Tuesday, August 24, 2010
“But we all, with unveiled face beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are transformed into the same image from glory to glory, even as from the Lord the Spirit” 2 Cor 3:18
I apologise for leaving my blogs for so long. It is in the pursuit of purpose. I also said I would conclude the PURPOSE series, I have since discovered that when I said that, I was talking in the flesh. How can a person write the conclusion of a lifetime journey when the destination is not even yet in sight?
In the past weeks, God has opened up so many amazing doors of opportunity that if I tell you I know where it leads, I would be lying. It is a matter of ‘every step I take leads to another’. I now understand I am moving to the next level in my purpose journey.
It takes amazing faith to step into the unknown. There is something in me that wants to hold on to the known, to sit in my comfort zone. But I cannot. If there is anything that should be a constant in the life of a Christian, it is progress. “But the path of the just is as the shining light that shineth more and more unto the perfect day” – Prov 4:18. It is just not possible for me to stay in my comfort zone. As a daughter of Zion, I have to keep getting better, going higher and evolving into the image of my Savior.
And the great thing is, I am not on this journey alone. “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world” Matt 28:20; “for himself hath said, I will in no wise fail thee, neither will I in any wise forsake thee” Heb 13:5. Christ is with me every step of the way.
Reminds me of the song –
Because He lives, I can face tomorrow
Because He lives, all fear is gone
Because I know oh oh, He holds my future
And life is worth the living just because He lives
So, my Purpose series comes to a pause here, not an end; as more unfolds, I will let you know. But for now, I move forward in my purpose walk as I continue to live out His will for my life. However, I will continue to let you know, as always, the details of my faith and my life. I cannot promise to post regularly, but I definitely will not abandon this blog. It is very much a part of my purpose.
Tuesday, April 6, 2010
I cannot begin to tell you what discovering my purpose did to my life. It was as if a light switch went on in me and the world suddenly opened up before me. It was a fire that could never be extinguished. Purpose was all I thought, dreamt, wanted!
And the more I thought about it, the more I spent time reading those words I had written –
"Claude M. Bristol, the Author of ‘The Magic of Believing’ says – “Every person is the creation of himself. The image of his own thinking and believing. As individuals think and believe, so they are.” We believe that and so we work closely with you every step of the way to make you realise you are unique and special. We bring out the YOU in you. Because inside you is who you really are. And when you know and believe in who you are, we will present you to a world waiting eagerly to receive you. Whether it is to an individual, a company or a country, our promise is the same – We will ReCreate You from the inside out!"
And the more it dawned on me that this was a huge responsibility! How am I supposed to know the YOU in a person? How am I to bring out that YOU? How am I to make a person know and believe in that ME? I realized then that the Holy Spirit had to become an integral part of me, no, more than that, we had to become one!
Other people might get away with doing things the way they wanted, but I can’t; other people might be able to live successfully with self decisions but I cannot. The very nature of my purpose made that impossible. I had to live a life wholly dependent on the Holy Spirit. I have to know Him, hear Him, talk to Him, and be in HIM! I have to be in KOINONIA with Him (a word a friend just taught me meaning, ‘the ultimate intimacy; communion; fellowship’. When I heard that word, something in me shouted YES, that is what should be between me and the Holy Spirit)
This revelation changed my entire life. I immediately began to immerse myself in the Word of God; my prayer life underwent a radical change; my fellowship with God and the brethren deepened and as I changed something happened – “And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; the Spirit of wisdom and understanding; the Spirit of might and counsel; the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord” Isaiah 11:2.
Yes, the Holy Spirit increased dramatically in me till it got to a point I had a hard time recognizing myself. I was growing into the REAL ME! The ME God created me to be. I have always been a self confident person but the confidence I now have is not that of ‘self’. It is a confidence full of peace, certainty, serenity, and assurance. The kind of confidence the bible calls “the peace of God which passeth all understanding” Phil 4:7
And the wisdom? Oh, my! The wisdom and understanding is something that thrills me till today. I can look at a situation and immediately understand it and know what to do. I always seem to know now what advice to give and when. What of the sudden power to overcome sin? Resisting any wrong is no more a struggle. It is an unconscious thing now. I don’t even notice any sin. It is as if I have been transported to a higher realm where sin doesn’t exist (which actually I have) A friend stared at me the other day and said ‘you are different’. I laughed and asked how. She stared at me critically for long then shook her head in puzzlement and said ‘I don’t know but you are different”. I knew what she was talking about. She couldn’t really put her hands on what the change was but it was the change inside me that was reflecting outwards. It was not a physical change, it was a spiritual one.
But nothing can beat the excitement of fellowshipping with the Spirit. To be able to converse with Him and feel Him. To know Him and have Him reveal the mind of God and the person of Christ to me; to have the logos (written word) of the bible become the RHEMA (the spoken, active and powerful word) in my life. You have to experience this to understand what I am talking about. It is beyond mere words and human understanding.
This is what I mean when I tell you it is just not possible to fulfill purpose outside God. It cannot be done. You won’t even know purpose outside God!
That is the spiritual metamorphosis discovering my purpose caused in me. But I had to take some physical steps. God has been revealing to me the things I have to do, how to do them and when. God hasn’t told me all. In fact, He won’t tell me all. God has this frustrating way of doing things His way on a Need-to-know basis. AAAARGH! It drives me batty sometimes. But I always take the required step of faith. After all, this walk is A WALK OF FAITH! God operates by faith and so should we. We will only know in full when we stand before Him. Till then, we just have to leap off that cliff in faith that He will never let us fall. And He won’t!
In the next post, I will tell you what some of those things are. I cannot tell you all because the Holy Spirit has not given me leave to, but the things He allows, I will tell.
TO BE CONTD . . . . . . . .
Friday, March 26, 2010
From a very early age, I knew what I was good at – writing! From the moment I learnt how to string words together, I started writing. I would read storybooks and re-write the ending. Sometimes I would add more adventures to the storyline. I never ever left a book the way it was, no, I always had to make it ‘better’! Then I moved on to writing my own stories. My schoolbooks had more stories written in them than actual schoolwork. My teachers complained a lot about that but it was something I never gave up despite repeated punishments.
When I entered secondary school, I was blessed with someone no person should ever lack – a teacher who encouraged my talent. My English teacher was a woman who was the much needed fuel to the fire within me. I went to a boarding school, so during those boring weekends, my friends would gather round me and ask me to write for them. They would all wait patiently while I scribbled as fast as I could. As they read the first story, I would already be hard at work on the second one. That developed me in ways I can never fully comprehend. God bless my friends!
I entered University and got distracted. I became involved in so many other pursuits and neglected my talent and stopped writing. But through it all, God was there working in the background. That was the time I discovered another talent in me – TALKING! (At least that’s what my mom calls it) I discovered the gift of oratory in me. I could make speeches in an instant without needing time to prepare.
Before graduating, I accepted Christ but didn’t yet have the Holy Spirit and had absolutely no clue about purpose. God however, had just started with me. When I started working, I discovered another interest – people! I loved meeting people, talking with them, learning their views, understanding them. It seemed I couldn’t just get enough of people! It was in the process of that that I discovered something that agitated me - people not having a focus or reason for living. That was when I looked at my own life and said, “Rayo, there has to be more to life than this”.
One quiet day in the office, I started thinking of all the millions of people working at jobs they didn’t like, not knowing what they want from life and just existing instead of really living. I decided I would start a company that would help people fit into their rightful place in life. I picked up my laptop and drafted a mission statement. This was what I wrote –
"Claude M. Bristol, the Author of ‘THE MAGIC OF BELIEVING’ says – “Every person is the creation of himself. The image of his own thinking and believing. As individuals think and believe, so they are.” We believe that and so we work closely with you every step of the way to make you realise you are unique and special. We bring out the YOU in you. Because inside you is who you really are. And when you know and believe in who you are, we will present you to a world waiting eagerly to receive you. Whether it is to an individual, a company or a country, our promise is the same – We will ReCreate You from the inside out!"
I did not know it then, but the awesome God I worship had just spoken through me to outline my purpose in life. I thought I was laying out a company, but God was laying out His eternal purpose. When I look back on that day, I get shivers. It is a constant reminder of the greatness of the God I serve.
When I got home that day, I showed it to my brother. Because he already knew and was following purpose, he immediately understood the spiritual significance of what he was seeing but he knew I had to discover and understand it myself so he wisely kept quiet and instead went before the Lord to pray out His purpose in my life.
God answered that prayer by giving me the Holy Spirit. And the Holy Spirit awakened a desperate hunger for MORE in me. He then led me to a church where I had my Christian Discipleship training. That was when I began to understand and see clearly that I did not just exist, I had to be for a reason. It was then God brought back into my life a friend from secondary school; she reminded me of my school days stories and reawakened in me the fire of writing. All our conversations started and ended with ‘Rayo, are you writing?’ So I started writing again.
Almost two years passed and then one day while reading a book on purpose, I sat up and asked the Holy Spirit what exactly is my purpose in life? He asked me in return, what agitates me the most, what could bring out the most passion in me and I replied, ‘people not being fulfilled’. My wonderful friend, the Holy Spirit said, ‘That is your purpose’. I wondered how that could be my purpose and He replied in a wonderful way. Less than three days later, I bumped into my brother’s old laptop and I saw the power point presentation I had done of my ‘company’s’ mission statement, two years earlier. Reading through it, it suddenly hit me like a gale – MY PURPOE WAS TO HELP PEOPLE DISCOVER THEIR PURPOSE!
Those words I wrote were an answer to God’s need for men and women who would discover and walk in their purpose and reclaim back the earth for Him. I am called to work in partnership with God to open the eyes of His select to their divine calling so they can be the solution to the earth’s many issues – “for the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God” - Rom 8:19.
I am to help people discover WHO and WHAT and WHY they are. To awaken in them the question, ‘who am I? Why do I exist? What is life all about?’ And then, to help them answer those questions. That is my calling. FOR THIS PURPOSE WAS I BORN!
To be contd . . . . . . . . .
Thursday, March 18, 2010
“You first have to know the harbor to which you are headed before you know the right wind to take you there” – Old Seneca Proverb
Just as this old proverb says, you don’t have any business getting married till you know your purpose in life. Can you imagine a ship setting out to sea without a destination in mind? It will be carried to and fro by any and every wind. That is what happens when you get married without any idea what your purpose is in life.
Do you know what the greatest tragedy in life is? Discovering your purpose after marriage and realizing you are mismatched! Let me tell you the only three outcomes of such a tragedy – a) giving up your purpose so as to hold on to that marriage or b) following your purpose and giving up your marriage or c) trying to fulfill your purpose and dragging your partner with you.
John Maxwell in one of his books said “It is better to go it alone than drag someone along with you. That person will forever be a weight holding you down”. Sadly, that is what most of us do.
There was a young woman in one of our universities some years ago. She was articulate, intelligent, had loads of charisma and was an awesome politician and strategist. When she talked, we all listened. She was chosen as Student Union Running mate by the would be president just to garner in votes and she did. I could tell she was going places. I knew she would one day be a political force in this country, maybe even the first female president. I came across her again last year and my heart broke. She was married to a man who did not want such a wife. She had three children, was selling provisions and completely broken. She had lost her shine and was desperately unhappy. But she could not leave her marriage. In that death of purpose, she not only lost herself but Nigeria also lost a great leader. Imagine what she could have achieved with a like-minded politically motivated husband. The sky would have been just a beginning for both of them.
Purpose determines marriage. Your spouse is your life partner! Have you ever asked yourself what he/she is partnering you to do? A pastor of mine once jokingly said “the next time a man asks you to marry him, ask him, ‘as your helpmeet, what am I to help you to do?’” What a wise question to ask!
If you know your purpose, you can never make a wrong choice. Purpose will guide you right. You will know the kind of character, principles, beliefs, passion that will fit into your life goals. If you and your spouse share the same purpose and passion, nothing will ever break you apart.
In Eccl 4:12, the bible says “a threefold cord is not easily broken” Many people interpret it to mean a unity of husband and wife with the Holy Spirit cannot be broken. But the number of broken Spirit filled Christian homes belies that. Do you know what that third cord is? – PURPOSE. Nothing can ever separate a couple united in purpose. Quote me anywhere on this!
Unity of purpose is the strongest bond that can ever be between a man and woman. That is why the bible asks “Can two walk together except they agree?” Am 3:3. Agreement i.e. unity of purpose is what makes two ‘walk together’. Please tell me, if both of you have the same vision, the same goal and are pursuing it with zeal and single-minded focus, what can come between you? Absolutely nothing! YOU WILL BE ONE IN THOUGHT, MIND, AND ACTION! ONLY PURPOSE CAN DO THAT!!!
And that brings me to the misconception people have that a woman is just to help a man achieve his purpose. That is utter baloney. Every single human being created by God has his and her own purpose. The way to choose a partner is to choose the man or woman that has the same purpose and passion as you and whose talents are a balance to yours. For example, both of you might have the same purpose and passion for pastoring but you might be good in preaching while your partner is good in prayer.
You MUST share the same purpose and passion but your talents should differ so you can bring the richness of variety to your purpose. She might be a good writer and you a good speaker but you both have the same purpose of motivating and inspiring people.
I beg you in the name of all that is holy; please do not ever marry without knowing your purpose. Do not marry till the passion of purpose has overwhelmed your heart, mind and life. Only then can you know who to walk that life path with. Only then can you, your partner, your marriage and your life ever find meaning and fulfillment.
And if you are already married without knowing your purpose or just discovering your purpose after marriage – return to God who knows you and made you for His purpose. He is the one to whom nothing is impossible. The Great and Only Fixer who can make all things right.
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I hope his words bless you.
I always see career as part of purpose. If they differ, you begin to notice an unexplainable friction in life. Look at this - I sometime ago during a lecture i gave at NYSC Community Development Service defined career as your carrier. What ever gets you moving, that is , what you do along the line of passion and satisfaction, which keeps you gliding in life. This is vital because the economic downturn has made decisions for people rather than them consciously and intentionally choosing. Career has to be from within, or else we become tired legs everywhere. Also, at that lecture, I defined occupation as what occupies your time, day and life. If i say i am into ministry, but i am always found on the football field, there is a shortcoming somewhere. Again, I got to learn that the word - BUSINESS comes from BUSY-NESS. That is, what you are busy doing. One thing we have to realize is that God created us as purposeful beings and our lives must be lived from that consciousness. When Apostle Paul said - 'do not muzzle the ox while it treads....' (1 Cor 9:9 and 1 Tim 5:18) those words are meant for more than pastors! They mean, since the ox is used for treading (Purpose), let it also eat from it (career). Do you know that if the ox treads in A and goes to eat in B, it can NEVER be effective. This is what happens when we use our energy for what does not tally with our innate and unseen being - the hidden man of the heart. Can you also recall when Jesus rose from the dead and miraculously supplied fishes to Peter and other disciples at the river? Read it over again and you will see that Jesus did it for Peter knowing that he actually wanted fish to eat or trade (career), but it dragged him away from the assignment ( purpose). So when Jesus provided, the same Jesus asked him if he loved Him more than the fishes! Jesus was only saying - 'the fishes you desire can come more abundantly than your efforts if you do what I have commissioned you to do. If you choose to be fishing and doing my assignment separately, it wont work. That is, let your career be in my purpose for you'.
Segun is the founder of FRAGRANCE OF LIFE. An interdenominational ministry dedicated to raising people into their purpose in the Kingdom of God. In pursuit of that, he will be holding a training this month in Abuja -
Impacting Lives for Kingdom Effectiveness.
Venue: Lake Chad Hall of International Conference Centre, Abuja.
Time: 3:30 pm
Date: 27 th March, 2010.
You are all invited.
Wednesday, March 3, 2010
A wise man i respect very much asked, “What is that thing you will do for free? What is that particular thing that even if you make no money from it, you would still do? That is your career” but he did not stop there. He went on to ask, “What is that other thing that you would actually pay people to allow you do? That particular thing that you would give up your money, properties and even life to achieve? That is your purpose”. Do you see the difference? WE POSSESS OUR CAREERS BUT OUR PURPOSE POSSESSES US!
In some cases, your career and your purpose are one and the same. Like in the case of Bezalel in Ex 31:1-5. God had endowed him with crafting skills and talents to carve and mold all sorts of wood and metals and stones into exquisite carvings. Bezalel had with all certainty been using this talent as a career in Egypt. We are told he was a professional carver, which means he had been carving professionally for a long time. Carving was his career.
But what I want you to note here is that Carving remained just a career with Bezalel until God told him what he had those skills for. He never entered into his purpose till he was told by God what those skills were for – to build the Tabernacle and the Ark of the Covenant! What does this tell us? Career is for you, Purpose is for God.
Your talent can bring you money and fame and success through your career, but until you step into using those talents for the God who gave them to you and start using them for the things He planned them to be used for, you never enter into purpose and consequently, you never have fulfillment.
That’s why we have men and women seemingly at the height of their careers, successful and powerful, simply enter their rooms one day and commit suicide. They never moved from career to purpose. They never found fulfillment.
Notice also that with Bezalel, it took God telling him for him to know what his purpose was and why he had those talents and skills. Purpose can only be discovered in God. This simply means that until you are in Christ, you don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell of even discovering your purpose. In case you are not clear, let me repeat it in layman’s language – if you are not born again in Jesus Christ, you will never ever discover your purpose talk less of fulfilling it. You will live and die a wasted life. I say that without apology. No matter what you achieve career wise, it will never fulfill you because that career will never evolve to purpose without Christ.
In some cases, your career might seem to differ from your purpose as in the case of Paul in the bible. He was a lawyer before he became an apostle/evangelist, but it was the training he had as a lawyer that helped him most as an apostle. He could because of his legal training stand up to the so called teachers of the law and show them how the very law they were defending spoke of Christ; he could address men of learning and repute anywhere. No matter how wide the difference between your career and purpose might seem, it always, ALWAYS, has a role to play in your purpose.
Your career and purpose might be the same or your career might be the kind that evolves into your purpose or your career and purpose might run hand in hand together, but there are salient differences to note between the two –
* Career is limited. It can be affected by many factors, e.g., age, economic conditions, health etc but Purpose is ‘unlimitable’ (permit me to use this non-word). Nothing can affect or stunt your purpose except you. Things that can limit career only serve to propel you into another dimension in purpose.
* While careers can grow and wane at different times based on different conditions, Purpose just keeps getting bigger and better from season to season through all conditions. “The path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more until the perfect day” Prov 4:18.
* Career is chosen; Purpose is discovered.
* Career is the road; Purpose is the destination
* Career is for you; Purpose is for God
* Career is your gift; Purpose is your calling
* Career is the means; Purpose is the end
* Career starts and ends with you; Purpose begins with God and is an indestructible legacy you leave behind for others to continue till it ends again in God. “I have planted, Apollos watered but God gave the increase” 1 Cor 3:6
* You can achieve your career goals by yourself; You need the Holy Spirit to fulfill your purpose
* Career is you; Purpose is far bigger than you
* Career can be done alone by you; Purpose is team work and effort of the Chosen amongst the body of Christ
* Career gives you everything except fulfillment; Purpose gives you everything AND fulfillment
How can you know your career? Check out your array of natural gifts and talents and interests and effortlessly acquired skills. Those are the GPS navigators of your career path. That thing you refer to as a ‘hobby I’m just interested in’ can turn out to be your career.
How can you know your Purpose? Only one way – GOD! He alone knows why He made you and what He made you to do.
Friday, February 26, 2010
to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was
given us in Christ Jesus before the world began" 2Tim 1:9
What is purpose? The dictionary defines it as 'An anticipated outcome
that is intended or that guides your planned actions'. That means the
above verse can read "who hath saved us and called us with an holy
calling, not according to our works but according to his own intended
anticipated outcome and grace which guides our planned actions, given
us in Christ Jesus before the world began"
Another definition says Purpose is 'what something is used for'. That
tells us your purpose is what you are to be used for. Purpose is why
and who and what you are. It is like cars built for road
transportation; airplanes built for air transportation; boats and ships
for sea transportation. The creators saw a need and built those things
to fulfill that need. That is exactly what happened with YOU! God saw a
need and carefully crafted you, giving you the necessary physical,
mental, emotional, psychological etc attributes to fit into that need.
What happens if you use yourself for something else? The same thing
that happens if you drive a car on the sea; or attempt to drive a ship
on the road; or fly an airplane in the sea. Engines go haywire,
bodyworks are damaged, accidents happen. In human beings, depression
sets in, frustration follows, health is affected, and death often
rounds it up. You just cannot cope functioning out of your purpose zone.
How did our purpose come to be? The above verse says "Before the world
began". Yes, our paths in life were set long before God said "Let there
be light". The bible talks of Christ as "the Lamb of God that was slain
before the foundation of the world" Rev 13:8. This tells us that before
Adam and Eve ever sinned and fell, God knew and had already prepared
our escape route.
He also knew that with Adam's fall, the devil will take over the
affairs of this world and God would need people to get back earth for
Him. So God looked down and saw the need for Doctors, Nurses, Bankers,
Lawyers, Writers, Economists, Politicians, Newscasters, Athletes etc
who would take over Governments, Economies, Banking Industries, Media,
Hospitals, Judiciary, Sports etc and make things run the way He
originally intended for them to run before Adam handed them over to
Because of that need, God began creating men and women, endowing them
with the special abilities needed to be godly Engineers or Architects
or Teachers etc to take over the Engineering world, the construction
companies, the Education sectors etc for God.
Every gift and talent you have is given you to use to restore order in
that particular sector it fits, for God. That is YOUR purpose. That is
why you are good in those things. It was planned and ordered long
before you were born. Long before even Adam was created.
In Exodus 31:1-5, God spoke of how He had endowed Bezalel, son of Uri
with crafting skills for the purpose of building the things for the
Tabernacle and Ark of Covenant. That was why God created that man and
gave him those skills and talents. You also have a reason why God
created you and gave you the skills you have and the thing He wants you
to do with those skills.
How then can you go against it and not execute your executive orders?!
You cannot! The bible says "Many are the plans in a man's heart, but it
is the Lord's purpose that will stand" Prov 19:21. You cannot stop
God's purpose! You will only mess yourself up and ruin your own life
and God's purpose will still be fulfilled. If not through you then
through another person, "God is able of these stones to raise up
children unto Abraham" Matt 3:9. The purpose of God will forever be!
"The Lord's purpose is eternal; the designs of his heart go on through
all the generations of man" Ps 33:11. Solid and Unchangeable! With or
Why then should you fulfill your purpose if God can get it done without
you? The same reason Toyota Corolla must still be driven on land and
not in the sea or air despite the fact that a Honda Accord can do same
job. Just like the Toyota Corolla cannot be used for any other purpose
apart from its original use as a means of road transportation despite
the presence of so many other cars being used for the same thing; so
also you cannot be used for any other purpose other than the one you
are created for despite the presence of others who are also created for
the same purpose.
You are needed. Can you imagine if there was only one doctor available
for the whole of Nigeria? It will be a disaster. That is why God cannot
have just one person in a particular profession. In Exodus 31:6-11,
God told of other people he had endowed with similar skills to work
with Bezalel. This is a joint effort. That's why we need all hands on
deck. But if you refuse to do your part in God, another will be raised
to take your place. Remember that a Toyota Corolla that won't drive on
the road will be left parked in the garage. Don't be left redundant in
Monday, February 22, 2010
“A master looked at his students one day and asked them, “What is the greatest question in life?”Many answers were given. Some said ‘Is God real?’; some others said, ‘What is love?’; still others said the greatest question is “What is the greatest question? The wise man slowly shook his head and said “The greatest question is WHO AM I. The day you ask yourself that question is the day you begin to live” – Words Of Zen
The master in that parable is 100% right. The day you can ask yourself that question is the day you begin to live. Asking yourself WHO AM I is the first step to self discovery.
And the truth of the matter is that you can never realize who you are without knowing WHY you are. Your PURPOSE is who you are.
My journey to self discovery started when i said ‘there has to be more to life than this’. Someone once said ‘Dissatisfaction is the first step to progress. Until you are tired of where you are, you cannot advance to the next level’. That was exactly what the Holy Spirit used to propel me to discovering my purpose. I wanted, needed, CRAVED for more than I was.
I started searching. And when I opened the door to see what was on the other side, to know what the MORE was, I discovered PURPOSE.
Notice I said DISCOVERED! Yes, you always DISCOVER your purpose, you never choose it. Your purpose was first determined, and then you were specially molded and given the tools and talents to actualize it. Your purpose was not made for you; you are created for your purpose. Your purpose is WHO and WHY you are. It is the reason you exist at all.
Even though I say YOUR purpose, it is really God’s purpose, not yours. Notice the above verse “according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us”. It is His purpose and it was given you to execute.
No matter your achievement in life, no matter your success or wealth, even if you live to be two hundred years, if you leave this world without doing what God made you to do, every second of every minute of every hour of every day you spent on this earth is a total and complete waste. Just like someone who buys a Range Rover and parks it at home, thereby not fulfilling the purpose for which that car was made. A Range Rover is not a showpiece or collector’s item. It is built for use.
Purpose is not a topic that can be rushed. I will continue in subsequent posts, but for now, keep the following in mind –
* You are specially created for a specific purpose
* Every talent, gift, attribute was given you as tools (grace) to fulfill that purpose
* It is not your choice but a God-given task
* You are to discover what that purpose is
* It is in fulfilling that purpose that you know who you are
* If you do not discover and fulfill that purpose, your life is meaningless and a waste
* It is never too late to discover and fulfill your purpose. NOW is always the time to start.
Next post will be a short summary of the definition and history of purpose. Please join me to continue this so important topic.
Sunday, February 14, 2010
I learnt something during the week that I want to share with you. It is about the two realities that govern our lives. Reading the story in 2 Kings 6:11-17 about the siege on Elijah, I am reminded that the Spiritual is every bit as real as the physical. In fact, the bible tells us that it is the spiritual that will outlast the physical - "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 seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal" 2 Cor 4:18.
And I want to ask you – WHAT DO YOU SEE? Do you see as the world sees or you focus on seeing like God sees? As humans, we have sight, one of the five senses. But as the redeemed of the Lord we have something more – INSIGHT – what the dictionary calls the deep perception of a situation and the bible calls Inner Sight or Inward Perception.
There are intangible realities in our everyday lives. The realities that cannot be registered by the five senses but are every bit as real and true as the things we can see and touch and taste and smell and hear.
What we see depends on the altitude at which we operate. Do you live in the spirit or in the flesh? Remember the bible says "But the natural man recieveth not the things of the Spirit of God for they are foolishness unto him, neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned" 1 Cor 2:14. If you live firmly on this earth instead of being in the’ heavenly places’ with Christ Jesus, you cannot operate in the unseen. So my second question is ARE YOU OF THIS WORLD OR OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN?
It should be noted from the passage in 2 Kings 6:11-17, that what we see actually affects our faith, it brings fear into our lives and increases doubt. But when we like Moses focus on the unseen - "By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king; for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible" Heb 11:27, we have the faith that drives out fear.
If we live strictly in the realm of the seen, hear what the bible says about us - "For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace" Rom 8:6.
It is the spiritual that gives life - "It is the spirit that quickeneth" John 6:63. Without the spirit, we are dead - “For the body without the spirit is dead" James 2:26.
So, the choice before you now is –
PHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL
NEGATIVE OR POSITIVE
DEVIL OR GOD
SIGHT OR FAITH
CHARIOTS OF SYRIA OR CHARIOTS OF FIRE
There is no middle ground "so then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth" Rev 3:16. Neither can you have it both ways “No man can serve two masters” Matt6:24.
As you decide which to be, remember that a man has the choice of his path but he does not have the choice of the consequences of that path.
May God help and keep you. Amen
Sunday, February 7, 2010
As I am writing this, my mind is still trying to wrap itself around the awesomeness of it. I committed a willful sin. By willful, I mean I knew before I did it, I knew while I was doing it and I knew when I had done it. Through it all, I had the consciousness of the spirit and the awareness of what I was doing and yet, I still went ahead.
I did not want to ask for forgiveness later. Not because I wasn’t sorry but because I felt I could not justify myself and I could not defend the apology to God. So even though, my heart was repeatedly crying out my sin and asking for forgiveness, I decided to wait till I could ‘feel’ sorry enough and cry before apologizing.
Whilst waiting for my emotions to be penitent enough, I imagined all sorts of calamities that would happen because of my willful disobedience to the Holy Spirit.
I waited for God to strike me.
When nothing physical happened, I decided that something spiritual must have happened; I had been punished spiritually, I thought to myself. Or at the least, I had lost something spiritually! Oh, the foolishness of man!
The Holy Spirit broke into my ruminations and quietly asked “Are you sorry?” I answered “YES” immediately and made to add. “But . . . . . . .” He never gave me a chance, “Then you are forgiven” was the quiet declaration.
I immediately revolted against that. Forgiven??!! How could I be forgiven? No, I could not be forgiven so easily for a willful sin, I thought.
Jesus saw my mind and spoke, reminding me of Simon Peter who denied Him three times (Matt 26:33-35, 69-75). He reminded me that Peter had been warned that he would deny Jesus three times and each time he denied Jesus, while he did not remember the warning, he still knew he was doing something grievously wrong by denying Jesus. That was willful sin!
Jesus went on to tell me that by the time Peter was denying Him, forgiveness was no more an issue because Peter had already been forgiven long before the sin was committed. He had been forgiven from the time Jesus told him he would deny Him.
I still could not accept that I was getting off so lightly, I felt I should be judged for the sin I committed; not for God to have mercy on me. I asked “what of JUSTICE?” and Jesus responded and told me that in 1 Jn 1:9, His words were not that God is MERCIFUL to forgive us but that He is JUST to forgive us. JUSTICE IS SERVED IN FORGIVENESS!
OH MY GOD! A light switch just went on in my heart. I finally understood. God has forgiven me my willful sin simply because I confessed and asked Him to forgive me and because He is FAITHFUL to forgive! He had even forgiven me before I asked and before I sinned! And in forgiving me, the demands of justice had been met. The legal grounds for punishment had been met and fulfilled by the justice of forgiveness!!!
Any lingering trace of guilt was erased with the word that says “If our heart condemn us, God is greater than our heart” 1 John 3:20.
YES! He is greater than my heart. If He doesn’t condemn me, no one else can, not even me!
I cannot begin to tell you what this revelation is doing to me. My heart is aglow with it. My spirit sings at this. Now I know I will never commit that sin again because now I KNOW. What punishment could never have done, forgiveness has done. I cannot take that forgiveness for granted; I can never abuse the sacrifice that satisfied the demands of justice on my behalf. That is what will keep me from falling again.
I AM FREE! I AM FORGIVEN!
Monday, February 1, 2010
When I decided to rededicate my life to Christ and make Him my Lord, I knew there were great unimaginable things ahead of me. I looked forward to the adventure and the wonder and the glory of walking hand in hand with the Holy Spirit. I was eager and expectant. But in all my expectations, I never counted the costs!
Jesus warned us that following Him involves sacrifice and fellowship with him comes at a cost - "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me" Matt 16:24. Matt 19:29 clearly shows we will definitely forsake some things and some people for the sake of the gospel.
You deny yourself of so many things because following God requires you to be different and set apart from the rest of the world - "Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins" Rev 18:4.
We are called a “Holy Priesthood” 1 Pet 2:5 therefore we cannot do things like other people. The difference is that WE ARE LED BY THE SPIRIT OF GOD! And when God leads you, He takes you down some tough paths.
I am going down my tough path right now. I am making a sacrifice so painful; it’s feels as if my heart is being ripped out. I keep on looking at what I’m giving up and it seems way too much.
Then reading my bible one morning, I came across that passage that tells us how Christ called his disciples in Matt4:18-22. I immediately began to look through the four books of the Gospel for where and how Christ called the disciples and their responses. (Matt 9:9, Mark 2:14, Luke 5:27 &28) And I asked myself, what could have made these men so willingly to follow Christ without hesitating? They left their families, their source of livelihood, their lives! They just heard “Follow me” and right away, they got up and did exactly that.
I believe it was because instead of them being like me and wallowing in depression and lamenting over what they were ‘losing’, they instead looked up to Jesus and COUNTED THE GAINS!
They knew that what they stood to gain was far more, unbelievably more than anything they could ever leave for His sake. Hebrews 11:6 says “He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” He will never leave your sacrifice unrewarded.
What a change that made to me. How radically my perspective shifted at that revelation. What is ever a loss when Jesus is involved? ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! It is all gain; it is all joy; it is all to my benefit! It is just as my brother said, whenever God tells you to drop what you are carrying, it’s because He wants empty arms to fill up with His own unique blessings.
I still hurt but now I don’t sorrow. Instead I look up to the Author and Finisher of my faith in eager expectation for the amazing thing He has for me. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things God hath prepared for them that love him" 1 Cor 2:9.
And I know by the time I see and understand what it is God is giving me in replacement, I will scream ‘THANK YOU, LORD’ so loudly even heaven will reverberate.
Now I do as the scripture bids me “Count it all joy” James 1:2. I do not focus on the loss anymore because there is no loss. Now I sit and watch expectantly while COUNTING MY GAINS.
Tuesday, January 26, 2010
“. . . . . . . . . . Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings, thou hast perfected praise” Matt 21:16
Praying this morning, I felt a flow of the Holy Spirit in me and I burst into songs in the spirit. I kept on singing in tongues and soon lost myself in the joy of the Lord. That happens to me a lot but today something about the unknown words I was speaking out captivated me and I asked the Holy Spirit for the meaning. The following verses are the translation He gave me. I just have to share them with you.
If they could see the power in that Name
If they could understand the greatness of my Lord
If they could know the Mighty God I worship
They would tremble and fall on their knees
But they cannot see the power in that Name
They cannot understand the greatness of my Lord
They do not know the Mighty God I worship
That’s why they think I stand on my own
So I’ll let them see the power in that Name
I’ll let them understand the greatness of my Lord
I’ll let them know the Mighty God I worship
So they can taste and know my God is good
Then they will see the power in that Name
Then they will understand the greatness of my Lord
Then they will know the Mighty God I worship
And we’ll rejoice and fellowship with Him
I wish I’m gifted in writing music so I could write out the tune for you but as I’m completely clueless in musical arts of any sort, I’ll simply leave it to God who is not the author of confusion to reveal the tune through His Spirit in you as He did with me.
May the words bless you as much as they blessed me.
Friday, January 22, 2010
“. . . . . . Be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind . . . . .” Rom 12:2
My little brother performed a little experiment on our dog recently and it taught me an invaluable lesson. Tiger, our dog has a nasty habit of scaring visitors away so we keep him chained during the day. One end of the chain is looped into his dog collar and the other end tied to a metal hook by his dog house. The chain is about seven feet in length.
That particular morning, my brother called Tiger over and as always, hooked the chain to his collar but then he did something else, he untied the other end of the chain, the end that that goes into the metal hook and he then left that end lying on the ground.
Over the next five hours, we watched Tiger but he never went beyond the span of the chain. He had become so used to being tied up and having only limited yard space to move in, that even when he was left to go free, he didn’t. In his mind, he was still tethered to the chain so he stayed within the confines of the length of that chain!
Watching that dog that day made me ask myself, “Rayo, Christ has freed you. Why are you keeping yourself captive?” The bible says I AM FREE INDEED! Why am I staying tethered to sin? Why am I limited spiritually? Why am I not spreading my wings and mounting up like the eagle I am?
Every time I give in to sin, I am not living in the freedom Christ died to give me. Every time I say ‘I cannot’ to something God wants from me, I am living like the freed ‘captive of the mighty’ who still seats at the foot of the strongman that Jesus has defeated.
The bible says “as a man thinketh in his heart so he is” Prov 23:7. How true is that statement! It wasn’t the chain that kept Tiger bound that day, it was his mind. Just as it is not any hold of the devil or any bindings of sin that holds a Christian down, it is our mind!
It is high time we refuse to live as slaves anymore when Jesus has made us heirs. Take control of your mind with the help of the Holy Spirit and start “casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ” 2 Cor 10:5.
How far you are going to go this year will depend on how far your mind takes you. Isn’t that enough reason to ‘renew your mind’ in God’s word?