I Blame GOD! Why Bring A Man Who Doesn’t Love Me? Why Pain?

Scripture 1: For rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man one might possibly dare to die. But GOD shows His love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us (Romans 5:7-8).

 Scripture 2: Truly God is good to the upright, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me my feet had almost stumbled, my faith was almost gone. For I was jealous of the arrogant; when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. When my thoughts were bitter, and my feelings were hurt, I was as stupid as an animal. I did not understand you. Yet I always stay close to you, and you hold me by the hand. You guide me with your instruction, and in the end, you will receive me in honor (Psalms 73:1-3; 21-28).

Image by Claudia Wolff

There is nothing like two heartbreaks to make you reconsider an entire life of bachelorhood. The first guy was a mistake. I told myself it was because I was not a Christian in my early twenties. As such, I was young and completely confused by all those love songs. I wondered why I ever listened to love songs sung by artists on their third marriage.

But the second relationship happened in A.B (After Baptism). I had already given my life to Christ. I was determined to walk by his ways. I was zealous for the Church, and I was motivated to share his word. This second guy was from the Church. And yes, I know that there are millions of Sunday Christians. But this guy was different (that’s what my brain said). This guy was an answered prayer. But in the end, he was worse than the unbeliever.

I blamed God.

I blamed God for many things that were wrong in my life as a youth (e.g., joblessness, lack of opportunities, a loveless life, two MAJOR heartbreaks, the past, lack of support, friends who abandoned me, e.t.c).

It reached a point that the voices in my head became powerful. You see, I moved beyond the blame God season to the forsake God season. Fortunately, I had the word in my heart as I had spent most of my jobless era studying. The Bible says that the word of God is the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17). So I said in my heart before I forsake God, let me mourn in God and ask Him to strengthen my heart.

I blamed God no more, for I found peace in Him.

Why Do People Blame God?

I believe we blame God because it is easier to blame God. When we consider His nature, e.g., omniscient, which means all-knowing, omnipotent, which means All-Powerful, and Omnipresent, He is widespread/Everywhere. We can conclude that we are justified in blaming God.

But are we justified in blaming God?

The answer to this question by the end of the day lies with you. You can choose to do the math and decide whether to blame God. You can choose to shame that urge to blame God by praising God. Or, you can prefer to be silent about the whole thing and continue with your life.

To me, the three options have been continuously set before me. There were situations where it was easy to get up and praise God. At the same time, there were situations I felt it would be wise to pretend. Pretend that everything is okay, but secretly in your heart, you blamed God.
Some say we blame God because we don’t want to accept responsibility.

This is true. Some sufferings occur as a result of our mistakes.

In Homer’s Odyssey, the writer states:

“Men are so quick to blame the gods; they say that we devise their misery. But they themselves in their depravity-design grief greater than the griefs that fate assigns.”

Should we or should we not blame God? 

What are we blaming God for? 

Did the People In the Bible Blame GOD? 

There are people in the Bible who were stricken by calamity. One of them was Job. The Bible is clear that Job was a man who was careful to do everything right in God’s eyes. Job had seven sons and three daughters (Job 1:2). He was also the richest man in the Middle East. Yet, overnight! The richest man became the poorest man in the Middle East. Job also went from being a dad to ten kids to having no kids at all.

But the Bible says this: In all this, Job did not sin or charge God with wrong (Job 1:22).

Sometimes I wonder if it’s all the fairytales and happy cartoons that we watched growing up. I wonder if all those shows convinced our psychology that life is that simple. We obey! We do, right! And it all goes well.

But this is not the case.

After Job lost all his wealth and his children, he woke up one day to find his body covered with a dreaded skin condition (Job 2:7). Things went from bad to worse for Job to the point that his wife advised him to curse God and die (Job 2:9).

But Job answered his wife by saying, “Shall we bless God only when He does good for us, and curse Him when He does wrong? “(Job 2:10).

Hmmmmm! So God does wrong? Do bad things happen to good people?

Job’s friends came to Job to console him. For most of the book, the friends talk in much wisdom as they try to explain to Job why he was going through a hard time.

For most of the conversation, Job did not blame God. Instead, he talks of God as His Redeemer (Job 19:25). Job also comforted himself by saying, “He (God) wounds, but He also binds. He strikes, but He also heals” (Job 5:18).

As the book draws to an end, Job cracks! He begins blaming God! In Job 7:20, he says to God, “Why have you made me your target?” In another chapter, he complains that there is no justice, no matter how hard he cries (Job 19:7-12).

At the end of the book of Job, God answers His child. God answers Job by revealing His glory as the Creator (Job 38-41). God also blessed Job’s latter days more than the beginning (Job 42:12).

Other People in the Bible 

There was a woman called Naomi. Naomi lost her husband and two sons (Ruth 1:1-5). She had to go back to her homeland because there was famine in the town where she lived with her family. When Naomi’s community came to receive her, she told them, “Don’t call me Naomi, call me mara-for the LORD Almighty has dealt bitterly with me. I went away full, and the Lord has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? (Ruth 1:20). 

In the end, God gave Naomi a family through her daughter-in-law Ruth. 

Then there is Samson. Samson got betrayed by the woman he loved (Delilah). He was arrested and placed on a stand as his enemies rejoiced over his downfall. Samson also had his eyes gouged out (Judges 16:21). But before he died, Samson prayed to God asking Him for help. In the end, Samson got a greater victory in his death than he ever got in his life. 

And the list goes on, and on, and on. 

So Is it Okay or Not To Blame God?

The issue is not whether it is okay or not to blame God. To me, what I have learnt is that it is not wise to blame God. 

I choose to blame Christian Marketing! The most popular doctrine of the day teaches this “ever-joyful, ever-happy, ever-complete, ever successful, continuously prosperous Christian.” There is so much emphasis on the love of God and all this goodie stuff about Him. Basically, Christian marketing takes one side of God (the Father side) and fails to teach on the other side of God. 

There is a trick to this teaching, and the trick is that it makes us feel SPECIAL! We feel special because we are Christians and God would never let bad things happen to us. 

But the reality is that, whether you are a christian or not, we are not immune to the realities of life (e.g. Tragedy, broken homes, job loss, heart break, lost wealth). 

So for what reason have we believed? 

We believe because of the Resurrection! 

All the people in the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, one thing that stands out clear is that those who wait on God always end up with a victory. So rather than blame God, it is wiser to remain in God for there is hope in God through Jesus Christ Our Resurrection.

Paul said that there is no temptation that befalls us, that is not common to human beings ( 1 Corinthians 10:13). 

But what is the hope of Christianity! The hope is that the same hand that harms us, is the same hand that will heal us (Job 5:18). And God is a Powerful healer. He heals so well, that you forget your trouble (Genesis 41:51). 

Image by Aaron Burden via Unsplash

Conclusion

Each and every one of us goes through challenges, calamities, and corruption. We all have our stories, and every time we find ourselves faced with this question. “Should I blame God?” But as for me, every failure, corruption, challenge, and calamity has taught me to “wait on God” (Isaiah 30:18).

I see the wisdom of meditating on the goodness He has shown me in my life, and strengthening myself in Him (1 Samuel 30:6). I see the godliness of worshiping Him while in chains (Acts 16:25-34). I see the purpose of clinging onto His love in this fallen world (Psalms 91:14). The bible calls it holding on to hope (Isaiah 40:31).  And trusting in His love for us (Psalms 56:3-4). 

For our hope in God will not be cut-off (Proverbs 23:19). Whether in this life, or the next (Hebrews 11).

If we put the Christian marketing aside, the reality is that faith is hard. But that is why there is a great reward in heaven, for those who hold on to their faith in Christ. 

By the end of the day, the reality is that even Jesus suffered. He was homeless (Luke 9:58), and he died at 33 years. To make it worse! He knew that it was God’s will that He should suffer. Yet, unlike us, Christ understood COMPLETELY the purpose behind the suffering. 

As Augustine said, “God had one child without sin, but never a child without suffering.” 

The reality is, things don’t always go our way. But faith in Christ is a powerful weapon! 

And we have a duty to cultivate this faith. Instead of blaming Him, we choose to say like Job.

“Naked I came to this world! And naked will I leave it.” (Job 1:21).

But this is what Paul says to Timothy. Paul says, “There is great gain in godliness with contentment; for we brought nothing into the world, and we cannot take anything out of this world (2 Timothy 6:6). 

Take up your cross! Walk with Christ Daily! There is no reason to blame Him. Rather, let’s walk with Him trusting  in His love. 

Besides, there is a reason why the Jews call Him-Jehovah Gmolah (meaning: The LORD of Recompense). 

Think about these things, and be blessed. 

Poem

Oh GOD! I blame you no more!

Where I made mistakes, I seek forgiveness,

I bear the consequences, and seek your wisdom,

Where life strikes me, I mourn in you,

For amidst all the doctrines, all the teachings,

This one lesson stands true.

God There is Love in You.

And Jesus Christ is the proof of that Love,

So I calm my soul,

And watch my mouth,

My love and hope is Christ

Oh GOD! I blame you no more.

A Shepherd Spirit is the Key to Authentic Christianity

Scripture 1: They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death (Revelation 12:11)

Scripture 2: By faith he (Abraham) sojourned in the land of promise, as in a foreign land, living in tents with Isaac and Jacob, heirs with him of the same promise. For he looked forward to the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is GOD (Hebrews 11:10). 

Patrick Schneider via Unsplash

There is no doubt that the modern world is a world of marvel. Just like John marveled when he saw Babylon (Revelation 17), we too marvel at the world. Most of us have not only marveled but have lusted after the things of the world. We want the American dream, with its fancy car and big screen TV. However, when John marveled at the world that was to come, the angel was startled and asked him, “You marvel?” 

Yes, we marvel. And beyond the marvel most of us have worked extremely hard to get a slice of the modern world’s treasures. We even have teachings that encourage us to pursue worldly success, e.g., E-books on How to Pray over your Finances. We have become the kind of Christians who are quick to dismiss teachings about heaven and the things of heaven but are ready to consume content that will help us build great lives on Earth. 

We have settled on Earth, and we want God to help us to settle on Earth. 

But this should not be the case for Christ came to draw us out of the world. The scriptures that challenge us to live and center our purpose on this higher calling are better kept in museums. We don’t want to read them and we don’t want to meditate on them. Yet as much as we enjoy the thought of living the rest of our lives in abundant prosperity, the truth is that Christ is coming soon. 

A Shepherd Spirit

The patriarchs of Israel (Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) lived as shepherds. Shepherds enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle where they would move from place to place with their livestock. As such, the term shepherd in Judaic culture is associated with a noble lifestyle. However, to the Egyptians and other cultures shepherds were despised. The scriptures state that when Joseph presented his family to Pharaoh, his family told Pharaoh that they were shepherds just like their fathers before them. On hearing this, the Pharaoh relegated them to live in Goshen (think of it as the ghetto side of town) Genesis 47:3. 

The shepherd life in Judaism was more uncomplicated compared to living in the city. First, the shepherds were cut-off from the noisy distractions of the city. Also, they lived a life of solitude. Shepherds did not bother themselves with numerous activities or the hassles and bustles of city life. Instead, their concern was feeding their flock. In the end, this seclusion and solitude made it easy for them to connect with GOD. 

Shepherd Spirit & Authentic Christianity

A Shepherd spirit is the key to authentic Christianity. This spirit has no desire to settle in the city (in this case, the world). In every way, this spirit wanders to the temple of GOD spiritually by studying his word, praying, meditating on his word, and seeking out His will. 

A shepherd spirit cuts-off from popular culture. How do we do this? Well, one scripture says it best. It says, “Do not conform to the standards of this world, but let God transform you inwardly by the complete renewal of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will (Romans 12:2).” Just because the rest of the world says it’s “cool” doesn’t mean that it’s cool for us. How do Christians stay ahead of the game? We stay ahead of the game by pursuing God’s will. And not by persisting to God to fulfill our will.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father is not in them. For everything in the world-the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but the world. The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever. (1 John 2:15). 

For example: If modern churches embraced diversity by encouraging people from other races to join in ministry, then the church would lead the world towards healing racial tensions. If the church funded a movie where the disciples and most of the people in the film were from different races, then the church would send a powerful message that Christ is LORD over all races. Yes! We know that Jesus and the apostles were Jews. We know that salvation comes from the Jews. But behold! Jesus rose to rule over the gentiles (Romans 15:12). And it’s time the church played an active part in communicating God’s love for all races. 

Yet this is the issue. The church settled! And a settled life means that we become susceptible to the noisy distractions of life. We want to be rich, and we want big houses. But it’s not our time to sit and sip coffee. This is our time to put on aprons, wear boots, and seek out revivals.

This is our time to put on aprons, wear boots, and seek out revivals. 

Abraham sojourned in the land of promise! God promised the meek (humble) shall inherit the earth (Matthew 5:5). But until that day comes, we are to live like shepherds. We are to live like sojourners in this land of promise as we await the heavenly Jerusalem. Once we adopt this shepherd spirit, it will be easier to tend to the flock of God. It will be easier for us to go out to discipleship and do what God has put in our hearts to do for His glory. 

A shepherd life is a simple and noble life. This lifestyle means that rather than stuff up on the treasures of the earth, a shepherd focuses on being rich in God (Luke 12:16-21). The bible says it this way, it says, Human beings were created for God’s glory. And God provides for the body.

As Jesus said, “Look at the plants in the field. They are here today and gone tomorrow. Yet Solomon, in all his glory was not clothed as one of these flowers (Matthew 6:29). 

A shepherd spirit marvels at the new heaven and earth that is to come. The bible says, “focus your mind on the things in heaven, not on earth” (Colossians 3:2). But this kind of lifestyle is despised by other cultures. Jesus said, “If they despise me, will they not despise you? If they crucify me, yet I am the one who made the world, will they not reject you?” (John 15). 

The shepherd spirit is the secret to authentic Christianity. Just like Jesus, the shepherd spirit focuses on the will of God, and trusts in God to reward faith. 

A shepherd spirit is a difficult way to live. This spirit is similar to Daniel and his friends in Babylon. Although they were in a nation that was anti-God, they upheld God and the teachings He gave to their fathers. 

A Shepherd spirit has an enduring faith. This faith is essential in these last days. The bible says that if your faith is not enduring, you will not endure (Isaiah 7:9). Take time to consider all the challenges we go through in life. It is easy for us to abandon the faith. 

Yet! Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. If you genuinely desire authentic Christianity, then you need the help of the Holy Spirit to teach you how to live your life just like Jesus-the Good Shepherd. 

For indeed, all the splendor! temptations! and pleasures in Babylon can only be overcome by the blood of the lamb, by the word of our testimony (the scriptures) and for us choosing not to love this life to death! 

Meditate on these things and be blessed. 

Lessons Learnt from a Solar Eclipse

In April 2014, on the 29th I believe,I was the most excited lady on campus. I was so joyful that you would be forgiven for thinking it was my birthday. You see, Scientists had announced that on this day, there would be an annular solar eclipse. My mind could not contain the excitement of seeing God in action. But there was one problem. I was in the wrong location.

My town was not among the places where you could see the eclipse easily. According to the news report, the only people who would enjoy this specter were in the Northern parts of Kenya. I shared my frustrations with my “not-science enthusiasts” friends, but they were too engrossed with wi-fi to identify with me. Also, the day was cloudy with frequent showers. I knew that something was happening in the heavens. But I had no way of seeing the eclipse.

But I wanted to see it. I wanted to see GOD.

Three times I went out of my apartment to gaze at the sky. And in those three times, God hid his face from me. Each time I went back to my room, I would talk to Him. I told GOD, “Part the clouds so that I may see your glory.”

The next time I left my apartment, I saw His glory.

The clouds parted in a way that made it easy for me to gaze at the specter. I saw the black moon as it slowly hid the face of the sun. I wanted to shout, “Holy God! You are Great!

A few minutes after losing myself to the scene, I decided to rush into the building and call my friends. The four of them were in the same room watching a movie. So I went to them and said, “Guys! I’ve seen it! Come see!” But when we got outside, God hid his face again.

This happened twice. Every time I spotted the eclipse, I would rush to call them. But by the time we got outside, the eclipse was hidden behind a thick cloud. They thought I was messing around.

What is the lesson? 

Two men will be in the field:one will be taken and the other one left (Matthew 24:40). 

Ladies and gentlemen, God is to be pursued. The things of God are hidden. And, they are hidden so that those who desire Him will find them. 

Jesus always spoke in parables. One day, the disciples asked him, “Rabbi (teacher), why do you speak in parables? And Jesus answered, the secrets of the Kingdom are revealed to you. But to others, they come in the form of parables (Matthew 13:10).  

Why? Why are they hidden to others? 

They were hidden because most people come to GOD for miracles. Most people only seek God when they need something, but forget God when they are content. Moreso, we seek God to do something for us. But if we don’t get what we want, we fall away from God. 

But this should not be the case. We are called to a relationship with the Creator. This is a relationship where we are willing to make sacrifices for Him, and God is ever with us. This is also a relationship where God’s presence gives us enough contentment. 

One thing I ask from the LORD, this only do I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze on the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. Psalms 27:4 NIV

Yes, there are some of us who came to God because we needed something. Yet the Bible encourages us to mature in the faith (Philippians 3:15). This maturity calls us to desire the things of GOD more than the things of the world. 

We live in a world that trains us and encourages us to pursue worldly things. But GOD is calling us to pursue Godly things. 

So the solar eclipse taught me that we live in a world where it’s okay to obsess over other things. We spent hours online looking at the latest vehicles, or the latest outfit. 

But how much time do we spend studying the word? 

And after we study, do we purpose to be rich in God? 

It is because of this culture that Jesus comes like a thief. Maybe when he comes, we will be too busy celebrating the latest gadget in the market. 

GOD has no problem with technology. If He did, He would not have given us the knowledge to innovate and disrupt. But GOD has always had a problem with people exchanging the glory of the creator for objects (Romans 1:23). 

But as I’ve quoted, one will be taken away and the other remains. 

How I pray that you will be caught doing the right things when Christ comes. 

How I hope that you will always live in pursuit of GOD-knowledge and understanding, just like Daniel in the bible. 

The Angel said, “God loves you Daniel. For ever since the beginning, you decided to humble yourself that you may gain understanding,” (Daniel 10:12). 

Let’s humbly let go of the things that we treasure while on Earth. Let’s fix our eyes to heaven for a while. 

Let’s go outside the city, and share in the shame of Christ (Hebrews 13:3). We share in this shame by adopting the Jesus culture. When we minister about him, and talk about him. More so, when we work towards making the world a better place. 

We do our work on Earth as we continually cast our eyes to the heavens. So that whatever God is doing will not catch us unawares. 

Establish your hearts in the LORD, for the coming of the LORD draws near (James 5:8). 

Meditating on God in times of Storms

Jehovah Jireh 

One the mountain of GOD; He provides, 

I come to this mountain everyday,

I trust in your hand to provide for me

Jehovah Nissi, 

The LORD is my Banner, 

I do not trust in my mind or my strength, 

I look to you and you give me victory 

Jehovah Gmolah 

The LORD Recompenses, 

All that i have lost; where I fail, 

Help me not to lose my sleep over them, 

For you are the LORD who restores fortunes 

Jehovah Mekoddishkem

The LORD who purifies, 

Many times I said “I shall not sin,”

But I found myself in deep transgression 

I hide myself in you, and you purify me 

El Shaddai, 

The Almighty, 

For all power belongs to GOD, now and forever 

Amen (1 Peter 5:11-13)

I am not ashamed of the Gospel,

For it is the power of GOD for salvation to everyone who believes (Romans 1:16)

And we overcame by the blood of the lamb, by the word of their testimony, 

and they did NOT love their lives to death (Rev 12:11)

Adonai Eloheinu-You Alone Are GOD! My GOD! 

And the only one worthy of the name FATHER

Jesus, go before me, 

Your rod & your staff they comfort me, 

You alone are my Father 

I Establish An Altar of Faith

I establish an altar of faith today, 

My trust is in you, O LORD my GOD, 

My Hiding Place, 

The GOD who took care of Israel in the wilderness, 

This is the GOD I choose to trust, 

I am blind to the traps of Life, 

But you O Lord never sleep nor slumber (Psalms 121:1). 

So to you O Lord I offer my prayer, 

In you my GOD I put my trust, 

Forgive me for the sins and errors of my youth, 

In your constant love and Goodness remember me (Psalms 25:1-22).  

GOD over the dreams of Joseph, 

Joseph went to Egypt a slave, 

But you were faithful in your promises, 

In time you lifted him up as a leader, 

So is GOD faithful to those who are faithful, 

But shrewd to those who are crooked (Psalms 18:26).

But one thing have i desired, 

One thing has my soul sought after, 

That I may dwell in the house of the LORD forever, 

To gaze upon the beauty of the LORD, 

And to seek his temple (Psalms 27). 

GOD of my Father, 

And my Father is Christ, 

I have put my trust in you, 

My plans are nothing without you, 

You are my wealth, my portion and my cup. 

But when I said I will not sin, 

I found myself in deep transgression, 

Therefore, I will not lift my head, 

And I will not lift my voice, 

I only ask, GOD walk before me, 

Your rod and your staff comforts me 

Be the pillar of cloud by day

And the pillar of fire by night 

Watch over my home——AMEN  

He is a GOD of the Mountains Not of the Valleys

Scripture: The man of God came up and told the King of Israel, “This is what the LORD says: ‘Because the Syrians have said, “The LORD is a god of the hills but he is not a god of the valleys,” Therefore I will deliver this vast army into your hands, and you will know I am the LORD.” 1 Kings 20:28 

Roberto Nickson via Unsplash

In 1 Kings 20, the Israelites were under attack from the Syrians. The Syrian King, Benhadad, sent a messenger to the Israelite King saying, “Your silver and your gold are mine; your fairest wives and children are also mine.” This message troubled the then King of Israel known as King Ahab. Ahab knew he was no match for the Syrian King. 

Benhadad had 32 other kings advising him. He also had a large and powerful army. Therefore, it comes to no surprise that he was confident he could take out Israel. Benhadad said to King Ahab, “The dust in Samaria will not compare to the army that I will bring against you,” (1 Kings 20:10). Benhadad was secure in his power. He knew nothing about the GOD of Israel, the King in Heaven. 

As the story progresses, the Syrians made another fatal mistake. They figured that the God of Israel is a God of the Mountains. Since the Israelites associated their God with Mountains, e.g. Mount Zion, the Syrians assumed that they stood a better chance fighting their enemy in the valley. The King’s advisors said to the King, “Their god is a god of the mountains, and so they are stronger than us; but let us fight them in the plains. Surely, we shall be stronger than them,” (1 Kings 20:23). 

The Good News

The Bible is commonly known as the good news for many reasons. One of the reasons is that by studying it, human beings enlighten their hearts with the knowledge of GOD (Ephesians 1:18). The enlightenment of the heart leads to a transformation. We are no longer conformed to the standards of the world, instead, by studying the word we are transformed by the complete renewal of our minds and our hearts (Romans 12:2). 

The bible is Jesus in word format. The book of John says, in the beginning was the word (Jesus), and the word was with GOD, and the word became flesh (Jesus lowered himself to the status of a human being) (John 1:1). Therefore, we no longer ask, “Where is Jesus? Where is the LORD?” The Holy Spirit is on Earth, and the Bible is before us. Emmanuel is with us.

The realization of this truth is the beginning of salvation.

Do you understand this? 

I once wrote an ebook known as “To Christ: The King in Zion.” If I meet someone and they tell me, “Hey, I really liked your book. When you describe fellowship as twin stars, what did you mean?” 

Since the words came from me, I can easily explain that chapter on fellowship, and I can explain how that chapter connects with other chapters. This experience is what John 1:1 is talking about. Jesus commanded the “ghostwriters” e.g. the Apostles and the Prophets to write the scriptures. These were men full of the Holy Spirit (2 Peter 1:21). Every Christian knows the trinity: GOD the Father, GOD the SON, and GOD the Holy Spirit. The three are one and there’s no difference. This is why some Bible texts call the Holy Spirit the Spirit of Christ. 

Do you understand this? 

Jesus was born of a virgin. Angel Gabriel told Mary that the Power of the Holy Spirit will descend upon her. Gabriel went further and said that it is for this reason that Jesus will be called a Holy Child; for nothing is impossible for GOD (Luke 1:35). 

Every human being has flesh and has a spirit (the inner man). The inner man in Christ is the Holy Spirit. Therefore, although he was the son of man, he is also the son of GOD. 

I always feel the need to explain this foundational truth. Jesus is the pioneer and perfecter of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). 

A GOD of the Mountains and Not of the Valleys

1 Kings 20 teaches me much. And, the teaching that I get from that scripture is that most of us are in a valley. Sometimes, I wish I could write to the psychiatrists in charge of the DSM manual for mental disorders. Why do they classify depression as a mental condition? Why do they classify anxiety?  Take a look at the world around you, would you not get depressed? 

Maybe they should classify selfies as a mental condition. How can one post happy pics next to the mall, when a few steps away is a homeless person. 

We are in a valley. Most of us are in a valley. And in this valley, depression is normal. But, happiness is abnormal. 

How can one not feel pain? You hear of refugees drowning in the Mediterranean. You read about failed states and terrorists. You watch children surrounded with terror. Oppression is at its peak, and the leaders are deaf. 

As a young person in this century, I can argue that most of us are in a valley. You went for a degree thinking you would get a decent job. You hoped you’d get a decent wage. But the sun is not all bright in the valley. There is a huge army called trouble. And, Benhadad is out to take the little that you had stored for yourself, and your family. 

Our personal problems are a burden. When we remove the gaze from our personal battles and look at the world, we are overwhelmed. 

What a wretched man I am,who will save me from this world of sin and death? Thanks be to GOD, who does this through Jesus Christ our LORD (Romans 7:24). 

Man Power is of No Use At All (John 6:63)

Space stations, aerospace technology is impressive. But we don’t have time to admire this technological advancement if the healthcare system is overwhelmed. They are clapping for medical professionals because of their efforts in the fight against COVID. Yet, is that what the medical professionals really want? They are exhausted! They want a system that supports their affordable care for all! They want financial and emotional support. They also want a trip to Hawaii. A break!

Jonathan Borba via Unsplash

But no one listens to the cry of the simple. All they get are claps. They do the same with War veterans, Police officers, teachers! Anyone whose passion is to make the world a better place, such hearts are condemned to poverty. Just a few claps and a flag for your patriotism 

If the global powers behave like that; then be sure that you cannot even begin to imagine the depth of the valley in the developing nations. 

In my distress, I called upon the LORD. I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears. PSALMS 18:6

They dream of talking to aliens. They perceive that aliens are intelligent. No one else on earth is as intelligent as them. Their class of knowledge can only be likened to aliens. But the other races are beneath them. 

Arrogance is the cause of discrimination. Humility is the path to equal societies. Benhadad had the same arrogance. The King thought he could take whatever he wanted. He could oppress however he wished. 

Have we not been here before? 

2 Kings 19:35 Israel faced another King of Assyria. This King was so sure of himself that he was willing to give Israeli men some horses, so that they could fight him. Sennacherib, the King of Assyria, encamped at the gates of the Kingdom of Israel. The Assyrian King said to the King of Israel, “Do not let your GOD on whom you rely deceive you by promising that your Kingdom will not be delivered into my hands,” (2 Kings 19:10). 

How many times have you found yourself believing that it was foolish to believe? 

How many times have you felt that GOD cannot deliver you from the valley? 

When we give in to unbelief. When we succumb to the normal life in the valley, we might fail to pray. We get accustomed to slavery! (e.g. not setting up your own business). We get used to oppression, broken homes, and broken dreams. 

Yet, from Genesis to Revelation, GOD has revealed His awesome Power. GOD has fought the good fight. Most of us have a Bible, and have heard about Jesus. 

So it is time for each man and woman to look to their GOD. Be strong in the LORD and the Power of His Might (Ephesians 6:10), and discipline your heart to trust in Him. 

For He gives power to the faint, and blesses His people with peace (Psalms 29:11).

His name is Alpha and Omega; Glorified Forever! 

And time and time again He has proven that He is sovereign over the mountains and the valleys. 

Indeed! He is the LORD! And there is no other beside Him (Isaiah 45:5). 

He is GOD! Supreme among the Nations, Sovereign over all the Earth (Psalms 46:10) 

Who will tell Venezuela? 

Who will teach Mexico? 

Who will comfort Mali? 

Who will tell the Nations! 

GOD is GOD! And Christ is GOD’s gift to us. No matter how deep the valley, those who call on His name, they will soar like eagles (Isaiah 40:31). 

The Bible is a sword of the Spirit. How can you leave your valley if you don’t take it, and read it? 

Have faith!

10 Unrivaled Reasons why Christians Talk to GOD in the Morning

The morning prayer is one of the oldest traditions in religion. Although the Bible does not tell us where the practice of prayer began, I think I have an idea. Isaiah 8:17 says, “The LORD has hidden himself from His people, but I will trust Him and put my hope in Him.” When Adam and Eve fell, the whole creation fell. The scriptures say it well for it says, “All creation lost its purpose so that it could find it through Christ” (Romans 8:20). When sin entered the world, GOD was hidden from our eyes. We could not see Him; we could not smell him.

What do people do when they don’t see GOD? They worship Idols.

Romans 1:25 says that human beings exchanged the truth for a lie. Since God could not be seen, human beings channeled their spiritual desire to the worship of created beings. Here, we are talking about the worship of idols, e.g., carved objects, animals, the Sun, and the moon. 

Worship of Idols

Yet, out of the many that gave in to idol worship, some stuck to their Faith. Noah, for instance, was a righteous man in a world full of wickedness. Noah lived in a time when human beings had lost themselves to their desires, including the worship of idols. I believe that it was people such as Abel, Noah, and Abraham, who promoted the habit of praying. It was an eyewitness spying on Abraham and asking himself/herself, “Who is he talking to?” It was Noah’s wicked generation, spying on Noah and asking themselves, “Who told him there would be a flood?”

It was the unseen GOD who told Noah to prepare for a flood. It was the unseen GOD who told Abraham to leave his father’s house. GOD told Abraham to leave his community that worshipped the moon. 

When we pray we demonstrate Faith. Prayer is the most substantial act of Faith. Just like the people in the beginning (Abraham and Noah), we live in a world that questions the existence of GOD. Yet, when you close your eyes and pray to the Unseen GOD, you demonstrate the Faith that the men and women of long ago had. Indeed, praying in itself is an act of Faith. 

Why Pray in the Morning?

  1. Morning prayer is like a tithe: One of the commands that God gave the Israelites is that they would bring their first fruits to the temple. The Israelites were also to offer a tenth of their wages. When you pray in the morning, it is like you are tithing your time. You are taking a minute to honor GOD with a prayer (1/24).
As the Dawn breaks, O LORD, I give you praise

2. Protection: Today’s world is the fulfillment of the prophecy of Christ. When Jesus was on earth, he said, I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth, you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NLT).

When I read this scripture, I recall the wilderness experience in the book of Exodus. When the angel of the LORD wanted to leave the Israelites, Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with me, do not bring us up from here” (Exodus 33:15). When we pray in the morning, we ask GOD’s presence to go with us. Prayer assures us that we have his protection and strength in this time of sorrow.

3. Favor: There were cultures where children would go to their parents for blessings before leaving the house. Remember that God is Abba Father. Why would you want to leave your home without your Father’s blessing? 

4. Strengthens our Faith. When you talk to someone every day,then it is hard for you to forget that person. What’s more, constant communication enhances the relationship. Psychologists say that one of the main reasons that relationships fail is because of a lack of communication. This fact also applies to your Christian faith. If you do not practice the discipline of praying regularly, you will likely develop a hardness of heart. The morning prayer will help keep your Faith alive. 

5. As the Plants depend on the Sun for food, do I rely on you, O LORD. Jesus always talked about spiritual food. He said that his spiritual food was to fulfill the will of the one who sent him (John 4:34). There are types of food. Sometimes we have bacon, eggs, and toasted bread with milk. Other times we have scones and a glass of orange juice. I believe that prayer is also a type of Spiritual food. When we eat this food in the morning, we profess our Faith. When we do that, Our Father in heaven covers us with the grace we need to go through the day. 

Indeed, morning prayer is a sign that we depend on GOD. Unlike those who have no use for GOD (Psalms 1:1), you understand that you need GOD to fulfill the plans you want.

6. We pray in the morning because our bodies are the temples of the Holy Spirit. Jesus said, “My temple is a house of prayer.” (Matthew 21:13). Prayer, worship, and temple are interconnected. When we pray in the morning, we communicate that our bodies are GOD’s temple. 

7. Jesus and Abraham prayed a lot. If there is one thing that Jesus used to do was pray a lot. The Bible says that Jesus would leave the crowd and the disciples to pray. The Bible calls Jesus the Pioneer and the perfecter of our Faith (Hebrews 12:2).

The Jewish culture recognizes three main prayer times. The Jews were to pray in the morning, in the afternoon, and midday. It was Abraham, the Father of Faith, who had the habit of praying in the morning. Therefore, just like Jesus and Abraham, when we pray in the morning, we emulate their Faith. 

8. Talking to GOD in the morning proves that we are the disciples of GOD. Jesus said that it is in these things that the world will know that we are his disciples. Christians talk to GOD through prayer, just as Jesus often spoke to GOD through prayer. 

9. Trust in the Love of GOD: When we identify GOD as a Father, we become more trusting of Him. Genesis sin separated us from GOD. It’s like human beings evolved into beings who are blind to GOD. It is like we are lost, following the path of life, not aware of where we are going.

Yet, through Christ, we are no longer going through life aimlessly. We live a life of purpose. When we talk to GOD in the morning, we show that we trust in Him to lead us to the life that He desires for us. For God has said, “I alone know the plans I have for you. Plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a future and a hope” (Jeremiah 29:11). 

Life is not a bed of roses. Even King David lost his family once. The Bible in 1 Samuel 30 tells us of a time when David’s family was kidnapped. The Israelites were so angry with their king that they wanted to stone him. Instead of being mad at God, the Bible says that King David strengthened himself in the LORD (1 Samuel 30:6). David’s story is a sign of enduring Faith and complete trust. When we endure and trust in GOD, then GOD restores that which we lost. This is particularly important in this COVID-19 era.  You need to pray every morning as a sign of complete trust in the LORD.

10. Faithfulness: When Jesus was dead, the women who followed him in his ministry went to the tomb to put spices on his body. When they reached the tomb, they found that the stone was rolled away. The body of Christ was not there (Matthew 28:1). The women were following the body of the LORD.

When we pray every morning, we follow the body of our LORD. Yes! Jesus is risen in the flesh and Spirit. Yet, to the eyes of those who doubt him, he appears dead. To the world, most people are not aware that Christ is at the right hand of GOD. So when we take up the practice of praying, we separate ourselves from those who think Christ is dead. We detach ourselves from those who feel that God is far from us. Just like these women, when you choose to go and, in a sense, look for Christ through prayer, you will realize he is not dead. Christ is risen.

Morning Prayers of the Day

I believe that we should pray every day. The bible supports this by saying, pray without ceasing (1 Thessalonians 5:17). If you struggle with morning prayers, you can ask the Holy Spirit to remind you to pray every morning. Also, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you how to pray. For men don’t know how they ought to pray (Luke 18:1). 

Praying in the morning is not a LAW. It is a sign that we love GOD so much that we talk to Him daily. This practice is not a routine. Instead, it is daily conversations with GOD. 

Here are three-morning prayers to encourage you:

Morning Prayer 1:

LORD, I confess that I am a sinner. I acknowledge that on my own, I can do nothing. Even that act of kindness requires the guidance of your Spirit. So this morning, I ask for your protection and beg for your wisdom. I also ask you to bless the work of my hands. Keep me from evil that it may not grieve me. Keep me as the apple of your eye, and hide me in the shadow of your wings (Psalms 17:8). In Jesus name, AMEN 

Morning Prayer 2

LORD, I bless your holy name. In the land of the living, I give you praise. Thank you for watching me through the night. Just as you were with me in the night, be with me in the day. For your rod and your staff, they comfort me (Psalms 23:4). May your favor be upon me as I go through this day. And may your wisdom never leave me. In Jesus name, Amen. 

Morning Prayer 3 

God, be with me today, for I trust in you. Everything that I desire. Whatever makes me anxious. All that I need. I leave in your hands. My blessings LORD, I get from you. In the shadow of your wings, I come for protection and forgiveness. For you are my portion and my cup, my hiding place forever. In Jesus name, Amen 

As I said, morning prayer is not a law. It is an act of love. These three prayers are just to encourage you to see the beauty of starting your morning in GOD.

Every one of us goes through personal battles. Therefore, I encourage you to look for that scripture that you like or inspires you. Incorporate that scripture in your morning prayer. You can do this each week using a different scripture. Not only will you feel strengthened and rejuvenated in Christ, but you will also feel more confident and assured as you go about your day. 

GOD bless you. 

How Do I Pursue the Dream without Killing the Soul?

Scripture 1: Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. (Joshua 1:8).

Scripture 2: For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? (Mark 8:36KJV)

Dreams are very powerful to us. From the moment we are born, as we grow up, dreams are either implanted upon us or we develop one. “What do you want to be when you grow up?” your mother asked. “I want to be a musician.” Some of our dreams become our purpose. We work hard to pursue them. However, some have pursued them at the cost of killing the soul. 

How do We Kill the Soul?

Anxiety and depression have become the most common mental illnesses in the world. Even among entrepreneurs, depression has become an epidemic. 

Although the phrase in Mark 8:36 has been associated with the act of losing your soul to the devil, the phrase also covers the aspect of losing your soul in pursuit of a dream. 

One of the dreams covered in the scripture is wealth. We live in a time of the American Dream. The pursuit of this dream is associated with wealth. As we say,”money is everything.” The capitalist system does give money a power that we cannot avoid. In as much as we pursue things such as status, fame, or accomplishment in a certain field, money by the end of the day is a powerful motivator. 

We live in a world where money is the key to a good education, a good and comfortable house for our families, or that good looking car. However, the dream for wealth can kill the soul. In 1 Timothy 6:10, the scriptures state:

 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.”

They have “erred” in the faith, and have “pierced themselves with many sorrows.” In the pursuit of money, we have ended up dealing with bad divorces, alienation from our children and loved ones, lack of time in the word of God, lack of time in helping others, e.t.c.Instead, we find ourselves using terms such as “time is money.” Most of our time constitutes the endless pursuit of knowledge, skills, and opportunities to make wealth. 

To some of us, wealth is not the only dream we pursue. We pursue leadership, we pursue success in a certain sport, or success in a certain art. We have people who pursue their passion in something more than the monetary success that it brings. This is a good thing. In most cases, the pursuit of passion does bring financial breakthrough. Still, there is more about our dreams that we need to understand. We need to understand that God also has His dream for us. 

The Case of Joseph

Genesis 37 introduces us to a young man aged 17 called Joseph.Joseph had a dream. In the dream, he was in the field with his brothers tying up sheaves of wheat. As his sheave stood up straight, the sheaves of his brothers formed a circle and bowed to Joseph’s sheaf of wheat (Genesis 37:5-7). This dream meant that Joseph would become a leader. However, his brothers did not take kindly to this dream. The brothers were so bothered with Joseph’s dream that they sold him as a slave. 

Most of us with dreams are in a state of slavery. We are on an opposite path to what we wanted. Maybe you wanted to be a fashion designer, but ended up being a single mother. Life happened and since then you have never been able to pick up the dream. However, God never aborts a dream.

When Joseph went to work for an Egyptian official called Potiphar, he worked so well that Potiphar placed him in charge of the slaves (Genesis 39). When he was accused falsely and put in prison, he was such an outstanding prisoner that he was put in charge of his inmates (Genesis 39:19-21). In every environment that Joseph found himself in, he used it to forge his nature as a leader. Above all else the bible talks of God’s favor on Joseph. You see Joseph did not abandon the God of his father. He cleaved on to God and sought to fear him. When you cleave to GOD, then you can pursue your dream without killing your soul. 

The GOD of Dreams

Joseph was a man with dreams. He not only had dreams but also interpreted the dreams of others (Genesis 41). The dreams were a gift from God. Maybe Joseph did not understand the path that God had put him in the pursuit of this dream. At one point he is a slave. At another instance he is in prison.

It is not our place to understand the path. This may be difficult for us. Still, we should trust in the giver of the dream. We can rely on God to guide us in a path that will help us forge a character. This character is not only great for our dreams, but also for the purpose of God in our lives. 

The Case of David-The King of Israel 

The bible does not tell us whether David ever dreamt of becoming king. Still, it is clear that God chooses him because of his heart. God told prophet Samuel in the book of 1Samuel 16:7 

Pay no attention to how tall and handsome he is. I have rejected him, because I do not judge as people judge. They look at the outward appearance, but I look at the heart.

God rejects the tall, handsome, arrogant King Saul in favour of David. David had a character that pleased God. First, he drew his courage from God. When he faced Goliath in the battle field, he tells Goliath in 1 Samuel 17:45: 

You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied” 

Second, David loved God. God testifies of David that “He is a man after my own heart,” (1 Samuel 13:14). As a result of this nature, David not only gets to rule as king and win battles, but he also becomes a descendant to Christ. What greater honour can there be! 

The beauty of involving God in the dream is that He will not only help you achieve it, but also He adds more to the dream. Solomon was king.Yet, his desire was wisdom. God not only gives him wisdom, but also great wealth (1 Kings 3:5-7). Joseph dreamt of leadership. Not only did he lead, but God gave him two boys (they were called Manasseh and Ephraim) and made him a liberator for the children of Israel. You see, the secret to pursuing the dream without killing the soul is to trust in God. 

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in a dream, and God said, “Ask for whatever you want me to give you.”

Solomon answered, “You have shown great kindness to your servant, my father David, because he was faithful to you and righteous and upright in heart. You have continued this great kindness to him and have given him a son to sit on his throne this very day.

 “Now, Lord my God, you have made your servant king in place of my father David. But I am only a little child and do not know how to carry out my duties.

Your servant is here among the people you have chosen, a great people, too numerous to count or number. So give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong. For who is able to govern this great people of yours?” (1 Kings 3:5-9)

How Do I Pursue the Dream?

Here are seven key steps to consider as you try to figure out a purpose for your life or that dream that will give you purpose. It does not matter what age you are. Whether you are 17, 10, 3 years old or 93 years old. Moses was eighty years old when God called him (Exodus 7:7), Samuel was 3 years old (1 Samuel 3), and Abraham was 75 years (Genesis 12:4). God can give you a dream. Abraham was 100 years old when God answered his dream for a son (Genesis 17:1-22). Age means nothing to the “Ancient of Days (this is God’s name in Daniel 7:9-10)” So here are the 7 steps you need to consider. 

One thing God has spoken, two things I have heard: “Power belongs to you, God, Psalm 62:11

Step 1: Is your Dream God’s Dream? 

Is your dream in line with God’s dream or is it contrary to his dream for your life. We live in a society where some people have “twisted” dreams. A man would say, “I want to sleep with a hundred women before I die.” We understand that God is Holy. This is an unholy dream. Your dream may be a good dream. Maybe, you want to be a doctor so that you may heal many. Being a doctor has always been your dream. But now, you are a high school dropout and a single parent. Remember that God is “All-Powerful.” Jesus healed many by the power of the Holy Spirit. If this dream is still in God’s mind and in your heart, you can still become a healer. 

Pray to God to confirm your dream. Also, commit your dream into His hand so that He will protect you and guide you in your path. If you feel that it is too late to pursue that dream then be honest about this concern. Abraham in humility told God, “Oh! If Ishmael would be in your eyes,” (Genesis 17:18 King James version). Abraham was 99 years old! But God is still “fixated” on the dream of giving him a descendant. Abraham hints at God to consider Ishmael. Abraham had already given up on the dream. But to an All-Powerful God, you can never really be too sure that it is too late. 

Abraham fell facedown. Then he laughed and said to himself, “Can a child be born to a man who is a hundred years old? Can Sarah give birth at the age of ninety?” And Abraham said to GOD, “O that Ishmael might live under your blessing!” But God replied, “Your wife Sarah will indeed bear you a son, and you are to name him Isaac.” (Genesis 17:17-19)

“When we understand that God is All-Powerful, we would not lose our souls in an endless pursuit. We would trust in His steadfast love for us. We would focus on what truly matters to Him, obedience to His word, as we trust in Him to guide our Path.” 

Step 2: Prayer. Pray over your dreams. Ask God to give you the strength, wisdom, resources, and support that you need to achieve this dream. “However, not my will but your will be done O LORD (Mark 14:36). 

Step 3: Trust in God. “For the LORD is not pleased when sinners perish. He would rather see them repent and live (Ezekiel 33:11).” Also, the bible states, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, never rely on what you think you know. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight,” (Proverbs 3:5-6). For you to avoid the depression, anxiety and stress that comes in the pursuit of a dream, you need to learn to be more trusting in God. David said this in the bible, “I am not concerned with matters too great for me. I have learnt to still and quieten my soul, as a child in its mother’s arms,” (Psalms 131:2). Be still in the hands of God. Trust in Him to help you along the journey to fulfilling your dream. 

Step 4: Focus on What Matters. “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you,” (Matthew 6:33). The bible says that God is jealous after the soul. This is because the soul never dies. God wills that the soul that He created in His image should find rest in Him after we die. However, some of us have corrupted ourselves in the world. We have followed paths that have distorted our souls to the point that the Creator cannot recognize it. It is a soul lost in sin. This is why the scriptures insist that we focus on “godliness.” Focus on becoming what Christ would want you to be in accordance to the scriptures. That way, you not only save your soul but also get to see your dreams fulfilled. 

“for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives, but to save….. Luke 9:56”

Step 5: Pursue Knowledge and Insight We cannot just sit and wait for the god-fairy to wave a magic wand, we have to pursue knowledge. We have to work smart. The bible says in Daniel 1:7 “To these four young men God gave knowledge and understanding of all kinds of literature and learning. And Daniel could understand visions and dreams of all kinds.” God gave Daniel and his friends the opportunity to not only gain the knowledge that they needed as they served the king, but also understanding. Remember, He is the God of Noah. He is the God who gave Noah the knowledge to build the ark. 

Step 6: Courage and Faith The first command that Joshua the son of Nun gets in the book of Joshua is to be of “good courage.” It is not just “be of courage.” Sometimes, we confuse courage for arrogance. We become self-confident in our abilities, knowledge or character to succeed on our own. Do not allow yourself to be a “being of pride or arrogance.” Learn from David as he faces Goliath. He did not say,”I can do this!” instead he said, “In the name of the LORD.’ The Bible calls us to be different from the rest. This is what James meant when he said, “Do not just say, tomorrow I will do this. Do not boast of tomorrow. Say, tomorrow God willing” (James 4:13-15). Christianity is acknowledging that “good courage” is a courage that recognizes the LORD of Strength. It is by His might and favor that we conquer. To this good courage, add your faith in Christ. There is power in His name.

Isaiah 40:28-31

Step 7: There’s more 

As your pursue your dreams on earth, remember that you will not be on earth forever. By the end of the day, life ends. Jesus came so that we can have the hope of eternity. Therefore, as you thank God for your accomplishments and as you enjoy the success that you dreamt of, remember that the greatest success is being a part of the kingdom of God. Be faithful in your walk in the christian faith. Prepare yourself for the second coming of the LORD. We do this by:

  1. Studying His word 
  2. Being led by the Holy Spirit 
  3. Pray continually 
  4. Be a light to others

When Joseph (the 17 year old with dreams) was old and about to die, he told the Israelites about another dream. Joseph knew that one day God would liberate the children of Israel from Egypt. As a result, he left them with instructions to carry his body on the day that God would take them out of Egypt to Canaan (Joshua 24:32/Exodus 13:19)

Abraham also had a dream. Although God gave him the promised son, Isaac. Although he had lived all his life enjoying the protection and blessings of God, the bible says that he died in a tent in the land that God promised to give his descendants (Hebrews 11:10). Abraham died looking forward to a greater dream. The hope of a heavenly jerusalem. 

Always remember that God’s ultimate dream is to save your soul. His greatest dream is to guide you unto eternity. Keep that in mind as you plan your life and as you pursue your dreams. 

Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea.” Revelation 21:1

Dear GOD, Death is Trending Again

When the year started I witnessed an accident. I saw a young man riding on his motorcycle crash into a car. I was a bit far from the scene, but I saw his body thrust up and hit the road. He died on 1st January 2020 at about noon. 

Call me superstitious, but that accident was a bad sign. People are always happy when the year starts. We still hope for the best. Yet, I struggled to keep up my cheerful Spirit. Several months after the incident, the COVID-19 pandemic gripped the world. I witnessed one death. But now, I was witnessing multiple deaths. I felt depressed, and I whispered a prayer to GOD. 

I said, “Dear GOD, Death is trending again.”  

The Genesis of Death

Christianity teaches that the genesis of death is sin. The first man and woman, called Adam and Eve, disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden. This disobedience led to GOD creating death. GOD said, “You shall have to work for your food, until the day you return to the ground, for out of the ground you were taken. You are dust, and to dust, you shall return” (Genesis 3:19). In the same book, GOD shortened the lives of human beings because of sin. The generation of Noah was a sinful generation. The Bible says that they were so corrupt that it grieved GOD. So GOD said, “They shall live 120 years and no longer” (Genesis 6:3). So GOD not only allowed death but also limited our life span. 

The book of Ecclesiastes seeks to capture the disillusionment created by birth and death. The Philosopher who wrote that book complained that life is repetitive. The sun rises and sets, the wind blows, all streams run to the sea, same old same old. The Philosopher said, “All things are full of weariness; a man cannot utter it.” So the Philosopher took on a project. In this project, he tried to enjoy himself as much as he could. Still, he got frustrated. The Philosopher went ahead and observed the lives of others. Yet, even those with wealth were not satisfied. By the end of the day, we die and leave everything here on Earth. All that we labored for, we leave behind. 

Ecclesiastes describes death as the great equalizer. The Philosopher said, “The fate of the fool is also the fate of the wise. So what have I gained from being wise? Even my wisdom is vanity, for there is no lasting remembrance for the wise, just as the fool. Alas, the wise man dies just like the fool” (Ecclesiastes 2:16). 

The Philosopher’s speech is also repeated in Psalms 49:10. This verse states, “For it is clear that wise men die, and the foolish and the senseless both perish and leave their wealth to others.” 

What can we conclude from these scriptures? What can we conclude from the Genesis of death and GOD shortening our lives? 

We can conclude this: GOD values character. GOD values good deeds. GOD values a good spirit more than the material accomplishments that we work so hard to get. GOD wants us to prioritize the spiritual and to value it more than we value the material. 

The Philosopher hints at this conclusion. He says, “God makes everything beautiful in its time. He has also set eternity in their hearts, yet so that man can’t find out the work that God has done from the beginning even to the end. (Ecclesiastes 3:11). 

GOD put the desire for eternity in our hearts. Yet, people can’t figure it out. Human societies have made so many accomplishments. People have stepped on the moon. There are all these powerful telescopes that have revealed so much to us. Also, we have made advancements in medicine. Yet, we haven’t figured out eternal life. 

JESUS is the Second Adam

Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned—[Romans 5:12 English Standard Version]. 

Human beings all over the world are connected. In Genesis, the first man is called Adam. In the Swahili language, a man is called “mwana-adam-u,” which translates as “son of Adam.” The Kiswahili language developed as a result of the interaction between Arabs and the Natives living in East Africa. This interaction also led to the term “bin-adam-u,” which also translates as “son of Adam.” In Arab, “bin” means “son of. 

We all have a common ancestry. Yet, the Bible says that just as sin entered the world through one man (Adam), eternal life and salvation came to the world through another man (Jesus Christ). 

Jesus Christ is called the “Second Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45). Yet Jesus was not “made from dust” like our ancestor Adam. Jesus came from heaven. It was God’s will that Jesus should be formed through the manifestation of the Holy Spirit in Mary. You see, if Jesus was made the same way all babies are made, then he would have had the stain of sin that the first Adam had. 

We say, “The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” If Jesus was made as a result of the union between man and woman, then He would have been a corrupted sacrifice, for Jesus was the sacrifice that took away the sin of the world (Hebrews 9:25). 

GOD is ALL POWERFUL. He made human beings and life itself. So, i don’t find it difficult to understand how Jesus formed in the womb of a virgin. 

I don’t have time to explain why Jesus had to come. But, I will summarize it in four points:

  1. Jesus is GOD’s gift to us/to the world (John 4:10) 
  2. Jesus conquered death and sin for us (1 Corinthians 15:55-57). 
  3. Jesus is a sign that GOD loves us/GOD loves His creation. 
  4. Jesus is a sign that we can overcome sin, and in doing so, conquer death. 

Just as the first Adam is a descendant of many, the second Adam has many descendants. The Bible calls Jesus the “first of the righteous generation” (Psalms 112:2/Psalms 14:5). Jesus is the Adam of all the righteous people, starting from Abel in Genesis to the last righteous human being who will be left standing towards the end of human time. 

Jesus resurrected from death. He resurrected both body and Spirit. In short, he resurrected as a full human being. After resurrecting, he ascended at the right hand of GOD. What happened to the second Adam (Jesus) is what GOD promises those who die believing in Him. GOD promises us resurrection (a new body) and eternal life with Him. 

©dodoardo

Coping with Death

Different cultures had different ways of coping with death. To the Muslim, the best way to escape the pain is to bury the body as fast as possible. In other cultures, the family of the dead would hold wakes where they would commemorate the life of the dead. 

A tribe in the Philippines blindfolds their dead. They dress the deceased person in the best clothes and put them on a chair outside their house. 

In my culture, we coped with death by adopting the belief that “life is a cycle, and it must move on.” What I mean is that when we buried grandparents, we would name children after the loved ones that we had lost. My name, for instance, is the name of my father’s mother. The firstborn and the second born are named after the parents of the husband. The children who come after them were named after the parents of the mother. This culture helped us move on. 

Unfortunately, we are in the era of globalization (everything’s the same). The Western way of burying scars the heart. We dress in black, buy a gloomy caskets and put the body in the ground. The trauma that comes from “lowering the casket and pouring the soil on the casket.” 

The process of burial imprints the reality that the loved one is truly gone. 

To make matters worse, we adopted the liberal practice of naming. People no longer name their children after their dead relatives. We give them fancy names like “Arya, Precious, or Dan,” This culture erosion made coping worse.

But whatever way you choose to cope, the reality is, they are gone.

GOD’s View of Death

GOD views death the same way we view birth. This means that death is the beginning of another journey in human life. It is a journey of the Spirit. 

For the physical comes first, then the spiritual (1 Corinthians 15:46). 

Jesus called death, “sleeping.” The first time he said to mourners that the dead person was sleeping, the mourners laughed at him. After they were done laughing, Jesus looked at the dead girl and said, “Talitha Koum,” which means “daughter, get up” (Mark 5:41). 

In another story, Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, falls sick. The sisters of Lazarus sent a message to Jesus, telling him, “The one whom you love is unwell” (John 11:3). On hearing this, Jesus delays at the place where he was. Lazarus ended up dying from his illness. But Jesus, being the son of GOD, knew that Lazarus was dead. So Jesus told his disciples, “Lazarus sleeps.” 

“Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I go to wake him out of sleep (John 11:11). 

Four days after the death of Lazarus, Jesus comes. Lazarus’ sister rushed to Jesus and told him, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died” (John 11:21). Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” But Lazarus’ sister-Mary thought Jesus meant the resurrection that will happen on the last day. Jesus clarified this to her by saying, “I am the resurrection and the life, he who believes in me, though he dies, yet shall he live, and whoever lives and believes in me shall not die” (John 11:25-26). 

Do you believe this? 

The Bible describes burying as planting. It says this:

Our bodies are buried in brokenness, but they will be raised in glory. It is sown in weakness, but it is raised in power. It is sown a physical body; it is raised a spiritual body. If there is a physical body, then there is a spiritual body (1 Corinthians 15:43). 

My Comfort:-

I said to GOD, “You speak life, yet there is death outside. You speak hope where I see darkness.”

And GOD said, “It is easier for a human to shut the doors of a casket. Yet, the Messiah will come, and all people will wake from their sleep. But until then, let them sleep for now.”

It comforts me that death is not the end. When we resurrect, we resurrect to celebrate the second coming of Christ. We resurrect and join the gathering of the spirits of good people made perfect (Hebr 12:23). 

I will stand next to my beloved when they wake up from their sleep. They will ask me, ‘How long was I gone?’ And I will answer them, ‘It’s been fifty years without you.’ Then they will tell me, ‘I barely noticed, I was in a deep dream. How did you guys go on without me?’ ‘It was hard, but a day at a time, we managed it.’ 

Then I will tell my beloved, let us go to Zion-the city of GOD. I shall hold them by the hand, and we shall walk towards the light of the Son of GOD. We shall be with GOD forever. 

This comforts me. I hope it comforts you too. 

There was a time when there was no death. There was a time when there was no human being on Earth. Therefore, you can be sure a time will come when the dead will rise to life.

Thereby death is swallowed up in victory (the resurrection of Jesus Christ). Oh death, where is your victory? oh death. where is your sting? The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God who gives us victory through our LORD Jesus Christ (1 Corinthians 15:55).

Fear Not; I am with You

Scripture: Therefore we shall not fear though the earth should change, though the mountains shake at the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble with its tumult, there is a river whose streams make glad the city of GOD, the Holy Habitation of the Most High Psalms 46:2-4

Fear is a natural reaction of man. Psychologists say that fear is the outcome of human beings self-preservation response. Christians are not immune to fear. We get sick, we lose loved ones, we lose jobs or investments. We are all susceptible to these challenges whether we like it or not. These are personal fears. Yet, there is another fear that grips the mind of a human being. This is the fear of tomorrow.

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In the beginning, GOD gave human beings dominion over the Earth. He put us in charge with the hope that we would become co-creators. But, our actions appear to lean more on co-destroying. We have completely transformed Earth’s design. The planet’s biodiversity and scenic beauty is dying. Wherever we look, we see the reality of human power. We see weapons of mass destruction, guns and other technological innovations. We hear of more technological advancements. Rather than exalt GOD for the far we have come, we exalt ourselves.

At the night before Jesus was crucified, He told the soldiers who came with the high priests,

But this is your hour—when darkness reigns Luke 22:53

This scripture is true when you look at it from another dimension. We live in a time of human arrogance (Isaiah 2:17-18). Those who struggle with the faith risk marveling at human power and intelligence; yet forgetting the supremacy of GOD over all things.

We live in a time when most of us are accultured to unbelief. It is odd for one to say, ‘trust in GOD.’ To make matters worse, we see all these skyscrapers and technology instead of forests, mountains, valleys, or the vastness of the sea. As such we see the power of human, and forget the glory of God. This acculturation gets challenged when we face personal struggles and pressures. For example, when you get the doctors report that you have Cancer, or some terminal disease. Suffering reminds us of our limitations. Certain challenges humble us for they remind us that human is not all-powerful.

Yet, this is the best time to seek the truth about GOD through scripture with the guidance of the Holy Spirit. This is the time to ‘test the spirits of the one preaching (1 John 4:1-6). It is also a time to remember, in fear, that judgement begins in the house of GOD (a.k.a the church) (1 Peter 4:17).

Your Rod and Your Staff, they Comfort me (Psalms 23:4)

Jesus is the Good Shepherd

The bible states that faith is to be sure of the things we hope for, to be certain of things we cannot see (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:9). It is not something we tell ourselves every morning like a mantra. Faith is a spiritual gift that is birthed within our hearts. When we surrender our lives to GOD, we ask Him for His spirit to strengthen us. The Holy Spirit is an important ally in such a time. It is the Holy Spirit that triggers faith in us. The genesis of this faith is when we make the personal decision to believe in Jesus.

I need to repeat that: Faith is a gift of the Holy Spirit. The flesh succumbs to fear. We fear tomorrow and we worry about the world. The Bible in the book of Isaiah prophesied this! Isaiah 7:9 says:

If your faith is not enduring! You will not endure!

An enduring faith is the works of God’s spirit in your heart.

I love what Psalms 23:4 says. Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, your rod and your staff they comfort me. This statement reveals the strength of the faith of the writer. At times we feel as if we are walking in the valley of the shadow of death. But, for your heart to say, ‘but your rod and your staff they comfort me,’ that would take Holy Spirit faith.

Jesus has more power now than when He was on Earth. We all know what He did on earth. Demons saw him and went away yelling that He is the Son of GOD (Luke 4:41). It seems the only ones who do not understand the truth about Jesus are human beings. The devil uses our lack of knowledge to trick us. He has done this from the very beginning.

In Genesis, the serpent deceives the woman to eat of the tree of good and evil. Why didn’t he convince her to eat of the tree of life? (Genesis 2:17). Our lack of spiritual knowledge has always and continues to be the cause of our defeat. When Jesus was on earth, some villages saw his humanness and doubted his authority. This is a man who drove out demons and raised the dead. Yet, some said, ‘Are you not the son of Joseph and Mary?” (Matthew 13:55). These towns were unable to see the power of Christ. However, the truth is this:

And Jesus said to them, All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me (Matt 28:18)

There is more on our side than there is against us. There is GOD and there is Christ. When Gehazi, Elisha’s servant, panicked because the Syrian army was heading towards them, Elisha prayed to GOD to open his servant’s eyes that he may see. What did Gehazi see? He saw “the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:17-20). What of now when all authority belongs to Christ, the King of Kings? How ironic is it that at the time when Jesus is enthroned we lose our faith to the pressures of life.

We have Jesus enthroned. And the Holy Spirit is the spirit of Christ (Romans 8:9/Acts 16:6). When we become Christians, we work with the Holy Spirit to become better people. The evidence of this transformation is in the fruits that we bear. Fruits such as love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, patience, humility, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23). I love what the scriptures say. The word says that there is no law against such things as these (Galatians 5:23). True Christians build bridges, not burn them. True Christians reflect the nature of Christ as they have the spirit of Christ within them. If you struggle with Christianity then it is about time you repented and asked the Holy Spirit for help.

GOD said to Jesus, “sit here at my right, until I put the nations as a footstool under your feet” (Psalms 110:1). GOD knows about the changes, rebelliousness, and irreligiousness affecting the world today. He knows the beginning and the end. But, to us, it may look like religion is at its end. If you feel that way, then this blog is for you. Look to Christ and see the glory in Revelation 1. Jesus said, “Do not let your hearts be troubled, I have overcome the world” (John 14:1).

When we strengthen our faith to see this victory, then we become a people who can better impact the world. We become a people who are not afraid to speak out against oppression, inequality, injustice, and wars. In our personal lives and families, we become encouragers. Prayer warriors!

To some, it might look like GOD is missing. If you feel this way, then you should follow what Mary Magdalene and the women who were involved in the ministry did after the crucifixion (John 20:13-15). These women sought Jesus even after his death. When they went to cover his body with spices, they encountered an angel who told them that he is alive. You think Christ is dead? Then strive to obey the teachings in the New Testament, the teachings of the Scripture as the spirit of GOD leads you. Do not be amazed when you discover that He is risen! By following the body of the LORD, you might find that He has always been there with you even before you came to know him.

Have faith!

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Faith is walking with Jesus daily. It is choosing to honor him by being thankful and doing what is right. Faith is in Christ. This is not a new doctrine. It is the same doctrine that has been preached from old by the prophets and the disciples. We have lost ourselves to the marvel and the pleasures of the modern world. We may have forgotten the role of spirituality in the life of a human being. Yet, if you wish to discover the truth about Jesus, then the path is simple. He is a prayer away. One does not need to say much. Like the Blind Bartimaeus, it is a matter of saying, “I want to see again” (Mark 10:51).

Fear not, He is still with us.