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To Love God…

There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friend…” John 15:13. Indeed Jesus demonstrated this when He accepted to come and save us from eternal destruction (John 3:16). God is so interested in love that the greatest commandments are about love: that is, to love God and your neighbor (Matthew 22:37-40). In this article, I will share six biblical principles that will help you know some of the ways to express your love to God.

  1. Obedience.

The online oxford dictionary defines obedience as “compliance with an order, request, or law or submission to another’s authority“. Obedience is simply doing what you have been told to do. In this context you know you love God if you do what he tells you to do. This is seen in John 14:15 when Jesus said “If you love me, you will obey my commandments.”  There are many ways of responding to these commandments; submitting to the bible and Catechism instructions, adhering to the teachings of the church, obeying your priests, paying attention to your dreams and convictions, being intentional on knowing what God wants you to do in any given situation etc. In whatever way that God might use to instruct you, endeavor to respond positively. Despite the fact that submission to God is not a must, disobedience could have dire consequences on your life. Moses learnt this the hard way. He never made it to the Promised Land simply because he disobeyed God (Numbers 20: 7-12). Thus, in everything that you do strive to be obedient to your father in heaven.

2. Sacrifice.

Love is sacrificial. Thus loving God involves letting go of something treasured for the good of His kingdom. I believe you have ever surrendered something you loved for the good of those you cared for. It could have been time, money, possessions, or comfort. Similarly, loving God requires a similar attitude that is seen in   John 21: 15-19 when Peter accepted to care for God’s people. He did this by preaching, healing (Acts 3), counseling etc. at the expense of abandoning his fishing Career (Mat 4:18-22, John 21; 19). This reminds me of the Reverend that ministers to us at work. He left his career in Law to concentrate on full time ministry. I bet it wasn’t an easy decision to make. So then, you ought to be willing to give up your resources for God’s sake.

3. Accept to be hated by the world.

Paul in Romans 12:1-2 advises Christians not to conform to the standards of the world. As Christians we need to live by God’s standards and as a result we should expect rebuke from the world. This however, should not surprise you because Jesus clearly spoke about it in John 15:18-21. Hence, let your focus be on upholding your godly principles for the glory of your Father in Heaven.

There is no greater love than this, to give one’s life for one’s friend…”

John 15:13

4. To believe God even when you don’t understand Him.

As Christians there are times we come face to face with things or situations that we don’t understand yet the expectation to remain faithful to God remains ( Romans 8:30). There are times I read the bible and I honestly fail to understand God. For instance, why did 36 Israelites and Achan’s family die for Achan’s personal disobedience (Joshua 7:1-26)? This blew my mind. Seriously, I felt it was not fair. Later, I realised that I wasn’t the first person to experience this. In John 6: 25-70, Jesus taught about the importance of eating his body and drinking his blood. Many people thought that Jesus was telling them to practice cannibalism (vs. 52). As a result, they stopped following him (Vs.66). Despite this, the twelve disciples believed and never left Jesus even when he gave them that opportunity (Vs. 67-68). But then what should you do when you find yourself in this kind of situation? In Luke 8:4-9 Jesus in his teaching used the parable of the sower which was not understood by the Congregation. However, the disciples later on sought an explanation from Jesus to help them understand. This is the spirit that we need to bring on board instead of running away even though an answer might delay for some things are understood later (John 2:18-22). Therefore, regardless of what you might experience never stop believing in God.

5. To worship and Praise God even when our prayers are not answered the way we expected.

Matthew 26:39 ” He went a little farther and fell to the ground, with his face touching the earth, and prayed, “Father, if it is possible, take this cup away from me. Yet, not what I will, but what you will ” Jesus prayed to God to excuse Him from the painful experience of dying on the cross but God didn’t do what Jesus wanted. Instead of being angry at God, Jesus sought Him more. He never denounced his Father. I have had to apply this principle during a trying period of loss. Last year in July, my ailing aunt contracted COVID 19. Despite fervent pray for her recovery, she died in less than ten days. It was very painful. Through all this I chose to console myself in the Lord believing she went to a better place. Sometimes in moments like these, you will be asked where your God is (Psalms 42:10) and what He is doing to help you but  do not let  undesirable answers to your prayers or mockery from people drive you away from God. This will sincerely show your love for God.

6. To completely trust God

To love God is to completely put your trust in Him even when circumstances around you seem not to agree.  Abraham was a man who spent many years without a child. God promised him an heir and this child was born to him at 100 years (Gen 21:5). The first time God told Abraham about descendants, he was 75 years old (Gen 12:4, 7). This could mean that Abraham waited for 25 years to get Isaac. Imagine after this long wait…God surprises Abraham with a command…to sacrifice his son (Gen 22:2). I imagine this reaction between Abraham and God; “God! Wait a minute! What did you just say? And God replied ” you heard me right, give me your only hope and treasure”. Regardless of how Abraham might have felt, he obeyed by taking his beloved heir to the sacrificial alter. But before harming the child God provided a lamb for sacrifice. It was only a test that Abraham passed.  Child of God, would you give up your only hope for God? I bet it is only love that would compel you to do it.

Therefore, Love is an action verb that is expressed through what we do. Thus, to love God is to obey, believe in Him, trust Him, letting go of what you treasure for His kingdom, worshiping and praising Him even when He does not do things your way. As your mouth proclaims how much you love God, May your actions too depict the same for the glory of your father in heaven.

Is it possible to identify the Voice of God?

Five years ago, I had a strong desire to know how God speaks to people. I encountered a number of Christians that were so confident about their discernment abilities that they made statements like “The Lord told me… The Lord instructed me…” Seriously, I envied them. I wanted that too. What kind of food were they eating that I didn’t eat? I wondered! As a result, I embarked on a journey to discover the voice of God.

First of all, I needed to have general knowledge of how God spoke to his children. To achieve this, I read books, searched the internet, listened to teachings, people’s testimonies and talked to people both known to me and strangers. As a farmer harvests at the end of the season so did I become acquainted with how God speaks. I learned that He spoke through music, scripture, dreams, visions, audible voices, nature, thoughts, people, and convictions or put impressions upon one’s heart.

I discovered that there are times God speaks to us but we don’t understand him. In times like these my destiny pusher advised me to pray to the Holy Spirit for revelation (John 14:26). She also advised me to create an environment that would enable me to hear the Lord better. This meant choosing a good time to be in the presence of God with no distraction. This, for example required me to pray early in the morning before the rest of the world was awake, having my notebook, pens, and bible or anything that I might be needed ready as well as putting my phone in silent mode.

James 1:22 says “Be doers of the word, and not just hearers, lest you deceive yourselves.” I tried to act upon everything that I felt the Lord told me during prayer or meditation. With time, I realized that I no longer prayed or acted according to my own plans but rather according to the plans and timing of God. For example, there are times when I felt like challenging people during conversations but ended up keeping silent simply because my inner voice told me to do so. I should mention that I wasn’t sure that what I did was one hundred percent correct but I still acted. Amazingly and with active observation I learned to differentiate between God’s and other voices. This was a lesson in trust since I had been told that God would guide me through this journey. I kept questioning how He was going to do this since, as I had come to learn, He was not going to present himself in an obvious form. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed because I wanted my experience with God to be the way I pictured it. Sometimes I worried about the reaction of my family, friends, and workmates to decisions I made that contradicted their expectations since I listened to what I believed was God’s voice. Amidst all this, I had the realisation that it was God’s acceptance that mattered most. So, despite my fear, I continued with this consolation in my mind.

As earlier mentioned, I had set expectations of how I thought God would speak to me. I expected to hear an audible voice, see Jesus or at least angels in my dreams and discover a unique formula of sieving through people’s words to take in only what was from God. I thought I would get a quick easy way of sorting thoughts in my mind, so that I would only meditate and act upon those from the Lord. I couldn’t wait to find out how God spoke to me through nature. Would I hear a tree speak to me? Would it be a stone? May be the stars at night as I marveled at the beauty of the sky? I know it sounds bizarre, but those were my actual thoughts. However, my destiny pusher put a stop to all this. She advised me to be open to whatever way the Lord used since he knew what was best for me. For instance, I had had a recurring dream, for years, when I was on my period. It was about two years ago when I started actively praying about it. Believing that God spoke through people I sought help in vain. In January 2022, when this dream resurfaced, I cancelled it in prayer and once again inquired of the Lord what it meant. But this time, I chose to be confident that God would respond at the right time and I did not let it get to me like before. I trusted in His timing and solution to whatever underlying issue existed. Amazingly, in a meeting at Church on 19th February, without my usual ‘hunting for answers/revelation,’ the facilitating Priest interpreted the dream and advised on how to effectively pray about such ‘dreams.’ With this assurance I did the needful and left the rest to God!

On this journey, I encountered and still encounter a number of challenges. One thing I can’t forget is how disappointed I was when I learned that there was no discernment template. Interestingly, each book I read or teaching I listened to seemed to fall short when it came to providing a well laid out structured guide to hearing God. Having gone through this, I changed my mind by accepting that God wanted a unique relationship with me. I stopped looking for a template and convinced myself that if other people mastered discernment, I too could.

In Mark 12:30 Jesus taught “…and you shall love the Lord, your God, with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind and with all your strength” This meant that God had to take the first place in my life. Contrarily, I idolized prophecy. I loved and looked forward to being told what someone had seen or heard about me from God. It didn’t matter so much whether the message was good or bad since the messengers oftentimes gave me prayer directions. For as long as I had money, I never hesitated to go to men of God to pray for me. As they prayed, I anxiously waited to hear what God had said about me. I admired to be prophesied on like other people. Little did I know that this stagnated my spiritual growth and I became susceptible to false prophecies and being taken advantage of. In fact in 2015 I was disappointed by a prophecy that did not manifest. That is when I got to know that not every message I received from ‘people of God’ was from the Lord. I grumbled in silence because I had really been convinced that the message was from a God sent person. I later learnt that personal discernment was very very KEY.

As I progressed with discernment, I realized that patience too was important. I had to adjust to the fact that God spoke to me in His time, and He was not easily moved to act my way. This was disappointing because I expected God to align Himself to my urgency. For example, if I got a dream that I didn’t understand and prayed for revelation I expected it immediately I slept again. If I fasted for three days about something I expected God to speak and act during that period. Any delay frustrated me. Wasn’t God seeing that I was putting in effort? I wondered! Thankfully, God graciously gave me the gift of patience and I accepted, that He, at the right time, would answer me.

As time passed, I learnt that God specifically spoke to me through dreams (Job 33:15). I was one of those people that could get more than two dreams in a single night. As far as I remember I had been dreaming since I was sixteen except that I didn’t know that dreams were of spiritual significance. In spite of this major discovery, I was still challenged in interpreting them. Indeed, as I had been told, God would help me. He connected me to people that helped me to grow in this area. In addition to prayer, I listened to people’s testimonies and teachings on the subject. If people knew how helpful their testimonies were especially to young Christians, perhaps they would eagerly share them. I can’t deny the fact that I read books for guidance as well. Since I desired to independently interpret my dreams, I endeavored to share my thoughts and research before my destiny helper. Each time I got the interpretation right, I celebrated because I knew I was growing. With time I stopped calling people for dream interpretations. I prayed and patiently waited on the Lord for the revelation. In various ways, the Lord faithfully answered me.

While this journey wasn’t a walk in the park, I am glad to say it bore fruits. I grew from ignorance to understanding, fear to confidence, logic to trust, selfishness to selflessness, and impatience to patience. Importantly, I learned to recognise the voice of God. This greatly pleased me because Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice.” I could now confidently count myself as one of the flock. I am still learning other avenues that God uses to speak to me. But overall I am glad that I have achieved significant progress. It is now on you to discover the unique ways God communicates to you. Trust me, you will not regret it, and neither will He disappoint. For no one has genuinely searched for God in vain.

Song Meditation: Standing on the Promises of God.

Standing, standing,
Standing on the promises of God my Savior;
Standing, standing,
I’m standing on the promises of God.

Standing on the promises of Christ my King,
Through eternal ages let His praises ring,
Glory in the highest, I will shout and sing,
Standing on the promises of God

Continue reading “Song Meditation: Standing on the Promises of God.”

Song Meditation: Spirit of God.

Psalms 23:2’ He lets me rest in fields of green pasture……….’  The Lord is my shepherd. He lets me to rest in fields of green pasture. There are times that God leads us in to a place of rest, peace, joy, happiness etc however, we fail to actually realize those blessings. The busyness, troubles and trials of the world obstruct us from resting in God.

Spirit of God in the clear running water
Blowing to greatness the trees on the hill
Spirit of God, finger in the morning
Fill the earth, bring it to birth
And blow where you will

Continue reading “Song Meditation: Spirit of God.”

DESTINY PUSHERS

You probably know this saying all too well “No man is an island” thus, everyone needs someone to help them achieve their purpose in life. Parents or guardians or sponsors meet school needs of children while teachers ensure that children excel at school. Church ministers help Christians to grow spiritually. Different people help us attain our goals in different aspects of our lives depending on the season. Without people, it’s close to impossible to achieve our God given purposes.

You probably know this saying all too well “No man is an island” thus, everyone needs someone to help them achieve their purpose in life. Parents or guardians or sponsors meet school needs of children while teachers ensure that children excel at school. Church ministers help Christians to grow spiritually. Different people help us attain our goals in different aspects of our lives depending on the season. Without people, it’s close to impossible to achieve our God given purposes. Today, I write about those people that help us to fulfill our God given purposes. Some people call them destiny pushers while others call them destiny helpers. For purposes of this article, destiny pushers and destiny helpers is used interchangeably.

Continue reading “DESTINY PUSHERS”
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