR RELATIONSHIP?

I stumbled upon a scripture last Sunday and it inspired this post.

Read with me:  These rules may seem wise because they require strong devotion, pious self-denial, and severe bodily discipline. But they provide no help in conquering a person’s evil desires.- Colossians 2:23

Have you ever filled a form that had a box or column asking for your religion? I know you have. If you go to church, you ticked Christian right? I‘ve done it too. Countless times

And if you grew up in church like me, you probably know a lot about religion.  We were bred, buttered and jammed in it (lol).

God help you if your parents were Church leaders and you were expected to be constantly exemplary.

You know all the do’s and don’ts, the traditions, the mannerisms, doctrines-the whole nine yards. I know I did.

 You are born again from age 5,you know all the right buzz words, you know the bible from cover to cover-I mean you read it through every year (lol), when you pray, hmmm, heaven moves and yet you know your life is anything but Christ like.  And for a while you feel guilty. After a while, the guilt fades into acceptance.

I realised over time however that the knowledge of the rules and even the threat of, and actual punishment did not stop me from doing the things that I knew were wrong. (Most of the time in secret though-we have to keep up appearances in church)

Any witnesses in the house?

If you’re a witness, keep reading. There’s hope. Your life can line up to Christ’s.  How? You may ask.

Throw out the rule book, doctrines, expectations and traditions, clichéd prayers and get to know the Christ you have received. Read his word as you would read a letter from your lover- because that’s who He is. He loves you to bits.

Read His Word as you would read a love letter-carefully, repeatedly and continuously. Spend time talking to him as you would talk to your best friend or a loved one. Your relationship will grow and blossom and you will find that you’re constantly being changed from the inside out till you are more and more like Him.

If your Christianity is still based on do’s and don’ts and traditions of the church or church doctrine only,I’m afraid you still have a long way to go.

Religion, with its rules and traditions and mannerisms won’t save you, only a working relationship with Christ will.

I’ve shaken off religion and I’m cultivating my relationship with Christ.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

Further Reading: Colossians 2:6-end

 

IN CHURCH OR IN CHRIST?

I was in one of my favourite places to meditate think and plan today and suddenly it hit me like a wave. I’ve been trying to ignore the urge to share but it won’t go away.

Read with me: ‘If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away, Behold everything has become new’.-2 Corinthians 5:17

It is no longer news a person’s claim to be a Christian in today’s world is usually taken with a pinch of salt especially with the atrocities being committed daily by so called men/women of God –in the name of Christ no less.

 I have repeatedly pointed out that saying you are a Christian, speaking ‘Christainese’ and blowing Phd level tongues will not get you to heaven. Only the fruit of the Spirit will. Read this: https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/05/02/fruit-before-gifts/

But today the reason a lot of Christians don’t bear Christ- like fruit hit me squarely in the face. The Holy Spirit does that sometimes.

A lot of Christians are in church but they are not in Christ! They have all the right words, mannerisms and even manifest the gifts of the spirit. These things are so easy to pick up and act out that they themselves may not know that they are acting a script.

I know firsthand because I used to be that person. I was in Church for a long time before I was in Christ.

You can even be a pastor and not be in Christ.

When you are in Christ, it shows! You change from the inside out. Being in Church only changes you from the outside in. And that does not last. (see Scripture reference above!)

As much as being in church is important, being is Christ is the ultimate. That’s the only way to heaven.

If you are not sure where you fall, check your life. Can men see a visible change in your life? Are you becoming more Christ like every day?

Does the word transform you from the inside out or do you just cram it to show off in church and bible sword?

Its easy to swing from one end to the other.

If you think you’re sure, Please check. Examine yourself!

Are you in Christ or just in Church?

I’m checking where I stand. I’m making sure I’m still in Christ

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

WHAT ARE YOU TEACHING?

 Sometimes I wonder why I have to see some certain things in the bible.  Those that came up with the statement ‘Ignorance is bliss’ knew what they were talking about.

About a week ago, I came across a scripture that has somehow stayed in my consciousness and in the light of some of the things I’ve read and heard in recent times I think it’s time to share.

Read with me: ‘These people worship me only with their words.
    They honor me by what they say, but their hearts are far away from me.
Their worship doesn’t mean anything to me.
    They teach nothing but human rules’- Isaiah 29:13

There’s so much to talk about in this verse but since I’ve done several posts on worship, the line that struck me was the last one-‘They teach nothing but human rules’.

As a teacher of the Word, this got me thinking. Have I been teaching the right things?  I’m still examining my heart.

 Before you think this does not apply to you because you are not a teacher in church, hold it there.

Everywhere you go, you teach. Everything you do teaches a lesson.

You don’t plan it, but trust me, it happens.

Every time you give someone advice, virtually or physically, written or spoken, you’re teaching someone something.

Someone is watching the way you live your life and forming their beliefs about how a Christian should behave.

Someone is hanging on to those words you say/type as Gospel. Are you sure it’s the true Gospel of Christ?

Does it line up completely with the written word of God-the bible? Or is it mixed with some human wisdom and church doctrine?

The thing I’ve realized is that most Christians do not deliberately set out to teach the wrong things-they genuinely believe they are right.

Check what you believe on issues before you speak/write. Make sure they line up with the word of God and you are not just saying what ‘a man/woman of God’ (who may be right or wrong) told you.

What are you teaching?

The Gospel according to God or the Gospel according to man?

I’m checking my beliefs before I teach.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba