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21Dec
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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02Mar
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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12Feb
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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29Jan
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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27Jul
When the promise doesn’t make sense
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If you’re like me, trying to live a life of faith in God through Jesus, there will be seasons of great contradictions. Living a life of faith is simply living a life that is directed and influenced by the Words of a living God, captured in scripture. Living a life of faith is choosing to live with expectations set by believing in the promises of God. 

The contradictions set in when you bump into situations that are directly at odds with the promises of God. 

When you expected help that never seems to be there. When you expected that they would fall on their knees asking what must I do to be saved after you shared the gospel with them as the Spirit of God led you to do. But all you got was a weird look. When you expected provision that is still pending.

I have learnt that these are the times when the quality of your faith is tested. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant. Psalm 89:34 says that God will not alter His Word or break His covenant. 

The Words of a God, His promises and instructions are backed up by the covenant. Even though God’s Word is good, on the basis of His integrity as a person, the covenant makes the promise legally binding. 

It’s one thing for a nice, trustworthy friend to give you a promise. It’s another thing for them to go through the effort to go to court, write up papers and sign an affidavit to make that promise legally binding. 

That’s what God has done. He gave His promise. Even though it is good enough, He legalises His promise by sending His son to die on the cross. Hebrews 6:18 tells us that this is God’s attempt to let you know how serious He is about His promise. 

I have learnt that the promise is given to set your expectation. And the covenant is given to help us keep our expectation set when the promise doesn’t seem to make sense. I have learnt to fall back on the covenant, particularly in seasons of great contradictions. 

Practically this means I am not afraid to be without an explanation for the contradictions, because I believe that the covenant ties God to me permanently, and if I keep walking conscious of His presence with me, in time, the pieces of the puzzle will fit. 

Hebrews 6:11-12 And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Don’t quit or abandon the promise of God simply because it doesn’t add up right now and you’re looking like a mug right now. God has legally bound Himself to fulfill no His promise. Keep the faith. Be patient. You will inherit the promise. 

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04Sep
NO SUBSTITUTE FOR FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!
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Hebrews 8:11 None of them shall teach his neighbor, and none his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them.

God in His wisdom has set up a covenant with mankind. A covenant is a binding agreement that outlines the basis of the relationship between 2 parties. In Hebrews 8, God tells us about the covenant that is currently in effect between God and man. A key part of this relationship is that we will all have the privilege of a personal relationship with God. Which means we get to have a first hand experience of Him!

I believe we are living in times when the only thing that will set you apart from the rest is YOUR personal knowledge of Him! There so many perplexing things happening in the World, and even in the body of Christ. I believe the only thing that can keep you in peace in the times we live in is a FIRST HAND experience of God.

I’ve been friends with my wife now for about 10 years and we’ve been married for 5 of those years. I have spent A LOT of time with her in these years! We haven’t been apart for long at all. So it’s safe for me to say I know her! My relationship with her is not based on how anyone else sees her, but it’s based on my personal, FIRST HAND knowledge of her.

Most Christians have a second hand experience of God. This means that what we know of God is what someone else said about Him.

Thank God for people he uses to teach us about God. I believe that preaching and teaching about God is indispensable to the health of our relationship with God. Just like learning about women and marriage is indispensable to the health of my relationship with my wife. But those who teach me about relationships are still not my wife! I will run into BIG trouble if I treat them in that way!

Those who teach you about God and His ability are NOT GOD! They will never be God! A relationship with them will never be a substitute for a relationship with God! We honour those who teach us about God, but we WORSHIP GOD! Real worship comes out of a first hand experience of God.

Every one has an opinion about God! With the internet, every one can voice their opinion, and with social media you can even get opinions about God that you didn’t ask for! Delivered direct to you door! Without a personal knowledge of God, you will be open to the torment that comes when you inevitable come across someone who says “you’re doing it ALL wrong!”

Learn all you can from those who teach about God. But prioritise a PERSONAL RELATIONSHIP with Him. He is available to us. I define worship as any intimate interaction you have with God. You can’t be tormented by different winds of doctrine if you worship I.e interact with God personally. Seize every opportunity you have to relate with God. It’s an awesome privilege made available to EVERYONE by & through Jesus.

How about right now, just talk to God. Say hello. He’s waiting. Fear of every kind dissipates when you have a FIRST HAND experience of God. We live in times when there is NO SUBSTITUTE FOR A PERSONAL, FIRST HAND KNOWLEDGE OF GOD!

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26Feb
Change your light, Change your life
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20140226-160849.jpg

Also He said to them, “Is a lamp brought to be put under a basket or under a bed? Is it not to be set on a lampstand? (Mark 4:21 NKJV)

There is an awesome story bible story in Acts 20 about Paul which I love so much. In this passage, God tells Paul that as he (Paul) would die in Jerusalem, but Paul’s response was…However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. (Acts 20:24)

It is natural to be fearful and to even change your plans if someone told you that in your journey to your place of work or study you would be killed…well unless you have a different understanding…a different light on your lamp-stand that means that you don’t see impending death (as prophesied by God HIMSELF…not a spooky Christian) as an obstacle, or as something that should cause you to change your plans.

An understanding of what God said in His Word brings or sheds light on how you see your life (Psalm 119:130). Let this light be a blue light.

An understanding of what every other person/circumstance says also brings or sheds a different kind of light on what you face. Let this light be a red light.

Now once you turn the light on, once you place the lamp on your lamp stand everything in your environment starts to reflect the light you turned on! So everything in your life right now is either looking blue or looking red! Everything is you see now is seen through the light shinning in the eys of your understanding.

Since my beautiful daughter was born, the baby light has been turned on in the eyes of my understanding so now my whole world is reflecting that light! I am no longer just thinking about myself but I am thinking about everything because in view of my understanding that I now have a daughter. In fact I even feel like there are more babies in the world now!

Everything you are seeing with your natural eyes is reflecting the light shining in the eye of your understanding. In other words, what you understand about what you are facing right now informs how you feel about what you are facing. Your understanding also informs the conclusions you are drawing from what you face.

I believe the Bible. I believe in Jesus. Here’s what the bible says about Jesus: In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:4, 5 NIV)

Today, let’s make some decisions to do some things:

1- Get understanding about Jesus and what He says about you and your circumstance
2- Take down the “red light” (what you naturally understand about what you’re facing) from the lamp-stand of your heart.
3- Put up the “blue light” that is Jesus on the lamp-stand of your heart.

Let an understanding of Jesus be the light through which you see your relationships, future, your identity, your circumstances etc! Make a decision that it’s the blue light that informs everything you see in your life!!

When you see your life differently, you will see different things in your life! Change your light, Change your life

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06Nov
Partnership with God: what is our part?
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I believe that one of the most powerful revelations a person can get is that God has decided to need you on this earth. God has complete authority over all things, but in Genesis 1:26 He decided to partner with man. In Genesis 1:28, He partnered with man; He did what He had previously decided to do…He gave man authority.

If any partnership is going to be effective, each partner will have to understand their part & the part of their partner. This understanding does away with the kind of scenario where we take on something that we weren’t supposed to take on. Taking on someone else’s part in any partnership eventually leads to frustration & disillusionment about the partnership.

So many of us have found ourselves frustrated and disillusioned with God because we have been taught to take on His part as well as our part. For instance, so many people don’t want anything to do with God, because they’ve been told that they have to clean up first in order to come to God. The truth is that coming to God is our part, but being cleaned up is His part. Jesus said Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth. (John 17:17 AMP)…notice that it is God who sanctifies. Anyone who attempts to sanctify themselves ends up with a frustration that is often passed on to those they come in contact with. It is those who have taken on God’s part with regards to sanctification that also take on God’s part with regards to judging people.

In our partnership with God we have only one part…to believe God. Romans 3:28 says that So we are made right with God through faith… to be made right with God is to have a functioning effective partnership with God, and the way that we do that is by believing or having faith in God.

Every person who did anything great for God started from a place of believing God…Yes Moses did parted the Red Sea…well, really all He did was believe God when God asked Him lift His Rod over the sea…God parted the Red Sea through Moses because He believed God. David defeated Goliath…but really all He did was believe that the God who delivered Him from the bear & the lion will deliver him from Goliath. Yes Peter walked on water but really all He did was believe Jesus when He said COME! All these people played their part which is to believe God, and God played His part which is to fulfil the Word they believed.

So many of us are taking on the pressure of doing similar great things for God without believing God. The evidence of our confession that we believe God is found in our stance when what you’re “believing” for does not materialise. When we focus more on the miracle that you need today, on the Holy person that you are supposed to be, on the good things that you are supposed to do…we are focusing on God’s part. When we focus on the great things that we are supposed to happen with our lives, or in the lives of our loved ones, we are taking on God’s part. If we continue to do that, we will end up frustrated and disillusioned about this partnership with God.

Today I pray that your faith (your ability to believe God confidently) will not fail you. I pray that you will have the courage to make a decision to believe God in spite of what you see around you. As we believe God, we are made right with God…which means that our partnership is in the shape that it is supposed to be in. If our partnership is in shape, that means that God will do His part. OUR PART IS SIMPLE…WE BELIEVE GOD!

Faithful is He Who is calling you [to Himself] and utterly trustworthy, and He will also do it [fulfill His call by hallowing and keeping you]. (1 Thessalonians 5:24 AMP)

Here is one of my favourite quotes…

The most powerful thing a man can do is to believe God – Dr Ramson Mumba

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