Saturday, October 31, 2015

Anchor For The Storms

“The LORD redeems the soul of His servants: and none of them that trust in him shall be desolate.” – Ps 34:22

It is so uplifting and such a blessing to know that we have a God Who will never leave any of His own children desolate in the midst of the storm or in the times of hardship or adversity. Desolate, in the sense that one feels abandoned and devoid of help, hope and comfort. He always steps in to rescue us.

My experience during the month of October proved this to me beyond imagination, and it also confirmed to me that God always prepares an anchor ready to hold us fast to Himself so that we are not swept away by the fury of the storms of life. He reveals these anchors as we dwell close to Him and in His presence.

Every year during my birth-month—October, I commit myself to doing something different to deepen fellowship with God and develop a more intimate relationship with Him. As September came to an end, I began to seek God’s face concerning my fellowship with Him in October. I wanted to know what new dimension He wanted to bring into my fellowship with Him. It was on the last day of the September that a verse in the Bible caught fire in my spirit. It was in 1Timothy 2:1. The God’s Word translation encouraged us to make petitions, prayers, intercessions, and prayers of thanks for all people. The Message translation magnified the text urging us to pray in every way we know how, for everyone we know.

A light-bulb flicked on in my spirit—I knew what God wanted me to do throughout the month of October. And I set about doing so—to pray for everyone I know, past and present, in every way I know how to pray.

It was during the first week that I had the foreboding of a storm as I prayed for everyone I know. But in the process of praying for some specific persons, I felt in my heart that it was in the dimension of fighting spiritual warfare—battling the enemy for the souls of these loved one. I knew God had always provided an anchor for me to fasten my faith and hope during storms in the past. And He would surely do so again.

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Stedfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

God’s word is timeless. It is eternal. It stands firm no matter how fierce the storm may be. David declared that God’s Word and truth are dependable (Ps 119:89-93). “If Your revelation, law and instructions had not delighted and sustained me, I would have given up when hard times came or in my afflictions. This verse jumped at me as I studied my Bible on Monday 12th.

Sometimes, when storms come, they come with fury, intense fierceness and with high waves that threaten to capsize the boat, such as was recorded in Mark 4. I was elated and filled with joy when I read of how Jesus rebuked the storm and commanded it to be still, and how the storm immediately 
obeyed and became calm.

This word became a lifeline and a sure anchor for me a few hours later when the storm hit. It came in the form of excruciating pain in my lower back. I had my sista-friend, Bidemi visiting me with her husband. We had planned an outing for the day. I refused to allow the pain to cancel our plans. Every step was in pain. Each time the pain seared through my back, the word, “Peace, be still!” echoed in my spirit. So it continued throughout the day. That night, all I could do was cry out, “I rebuke you, storm of pain in the name of Jesus. At the name of Jesus, be still.” At past 2:00 am, the storm obeyed the word of God, and it became calm. And I dozed off to sleep. I could not but give praise to God when I woke up in the morning. I praised Him for giving me that word and bring it to my remembrance before the storm struck. It provided an anchor for me as I was tossed about by the strong stormy winds.

Two weeks later, just before the next storm came, I had a strong leading in my spirit to study about the victory that Jesus died to purchase for us on the cross at Calvary. As I learnt more about the victory that God gave us through our Lord Jesus Christ in 1 Corinthians 15:57, I came to understand that God desires for both you and me to walk in complete and full victory in EVERY situation and every sphere of our lives. We truly have no excuse for not walking in full victory because God has removed every obstacle out of our way because it is His will for us to learn to know the full benefits provided for us in Christ. God always cause us to triumph in Christ Jesus.

I knew I had to add this dimension to praying for everyone that I know so that they may also learn to appropriate the full victory and the full benefits of the cross in every sphere of their lives. God teaches us the secrets of keeping His victory flowing in our heart as we walk close with Him. That was what I wanted for every member of my family and all my friends, and that was what I prayed for them.

When the storm came in the form of an unexplained generalized allergy that caused severe itching all over my body, I held fast to the word of truth that Jesus died to give me victory over the affliction. The pain and the irritation kept my body restless, but my heart rested on the word that anchored me firm with hope.

I refused to give up praying for everyone I know in every way I know. I stood on the premise that Jesus came to set the lawful captives free and to deliver the prey of the mighty. I refused to be distracted by the harassment of the enemy knowing fully well that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of our testimony. And in all these things, WE ARE MORE THAN CONQUERORS.

God restored me to full health and strength again. Indeed, He restored me to even greater honour, and He comforted me. The trials and afflictions of my soul helped me to develop endurance and strength of character. October has been a victorious month. It has set the tone for the next eleven months of my life. I will walk in victory in every sphere of my life until I arrive at October 2016.

May your souls find rest in Jesus as you remained anchored by His word of in every storm of your lives. May God’s word sustain you with joy and quicken so that you are enabled to stand strong and overcome the storms.

Friday, October 16, 2015

A Life Worth Living Is Life Lived To Serve

The choir led us to sing the song during the Praise and Worship session. We sang with all our hearts. The song reverberated through the hall. The Pastor requested that we take the song again when he addressed the church. It was as we sang again that the last line of the chorus caught my attention. It caught fire in my spirit. The line wrapped itself tightly around my heart. It re-echoed in my mind for days afterwards.

“I live to serve Your majesty.”

The lyrics called out to me, urging an account of my life;

“Am I living my life to serve my King?”
“Am I living a life of service to His Majesty, the Most High God, the King of all Kings?”

I pondered on these questions for many days. It is amazing how just one line of a song can weave itself into our subconscious, becoming a part of our thoughts as we wake up in the morning, as we doze off to sleep at night and several times in between. That has been the case with me with this one line in the chorus of the song; “King of Kings, Majesty” written by Jarrod Cooper.

What Kind of Life Are We Living:

Philippians 2: 3-4 says “Do not be selfish;” Admonishing us to do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. It also admonishes us not to be concerned only for or look only to our own interest but to be concerned for the interest of others. The worst thing we can do with our lives is to live only for ourselves—focussing only on our needs, wants and gains.

The litmus test of living a selfish life as a Christian is the content of our prayers. Is your prayer more about you, yourself and everything you want God to do for you? God did not put us on earth to live for ourselves.

The next pertinent question we need to ask ourselves is about the motive for what we are doing under the canopy of service to God. Is it to call attention or bring glory to us? Whose interest is being served by our service?

When we do not with humility consider others, we are exhibiting pride and a preoccupation with self. Humility before God and man is a virtue every child of God need to strive constantly for. Our humility in service to God is demonstrated when we are concerned about the interest of others especially those in the household of faith.

Jesus demonstrated humility and selfless concern for others. We are called as believers to have the same mind as is Christ. To have the same mindset as Jesus Christ is to be others focussed.

We also need to note that Jesus did not serve others out of convenience. It cost Him something—it cost Him His life. We are self-oriented if we are serving out of convenience.

The bottom-line here is that Jesus did not come to be served but to serve. We have been called to be like Jesus in every way—to selflessly serve others. We become more like Jesus as we live a life of service. A life well lived is a life lived in service of God through service to humanity.

God has given each of us gifts, talents and abilities. We are to be generous with these different gifts God gave us—using them to serve and bless others—as faithful stewards of God’s manifold grace (1Peter 4:10). So that at the end of it all, God gets all the glory, praise and adoration. The service that you perform does not only supply the needs of the Lord's people, but it is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.

I attended the oldest girls’ school in Lagos, Nigeria—Methodist Girls High School, Yaba, Lagos. The Motto of my Alma mater is In Love Serve One Another. I learnt about serving others in love from this school.

“The best use of your life is to invest your life in something that will outlast it” – Rick Warren

I truly concur with Rick Warren. The best way to live life is to live such that the echo of the impact of the life lived will continue to resonate long after that life is over. That is the way I want to live my life, in such a way that I will leave a lasting legacy that will continue cause an overflow of praise to God.

Serving The King:
I am serving my King when the things that I do, the services I render, brings glory and honour to Majestic King of Kings. I am serving my King when it is all about Him, about pleasing Him and doing His will. I am indeed serving my King when my act of service is out of submission and obedience to God and not out of convenience.

In everything Jesus did and said, He perfectly reflected the heart of the God. We are chosen by God as His instruments to do His work, to speak out for Him and to show others the goodness of God, that is, serving at the pleasure of our King.

We are serving the King when our act of service reveals God’s attribute of goodness, kindness and generosity to others.

How can we serve our King?
I found a motion song and study for God’s little ones at the titled “Serving The King” written in 1887 by John Hood, which detailed just how every part of our bodies can be used to serve the King of Kings irrespective of how little or insignificant we may think ourselves to be.

“Only a pair of dimpled hands
How can they serve our King?
Some ways of helping others find,
And little love-gifts bring.”

When I live to serve His Majesty, I don’t need self-efforts. I don’t need strive on my own. I only need to surrender every part of my being to the work of the Holy Spirit in me. For it is the Holy Spirit at work in us who points us in the direction of where the needs we can best serve are.

Here and now, I recommit myself to serve at the pleasure of my King. I must live each day of my life to serve His Majesty, the King of Glory, who loves me so much that He gave His only begotten Son for me and kept me by His might hands.

Dear Friends, what about you? What does it mean to you to live to serve His Majesty? How would you commit yourself to live a life worth living, a life that lives behind a lasting legacy?

Honestly, a life worth living is life lived to serve. A life lived just for self or for this moment alone is a wasted life.

Join me to raise 360 gifts items to bring about a 360-degree turnaround for good in the lives of two women. One is an amputee. The other is a wheelchair-bound widow. These gift items will be sold at a Christmas Charity Bazaar in Geneva. Proceeds from the sales of donated gift items will be used to support these two women through the provision of prosthesis, wheelchair and income generating activities.