Wednesday, 29 October 2008

Rock On Your Praise...

Has the Lord been good to you?
Then, sing of His praises
Whilst gathered in the assembly of the faithful
On the bus, train, work or at a station
Praise Him in His mighty Heaven

On orchestrated waves
the seas make known their praises
the trees, rustle and clap their branches
in honoured praise

so, has the Lord been good to you?
then, gather in the assembly of the faithful
put on your garment of worship
sing praises to the one is forever faithful

©Remi Banjo, Revised October 2008

Psalm 107:1

"Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever."

Wherever you find yourself today, don't forget to embrace the essence of praise. The bible teaches us to give thanks and praises to the Lord in all season, in all situations, in all circumstances. Why?

Firstly, because the Lord is good and his mercies and love endures forever and ever.

Secondly, at the times when we need it, it that very essence of praise we emit that will bring forth the breakthrough you seek and deliver us to a new morning and new beginning.

So, here is me encouraging us all to never stop praising and to never stop thanking the God who works everything together for our good.

Have an awesome time praising and worship the father as you go about your day, whilst your actions and impact it presents makes him famous along the way.

Much Love
Remi Banjo

***Pictures by Photobucket***

Thursday, 23 October 2008

Faith Under Pressure?

He feels lost. Everything within his hemisphere, that he knows is safe, secure, that makes sense is turning flat on its head. He feels like he's under attack from all sides, all angles; emotionally and physically and spiritually. I've got a wife and three kids to feed he thinks, I can only last two months, at the most without income coming in, his whispers to himself.

Every time he thought about his current situation; of loosing his job, loosing his high-flying friends, loosing his home and now on the verge of loosing his mind; he feels his blood pressure shoot up a notch! In despair he looks up and cries out towards the sky, "Lord, the God of the angel armies, help me please, show me your hand in this situation". He falls to the ground on his knees pleading for mercy.

And the Lord's reply?

"My Son, it's time to give your faith that much needed workout. It is time to pull yourself up and forward by the shoestrings and makings of your faith"

Now how many of us would be comforted by the answer given above? We would be like "God just move your hand, I Just want you to do something so that my life does not fall apart.". But we forget that most times when we want God to manifest his will in our lives, we need to give him something to work with. In today's trying times, more than ever, we need to show him the 'workout' of our faith, of the faith we confess and have in Jesus Christ, so that he in turn works everything out (good or bad) for our good.

The dictionary defines faith as thus:

  • belief that is not based on proof (physical proof)
To have faith in God is to trust in the power of his words and the power of their promises. To trust that no matter what we are going through, he is there with us. To have faith is to believe without seeing the physical results that things are and will get better.

Faith is simply trusting and hoping on God, both in good and bad times.

It is very easy for us to 'practise' the element of faith when things in our lives are going great, and on track; job, wealth, family and all that are going according to God's plan.

What about when things are not going too great? What them becomes the nature of our faith.

It is difficult to live a life of faith in a world that sees by faith - Pastor Ray Macaulay.

It is difficult to workout our faith when all we see is contrary to that which we feel or believe should be reality of things. When this happens, this is when we must remember that we must workout or act on our confessed faith as Habakkuk 2:4 encourages. It reads "Behold the proud, his soul is not upright in him; but the just shall live by his faith."

1 Peter 1:7 tells us that when trials comes our way, it will give our faith 'the 'work out' truly needs. And to be honest, most of us need this from time to time. It will show us to ourselves how big, small, strong or weak our faith truly is and empower us to do something about it. For the Just shall live by faith, and in these times, we need super-strength faith!

1 peter 1:7 7 These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.

Faith is seeing our lives the way God sees it. Faith is working with God and believing the promises he made will come to pass, regardless the present situation. God promised that he would take us from glory to glory, and I believe the middle ground between going from one glory to the next is called tribulation and affliction.

The bible does teach us that we will experience trials and tribulations, (no one is immune to this) but God will be with us through it all, isn't that encouraging? Furthermore, 1 Corinthians 16:13 encourages us not to be put off by these trials, no matter how great, that we should be strong through it all. It reads "13 Be on guard. Stand firm in the faith. Be courageous. Be strong."

Also James 1: 2 - 4 teaches us that when we face troubles such as described above and more, it gives us an opportunity to grow, and Lord knows a whole lot of us need some growing to do, especially in these times. It reads: 2 Dear brothers and sisters,when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. 3 For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. 4 So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.

Faith is seeing a family, having lost their home, but believing God that this is just a passing phase, after sleeping on friend's sofa and floors for a few months, a stranger comes and gives them a beautiful house as a gift - all because he had a spare one!

Faith is seeing an individual not having an income for over a period of time, yet believing that God is their source and firmly holding onto the picture of God's promised reality, and in the midst of having no income, all needs are met and becomes totally debt free. (This is my testimony)

Faith is seeing an individual constantly being rejected from all job applications, but with a strong mind and heart, determines that God, his father owns the heavens and the earth and that there is a job out there for him. Every morning he gets up, applies again and again and again. He gets a job, not just any job but the director position for the company of some of the jobs he has been applying for.

Faith is believing that as it gets darker in the world, it will get brighter in the church, in the lives of God's children as confirmed in Isaiah 60: 1-2 reads "1 Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you. 2 See, darkness covers the earth and thick darkness is over the peoples, but the LORD rises upon you and his glory appears over you."

So here is me encouraging us all today, regardless the circumstances you are going through, hold on to the very core and foundation of your faith. Flex it's muscles and give it a serious 'workout'. The foundation which it resides upon - Jesus Christ, means that we are already winners, we just need to bring its reality from the spiritual into the physical realm.

If the very essence of your faith is under pressure, HOLD ON TO the promises that God has given you. He is a faithful God, and will always come through.

What you are going through, is exactly what it is; you are going through it, on your way to glory.

By working out your faith in both good and bad times, gives God room to work on your behalf, so that your light will shine for all to see and in turn bringing glory to His holy name.

"Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong."

1 Corinthians 16:13

Have a wonderful time working and building up the very essence of your faith, bring forth testimonies that will help others, whilst making God famous along the way.

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

Friday, 10 October 2008

Lessons From Jonah.. Along my way

Yesterday, on my way to a business meeting, sitting on the train, I pulled out my bible and for some reason proceeded to read the book of Jonah.

A few verses in and I started laughing not so much at Jonah's silliness and his attempt to run and hide from God, but for the fact that I know I have done the exact same thing! God says, "Remi go left" and then I go right... ! Jonah 1:1 - 3

Reading further, my emotions switched from laughter to sadness as I learnt of the effects of disobedience to our environment, to people around us. Jonah 1: 4 - 7. Jonah's disobedience caused a ferocious storm to descend on the boat he was in, putting the crew on board in great danger. For a few minutes I pondered and thought how my disobedience in the past, has put lives, both near and far in great danger... Lord forgive me for being disobedient I whispered.

I read further, and my countenance was wrapped in amazement with the knowledge that, even in our disobedience, God still works everything together for good and for His glory. Jonah 1:14- 17. The sailors were in awe of God's power. After throwing Jonah off the boat, the stormed called immediately. This made them turn to God in worship and they devoted their lives to serving him. Jonah 1:15- 16 it reads "15 Then the sailors picked Jonah up and threw him into the raging sea, and the storm stopped at once! 16 The sailors were awestruck by the Lord’s great power, and they offered him a sacrifice and vowed to serve him."

I kept on reading and was presented with the nature of God's mercy. In the midst of Jonah's disobedience, God was merciful enough to spare his life and he arranged for fish to swallow Jonah and keep him safe from harm and from death!

I read further, and learnt, that sometimes we have to be so lost, for us to be found. In the midst of his darkness, when he had lost all hope, Jonah turned back onto God. Jonah 2: 1-8

I thought about all the times when I felt lost and alone, yet this same feeling spurned me on to turn to God, my only hope.

I kept on reading and learnt about a God of second chances. About a God whose mercies are new every single morning.

After the fish threw up Jonah, God spoke to him again and gave him the same instructions he gave him first time. In doing so, God gave Jonah a second chance to make right, a second stab at mastering the act and skill of obedience. Now isn't that awesome? Jonah 3: 1 - 2 reads "1 Then the Lord spoke to Jonah a second time: 2 “Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh, and deliver the message I have given you."

Jonah took that instruction and ran with it. Jonah 3: 3 reads "This time Jonah obeyed the Lord’s command and went to Nineveh, a city so large that it took three days to see it all"

Now I thought, how many times has God given me, a second, third, fourth, even 100th chances?I should learn to take up this chances and run with it, like Jonah.

I also learnt the seriousness, and ramifications of being obedience. In this case, Jonah's obedience spared the people of Nineveh from God's wrath. His obedience, made them turn from their evil ways and seek God's mercy. Their actions, which was as a result of Jonah's obedience, softened the heart of God and hence averted his anger.

Now, I am sitting on the train and wondering how many lives I might saved or how many dangers I might have averted for simply being obedient... wow!!! Thank you father!

And finally, as I came to the end of the book of Jonah, I was grinning from ear to ear for I was presented with a glimpse of the many natures of our God; a patient and gentle disciplinarian, the comforter, the loving and merciful father.

He was ever so patient with Jonah, even through his disobedience and anger. He was a gentle disciplinarian, after all he could have taken Jonah's life through the fish and being smitten by the sun, but he didn't, he kept Jonah so he could teach him some lessons of love and forgiveness; His love for us as his children and his forgiveness & mercy toward the people of Nineveh.

So, I sat there on the train, making my way to a business meeting and I whispered a prayer:

God help me to hear your voice
as you whisper deep within my ear
Open my understanding to your instructions
Enable my limbs to move in the direction of your will
Let your glory shine through my obedience for all the world to see

So how about you? What Lessons have you or can you learn from Jonah?

Have a great time perfecting the nature of obedience, whilst making God famous along the way.

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

Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Guard Your Essence

The newspapers, Television broadcasts, words on the streets, in the office corridors are filled with bad news. The ever intruding and constant news is filling people with anxiety, with stress, giving way to irrational decisions and actions... all driven and propelled by the spirit of fear.

The dictionary defines FEAR as thus:

  • a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc., whether the threat is real or imagined; the feeling or condition of being afraid. or

  • To feel a painful apprehension of; to be afraid of; to consider or expect with emotion of alarm or solicitude
To GUARD means to:
  • keep safe from harm or danger; protect; watch over
  • provide or equip with some safeguard or protective appliance,
  • protect from danger; to secure against surprise, attack, or injury; to keep in safety; to defend; to shelter

Fear is the latest weapon of choice the devil is using to get people in his grip and to cause more havoc in the midst of the global crises going on.

But alas, resist this fear we must. It is more important than ever to guard our hearts, minds, spirit and soul from the element of fear.

"Fear is not just a feeling, it a spirit. It is the spirit that paves the way, breaks down the door, opens the pathway, the portal of our hearts (if we let it) to other spirits."

Did you know that when fear takes residence in our hearts, it opens the doors to the most sinister spirits of the underworld. It sends invitation to spirits such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, confusion, irrational decision, anger and even death! For example, yesterday, I read in the news about a man that killed 3 generation of his family because he was depressed about loosing his investment in the global financial crises. To get to this end, it most probably started with the invasion of fear.

For some fear does not manifest in such a drastic way. It's presence is subtle and is portrayed through the change to mindset and thinking and decisions made on a daily basis. It starts with words and thinking such as: we can't, we shouldn't, we must not or we will not. It manifests through worry such as "what shall we eat tomorrow"?

So therefore, we must guard our heart from the invasion of fear as we are thought in Proverbs 4:23, which reads "Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life." We must do whatever it takes so that it does not take residence in our hearts, in our surroundings and in our actions.

Besides as we are thought in 2 Timothy1:7 , God has not given us the spirit of fear, so why should we harbour it? It reads "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind"

So how do we guard ourselves from fear?

We can do the following and much more:

  • Decide which economy you reside in; God's or the world. I wrote a post about this called Economy of Residence. To reside in the world's economy means being a prime and easy target for the enemy. To reside in God's economy means being covered by the blood of Jesus and having enough ammunition to resist and win over the spirit of fear.

  • Trust God. Isaiah 41:10 reads "Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." As children of the most high God, because of the love he has for us, we must understand, know and believe that all will be okay with us.

  • Feed your hearts with a daily with God's word. Romans 10:17 reads "So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ." We must fill our hearts, constantly with God's word; listening and reading. This will guard it when fear comes knocking.

  • Be fervent in prayer and in thanksgiving: This we are thought in Philippians 4:6-7 , which reads "6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. 7 Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus"

  • Stand on God's word. We have read it,we have prayed and declared it, now we must stand on it. Whenever fear attempts to take residence, we must stand our ground, in the knowledge of who we are with God and his word. We can learn what our response and countenance should from Master Jesus, when he was tempted by the devil as we read in Luke 4:1- 13 (please read for completion).

  • Embrace a positive attitude. Our countenance and disposition should show the world that we believe in a living God, who looks after his own.

So here is me encouraging us all to, guard our very essence. Guard our hearts from the spirit of fear and all the others that comes long with it. Reside blissfully in God's economy, stand firm on His word and His promises. In doing so, God's light will shine through us, and His glory shall fill this earth, making Him even more famous in the midst of the crises we see today.

Have a wonderful time letting your light shine for all to see, making God famous along the way.

Much love

Remi Banjo

***by photobucket***