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A Healthy Approach To Prophecy
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I identify a lot with Amos who said in Amos 7:14 “But Amos replied, “I’m not a professional prophet, and I was never trained to be one. I’m just a shepherd, and I take care of sycamore-fig trees. But the Lord called me away from my flock and told me, ‘Go and prophesy to my people in Israel.’

I am a teacher of the Word. That’s my calling. God allows me the privilege to preach sometimes. He also allows me the privilege to prophesy sometimes. So I’m teaching mainly from the point of view of a receiver of the prophetic.

It’s that time of the year in Christendom where, rightly or wrongly so (that’s a conversation for another day), there’s all kinds of messages that go out in the form of prophecies about the next year.

I just thought it’ll be good to help you understand how to posture yourself in this season. If you approach prophecy, prophets & the prophetic wrong, you’re either bound to experience a lot of gas and no substance or you’ll miss out on what God has in store for you through an authentic expression of the prophetic gift.

So here’s what I’ve learned over the years, when it comes to the matter of prophecy, especially at this time of the year.

Prophetic words are declarations made in time, about what God has already completed before time began. In other words, a prophetic declaration does not necessarily create something new, it just helps you see what God has already created. All the prophetic words about the messiah did not create the messiah. The lamb of God had already been slain before the foundation of the earth (Revelation 13:8b) . The prophets were only declaring in time, that which was already completed outside of time.

Don’t give the prophet more credit than He/She is due. They are not God. They cannot create a better life for you. They can only help you see and articulate what God has already completed. They help you see what God intends to manifest in a season of your life. They bring light shining in darkness (2 Peter 1:19-21)

Prophetic words are not magic words that we sit back and expect to unfold like a good magic trick. They are given to help with the warfare of faith. If you don’t work the prophecy by believing it (faith) and conducting your life in the light that the prophecy brings (Works), you set yourself up for a shabby fight of faith. A fight that lacks precision. Wage a good war of faith with the prophetic word. (1 Timothy 1:18)

Even with the best of intentions, prophetic words can often come with flaws, because a perfect message communicated by an imperfect being is prone to be riddled with some error from the communicator. So don’t get so flattered that a word was brought to you that you swallow everything you heard. Check it with what God has been speaking to you.

By the way, don’t let it be the case that you only ever hear from God when someone brings you a prophetic word. That’s how you get susceptible to deception. Prophets and their ability to prophesy are gifts from God to you. Since we still have the flesh, our communication channel can be clogged with all sorts.

The gift of prophecy helps with that problem. The gift of prophecy should confirm something that you’ve already been processing in your personal time with God. If you don’t utilise this privilege of direct access to God, you will fall prey to charlatans in the guise of prophets. (1 John 2:20)

Seeing as you have direct access to God for yourself, this should eliminate the need for you to approach prophetic words suspiciously. Walking in Love is believing the best upfront whilst trusting God with any possible disappointments that come with having that posture. The best of everything God has for you comes through, when you’re in a posture of love. Don’t miss out on the gift that God sends you because you’ve met a dubious prophet before.

If you need to pay to receive a prophetic Word, it’s probably not a Word from God. If the prophetic word lines up with what’s in the Written word, but there are parts of it that doesn’t, lay the whole thing on the word. The Word is sharp enough to divide the soul from the Spirit. The Word will reveal which bit came from the soul of the prophet and which bit came from the Spirit of God in the prophet. If you’re not sure, about something that was said to you, keep it on the Word until you’re sure one way or the other. NEVER ACT ON SOMETHING, JUST BECAUSE THE PROPHET SAID. Every thing we do in the New Testament, we do by faith in God. If you don’t have faith, that this is God, don’t do it!

Honour those who God uses to prophesy to you, don’t worship them. By the way, God doesn’t only prophesy through people in the office of a prophet, He can use anyone! That’s why it’s wise to honour everyone around you…just as you’d honour the man or woman of God. It is disingenuous to honour people in the five fold ministry whilst you dishonour everyone around you. Wise people in the ministry do not lean on the honour offered by someone who dishonour those in their world.

I believe God still speaks through prophets today. But first, He speaks to you through His Spirit in you. Believe the Lord your God so shall you be established. Believe His prophets, so shall you prosper. 2 Chronicles 20:20. Prophecy in the life of a believer, works best and is such a gift that can cause you to prosper (to have a successful journey) when it comes to people who are established in God, through faith in God.

In the next season of your life, I pray that you will hear a voice behind you saying, this is the way, walk in it! I pray you never lack direction in this next season. I pray you won’t beat the air in your fight of faith. I pray that you receive all you need to fight with precision.

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What are you learning from your Pain?
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Pain instructs.

I believe God allowed pain to instruct us. It wasn’t his first choice. He is not sadistic to choose pain as an instructor. His first choice was obedience. God’s best plan has always been that we learn by listening to Him and obeying His instructions.

The fallen state of man however, makes it highly possible that we wouldn’t know how to discern the voice of God.

And even when we do, our sin condition often persuades us that there is life outside of LIFE HIMSELF, wisdom outside of the instructions of WISDOM HIMSELF. So we reject God’s instructions.

But God has set things up in such a way that even the negative consequence of being outside of God’s will, is pregnant with opportunities to return to Him. This is the mercy of God in action.

Pain and Hurt is a testament of the mercy of God. Pain is God saying, you didn’t hear me last time, will you hear me now that it hurts?

The trouble is that we have an enemy, His job is to pervert something that God allows for our good, he turns it around for evil.

So when we get hurt in relationships, the hurt was teaching you who you are, what you like, what is important to you.

But the enemy perverts that, and teaches us to hate others for hurting us. Teaches us to live a distrustful life because we’ve been hurt. Teaches us not to try again because failing hurt the last time.

I think this is why it is important to learn to yield our pain to God. When we do, He uses our pain to teach us His lessons.

When we don’t yield our pain to God, we open ourselves up to pick up the perverted lessons that the enemy wants us to learn in pain and hurt.

We don’t need to ask you if you are learning from your pain, because we all are. We do need to ask, what are you learning from your pain?

The right lessons will make you better, not bitter, wiser not foolish. The right lessons will provoke growth not stunt your growth. The right lessons will make you bolder, not more timid.

Don’t waste your pain. Tell God about what hurts. Find good friends who will partner with God to bring out the best lessons from your pain.

This is the gospel, that in darkest and most painful parts of the journey of life, resurrection is possible because God turns our pain and our hurt in to resurrection power!

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Consider Jesus…
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Hebrews 3:1-2

Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus

To consider is to scrutinise, to look closely at, to examine carefully…

the quality of your life, the quality of what you build here on earth, the quality of your legacy in the eyes of God, will be determined by your ability to see and understand Jesus right.

When we stand before God to give an account of our lives, and our talents, it will all be in relation to how we saw Jesus and who we perceived Him to be.

One day, there will be no other human beings to impress, no jobs to work, no cars to drive, no cities worth visiting, no career ladder to climb, no grind, no school fees to pay, no social media attention to covet. One day ALL OF THIS will become meaningless!

Actually, it wouldn’t be meaningless, it’s meaning will be redefined in relation to Jesus.

1 Corinthians 3:11-13

For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is.

…In the final conclusion, the worth and value of everything we do here on earth will be defined in relation to Jesus.

We all owe it to ourselves to look carefully at this man Jesus. Who did He say He is? How does who He is and what He said affect my life today?

Consider The Apostle (sent one) and High Priest (one who stands before God on behalf of men).

Learn to do life, the small things and the great things, in full consideration of Jesus!

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Beating Shame
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Shame is defined as a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behaviour. From my experience (personally and pastorally) I have found that when shame matures, it goes beyond being a feeling of humiliation that passes, as most feelings do. It becomes a force that seeks to shape our identity. That force makes us begin to be humiliated by who we are because of a wrong or foolish behavoior of ours.

God’s response to shame is the gospel. The good news of God’s unmerited favour! 

Paul was writing in Romans 1:16 to the christians in Rome who had heard of all the humiliating things that he had been through since he answered the call to preach the gospel. He said to them: 16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,[a] for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

In other words he was saying, I know that based on what you know of my experience for the the sake of the gospel, you have reason to think that I will be ashamed of preaching it, but I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ! If you knew the story of what he had been through for the sake of the gospel you will agree that that was an amazing statement.
When a person has an experience of the true gospel that they hear, it  strips you of shame and guilt!
Shame says you’re a pervert because of what you did with your body last night! The gospel says your body is special, the temple of the Holy Ghost, that’s why you shouldn’t have done that!
Shame called you an adulterous woman who deserves to be stoned…the gospel says you are not condemned, go and sin no more!
Shame calls you a failure and says you should stay down because you fell, the gospel calls you the righteous who falls seven times and gets up every time!
Shame says people like you shouldn’t be talking when these educated folks are speaking because you don’t qualify. The gospel says before I formed you I knew you and appointed you a prophet to the nations! The gospel says I’ve given you something to say! The gospel says that God justifies the ungodly!
Shame says you denied Jesus 3 times Peter go back to fishing because you are hereby disqualified from thinking you can change the World…the gospel says go tell my disciples and Peter that I have risen! The gospel pulls you back into the fold in spite of your betrayal!
Shame says the mistake of your youth will determine your future and confine you to bearing the identity of what you did…But the gospel says in Isaiah 54:4
“Fear not; you will no longer live in shame.Don’t be afraid; there is no more disgrace for you. You will no longer remember the shame of your youth and the sorrows of widowhood.
I pray that this will be the season where you open your hear to hear the gospel. I pray that this will be the season when you set your expectation to have a personal experience of the gospel, the good news of God’s unmerited favour! I pray that inspite of how loud shame seems to be shouting, tugging or pulling, when you hear God’s Word, you will not harden your heart!
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The Blessing of ignorant friends
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We often believe that people who have not been through what we have been through, have nothing of value to say to us. Afterall, they don’t understand! How can anyone help if they don’t understand?

There is truth in that. A lot of truth actually. When you cannot comprehend another person’s pain, suffering or even success, you are somewhat limited in your ability to help or communicate with them.

However, I am fully convinced that we all need IGNORANT FRIENDS. We all need people who know us but are ignorant of what we have been through. Here are some reasons you need some naive friends.

  1. Ignorant friends will be naive about the circumstance you find yourself in, but well schooled about you. No matter what we face, how we see ourselves makes a difference to our response to what we face. Sometimes, because they don’t know or understand what we’re dealing with, they have only one thing to fall back on; their knowledge of us! They will remind you that you are strong, smart, beautiful! They will remind you of other circumstances you have over come. YOU NEED FRIENDS, WHO DON’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU’VE BEEN THROUGH, BUT UNDERSTAND YOU. FRIENDS IGNORANT ENOUGH TO BOLDLY REMIND YOU OF WHO YOU ARE!
  2. Ignorant friends will be so ignorant about your circumstance to offer “silly” ways out. Great ideas are often carved out of silly ones. Great innovatons are often birthed by people who are ignorant of the reasons why it can’t be done! You need. People whose creativity is not so blindsided by your challenge! They will carry the seed of your way out of your dilemma in the womb of their ignorance.
  3. Ignorant friends will be more prone to trust in the Lord more than they lean on their understanding of the gravity of your situation. People who understand the gravity of your situation, are often prone to lean on their understanding. They are more prone to give more weight to what you are going through than they do to the God who is responsible for your deliverance. Sometimes you need someone who reminds you of the sovereignty of God. You need someone ignorant enough to remind you of the truth of God’s Word!

I think people who understand us and what we’ve been through are a blessing. But I encourage you to embrace the blessing of ignorant friends. God left these people in your life for at least one of the above reasons.

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How to disagree and still communicate love
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People don’t have to agree with you to genuinely love you. If agreement is your prerequisite for love, you will never find true love.

In fact I believe that some (not all) of the people who vehemently disagree with you, are those who love you the most.   

One of the big problems we have as human beings is that we are control freaks! This is so evident when there is a disagreement. The silent treatment, the violence, the harsh words etc are often our attempt to coherce the other party to agree with us! The more they resist, the more intense the cohersion.

How to disagree and still communicate love
1- WHEN/IF ASKED be clear about your position. It is not real love if your friends, those who often provide a sounding board, are not clear. 

Proverbs 15:22 Where there is no counsel, purposes are frustrated, but with many counselors they are accomplished. 

Good friends are God sent because good friends provide the counsel that helps our lives work. When asked, good friends have s responsibility to give clear counsel. 

2. Don’t try to control, try to give the advantage!! We all face this challenge with the ones we love. When we are convinced about our position, especially when our loved ones are not standing in the same position, we are so desperate that we often resort to all types of schemes to get them to agree with us. 

This is one of the areas that having faith in an all knowing God who has the hearts of kings in His hands makes such a difference. Because I have Jesus, I can afford to deliberately give up the attempt to coherce loved ones into going on the “right” path according to me. 
Instead of trying controlling the outcome, pray hard for them and look for a way to give them the advantage. Don’t take a stance that says “you will soon fall flat on your face and I’ll be there to say I told you so!”. Take a stance that says, “you know I don’t think this is the way forward, but you make must also know that as your friend, you never need to doubt that I’m here for you!”. Take ever opportunity to communicate the latter through words and deeds. 

Communicate your disagreement appropriately. But never communicate your disagreement stronger than you communicate your love. Speak the Truth…IN LOVE

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What you see now is not all that there is!
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Suddenly, there was a bright light in the cell, and an angel of the Lord stood before Peter. The angel struck him on the side to awaken him and said, “Quick! Get up!” And the chains fell off his wrists. (Acts 12:7 NLT)

This year don’t despair because the judgement has been passed…don’t reach a conclusion about your future on the basis of the chains around your wrists! Don’t be scared because you can see that sickness eating away at you…don’t despair because you can see your children appearing to go deeper and deeper into drugs…at the right time God will equip you with a fresh Word! When you are equipped with a Word, nothing will stop you! Chains will fall off you on account of God’s Word! Doors open on account of God’s Word!

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Dear Teenager: some truths about your parents – PART 2
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cropped-wordpressimage1.jpgDear friend

I hope my last letter to you helped you to begin to see your parents in a different light. As promised, here is a continuation of my last letter to you.

Dear teenager, yes I know that you get along with that your friend from school or college very well. It is true that they are your best mates. However it is also true that they are teenagers just like you who are discovering who they are. As a teenager, you are an adult which means that you strongly aware that there are choices that YOU have to make in your life…however you are still a child in the sense that you still need guidance(this is one of the most important truths you can accept if you will make the most of your teenage years). Your friends can sometime provide that guidance for you, but they don’t see the bigger picture well enough to ALWAYS give you sound advice. Here’s what I am saying, please form strong friendships with your age mates, but never make a major decision only on the basis of what your mates tell you.

Dear teenager, here is what I have discovered, particularly in my teenage years…in the end, my parents advice or instruction beats advice from my mates…99% of the time! Don’t discover this the hard way!

My child, listen when your father corrects you. Don’t neglect your mother’s instruction. What you learn from them will crown you with grace and be a chain of honor around your neck. (Proverbs 1:8, 9 NLT)

Right now, I understand that being like your friend(s) is really important to you. The truth is that the “coolness” of your friend is important in your world as it is, but it is not the most important thing in the world that you are going into in a few short years. If you could see that your friend in 10 years time, I promise you that you wouldn’t want to be like them! Especially if what they’re calling “cool” flouts every instruction God has given you through your parents. Dear teenager, here’s what I am saying…enjoy your teenage years in every single way that you can, but be a smart teenager.

A smart teenager is one who makes daily decisions today, only after having looked into tomorrow through the windows fashioned by their parents sound Words.

Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment. (Proverbs 4:7 NLT)

I hope this helps you. Next time I will write to your parents about you. Together we’ll work this thing out!!

Your God always understands. He can be trusted. His advice, His instructions will never lead us to a future that we will not pleased with. Develop confidence in His Word.

God bless you & keep you.


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