I Believe To See  4

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One of my major challenges in life has been with a son who was diagnosed twelve years ago with Osteogenesis Imperfecta (Brittle Bone disease). I’ve had to quit multiple jobs as well as other things along the way, to become his primary caregiver. It has been especially challenging because my husband is also actively involved in ministry and he’s in a demanding position at work which requires lots of traveling.

God has graciously enabled me to continue to serve Him by providing me with the best husband in the world who wholeheartedly supports me in ministry and at home, and a mother above all mothers who helped as well.

God has also helped me to settle the following in my spirit:

1. God did not do this to me
2. God is faithful and His Word always works
3. The God who created me in Christ Jesus for good works, which He prepared beforehand that I should walk in them has provided every grace needed to run this race (Eph 2:10)
4. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance – the God Who knows the end from the beginning knew that at this moment in time my son would have these challenges yet He placed these gifts and callings within me
5. This too shall pass – my son will manifest that which is a reality in the spirit, which is healing and wholeness
6. There are people counting on me to make it – I cannot afford to fail for their sake

Bishop Oyedepo used to say “Life is in phases and men in sizes.” I am learning to be content in whatever phase I am in. Yes, there are times I chomp at the bit because there is so much more my heart desires to do but I know there is a time for everything, that time will surely come.

There is a scripture that has become my mainstay Psalm 27:13

“I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness
of the LORD in the land of the living”
(Psalm. 27:13 KJV)

“[What, what would have become of me] had I not believed
that I would see the Lord’s goodness in the land of the living!”

(Psalm 27:13 AMP)

Get Your Second Wind  0

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So repent (change your mind and purpose); turn around and return [to God], that your sins may be erased (blotted out, wiped clean), that times of refreshing (of recovering from the effects of heat, of [a]reviving with fresh air) may come from the presence of the Lord;
Acts 3:19 AMPC

Most of the time when we hear the word repent, we think of sin. Yes we should repent of sin but it entails more than that.

To repent means to change your mind and purpose. Do you have mindsets that are contrary to God’s Word? Are you going crosswise to His purpose for your life? Are there some weights you need to jettison?

God wants to refresh and revive us for the next phase of our journey, but He needs us to turn around and return to Him.

For the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel has said this,
“In returning [to Me] and rest you shall be saved,
In quietness and confident trust is your strength.”
But you were not willing,
16 And you said, “No! We will flee on horses!”
Therefore you will flee [from your enemies]!
And [you said], “We will ride on swift horses!”
Therefore those who pursue you shall be swift.
Isaiah 30:15-16 AMP

Turn to the Lord and confidently trust in His plan, receive the refreshing and strength He gives and get your second wind.

God’s Checkmate  3

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Can you imagine the scene in hell, after Jesus arrived? The devil and his hosts would have been delirious with happiness. There might have been high fives, partying etc. they really believed they had pulled off the greatest upset of all time and eternity, the rebellion in heaven had been squashed, but this had slipped under God’s radar.

After being on pins and needles all through Jesus’ arrest, interrogation, trial, crucifixion and death, looking over their shoulders and expecting either God to speak or angelic intervention, the devil and his hordes could now heave a sigh of relief.

Who knows, maybe satan clenched his fist at heaven and shouted “Checkmate!!” Ah! But he spoke too soon, for God had reserved the final move for Himself.

1st Corinthians 2:7-8 states
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, 8 which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.

God had a plan from before the foundation of the world, the enemy thought he could abort that plan not realizing he was setting a trap for his own self. The devil only knows in part, therefore his plans are flawed because it is the parts he is unaware of that God uses against him.

God sits in the heavens and laughs! What is this that the enemy has devised? Vanity upon vanity. The Ancient of days looks upon the machinations of the enemy and laughs and laughs at his puny schemes (Psalm 2:1-4).

When the 3 Hebrew men – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were thrown into the fiery furnace, the devil thought he had won but God still had the final move, and the testimony that came out of this was so awesome and led to a proclamation that was spread abroad in the provinces.

Coming to our present day and age, Rev. Kenneth E. Hagin was born prematurely in 1917, with a deformed heart and an incurable blood disease. He was not expected to live and became bed-fast at age 15. At age 17, he was miraculously healed, and raised off a deathbed by the power of God and the revelation of faith in God’s Word. He went into ministry until his death at age 86. He taught the Word of God, healed the sick, started a Faith and Healing School and Bible College, wrote numerous books and greatly impacted the Body of Christ and the world. His messages and books are still ministering 13 years after his death. I am sure the devil wished he had never touched him.

Be confident of this very thing, God has reserved the final move in our lives for Himself. No matter what the enemy has stolen, killed or destroyed, do the following:
– step back from the carnage
– cry if you have to
– wipe your eyes
– take a deep breath
– give it to God
– ask Him to reveal His wisdom in the matter
– give thanks

Remember, weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning

He who laughs last, laughs best and you and God will have the last laugh!

Are You Living Ready? III  0

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In the previous articles we discovered our time on earth is our tour of duty, and that there is a day of reckoning when we will give account of our faithfulness to our assignment.

Another thing we discovered is the fact that we all have different assignments, and these are based on the gifts and abilities God has placed in each of us.

God expects us to be productive with those gifts and abilities. In the parable of the talents “After a long time the master came home and asked the servants what they did with his money.” (Matthew 25:16-19 NCV)

Notice the phrase “his money” yes we might have all these wonderful gifts and abilities many of which we were born with and we think “Oh it’s just me” but the truth of the matter is without Him; we are, have and can do nothing! “We have this treasure in earthern vessels that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us”
(2 Corinthians 4:7).

God doesn’t play concerning stewardship John 15:1-2 states

“I am the true vine; my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch of mine that does not produce fruit. And he trims and cleans every branch that produces fruit so that it will produce even more fruit.”

If we died today? What account would we give? How conscientious have we been with our God-given assignment? Did we even bother to find out what it was, or were we focused on our own agenda? If we discovered God’s plan for our lives, did we accomplish it? How productive were we?

Now is the time to prepare to answer these questions, we only get one life, there is no do-over.

May we discover, prepare for and excel in our call. On that day may we hear these words “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.”

In Everything Give Thanks  2

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We give thanks when good things occur, when the answers to our prayers are evident. We also give thanks in advance when we are believing for something.

But can we give thanks in the pit of hell itself? Can we give thanks while experiencing horrendous circumstances?

What of when things go from bad to worse as was the case with Paul the apostle in Acts 27:20

“Since neither sun nor stars appeared for many days, and no small storm kept raging about us, from then on all hope of our being saved was [growing worse and worse and] gradually abandoned.”

How can we genuinely give thanks in everything? Not lip service, not speaking “Christianese” but real/pure/sincere appreciation?

1) Receive a Word from the Lord:
A lot of times we come to the place of prayer with our list of scriptures and a plan. The truth of the matter is we need the guidance of the Holy Spirit to know how to deal with each individual situation.

Take healing for example –
What scripture(s) should I stand on?
Should I call for the elders and have them anoint me and pray?
Should I agree and pray with another believer?
Should I bind and loose?
Should I cast out a spirit of infirmity?
Should I undergo a procedure?
Do I need a lifestyle change?
Is there an issue that is stressing me out and has lowered my immunity?
Am I in strife or bitterness? And so on and so forth.

We need to spend quality time in prayer asking for wisdom. We need wisdom and direction on the way out of that situation. A “now” Word from the Lord.

Paul received such a Word in Acts 27:23-24
“For this very night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood before me, 24 and said, ‘Stop being afraid, Paul. You must stand before Caesar; and behold, God has given you [the lives of] all those who are sailing with you.’

2) Believe the Word you received
“So keep up your courage, men, for I believe God and have complete confidence in Him that it will turn out exactly as I have been told; 26 but we must run [the ship] aground on some island.”

33 While they waited for the day to dawn, Paul encouraged them all [and told them] to have some food, saying, “This is the fourteenth day that you have been constantly on watch and going without food, having eaten nothing. 34 So I urge you to eat some food, for this is for your survival; for not a hair from the head of any of you will perish.” 35 Having said this, he took bread and gave thanks to God in front of them all, and he broke it and began to eat. 36 Then all of them were encouraged and their spirits improved, and they also ate some food. 37 All told there were two hundred and seventy-six of us aboard the ship.”
Acts 27:25-26, 33-37

Paul received a Word from the Lord, 14 days after they were still in the nerve racking situation, and there was yet no resolution, but he believed the Word he had received and was encouraged and even encouraged others.

3) Rejoice (rekindle your joy)
Joy is a fruit of the spirit, it comes from within and has absolutely nothing to do with whatever happens on the outside.

Choose to rejoice, engage your will and like Habakkuk in chapter 3:17-19 declare

“Though the fig tree does not blossom and there is no fruit on the vines, [though] the product of the olive fails and the fields yield no food, though the flock is cut off from the fold and there are no cattle in the stalls,
18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord; I will exult in the [victorious] God of my salvation!
19 The Lord God is my Strength, my personal bravery, and my invincible army; He makes my feet like hinds’ feet and will make me to walk [not to stand still in terror, but to walk] and make [spiritual] progress upon my high places [of trouble, suffering, or responsibility]!”

Make time out of your busy schedules to seek the face of the Lord concerning the negative situation you’re facing. Once you receive direction, believe it, fulfill your part and begin to rejoice.

Heaven and earth shall pass away, but that Word will not pass away unfulfilled.

Look up for your redemption draweth nigh, weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.

It is morning time!!!

Are You Living Ready? II  0

Hand turning the word Unprepared into Prepared with red marker isolated on white.

“The kingdom of heaven is like a man who was going to another place for a visit. Before he left, he called for his servants and told them to take care of his things while he was gone. 15 He gave one servant five bags of gold, another servant two bags of gold, and a third servant one bag of gold, to each one as much as he could handle. Then he left. Matthew 25:14-15 NCV

God has assigned to each of us a part in his plans and purposes on the earth. He has divided the work based on the abilities He has given us. No one role is more important than the other, each is essential in completing the job.

Think about it, in a church service, there is so much that happens before the choir sings or the minister preaches. Most of the work is behind the scenes, but is no less important in the grand scheme of things. If the person directing traffic is mean and people get upset and drive off, no matter how anointed the preacher is he cannot bless empty seats.

Notice everyone did not get the same gifts, Romans 12:6 states
“Having gifts (faculties, talents, qualities) that differ according to the grace given us, let us use them: [He whose gift is] prophecy, [let him prophesy] according to the proportion of his faith;”

Do you know your part, in God’s plan? Have you identified your gifts?

Are You Living Ready?  1

“So always be ready, because you don’t know
the day or the hour the Son of Man will come.”

Matthew 25:13 NCV

Someone said “Live each day as though it were your last and someday you’ll be right.” There is a great deal of truth in that saying, none of us is going to be here forever, we’re leaving one way or the other – rapture or death.

I don’t know about you but I do not want to live in this state forever, not in this fallen world which is full of the effects of sin and death, or this body that is subject to aging and human limitations. I eagerly await my resurrected body that never gets weary, weak or sick; a body that like Jesus’ body after His resurrection can go through walls and go up in the air, yet is solid to the touch!

Even though I look forward to my new body I am not in too much of a hurry to leave this one because I know what I do in this life determines the quality of life I have in the next.

The text above emphasizes that fact, it warns us to live ready because we do not know the day of reckoning. We tend to live like this is all there is because it is all we’ve known, but even if we live to be 120 years old it is a drop of water in the ocean compared to eternity.

As Crystal Lewis sang

“People get ready Jesus is coming
Soon we’ll be going home
People get ready Jesus is coming
To take from the world His own.”

Characteristics of A Pray-er (III)  1

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In the previous articles we began a study of Hannah’s example as a Pray-er. We discovered she was humble, made God her priority, respectful, had faith and integrity and prayed with all her heart.

We will now conclude our study of the characteristics of a Pray-er

 Wise:
Hannah realized Eli would not be able to handle a nursing child so she took care of Samuel till he was weaned and then brought him to Ramah and placed him in the care of Eli.

Wisdom is the correct application of knowledge. A Pray-er must be wise;
the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

 Thankful:
Hannah was thankful even before her change came. A Pray-er must bless and praise the Lord at all times, through the good and the bad. The Lord inhabits the praises of His people, have a lifestyle of thanksgiving and God will love to hang out with you.

 Practical:
Hannah made a new coat for Samuel each year when they went to offer
sacrifices at Ramah.

A Pray-er must think things through and plan for the future. He/she must have both foresight and insight and care for others.

The place of prayer is the place of power. A Pray-er is a force to be reckoned with; he/she will root out, pull down, destroy, throw down, build
and plant.

A Pray-er is a useful tool in the hand of God in enforcing His will in the earth.

Characteristics of A Pray-er (II)  0

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In the previous article we began a study of Hannah’s example as a Pray-er. We discovered she was humble, made God her priority, and prayed with all her heart.

Some other characteristics of a Pray-er are

Respectful:
Eli the Prophet had become weak and allowed his sons to commit atrocities in the house of the Lord.

Hannah did not see this as a reason to despise or answer him rudely; rather she treated Eli with the respect due his office as High Priest.

Honor is very important to God
“So the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘I promised that your family and your ancestor’s family would serve me always.’ But now the LORD says: ‘This must stop! I will honor those who honor me, but I will dishonor those who ignore me.” (1st Samuel 2:30 NCV)

We show honor to God, by respecting the office of those in authority, be it a parent, an employer, civil authority or in the Church.

Faith:
Hannah was a woman of faith, as soon as she received the Word of the Lord through His Prophet Eli; she became cheerful even though there was yet no external change in her circumstances.

Faith is the evidence of things we are yet to see. She gave glory to God being fully persuaded that He was able to do it. A Pray-er must be a person of faith because God cannot be pleased without it.

Integrity:
One of the definitions of integrity is firm adherence to a code of moral values. Hannah was a woman of her word, she had promised God her son before he was even conceived and she came through on her promise. It couldn’t have been easy giving up the one thing she had desired for so long yet she kept her word.

A Pray-er must have integrity; you are only as good as your word. If your word is no good, you’re no good.

Characteristics of A Pray-er  0

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Hannah had a great need in her life, she desperately wanted a child and the taunts of Peninah; her husband’s other wife only made matters worse. We can study the life of Hannah to see some characteristics of a Pray-er.

Whole-hearted:
Hannah prayed with all her heart, she was so into it that Eli the Prophet assumed she was drunk.

James 5:16b in the Amplified Version states “The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working]”

We must be sincere and determined in the place of prayer, we cannot afford to be lazy or lackadaisical about our prayer life and expect God to move on our behalf.

God-seeker:
Hannah’s greatest desire was for a son, yet she was willing to offer what she had desired for so long into the service of the Lord.

As pray-ers, we must seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and everything else that we need or desire will be added to us.

Nothing must be so precious to us that we cannot give it to the Lord, He must always come first.

Humble:
Hannah did not take offense at Eli’s rebuke. A pray-er must be humble because God opposes the proud but favors the humble. Offense comes from pride; a dead man has no rights.

Psalm 138:6 (NLT) declares “Though the LORD is great, he cares for the humble, but he keeps his distance from the proud.”

How can God answer our prayers if He keeps His distance? Pride is way too costly.


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