Sunday, March 23, 2008

Unfinished Business

The words of my mouth

May the words of my mouth
Be acceptable to you, Oh lord
May they be spoken in due season
May they be as honeycomb
May they make the heart of man glad
May they be gracious
May they be
Of You.

The Inspiration
“Please remain seated while we make this announcement,” came the bellow from the Virgin Nigeria PA system. Nkeiru shifted uncomfortable on her seat. This was the third time they had made an announcement. Each time the announcement was made, they talked about a delay. She had an appointment she did not want to miss. “Why the delay?” She asked herself.
“The Flight VK--- from Lagos to Abuja has been delayed for an hour…”
She did not wait to hear the rest of the announcement. She picked up her bags and marched straight to the lady that had made the announcement. After 5 minutes of venting her frustrations on the lady, Nkeiru stormed off with curses at the tip of her lips. She was not relieved though because she was not going to make the appointment. She was guilty that she had left an innocent lady almost in tears.

As she walked out of the airport to get something to eat, she saw an old friend of hers.
“Alice! Long time no see!” Nkeiru squealed in delight as she embraced her friend.
“Yes, Nkeiru. It’s been more than five years.”
Alice excused herself from the person she was standing with. They shared some minutes catching up on old times.
“Why don’t you introduce me to your father?” Nkeiru asked blatantly. “I have not met him before.”
“That’s not my father, gal. That’s my sugar daddy.”
“What are you doing with a sugar daddy? Don’t you have a Father?”
“He is taking care of me at the moment in ways Daddy can’t!”
“Don’t you want to be available for a young man?”
“These young men of nowadays. There is no good guy out there. Nky, you know. Is it not two of us that got heart broken in year 3?”
“I had two more heart breaks after that, but that does not change the fact that there are good guys out there. We probably had some things to learn out of the heart break, such as there is someone who loves you and will never break your heart. There is some one whose love is unconditional...."
"Spare Me!"
"... You don’t have to sleep with Him to get money from Him. He is not going to beat you blue-black when you did not speak to Him. He is not going to make you feel you are nothing more than an instrument to satisfy a man’s need. He simply loves you for who you are! I know you had it rough with that relationship…”
“…relationships…” Alice quickly corrected her
“…but you won’t find that good guy when you are in the house of your sugar daddy. That man holds no promises for you. He is simply a distraction from your purpose and destiny! And guess what, Alice? I have been there before. I have seen what is best and I want you to experience it too.”
Alice was thoughtful for a while.
“I really don’t like you now,” Alice confessed, “because you are not supporting me. All my other friends have encouraged me in this relationship and have even suggested ways that I could extort money from the man. But I know you are saying the truth. I really want more but I just remain in the relationship because I have no other option.”
“Why don’t we have lunch together and talk about the relationship that really matters? The relationship with Jesus. My flight has been delayed for another one hour!”

That was some years ago. Today, Alice is a woman living in the fullness of what God has stored up for her. Thank God for the delay in Nkeiru’s flight.

Have you ever found yourself asking “Why the delay?” If you do, then know it is time to ask, “Lord, what can I do in the mean time? What can I learn in the mean time? How can I improve as I prepare for what I desire?” Surely, what He has promised you will come to fruition [Psalms 85:9; Proverbs 23:18; Isaiah 14:24; Habakkuk 2:3; Romans 4:21]. You will be surprised that when you look back, you will appreciate what you called a delay, for He has made everything beautiful in its time [Ecclesiastics 3:11]. Make the best out of the waiting period. Don’t leave without finishing what you were really supposed to do.

Temporary Challenges

All I need
The situation overwhelms me
The alternatives face me
The sardonic mock of those around me
Makes me want to give in;

I struggle within myself
About what is true and what is truth
Fear and doubt come over me
While the short cuts appear worthwhile;

In the midst of this war
I still hold on to you:
All I need is your word
That gives me hope to go on
Yes, all I need is your word
Which if I hear, builds my faith for today;

The situation overwhelms me
I am tired of “should I or should I not”
All I need is your word
To keep me focused on the right path.

The inspiration
Wisdom had been searching for a job for a long time,. While at the university, he always talked about the kind of job he would have. 2 years after NYSC, that job did not seem like it was forthcoming. He began to doubt the word of God he had believed in and the words he had spoken. He had written several tests, got up to the final stage, but on every occasion he was put on the waitlist. His friends labeled him a “nearmisser”. Some people felt there was a curse from home that prevented him from getting the best despite his excellent degree, grades and wonderful personality.

One fateful day, Wisdom got a call from a company. He was offered a good position within the company. When he looked at his offer letter, it was far below what he had expected. He took some days to think about the offer. He discussed with family and friends. Many called him greedy when he mentioned that he may not take the offer. After a lot of pressure, he decided to accept the offer. There was also a clause in the letter stating that he will be with the company for three years. Only death could separate him from the company. Out of desperation, he signed the dotted lines. Afterall, “half a loaf of bread is better than none”, he recalled a popular idiomatic expression.

The very next day, believe it or not, after Wisdom started work, he got home to receive a letter in his mail box. Lo and behold, it was a letter of employment from the kind of company he had always talked about. The letter was dated 2 weeks back.

I may have acted the way he did under similar circumstances. So could you. Some could say he was silly, how could he? Let’s not judge or bother about what could have been done. Let’s take a simple lesson from this.

I recall the story of Esau and Jacob [Genesis 25:29-34]. Esau sold his birthright for a bowl of soup. Under a temporary challenge, he made a decision that affected the rest of his life. That was the time he lost his blessings as a first son. You could say how daft Esau was, could he not bear his hunger? But there have been times when you get overwhelmed by a temporary challenge that you give in to an inadequate solution. Short cuts were more attractive. What everyone else is doing seems to be the right thing to do. The voice of the world overshadows the voice in your heart.

Deep down inside you know what you really want. Your idea of prince charming; that woman that is the bone of your bone; that relationship that does not leave you drained and inferior; that healing that does not send you back to the hospital next month; that child of you and your spouse; that job that does not test your integrity; that breakthrough in that which you have been committed to; that restoration that would bring peace to you. Who says you cannot have it? All those around you want what they think is best for you. Your Heavenly Father wants nothing short of the best for you [Jeremiah 29:11]. He is a Father that is able to do exceedingly, abundantly above all that you ask or think [Ephesians 3:20].

In the face of the overwhelming situation, do not give in to any inadequate solution. It will not leave you fulfilled or satisfied. It is only the blessing of the Lord that can make you rich (physically and spiritually) without sorrow added to it [Proverbs 10:22].

Take a word from God for today. Let your soul find rest in Him alone, for your salvation comes from Him [Psalms 62:1].
Happy Easter and God bless You!

Discovering Treasures 2008 – My Personal Experience

Where were you
From first to third
Of February
During Discovering Treasures?
If you were not there
I lie not when I say
You missed an awesome time
Of hearing from God;
But if you were there
I hope you discovered the treasures
Prepared for you
For the secret was revealed those days;
Whether you were there or not
Beloved, come with me
As I recount the experience
Of Discovering Treasures

The Inspiration
The mining of my treasures is still on going. As I listened to the message of Discovering treasures 2008 over and over again, and I pored over my scanty notes which get fatter as I listen to the message, I realized that discovering treasures from the Word of God is a never-ending process.

Discovering Treasures is the Annual Word Conference of The Carpenter’s Church (TCC), Port Harcourt, Nigeria. It is no ordinary conference. During this conference, the word of God is shared and expounded on in relation to our word for the year. This year, the conference took place from the 1st to the 3rd of February. The theme was “Infallible Proofs” in line with the word for TCC for 2008. Reverend Sola Kolade of The Vine Branch Charismatic Church ( was the guest minister.

Listening to the message made me relive the experience of two awesome days I spent in the conference. Though I wish I was there during every moment of the three days, I know my two days were better than one day or not being there at all. I had walked into church full of myself on Saturday evening, the second day of the conference. I had just been promoted and for a month I had been living in the associated euphoria. I became a bit defensive when Pastor Sola announced that the message for the day was “Who are you?” I held my peace.

The message went on and he said, “An understanding of who you are makes you know what you are supposed to do!” My mind went straight to my immediate achievement. It was only logical that if I am truly what I regarded myself as based on the achievement then I should be working towards another achievement. While I was still trying to analyze his statement, he said “You are a person with a great destiny facing temporary challenges”. This brought me out of my reverie and made me focus on the statement. It reassured me that whatever I am passing through will surely pass away. Even good things pass away.

Before arriving at the answer to the question “Who You are?” Pastor Sola said several things about whom / what I was not. First he said, “You are not your past”. Hallelujah! Then he said, “You are not your present (circumstances, needs, achievements).” It was as though my spiritual eyes were opened and I saw much more than I had ever imagined myself to be. It made alive the words by apostle Paul “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory; While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal” [2 Corinthians 4:16-17]. More importantly, it made me realize that living in my present was limiting God. God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think [Ephesians 3:20].

Pastor Sola continued with “You are not other people’s opinion about you; You are not your background; You are not your exposure; and You are not your location.” With all these things he had said, I was expecting a seven-point statement of who I am. He simply said “You are a child of God!” Hallelujah! What great truth, weight, nay power lay in those simple words. Had I not heard the words before? Of course. Yet again, it was like a revelation. Understanding that I am a child of God made me know I should not be living below God’s best for my life. It made me know that I should be reflecting the image of God. It made me realize that I am of God [1 John 4:4].

If you think that destiny means “What must be must be”, then you should be excited as I was to learn that destiny does not mean “what must be must be”. Pastor Sola made me understand that prayers and intercession can change destiny. Repentance can change your destiny. There is hope and a future for every one of us [Jeremiah 29:11].

There were so many profound words and truths Pastor Sola shared on that day which if I start to recount could become a novella. It then reminded me of the statement “And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written” [John 21:25]. My faith in God and His words grew that day. I came into church that day full of myself, but I left knowing that without God, I am nothing.

Let me take you to Day three. God is awesome! During the week, a friend of mine was talking about a passage in the bible that had something to do with “Ask for the old paths”. We could not trace that verse of scripture. I had never heard of it before. You can imagine my excitement when Pastor Sola’s opening verse was “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein” [Jeremiah 6:16]. Several times we approach crossroads in our lives. Decisions need to be made. This verse of scripture my friend and I concluded as “light unto our path” [Psalm 119:105].

What was Pastor Sola using the verse of scripture for? The topic for Day three’s message was “Old Time Religion”. I wanted to experience infallible proofs in my life but I needed to know what principles to adopt. God is never changing [James 1:17]. Pastor Sola explained that the principles that were true of old time religion still remain true for Christianity today. Then he went on with the four principles. First was Commitment. “This is the master key that opens all doors”, he said. I paused to reflect on various areas of my life. I compared the things that were fruitful and the things that were not. The underlying word causing the difference was “commitment”. I quickly agreed with Pastor Sola’s first point for that day.

The second principle he mentioned was “Contentment”. I thought of the words “greed, envy, strife, dissatisfaction, competition, impatience and unhappiness”. Being content, being happy and satisfied yet knowing that better things lie ahead could erase those negative words that easily creep into my life. If I can be content then rather than spending time on what I do not have or how bad my situation is, I can have time to thank God for His goodness. I can have time to be sensitive to others, to show love and care as Jesus did while on earth. What then would stop the manifestation of my infallible proofs?

Pastor Sola went on to mention the third and fourth principles to be “Consistency” and “Carefreeness”. I thought that was the end of the message until he mentioned that there are three seasons in a man’s life: the season of prosperity, the season of adversity and the season of restoration. It does not matter which season I am at the moment. What gives me joy is knowing that there is restoration no matter what I go through. All I have to do is trust in God and take His Word simply, the way a child will [Luke 18:17].

Where did I start from? Listening to the messages that made me relive the awesome experience of discovering treasures. The message of day one was on Witnesses that Jesus Christ is alive and well. Pastor Sola spoke about Nature, Science, World events and the Church as witnesses that Jesus Christ is alive and well, and still performing the infallible proofs that took place after His resurrection. After listening to the message for that day I told myself that if ever I doubted God, if ever I doubted the Word of God and if ever I doubted the power of God, all doubts have been replaced by faith and love for my awesome God. I continue my mining of treasures on earth and in heaven, of tangible and intangible things, of treasures God had long prepared for me.

I Thought

I Thought
I thought You were done with me
When the nights were cold
When I was alone
And darkness ruled day and night;
I thought I knew You
When I encountered You
When You came into my life
When no one else was there;
I thought I knew Your Love
When You put a smile on my face
When You gave me Purpose and Destiny
When You gave me reason to live;
I thought I had seen the most of You
When You blessed me beyond expectations
When You took me to a place
Of joy I had never imagined;
Only now did it dawn on me
That You have long blessed me
That You have long stored up treasures for me
That wonderful are Your thoughts towards me;
And You are not done with me
No, I have not seen the most of You
Nor can I describe all of You
For Your Love is beyond what words can say;
I thought my last cry for joy
Was of the greatest joy I could ever feel
But now I rest in this truth
That we have many more milestones
Of Joy unspeakable
To encounter.
Lots of Love...

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Note 1: I believe You

"If I can do one
Then I can do all:
Since I have done one
I will do all"
So You reminded me today;
Just to say
I like the smile You put on my face today
I like the way You took me and walked with me
I like the assurance You gave me that I can trust You;
Just to say
I believe You...