Do we have a holy character?

“Moses said to the people “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning”.”
Exodus 20:20, NIV

Holiness has to do with character. Character is what we do when no one is looking. Character is not reputation, nor is it what we have achieved, but who we are.

1 Corinthians 13 tells us that love is the most important gift and love has to be part of our character. Love can be tough, tender hearted or radical.

It’s extremely difficult to learn to love without the love of Christ constraining us. If we’re looking for spectacular personal transformation and revival we need to know about holiness and character. I think the world’s most pressing need is to have holy character.

When we look at the world around us, corruption seems to be in every place. We see political corruptions and scandals, the economic corruption in the banks, sporting corruption in high places, nepotism in Government offices.

When people abandon holiness, honesty and integrity, with great speed that greed, corruption and self seeking take over. But if we’re looking for a major move of God, we need to know it starts individually, with you and me.

When I read stories of immense courage, I think “that’s what I want to be like”. I don’t want to be controlled by fear or greed. I don’t want to cave in under difficult circumstances or compromise my beliefs. I don’t want to give up because the going gets too tough for me. The bible says ‘God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirit of power, love and sound mind’ (2 Timothy 1:7).

We often hear of inspiring media stories like a woman housing abandoned children, human rights activists standing up against land grabbing corrupt leaders. Every single day we make choices that show whether we are courageous or cowardly. We choose between the right thing or the convenient thing.

Do we stick to biblical principles? Or do we cave in for the sake of our carnal nature, or our comfort zone? Do we give in to greed, or seek others’ approval. These choices come every day, by rapid fire. Do we go with the flow, or stop and choose to be courageous when other people are not?

To become a Christian takes courage. You have to own up to your sins before a holy God – that takes courage. It takes courage to make your relationships work. Are you and I willing to fight with courage for our spiritual and relational growth, and to be the holy people of God, preferring others to ourselves. That’s what God has called us to be.

Prayer: Father God, would You, by Your grace, help me to be holy and blameless, and to walk with love and courage today. Help me to grow in my character and to be conformed into the image of Your son. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Weights and burdens

For the best part of my life, i was a very impatient person. I was always in a rush, whatever it was that i was doing, including eating.
If i wanted something, it had to be now. If not now, then it was too late.
This was so until God sent me patience itself to teach me patience in the name of my Husband.

From the moment i picked him from the airport, i noticed his patience. I was unable to start the automatic car, and after quiet a struggle, he asked me calmly, are you sure you will get us home? After all, i was unable to start this complicated auto transimition car.

When we went for shopping with the girls, who are expert window shoppers like their mum, he patiently walked behind us through the rows over and over, smiling and nodding whenevr it was necessary and admiring whatever we admired. Three hours later, we broke off to have lunch, he never complained or rushed us. He still doesn’t. I was also captive to television. I had ‘my programs’ and missing them was simply impossible. Anything and everything else was secondary. Sadly, my life revolved around them. I prepared meals based on the timing of my programs, woke up based on it, went to bed based on it. I simply idolized television.
We all have weights and burdens that prevent us from advancing in the knowledge of the word of God, in our faith, endurance and many others required of us.
Your burden could be in the form of anger, jealousy, envy, bitterness, laziness, hatred etc. We should maintain a thankful heart regardless of our circumstances. The beauty of life is that, however bad or hard things may seem, they reduce in intensity with time as long as you focus on God. We all have issues we must endure, and blessings we should be thankful for.

Problem with these self imposed burdens in our life is that they hinder us from living according to Gods will for our life. And hence not achieving our purpose in Him. They cloud our thoughts and sight. If we maintain our focus on Christ and run our race, He will help us keep these weights and burdens off us.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us … (Hebrews 12:1)

Father, i pray that each morning You search my heart and bring forth the areas i have burdened myself with unnecessary weights. That you renew my mind daily.

Strength

But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”
Isaiah 40:31, KJV
This verse promises that as we wait upon the Lord He will renew our strength. Instead of relying on our own resources, we will be receiving from Him. An exchange takes place between our weakness and His strength. We will then be like eagles which soar on the thermals, seemingly without any effort. Why not resolve to do that today?

When God gave me the scripture of Isaiah 61:1-3 as His will for my life, i laughed, just like Sarah did when she overheard that she would have a baby. Genesis 18:10-14.
I laughed because aside from just having been healed from lack of self esteem, i believed my voice was horrific, courtesy of my class four teacher who called me a frog when i joined the class choir, and warned me against ever singing within anyones earshot. How could i possibly speak to a large audience?
When He arranged for me to appear on National television, i was in shock. I had not even got the courage to expose a picture of my hubby and i on social media, and now here we were going to be viewed by thousands of people.

I have been approached by many women, who got inspired or motivated by my story. Majority ask me how i could endure such an abusive relationship. They share their opinion of the things they would have done if they were in my shoe. Some hope to go a similar path as mine, emphasizing on a rich husband though. Interestingly, as much as i thought i was ministering to women only, men too have told me they were inspired. The difference is that, all the men i have spoken to got the point! The men celebrate Gods Mightiness! I even indicated in the book that my readers should see God and not i.

I have six inch heels, four inch and sports shoes. I only wear the highest when i have private means to my destination, so i dont walk much. I can walk for some distance in the high ones. But, in my sports shoes, i can walk for ten kilometers without feeling any discomfort. I believe thats how our life is. When you rest in God, you can endure so much, because He strengthens you all the way. For as long as i endured that season, His grace was sufficient and His strength enabled me.

As i share my testimony, my desire is that my readers and listeners focus on God. God is limitless! We are individually created in His image, for unique purposes. Why would you want someone else’s life, when yours is perfect according to His will? For He knows our end from the beginning. I see people having challenges i cannot withstand even for an hour. Yet they are able to. Because He strengthens them. When we allow Him to execute His will for us, we will go through challenges, but His grace will enable us to endure in peace.

My prayer is that He opens my spiritual mind, spiritual ears and eyes, so i can perceive as He perceives me. So i can keep my eyes focused on His big picture for my life.

Little steps

Last night Joyce Meyer shared an interesting testimony from one of the women who attended her conference a few years back. Joyce Meyer, for those who may not know her is a popular televangelist, philanthropist and an amazing teacher of the word. She is my role model. I enjoy her teaching based on reality, not promising miracles from seed and such. But living practically based on Gods will for us.

She said this woman was abused as a child. She suffered depression as an adult and had since accepted salvation but was still on medication. At the conference, God arranged for her to sit on a table that was occupied by other women in depression. Gods plans are perfect!
She later shared with Joyce at the end of the conference that, as they shared their experiences and breakthroughs during the conference, the other women had all been delivered from depression. They shared the steps God asked them to take, only for this woman to realize God had told her the same, but she just didn’t do it!

This morning i meditated so much on my life. I came to the realization that, the steps God has asked me to take over the years were mostly ridiculous, if not insane sometime. But as i took them, one at a time, i experianced victory at the end.
For example when i quit my job abruptly, it could barely sustain us, seriously, quitting was like committing financial suicide. Everyone who knew me then thought i was mad, to be honest, i thought the same. But my spirit was totally at peace! Looking back, if i did not walkout, my Children would not have left for college.

When I had to close my business which cost my husband so much lose, those who were close to me thought i was crazy, they saw so much potential in that business, and there was, but, it was not His will for me.

Now, as i go about my business am approached by women who are thankful for my testimony because it inspired them, gave them hope or even made them appreciate their life more, am humbled and feel so fulfilled! I cannot compare this to monetary gain. This is priceless!
Especially knowing that if i had insisted on being the successful business woman, as my husband teases me, i would probably have made it, but, money is never enough. I would simply have craved for more. I would never have had time to write my book nor give my testimony.

Am so thankful that He is using me in this way.
Listen to His instructions, however silly they may seem. For they all work out for the best in the end to the glory of His Mighty name! For He knows our end from the beginning, His plans for us are perfect, as long as we take the little steps, He directs our paths in perfection!

Dear Father God, may you create in me a meek and humble spirit, that will enable me to obey your instructions without hesitation.

Un Ashamed!

Last friday i attended prayer day for my youngest son in his school as they prepare to start their National Exams tomorrow.
I walked in the hall just as the worship session was starting. I lifted my hands up and joined in as i walked to my seat. First, i like the song they were singing and secondly, i have learnt over time that worshiping Him has no shame. For He is Alpha and Omega! Without Him, am nothing!

As i stood with my arms lifted deep in worship, my spirit took me to the night this boy came into the world. I broke down and wept uncontrollably, oblivious of anyone else in the room. Extremely thankful to God for this precious gift!

It was a difficult night that we both were saved from death by God.
I had not had a proper meal or enough sleep for a week. I went into labour with so much anxiety due to intense abuse. I had not attended clinic and so labour pangs jolted me into the reality of things that could go wrong during delivery.

I went to visit an ex inlaw in denial..wishing it away and hoping it was not labour. It progressed and her friend offered to take me to hospital. We were turned away from the first hospital due to my history of not having attended pre natal clinic and the inability to raise a deposit. I was admitted at the next small private clinic. No sooner had my escort left, i felt the urge to push. Unfortunately i pushed only twice faintly as a result of my weakness.
A short while later the doctor was getting frantic as the head was clearly visible but no energy whatsoever to push. He asked his nurse to bring an instrument they use to engage the head and pull. The baby was in distress, he said. I was actually either half asleep or semi conscious at this time. I remember whispering to God, Lord, You know my case, please help me.

Suddenly i became alert, and got a surge of energy, i pushed once and my handsome baby boy was out, just in time for the nurse to arrive with the instrument. They were both astonished at what just transpired. The baby was very weak and frail. He could only manage a soft whimper as a cry. The doctor picked him up, as i went faint. He suddenly placed the baby back ordering the nurse to pick him up and do whatever procedure required to stabilize him. I heard him yell to the nurse, we are loosing her! He felt my pulse as he gently held my chin and asked me to stay with him. I could not. I drifted off. This was after one in the morning.

I awoke to a bright day with my lively baby beside me.
The nurse told me am lucky to be alive, with the baby. She explained that i had low blood pressure. I always had an issue with anemia. But i knew otherwise. God had given me the much needed rest, after nearly a week of grueling sleepless nights.

God has seen to Davis’ healthy growth till now. I do not remember any instance Davis lay in bed sick till now. He is a brilliant boy who reasons so much, with every instruction or question. For Him to be here now, prepared for his examination, God has done it! Again. He is truly a faithful God!… He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:6)

May He enable me to worship Him whenever, wherever without shame!

Are you Rooted in Him?

As i read Janet Ikua’s message on Facebook this morning i could not help but shed tears. Interestingly, my tears were not of sadness but of joy and admiration for her courage and humour despite her illness and the dreaded radiotherapy she is undergoing.

I understand so well that her courage, humour and positive outlook comes from the fact that she is obviously rooted in God. God comforts us and gives us a peace surpassing our understanding in the most difficult times if we are rooted in Him and trust Him no matter what.

I personally, just like all of you have been in situations where i could have completely fallen apart if i did not know who God really is and trusted Him completely.
This reminds me of how we pray so earnestly to God to give us this or that, most times material wealth. We take for granted our good health most times even forgetting to thank Him and instead grumbling and murmuring about mundane things which we often give priority being in good health and hence not having to deal with a situation such as Janet’s.

Until the unusual comes to us or our loved ones then we suddenly come to our senses and sometimes even ask God why us? Why not us? Especially that we ignore thanking Him and rooting ourselves in Him when we are alright. We should learn to seek God for who He is, our reason for being here, other than for what He should do for us.

Jesus said that those who seek to save their lives will loose it but those who loose their lives for my sake will be saved!
When you truly know Him, like Janet, no matter how big a storm you may face, He will comfort you and see you through with minimal scathing!

May He enable us to seek Him in good or bad times. May we be rooted in Him!