In a dream, I was having dinner with two friends at their house. It was as if the walls of the house disappeared and we could see clearly what was happening on the street. A man was electrocuted and one of my friends immediately thought that it was because of their security system and disarmed it. Another man standing on the street saw him disarming it and turned to the person he was walking with as if to indicate that my friend had something to do with the man’s electrocution. Then within the dream I had a vision of what actually happened. The man was on the roof of a house directly across the street. He hit a wire and somehow was shocked and propelled unto the street beside my friend’s house. None of us (the other men on the street, my two friends and I) actually saw what happen and the man was dead.
As I reflected on the dream- I realised that it’s so easy for us to draw incorrect conclusions from what we see. My friend saw the man suffering from electrocution wounds on the sidewalk beside his house and assumed it was because of a malfunction in his security system, when in fact it had nothing to do with the man’s situation. Then someone else saw him acting guilty and also assumed that my friend was guilty. This is very similar to how many rumours start. Someone sees you hurting and automatically assume that they know what is wrong with you. Or it could be you made a post and someone automatically believe it’s about them and their situation that you have absolutely no clue about. Or it might be assumed that a relationship is more than what it is because you spend time together. You get the idea.
What makes it worst, when we see with our eyes even if it’s not the entire story we never stand corrected. We don’t want to hear it because we believe we have the truth, when we only have a piece of the puzzle. Let’s not be quick to jump to a conclusion on any matter. The word of the Lord declares, “so do not go on passing judgment before the appointed time, but wait until the Lord comes, for He will both bring to light the [secret] things that are hidden in darkness and disclose the motives of the hearts” (1 Cor. 45). Let’s also not hast to talk about things we don’t know for sure the word declares that there are more hope for fools than those who are hasty in speech (Proverbs.29:20).
Until next time stay sweetly saved!
I have often read or listened to individuals speak about the Children of Israel in the wilderness and how this journey was extended because they murmured. Though I’m not making excuses for them, I can to some extent imagine their frustration, as on so many occasions they had to leave their comfort zones. It was one thing after another. When it wasn’t a great sea in front of them, there was no drinking water or they hungered and the list went on. The thing is when we are frustrated we don’t really see miracles. We only see a temporary relieve, while bracing ourselves for what will come next. Our eyes become trained to see everything that is going wrong and it would almost appear that nothing ever goes right. Sounds familiar? It should, because we have all at some point been guilty of this.
As a trained internal auditor, I was told that when I audit a department, I shouldn’t do it looking for non-conformance or what was done incorrectly. But I should instead study the manuals and procedures and look for conformance. In the event that something does not conform, I should then document the same. Similarly, Christians are to seek God’s manual for their lives. We do so by seeking His will in prayer, fasting and reading of His word. When we know and operate in God’s will for us, we will view the challenges of life differently. We will accept our processes though they are most times difficult knowing that we will receive a crown at the end.
Saying all of that to say this, instead of always seeking God or your own way to remedy your frustration (treating symptoms), get the solution that will prevent frustrations from forming (treating the cause). Find God’s will for your life, accept it, embrace it and walk in it. It will be the most liberating thing you have ever done.
As men we are most times limited by what we know and our expectations are therefore guided by our realities.
Abraham and Sarah didn’t expect at their age to become natural parents and so they laughed (Gen.17:17; Gen. 18:12). Did God not bless them with Isaac? We must therefore walk by faith.
The people of Noah’s day didn’t expect the flood, but it came (2 Peter 2:3). We must live right for no man knows the hour.
When the Children of Israel were caught between the Red Sea and the Egyptian army coming to destroy them, they probably expected that they were going to die. But the God of heaven caused them to cross over on dry ground (Exodus 14:22). We must trust God!
When Jacob went to meet Esau for the first time after stealing his birthright, he was fearful. He expected his brother to avenge what he did, but he forgave him (Genesis 32). We must forgive others.
The widow that was fixing her last meal to die, never expected to live beyond those days, but because of her obedience she was sustained (1 Kings 17). We must be obedient to the word of God.
Zacharias was in unbelief when the angel told him his wife would bring forth a son (John). His speech was taken from him for his unbelief (Luke 1). On the other hand, Hannah petitioned God fervently and received her miracle (1 Samuel 1). Is anything too hard for God (Jeremiah 32:27)? Sign and wonders follow Christians, it’s a trade mark. Expect the Unexpected.
Wrote this a while back, hope you were encouraged.
Stay Sweetly Saved
“To ease another’s heartache is to forget one’s own.”
― Abraham Lincoln
This captures a phenomenon of burying one’s self in the hurts of others as a distraction from our own internal issues. We all wish we could just forget that hurt that we thought we never deserved. We do many things to convince ourselves that we don’t need to deal with our issues. All we need to do is move on. I unknowing practiced this. I didn’t realize how I shoved my feelings and emotions aside, diving into a sea of activities and people that created the perfect distraction. I was lying to myself. Helping others yet dying inside.
Finally at the point of exhaustion I realized that the wounds were still there and they had become dangerously serious. They took deep roots. I placed a Band-Aid over a cut that required stitches. It got infected and the only treatment was to remove the band aid, clean out the wound, dress it and allow time to heal.
We fool ourselves when we believe that just because we mask our insecurities that all is well. All is not well. You are lying to yourself. The word of God declares that the truth shall make you free (John 8:32). Jesus is the truth (John 14:6) and whom he sets free, is free indeed (John 8:36). So I beg of you, remove the Band-Aid you placed over that sore that has now become infected. Allow Jesus to clean the wound and dress it. You will be healed in His time.
Many of us don’t receive healing because we lack truth. But He desires truth in the inward parts. When nobody sees he desires truth. Once we pour out the bitterness, hurt, anger and discontentment in our worship. Asking Him to heal us He will transform our lives. Then will He birth greatness from our process. That’s what He did for me. “All things work together for GOOD” Romans 8:28.
Hurt and pain are natural, but we have a Comforter who through the Spirit will mend our broken lives back again. Try Him today. He is waiting.
“But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves” (Mt. 25:9).
There comes a time when we have to take a decision that may seem un-Christian to others. We are encouraged to be kind and to share yet we see in this parable that the wise virgins though they had extra oil, decided not to share with the other virgins less there was not enough after a while. They didn’t want to run out of oil and miss the coming of the Bridegroom. Running out of oil would mean that they were left in darkness, a place Christians should never be because we are children of light (Eph. 5:8: 1Thes. 5:5).
The ten virgins were all waiting for the bridegroom. They were all believers walking together. This reminds me of how we sometimes walk with others that we view as like minded saints, who are also looking for the coming of the Savior. In a similar sense, they don’t have any extra oil and constantly borrow from you until eventually you feel empty and drained and there is little to no more oil in your lamp. Learn to say no to people who constantly rob you of your oil.
Consistency in our walk does not only speak to our prayer life and communion with God, but it also speaks to how we interact with everything and everyone else. I find that when I’m around some people, I’m highly motivated and feel reassured in God, but then when around others for extended periods, I’m just drained. I have taken a decision to better manage my environment. I learned to say get your own oil while maintaining my oil store. Always ensure that you have extra oil by keeping a constant prayer life, reading of the word and fellowshipping with God. Don’t punch in and out with God. Your relationship with Him is not a timecard job.
I encourage you all to keep you flames lit. Don’t get burnt out because others failed to prepare. God is coming soon. Let us all be ready and waiting- its not time to be running back to the shop to get oil. He can appear “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye” (1 Cor. 15:52).
God Bless you!
Stay Sweetly Saved
Have you ever prayed for something that seemingly took forever to come? When it finally comes, you are overwhelmed with excitement because God granted you your petition? Then in the blink of an eye, the celebration is short lived because the very thing you prayed for becomes a thorn in the flesh? I have so been there- throwing a tantrum telling God take it back. Then it seems as if He ignores me causing me to go through some form of wilderness experience to learn the lesson of accepting His yes, His no or Him telling me to wait. When will I fully learn this? Lord you are so patient with me. I’m grateful. Recently someone shared this scripture with me and it moved me to deep reflection: “And He gave them their request, but sent leanness into their souls and [thinned their numbers by] disease and death” (Ps. 106:15- Amplified).
She continued “Remember how Israel wanted a king offending God their King? Didn’t God tell them what would happen, and they still insisted? They wanted to be like everybody else. They wanted a king and that’s all that mattered. So God gave them a king”. I sat still on hearing it but inside I was shouting “forgive me, forgive me Lord” just in case I was still guilty of this. I rather repent, because when God sends leanness it’s not easy to bear.
As I reflected, I concluded that if I’m in the will of the Lord, fulfilling what He desires of me (The importance of a relationship with Him) I won’t be praying for things that God didn’t want for me. I will pray in His will. The word declares, “The blessing of the Lord—it makes [truly] rich, and He adds no sorrow with it [neither does toiling increase it].” (Proverbs 10:22- Amplified). When God blesses us he doesn’t add any sorrow. This is what I want. SO, I say no to prayers that make my soul skinny.
Until next time,
Stay Sweetly Saved Sistas
“I’ve never met a strong person with an easy past.”– Anonymous
For me it has always been a sacrifice. As the elders say, “if yu want good, yu nose haffi run.” This means, if you are ever going to attain anything great in this life, you must be willing to give up something. You would be surprized of the stories that many great and successful men and women have to share. I like listening to these stories. The struggles, the weak moments and how they overcame. I find it inspiring, encouraging me to take steps to my own goals. If they made it I can too.
Born in the rural inner-city of Harmony Town, I never imagined the challenges I would face in achieving my dreams. I really believed that being brilliant and getting scholarships was enough. Along the way were many disappointments, delays, hurt, despair and obstacles. I learned early on that people enjoy jumping on your bandwagon when all is well. The same people will have a car and pass you by the roadway in the rain, when you really needed a lift.
When I graduated with BBA in 2005, I had the honour of being seated on the stage attributable to my impeccable grade point average. I got gifts and all the nice things that came with graduation. Everyone was so proud. Shortly after, I approached one of those individuals for help. This had nothing to do with finances or anything related. She said she would get back to be but that was the last I heard from her. It was definitely an eye opener. Thanks to others who really had an interest in helping me to be successful I overcame and God made a way. I later graduated with an MBA and another perfect GPA. I was overwhelmed at my MBA graduation. After working two jobs to cover living expenses and tuition, it gave me a sense of great accomplishment. God gave me so many testimonies in that period they have to be shared separately.
Today I am closer to my dream of having my own school and half-way through my doctorate in Education. I have been working in education administration at different levels for the past ten years and have been lecturing and facilitating classes for the past five. God is able to take you to heights you never imagined. If you are not rich, that’s ok. If you have a dream, faith in God and the mind to do what the Lord directs, you will make it. Stop worrying about what you lack now or the time it will take to reach your goals. Just start!
I had to pray constantly, work odd jobs, miss leisure time, study hard, live without many things that are needs to others, it was a sacrifice. It’s not over yet but it’s somewhat easier because I now see the tape at the finish. I’m almost there. You can make it too! Just Start!
Until Next Time….
Stay sweetly saved