Obedience: A matter of the heart

This past month, I have been on a roll with the theme of obedience and today I share the lessons I have learnt on obedience by looking at four different biblical characters: Moses, Saul, Gideon, and the unwilling son. For almost a year now, I have been ruminating on the parable of the unwilling son and what the implication of that story might be. And as I have followed the Israelites on their journey to the promised land, this story seems to be more relevant.

The parable of the two sons can be found in Matthew 21:28-32. The gist of the story is of a man with two sons who told them to go work in the vineyard. The first son refused, but later obeyed and went. The second son initially expressed obedience, but actually disobeyed and refused to work in the vineyard. The son who ultimately did the will of his father was the first son because he eventually obeyed. As I have studied obedience from this parable and through the lives of the Israelites, my biggest lesson has been that obedience is about the heart. Actions matter, in fact what we do matter a lot! But the state of one’s heart is even more important than what we do. King Saul, the first king of Israel is a perfect example of this lesson.

God had instructed that all the nations that the Israelites conquered be completely destroyed (people and livestock alike) but when Saul defeated the Amalekites, he decided to spare their king, Agag and keep the choicest animals for sacrifice to God. One might hear this story and think it was noble thing that Saul had done but God was not pleased. He rebuked Saul sternly,

“What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams”

The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”

1 Samuel 15:22 NLT and 1 Samuel 16: 7b NIV

Apart from the fact that the All-knowing God knew that one day, a descendant of King Agag named Haman would make it his life’s mission to wipe out all the jews from the face of the earth when he demanded the total destruction of the foreign nations, he was more concerned with the state of the heart of Israel’s ruler. A heart of obedience was a prerequisite for a long and fruitful reign (Deuteronomy 17:19). Saul’s grand gesture of saving the choicest livestock and sacrificing them contravened God’s edict and was in direct violation of the priestly mandate. His intentions did not matter, his actions even mattered less- because God saw his heart and he dishonored God in his heart and that cost him a great deal.

Moses was another person who dishonored God in his heart and it cost him greatly. Forty years had passed since the Israelites left Egypt to go to the land that the Lord had promised them. After camping in Kadesh, they ran out of water. When the people complained to Moses and Aaron, the Lord commanded Moses to speak to a rock so that water would miraculously gush from it. Instead of obeying the Lord, Moses chose to deliver an angry lecture to the people and then strike the rock twice with his staff. I have always wondered what was so bad about Moses hitting the rock with his staff when God had asked him to speak to the rock. Surely the Israelites deserved the stern rebuke! Why did his actions cost him the promise land even though the rock produced water? Well, scriptures clues us in that it was not so much about what he did as it was about his heart in that moment. Moses dishonored God in his heart and that spilled over into his angry outburst and actions. That is what God punished… the dishonor.

“…for when the community rebelled at the waters in the Desert of Zin, both of you disobeyed my command to honor me as holy before their eyes.”

Numbers 27:14 NIV

Many times, obedience is perceived with a “do not question; do as you are told” mentality. However, if obedience is more about the heart and less the actions, then there is opportunity to seek clarification and ask questions of God when we do not understand what is being asked of us. Gideon is a good example of this (Judges 6-8). I have been intrigued with the story of Gideon and how he appeared to question all of God’s directions without any repercussions. After carefully analyzing the story of Gideon, I conclude that even though he asked God to prove Himself over and over again, he never dishonored God in his heart through the process. His acts of questioning and clarifying were not acts of disobedience (dishonoring God in his heart) or blatant defiance and were actually welcomed by God. In this story, I see God respond to the frailty of humanity through tenderness. Gideon’s tests were designed to draw him into a deeper understanding of who God is and God indulged him.

An obedient heart may be one that has self doubt but says, “God, can you tell me some more about what you are asking of me?” “Can you show me what I ought to do and how I ought to do it?” An obedient heart may not always do the right thing but is quick to admit its wrongdoings and say “Create in me a clean heart and renew a right spirit within me.” An obedient heart may not be one that jumps for joy when asked by the Father to work in the vineyard but still goes any way.

My prayer for you and for myself is for a heart of obedience… and as our hearts respond in obedience to the King, may our actions follow suit.

Yours Truly

Obedience: An art and act of warfare

Now that is an unusual title isn’t it? As I have journeyed along the Israelites from Egypt to the promised land in my bible study, I have discovered nuggets such as the one I would be sharing shortly, along the way. The Israelites had now entered the promised land under the leadership of Joshua and had conquered much land to call home. However, the Israelites did not drive out all the pagan nations from the land. God allowed some of the nations to remain to teach the new generation of Israelites two things: first, the art of warfare and second, that their victory in warfare came from obedience.

These are the nations the Lord left to test all those Israelites who had not experienced any of the wars in Canaan (he did this only to teach warfare to the descendants of the Israelites who had not had previous battle experience): the five rulers of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living in the Lebanon mountains from Mount Baal Hermon to Lebo Hamath. They were left to test the Israelites to see whether they would obey the Lord’s commands, which he had given their ancestors through Moses.

Judges 3:1-4 NIV

Throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the elders who had seen the great things that God had done, the Israelites served God faithfully but there came a generation after who neither knew God or the things he had done for Israel (Judges 2:10). Now while that in and of itself is problematic and bears pause, that is not the focus of this topic. The people quickly fell into a pattern of idol worship and consequent suffering under the strong hand of raiders and nations who oppressed them. Every time they went out to war, the hand of Lord was against them just as He had sworn to them He would do and they were defeated.

Again and again, God raised up judges for them who saved them out of the hands of their enemies. And as long as the judge was alive, the people obeyed God but returned to their corrupt ways upon the death of the judge. This triggered a pattern of times of peace followed by times of oppression even though they were in the land God had promised them. As I studied the lives of the judges God raised for the Israelites and the many battles the Israelites fought in their first few years in the promised land, it became apparent obedience always led to victory and disobedience to defeat. The art of warfare- their secret weapon- was obedience. It was not a physical (carnal) weapon and yet a highly effective one!

Obedience is still an effective weapon for many seen and unseen battles in our lives today. The bible assures us of us this fact. Now pay attention to this scripture:

The weapons of our warfare are not weapons of the world. Instead, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We tear down arguments and every presumption set up against the knowledge of God; and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.

2 Corinthians 10:4-5 BSB

This scripture demonstrates obedience in action as an art and act of warfare. Even rogue thoughts, arguments, and presumptions that have been set up above the knowledge of Christ are torn down and held captive when obedience is at work. These strongholds, when submitted to the lordship of Christ are defeated just as the enemy nations of the Israelites were defeated and many times their strongholds torn down when the Israelites were living in obedience to God. In their obedience, they listened to and followed God’s plans in times of war even when the plan did not make sense. Shouting as they marched around a city, selecting men for battle based on how they drank water, falling in love with a Philistine woman as a battle strategy, regardless of how ridiculous the strategy may have seemed, the battle was always won because someone obeyed!

Last year, I went through a phase where everything felt like a struggle and battle. Many times, I felt God telling me to hold my peace and that he would fight for me. And did I listen? Of course not! I thought I had to take matters into my own hands and I kept spinning out of control until eventually I had spun myself into an intricate web of despair and defeat. I look back now and realize how obeying the voice and promptings of God not to say this or that, or to walk away, or to hold my peace etc. may have been an effective strategy to win the battles of 2022!

Have you ever been in a situation where you feel like you are in a fight of your life for things you should not be fighting for? Are you in the thick of a physical, emotional, psychological, or financial warfare? In addition to the many weapons in your artillery, add obedience and see God lead you into great victories! Here’s to winning our battles in the strength and might of the Lord with our secret weapon!

Yours Truly.


For the past few months I have been on a hiatus from writing but certainly not from God working on me to make me into what He wants me to be. While I have been away, I have spent time reflecting on the Israelites as they journeyed from Egypt to the promised land. and as I have read through their stories, the weight of being a sojourner here on earth has not been lost on me. As I grapple with where I am in life, where I have been, and my role on this stage of life, in contrast with the stories of the Israelites, there are two principles that have resonated with me: surrender and obedience.

Throughout the sojourn of the Israelites, God asked that they loved, served and obeyed Him. And what made the likes of Moses and Joshua successful in obeying God while most of the Israelites struggled was surrender. Surrender is the answer to our commitment to intimacy and obedience to God. Our intimacy does not come from where God has placed us or what He has given us. If that were the case, the Israelites of old would have been the most surrendered people. Surrender is a choice we have to make everyday; an active choice and not a passive happening.

Matthew 25 speaks to a parable that Jesus told and while there are many lessons to draw from this parable, today this parable highlights what active surrender looks like. In this parable, a man goes on a long journey but before he does so, he entrusts his wealth to his servants according to their abilities. To one he gave five bags of gold, to another two and to yet another one bag. Two of the servants understood that everything they had been given had to be surrendered to the will of their master and so they made a choice to invest the gold. The last servant took a more passive approach and instead of discerning the will of his master, buried his one bag of gold in the ground. He held on so tightly to what he had been given, unwilling to allow any transformation to happen with his bag of gold and he missed out completely in the end (Matthew 25:14- 30 paraphrased).

What are you holding on to so tightly? What have you buried so deep that you are unwilling to allow God to bring transformation and change to? What remains unsurrendered to the Master’s will? For me it has been my hurts and disappointments in people and circumstances, my time and my schedule, my abundance and my needs, my identity, my family, and my education. There have been many aspects of these areas of my life that I have held so tightly to my own way and I have been unwilling to surrender these parts. Like the servant that hid his bag of gold, I have tried to keep these areas under my own control. God has been teaching me to let go and surrender these parts to His leadings. Like the servants who had five and two bags of gold respectively ended up with better outcomes than they started off with, so will many things in my life have better outcomes if only those areas are surrendered to God. For starters, most of my strivings will cease and God will truly be exalted in my life (Psalm 46:10).

But here is the caveat: surrender and obedience walk hand-in-hand. Without obedience, one cannot be fully surrendered and without surrender one cannot wholeheartedly obey. I pray that in whatever God is calling you to obedience and surrender that you will have a heart that is inclined to listen and at accordingly and as you do so that transformation happen to the five bags of gold or the two bags of gold in your life for the glory of God.

Yours Truly

How wealthy are you?

With the rising cost of living and global inflation, it seems like a good time to take pause to ask, “How wealthy am I?” A few days to the close of 2022, one of the pastors was doing the call for tithes and offerings and she made a statement that has stuck with me for the past few months. She said, “our wealth is not measured in how much we have but in how much we give away” and that stopped me in my tracks. People who know me well know that I am very generous almost to a fault. I used to give freely of my time and resources without second thoughts but lately I have become stingy. I started noticing that people were either taking advantage of my generosity or not reciprocating and I felt cheated. I felt like I deserved better and so decided to hold back. Of course as with all my life’s decisions I presented my new found disposition to God and this is what He had to say about it:

Seeking recognition or recompense for a good deed done:

I was chatting with my sister a few month ago and she shared with me how God has been dealing with her in terms of seeking recognition and wanting people to repay us for our good deeds. She shared that in many ways when we do a good deed, when we are kind, and generous, we have acted as messengers of God and indeed we are, as the hands and feet of Jesus. Messengers are sent to deliver messages, goods or services and to report back to the one that sent them. If praises/ thanks are offered, the messenger is to be relaying that information back to who ever sent him/ her. Expecting to be repaid for our gratitude or seeking recognition for our generous deeds is like a messenger who goes to deliver a package on behalf of another and takes the credit for the content of the package without duly referring that credit to the one that sent him/her. As God’s hands and feet, he empowers everyday to bring hope to the world around us in various ways through our generosity of money, time, intellect, and resources. And yes while it feels good to be appreciated, we must remember that the ultimate glory MUST go to God and He WILL NOT share that glory with anyone. He is the rewarder of men and women and when we start to look to people for rewards for our good deeds, then we have totally missed the mark. Here are a few scriptures that come to mind to buttress this point:

My name is the LORD! I won’t let idols or humans share my glory and praise.

Isaiah 42:8 CEV

Feeling cheated because there appears to be no reciprocity and returns for my generosity:

A few weeks ago, I attended a worship seminar and the guest speaker said something that brought me to tears. He said, “God blesses the things in your heart that are a reflection of His heart.” The reason this simple statement convicted me so much is at that at the root cause of my dissatisfaction about being generous is the fact that I have felt like God does not notice. I have sometimes felt like a pushover because even though people have taken advantage of my generosity, I do not stop giving. I have often felt compelled by something greater than myself to be kind and loving and generous and lately because I have felt that it has gone unnoticed, I have been discouraged from pouring out so much of myself into others. At the heart of this issue is 90% the need for recognition and some returns for all my generosity and 10% compassion fatigue.

About compassion fatigue- Really and truly, there should be no room compassion fatigue when we are tapped into the source of compassion who is Love Himself. I have found when we take our eyes of Jesus who is our exceedingly great reward and we focus our eyes on what we think our reward should be- financial or otherwise- then we get compassion fatigue when the reward is not forthcoming. With our eyes on Jesus, how can we tire of being compassionate when His love flows through our veins? When His heartbeat for people become our life’s purpose?

So today as I take stock, these questions are very relevant, How wealthy am I? How much of my time, resources, giftings, intellect, money, worldly possessions do I give away for the benefit of others in service of my Master Jesus? In what ways am I the hands and feet of Jesus?

Yours Truly.

To the very day!

Have you every stopped for a moment to wonder if God knows about everything happening in your life? What about the billions of people on earth? Is He concerned with everything in their lives as well? What if I told you that everything that is happening in your life has been predicted by God right down to the very day (even second)? Would you believe it?

In Genesis 15, God visited Abraham while he was childless and promised him a child out of his own loins who would be his heir. Abraham, very skeptical of this promise because of his age, asked God for a sign and God made a covenant with him and showed him what the future of his descendants would be. God told Abraham, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be a stranger in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterwards they will come out with great possessions.”

Fast forward to Exodus 12, and we see God giving instructions to the Israelites through Moses to get out of Egypt. God delivered the Israelites from the hand of the Pharaoh with plagues that culminated with the death of every firstborn male person and cattle but not before they had plundered the Egyptians of gold and silver. For many of the Israelites, and certainly to the Egyptians, it may have just been another day of God working wonders but this was no ordinary day. It was a day that God had predicted to Abraham many years before right to the very day.

Now the length of time the Israelite people lived in Egypt was 430 years. At the end of the 430 years, to the very day, all the LORD’s division left Egypt.

Exodus 12:40-41 NIV

Right to the every day… a day which may have started off as ordinary was not ordinary after all. It had been earmarked by God as a day of redemption and was very significant. God was not slow to keeping His promise of deliverance. It happened on the very day God had chosen for it, not a day before or a day after. Do you know that nothing that ever happens to you takes God by surprise? Do you know that even the mundaneness of our day have been foretold by God even before the day happens?

Your eyes saw my unformed body; all my days were written in Your book and ordained for me before one of them came to be.

Psalm 169:16 BSB

Sometimes it is easy to forget that nothing in our life is happenstance. Everything happens for a reason and if you are counted among God’s division, it happens for your good and for His glory sake. Everything about you, from your life’s first cry to final breath is laid bare before God and so nothing is a surprise for Him. This is very comforting particularly for me as I have been asking God what the next steps of my life ought to be. If you are praying for direction for one aspect of your life or another, may you be encouraged by these words, knowing that God’s counsel will never lead you astray because He knows how everything will turn out right to the very day! May this be your confidence as you:

Trust in the lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. Instead, seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.

Proverbs 3:5-6 BSB, NLT

Yours Truly

A Psalm to God

Do you have a favorite psalm that is your go-to scripture? Is there a psalm that you most identify with? Is there a psalm that seemed to capture the very essence of what you were feeling at a point in time?

The psalms were a way for the people of the Ancient Near East to offer prayers, praise, or laments to God. In very poetic language, they described the majesty and splendor of God. Many psalms were a lament for whatever the evil of the day was and an opportunity to express righteous indignation for whatever said evil was. You can experience the depth of the relationship the psalmist had with God by how and what they wrote.

Fortunately for us, the psalms and the art of writing psalms was not just for the people of old. We have the privilege to bare our souls before God in praise, supplication, and in lament. A few months ago, our pastor in church gave us the opportunity to explore Psalm 13 as a prototype for writing psalms. I encourage you to read this Psalm when you have the time. The general idea is that this Psalm offers something of a formula to follow when trying to write a psalm:

  1. Express how you feel
  2. Remember the greater story of what God is doing
  3. Recognize God’s salvation
  4. Rejoice in God’s goodness

Based on this formula, the pastor gave us the opportunity to write our own psalms to God (Interestingly enough, my daily journal also encouraged me to do something similar). So after reflecting on how I was feeling and how my 2022 had shaped up to be, I wrote this psalm to God:

I am lost and feeling directionless

But I remember that your purpose was to seek and save that which was lost

You are the way; the one pointing my feet where they need to go

You are my truth, when the world screams what is your truth and encourages multiple truths

And today, I trust you because even though my life feels directionless, it really isn’t because you O God, are my life

Yes I know it does not rhyme and is not poetic but in that moment this was the baring of my soul to God. In fact, I have gone back to this psalm a few times in the past few weeks since writing it and have found strength in the words I wrote to God.

Is there something you would like to tell God today? Do you have a praise report, a burning request, or a lament to take up with God? Well, friend, consider writing a psalm to God.

Yours Truly

The things that I’m afraid of

I walked through the valley of shadows
And it scared me half to death
But You’re with me everywhere I go
So I won’t give up yet
My fears would surely kill me
If I didn’t know the truth
The things that I’m afraid of
Are afraid of You

When you read the title what is the first thing that comes to mind? What are you so afraid of that you do not even want to speak it out loud for fear it may happen? Many people in the world today live in the shadow of something that they fear. Whether it is the loss of a job, miscarriage, disappointment, failure, phobias, terminal illness, death, etc., we have all at one point or another been terrorized by the things we fear.

Fear was never a part of God’s original design of the human psyche. Fear is as old as the day Adam and Eve sinned against God as that was the first time fear entered the world.

“I heard Your voice in the garden,” he replied, “and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” Genesis 3:4

Fear was a response to Adam realizing the vulnerability of his nakedness and this trait has been passed on to everyone. We have developed in us a fear of the things that make us vulnerable- fear of the things we cannot control. This puts death and illness at the very top of the list of the things people are afraid of.

For the past two weeks, one line from a song by Josh Wilson has been on repeat non-stop in my head. The line goes, “the things that I’m afraid of are afraid of You.” And indeed, these words are very true and should bring great comfort. There is nothing that anyone is afraid of that can withstand the power and presence of God- not even death. In fact, there is nothing that is more terrifying than God and the natural response of our sinful self to a Holy God should be a dreadful fear of Him just like Adam had in the garden.

Fortunately for us, God has given us the antidote for fear: perfect love. Perfect love it is said, casts out ALL fear (1 John 4:18). And what is this perfect love? The only love that is perfect is one that lays down its life for another and it is found in no other than God Himself. God removed the grasp that fear had on humankind when Jesus died on the cross and from that day He declared us free from fear:

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.

2 Timothy 1:7

Instead of the fear, we have power, love, and sound mind. For the things we cannot control, God is our refuge and strength and our very present help in times of trouble. Therefore, we must no longer allow ourselves to be plagued by the spirit of fear regardless of what it is. God has given us victory over everything that instills fear in us; even death:

He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from off all faces. “Where, O Death, is your victory? Where, O Death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, ad the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ!

Isaiah 25:8/ 1 Corinthians 15:55- 57

So what is it that is keeping you up at night? What are you afraid of? Don’t forget the things that you are afraid of are afraid of God. So be rest assured…God has got your back.

Yours Truly.

I choose Joy

This is the day the LORD has made. We will rejoice and be glad in it.

Psalm 118:24 NLT

For many years I have thought joy as a fruit of the Holy Spirit that cannot be present in our lives apart from the Holy Spirit. And for many years I have ascribed my lack of finding joy and pleasure in things to the fact that perhaps it is how it is supposed to be. I have opened myself up to the Holy Spirit and asked Him to fill my life with His joy and so if I am not joyful then it is not my fault.

This evening I was reading a book titled the ‘Habits of a Godly Woman’ and came across one of the topics, ‘the habit of joy’. As the author suggests joy is a habit that can be cultivated. You can be joyful on purpose and you can incorporate a habit of joy in your life! I read through the chapter with a lot of skepticism until I came to the verse I have quoted in my opening. This is a verse I repeat very often whenever I am in the gathering of believers. In fact, once or twice per month I serve in church as the service director and I always start my production meetings with the catch phrase “this is the day the LORD has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.”

Up until this moment this verse has been a cliché for me. Something I always say to bring people’s attention to the fact that we are about to start the meeting. Today, what caught my attention was the phrase “we will rejoice.” This phrase suggests that joy (and rejoicing) is a choice. God has made the day- He has once again given us breath in our lungs and has blessed us with a day that He calls Today. He has made provisions for the day by giving us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3) so that we can seize all the opportunities in the day but it is up to us to a large extent how we show up and posture through out the day. God has already filled our hearts with joy as a result of our salvation (1 Peter 1:8-9) but it is up to us to allow this joy to be expressed in full measure in our lives.

Joy is a habit that can be developed. Wherever you are, whatever you are doing, you can decide to focus on everything that is good about your situation and choose to rejoice. As you do that often, you will develop the habit of joy. There are so many expressions of joy. The more obvious one is through laughter, but that is not the only way to express joy. The author suggests joy produces a range of emotions from extreme hilarity to calm delight. However we choose to express joy (depending on the situation and circumstance) the end goal is that it gives us strength and strengthens those around us.

The joy of the LORD is our strength

Nehemiah 8:10

I am an introvert by nature and would not be described by those who know me as the life of the party but on many occasions I put myself out there and have charmed many an audience with my quick wit and sense of humor. I am hilarious when I want to be and so there is nothing that prevents me from choosing to be joyful always. Choosing to be joyful does not mean I need to change who I am and become an extrovert. For my introvert friends, the joy of the LORD can be a quiet confidence (Isaiah 30: 15). The bottom line is that the joy of the LORD has nothing to do with who we are and everything to do with who He is. It comes from knowing whom we have believed in and reveling in all that He has done and is continuing to do in our lives.

In 2023, let us choose to be joyful on purpose. Let’s be intentional about choosing joy and enjoying the benefits of everyday called Today. This is the year the LORD has made we will rejoice and be glad in the remaining 358 days left.

Yours Truly

P.S. Wow! 2022 was quite the year! I rejoice for the grace of a new year 2023!

This is the way

Have you ever found yourself pinning over making a decision? Are you caught in-between two major decisions where either of those decisions seem very polarized? Do you feel torn between two good things? Do you feel like you are in this space where you are not where you want to be but cannot back to where you were?

Recently, I got offered two very different jobs and I could not decide which one to accept. One was in my field, something I was passionate about, but it was out of town. The other was not in my field but offered me the luxury of staying connected with my family and loved ones and I was torn. Which one do I accept? As I pinned over that decision, God led me to a book titled “Feel the fear and do it anyway”. In this book, I learned that when it comes to choosing between two (or more) good things, there is no right or wrong decision, just different ones. What? Let me explain:

Each experience has valuable lessons to be learned. If you choose Path A you will learn one set of lessons and if you choose path B you’ll learn a different set of lessons. Each path has goodies to offer such as the opportunity to experience life in a new way, the opportunity to learn and grow, and the opportunity to come out of your comfort zone to try something new. There is no right or wrong path just different paths (remember I am talking about choosing between two good things- not between right and morally depraved). The author calls this the No-Lose model in her book.

The words from this book sank down into my spirit and really helped to focus me as I picked one of those job offers. Even though over the past weeks of making the decision, I have been trying to convince myself that there was no right or wrong choice, I have had a nagging in the back of my mind if I chose right. As I pondered over my choice, a scripture got illuminated in my heart:

And whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear this command behind you: “This is the way. Walk in it”

Isaiah 30: 21 NIV

Even though the author of this book did not offer any Christian perspective to her No-Lose model, I think she was on to something. Many times in the throes of decision- making, I forget God directs my path towards an expected end. I agree with the author that are no wrong paths: God orders our steps whether it is to the left or the right and He goes ahead of us and lines the path for us with goodies. His goodness and mercies follow us as we walk the down the paths of our decisions. And if we continue to trust in Him, everything along that path will work together for our good and for His glory. In my limited mind, I see one path with one set of possibilities and another path with another set of possibilities. However, God sees the outcomes of my decisions (even as far as the end of my days) and He is able to bring me to that outcome regardless of whatever path I take. The key is to hear His voice saying, “this is the way, walk in it.” As long as I stay tuned to His voice, it does not matter whether I take Path A or Path B. I will come to God’s expected end. His hand will guide me and His eye will watch over me till I get where I need to be.

As I stay connected to Him, I will begin to recognize His voice when it directs me. As I lean more into God, I will stop second guessing His voice because I will recognize it right away. I am reminded of using my GPS in my car particularly when I do not know where I am going. I am usually more focused on the GPS lady’s voice than even the route I am taking. As long as I follow the GPS’ promptings I trust I will get where I need to be and that’s exactly what this scripture looks like for me. As I start to listen more for God’s voice saying, “this is the way”, I would get less concerned with the actual route I am taking. The bottom line is that God has got your back.

Yours Truly.

Settling Down in God’s Time and Season

For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.

Ecclesiastes 3:1 NLT

Wow! It has been over a month since I have been able to sit down to compose a post and this hiatus is because I have been going though a season in my life. This season has been one that has brought with it many life lessons, particularly, learning to trust in God when things are not going the way I plan. Yesterday, I picked up my bible to read after a few weeks of not doing so and my readings led me to this nugget of inspiration from Jeremiah 29.

For context: The Israelites were in captivity and they were hoping for God’s deliverance. In fact, many false prophets had assured them that God’s deliverance was around the corner and that their exile would last for only a maximum of two years. Because of this false hope, the Israelites lived in this state of flux, of uncertainty; and in many ways, they were stuck and could not move forward. But God sent his prophet with this message:

“Build houses and settle down; plant gardens and eat what they produce. Marry and have sons and daughters; find wives for your sons and give your daughters in marriage, so that they too may have sons and daughters. Increase in number there; do not decrease. Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the Lord for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper.”

Jeremiah 29: 5-7 NIV

God was telling them to get comfortable in the season He was taking them through. This sounds antithetical to everything I have come to believe when going through things in my life that I deem unpleasant. In fact, many Christian teachings and admonishing would urge me to pray and fast myself out of that situation. However, as I read through this scripture, I felt God’s encouragement to get comfortable in the seasons of my life. More often than not, I am in a hurry to move on to the next phase, to the next chapter of my life that I do not stop to take in the lessons and the blessings of each season of my life. Just like the Israelites, I sometimes refuse to accept the “realities” of what my situations are and rather look to future state as God’s promise for me. While this is not bad, there are many things that I miss out on in God’s season of my life: I miss out on planting and harvesting and on building during those seasons because I am waiting for better things to come. God told the Israelites to get comfortable, settle down, and build and in essence take advantage of everything the season of exile had to offer while they waited for His appointed time of deliverance. His promise to them was that at the end of the season, their deliverance would come but it was important that they did not waste the lessons and blessings of the season while waiting.

This is what the Lord says: “When seventy years are completed for Babylon, I will come to you and fulfill my good promise to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future…”

Jeremiah 29: 10-11 NIV

You see many of us quote the latter part of that scripture about God’s plans to give us a future and a hope with abandon but if you read this scripture in context, you will see it was part of an assurance to the Israelites during their season of exile. God was encouraging them to use the season of exile wisely because the plans that He had for them was to prosper them in the season of captivity and exile and bring them to the future state of deliverance they imagined better off than they currently were.

What season of life are you currently in? What are you waiting on God to do for you? Are you in between jobs? Waiting for your healing? Expecting a breakthrough in a particular area of your life? Grieving a loss? Disappointed at the outcomes of your life’s circumstances? Or are you celebrating great wins and successes in your life? Whatever, your season, there is a lesson and a blessing. And while I pray that the difficult seasons do not last long and that light breaks forth like the dawn over every gloomy circumstance, my greatest prayer is that you do not miss the opportunities God has in store for you during whatever season of your life. And particularly for those going through untoward circumstances, I pray that you do not miss out on what God is doing because you are only looking for respite and if it is God’s plan to prosper you in that particular season, may He give you the grace to get comfortable in that season. His plan for your life does not bring you harm and disaster but are for your well- being to bring you to the future you hope for.

I alone know the plans I have for you, plans to bring you prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future you hope for…[for it is the LORD who changes the times and seasons]

Jeremiah 29: 11GNB/ Daniel 2:21 NIV

Yours Truly