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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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11Sep
Clean hands. Pure hearts.
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We no longer live in a dispensation where what we do determines how acceptable we are to God. We live in a dispensation where we are perfectly acceptable to God because of what Jesus did!

And our faith in Jesus is the bucket with which we can scoop up and use up heaps of the benefits that comes with being perfectly acceptable to God!

However, there is still something about a man or woman who is dedicated to having clean hands and a pure heart. There are heights God and in life that are reserved for those dedicated to keeping their hands clean and hearts pure.

Keeping your hands clean involves making a decision to make sure all you do empowers others and doesn’t hinder them.

Keeping your hands clean involves doing things in such a way that if anyone was to audit your actions and intentions retrospectively, they will find you guiltless.

Keeping your heart pure involves keeping your motives pure. It involves finding the best motive for anything you do, and yielding your heart to that motive.

Keeping your heart pure involves choosing to believe the very best about others even when there is reason to believe the very worst.

Keeping your heart pure is choosing God’s Word in your heart, above the jealousy, fear, resentment, envy, frustrations about yourself and others, which creep into our heart daily.

I believe we live in a time that requires us to move huge mountains and weather unprecedented storms. These are times that demands authentic faith in God. Authentic faith is characterised by clean hands and pure hearts. Authentic faith is in the state of your heart and not the size of your bible.

We are called to scale great heights in our industries, communities & families. Whilst we don’t seek to keep our hands clean and our hearts pure to be acceptable to God. We do need to desire that, for the sake of the advancement of God’s kingdom.

The grace of God does not exempt us from needing clean hands and pure hearts to scale great heights. The grace of God empowers us to live a successful life with clean hands and pure hearts.

Keep your hands clean. Keep your heart pure. Let God help you with it. Ask Him to. Make that your prayer in spite of your current situation.

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10Jul
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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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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04Dec
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.

Chido

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30Oct
Hear & Keep on hearing
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Romans 1:16…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…

The gospel or the good news about Christ contains the power that God uses to save anyone who believes! If you need the power of God to save you, you can find that power invested in the good news about Jesus. Locate the good news, locate the power of God!

Time and time again the bible gives us instances of how the lives of various people have been turned around because they heard the good news of Jesus Christ. Most of the people who received miraculous breakthroughs heard something about this Man Jesus that caused them to reach out for what Jesus had without much thought for what the rules and regulations of the day was.

The Woman with the issue of blood in Mark 5 heard about Jesus (V27) after going through 12 years of bleeding and losing money to doctors. What she heard about Jesus caused her to have such a strong confidence (faith) in Him that she didn’t care about what the law had to say about her condition or even how weak she would have been physically! Verse 28 tells us that…she kept saying, If I only touch His garments, I shall be restored to health…She had heard something! 

Blind Bartimeaus in Mark 10 was another example, verse 47 tells us that “when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth who was passing by” he shouted out to Jesus without much concern for those who were severely censuring him! He had heard something! 

Dear friend you don’t even need to be a christian by religion to experience the power of God that is deposited in the good news about Jesus. Jesus is a gift to the whole world! The power of God is available to anyone who believes the good news that Jesus is our healer, our peace, our provider our wisdom our righteousness…and much more! Be on the look out for the good news about Jesus. As you immerse yourself in the good news about Jesus by hearing and continuing to hear this good news, the power of God will be unleashed to help you out! 

In the brightest or darkest times of life, never lose sight of the GOOD NEWS ABOUT JESUS. It Contains the power of God unto salvation. 

Today I pray you hear something about Jesus that causes you to reach out to Him regardless! 

Grace be with you. 

Chido 

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