Rahab; a foreshadow of Nicki

When was the last time you heard some “good news” about someone you used to know? You quickly go into your brain archives to dig up all the contrary evidence you have of this person. Their not so good history, the history that holds all the reasons why they shouldn’t be beneficiaries to such good news. You’re probably not like that, in fact you have never had such thoughts about anyone. Doesn’t the Bible say “whatever things are pure…think on them” and you’re such a “good Christian”. You have done pretty well for yourself and deserve a standing ovation. But you see, some of us are still in the Potter’s Hand, our minds are still being renewed daily, we are constantly torn between who we are and who we ought to be. I have a confession to make and while I’m at it please try not to judge me.

The month of June is always extra special to me but this year added some toppings to the cake. If you’re a Nigerian you probably were aware of the #HallelujahChallenge but for those who are in the dark I’ll explain it. Nathaniel Bassey a Nigerian Gospel artiste inspired by the Holy Spirit, hosted a 1 hour praise session everyday in the month of June. What made it amazing was the fact it was online and started at 12 midnight. People tuned in from all over the world and because it was live, you could see when anyone joined and even dropped a comment.

 I remember joining and after a few days I started seeing some names pop up in the feed and when I mean names I’m referring to some “Secular Artistes and Actors”. I’m not sure what went through my mind but I could literally hear my self judging them and wondering what they were doing in such gathering. They should probably be sleeping and not staying awake to join some bunch of people who were praising, reading the Bible, praying in known and unknown tongues. But God reprimanded me, who was I to determine who joins in a praise session? Was my blood offered to God on their behalf? Who made me judge? Oh!!! My foolishness stared at me and I repented.

Just when you thought the world had few of my kind (before I repented) multiple headlines make the news.  Few days ago the justification of Tasha Cobbs featuring Nicki Minaj on one of her songs was and is still a topic of debate. While listening to a Mix on YouTube the song popped up. I instantly remembered the ongoing debate, and because my mind is always very busy I remembered my perception during the #HallelujahChallenge and it didn’t stop there, I was equally reminded of Rahab the Harlot in the Bible.

Rahab

For a long time I wondered why Rahab was mentioned in Hebrews 11 in the hall of fame of faith. At the back of my mind I knew she deceived the soldiers who were looking for the spies and I’ve always questioned the rationale of her making the list. But I was so wrong and God wanted me to know the truth. A teaching series on the heroes of faith from Hebrews 11 has been going on in my local Church. It’s been an exciting journey but so far Rahab’s teaching has been my best. Joshua 2: 9 – 11 holds something profound and “she said to the men,I know that the Lord has given you the land, and that the terror and dread of you has fallen on us, and that all the inhabitants of the land have melted [in despair] because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt, and what you did to the two kings of the Amorites who were beyond the Jordan [on the east], to Sihon and Og, whom you utterly destroyed. When we heard it, our hearts melted [in despair], and a [fighting] spirit no longer remained in any man because of you; for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” While God sent signs to Abraham, Sarah, Moses etc she only heard of God’s exploits and believed He is God. Her faith came by hearing and like the Word says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”.

for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above and on earth beneath.” While God sent signs to Abraham, Sarah, Moses etc she only heard of God’s exploits and believed He is God. Her faith came by hearing and like the Word says “Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God”.

Rahab the Harlot, the somewhat “Nicki” of her time although not similar in occupation but are both unlikely candidates for the job they carried out. Negotiated the safety of not just her but her entire family, she would later become the great – grand mother of King David and many years later Jesus Christ was born from the descendant of the King. A look through the genealogy of Jesus Christ in Matthew 1, only five (5) women were mentioned : Tamar, Rahab, Ruth, Uriah’s wife and Mary. Go and do an extensive research these women would never have ticked the boxes of our holy standards to birth the Savior of the world. Oh!!! May God break us especially those of us who sit in the front row in Church, who lead the Prayer team, may He break us to see through His lens. The “good, born-again Christians”, what does this even mean? Once you’re a Christian in the true sense of the word you’re Christ-like. It’s either you’re Christian or not, no extra qualification.

So hear it from a repented heart, God loves you as much as He loves Nicki. Yes, she may not tick your box of Christian standards but God sees her through the Blood of Jesus. What I think we should do as the body of Christ is to lift her up in prayers. God’s ways are sooo far from ours and He works in mysterious ways. He can use anyone and anything to His glory and like Rahab said “He is God in heaven and on earth” and like Nicki said in I’m getting ready

‘Cause me and all my angels shot the devil up
While you was trying to pull me down I levelled up
I levelled up twice, I levelled up three times
He tapped ’em and told ’em “she’s mine”
So even when I cried I knew I’d be fine
Prepare for a miracle blessing in these times
Now praise Him, raise Him, name it, claim it
Every tongue that rises up against me, shame it
I breathe success in and out my lungs
I got the power of life and death coming out of my tongue

And like she said God tapped them and told them she’s mine. These are prophetic words and as you said believing the power of life and death are in your tongues, I speak the life of Christ over you and may your life point the world to Christ.

May we all be gracefully broken that we can accommodate others.

Loads of Love

JMAD

N/B Photo Credit : Google Images

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How to help God when He’s busy

It’s amazing how swift the year is going, it feels like last night I was out with my sisters and cousin trying to light the fireworks to usher in the New Year. While a lot of people felt January was extremely slow, February seems to be making up by breezing through. It’s been one interesting year, with the current trends happening globally as well as our individual lives. Most of us started off the year pumped up with ideas, resolutions, prophetic declarations and mind-blowing themes in Churches etc. Such themes like I’m a living miracle, year of mega exploits or like my local Church my year of walking in faith. Trust me when I say we have had many people who have already stepped out in faith and are experiencing the fruits.

We’ve been having a series on Faith in Church and the aim is to peel each layer to its simplest form. It’s been one interesting ride so far, a lot of people are stepping out of their comfort zones. More direct and deliberate prayers are been said, people’s mind are stretched to accommodate the inherent capacity on the inside, business ideas are birthed and it’s not frightening to execute it. Don’t get me wrong it’s not a walk in the park, people are stepping out with trepidation and palpitation, some are making ‘seemingly’ foolish decisions but for a greater glory, some are making crazy sacrifices and delaying gratification. But in between praying, stepping out and receiving what we want is a waiting period. And that is the hardest part. Let me paint a story.

But in between praying, stepping out and receiving what we want is a waiting period. And that is the hardest part.

A couple had been childless for many many years, they heard the message of faith and found the promise of having their own children in God’s word. They were excited although the wife silently doubted if she could ever conceive; science backed up her doubt by reminding her she had entered menopause. But her husband was fully persuaded and even told her he personally heard from God that they both will have their own child. So they entered their waiting period and the long journey started. She would often stuff her gowns with clothes to create a false baby bump and stare at the mirror to imagine what she would look like pregnant.

Days turned into months and into years and there was no sign of a bump and then it occurred to her she could speed up the process or in her words help out. She advised her husband to sleep with her maid, after all her maid belonged to her and the baby would still come from her husband too. Her doting husband obliged her and by now for the Bible students you know this is Abraham and Sarah and the union led to Ishmael. Ishmael wasn’t the child of promise but in a bid to “help God” Sarah suggested to Abraham and Abraham had heard he was going to have a child so it was only logical for him to go on with the plan.

helping-god

Besides he was supposedly stepping out in faith. Herein lies the issue, many people are hearing but are not patient to let the Word of God have a thorough work in them. Yes we have read, show me your faith by your works but the question is what inspires the works we produce. Have we trained our inner ear to differentiate between the voice of God and the Devil? Jesus Christ had been led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to fast for 40 days and after that He was hungry, and the Devil appeared on the scene to tempt Him with food. Was Jesus hungry? Was He believing God to be fed? Yes to all those questions. But He knew not every “gift” is from God. I recently needed a particular thing, I had even prayed about it that morning and before noon that day someone offered just what I wanted. But in the euphoria of the excitement of how fast God answered I was jolted back to sieve out “not every gift is from God”.

Jesus Christ had been led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to fast for 40 days and after that He was hungry, and the Devil appeared on the scene to tempt Him with food. Was Jesus hungry? Was He believing God to be fed? Yes to all those questions. But He knew not every “gift” is from God.

I am always reminded with these words “which son will ask his father for bread and receive stone or fish and get a snake, if earthly fathers though evil know how to give good gifts how much more our heavenly Father” Matthew 7:9. God desires we receive good gifts in fact He has said “no good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly” Psalm 84:11b. So step out in faith, refuse to be mediocre, the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead lives in you therefore live, dominate, rule and have authority in the world. But at the same time be sensitive to the schemes of the devil, he is subtle and can sneak up on you when your guards are down. God is never busy for you, His mind is filled with thoughts of you. He doesn’t need your help rather needs you to trust Him for the next step.

wait-for-god

While reading this and somewhere in your heart you realize you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, we can say a short prayer together. Dear Father I come to You in the name of Your Son Jesus Christ, I acknowledge I’m a sinner and that has prevented me from receiving the love Jesus has been offering me. Today I ask for Your forgiveness and I accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. Thank you Father. Welcome to the family, join a community of Bible believers close to you, get a Bible you can understand (Amplified, New King James) and start to experience your new relationship.

Loads of Love

JMAD

N/B : Photo credit : Google

#Day 4 ; Unearthing my beliefs

Romans 4: – Abraham’s walk of faith

Verse 1 – 8: – Abraham was, humanly speaking, the founder of our Jewish nation. What did he discover about being made right with God? If his good deeds had made him acceptable to God, he would have had something to boast about. But that was not God’s way. For the Scriptures tell us, “Abraham believed God, and God counted him as righteous because of his faith.” When people work, their wages are not a gift, but something they have earned. But people are counted as righteous, not because of their work, but because of their faith in God who forgives sinners.  David also spoke of this when he described the happiness of those who are declared righteous without working for it: “Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sins are put out of sight. Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of sin.” [NLT]

Reflections: – Most of us grew up singing “Father Abraham has many sons, I am one of them and so are you”. He is called out father in the first verse but he dug up a hard truth through his experience with God [There are certain things we can only fully understand through our own personal experiences]. Vs 3 is equally quoted in Gen 15:6. The righteousness associated with Abraham was as a result of his faith in God. Everything within him didn’t add up to what God promised to him. In Gen 12, God had already said Abraham was going to be made a great nation even when Sarah had been declared a barren woman. But in Gen 15 Abraham responded to God for the first time when God told him not to be afraid. I needed to emphasize this, Abraham was scared when God said he had a great reward. How often have we received a word concerning our lives and freaked out? Maybe looking at your current capacity, you’re unable to carry it through but it was this fear that led Abraham to ask God a couple of questions that prompted God to tell him his descendants will be too many to be counted. Childless Abraham with a barren Sarah believed God, he amplified God and his inability took second place. God was all that mattered in the equation. Just like in linear algebra, He was the X that needed to be found to complete the equation. Abraham was just the perfect candidate for God. He knew it wasn’t about his efforts cos of their present situation, he had nothing to boast of. Abraham wasn’t a perfect person, he was a sinner but the faith he placed in God by believing in Him is righteousness. It isn’t the sinner that is counted righteous rather the faith at work in them, this faith now transforms them daily into becoming Christ-like.

Verse 9-12: – Does this blessedness then come upon the circumcised only, or upon the uncircumcised also? For we say that faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness.  How then was it accounted? While he was circumcised, or uncircumcised? Not while circumcised, but while uncircumcised. And he received the sign of circumcision, a seal of the righteousness of the faith which he had while still uncircumcised, that he might be the father of all those who believe, though they are uncircumcised, that righteousness might be imputed to them also,  and the father of circumcision to those who not only are of the circumcision, but who also walk in the steps of the faith which our father Abraham had while still uncircumcised. [NKJV]

Reflections: – Paul definitely knew how to ask those questions that linger on in our hearts. All those who associate with Abraham apart from Christians practice circumcision. I’m wondering why the question popped up. Maybe the religious leaders at that time and even now were using it as a yardstick to measure the level of Christianity. Perhaps a class system was created; Christians without circumcision [Beginner’s class], Christian with circumcision [Mature class]. But Abraham’s righteousness came before his circumcision. Remember in Chapter 3 we respond to what God has done, the circumcision came as a sign of his faith in God’s acceptance of him. So now we have Abraham who is righteous both in the uncircumcised and circumcised. What this clearly says is ACCEPTANCE. Circumcision involves removing of the foreskin, Abraham still had it but God called him righteous. What is your own foreskin? Oh how God is waiting patiently for you to believe Ciin Him, to trust in His saving power. After you come to Him, your foreskin will be taken away.

Verse 13-18: – Clearly, God’s promise to give the whole earth to Abraham and his descendants was based not on his obedience to God’s law, but on a right relationship with God that comes by faith. If God’s promise is only for those who obey the law, then faith is not necessary and the promise is pointless. For the law always brings punishment on those who try to obey it. (The only way to avoid breaking the law is to have no law to break!)So the promise is received by faith. It is given as a free gift. And we are all certain to receive it, whether or not we live according to the law of Moses, if we have faith like Abraham’s. For Abraham is the father of all who believe. That is what the Scriptures mean when God told him, “I have made you the father of many nations.”This happened because Abraham believed in the God who brings the dead back to life and who creates new things out of nothing.  Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping—believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, “That’s how many descendants you will have!” [NLT]

Reflections: – God’s promise to Abraham was not in any way tied to his adherence of the law which involves human effort. It was going to be both a walk and work of faith. Although there was a promise from God, there wasn’t a step by step instruction on how it would come to pass, after a while Sarah advised him to help God by sleeping with her maid Hagar. It was still his seed besides his clock was ticking and so was Sarah’s, or maybe God was sleeping on the job or perhaps forgotten or just maybe they needed to speed up the time. But we forget the race isn’t to the swift, time is in His hands, our God is faithful and keeps His words. Can you put yourself in this scenario? Has HE promised, then let Him be God and do what He said. If God wanted Hagar to be part of the grand design, Abraham’s faith wouldn’t have been necessary. T.D. Jakes says if you have a shovel dig that “mountain” out of the way instead of using your faith. In essence we use faith when our human ability can’t achieve certain things. While Abraham’s faith is explored you might be thinking if it’s ever possible to get to the level he got in his walk with God. Don’t be mistaken, he was human just like us, while God was speaking to him about the blessings on him and his generations in Gen 17, he was busy thinking of Ishmael and after God had corrected him by saying the heir was going to come from Sarah, he didn’t just doubt it, he even laughed. But he went beyond doubting, in the face of contrary evidence he chose to believe God. We are constantly faced with doubt and belief; it’s entirely up to us to choose.

Verse 19 – 25: – And not being weak in faith, he did not consider his own body, already dead (since he was about a hundred years old), and the deadness of Sarah’s womb.  He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God,  and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. And therefore “it was accounted to him for righteousness.” Now it was not written for his sake alone that it was imputed to him,  but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. [NKJV]

Reflections: – Although Abraham had fathered a child by Hagar when he was 86, God spoke to him when he was about 100 years, coupled with Sarah’s infertility, it looked impossible. But his faith was strengthened the more cos he knew it wasn’t about him, he kept his eye on the promise. I’m pretty sure he was excited to see how God would pull such stunt, it’s like seating in a movie theatre, watching your life play out on the big screen but not knowing what the next scene will be like. The anticipation!!! He was fully, not partially convinced in God’s ability to fulfill the promise. Now that was what gave him right standing with God, he simply said to God I TRUST YOU. How reassuring to know we are giving such privilege of right standing with God when we believe in the One (God) who raised Jesus from the dead. Our sin led to His death and His resurrection leads us to right standing with God.

***End***

Loads of Love

JMAD

Religion; the God-factor and life

A few days ago I was planning a little gathering with a few friends. One of them who’s a banker was going to be a bit late cos’ he was called up to work during the public holiday, these are his exact words ‘orders from above….they decide and just send me the mail’ and I replied don’t worry soon you’ll be your own boss. I was hoping to hear an Amen from him but he said he doesn’t make too many plans, he takes each day as it comes. This led to a series of back and forth conversation on the path we play as humans even as we make plans for our lives. How do we exercise free-will in a world governed by God? As Christians when we say by God’s grace do we just go to sleep and expect angels to sort our issues out, when someone gives a testimony of how he wanted to marry and had no money and supernaturally the money was available or an active fellowship member in the university who failed to prepare for exams and prays for success. Does Christainity advocate laziness thereby making us solely dependent on God?

Let’s go back to the beginning; the earth was without form and God said Let there be light and we know the rest of the story, we know God can do anything in fact nothing is impossible with Him yet He took out time six (6) whole days to create the world. He went further and moulded man….. The God I’m referring to here is a doing God, He didn’t fold His arms. For every time we go down on our knees to ask God for anything the question always pops up what do you have. To Moses a stick, the disciples a small boy with 2 fish and 5 loaves, the widow had a jar of oil.

Faith

 Let’s go further the woman who had the issue of blood for 12 years made a move of faith and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment she could have prayed for healing and sat down at home or the Centurion who went out to look for help for his daughter.  A popular verse we like to quote gave me a new insight ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’ Phil 4:13. Did you notice the word DO not pray, believe or have faith besides ‘Faith without works is dead, show me your faith without works and i will show you my faith with my works’ James 2:17-18.

Dreams

For those who think Christianity is a license to be lazy and pray down heaven, here’s a word for you ‘Yet a little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to sleep, so shall your poverty come as a robber, and your want as an armed man’ Prov 24:33-34. With the testimonies we hear one may be tempted to relax and expect a breakthrough without doing anything, you want to get married that’s good, but have you started planning towards it ‘For which of you, wishing to build a farm building, does not sit down and calculate the cost to see whether he has sufficient means to finish it’ Luke 14:28 Guess what even if you’ve analysed what you have and you can’t complete the task the faith you have comes in, remember you already have something (works) and your faith too which completes the cycle.

Don’t get me wrong; prayer to me has become a lifestyle but it doesn’t stop there. Some of us may be asking are their works/plans in line with God’s will? Here’s the answer ‘Roll your works upon the Lord (commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will) so shall your plans be established and succeed’ Prov 16:3 AMP. I’m hoping many of us will wake up from our beds to get busy, God has been waiting on us to multiply the talents He has deposited within us, have you buried yours?

dosomething

In this new month this is my prayer for you ‘Do you see a man (woman) diligent and skillful in his business? He will stand before kings; he will not stand before obscure men’ Prov 22:29

HAPPY NEW MONTH

JMAD