Tuesday, October 16, 2007

The Diligent Man

Reward Today

Every trickle of sweat
Every toil of your hands
For all your diligence
I have seen;

For every extra given
Yet denied the full wages
But overlooked and scorned
I know the details;

And so I let you know
Your trust in Me touches My Heart
Your faith in Me instigates me
I have not forgotten you;

And so I promise you
Surely today will not pass you by
Before your receive your reward
So long due you.

The Inspiration
I had spent one hour waiting. Waiting in the Murtala Mohammed Airport 2 (mma2). I was tired of gazing at the beauty and splendor of the building. Indeed it is a sight to behold after being used to seeing the regular stuff in our dear country. It is a building that meets standard. From the seats, to the elevator, to the glasses to the machines, everything was done with standard in mind. For once I felt truly proud to be a Nigerian. Even the oyibos were looking around the airport. Okay, enough about the building. I had been standing for over an hour waiting for my ticket. That meant it was time to get impatient, which is not a fruit of the spirit. Then I remembered one good tip: when you are filled with impatience, take time out to acknowledge the goodness of God around you. By the time you are done (if you can be) the time you feel is wasting would have passed by fruitfully.

I decided to observe my surrounding. My eyes caught a young staff of aero contractors. He was in charge of directing people towards the appropriate counter to check in. I noticed he was always attending to one customer at a time. This made everything orderly. At first I thought he was being extra nice because he wanted something from them. But as more people came, the more I noticed his skill in organizing people. You see, most times when we have to deal with a service provider, we feel that person has only us to attend to. It’s good to look at this from a third person point of view. You will realize that service providers are human beings like us, have personalities, get tired, have personal issues and have the right to get upset. Maybe having this at the back of our minds will help us not to scream Mt Kilimanjaro down when a service provider says he cannot attend to us because he has something pressing to do.

Enough of the digression. My dear “subject of discussion” went about his duty diligently. The hand of the diligent make rich [Proverbs 10:4]. The substance of the diligent man is precious [Proverbs 12:27]. Have you seen a man diligent in his work? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before mean men [Proverbs 22:29]. That is the fruit of diligence. Me, a mere spectator, I was amazed. I know it is not easy to organize people. But he did it efficiently and effectively. What was more interesting was he had this smile on his face as he spoke to every one, big man and small man alike. That was when I realized he was genuine in what he was doing. Another interesting thing I noted is that the work he was doing was not the richest paying job. But he was happy. He enjoyed the interaction with people. I call him a good man.

What about you who has been diligent in your work? Do you think no one sees? The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous and His ears open to their prayers [1 Peter 3:12]. The Lord sees. His eyes run to and fro the whole earth to show himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is perfect towards him [2 Chronicles 16:9]. You may have been doing your thing and not getting the desired reward or breakthrough. But I just want to assure you that the Lord sees. Focus on the Lord in what you are doing. Do it for the glory of God [1 Corinthians 10:31]. Your reward and breakthrough is on the way.

Back to the story of the man I was observing. He went out of his way to ask a woman standing, “Madam, where are you going to? Port Harcourt or Calabar? Can I help you with your load?” To this the lady replied, “Don’t worry about me, I am a staff. And I have been watching you. I will recommend you.”

You never know when that turn of events will come. You never know how it will come. But as long as you are focused on Him, be sure it will come. Every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour [1 Corinthians 3:8].

Don’t lose hope, don’t relent. Keep up the good work and in everything you do, do it for His glory.

Have a blessed day.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Putting it off for Tomorrow

Where I cast my cares

Where have I cast my cares
I brought the failings of my heart to bare
Only to see that tomorrow was filled
With things I did not want for the moment;

The truth remains
That they cannot go away
Putting off for tomorrow
Saves it for a later day
And save I cast my cares upon You
They will give me worries always
And make my joy not stay
Against your will for me;

But I smile with glee
Knowing today’s end I will see
Because new is your strength
To overcome my weaknesses today
New is your provision
That I may know satisfaction
New is your favour
Like they just knew I’m royalty
New is Your love
Enough to keep me going on;

Where have I cast my cares
It is forever on You
That tomorrow may have no grip on me
But I will be secure
Expectant and joyous
Over tomorrow.

The Inspiration
There had been no light in the area for almost a week. This should not be news. We had been running the generator all through. But I was hopeful that one day they will bring the light. So that night before sought peaceful sleep, I had a prompting in my spirit to switch the power changeover to allow for Power Holdings’ light. I quickly replied, “There has been no light. They cannot bring light this night. I’d do it tomorrow.” And then a sudden realization hit me – I was procrastinating.

I decided to share this with you because I began to see this latent worm subtly crawling into the lives of many. Then it resides permanently. It sounds in words like later, some minutes, but more irritatingly in the word tomorrow. Tomorrow is a word full of promises. But when it is used as an usher of procrastination, it is dangerous.

Procrastination according to the Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary means: - to put off intentionally and habitually; to put off intentionally the doing of something that should be done. It also means to delay. Think about the meaning of this word for a while.

What was glaring? The fact that we procrastinate means we do not regard the thing(s) procrastinated as important or dear to us. You cannot procrastinate what you treasure for where your treasure is there will your heart be also [Matthew 6:21]. Will you push to tomorrow that visit to your friend’s place even if it coincided with the time you have dedicated to studying the word of God? Will you ignore that shopping spree to lend a mite to your neighbour?

There have been many beautiful write ups on Procrastination, some of which I could refer you to.
http://bible.com/overcoming-life/digest8.php#foxes; http://www.gospelcenterchurch.org/procrastination.html; http://www.holybiblesays.org/articles/procrastination.htm
But a word of scripture kept ringing in my head “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring its own worries [Matthew 6:34a, NLT]. Each day has enough trouble of its own [Matthew 6:34b, NIV]”. It was the answer to my silent question “Is there a problem with procrastination?” Yes there is. Every day has enough trouble of its own. Why add to the trouble for that day. Tomorrow will bring its own worries, why store up worries for the ones that will come tomorrow. Please do not feel that I am prophesying negatively in your life. No. I am simply reminding you of the words spoken by our beloved Jesus Christ.

What did I learn out of it? To tackle each problem or issue as ir comes. We can do all things through Christ who gives us strength [Philippians 4:13]. The reason why we put things off till tomorrow is because we believe we will handle it ourselves tomorrow. Whatever it is, no matter how big or how small, cast it upon the Lord. As you continue to depend on him for everything and every area of your life, you will realize there is no need to procrastinate. His grace is sufficient for you [2 Corinthians 12:9].

Is there anything in your life you notice is entwined with procrastination? Your decisions? Your vows and promises? The eating of spiritual food? Your dreams and calling? Your situation? Give it God in prayer. The Lord’s mercies and compassions (hence love and strengthening) are new every morning [Lamentations 3:22-23]. He will strengthen you.

Have a glorious day ahead.

Monday, October 8, 2007

HE saw Every Tear

HE saw every tear
The ones that welled up
But did not pour
The ones that dropped down your face
But did not leave a stain
The ones that flowed
Leaving you dehydrated
Yes, HE saw every tear;

HE saw every tear
Those that spoke of your joy
Those of uncontrollable excitement
Those of success and satisfaction
Those of the fulfilment of HIS Will;
Those that told of your pains
Those that followed fear
Those that were filled with anguish
Yes, HE saw them all;
Even those that flowed under sedation
Even those of the transient joys of addictions
All those tears of self-condemnation, self-defeat
HE saw those tears of confusion and hopelessness;

Every drop meant something to HIM
Every drop HE watched over
Every drop communed with HIM
Every drop was mirrored on HIM;
HE saw every tear
HE felt each one with you
HE did not choose any over another
HE never took HIS eyes off you;

HE saw your every tear
No one else has seen them all
No one else has felt them too
No one else knows where you're coming from
No one else knows the great places HE's taking you to.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

In the Waiting Room

In the Waiting Room

Lonely in the waiting room
Ignorant of everything around me
Except the perception of my senses
That all except me have what I desire;

My eyes see
The very things I prayed for yet so far
My ears hear
Your answers to other’s prayers
My nose smell
The fulfillment of your promise
I feel
The lack of that which I groan for in secret;

My lips let out a lament
Wondering when my turn will come
For it seems that those behind me
Have been attended to;

And then I hear Your gentle whisper
Like sweet music to my soul
This same time in My Time
I will come to you;
And then I find my peace
In Your Words
I realize I am not alone
So I wait on You
For my expectation is from You only.

The Inspiration
Timi heard the good news of his brother. His brother had just got a scholarship to further his education abroad. All resulting expenses for this education have been taken care of. Timi left the gathering of his rejoicing family. He wept. He was not jealous. He was not envious. He was simply frustrated. He lamented, “I have prayed for this too. I felt peace in my heart that God had answered this prayer. I did everything right. I stood on His word. Even when the enemy has been dropping discouraging thoughts concerning my CGPA, I still stood on the promise of God. Some that bribed their way through have got this scholarship. God, why is my case different?”

Have you ever found yourself in such a situation? When it seems like a zillion years between the time when you prayed and when the prayers are answered? Most likely. Maybe this is not your case now but if you look back, there may have been times like that. If this is your situation now, you are not alone. But the good news is you are in the waiting room. Being in the waiting room means it will soon be your turn to see the physical manifestation of your prayers. It does not matter who comes first or last. What matters is that you will surely be attended to.

It is very discouraging when you seem to have done everything right yet the prayers don’t seem to be answered. The Psalmist said, “I have been young, and now I am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” [Psalm 37:25]. You can be assured that God will never forsake you nor will your seed be in need. All you need to do is to wait. Those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint [Isaiah 40:12]

What can you do while you are waiting on God? By the way, waiting on God does not mean you are waiting for Him to answer your prayer. You are waiting for the physical manifestation of your prayer because He has already answered your prayer.

1. Keep praying: - this means keep being in communication with God not repeating what you have already asked of Him. Communication improves your relationship with God and by so doing you may understand the purpose for the waiting period. [Luke 21:36; Ephesians 6:18].

2. Stand on His Word: - Whatever you desire, as long as it is His Will, has His Word backing it. Stand on His Word. Even when the enemy tries to test it, do not let go. His word will come to pass because His word will never return to Him void [Isaiah 55:11] and He watches over His word to perform it [Jeremiah 1:12].

3. Be mindful of what you hear and meditate on: - Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God [Romans 10:17]. Do not find yourself listening to words that will make you disbelieve what has He has promised you but delve more into His Word. Take every testimony as a reminder that your turn is coming soon.

4. Rejoice with others: - especially when it comes to the very thing you believe God for. When you rejoice with others, when you sow seeds into their lives, you will not even realize it when your prayer has been answered.

5. Visualize the realization of your dream: - Faith without works is dead [James 2:20]. You need to act like you believe that your prayer has been answered. Confess positively. Visualize it. Thank God for it [Psalm 52:9]. Talk about it like it exists.

6. Sow a seed: - Sowing precedes reaping – it is a natural principle. But you need to sow in good ground to reap something good. Spend time with God knowing what to sow, how to sow and where to sow. Even when it seems painful to sow, the results are tremendous [Psalm 126:5-6].

7. Do not tell God how or help God to answer your prayer: - God’s ways are not our ways. His way is perfect [Psalm 18:30]. His timing is perfect [Ecclesiastics 3:11]. He is mighty in wisdom [Job 36:5]. Who are we to tell Him how best to do it? One thing I know is when He does His thing; HE does it exceedingly above our expectations. Trust Him with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding [Proverbs 3:5-6].

8. Wait on the Lord: - While you are waiting, wait on God, not on man. It is God that will give you the words and strength to go on. It is God that is always with you and will love you just the way you are [Psalm 27:14; Psalm 62:5].

This list is not exhaustive nor is it a rule of thumb. You alone know how your relationship with God is.
Let me close now with these words: Do not be weary in doing good for in due season you will reap if you do not lose heart [Galatians 6:9].
Have a blessed day ahead.