Thursday, January 30, 2014

Compelling Motivation To Stay Committed In Marriage

In the blog posted last week, I noted that it is important for us to have deep personal convictions based on the knowledge of God’s will in everything we pursue in all spheres of our lives. These deep personal convictions, which I also referred to as irresistible strong moral reasons, become the driving force for all we do. Without such a compelling motivation, it will be difficult—if not impossible—to endure the long haul.

Wanting something is not good enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way. - Les Brown (

In this post, I will focus on compelling motivation to stay committed in marriage. In applying the quote above by Les Brown; wanting a good and thriving marriage is not going to be enough to create one. You must earnestly desire and seek after it. Therefore your motivation for a great marriage must be compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that you will undoubtedly encounter, and in order to stay committed to your vows, to each other and to the purpose of the marriage.

Understanding Marriage is Sacred

Marriage is a sacred institution. It is a covenant relationship which deserves utmost respect and attention. Covenant, as defined by the scripture, is a solemn and binding relationship which is meant to last a life time. Understanding marriage as a covenant relationship based on the covenant God has made with us preserves the sanctity of marriage and the stability of the home.

It brings strength and purpose to both the husband and wife when they bring their lives and marriage under the control of the inspiring assurance that they are both living in a covenant relationship with God. A deep understanding of marriage with this insight will compel us to be true to our vows. We can stay committed to each other when we remain committed to God.

“Until Death Do Us Part”

This is God’s design for marriage from its inception. It is a relationship forged by commitment to a life-long relationship. Aligning our minds to this creation design is critical to staying committed in marriage.

When a man and a woman enter into marriage with a determination to make their marriage a lasting one, they are more likely to make it happen, come what may. If however, the couple starts their life together with the thought that it is optional and there is a way out if it does not work, they are more likely to end up in a divorce court. They will have no strong motivation to remain committed when faced with problems.

We have to note that the benefits God designed for marriage “can not be sought—let alone achieved—outside the context of covenantal fidelity and permanence.” It is only in the permanence and exclusivity of our relationship can we reap the benefits God intended for marriage (Halee Gray Scott, Author, Why Christian Marriage Matters).

“A lasting marriage is built by two people who believe in and live by the solemn promise they made.” – Darlene Schacht


Dr. Fred Lowery wrote about Purpose-Driven Marriage in his book, “Covenant Marriage.” Here are some thoughts shared: “It means that the couple have a basic understanding of the kind of marriage they are trying to build and what it will take to make it happen. It means that they are both willing to work together towards that common goal” (paraphrased).

What is the purpose of your marriage? Do you have common hopes and dreams for the future?

Marriages and relationships die for the lack of purpose. If there is no valid, defined, and acknowledged purpose for our marriage, chances are we will have trouble keeping it alive and staying committed to it. 

Without a shared dream, a marriage relationship will become stale and eventually die. “Dreams stimulate hope. Hope stimulates planning. Planning moves you forward. Resulting in positive progress for the marriage” – Neil Warren (Author, The Triumphant Marriage).

A Gift Worth Fighting For

Your marriage is a gift from God to you to enjoy and be happy in. The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy what God wants you to be blessed and enriched with. God has empowered us with the knowledge, strength and grace to stand against the devil’s plan to destroy our marriage, steal our peace and kill our joy. Praise be to God that Jesus came to destroy all the works of the enemy. So when Jesus occupies the central place in your home and both of you submit your will to Him, you are able to recognize the enemy’s tactics and scheming, and ward off his incursion into your marriage.

Don’t give up on your marriage or your spouse, fight for the precious gift which God has blessed you with. “Be committed to keeping what God has given you” (Gbenga and Ronke, Marriage

Forgiveness plays a big part in retaining a hold on your marriage during crisis. I have heard couples say quite often that they separated because of irreconcilable differences. Whenever there is a willingness to forgive, the couple is better able to overcome the problem.

“A happy marriage is a union of two good forgivers” – Ruth Bell Graham

It Takes Hard Work

A great marriage doesn't just happen. Nothing good or great in marriage “just happens.” It has to be cultivated. It takes serious effort, time and determination to make great things including a good marriage to happen. Thriving marriages are not made out of luck, neither are they accomplished by accident. It simply does not fall on your laps like an overripe plum nor can you stumble on it by chance.

When you go through the season of “for worse” you need to know that you are not responsible for your spouse’s problems, wrong decisions and its consequences, and bad behavior. It is not your fault that your spouse is going through a crisis, even if he/she tries to make it about you. The path of least resistance is to blame others for our troubles, but each one must learn to take responsibility for their decisions and actions.

It takes a lot of courage and patience to stay in a troubled marriage but God’s grace is abundantly available to see us through the crisis and trials no matter how severe it may be.

Cultivating a strong and virile marriage is hard work but it is well worth it.

“The difference between an ordinary marriage and an extraordinary marriage is in giving a little ‘extra’ every day, as often as possible, for as long as we both shall live.” – Fawn Weaver

Refresh Your Vows and Remind Yourself of the WHY

What are you doing to keep your marriage fresh and vitalized?

“Your commitment to making your marriage work needs to be refreshed continually. Decide to hold on to each other, for always” (Gary and Joy Lundberg, Reminding ourselves as often as possible of the purpose of our marriage will keep us committed to keeping it vital and fresh. It is our responsibility to do everything in our power to awaken our relationship and live a more meaningful life together as a couple.

Recognize the good in your spouse and be consistent in telling your spouse about the good you see in him or her.

“You can’t help loving a person that makes you feel good about yourself
whenever you are with that person”

Dear Friends, it is God’s will and design for us to have a great, thriving and lasting marriage. But it requires our willingness to stay committed. The only way to do this, is by having strong, irresistible and compelling reasons to desire and work towards permanence. The purpose of today’s blog is to remind you of why you can stay committed in your marriage and to rekindle your desire to do so.

“Today is another day to start creating a lasting marriage. Don’t wait until tomorrow, start today”

Please note that if you are in an abusive relationship whether physical or emotional, you need to seek professional help and spiritual support.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

On A Day Like This

In 2013, a number of persons, well known and close to my husband and I, went home to be with the Lord. While we grieved and mourn their absence in the flesh, we continue to give thanks to God for their lives, their testimonies and the legacy they left behind.

At midnight on Saturday, January 25th, my mind was flooded again with the memories of these departed and loved ones. I received alerts both on my cell phone and IPad reminding me that my dear friend’s birthday was forthcoming in a few days. Since that day, I have received several more notifications. I do my best not to miss my friends’ birthdays but this is one birthday I was not looking forward to. She is no longer here to celebrate her birthday.

I was in a dilemma.  What can I do on a day like this when I can not call or send her a message to wish her well?

Keeping Memories Alive:
If it were possible, I would have loved to visit her graveside and lay some flowers there. But I am here in Geneva and Sally (Funmi Adewole) was laid to rest in Chicago. Yes, I know she is not there. She has joined the cloud of witnesses in heaven and she is in a better and more glorious place. A place that we must all long for and look forward to going. Because Heaven is the reward of the believer.

Perhaps, we could all come together, all of us who were friends with her and share the memories of our times together with her when we were at the University in Ibadan. But we are all spread around the world. Surely, on a day like this, it would have been great to be in the same room with Tola, Mowunmi, Shandy, Smiler, Titi, Toyin, Bukky, Bola, Muyiwa and many others.

Maybe, I will read again the story of her legacy shared by her husband and friends, watch the video of her last sermon in church, or remind myself of the things I wrote about her.

It is a good time for me to consider how I can be a part of keeping her memory alive. See A Legacy of Good Works.

Those Left Behind:
On a day like this, when loved ones who have departed would have been celebrating their birthdays, what do you do? If I feel this way, I cannot begin to imagine how the spouses and children of such departed ones would feel on such a day as this. Three of them come readily to mind: Bro Bayo and his children, Grace Q and her children, and Coach T and his sons.

I wondered how they will cope on such a day like this. I was quickly reminded that Our God is a Father of all comfort, full of passion and everlasting love, He is able to keep their hearts at peace. He is there with them to wrap His warm, loving and comforting arms around them. He holds them so close to His chest and He soothes them with His warm breath.

At such times of loneliness and deep longing for the touch and presence of the departed one, God is there to be everything they need. He is able to fill the void. At the time when the children ask, “Why?” He gives wisdom to find the right words to respond to them. And He gives the grace to carry on.

They are in my thoughts and prayers today, and indeed, have been throughout this week.

For them and the rest of us, the lesson we can take away from the testimony of the lives of these departed ones is that, our time here on earth, no matter how short or long, must be applied to doing the things that count by God’s standard. Being fully persuaded that God has left us here on earth at this time for a purpose. Our chief aim and goal must be to walk in the fullness of that purpose.

For us let behind, we can thank God for the assurance which we have that we shall see them all again when we meet at the Father's throne in glory.

When The Saints Go Marching In

We are traveling in the footsteps
Of those who've gone before
But we'll all be reunited
On a new and sunlit shore

Oh when the saints go marching in
When the saints go marching in
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in

Oh when the trumpet sounds the call
Oh when the trumpet sounds the call
Oh Lord I want to be in that number
When the saints go marching in

Praying For Some in Particular:
Three of these departed ones have one factor in common. They were afflicted with cancer. So, on a day like this, I remember my friends who are at this time dealing with this destructive disease. I stand on the authority of God’s word and declare that the word of God is sent forth to heal them and deliver their bodies from destruction by cancer. I hold on to the horns of the altar and entreat the Lord on their behalf that the power of God to heal will be at work in them.

Perhaps, you too can join me to stand in the gap for them.

On a day such as this, I choose to pause and ponder. I choose to re-evaluate my walk with God and where I am in the assignment He has called me for. He delivered me from the jaws of death almost 9 months ago and I know this new life He gave me is for a purpose.

I resolve in my heart not be found wanting in fulfilling that purpose and to be ready when He calls me to my home on high. I've got my mind made up and I won’t turn back because I want to see my Jesus someday.

I dare to ask you today; Are you ready?

“Be thou faithful unto death and I will give thee a crown of life” – Revelations 2:10

This post is dedicated to the loving memories of three of our friends who went to be with the Lord in 2013:

Funmi (April 17th, Chicago), Chedra (Sept. 25th, Geneva), Bahati (Dec. 5th, Tanzania)

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Compelling Motivation

When I concluded my blog post last week; Stay Focused, I realized that we will need something to keep us focused especially when it gets really hard and we are faced with obstacles. The more I meditated on this, the more I realized that what we need is a compelling motivation. As I researched and prepare this blog post, I began to understand that there is more to compelling motivation than its application to staying focused.

During my days in the university campus, I attended a number of Marriage Seminars, especially as a postgraduate student. At one of such annual seminars, the speaker stated that, it is essential for us to know why we were convinced that the person we desire to marry is God’s will for us. She noted that such convictions will become very important later on in the marriage. So she encouraged all the singles at the event to examine their hearts, wait in the presence of God, and be convinced that they are in the will of God before proceeding in their relationships.

I also have asked this question of many intending couples, I have by the grace of God, had the opportunity to talk with during pre-marriage counselling sessions.

Why do you think this person is God’s will for you?
What are your convictions from God about the individual you want to be married to?
Why him or why her?

The truth of the matter is that these convictions will become the compelling motivation that will keep you going when the marriage is hit by the dark seasons of “for poorer, for worse and in sickness.”

I know this from experience. My marriage has experienced all the seasons we pledged in our wedding vows: “for better for worse, for richer for poorer, and in sickness and health…” Knowing without any iota of doubt in my heart that God brought my husband and I together for a purpose, kept us through the difficult and challenging seasons. I love, respect and appreciate him more today, through all we have experienced together as couple, than on the day I first found I’m in love with him 24 years ago. That love has grown and matured, having been tested by fire.

This principle of having a deep personal conviction based on the knowledge of God’s will and faith in His leading, wisdom and guidance, is applicable to everything we do in all the spheres of our lives. My friend and Sista, Bidemi Mark-Mordi in her recent blog post, Is Your Wheel Balanced?, referred to these spheres of our lives as “the seven spokes of a wheel: spiritual, family, financial, physical, mental, personal and career.”

Every aspects of our lives must be governed by the same principle:

Why are you doing what you are doing in each area?

Why are you pursuing a particular goal, dream or vision?

What are you seeking to achieve at the end of it all?

What is the why behind what you are doing or what you want to do? Your convictions. Your driving force.
Motives are what lie behind an action and they determine whether the act is righteous or sinful, good or bad. It is the moral reason for doing what we do. It is possible to do the right things for the wrong reasons.

These moral reasons must be compelling because they must be able to capture and hold our attention in a strong, powerful and irresistible way. So compelling motivations refers to the strong and irresistible moral reasons for doing what you do. They lie deep in the heart and in the foundation of every Christian life. Without a compelling motivation, you will not be able to endure to the end,

What are your motives?
Could it be: Passion, Possession, Position or Popularity?

If these are the motives compelling your decisions and actions, first they will not sustain you when the going gets rough. Secondly, they will push you into the rat race and further away from the will of God to the place where the end is used to justify the means. That is not the place you want to be as a Christian. It is a place where integrity is sacrificed at the altar of gain, where long term pleasure is sacrificed for immediate gratification and where the focus is on now instead of eternity.

A compelling motivation,
Takes hold and manifests,
To possess as if obsessed,
Without question to where one is destined.
Lawrence S. Pertillar
Compelling Motivation to live a godly life:
For those of us who are called by the name of God—Christians, what should be our compelling motivation?

God has done so much for us, He has been so gracious to us, and has loved us with such great love that we must therefore give loving, grateful answer to that goodness by living a faithful and fruitful life. Therefore, gratitude to God is a very strong reason to live a godly life. A truly grateful heart will long to demonstrate its thankfulness by pleasing the One Who has been kind and generous to him. A Christian lives a godly life because by doing so, he is showing gratitude and thankfulness to the God, his Saviour.

Another compelling motivation for living godly life is the fear of God’s judgment. That is, the fear of the immediate and future consequences of disobeying God. Closely related to this, is the reward for living faithful and righteous life in this life and in the one which is to come. “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive what is due for what he has done in the body, whether good or evil” (2Cor 5:10). We also know that each of us will give account of himself before God, our Father (Romans 14:12). A consideration of this should prompt us to faithfulness in our walk and relationship with God. It is a very strong moral reason to desire to live a holy and godly life before God and men.

“There is no more compelling motivation to worthwhile endeavors than the knowledge that we are children of God, that God expects us to do something with our lives and that He will give us help when help is sought.”
– Gordon B. Henkley

Compelling Motivation to stay focused and committed:
The desire to do what God has called you to do will keep shining as light in the darkness of difficulties, opposition and obstacles, you may face in the process of doing what you know God has called you to do.

Therefore, your conviction is based on the fact that you know that God has called you into that particular relationship, or to a ministry, or an assignment or to fulfil a purpose. You know that the vision and dream in your heart is God-given and oriented towards accomplishing something in God’s grand plan. Given this conviction, you can keep doing what you know God has called you to do, even when you are faced with resistance or opposition or you cannot see the immediate impact of what you are doing.

I know I am called to write. I cannot but write. Despite the many obstacles I have faced in the process of writing and the time and resources it requires, I simply cannot stop writing. I am learning each day to depend on Him for the grace and the willingness to write the words He gives me to write. I am learning to trust Him to take care of those who read these words and use them to touch their lives for good and to make a difference in their lives. I am also learning to rely on Him to take care of my needs as I obediently pursue the task assigned to me even when it is very hard. I am convinced that He is able to take my writing to the highest level He has in mind for me.

Do you know what God has called you to do? What has been the compelling motivation keeping you on the track and focused on the goal? Share with us and let us encourage one another.

I will continue this blog post next week as I expound on compelling motivations to keep us committed in our relationships and to keep abounding in good works. Until then, may the Lord grant you an ever-increasing revelation of the knowledge of His will to give you strong irresistible moral reasons to stay faithful to Him and His calling upon your life.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Stay Focused

The holiday is over. My husband and sons have gone back to work and school. It was on Monday morning, I had woken up early with the readiness to start work on my tasks too. But as I laid on my bed pondering on all the things I desire and need to accomplish over the next couple of months, I felt overwhelmed at the magnitude of work that needs to be done.

When I was working on the timeline for the publication of my book with my publisher, I thought six months would give me more than enough to complete the work. Upon reviewing the work at the beginning of the year I was shocked to note how much work is still required to complete the work. With less than 2 months left to go, I am feeling an intense pressure and quite uncertain of how I am going to accomplish this task on top of the other goals I had set for the first quarter of 2014. My brain cells were working overtime that morning trying to figure out how these set goals will be accomplished.

I knew with all certainty in my heart that it is the will of God for this task—the completion of the book, to be done in a timely fashion. The clarion call has been so loud over the last four months that I cannot make any more excuses for a further delay in the completing this assignment without disobeying God. But it just seemed so hard to stay focused on the task and meet the writing goal set for each day. There were so many important things also competing for my attention and a few distractions as well if I want to be sincere to myself.

For my devotion a short-while later, I decided to use the 31 Devotions For Writers compiled by Susette Williams, which I bought recently. The Bible verse for meditation literally jumped out of the page at me:

“For I am the Lord your God Who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Fear not, I will help you.” - (Is 41: 13).

I was elated. My spirit was lifted high up. God upholds my right hand and He is saying to me, telling me not to be afraid, He will help me. He is assuring me that I don’t need to try and figure it out all by myself how all these goals will be accomplished. He is with me to help me. I meditated on the verse and read it in as many Bible translations as available to me until it sank deep into my spirit.

The writer of this devotion, Rachel Hauck, continued to encourage me that God is with me, with her inspiring words and her testimony of how God came through for her when she felt it was just too hard to put one extra ounce of effort into her writing and she felt so alone.

She wrote, “Writing is hard. Get over the idea or notion it’s fun, easy-breeze and a snap. Align your thoughts and actions with the reality that it takes hard work and perspiration to produce well-written article, poem, song or book. But also align your heart with the truth that God is with you. He will help you.” This has application for everything we desire, dream and envision of accomplishing in life. It will take some perspiration. It will require us to align ourselves with this truth.

My responsibility is to align myself with the truth of God’s word concerning the task He has assigned to me and stay focused on the goal, the work at hand. Yes, He will help me. He will hold me up and retain me with His victorious right hand of righteousness and justice.

Stay focused on the goal and task that God has assigned to you. He will not leave you alone or abandon you in it. Refuse to agree with the negative suggestions and thoughts telling you that it is too hard or it is impossible for you to do it. Truly, it will be impossible to accomplish your task in your strength without the help of God and His sustaining grace.

He has promised to make us fit for whatever purpose He called us to, just as He made Jacob, considered a worm, a weak thing, to become like a new, sharp threshing instrument.

Don’t let the magnitude of what needs to be done dismay you. Don’t let the magnitude of your expectations and desires terrify you and make you despair to the point that it looms before you like an insurmountable mountain. God is able to provide supernaturally all we need to accomplish the task set before us. He opened rivers on bare heights and fountains in the midst of the valley to provide water for His thirsty people. He made the wilderness a pool of water and dry land to become spring (Is 41:18). He is still the same God today, Who is promising to sustain, uphold and help you. We are assured that we will have constant supply from where we least expect.

You just stay focused on the task at hand. Take a step, a concrete and definite step each day, no matter how small you may consider it to be. And you will be amazed what God can do with your limited resources and determined effort. It is humanly impossible for cedars, firs or myrtles to grow in the desert, they need well watered and fertile land to grow. God’s provision and intervention will cause us to see and have provision in unusual places. God is able to render us fruitful by causing His grace to abound to us and by helping us at our time of need. We and all those who behold the outcome will give glory to God and rejoice in Him.

What a great assurance it gives to know that God will bless us with the grace to relentlessly keep at pushing ahead and not give up, give in or stay down.
There is no technology yet invented that can translate dreams and visions into reality except you take deliberate and concrete actions to work it out. It requires hard work, discipline and determination to do so. Though not easy, it is the only way to living your dreams and seeing your vision become a reality.

A vision has to be accompanied by an action to become a reality.

Am I where I want to be yet? No. But am I making progress? Definitely yes. 300 words one day, 1200 on another, every single word is making a difference and taking me towards the goal. Concerning the other projects I have on hand, I know God Who is helping me with the writing is also ever present to help me with the rest of the tasks on my hand.

The words of the song, Push Back The Dark by Josh Wilson, inspired me to keep at it and to stay focused.

“Whatever you do, just don’t look back
Oh somebody needs the light you have
Whatever you do, just don’t lose heart.

Oh, oh, don’t underestimate the God you follow
He is the light that burns inside your soul
So keep on shining ‘til the whole world knows.”

Someone needs what God has committed into my hands to do. I afford to give in to the fear how big it is and how much work it requires to get it done. I prayed and asked God for the compelling motivation and the zeal to stay focused and keep at it until it is done.

What about you, friend? What task do you have at hand that seems almost impossible to accomplish? What is that dream or vision on your heart that makes you wonder, how can this be? I encourage you today, to stay focused and trust in the truth of God’s word. He will surely help you.

Sharing with you a complimentary blog post: Make The Next Move Forward

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Be Prepared_Part 2

Twice within the first week of this New Year, I was challenged not to focus on making New Year resolutions this year, but to focus on something else and that is, RESOLVE.

According to Jeff Goins (Author and Blogger), “While the words are similar, the difference in meaning is significant: A resolution is something you make; resolve is something you have.” Resolve is about making a definite and serious decision to do something. It is not wishing to do but taking concrete steps to do. My Pastor in his sermon on the first Sunday of 2014 said that often New Year resolutions are made on trivial issues, which we try to accomplish by willpower, but willpower does not last. 

Resolve is what will help us to standout and demonstrate our uniqueness and to pursue God's unique purpose for our lives.

We will be able to accomplish the dreams and desires of our hearts based on God’s promises to us and the change we so earnestly desire, if we will firmly purpose in our minds to do something concrete and definite that will lead us to the fulfillment of God’s plans for us. This will require determination and discipline, and the conviction that we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us.

Our next line of action must therefore be to prepare to receive the answers to the requests and petitions we have made to Him. I believe we all have great expectations for 2014, not only at personal level, but also for our families, our friends, our churches, our communities and nations. I certainly do. As I indicated in my blog post last week, Be Prepared, in anticipation of the fulfillment of these great expectations, we have a part to play which is predicated on what we resolve to do.

Resolve to trust in God Who sees and hears:

As God’s servants, we are to trust His Word and to wait for its fulfillment, enduring patiently to the end. Anyone who owes his existence to divine election ought to live by faith and trust in God Who elected him. We are assured as God’s people that we have a living and covenant-keeping God Who sees and hears us (Gen 16:13, 21:17, Ps. 118:21).

Twice Hagar cried to God when she was abandoned and rejected. God heard her cry of misery and saw her plight. Twice, He answered her and produced miracles for her. If He can do that for Hagar, the bond woman, on the basis of His covenant with Abraham, how much more would He gladly do for us who are redeemed by the precious blood of His Son, Jesus Christ.

When God gives us a promise, let us wait patiently for its fulfillment no matter how long it may seem to take to come to pass. He will always do as He promised. So we must resolve this year that we will guard our faith and trust in God. He will not leave us alone or abandon us.

Resolve to enquire from the Lord:

David frequently sought God’s instruction, counsel and direction before making big decisions. Nine times in the Bible, David enquired of the Lord, “Shall I….?” At each time, God answered and graciously gave him clear and definite answers/instructions. Many of these are recorded in 1Samuel chapter 23. David, even clarified the instructions in 2Sam 2:1, “By which way shall I go?” It was not enough for him to know that he can go ahead with his plan but he wanted to know exactly how he should go about it. 

In 2Sam 5:23, God’s instruction to him was very specific. He said, “Do not go straight up, but circle around behind them and attack them in front of the balsam trees" (NIV). "You shall not go up: circle around behind them and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees." - 2Sam 5:23 (KJV). Please pay attention to the details in this instruction. He was told exactly what, how and where to do. With such definite guidance, David was certainly on course to victory.

If we are going to do great exploits for God and His Kingdom in 2014, if we are going to see our expectations fulfilled and our dreams come true, we will have to be prepared to seek God’s face for direction. We will have to be willing to wait in His presence for instructions. Even more importantly, we must resolve to obediently follow God’s instructions to the letter. David resolved to depend on God for victory and for providence. He disciplined himself to seek for God’s instructions. We must resolve this year not to take any action without first seeking God’s counsel. It is a foolish thing to present God with a fait accompli —a finished plan.

Resolve not to be paralyzed by fear and opposition:

Not everyone you share your dreams and great expectations with, will cheer you on. There are those who will oppose you and there will be those who will discourage you. If you focus on your current circumstances and the limitations looming before you, the fear of “how can this be?” will also cripple you into inaction. In the name of the Lord, we are enabled to push back every opposition and push through every limitation. Though the giants may be on our way to hinder, but God has surely given us victory.

I pray that at each time you are faced with opposition and you feel discouraged, God will raise up for you, friends who would say to you, “fear not” and strengthen your resolve to wait and hold on to God, just as Jonathan did for David.

Resolve to cast your all cares on God:

Do not put your confidence in man, either for them to be loyal to your cause or support you in your quest to fulfill destiny. But trust only in the Lord for help and counsel. The arms of flesh will fail. The things I am looking up to God and trusting Him for in 2014, are too big to depend on men to help me. I have to totally rely and depend on God for them to be accomplished, and trust Him to work in mysterious ways His wonders to perform in my life. He will send me help for Zion and aid from His holy place. He is able to connect each of us to the helpers He has raised up for us ahead of this time.

Also, we cannot afford to trust on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledge Him and He will prosper all that concerns. Even when it comes to claiming our rights and what is rightfully ours, it is instructive to first of all seek God’s counsel and trust in His ability to help us (1Sam 30:8, 2Sam 2;1-2).

The Lord is with us. He is our Helper. He hears us when we cry out to Him. He gives us victory on all sides, indeed over every work of unrighteousness arisen against us. So, dear friends, resolve right from the onset to give all the glory to God for every victory, for every promised fulfilled, for every prayer answered and for every desire accomplished. David gave glory to God for every victory God gave him.

I know that God miraculously cares for the dependent and faithful believer. So, I want to encourage you not to let anything or anyone prevent you from fulfilling God’s purpose for your life this year. Resolve to depend on Him every step of the way.

Dear Friends, what are your expectations, desires and dreams for 2014? What would you resolve to do as you prepare to receive them? Share with us in the comment box and let us uphold one another in prayers.

May the Lord God in Whose presence we walk habitually, send His Angel with you and make your way prosperous and successful in 2014.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Be Prepared

At the close of 2013, I found myself reviewing previous posts on this blog and in the process discovered that I wrote two blog posts with exactly the same title: "And It Came To Pass." The first was on the 6th of December, 2012 and the second a year later, on the 20th of December, 2013. 

Reading these post over again gave me great assurance and confidence that God is a covenant keeping and promise fulfilling God. And I can rest secured in His unfailing love in 2014.

As we begin 2014, I am pregnant with hope and full of great expectations for the year. It is a year of accomplishing and celebrating many key milestones within my nuclear and extended family: 10th and 21st wedding anniversaries, 20th, 50th, 70th and 75th birthdays. It is a year of seeing the manifestation of answers to prayers. And of the fulfillment of dreams and desires.

We have great expectations and outlook for 2014, being persuaded as a family that we will celebrate growth, expansion, promotions and see the Lord expand our coast beyond our wildest imagination. We receive from God the grace to do great exploits for Him and for the Kingdom this year. And we will enter into the doors of opportunities He will open to us.

Physically, at this point in time, we are at the position where like Mary, we can only say "How can this be since ….?" (Luke 1:34). Like Abraham, we also say, "Lord God, by what shall I know that I shall inherit it?” (Gen 15:8). And like Zechariah, the question is “How can I be sure of this?” (Luke 1:18). How shall it possibly come to pass, all these dreams, visions and heart desires? By what shall we know that we shall accomplish these great things? Humanly speaking, it is mind-boggling just to consider the enormity of God’s promises to us and our dreams and desires.

Our hope and assurance is anchored on the unfailing promises of God. It premised on the experience we have in seeing God fulfill His Word in our lives. If we go by all He did for us in 2013, we have very strong reasons to rest and rely on Him to accomplish all He promises for us in 2014 and all our righteous desires anchored on His promises.

We know for a truth and by experience that God is a covenant keeping God. He will not go back on His Word. He will not renege on His promises. Faithful is He Who has promised, at the appointed time, He will do just what He said He will do. This is a non-negotiable and solid truth that we can go to bank with!

Given this hope and assurance, we can begin to prepare to possess our possessions as we step into 2014. Right from day one, we prepare like an expectant mother for the birth of what we have conceived by faith in God.

What are we preparing for and how?

Be prepared to depend on God’s strength and grace:

It is by the grace and enablement of God that we will be able to do great exploits in 2014 because the race is not to the swift.

"I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time" - Eccles 9:11 (NLT).

It is not by power or by might. But it shall be by the abounding grace of God so that He only can take all the glory. We cannot depend on our own strength or skills or hard work but trust and depend on the grace and strength of God. For it is the Lord Who gives us the ability to make wealth and to be successful. He does this so that He may accomplish the covenant which He swore to our fathers of old (Deut. 8:18). It is by the wisdom He gives that we will do the extraordinary. We must with all our might use all the opportunities God provides for us.

Be prepared to do your part:

"Make this valley full of ditches...."(2Kings 3:16), that’s what Elisha said to Jehoshaphat and the two Kings with him. They needed water and victory in the battle they were about to embark on against the King of Moab. To try their faith and obedience, Elisha commanded them to make the valley full of pits to receive water. You have an action to take in anticipation of God’s intervention—prepare to receive the miracle. So they dug the ditches. We have a part to play for us to see the accomplishment of God's promise in our lives. This requires that we listen attentively to God and follow His leading and instruction. We are not to sit idle with our hands crossed across our chests. Those who expect God's blessings, must dig pools for the rain to fill. Not only did they receive the water through God’s intervention, the same valley flowing with water was used to bring them victory over the Moabities.

During our family Bible Study time recently, we shared many examples of such obedient following of God’s instructions in preparation to receive the victory, deliverance and provision God has promised. The felling of the walls of Jericho and the provision for the dead Prophet’s wife and children are some of these examples.

Dear Friends, whatever you are trusting and looking up to God for in 2014, it is a light thing for God to do. So be prepared to receive them. Be prepared to walk in the fullness of God’s purpose and counsel for your lives. I know from my experience of God and from the Bible that if God has given you His Word, the sequel to the story of your life can only be: "and it came to pass."

I will continue this blog post next week, so watch out for Part 2.

I pray that God will bless you with abounding grace to do great exploits for His Kingdom in 2014.

Happy New Year to you and your family.