God’s Masterpiece

The ‘increase your faith to receive healing’ brigade came at me a few weeks ago and I’ve sat on this post since then.

Because they are church leaders, I kept quiet.

But it saddened me.

You see, the issue they have is that I have Cerebral Palsy.

It’s a developmental disability I have had since birth that affects mostly my movement, gait, posture and depth perception.
I have had this my whole life and I have thrived and served despite this my whole life.

Now I’m wondering….

How many parents, kids, young people with disabilities have we saddled with the guilt of their ‘being sick’ being their fault because they lack faith?

How many mothers are depressed because all of their ‘faith’ isn’t working and their pastors and churches insist it’s their fault?

How many have we driven from the faith with this misguided theology?

Child of God, Listen, God does not heal every condition or disease. God does not take away every thorn. He will use everything in your life for His glory whether or not He chooses to heal.

You are God’s masterpiece created for good works that he has prepared before time that you would do- Ephesians 2:10

Do not let anyone, no matter what their church given title is, tell you otherwise.

Repeat after me: I am God’s masterpiece.

Who’s With Me?
Tobiloba

Child-Like Faith

I spend a lot of time around children. As a result I have found out that the children of this generation have super active imaginations. My niece is on an entirely different level.

She imagines the most out of this world things and when we’re having conversations and she’s animatedly talking about those things she plans to invent-like a robot that does all her household chores,and I respond,

‘But you know that’s not possible-at least for right now.’

She ALWAYS responds ‘ But aunty, ‘Nothing is impossible with God’.

I nod in acceptance but i always pass it off to her childish naivety.

Until this week.

I was contemplating a lot of things and I was mentally trying to figure out how everything was going to come together. I mentally knocked some things out as impossible and then I remembered to pray. As I was praying,I could hear my niece’s voice in my head saying with absolute certainty.

‘Nothing is impossible with God’

And then a bible verse struck me with a new meaning.

Read with me: ‘Whoever shall not receive the kingdom of God like a little child,he shall not enter therein’-Mark 10:15

I need to have Childlike faith. That unwavering,Unquestioning,no plan B, no impossibilities kind of faith.

My walk with God has been challenged once again.

I’m learning to let go of my preconceived notions and develop childlike faith.

God Help!

Who’s with Me?

Tobiloba

Hasty Faith?

When my oldest niece was very young, we were trying to teach her manners like how to say ‘please’ and ‘thank you’. So if she asks for something from an adult, the adult would say ‘what should you say?’ to prompt her to say ‘please’ and after she is given what she asked for to prompt her to say ‘thank you’.

After some time she had learnt to say ‘please’ and thank you without being prompted. We however became faced with a small problem. She somehow assumed that every time she said added please to her request, it meant that it would automatically be granted immediately in the exact way and manner she requested.

It took us a while to explain that you don’t always get what you asked for just because you asked nicely. She finally understands the lesson- most of the time.

The first time she asked for something nicely and we said no, she said in a very petulant voice that only a 3 year old can come up with, ‘but I said please’. I shook my head and smiled and then went on to try to explain why I said no even though she said please.

Can anyone relate yet?

Today I ran into the last part of a scripture that brought this back to mind.

Read with me… he that believeth shall not make haste- Isaiah 28:16

How many times in my walk with God have I been hasty despite fact that I am claiming that I have faith?

How many times have I asked God for something and then become angry when it didn’t happen according to the time line and the way that I wanted?

Walking in faith is a marathon,not a sprint. God is not a genie in a bottle that performs on demand.

He works according to His will not ours.

You cannot rush your faith to work.

I refuse to be hasty in and with the working of my faith today.

Lord help me!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

Repent And Rest

Welcome to 2015 everyone.

We are already 6 days into the year and everyone wants this to be a great year. Before we continue our race this year, let us go back to the basics with a little twist this morning.

I was routinely scanning my facebook timeline this morning and I ran into a scripture that inspired today’s back to the basics with a twist.

Read with me:This is what the Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says:

“In repentance and rest is your salvation,…- Isaiah 30:15

Like I said in an earlier post,https://tobilobaajayi.wordpress.com/2013/06/01/dont-just-confess-repent/, Confession alone does not guarantee your salvation, repentance does.

As 2015 starts, The scripture above is a quick reminder that repentance is the bedrock of our salvation. (click the link above for a quick read upon what repentance is)

Now to the twist. This verse adds ‘and rest’ to the passage.

Repentance and Rest? Why?

You see,a lot of us think that beyond repentance, we need to do some more religious gymnastics to assure our salvation. These things range from harmless things like praying at specific hours of the day and night to utterly ridiculous and ultimately harmful things like allowing a so called ‘pastor’ drain your bank account all in the name of ‘God said’.

If you are repenting,rest! Your salvation is secure.

Don’t let anyone keep in the bondage of the fear of hell.

As 2015 starts, Repent and Rest!

Who is with me?

Tobiloba

‘Led Into The Wilderness’

A few days ago, after agonizing over a particular issue over night, I woke up with a a particular story in scripture ringing in my mind. It was the answer to my agonizing question by the way. I thought to share just in case someone else needs to hear this.

Have you ever been so sure God was leading you; 110% sure, yet, you seem to be going from trouble to trouble, mess to mess and your human mind (and probably everyone else around you) starts to ask you if you are crazy and if you’re sure it’s not your flesh that is deceiving you?

Have you been told, this cannot be God. God loves His children, He would never let put you through——(Fill in the blanks with whatever yours is)?

If you’re in this boat, This is for you. If not, as long as you continue to grow in your walk with God, there’s probably an experience ahead so read on.

Read with me: Then Jesus was led out into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit, to be tempted there by Satan. -Matthew 4:1 (TLB)

Can you see it already? Anyway, let’s break it down.

Jesus was led by THE HOLY SPIRIT into THE WILDERNESS.

See it now? The Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness- desolate,lonely,misunderstood…..

Are you in a ‘Holy Spirit led wilderness right now? Relax.

Jesus was led there ‘to be tempted by Satan’.

Are the temptations coming from every angle?

The funny thing about this story is that Chapter 3 of Matthew ends on quite a high note.Jesus was baptized by John,God spoke from heaven endorsing him and then Chapter 4 begins with a wilderness temptation/fasting experience.

So yes, Child of Zion, the fact that your spirit led wilderness immediately follows a spiritual high point is also okay.

How do we get through this?

Let’s learn from Jesus. Read the whole of Matthew 4. It’s a very interesting read.I promise. Here’s a summary of the lessons though.

1. Know who you are. Jesus never doubted his identity as the son of God and therefore did not feel a need to prove it. Internalize your identity as a Child of God.

2. Know the word- correctly. Jesus knew the word correctly so that even when the devil tried to use the word out of context, Jesus had an answer that was prompt.

3.Know when to stop listening to the voices of dissension and discouragement and learn how to keep them quiet.

The best part of the story is this. Because the wilderness experience was spirit led, including the temptations, they were for a season and prepared Jesus for His ministry. The same applies to you. Your wilderness experience has an expiry date and is preparation for the future God has prepared for you.

So fellow comrades in the Holy Spirit led wilderness,let’s keep our eyes on the prize. The prize is Christ and the future He has prepared.

It’s worth every second of the wilderness experience.

So today, In my wilderness,I choose to keep my eyes on the prize- Christ!

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba

Control Or Faith?

In the last day or so, I realized anew that I still have serious control issues. I thought the issue was done and dusted, but I now realize that I still have some work to do in that area. Just in case I have comrades who are in the same boat. I’ll share what I learnt today.

I don’t know about you but I like to have everything planned out. I like to have all the answers. If I can figure it out or I can see it, then I believe it’s possible and then I relax.

I am that person that likes to have plan A- Z for anything I undertake. When it comes to risks, I take only those I can calculate. If the things I can’t control are too many I won’t do it.

Does this ring a bell with anyone yet?

Well, in my walk with God, I have had to take risks that I could not calculate but as I realized today, I grumbled through those experiences,gritted my teeth and was always glad when those experiences over and I prayed not to have to repeat them.

What’s more, after each of those experiences,I tried to to put safeguards in place to protect my self from experiencing those things again.

Did you just whisper ‘control freak’? I know. I know.

Now, Read with me: Read with me: Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen-Hebrews 11:1

I’m sure some of you can see what God said to me already, just by looking at that verse but for those who need a little help like me, let me spell it out.

Faith is the ONLY evidence God will give you. You can’t see it to believe it with God. With God, the reverse is the case, you believe and then you see it.

With God you cannot control all the outcomes. You can’t calculate all the risks. You cannot predict the future. Only God holds that trump card and He usually doesn’t show it to you.

He simply asks you to take His word for it.

For control freaks, that’s hard to do. If you say you’re a Christian,that’s what you have to do.

That’s what faith is.

Faith is taking God’s word for it without any physical proof that it is true.

The minute you have proof,it stops being faith.

The minute you can control the outcome, you don’t need faith.

Since you need faith to walk with God and ultimately make heaven, God will never let you be able to control all the outcomes.

Control freak or faith in God. You have to choose. You cannot have both.

Funny thing is, whether or not we take choose to take God’s word for it, He still controls the outcomes.

So why don’t we just stop trying to control things and choose to enjoy the freedom that comes from knowing that you don’t have to worry about the outcome as long as you obey him completely?

Control freak vs Faith?

I choose faith all over again.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba.

God Reliance Lessons

This week, the whole world mourns the death of Robin Williams who died from a lost battle with depression.

A lot of people faced the depression elephant in the room and talked about the appropriate response to sufferers and how to cope if you’re suffering from depression-all from a medical standpoint.

It struck me as funny that very few Christians acknowledged the issue.

It’s almost like we are saying, oh this is what happens when people are not Christians.

Well, may I burst your bubble? Christians get depressed too. Read your bible-examples abound. Elijah when he was running Jezebel, David when his family was captured,Job when he went through the trial of his faith.

Before I get the classic oh, those guys you mentioned were under the law before the time of Christ,
Read with me: ‘…we were under great pressure far beyond our ability to endure so that we despaired even of life…2 Corinthians 1:8.

That was the great apostle Paul speaking and if that statement doesn’t say ‘we were depressed’ then I. don’t know what does.

Depression is not a sin, it’s not a punishment or something that happens to only unbelievers.

On the contrary God uses depression in the life of a Christian ‘that we might not rely on ourselves but on God who raises the dead-2Cor 1:9

God uses depression in a Christian’s life to teach you God reliance instead of self reliance.

Christian and depressed? That’s okay. It’s a God reliance lesson. That’s what makes you different from the world.

Learn the lesson and come back stronger so that you can like Peter ‘strenghten your brothers’.

God reliance mode activated.

Who’s with me?

Tobiloba