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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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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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21Jul
The Key to healthy relationships 
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There are so many battles we face in our relationships that can literally be shut down and won by one or two unkind words! 

Yet if we are really after authentic relationships and authentic fulfilment, we will need to resist the temptation to say/type/write unkind words. 

Speaking an unkind word in some circumstances can be so gratifying and fufilling…(you know I’m right)…but the truth is that it will never produce true fulfilment. Instead unkind words said to those closest to us will ALWAYS leave a bruise on those we love the most. 

Now an authentic apology can heal these bruises, but won’t it be better that those around us never need to experience the pain of being bruised by our words in the first place? Would you not prefer to not be bruised only to be healed later with an apology, if it was avoidable? 

When we speak graciously or kindly, even when we are are on the receiving side of unkindness, we break the cycle of “bruise for bruise”. With our kind and gracious words, we introduce a seed for healing and health. Keep feeding those seeds, and eventually it will grow so big that our relationships will be characterised by kindness and graciousness as opposed to pain and hurt. 

Kind and gracious words can remove the venom in the veins of your relationships today. Speak something kind in the face of unkindness. Break the cycle of pain. Introduce seeds of health to your relationship right now.

WITHOUT AUTHENTIC KINDNESS, THE CHARACTER OF OUR RELATIONSHIPS WILL REMAIN UNSAVOURY. 

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25Jan
Thank God for Ishmael, but Ishmael is NOT Isaac!
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There are always options that apparently look like alternatives to what God said to you. These options often sound logical and even reasonable. But the truth is that nothing compares to God’s Word to you.

God’s Word to Abraham was that he & Sarah would have a son. Having a son with Hagar seems logical, reasonable & even produces an Ishmael, a son who was also mightily blessed by God. But no matter how blessed Ishmael is, he will never be an Isaac!

So many of us are rejoicing in & testifying about our Ishmaels, when God had promised you Isaac! Is that you today?

I don’t know about you, I want my Isaac!

Lets make a decision to stick to the Word God gave you. Don’t settle for less than what His Word says about you & your circumstance. As you hold on to the Word of God, you are literally investing in truth…John 17:17 tells is that God’s Word is truth…the highest form of reality! Investments in the truth will ALWAYS yield great dividends!

Galatians 6:9 – Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.

Hebrews 10:35 – So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded 

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14Jan
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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