Browsing Category

Motivation

Inspiration Motivation

Valley Of Berakah!

Happy New Month!

Just the other day we were excitedly crossing over to 2024 and today we are on the second day of the second month. Time indeed flies. I know most of us, if not all ,have goals/resolutions for the year and my prayer is that you are striving to grow in what I believe are the core spheres of  life namely spiritual, mental development, assignment, financial, relationships and health.

One of my spiritual goals this year is to complete a 1-year bible plan on 01/01/2025 and by God’s grace this is an area I don’t struggle with. I love reading my bible and despite having read it cover to cover severally, it’s always exciting to embark on this journey again simply because every time I open the word of God, He gifts me a fresh revelation.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. “ Hebrews 4:12

Rick Warren rightly said: “God’s Word generates life, creates faith, produces change, frightens the devil, causes miracles, heals hurts, builds character, transforms circumstances, imparts joy, overcomes adversity, defeats temptation, infuses hope, releases power, cleanses our minds, brings things into being and guarantees our future forever.” God’s word is truly alive, active and far more powerful than any of us can ever imagine.

I have been born again since 26th May 2016 and I can confidently say that salvation is a beautiful, exhilarating and life changing journey but truth be told it’s not always glitz and glam. It has its hills and valleys moment. Moments you’re on the mountain top celebrating victories and testimonies and answered prayers: the highlights of your walk of faith. Then the other moments when you’re knee deep in the valleys, drowning in fear, battling unbelief and fighting raging wars within your spirit and your environment.

I’ve had my fair share of highs and lows: highs that have been incredibly-mind blowing and literally the favour of God shining through and lows that have been down right heart-breaking. But in these moments, God has greatly encouraged me, assuring me that He knows and sees the end from the beginning so He knows how the story started, how it will end and everything in between. Nothing catches Him by surprise. In all these moments, He remains God and I am assured that He works ALL things together for good to them that love Him and are called according to His purpose.

Today I’ll share one of my favorite valley story in the bible that always encourages me.

2nd Chronicles, Chapter 20.

Looming Battle:

The chapter opens up in verse 1 with a heavy profound statement “After this, the Moabites and Ammonites came to wage war against Jehoshaphat.

Background story: in chapter 19, Jehoshaphat carried out an intense revival campaign throughout the land urging the people to turn back to God. He then went ahead and appointed God fearing judges and instructed them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the Lord, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the Lord be on you. Judge carefully, for with the Lord our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery. “He then proceeded to appoint Levites, priests and heads of Israelite families to administer the law of the Lord and to settle disputes. He gave them these orders: “You must serve faithfully and wholeheartedly in the fear of the Lord. Jehoshaphat was on fire and zeal for God and his passion was very impactful as a leader. You would think that after such a fiery season, there would be great reward but the very next chapter we are told his enemies united to wage war against him

Lesson: Serving God diligently and faithfully doesn’t always insulate you against battles. God has ordained a special set of circumstances, some are positive and some are not, but He knows ultimately it is for our advantage. In between where you are and the next level you desire are battles and because God knows we will never initiate them on our own accord (lol), He will arrange them for us. Our job is to keep a steadfast gaze on Him and not be overwhelmed by the surrounding circumstances.

Reaction to Battle:

When Jehoshaphat was informed of the approaching enemies, he was alarmed (who wouldn’t) but his next approach is what distinguished him as a servant of God. “3 He resolved to inquire of the Lord, and he proclaimed a fast for all Judah. 4 The people of Judah came together to seek help from the Lord; indeed, they came from every town in Judah to seek him.”

He didn’t let his alarm get the best of him, he knew where to immediately turn to, he knew where his help came from, he knew he never walked alone, he knew God is his refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. I wish I could confidently say that his approach is always my 1st response but truth be told, I have my many moments where I let circumstances and emotions get the best of me. And in those moments I always end up anxious to the core, worried and anxious until the Holy Spirit has to step in and remind me who I am and who I belong to. He is teaching me and am learning to take captive all those thoughts and make them obedient to Christ.

Lesson: Make God your first and only priority whom you turn to and depend on for everything and in all situations and circumstances, good or bad. You have not been called to do life alone. You can only do all things through Christ who strengthens you and ultimately it is not by your strength or might but by His Spirit.

Jehoshaphat cried out to God:

“6 Lord, the God of our ancestors, are you not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. 7 Our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend? 8 They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, 9 ‘If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.’10 “But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. 11 See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us as an inheritance. 12 Our God, will you not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

He didn’t pray his fear or his feelings based on the prevailing circumstance (like we are tempted to do most times). He didn’t go to God lamenting how he had been faithfully serving God and now he was under attack. He didn’t make mindless prayers in the face of great adversity. He confidently prayed the word of God, He acknowledged God’s power and sovereignty over all the earth. He remembered the great deeds and victory God had granted them in the past with their forefathers. He reminded God the promise He had given them when Solomon built the great temple of God: that when they stood in His presence before His temple that bears His Name and cried out to Him in distress, He would hear them and save them. Then he surrendered his enemies into God’s hand and expressed his utter dependence on God alone. This was such a beautiful and powerful prayer.

Lesson: May the Lord teach us to love and delight in His word. May He teach us to pray His word at all times. God will never go against His word. May His word be our anchor over our thoughts, feelings, deeds and circumstances.

“God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change his mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfil?” Numbers 23:19

“All people are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord endures forever” 1st Peter 1:25

“So is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”. Isaiah 55:11

Response to Battle: God

Because our God is a faithful God, He responded to Jehoshaphat:

Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. 16 Tomorrow march down against them. They will be climbing up by the Pass of Ziz, and you will find them at the end of the gorge in the Desert of Jeruel. 17 You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you, Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the Lord will be with you.’”

I can only imagine the relief he must have felt when he heard the word of God. Many are the times our faint hearts probably expect that God will totally annihilate the enemies just like that and we won’t have to do a thing or break a sweat. And He totally can do this but He won’t all the times because in our relationship with God, we are both required to act. He faithfully does His part and waits on us to obediently do our part.

God assured Jehoshaphat that the enemies would still come and he would still need to face them but the battle belonged to God.

Lesson: In the midst of storms of life, don’t wear yourself out with worry and anxiety and the little strength you have of your own. Turn to God and let Him fight for you.

Response to Battle: You and I

The immediate response of Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah was they fell on their knees, face to the ground and worshipped God then the priests stood up and praised God with a loud voice. ’20 early in the morning they left for the Desert of Tekoa. As they set out, Jehoshaphat stood and said, “Listen to me, Judah and people of Jerusalem! Have faith in the Lord your God and you will be upheld; have faith in his prophets and you will be successful.” 21 After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of His[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for His love endures forever.”

And we are told that as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated. The Ammonites and Moabites rose up against the men from Mount Seir to destroy and annihilate them. After they finished slaughtering the men from Seir, they helped to destroy one another. Would you imagine that? When the men of Judah came to the place that overlooks the desert and looked toward the vast army, they saw only dead bodies lying on the ground; no one had escaped.

This the part that greatly excites my spirit and makes me break out in joy. When God fights for you! Glory to Jesus! They didn’t have to lift a finger, all they lifted were their hearts to look up to God, their voices to give praise and worship God and their feet to move in obedience and march down against the enemies. Period! The rest was left to God and boy didn’t He put up a mighty show for the glory and honor of His name!

And the cherry on the ice cake: on top of the seamless victory, Jehoshaphat and his men went to carry off their plunder, and they found among them a great amount of equipment and clothing and also articles of value—more than they could take away. There was so much plunder that it took three days to collect it. Look at God!

Lesson: As soon as they began to praise, God acted and set ambushes: your victory heavily relies on your obedience, if they hadn’t stepped out in faith, I shudder to imagine the outcome. What a faithful and awesome God we serve who not only meets our immediate needs but also lovingly looks out for our wants and lavishes upon us His overwhelming blessings, more than we could ask or imagine. What won’t God with a broken and surrendered heart? May we learn to truly let go and let God, to be still and know He is God and to surrender our hearts, minds, bodies and everything concerning us to Him. There is nothing too big or too small that He won’t fight for you.

After Victory:

On the fourth day they assembled in the Valley of Berakah, where they praised the Lord. This is why it is called the Valley of Berakah [Berakah means praise.] to this day. Then, led by Jehoshaphat, all the men of Judah and Jerusalem returned joyfully to Jerusalem, for the Lord had given them cause to rejoice over their enemies. They entered Jerusalem and went to the temple of the Lord with harps and lyres and trumpets.

Lesson: Don’t be so overexcited at the victories, the blessings, the miracles that you forget to give thanks to God who enabled all things to work in your favor. Never be so caught up in seeking God only for what He can give you but always for the intimacy of His presence and the sweet fellowship of a relationship with Him.

Then we are told at the end that the fear of God came on all the surrounding kingdoms when they heard how the Lord had fought against the enemies of Israel. And the kingdom of Jehoshaphat was at peace, for his God had given him rest on every side.

Lesson: When God wins a battle for you, you don’t have to fight that one ever again, it’s marked as ‘done and dusted’ lol. Don’t strive for the peace that the world gives, which always comes at a costly price of compromise but let God give you His peace.

I’ve read this chapter countless times but it still always gets me excited all over again like a little girl and as I type this am shaking in joy and can’t stop praying, praising and above grateful that am blessed to call this God my God!!Most times we hear that valley seasons are full of pain and anguish but here is a testimony that when you trust God in your valleys, you can still smile and come out praising Him in victory.

In this life you have so many adversaries and yet you are oh so little BUT you have a BIG GOD and that in itself balances the equation. Won’t you let God fight for you?

*****

I’d like to challenge you this year: pick up your bible, let’s read and grow together. There are countless bible plans that will help structure your reading and one of my fave resource that I have come to love is https://www.youversion.com/.

See you on the other side of growth!

 

Inspiration Motivation Second Chances

EBENEZER!

30th June 2023, the last day of the sixth month of 2023! To God be the glory and the honour for this far He has brought us, carried us and sustained us. Where would we be were it not for His mercies and grace? If the LORD had not been on our side— let Israel say— if the LORD had not been on our side when people attacked us, they would have swallowed us alive when their anger flared against us; the flood would have engulfed us, the torrent would have swept over us, the raging waters would have swept us away. Praise be to the LORD, who has not let us be torn by their teeth. We have escaped like a bird from the fowler’s snare; the snare has been broken, and we have escaped. Our help is in the name of the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. Psalms 124:1-8.

As I write this, my heart is overflowing with immense gratitude because God has been faithful and there are so many miracles: little, big (and everything in between) that we can all count and attest that God has been truly faithful. For starters being alive is a big testimony. Every day I watch the news there is always a grisly story of an accident or incident claiming the lives of people. But we are here and we are alive. Not because of anything special we have done or any claim of our holiness or righteousness, it’s by just by His grace and mercy. There are so many who lost their lives battling illness and serious medical conditions, but we are here and we are alive. There are so many who were involved in road accidents and lost their loved ones, yet we are here and we are alive, never been in an accident/survived one/ saved from one. Believe me, there are so many battles that God fights for us behind the scenes without our knowledge.

So can we just take a minute to reflect on the goodness of God and say Thank you Jesus!

From the rising of the sun to the setting of the same, the name of the LORD is to be praised. Psalm 113

At the onset of 2023, I was elated and it was not your usual New Year excitement, nope, it was more than that. It was more profound, there was a deeper spiritual meaning to my excitement. Back in 2022, a bigger part of the last quarter of the year from September I started feeling restless, like there was more I could/should have been doing with my life but I wasn’t. I started looking back at my life and looking for big milestones that in my mind I thought I should have achieved by then but there were nowhere in my list of accomplishments. I will be honest to admit that this is not a beautiful space to be mentally, spiritually, emotionally or even socially. I started demeaning the journey of where I had come from and where I was at that point because I was not seeing anything good about the process.

I started feeling that some blessings had taken too long to come to fruition. I started basing my value and worth on the things I had hoped to accomplish by a certain age and because I wasn’t seeing them, I got into a space of anxiety and hopelessness paired with despair. I started gradually pulling away from the things of God, things that I loved, blogging, journaling, devotions…and even when I did those things, it was more of lamentations, lol. I was carrying this heavy weighted cloud of gloom and sadness with me, feeling like a total failure and disappointment to God and to myself. Looking back at the entries in my journal then and weeeeeh!! I was spiraling into a dark place. Below is an excerpt from 23/11/22:

Lord, I am struggling. I feel am stuck, stagnated. I should be doing so much but am so little. Am not disciplined, not dreaming, not exploring my potential, not pushing myself. Am settling for less, for comfort. Like I know what I should be doing but I don’t and I sit and envy people who are doing their best. What’s wrong with me? Why am I comfortable with little? Shock me. I need an awakening, a revival. I know you have grand plans for me. How do I move from here to there? I have dreams, Rhema word, passions and desires but my life isn’t reflecting it. Why? Am I in the process? Am I keeping you waiting? What do I need to do? Where do I need to be? Who do I need to be?  I don’t like this feeling. I need a difference. Am not fasting, not praying, not doing my devotions. journaling, blogging or serving. I am incompetent. I am limited, grossly.

Another excerpt from 6/12/22:

I look at the gap between 2020 and 2022 and clearly I have stagnated. I look at who I was in 2018/2019 and who I am now and there is a total difference. I stopped serving, praying fervently, fasting, devotions, writing my goals, blogging, dreaming, chasing goals. I just lived, small and settled, content, did not stretch. I survived. I don’t like this lazy uninspired version of me. Of all the great potential God has placed in me, I shouldn’t be content in been small, little, insignificant. I need to awake the giant in me. What happened? I need fresh fire, revival, anointing

When it rains, it pours and that’s exactly how I was feeling and struggling with, alone in a storm.  I knew who I am in Christ, where I am from, with God being my source. I knew why am here, what I can do and where I am going. But I just couldn’t figure out how to get unstuck from where I was. People say showing weakness is a sign of strength, but I think it’s not weakness, it’s vulnerability and to admit to the fact that you are vulnerable is a form of courage that challenges you to step up to deal with that problem. It isn’t a façade that I am invulnerable, no one is invulnerable. Am glad that Jesus loves taking messes and transforming them into masterpiece and that He never says ‘’this is the last time I am putting you back together”.

All through September to November 2022, I was wallowing in and out of that sad state but one thing was constant, I kept crying out to God asking Him to awaken me, revive me, touch me once more, and say another word that would fire me back to momentum. Let me tell you guys, God is super faithful. He sees all our cries, hears all our prayers and answers according to His will for us in the Kingdom. Mid November my sister invited me to join this weekly online fellowship she had been attending for a while since October and it was where God was directing her to settle as a home church. For a while I was reluctant but eventually I warmed up to the idea and attended one or two services before God connected me to the man of God who has obtained the grace from God. Our very first interaction, He made a declaration over my life:  that there was a space that I wanted to step into and I have been hoping that the Lord will quicken me to it but it seems long overdue. That the Lord is opening that door and I would walk in that space pretty soon and much would begin to shift through this new space,  a dimension of change and the Lord is unlocking my purpose and especially in my gifting’s and potential.

To say I was elated is an understatement, I cried my heart out because after a long while, I felt heard and seen by God and it was pure love washing me all over again. And true to God’s word, which never goes back in vain and always fulfils the purpose it was sent to accomplish, the Lord turned my situation around to the glory and honour of His name. December was marked by so many testimonies of His faithfulness ranging from family to work to ministry. When I crossed over into 2023, deep in my spirit I knew it was not just a physical crossing into a new year but it was a change of season: the end of closed doors and the dawn of a new era of open doors. 30th June 2023 and I am truly overwhelmed by God’s doing in my life in these 6 months, God has just been showing up and showing off on me.

I have seen the hand of God in my life and He has revived me and awakened the fire back on the altar. Am back to serving in church, the marriage ministry where has called us to be a light amidst the current darkness in this institution. My passions and dreams have been revived and am actively working on pursuing them from a Kingdom agenda. God has slowly disconnected me from relationships that were not aligned to Him and in return He has restored some divine relationships I had walked away from and connected me with new divine strategic relationships where we are all pursuing God together and keeping the fire of God burning amidst. Am back to journaling, dreaming, visions, fire for the word, am witnessing revival all around me, in my family and spaces. The list is so endless, I lack words: talk of divine favor, divine strategic connections and relationships, restoration, endless blessings and above all His Grace that carries me. Then Samuel took a stone and set it up between Mizpah and Shen. He named it Ebenezer, saying, “Thus far the Lord has helped us! 1 Samuel 7:12

All those feelings of restlessness, stagnation etc., He has/continues to deal with them and now I understand am on a journey to the glorious vision He showed me when I surrendered to him and accepted Him as my personal saviour and friend. I have come to understand that God will show you your vision but never tell you how to get there and there is a reason why. The vision is a glimpse of the end but there is a space between the end and where you are currently, that space is called the plan. The plan is the process that takes you to your destination. God will tell you your end like he showed Joseph in the dreams, the throne, the power with his brothers bowing doing to him. We all have dreams; we all have our end that He has revealed to us but God never tells us the plan because chances are we might tell Him to forget about the destination. If Joseph knew the pit and the prison was to come before the throne, he might have said forget about the throne. The plan is God’s secret. The plan is to prepare us for the destination so He takes us through all these phases to prepare and develop us.

So today am here to encourage you in the Lord, to urge you to put your trust in God even in the situations when what He has spoken don’t mirror your current situation. Any time you face a setback or the enemy sneaks in and whispers his deception, may you be encouraged that it is all part of the plan. Don’t panic, even your mistakes He will conform them to fulfil the purpose. Right now where you are may not be where you want to but it’s all part of the plan. God is working on character development, patience development, vision development etc. God is preparing you for what He has prepared for you.

God is faithful!

Inspiration Motivation

Not Yet Child!

Our second blog post of the month/year and I believe it calls for applause because a win is a win, whether big or small and it should be celebrated lol. I haven’t written in a while but it feels amazing to be back here.

This past week I have been reading and meditating on the book of Luke and despite having read it before, am always in awe of how the Holy Spirit teaches and brings out new revelation each and every time. Indeed the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Hebrews 4:12.

Luke chapter 1 begins by giving us the story of Zechariah and Elizabeth who were both from a priestly lineage and loved the Lord wholeheartedly, devoting their entire lives to serving Him. They were commended as righteous in the sight of God, observing all the Lord’s commands and decrees blamelessly. But they were childless because Elizabeth was not able to conceive, and they were both very old.

Serving God does not equate to a life free of pain, sorrow, trials and tests. To think that God owes you a smooth sailing ride because you are living in obedience to Him is a wrong mind-set that robs from your walk of faith. Every Christian in the salvation journey will undergo the baptism of the sufferings of Christ and this season is inevitable because it has its purpose. Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything James 1:2-4. In the midst of it all, our greatest consolation is that we don’t walk alone because we have the assurance that in the storms, God is with us, watching us, ordering our steps and carrying us. And after we have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called us to His eternal glory in Christ, will Himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish us” (1 Peter 5:10).

Despite Zechariah and Elizabeth being childless, they never stopped seeking, praying and most importantly they never stopped serving God. As a matter of fact, their long life prayer was answered while Zechariah was in the middle of service. This is such an encouragement to never stop serving and seeking God even in those times when we think/feel we are alone and He is not answering our prayers. Salvation is a beautiful, exhilarating and life changing journey but truth be told it’s not always glitz and glam. It has its hills and valleys moment. Moments you’re on the mountain top celebrating victories and testimonies and answered prayers: the highlights of your walk of faith. Then the other moments when you’re deep in the valleys, drowning in fear, battling unbelief and fighting raging wars within your spirit and your environment.

Moments you’ll pray fervently for certain requests and some will be answered almost immediately with joy and thanksgiving but some will take years and years of still praying, still hoping, still believing and still holding onto the faith. In such moments, we are called to never take our eyes away from Jesus because at His appointed time, He makes all things beautiful. And as rightly put in Habakkuk 2:3 for the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay.

And true to God’s word and timing, God answered Zechariah and Elizabeth, “Do not be afraid, Zechariah; your prayer has been heard. Your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you are to call him John. After hearing God’s word, the answer to their prayers, you would expect that Zechariah’s reaction would be one of joy and pure bliss, elated and over the moon for hearing the words he had literally waited all his life for. But sadly the first words that come from his mouth were filled with doubt and unbelief. Zechariah asked the angel, “How can I be sure of this? I am an old man and my wife is well along in years.” This reminds me the incident in Acts 12: 5-17 when Peter had been arrested to be executed the following day so the believers gathered together to fervently intercede for his release and God intervened and sent an angel to set him free. The first stop he made was at the house where they had gathered to pray for him. When this had dawned on him, he went to the house of Mary the mother of John, also called Mark, where many people had gathered and were praying. 13 Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant named Rhoda came to answer the door. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”15 “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”16 But Peter kept on knocking, and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished.

Why did they disregard Rhoda’s statement? Why did they think it was his angel? Why were they astonished? I think simply put, they prayed but didn’t have the faith that it would be answered. And that’s how most of us play out in our journey of faith especially in the moments we have prayed continuously for a season but the answer has not been delivered. After a while something in us changes and it starts to feel like we are praying to tick a box but deep down, the doubt has been rooted in our hearts and minds.

The bible is very explicit that whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Truly I tell you,” Jesus replied, “if you have faith and do not doubt, not only will you do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, ‘Be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ it will happen. 22 If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.” There is no room for doubt in a believer’s life because it has its consequences. But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. 8 Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do. . Oh Lord that you would help our unbelief.

Due to Zechariah’s unbelief, he was muted and was unable to speak until the birth of his child, possibly 9 long months of silence and observing the miracle of God slowly manifesting in front of his eyes. He was only able to speak when he came in agreement with the word of God concerning his testimony as he named his child. Immediately his mouth was opened and his tongue set free, and he began to speak, praising God. All the neighbors were filled with awe, and throughout the hill country of Judea people were talking about all these things. 66 Everyone who heard this wondered about it, asking, “What then is this child going to be?” For the Lord’s hand was with him.

There is no greater honor than God choosing to reveal His glory through His servants who are willing to be used by Him. Sure it doesn’t come easy, the wait will be heart wrenching, the voices of doubt will be screaming out loud and the mocking of the crowds will be heightened. But if you hold still, anchored on God and the credibility of His word which never fails and never returns void, in the end you will come out with such a testimony that will astonish everyone around you.

Trusting in God sometimes looks like foolishness in the eyes of man because He chooses things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chooses things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. (1 Corinthians 1:27). Noah looked like a fool when he built the ark and he was mocked and ridiculed but he kept his faith knowing and trusting in who had spoken to him. In the end, all the scoffers and mockers drowned in the very thing they mocked him for. Abraham left his family and all he knew to follow the voice of an unknown God, into an unknown territory and I can imagine how his family members reacted to the news. Even when God told Him that He would make him a father of many nations and that his descendants would be as numerous as the stars, in his old age, he believed the Lord, and it was credited it to him as righteousness.

Zechariah and Elizabeth were old and barren but by the power of God they conceived and gave birth. The Lord did it for them, showed them His favor and took away their disgrace among the people. And in the end, they all had songs to testify and glorify God for the great work He had done through them. Not only were they given a son, but they were given such an extraordinary son 14 He will be a joy and delight to you, and many will rejoice because of his birth, 15 for he will be great in the sight of the Lord. He is never to take wine or other fermented drink, and he will be filled with the Holy Spirit even before he is born. 16 He will bring back many of the people of Israel to the Lord their God. 17 And he will go on before the Lord, in the spirit and power of Elijah, to turn the hearts of the parents to their children and the disobedient to the wisdom of the righteous—to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”.

John grew, became strong in the Spirit and he lived such a radical life in pursuit of his purpose. He was the voice of one calling in the wilderness nudging people to prepare the way for the Lord. He went into all the country around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sin and he heralded the Messiah. The people were amazed at his deeds but most importantly, he received the highest accolade when Jesus testified about him as the greatest. Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet whoever is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. Matthew 11:11.

Am here to encourage you beloved, do not doubt God, do not doubt His word and most certainly do not doubt His power and ability. Nothing is impossible with God: if He has said it, He will most definitely do it. Before we were formed in our mother’s wombs, God knew us. All the days ordained for us were written in His book before one of them came to be. God is never late, God is never early; God is always on time: He works in His ordained and appointed time. We are the ones who are always in a hurry when we want it done on our terms in our own timing, then when it doesn’t happen, we cry out there is a delay. But is it ever a delay if from the word go we didn’t know of the exact timing of the occurrence? Who should dictate what entails a delay? Us or the one who creates the time and the timings? I believe until we know the expected time of arrival, then we really can’t tell if there is a delay, that can only be God’s job and we must strive to leave it in His hands.

As I write this am also preaching to myself because severally I have cried to God and lamented at Him for the supposedly delay in answering some prayers, I too like Zechariah and Elizabeth know the pain of waiting to hold a testimony. But our God is so gracious because He knows how to wipe our tears and soothe us even in the waiting season.

And to you who is also waiting, for a job, a promotion, hand in marriage, salvation for your loved ones, healing from the loss of a loved one, breakthroughs in any area…the list is long and endless, this is my prayer for you: May you be found walking in obedience to God and His word. At His appointed time, may your results speak for you, louder than your own voice because there is a sermon only results can preach. May you never tire of laboring in prayer and the word until you get your results. As you wait, may you never live a powerless barren Christian life but may your life command super extraordinary results. In the name of Jesus. Amen!

Inspiration Motivation Second Chances

Still We Rise!

The first blog post of 2023.

                                                                               {A moment of silence}

I remember coming back here last year (https://mywalkoffaith.co.ke/the-return-of-the-prodigal/) and pouring out my heart saying how I felt extremely horrible for ghosting, letting myself, my walk of faith and my readers down. How despite the silence and not blogging for months/years, the flame never withered or died out, it was always in there, holding on to the last embers. Hope faintly burning on that one day we would get back to this ministry and that God would restore us back to penning down what He places in my heart.

                                                                                         {Sigh}

You would think that would have sparked the fire back to the full glory of its glaring blaze, you would think that the hiatus would have churned tonnes and tonnes of blogposts from the many months of absenteeism, you would think that the life experiences in between the months of silence would have overflowed into testimonies poured out here, to the glory and honor of Christ.

                                                                                      {A long sigh, lol}

I remember back in 2016 after I had been saved for a few months and I was burning for Christ. The Zoe life I had started experiencing was truly overwhelming and all I wanted to do was just scream out and share what God was doing. I wanted to tell the world of how amazing God is; how He was gracious enough to save a lil broken girl who was almost giving up on life, how He overlooked all her flaws, shortcomings and her scars & He choose her and restored her. How He shined His light upon her, comforted her of all the pain and baggage she had been carrying around, pain that she had heavily pegged her identity on. How He had bestowed on her a crown of beauty instead of ashes and she was now a living testimony of how a broken piece in the hands of the Master can be transformed to a masterpiece for the glory and honor of His name.

So I started writing and sharing my new found journey, I didn’t know much about blogging, it was a pretty new space that I dived head in and decided to trust not only the process but the God of the process. I started small, on a free site with zero audience but that never deterred the zeal, I knew I was doing what I felt led to do even on the days when the walk of faith had its slippery moments. I didn’t have the full picture of where this would lead or what would become of it, I didn’t have any expectations and even with my audience of one (God), I was just happy and content to have a space where I could pour out my heart and share what I was going through. Looking back, I miss this girl, the girl with the blind crazy childlike faith who didn’t need to wait for a clearer calling but would gladly follow the leading of the Spirit without any hesitations, reservations or interrogations.

In 2018, I got a clearer call that it was time to step into the public and launch an official blog thus https://mywalkoffaith.co.ke/ was born. I remember the excitement like it was yesterday, finally I was sharing my heart with the world and people would get a glimpse of my personal journey in salvation as I strived to follow in the footsteps of Christ. I was allowing Christ to use me as a mouthpiece to voice out what He placed in my spirit, allowing Him to use me as a vessel, to outpour His overwhelming love to His children, to bring healing to broken hearts and give hope to despairing souls. I moved from an audience of one to a platform where hundreds would be reached and impacted for His glory and I loved my ministry because as I was pouring my heart, I was also growing in my faith. I still didn’t have the bigger picture but I was happy to step in obedience and do what I was called to do for that season.

One year down the line, BAKE (Bloggers Association of Kenya) 2019 happened and I was more than humbled to say the least…truly God is amazing and super faithful. Who would have thought that three years down the line in salvation and an year into blogging, this girl would be nominated for a national award under best religious/ spiritual blog, placed in the same category as personalities I’ve grown up looking up to… But God. He qualifies the unqualified. That night I looked back at the journey it had taken to get here and I broke down in tears…years of struggling with anger, bitterness and hurt from a broken childhood that left me messed up. Years of struggling with self-esteem and self-worth, lost in a lack of identity, years of searching for my validation in the arms of the wrong men, a search that left me more hurt, broken and damaged. Years of struggling to believe that my life could be better than the situation I lived in, years of doubt that God would forgive me for my mistakes and that He, in his perfect Holiness could love a sinner like I was.

Only a Father’s pure unconditional love can reach out to the grimy, slimy pits of emptiness and hopelessness, the deep trenches of hurt and brokenness, the dark caves clouded with despair and desperation. Only a Father’s heart can feel the last desperate heartbeats of a child who’s giving up on life and show up just in the nick time. Only a Father’s eyes can see beyond the smiles and the make-up, the facades and appearances we put for people yet deep down we are sinking further into depression. And only a Father’s arms can stretch open wide to receive us in our stained attires, embrace us and give new garments of praise, new identities and make us new creations. What can’t God do?

That was 2019, the fire, the passion, the drive and the zeal was still burning furiously and I was serving the Lord wholeheartedly. Accolades or not, audience of many or one, it didn’t matter because for me the ultimate joy was in the inner work that Christ was doing in me, the scars that He had chosen to use for His glory, the vessel of clay that He had honored to be the evidence of His hand upon my life. The bigger picture and the highest calling was the impact of the blog as a ministry and the number of souls that would be saved for the glory and honor of Christ. So I kept pushing, kept writing, pouring my heart, reaching people globally. Kept churning weekly blog posts and with time it became fortnightly, then monthly then quarterly then gradually I stopped…slow fade!

                                                                                {A longer sigh, lol}

The first few days of ghosting, I felt extremely horrible for letting myself, my audience of one and my walk of faith down, then another couple of weeks down the line I felt a little less horrible and then it spiraled downwards until months turned into an year, years and I honestly no longer felt horrible, I succumbed and just became numb. It’s always a slow gradual fade, you don’t wake up in sin, nope, it’s a gradual progression. It starts small, little, almost harmless and when not nipped in time, when its fed continually, it grows and matures until finally it’s a fully blown out of hand crisis.

When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; 14 but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. 15 Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:13-15

Despite not writing for eons, I never stopped thinking about it, it was always lingering at the back of my mind like the heart tag of your first love. And it’s not to say I had fallen off the bandwagon of salvation, nope, I was still a church girl, loving the Lord, pursuing Him in my walk of faith, witnessing Him being super faithful in my life and of those around me, celebrating the numerous answered prayers He was fulfilling. The only thing I stopped doing was actively serve in ministry for three years, a season I never anticipated, a season of silence, doubts, regrets and so many emotions in between. I had loved ones who kept querying why I stopped writing and most importantly when I would get back to it and I didn’t have a valid answer to be quite honest. Maybe I stopped walking in obedience in terms of the leading of the Spirit when it came to serving, maybe I learned to rely on my own strength and not flow in His grace thus ended up burned out, maybe God answered some major prayers and I allowed the pleasures and pressures of the blessing to take the top priority and put Him in the passenger’s seat. Maybe it was a season of been hidden in training for manifestations…

I had my moments of deep, gut-wrenching anguish and regret, days where I would sit and think “what ifs”. What would have been had I kept on writing? Serving? How many souls would I have reached? If after one year of blogging I was nominated for awards, where would the journey have taken me? How much I had disappointed God? To this end, was I even deserving of a second chance?

                          For though the righteous fall seven times, they rise again, Proverbs 24:16.

Enough is enough. Am done feeling mellow and all sorry for myself, lol. Am getting up from the ashes and jumping back to blogging, back to what I love doing and most importantly back to serving and walking in obedience in this ministry. I am so grateful to God for His never ending mercies and His faithfulness even in my faithlessness. I am so grateful that He never grows weary of picking me up and getting me back on track. I am so grateful that He never grows impatient with this living sacrifice that keeps crawling away from the altar.

Do I know how this will play out? No. Will I start and fall again into silence? I don’t know. Will I be consistent? I know I will try but am such a wretched man like Paul said in Romans 7:15 for what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. What I do know is I am a carrier of the glory of God through Christ Jesus and He never fails so I will anchor myself on Him and Him alone. I know am weak and my weaknesses are perfect for Him.  As Charles Spurgeon once said in a sermon, “God does not need your strength: He has more than enough power of his own. He asks your weakness: He has none of that Himself, and He is longing, therefore, to take your weakness, and use it as the instrument in His own mighty hand. So I will yield my weakness to Him, and receive His strength.

I refuse to continue living thinking I’ve blown God’s will for my life because clearly am not that powerful. Jesus loves taking messes and transforming them into priceless rubies. I don’t have it all together and I can’t wait to tell the world how much of a mess I was/am and show them what the power of God can do, all for His glory and honor.

So let’s get back to blogging and sharing about this amazing journey of faith, this beautiful love story of a girl and her God, shall we?

And if you are out there feeling like you missed out on a certain season or gone through an intense one that almost broke you to the point you have written yourself off, don’t be discouraged. Like John Piper once said, occasionally weep deeply over the life that you hoped would be. Grieve the losses. Feel the pain. Then wash your face, trust God, and embrace the life that He’s given you. Don’t let that season you missed/lived through define you, let God have the final say in your life.

No matter what life throws at us, we refuse to lay down defeated and cowering in shame and pain and guilt, we let it hit us and then STILL WE RISE!!

Motivation

Taking Stock!

The first week of August went down, the sun was out and shining, feeling great and happy and blessed and all amazing things wrapped in one. August you are blessed and so are we so how about we stop and take stock of that.

A: Appreciating each and every thing/moment, good, okay or bad because there’s something to learn and learning = growth.

B: Being present in the moment. Not living in the past, the “what could have been” and not dwelling in the future, the “what will be” but learning to live in the moment, appreciating and seeing the beauty in it all.

C: Counting my blessings every day and realizing that it’s the smallest blessings that paint a big miracle when taken into account.

D: Daring to dream big because my hope is anchored on a bigger God who does exceedingly abundantly above all I can ever ask, think or imagine.

E: Enjoying the little things like basking in the sunshine, midnight giggles, a smile from a stranger, warm hugs from loved ones.

F: Feeling excited that my birthday is coming up very soon, four months to be precise and I’ll be ushered into third floor.

G: Growing gradually at the pace set before me and appreciating every milestone on the way.

H: Having the peace of God guard my heart and mind that even when the tempest is raging and the billows are tossed high, am reminded that the winds and waves obey His will.

I: In love, so totally in ♥

J: Jamming to this dope Jersualema song by Master KG ft Nomcebo Jerusalema ikhaya lami… Never misses in my morning playlist.

K: Keeping fit, well trying to. I’ve only gained one kilo in the last two months, not bad aye,hehe.

L: Learning how to drive, finally. I know, don’t judge. I have procrastinated this for so long but this chicken has come home to roost.

M: Marriage is beautiful ♥ . So glad I waited on God.

N: Not afraid of being totally sold out to Christ, even if it means that He is all I gush about, I can’t help it.

O: Onto that feel good vibe. August will be a great month.

P: Parenting has been on my mind lately, I feel am in a season of preparation where God is revealing some amazing lessons and am excitedly learning.

Q: Quiet moments after a long hard day are to die for, be it in the shower listening to music or sitting down to have devotions and journal. Learning to quiet your heart and mind in the midst of chaos is a milestone.

R: Remembering to be intentional in reaching out to my circle and loved ones. Am not good at calling and checking up (totally prefer texting and chatting) but that won’t be an excuse anymore. Not perfect but we keep trying to be the best. If I can’t do it for the ones I love, who will it be for?

S: Shining in my own little way and being a ray of sunshine to others when I can.

T: Trying to grow my hair and at the same time trying to be an enthusiastic naturalista because weeeeh.

U: Understanding that everyone has a story to tell and most times how they treat you isn’t a reflection of you but of their journey in their story.

V: Vacating empty dreams, empty bonds, empty efforts, all things empty because I want to live a full life.

W: Watching alot of series and football because it’s his love and he is mine.

X: (e)xercise.. Refer to K,lol..

Y: Yaaaay.. You owe it to yourself to be happy. You determine your choices. You charter your path. You passionately pursue what moves you. You live boldly, unashamedly and unapologetic.

Z: Ze best. That’s what I wake up telling myself to be.

   **********

Have a beautiful weekend and lots of love!

Motivation

Journeying through the Bible

First day of August, yaaaaay… Happy new month, excited for new beginnings which always signifies a fresh start and hope for better days. Am looking forward to a lot this month, nothing big or fancy, just a desire to get back on track in achieving my goals and vision because I’ve come to the realization that if I don’t achieve what I purposed, that’s on me, can’t blame the pandemic or any other external forces, lol.

One of my main goals in 2020 was to read the bible in one year and thanks to my Trinity Chapel Ruiru E-group, the journey has been fun and fulfilling. I’ve just finished the book of Kings, 12 books y’all ; just writing that number makes me so excited at how consistent I have been in this challenge and by all means all glory goes back God; I wouldn’t have done this on my own strength. In summary, the books of Genesis to Kings tell a story of the rise & fall of the Israelites and the amazing journey they take in between. For me it paints a picture of three key things. One, wayward children who continually forget the covenant they have been called into, two, a very faithful God who is fiercely loyal to those who obey Him and thirdly the journey of becoming. I am inspired to look back and share the nuggets that stood out for me so here we go.

Friendship with God is beautiful

Reading through the story of Abraham made me desire a closer more intimate walk with God because without doubt He treasures a relationship with us. Abraham was never afraid to express himself and share his thoughts with God so much to the point where God also comfortably shared His plans with him. (Genesis 18: 16-33) and Abraham had the confidence of engaging/sort of questioning/sort of making God change His mind, that was mind blowing for me. David was a man after God’s heart; he pursued God wholeheartedly and learnt how to fully depend on Him for everything. He had his flaws but he never let that pull him away from God’s presence, his heart remained broken and contrite before God. And God in return never turned His back away from him. He remained faithful to the covenant He made with David despite the failures and disobedience in between. Even when his predecessors failed God and their hearts were not devoted to Him, God made sure that David’s lineage still remained in the throne. God honors those who pursue Him wholeheartedly.

Generational cycles exist

From the lineage of Abraham, the story tells how he passes down generational blessings which are exceptional but sadly he also passed down a pattern of lies and infidelity/sleeping with slaves to bear children. Abraham lied to Abimelek that Sara was just his wife and a few chapters down the line, Isaac repeats the same lie to the same guy then Jacob turned out to be a crafty liar who lied his way into Esau’s birthright. There was a pattern of barrenness passed down from Sarah, to Rebekah and Rachel. Moses inherited a generational anger/temper from the Levi lineage which in the end led to his downfall. David slept with another man’s wife and later on his own son Absalom slept with his father’s concubines. These patterns/cycles could be either good or bad but the most definite thing was these patterns were handed down from one generation to the next. Which led me thinking, what behaviors/patterns or legacy have been handed down to me and what will I hand down to my lineage, my children and my children’s children?

Trusting God with the process

The story of Joseph is one painted by jealousy, betrayal, slavery and ultimately ascent into power and authority which reflects that with God it doesn’t matter your circumstances, His will always prevails. With God, you will thrive anywhere you are put, whether it’s a pit, prison, palace, anywhere, you name it, but you will always succeed because His hand is upon you. It may take time to get to where God wants you to be; Abraham was 100 when he got a child, Joseph spent 13 years in slavery before he ascended into power, David was anointed to be king but it took him years of running away from death before he was enthroned as king. Everything God does is never in vain; it is part of a well calculated plan in His perfect will and purpose. Like Joseph said in Genesis 50: 20 as he addressed his brothers, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” We just have to trust Him that He has our backs and His plans may lead us into pain but they are never to harm us.

The little foxes will cost you

Moses was an exceptional leader who led the Israelites out of Egypt, witnessed first-hand the great miracle of the Red sea, God’s physical presence leading them along the journey, God’s provision of manna, quail and water in the desert…I mean he saw everything that would daze me, but guess what, he never made it into the Promised Land. Why? He never dealt with his temper issues, his temper made him hit a rock instead of talking to it as instructed by God (Exodus 20:1-13) , his temper made him break the tablets which God had personally inscribed the ten commandments on. David was supposed to be at war like his fellow kings but on that particular day he wanted to Netflix and chill which led him to sleep with a married woman, kill the innocent husband and eventually God punished him by letting the son born out of that sin die. We are always told it’s the little things that matter so what little thing am I entertaining that could lead to my ultimate fall? It may seem insignificant at the moment but a series of little cracks on a foundation could make a whole tower crash down.

Feed your faith, starve your fear

Numbers 13 and 14, the story of the spies who were sent out to explore the land of Canaan is a clear demonstration of the power of faith over fear. 12 spies went out at the same time, witnessed the same thing but came back with two extremely different reports, one loaded with fear and horror and the other dripping in faith and confidence in God. The Israelites chose to believe the fear filled report and they grumbled out to God to the point of wanting to stone Moses and Aaron. In the end, it cost their lives because only the two spies who had the faith filled report crossed over into Canaan. Despite all God had done for them, displaying His glory, miraculous signs and wonders, they still doubted God’s ability to save them. Faith always wins especially in the journey of walking with God; faith is the currency we need to operate on. There will be moments when fear strikes but there is never a reason to doubt if you know who God is and know that He is on your side.

Serving God demands total separation

The one thing that made the Israelites repeatedly fail in keeping God’s decrees was their association with the tribes that did not know God which led them to being enticed into idolatry. Anytime God gave them victory over a new territory, they were required to totally destroy anything that did not honor God but little by, they failed at this and ended up worshipping baal, sacrificing their children, defiling the temple of God… the list is endless. Reading through the story of the kings who succeeded David, both the good ones and the bad ones, they all failed in one thing and that was they failed to remove the high places so the people continued to offer sacrifices and incense to gods. The journey of faith is a clear white or black/hot or cold scenario without room for gray areas or for being lukewarm. It’s either you are fully in or not because God demands we give Him our all or nothing at all. There should be zero tolerance to anything that goes against the word of God and we are reminded that we should live our lives without any hint of sin. Will this be easy in a world that’s fallen? Definitely not but that’s why we have a helper, the Holy Spirit to guide us and teach us how to walk in the spirit and not the flesh.

Your past doesn’t matter

When God calls you, He already knows where you are coming from, what you have done and haven’t done what you are capable of doing, He knows all these things and still He calls you because none of that matters to Him. When He calls you, your tribe doesn’t matter, your profession doesn’t matter, all He needs is a heart that is willing to obey and trust Him. Moses murdered the Egyptian but God still used him to redeem His people. Samson went against God’s laws and defiled himself with the Philistines but in the end when he called to God just before he died, God answered him and he had a might victory, bigger than any he had ever had. Ruth was a Moabite but she chose to abandon her people, her gods, her way of life to turn to the one and true God. Rahab was a prostitute who helped the spies when they explored the enemies’ camp and they were both rewarded by being placed in the lineage of Christ. Yep, you read right, the prostitute and the outsider made it to the genealogy of Jesus. How amazing is that? If you allow God, He turns your pain into your purpose because all things work together for good and for God’s glory and honor.

Reading the word of God is such a gem because I get to see through the lives of these men and women, I get to see new revelations of God, I get to understand Him in a deeper way leading me closer and closer to Him and am glad am on this journey. If you aren’t on this journey, I encourage you to jump in and it will be worthwhile. YouVersion is a great app that makes reading the bible so much fun and engaging, it gives you a word of the day and endless bible plans on any topic you could think of plus you can walk this journey with friends which helps in accountability. Try it and be blessed, I know I am!

Cheers to the new month, cheers to being motivated and energized to set and smash goals, cheers to keeping a grateful spirit in all things and above all cheers to letting go and letting God. Nothing more beautiful than living in the warmth embrace of Christ!!