FAITH LEADS TO GODLY EXPECTATIONS

See I know that faith is what creates room in us for God to move in and through us, faith is when we create capacity for God. Where there is no existence of faith, it is an evidence that there is unawareness of the knowledge of God concerning our lives. So if we are unaware of God’s word concerning our lives we cannot partner with Him because we will not recognize His promises. Without faith we cannot glorify God.
Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” From this I surely know that there is two things about faith; faith is the substance of things hoped for, it doesn’t say that faith is things hoped for. There is a difference between substance and things hoped for; there is a difference between substance and expectations.

Substance can also be translated as a foundation. In MSG Bible version, Hebrews 11:1-2, “The fundamental fact of existence is that this trust in God, this faith, is the firm foundation under everything that makes life worth living. It’s our handle on what we can’t see. The act of faith is what distinguished our ancestors, set them above the crowd.”

Now in construction we know that the strength of a building lies in the foundation, basically the foundation is what anchors a building and without a strong foundation a structure will collapse when other forces are in action likes of earthquake, wind, storm, etc. Therefore if substance is speaking of foundation then we can say that faith is the foundation of things hoped for which means that there is a kind of expectation that God will back it up with substance. And we know that faith comes by hearing and hearing the word of God. The word of God doesn’t mean that the word of God will come to you audibly, or like with these sound effects we usually hear on movies and tell you exactly what you need to do but it can means that this word of God can come to you as a form of inspiration, instinct, divine strategy, creativity, wisdom or anything else that can pushes your expectations to the place of manifestation. So God is responsible for the foundation when the expectations you have is what He is building. And when we isolate the two, substance and expectation, we recognize that expectations can come from many ways; expectation can come from the Spirit of God or it can also come from fear; expectations can also come from societal pressure and it can come from so many outlets that it’s outside of God’s will.

No wonder most of us when we look back we find that some of our expectations were not fulfilled and we feel disappointed by God, but in realities our expectations came out of something else rather than from God’s perspective. Your expectations should align with His Spirit, it should not come from your fears, pride, ego or your need but it should come from the Spirit of God.

Finally, faith works in a mysterious ways, when you have faith you must realize that; God heard you the first time: Often times we get discouraged in prayer because we feel like we have been hitting roadblocks after roadblocks and nothing is happening. We even pray and fast for days, weeks, months but all is in vain and we might end up questioning God if He is really hearing us. Sometimes prayer is not about changing the situation but it’s about changing you because, God doesn’t even need a second to move, but He needs a person to receive and to carry the weight of the outcome.

“Sometimes we are so focused on the outcome that we don’t realize that every blessing is a responsibility, every blessing has a weight attached to it. It’s not about us. Because every time God blesses you, you become a vessel to bless another person and so if the Holy Spirit and the resources in Heaven is going to back-up your life, God sometimes will allow circumstances to exercise your muscle of endurance, patient… because when He opens the door if those things were not worked in you – if you only goal is the finish line, when you get to the finish line you will go home, but there are other things to do at the finish line – and so if you don’t have patient, endurance and a relentless nature about you, when the blessings comes it will become a burden to you.” – Pastor Stephanie Ike

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MARRYING ILLUSION

The real world of marriage is not always peaches and cream. The problem is that we marry illusions. It seems God has a sense of humor because He doesn’t always give us the illusion we wanted. For example, you looked at that man before you were married and you envisioned him attending church with you, holding the Bible in his hands, and leading the kids in devotions at night, so wonderful and spiritual and sensitive. But after the honeymoon, the only time he goes to church with you is when someone is hatched (baby dedication), matched (wedding), or dispatched (funeral). He’s a CEO Christian, Christmas and Easter only.

Men can marry illusions as well. You imagine coming home from work to the sight of your beautiful wife waiting at the front door with your bedroom slippers and silk robe. She asks, “How was your day, darling?” You answer, “It was torture.” Then she says, “Kiss me, you fool,” as you fall into one another’s arms and begin to rip off each other’s clothes. Nice fantasy; but it’s not real life.

Another illusion is the physical illusion. They say love is blind, so you don’t see any of the physical flaws while you are dating. But a few years after you are married, you begin to notice all of his physical imperfections. His belly is hanging over his belt, he burps after meals, and he snores in bed. Or, your once perfect, swimsuit-model wife has packed on some pounds, she doesn’t always wear makeup and do her hair, and she snores something awful as well! You stare at the person lying next to you and wonder, What did I marry?

After the violins stop playing, and the bubbles have burst in the heart-shaped Jacuzzi, sometimes you feel real pain the next morning. Your marriage will not always pan out like the soap opera Days of Our Lives. These are the “days of your life,” when you must reach beyond romance to responsibility, beyond sex to sensitivity. This is where the highway can become littered with casualties who signed up for marriage without fully realizing what they were signing up for.

You didn’t marry a Hollywood star. This is a real man or woman, from the crown of his or her head to the soles of his or her feet. Maybe he’s no Prince Charming. Maybe she’s no Sleeping Beauty. He might not be as spiritual or as romantic as you wish, but he’s yours! She may not be your mother in the kitchen or your fantasy in the bedroom, but she’s yours! If you don’t want to face the devastation of divorce, you need to make it work.

Ladies, there are not many good men around, you better concentrate on what you have! You can’t read Esquire and Cosmopolitan and win this battle. Oprah can’t tell you how to have a successful marriage because she’s never been married herself.

Gentlemen, there probably isn’t a long line of women just waiting to grace you with their presence. Appreciate the one who is there on the sidelines, cheering you on.

Ladies, there are some things you just should not do in public. I don’t care how ADD he is, I don’t care if he’s got his entire foot in his mouth, don’t embarrass and belittle him publicly. If he gets his words mixed up, if he makes a mistake, stand right there by his side and grin as though he could do no wrong. Afterwards, in the privacy of your home or car, you can discuss it if you feel the need.

Gentlemen, your wife is a reflection of you. Her countenance will be a reflection of how you treat her. Treat her with disrespect, contempt, and shame, and that is how she will appear. Treasure her as your queen, and your queen she shall be. You can’t mistreat her at home and expect her to shine in public. She’s not that good an actor.

Extract from the book ‘Right People, Right Place, Right Plan’ written by Pastor Jentezen Frankline. He is an American evangelical pastor, author and televangelist. He is the senior pastor of Free Chapel Worship Center, a multi-site church based in Gainesville, Georgia and author of New York Times best sellers Right People, Right Place, Right Plan; Fasting; Fear Fighters and The Spirit of Python.

SET YOUR FOCUS RIGHT

Sometimes the reasons that hinder us from receiving His provision in our lives it’s because our priorities is wrongly set or we don’t have priorities at all. See I know that anytime we feel that we don’t have enough of what we need or we don’t have what others have, we should always keep reminding oursleves that God knows what we need and it’s upon us to set our priorities based on His Word. Matthew 6:33. “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His Kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.” Amplified Bible. The scriptures say; when you aligned your heart with God’s Heart, and your plans with His purpose, He will give you the things that the rest of the world has to grasp for, He will give you the peace that millionnaires can’t buy. He will give you freedom that the world can’t offer, He will meet the desires of your heart and that is one of His perfect gift for us. James 1:17, “Every good gift and every perfect (free, large, full) gift is from above; it comes down from the Father of all (that gives) light, in (the shining of) Whom there can be no variation (rising or setting) or shadow cast by His turning (as in an eclipse).” Ampified Bible.

And here comes my question, what are your priorities? Where is your focus? So many factors in our lives are beyond our control but one thing we can always control is our focus! And on that note I think many relationship fails because not only of lose of love but because of lose of focus and priorities. And this also the reason why most Christians fails or feel at a distant from God because they lose their focus when they stop caring about what God cares and that’s why He will no longer back you in your endeavour until you lean and focus on Him.

Today I want you to know that sometimes what we call failure is a broken focus, it’s the reason why that passion that usually exists at the beginning of any relationship tends to leak as the time goes by not necessarily because that you lost the love but you did lost the focus. When our focus is wrongly directed, then we will lose the right things that it was there when our focus was on the right things. In this generation when we bring focus, especially in our relationships, things will be misplaced and misleading because most of the time we focus on falling in love but being uneducated of the process of staying in love.

What I can tell you today is that you can always control your focus. Jesus said, seek first the Kingdom of God and the other things will move in to position, but if you seek first the other things then you will never have the centre of gravity for the things to revolve around. so its important that your focus should not always be on another person but it should always start within you. Put your focus on God, and let Him mould you to a better you then your focus will lead you to your destiny. What I am saying is that it is important to God that you may have the right people but the only way that you are going to have the right people in your life is if you will be the right person in your heart!

GLIMPSE OF LOVE

The only way to overcome this world is through love. When love is the center piece of everything, nothing can stand against you or on your way.

Sometimes we try to force things to happen in our lives and at the end we find ourselves more distressed simply because those things we have been forcing to work didn’t happen, but when we let love work for us, everything will work out for our own good.

Why am I saying this? I know some of us might feel abit awkward when it comes to love ‘coz you haven’t experience the impact of love from anyone around you, even from your parents. You have tried to stretch forth your hands for love but the more you stretch, the more heartbroken you becomes. You have been abandoned by the same people you trusted and now you have no place to go. Life seems like hell where there is no a glimpse of love but all you know is desperation and loneliness. But one thing you haven’t tried to reach out is a glimpse of Jesus. Yes you might know Jesus Christ but do you really know Him; His grace, love, blessings and righteousness. He is always there with you and He knows just what you need more than you do, coz when life gets broken and you are in despair, He will carry your burden when it is too much to bear.

If you just decided to look on Jesus, you will find this glimpse of love and it will never fade away. This kind of love, cannot be found on social media or on internet or in a club or in another human being, but its only found by stretching forth your hands to Him and looking on the cross and what He did just for you – this is never-ending love of God. The singer Cory Asbury said it is a ‘Reckless Love’

This kind of love gives you peace in the present, so you don’t have to worry anymore ‘coz it gives protection. 1 Corinthians 13:7. “It always protects, always trusts always hopes, always perseveres.” NIV. And one thing I know as a Christian, if the devil can’t stop you from serving Jesus, he will try to make you miserable while you are doing. So there is a lot of people who are saved and set free, but where they are today it’s not ideal because all the dots are not adding up, somethings aren’t adding up so they sit in a strategic place and wait anxioulsy and feeling insecure in the love of God forgetting how it used to protect them because they are in a new position and they are doubting if their expectations will come through.

Today I want to tell you that a glimpse of God’s love doesn’t come to you because of what you are doing or your good performance but it’s about focusing on what He did on the cross, carrying all your burdens, and this will give you the right to know that, no matter what you have done, where you have been, no matter how big the future looks, you should know that, as a Christian, right now you have peace because you have already have Jesus and you should not wait for a breakthrough – He is your breakthrough, you should not wait for a promotion – He is your promotion, you should not wait for someone else to validate you – The Cross has already validated you.

So while you wait for your next season to unfold, you should be waiting with the God who has a protection that never changes! This glimpse of love place everything in its place.

FRIEND’S WISDOM

In life, we always encounter at least one friend who doesn’t care whether we are interested with them or not, but one major thing about them, they do always speak something that will influence us in a positive way, but funny enough they might not know the impact of their wisdom shared to us. One day I encounter this special friend of mine known as Aimee .N., she was introduced to me by her closest friend who is my friend, Jacky .K., and what am going to share today is how she expressed something that turned my life in another direction and I believe at the end, you will never be the same.

She shoot something like this, “I want you to think about this…” and she smiles. Up to this moment I didn’t know what exactly she will say but I just gave her attention, coz their will be no harm being attentive for awhile, and she continuous, “… One secular artist can bring a lot of confusion to millions of people in the world but 50 annointed men or women cannot bring 50 souls to the Kingdom of God. And I’m not talking about the pastors alone, I’m talking about us.

Now, one thing that Jesus had was compassion for the lost and everything He did, He did out of compassion. Ask yourself, when you see a lost soul, do you feel contempt or compassion? See there is no way you can help someone without having a burden for that person and by burden I mean having a genuine concern.

The people from secular world are so intentional with what they do and that’s how they end up achieving their goal. The Bible teaches us that freely we have received so we should also give freely, but how many of us are intentional with giving this good news about the love of Christ? We sing ‘casting crowns and lifting hands’ and we also sing, ‘nikimaliza kazi, nitavalishwa taji,’ (I will be given a crown, when am done with the work). I don’t know about you, but I want to be crowned with an extraordinary, unique and a big crown, ‘sio ati watu wakivua big crowns mimi navua kakitu kanakaa hivi hivi tu’ because that will be equivalent to the amount of work I did through sharing the gospel to everyone around me and also to the secular world at large. The scriptures say that everyone will be rewarded according to the work they did, (and the work here is not the work that Christ has already done, but it’s all about spreading the gospel to the lost and sharing the importance of salvation and His amazing, unmerited, undeserved and unearned favour)

It is our responsibility to bring the lost back to the Kingdom of God, and this is how we gonna do it;

  1. Having compassion for these people not contempt.
  2. By surrendering that little anointing to God.

Maybe you are there and you have always wanted to evangelize and bring people to the Kingdom of God but you think you can’t do it or you don’t have the right words (ama ile sauti ya mapastor who preached in crusaded, ile heavy, loud na inatetemesha speakers) or the voice of those evangelists who preached with a heavy, deep voice that cause speakers to vibrate. Well, I want to refer to an incident that was recorded in the Bible.

2nd Kings 4:1-7, “Now the wife of a son of the prophets cried to Elisha, “Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that your servant feared the Lord. But the creditor has come to take my two sons to be his slaves.” Elisha said to her, “What shall I do for you? Tell me, what have you (of sale value) in the house?” She said, “Your handmaid has nothing in the house except a jar of oil.” Then he said, “Go around and borrow vessels from all your neighbors, empty vessels-and not a few. And when you come in, shut the door upon you and your sons. Then pour out (the oil you have) into all those vessels, setting aside each one when it is full.” So she went from him and shut the door upon herself and her sons, who brought to her the vessels as she poured the oil. When the vessels were all full, she said to her son. “Bring me another vessel.” And he said to her, “There is not a one left.” Then the oil stopped multiplying. Then she came and told the man of God. He said, “Go, sell the oil and pay your depth, and you and your sons live on the rest.”

This incident applies to us today, that little oil is the little annointing you have, now the Holy Spirit asks, “What do you have?” You have that special annointing, even if it’s not speaking in tongues, you can bring so many people into the Kingdom of God, what you should do is to surrender that little annointing or gift, and go get all the empty jars as you can (empty or rather lost souls) and God will give you an overflow (He will give you the right words and the Spirit will convict them) and they will begin to get filled by the Holy Spirit until they go out there also and win many souls to God’s Kingdom.

Lastly, God is ready to use you, but you must surrender, you must be aggressive and you must be intentional to ask God to help you and guide you to use that little annointing and you will be surprised how you can influence many people into God’s Kingdom.”

Believe you can do all things through Christ who gives you strength.

DELINEATION

Delineation has been outstanding behaviour in better part of our lives, we are so eager to distinguish who is bad and who is good, or who is more spiritual and who is just a regular Christian. We have allowed our mind to focus so much into other people’s lives hence forgetting about our own life. We have put different levels in our minds, so that everyone around us has his/her own particular level. And this behaviour is one of the fundamental problems that we have in the Christian faith and in the world today because of the levels; levels to our sins and the levels to our faith, levels for outward devotion and the levels for how many scriptures we can read per day, we categories people on the levels on how they are close to God and how far they are from God.

Many a time we hear something like, “That guy is so off from Christianity and the way he is so committed in Church.” or “That lady pretends to be a Christian but when you meet with her in dark corners, you won’t believe.” and yet we forget ourselves. This happens because we haven’t study the Word and understand it, we have become imagineers of God’s goodness, mercy, love, grace, etc. we imagine that “Somehow God has chosen me to be the reference person, for how all the other people are viewed by God” We have put ourselves in higher levels more than others in the extends that we decided to engage others on why they aren’t be blessed. We give them some rules and conditions, we analyze their faults, addictions, rebellion… as the reason they aren’t blessed. We might feel that because we go to Church each single Sunday or attend every Church meeting in the course of the week, we are better off than those guys who don’t go to Church, we feel like somehow that friend who was in the bar or pub last night and they got drunk and now they are sleeping they are bad compared to us, whereby we spend the whole of yesterday doing laundry and preparing for a Church service. In fact sometimes when you are in Church service, it doesn’t mean you are worshipping, you might be chatting on WhatsApp or Facebooking or taking pictures and posting in IG, you are looking around to see who is looking at you hence forgetting Who is really looking at you and yet you are here comparing yourselves to others. We always put ourselves in levels.

But in all of this, what we all require is the grace that is provided through Christ. Grace doesn’t put us into levels, grace covers us all and what makes the difference it’s how we embrace the grace. That’s why grace is so amazing and indescribable.

What is so amazing about grace?

When we talk about amazing it simply means things that are un-usual, things that doesn’t make sense, in English dictionary it defines amazing as, causing wonder and amazement; very surprising. When it is amazing, it is not average. When it is amazing, it is something that the average person can’t do. Before we understand what’s amazing grace, let’s take a moment and think about this, how many believers attend a Church service but they have a sense of sin, condemnation and a fear of failure, how many are performance oriented and performance driven, how many of us have father wounds, relationships wounds, how many of us as believers lives depressed, discouraged, ‘coz we feel that we can’t measure up.

These things keeps on happening to us because we still feel that our works will makes us be accepted by God. You are in a place right now believing that lie, that the enemy wants you to believe that somehow after you have received God’s grace, you have to work to keep it and that’s why we have many people in the Church serving God out of fear and not out of love. Grace empowers you to live a new life, it empowers you to say no to temptation, to say no to ungodliness and GRACE is the unmerited, undeserved, unearned kindness and favor of God.

Let’s take a look of this grace as illustrated in Ephesians 2:7 – 10 in two different Bible translation. In NKJV Ephesians 2:7- 9, “that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” In MSG Ephesians 2:7 – 10, “Now God has us where He wants us, with all the time in this world and the next to shower grace and kindness upon us in Christ Jesus. Saving is all His idea, and all His work. All we do is trust Him enough to let Him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish! We don’t play the major role. If we did, we’d probably go around bragging that we’d done the whole thing! No, we neither make nor save ourselves. God does both the making and the saving. He creates each of us by Christ Jesus to join Him in the work He does, the good work He has gotten ready for us to do, work we had better be doing.”

So basically for by grace you have been saved through (one action) faith; when you put your faith in Jesus Christ, the grace is extended to you. Grace is a gift and it’s given to us not because of our effort or works it’s because of His works. And from Christian encyclopedia, “Grace is the dimension of divine activity that enables God to confront human indifference and rebellion with an inexhaustible capacity to forgive and bless.”

THE 7TH ROUND

‘I am not stuck’ that’s what had been ringing in my mind for a while now. It all began when I heard someone saying he is stuck and he doesn’t believe he can make it, he was so down and frustrated after everything he was working on start to fall apart. And what I could only utter to him was, ‘be positive and don’t let your situation define you”.
Sometimes we are quick to give up on something. Have you ever been promised about something and it end up like it won’t happen? Actually some of God’s promises upon our lives seems like it will take forever and I bet you will agree with me, but we are actually wrong! All of God’s promise in our lives are always true and it always happens at the right time. What kept us from seeing or experiencing God’s promises is our way of thinking or rather what we actually confesses with our mouth.
I know you understand that what we confess with our mouth will surely happen, regardless of how small the tongue is, it can destroy your destiny. James 3:5-6, “Even so the tongue is a little member, and it can be boast of great things. See how much wood or how great a forest a tiny spark can set ablaze! And the tongue is a fire. [The tongue is a] world of wickedness set among our members, contaminating and depraving the whole body and setting on fire the wheel of birth ( the cycle of man’s nature), being itself ignited by hell (Gehenna). (Amplified Bible).
I know that you may feel you are stuck in something but instead of confessing how stuck you are, you should actually confess it in a positive way, say something like this, ‘I know am in this mess but actually am not stuck, God is giving me a new way to handle it’… When we learn and embrace to be positive am sure nothing will hinder us from achieving our destiny.
Do you remember Joshua and the Israelites? They didn’t gave up marching around the wall of Jericho 7 times until they overcame their enemies. But wait a minute, did you know the Israelites didn’t know what will happen in the 7th day? Yes, it was only known by Joshua, coz’ after the Lord spoke to him, (Joshua 6), he went back to the Israelites and directed them on what to do for the next 7 days but he didn’t inform them what will really happen on the 7th day. But in the morning of the 7th day, Joshua revealed to them what will happened! Any they actually conquer Jericho by God’s help.
Same applies in our daily lives. It might be you marching around your situation, no progress made, everything appears the same, just going round and round and round your problems, and it seems like everyone is now giving up on you, they start talking on your back, they start laughing at you and all you see is defeat, but today as you read this article, am here to tell you that on the 7th day, God will glorify Himself through you and you will experience an expected, abundantly, exceedingly breakthrough!
Never give up on your 6th round because, on the 7th round God is going to make a way that no one expected. Maybe you are waiting on God to get you out of your situation but sometimes God is not going to get you out of everything. Sometimes God is going to use that situation with no way out to make a way in so that He will be glorified.