Tuesday, 30 September 2008

Economy of Residence...

Stepping aside and off the economy's merry-go-round, a few disturbing things comes to light. It is obvious that there is a ferocious battle in the spirit world. The enemy is increasing it's demonic activity and striving to take hold of the world's global economy. A lot of people don't recognise this and it is because, cleverly, the enemy has carried out a re-branding exercise; he is presenting same attacks in a different packages and delivered them through different means.

Firstly, the names came in the form of credit, free credit, all the credit you can get. And then it came in the nature of excess; excess in all things good and bad. Food, products and life style; everything in tremendous excess. And then came the false feeling and sense of security in the world's system, it's wisdom and riches. What the world failed to do was read the SMALL PRINT behind what the enemy was delivering. If we had done so, we would have seen the side effects written clearly. And now, today, these side effects are being manifested. We hear and see them so clearly. They come in form of credit crunch, recession, economic depression, foreclosures, repossessions - the list goes on and on.

The world's global economy is falling apart at the seams. It is grinding to a halt. People are loosing their jobs and families are being displaced. People are in despair, depression is setting in, some taking their lives. But guess what? In the midst of this darkness, for the children of the most high God, for those marked with His blood, there is ALWAYS hope. Hallelujah!

In the midst of famine God's children will not only prosper, but keep being prosperous. God's economy never experiences a downturn. Prosperity is the reality of God's economy.

In God's economy his desire is for his children to prosper, all the time, throughout all seasons. It does not matter what is happening in the world's global economy, God's desire for us to be prosperous ALL the time. It does not waiver, does not change. It is ever so constant, sometimes ever more so in the time of famine.

We see God's desire for us to live in continuous prosperity, in the bible. Lets go to the begining by taking a look at Genesis. Genesis 2:8-12, 15 reads "8 Then the Lord God planted a garden in Eden in the east, and there he placed the man he had made. 9 The Lord God made all sorts of trees grow up from the ground—trees that were beautiful and that produced delicious fruit. In the middle of the garden he placed the tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
10 A river flowed from the land of Eden, watering the garden and then dividing into four branches. 11 The first branch, called the Pishon, flowed around the entire land of Havilah, where gold is found. 12 The gold of that land is exceptionally pure; aromatic resin and onyx stone are also found there. "

Verse 15 read"The Lord God placed the man in the Garden of Eden to tend and watch over it. "
From the onset, God was committed to man being prosperous. He already created a place of prosperity for him. All man had to do according to verse 15, was to look after this environment. For each and every one of us, there is an Eden for us, a land and environment of prosperity. Are we living in it? If not, how do we make this our reality?

In these times, more so than ever before, it is very important to school ourselves to carefully listen to the voice of God, align our WILL to his. We must be willing to obey what he commands and in his goodness and mercy he will see that in the midst of the world's crises and storm, we will not just be fine, but we will flourish.

Looking through the bible, we can learn a lot from the lives of the great people of old. People who not only listened to God, but obeyed him and lived to see, experience and live in God's blessing of prosperity, even in the midst of famine. Their prosperity became a light to the world around them, drawing people to God's glory.

The life of Isaac is an example of such. Genesis 26: 1-3 reads "1and there was a famine in the land, other than the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 2And the Lord appeared to him and said, Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I will tell you. 3Dwell temporarily in this land, and I will be with you and will favor you with blessings; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father"

This passage explains to us that in that time, there was a recession in the land, just as there is now, and God was looking after his own children (just as he is looking after his own now) and one of them was Isaac. God spoke to Isaac, giving him specific instructions on what to do and where to go.

Genesis 26:6 reads So Isaac stayed in Gerar. Here we see Isaac's response to God's instructions. I saac obeyed God by raising up and going to Gerar and stayed there as God commanded.

Has God instructed you to do something? Are you moving or staying still?

Genesis12 - 14 12 reads, "When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. 13 He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. 14 He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him"
Now, here we learn that Isaac was now in Gerar and whilst there, he was living according to God's instructions, and in so doing the lord blessed him to be a rich man, but not only that, he kept on becoming rich and it didn't stop there. He became extremely wealthy!!!


Now, this tells me that, if I am in tune with God, reside in his economy, and I am willing and obedient, in today's recession climate (famine) God who is the never changing and ever faithful God, CAN AND WILL still make me rich and wealthy. Awesome!!!.

So, today, I encourage us all to get in tune with God and place ourselves and everything that concerns us, firmly into God's economy. An economy that is not affected by the world's flimsy conditions.

When in God's economy, it means we are covered and marked by the precious blood of Jesus Christ. And as God protected the children of Israel during the plagues of Egypt, when he sees the mark of the blood over us, he will shield us from the ferocious storms of the world's economy. Pleas read Exodus, chapters 8 - 12 for completion.

In God's economy, we should not fear for the days of his children are upright and in the days of famine, they shall be satisfied as we read in Psalm 37:18 -19 which reads "18 Day by day the Lord takes care of the innocent, and they will receive an inheritance that lasts forever. 19 They will not be disgraced in hard times; even in famine they will have more than enough"

Declare today that, "in these days of days of recession you shall be satisfied because your trust is in God and you will be satisfied from the fullness of his house."

Psalm 91:1 - 8 tells us that, as we dwell in the secret place of the most high, we should not be afraid for he will look after us, and the disasters of the world will not come near our dwelling. (please read passage for completion).

Also in Job 5: 20 - 22 explains how the good Lord will protect his children from famine. It reads "20 He will save you from death in time of famine, from the power of the sword in time of war. 21 You will be safe from slander and have no fear when destruction comes. 22 You will laugh at destruction and famine; wild animals will not terrify you.

So today I encourage us all to:

  • Get in tune with God; move into God's economy
  • Reside in God's economy
  • Align ourselves with God's will
  • Listen out carefully and clearly for God's voice
  • Listen to God's instructions
  • Be willing and obedient - do what he tells us to do, how and when he tells us to do it. Remember, delayed obedience, is disobedience.
  • Cover and mark ourselves and everything concerning us with the blood of Jesus Christ
  • Trust in God, for he is ALWAYS faithful
  • Keep sowing in God's economy, even in the time of famine.
  • Pay your tithes. Not honouring this means robbing God. Robbing from God means the heavens are closed over our lives.
  • Rejoice... before, during, in and after the manifestation of God's faithfulness.
  • Keep praying, seeking insight, knowledge and wisdom

Get busy doing all that and more of what God has instructed and is instructing you to do. When you are willing and obedient, you will live in prosperity and in abundance in the Eden God has already created for you.

In this current times of famine, of recession, let your light shine so the world can see the true nature and colours of God's love; making Him famous along the way.

Remi Banjo

***Pictures by Photobucket***

Friday, 26 September 2008

The Garden Cultivator

His name is George, but everyone who knows him called him "The Garden Cultivator".

George was a business spokesman for his company, but his real passion in life is gardening. He loved the idea of turning a barren land into a beautiful banquet of colours; filling it with trees, flowers and fruits, herbs and everything good that can be planted. Attached to his home is a very good size of land, which spawns from the back towards to front of the house. It was this land that helped him make the decision to settle there with his wife Mary.

George spends every spare moment he has on this piece of land. Planting, sowing, watering; cultivating his garden. Over the years, he has transformed it into a beautiful and magnificent garden, which presents and explosion of colours and life. People travel from far and wide, just to see the beauty it represents. He even won the local gardener award this year, and has done so for the past three years. The local animals even testify to its beauty, even they seem to spend all their spare time in George's garden.

It has not been an easy task or journey to get this garden into such good condition. It has taken a lot of effort, determination, persistence and diligence to get there.

Along the way, he has also learnt valuable lessons of making sure the right seed is planted, at the right time, in the right season and even in the right corner of the garden!. This he learnt especially, five winters ago, when he bought some mango seeds from the local garden shop. They looked like proper seeds and the seller promised that once planted they would grow into a beautiful mango tree. That was not the case. A month after planting the seeds, a good part of his garden was covered with weeds, they were ferocious. Their roots went deep and it was extremely hard to get rid of them. Every time he cut them off, within a week they were back and with a vengeance. He however, eventually learnt how to cut them off from the roots and then treat that part of the garden with special weed repellent for to cure it permanently.

He promised himself to be more careful about his selection of seeds after that experience, and now he is know to travel far and wide to obtain good quality seeds, as only the best will do.

"To visualise Gorge's garden is to experience a soul thriving with life, represented in an explosion of colours, wrapped in the ambiance of love."

Man is the cultivator of his mind. Our minds can be likened to a garden and we, are the gardeners. The thoughts we plant therein are the seeds. Just like George cultivates his land, every one of us cultivates the garden that is our mind. We either plant & cultivate bad or good 'thought seeds'.

The word 'Cultivate' means to:
  • improve and prepare (land), as by plowing or fertilizing, for raising crops; till. or
  • to promote or improve the growth of (a plant, crop, etc.) by labor and attention. or
  • to develop or improve by education or training; train; refine: to cultivate a singing voice.
The word 'Gardening' is the:
  • practice of growing plants for their attractive flowers or foliage, and vegetables or fruits for consumption.
We are responsible for the seeds we plant into our minds. The 'thoughts seeds' we cultivate is what will, eventually be (good or bad) manifested as our reality. Why? This is because our thoughts and characters are one.

"What we focus our minds on constantly, will eventually be part of our character. Thus we must be careful of what we meditate on because it forms our character and our character determines our actions."

Proverbs 23:7 reads "For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee."

So my question for us today is: "What thought seeds are we planting into the garden that is our mind? Are cultivating seeds that will bring forth an explosion of colours and life or are we planting seeds that breed negativity and an explosion of darkness?"
In today's world, it is more important than ever, that we are mindful of the 'thought seeds' that we let settle in our mind garden; TV (a million channels, a million wrong and right seeds), magazine ( so many to choose from), radio, even from some pulpits!
So, how can we make sure we cultivate our minds with the right 'thought seeds'?

We can learn a few lessons from the great Psalmist David, as he writes in Psalms 119:9-11
How can a young man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. I seek you with all my heart; do not let me stray from your commands. I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.

Hiding God's words within the realms our hearts is an awesome weapon against weeds that might try to take hold. The word will act as weed repellent or weed killer; destroying any invasion of weeds and killing eliminate any weeds already taking hold.

Psalm 1: 1- 2 reads 1Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night.

Meditating on the word of God is one of the best way to make sure that the garden of our mind is cultivated and ready for the right seeds to be planted.
Also, we should be conscious of our surroundings, not everything we see, hear or read is good for our mind's consumption. We must learn to ask the holy spirit for discernment, insight, knowledge and wisdom, to know what to accept and what to leave behind.

So here is me encouraging us all to be the best garden cultivator of our minds that we can be, for in doing so the manifestation will be to the glorification of God's name, thereby drawing people unto him.

Have a wonderful time cultivating your mind, spirit and soul; not forgetting to make God famous along the way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***Pictures curtesy of photobucket***
This post has been inspired by the book "As a man thinketh"

Monday, 22 September 2008

Purification... Painful Yet Necessary

A diamond is described as one of the world's most precious gems.

Diamonds are the most hardest, the most imperishable, and the brilliant of all precious stones.
The word "diamond" comes from the Greek word "adamas" which means "unconquerable"! Imagine that!

The science bit...
Diamonds are formed when condensation of solid matter into a sphere causes the centre of the planet to become subjected to incredible extreme temperature and pressure.

These conditions cause deposits of carbon to begin to crystallise deep in the earth, and as the earth's surfaced cooled, Volcanic activity forces streams of magna (liquid rock) to the surface carrying with it the diamond crystals. Later, the diamond - bearing rock hardens encasing the diamonds in vertical volcanic pipes. When a volcanic eruption occurs, the diamonds are spit out and scattered far and wide.

The atomic structure of a diamond gives it the property of being the hardest substance known to man, natural or synthetic. The diamond is thousands of times harder than corundum, the next hardest substance from which rubies and sapphires are formed. Even after many years of constant wear, diamonds will preserve their sharp edges and corners when most other stones will have become worn and chipped.

Did you know that a diamond's crystal structure is "hard" yet "soft"? This means that it can indeed be broken, but guess what? When a diamond is broken, it opens to reveal a much refined and purer from of itself.

Each and every one of us is a diamond waiting to be revealed. A diamond waiting to be purified, refined, and it's beauty revealed to the world as God intends it to be.

Refine can be described as:
to bring to a fine or a pure state; free from impurities or to
to bring to a finer state or form by purifying.

Purification can be explained as:
the act of getting rid of impurities; or
the act of purging of sin or guild; or
moral or spiritual cleansing; "purification through repentance"

From the above it is safe to say that for God to reveal to the world the diamond we are, he must take us through the purification process to refine us. He must sift through the dirt and vile that covers us; and to do this he must apply immense heat and pressure and then break us, constantly; to purify and eventually turn us into the purest form of diamond we are meant to be.

He will refine us as he did the Levites in Malachi 3:3, which reads "He will sit like a refiner of silver, burning away the dross. He will purify the Levites, refining them like gold and silver, so that they may once again offer acceptable sacrifices to the Lord"
and as explained in Zechariah 13:9 "I will bring that group through the fire and make them pure. I will refine them like silver and purify them like gold. They will call on my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘These are my people,’ and they will say, ‘The Lord is our God.’"

I believe that as we go through God's purification process he is teaching us (amongst other things) to:

  • Increase our dependence Him. This we learn from 2 Cor 1:8 -10, which reads "8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia. We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it. 9 In fact, we expected to die. But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead. 10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again. We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us. "
  • To adjust us more to His Will. This God teaches us through the life of Peter in 1 Peter 4:1-2, which reads "1 So then, since Christ suffered physical pain, you must arm yourselves with the same attitude he had, and be ready to suffer, too. For if you have suffered physically for Christ, you have finished with sin. 2 You won’t spend the rest of your lives chasing your own desires, but you will be anxious to do the will of God"

  • To enable us to comfort others as he shows and teaches us how. This we are thought in 2 Corinthians 1:3-5, which reads "3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. 5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

  • To teach us humility. This we are taught through his feeding of the Israelites in Deuteronomy 8:16, which reads "He fed you with manna in the wilderness, a food unknown to your ancestors. He did this to humble you and test you for your own good."

Looking through the bible we can learn of a few people who went through some tremendous refining process. Starting with Joseph, which we read in Genesis 37:5-9, 28, 39:20, 42:6,9. He was sold into slavery by his brothers, and sent into prison, and eventually became the greatest figures in Egypt. And Job? Where do I begin with his purification process? Please read The Book of Job for completion.

I have learnt that in the middle of the heat and pressure, we must strive to:
  • Trust God, as we are taught in 1 Peter 4:19, which reads "So if you are suffering in a manner that pleases God, keep on doing what is right, and trust your lives to the God who created you, for he will never fail you." Isn't that awesome? Our God is ever so faithful.

  • Keep seeking God's face, keep having conversations with him, in the midst of it all, as we are taught in James 5:13, which reads "Are any of you suffering hardships? You should pray. Are any of you happy? You should sing praises."

  • Glorify and honour God, even when the heat and pressure seems unbearable, for he Will be there in the fire with you. This we are taught in Daniel 3: 19 - 25 "19 Nebuchadnezzar was so furious with Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego that his face became distorted with rage. He commanded that the furnace be heated seven times hotter than usual. 20 Then he ordered some of the strongest men of his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego and throw them into the blazing furnace. 21 So they tied them up and threw them into the furnace, fully dressed in their pants, turbans, robes, and other garments. 22 And because the king, in his anger, had demanded such a hot fire in the furnace, the flames killed the soldiers as they threw the three men in. 23 So Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, securely tied, fell into the roaring flames.
    24 But suddenly, Nebuchadnezzar jumped up in amazement and exclaimed to his advisers, “Didn’t we tie up three men and throw them into the furnace?”
    “Yes, Your Majesty, we certainly did,” they replied.
    25 “Look!” Nebuchadnezzar shouted. “I see four men, unbound, walking around in the fire unharmed! And the fourth looks like a god"

Along with the above, today, I learnt, a greater lesson; and it is that sometimes, the best thing I can and should to do under the intense, heat, pressure, pain, turmoil and all that comes along with God's purification and refining process, is to STAND STILL. When I can no longer bear the heat, the pressure and the pain, to simply stand still in Him and let my maker, the master crafter get on with the job of doing what he is wonderfully good at; working everything together for my good (even the pain) to reveal the beautiful diamond he has created me to be, which in due time, will be revealed for the world to see.

Ps... D... thanks for this afternoon, you helped me more than I can ever explain or thank you for... :-)))

Have a wonderful time whilst God is purifying to reveal the diamond in you; not forgetting to keep making him famous through every single "ouch" along the way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***Pictures by photobucket***

Thursday, 11 September 2008

On The Way To Becoming...

Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

That was the question Nicky kept asking her parents, every so often. Each time she asked her dad and mum would reply gently "no darling, not yet, sit back and enjoy the ride".

But Nicky couldn't sit back or sit still, she was infected with a severe bout of anticipation and excitement at what she would meet at her aunty's place. They were on a trip to visit her aunt Florence who lives in Edinburgh. They made this trip every year around the same time. Her aunt was a famous interior decorator. Every time Nicky went to her home, the whole place was always magically transformed into something different. The last time she was there, the whole decor had an Egyptian theme, and she imagined she was a princess living in a big castle. Nicky was very eager to find out what the theme would be this time around.

They usually took the plane, but her parents decided to make this visit a road trip so that the family could spend some quality time together and enjoy the British countryside and roads.

Nicky didn't think that was an idea as it took ever so long. Besides she couldn't imagine what she would be doing sitting in one place for almost seven hours! She would be so bored she taught. Worst still, her younger brother Ike, who was in the back seat with her, was getting on her nerves.

And so she went on again...
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?
Are we there yet?

"No darling", came her mum's reply. Oh! Look at that beautiful castle she said, pointing out the window, turning around to speak to Ike and Nicky. "Isn't that so beautiful and peaceful"?
Everyone awed at it, but not Nicky, she kept her eyes, glued firmly on the road ahead, hoping to the see the sign that says 'Welcome to Edinburgh'. A sign her daddy told her would mean they were 5 minutes away from aunt Florence house.

Every so often, on the trip, her parents or brother tried to lure her into the scenery, games and some sing along, but Nicky was not having any of it. She sat rigid in her seat, with only thoughts of what she would do and see when she got to Edinburgh. She wasn't interested in what was going on outside or inside of the car.

After quite a few hours, she finally saw the sign she had been waiting for, and it read 'Welcome to Edinburgh, have a wonderful time here'. She was happy and elated, and she couldn't wait to jump out of the car. The ride had been too long and boring for her liking. She imagined, her aunt was waiting for them on the front porch, with arms wide open, a big smile on her face, saying "welcome, welcome my beautiful family, I missed you all so much". Everyone took turns to hug each other.

Nicky looked up eagerly into her aunty's face, tugging her right hand and said with great enthusiasm, "can we go inside now, I would like to see the new decor of the house. what colour is the front room now, do you still have that fish shaped bathroom?" She asked dragging her aunty's right arm.

"No, not the tour just yet", her aunt replied. "Firstly, I would like you to tell me all about your road trip down here. What you saw, what you did along the way, whom you met, I want to hear every single detail, everything" The fact was that Florence didn't get travel or get around much, she was a real homebody, and she liked to learnt a lot about life beyond and outside Edinburgh through other people's experience. Nicky, paused for a while, she was lost for words. There and then it dawned on her, she realised that in her eagerness to get to Edinburgh, she forgot to have an experience along the way.

*** Story is purely Fiction***

How many of us chant similar questions to God; constantly and daily.

God, is my breakthrough here yet?
God is my testimony here yet?
God is my new beginning here yet?

How many of us are lost in the eagerness of arriving at the next phase of our lives, but forgetting to live and experience the intricacies of each day, on our way there?

Imagine a few life scenarios...

  • Women, doing nothing, but waiting for that husband to arrive at your door and sweep you off your feet.
  • Men, doing and building nothing, but simply waiting for God to send that wife forth.
  • Students dreaming about their career after university or graduate school, yet fail to spend time developing their knowledge, skills and abilities.
Whilst we wait to arrive at our next appointed destination, whether we are in lush fields or the middle of a wildness, we must learn to have an Experience (good or bad).

The dictionary describes experience as thus:

  • Active participation in events or activities, leading to the accumulation of knowledge or skill
  • Experience may be acquired in two ways; either, first by noticing facts without any attempt to influence the frequency of their occurrence or to vary the circumstances under which they occur; this is observation; or, secondly, by putting in action causes or agents over which we have control, and purposely varying their combinations, and noticing what effects take place; this is experiment.
All experiences, either good or bad, is meant to develop us physically, mentally and spiritually. It is meant to prepare us, give us wisdom for the things to come and what we are yet to become.

On that note, here is me encouraging us all that in "our waiting and on our way to becoming" we should engage in the activities that God has set out for us to do, and have relish in the experience of doing and living it. We should each time and season we find ourselves in and relish each day as we live out it's intricacies. Let's not be too eager for tomorrow that we simply forget to live for today. Mathew 6:34 teaches us this and it reads "So never worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."

Have a wonderful time having and experience whilst on your way to be all that you are meant to be; whilst making the Almighty God famous along the way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***pictures by photobucket***

Monday, 1 September 2008

September Only By His Grace...

This is the day, and the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it!

I would like to welcome everyone to the beautiful month of September.
It's only by God's grace and mercy that we have made it this far.

Some have started the year, the month of January with us, but right now in September, they are no more.

Let's join the host of heaven to declare and proclaim His greatness, His awesomeness and His glory as the psalmist declares in Psalm 19:11, which reads "The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship".

This month, I pray that we will all make a conscious decision and effort to put God first and in ALL that we do, therefore giving Him room to empower us to prosper and be all that we should be. This we are taught in Matthew 6:33, which reads "Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need".

I pray that we make a conscious decision and effort to INVITE (which is defined as "To ask for the presence or participation of...") His Will and Kingdom into our lives daily (as we are taught in Mathew 6: 9 - 10, which reads "9 In this manner, therefore, pray: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. 10 Your kingdom come. Your will be done ") and He will bestow unto us all that we need for a daily fulfilled life in His presence.

Finally, I encourage us all to do diligently, with a good heart, that whichever we find our hands doing; for it is all for God's glory, it's about making Him famous and drawing men unto Him. This we are taught in Ecclesiastes 9:10, which reads "Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going."

Have an awesome month in God's presence, being all that you have already been created and gifted to be.

Much Love
Remi Banjo
***pictures by photobucket***