Monday, 19 April 2010

Next Generation - What Seeds Are We Planting

"And also all that generation were gathered to their fathers,
and there arose another generation after them who did not
know (recognize, understand) the Lord, or even the work which
He had done for Israel. And the people of Israel did evil
in the sight of the Lord and served the Baals."

The verse above relates to the passing of Joshua and all the elders who witness the powerful hand of God; both in blessing and judgement, in the lives of the children of Israel. From their being rescued from Egypt, through the wilderness and into the promised land.

After Joshua and the elders who witnessed the hand of God died, a whole new generation (their children and grand children) were now on the scene. They were grown up. The Bible says they did NOT know the Lord and as a result of this they did the very things that despised God. For example, they worshipped other gods, like the Baal-gods. They did nothing that their father's did, the things that pleased God.

I read this and thought, how could they have not known the Lord, or learnt from how their father's served God? I mean with all the wonders and punishment (for their disobedience) Israel went through with God, this new generation should have at least know about it!

I pondered and I reasoned that I believe they knew about God and all His miracles and blessings and all, but they did NOT KNOW GOD. It seemed that they knew God from afar, the God their father's served. However, they did not have a personal relationship with Him. The verse makes me think, that the older generation carried on with the business of serving God, yes the books where there, the temples, the alters and the rest, however it seems they might not have taken the the time to sit down and teach the upcoming generation about God, and guide them towards having a personal relationship with Him.

My question - "did Israel forget to implement the commandment of Deuteronomy 4:9-10? Which reads "9 But watch out! Be careful never to forget what you yourself have seen. Do not let these memories escape from your mind as long as you live! And be sure to pass them on to your children and grandchildren. 10 Never forget the day when you stood before the Lord your God at Mount Sinai,[a] where he told me, ‘Summon the people before me, and I will personally instruct them. Then they will learn to fear me as long as they live, and they will teach their children to fear me also."

Fast forward to this generation, imagine a family - mother, father who have lived a life of obedience in God, they get married and have two children. They immerse themselves in family life and the father, wanting the best for his children (as he should), works all the hours, to give his children what he considers ** the best** in life. He works on Sundays too, just to get that extra double pay that His company provides. The wife on her own (even though married) raises the children- takes them to school, takes them to church and so on. She is busy rushing from one appointment to the other. The husband and wife only just have about enough time to catch up in the evening, before they both fall asleep, in anticipation of yet another busy day. They do not have the time to sit down and tell or really teach the children about God, who He is, and how to live a life that is pleasing to Him. ... and the wheel keeps spinning until the kids are grown.

Most likely, the boys would have learnt that working hard is required to give the family **the best**. The girls might have learnt that most if not all of the work of raising the family rests on her shoulders, and she just has to do the best she can, praying God will help.

Is this the best we can do for the next generation? Selah

Are we busy with life and serving God for ourselves, at the detriment of the younger ones.

The question that ensures is thus "what, if any knowledge of God are we passing on, planting, installing into our children or the next generation"? Will we empower them to live a life that is pleasing to God, or will they like the generation that is spoken in Judges 2, turn away from God, because they do not know Him?

Using the principle of sowing and reaping (Galatians 6:7, which reads "Don’t be misled—you cannot mock the justice of God. You will always harvest what you plant"). What we sow in the lives of our young people - the next generation, is what we will reap. What will manifest through the next generation in years to come, will be as a result of what we are or not doing today.

Like a farmer we must understand the hidden meaning of the principles of Galatians 6:7; and do our best implement them into the future generation, from our own little corner of the world.

The principles teach us that:

  • We must not be misled, because God is not mocked: The message bible puts Galatians 6:7 like this: "Don't be misled: No one makes a fool of God. What a person plants, he will harvest. The person who plants selfishness, ignoring the needs of others—ignoring God!—harvests a crop of weeds." Are we ignoring the spiritual needs of the next generation, the very foundation that will see them through in life? A word of encouragement, an act of reaching out to that teenager, that youth and young adult, will go a long way to save a life and most probably a nation.

  • That we are required to do something: A farmer must first do something to get a harvest. He must go to the farm, get his out and plant them. Periodically, water them and tender the farm in expectation of a bountiful harvest. What are we expecting in and from the next generation? Are we planting the right seeds? Are we watering, and tendering them as we should? Teaching, coaching, being a good example, guiding and praying for them as we should? Are we planting God in their minds, in their hearts and soul. Are we planting, compassion, love, what it means to live a godly life, courage and obedience and complete trust in God and not in things?

  • We reap what we sow: This is good news if we are sowing good seeds into the next generation, but terrible news if we are sowing bad or no seeds. Are we sowing the very seeds of Gods' word into our next generation - in prayer, in speaking in teaching and in doing? Are we sowing things such as discipline, respect and godly character?

  • We reap more than we sow: Farmers plant their seeds because they expect a harvest, a great deal more than they put in the ground. Remember a seed is very tiny, but it blossoms into a big crop. A single seed of a scripture, prayer, word of guidance, or encouragement, a day, in the life of a young one will go a long way to bring forth a great harvest.

  • We reap later than we sow: We don't see the results in the future generation now, but it does not mean they will not come. It also does not mean we should continue to ignore and not teach them about God and the godly principles that will save their very soul. There is no regular timetable for the harvest of life. Some crops will reap quickly, others take a long time, but it sure will be manifested.

So today, as you make your way through another week, I encourage you to pause from all your activities and spare a taught for the next generation. It is disheartening to read the horrible stories in the news, about the atrocities teenagers are getting up to. The devil is taking hold of our future and we must put a stop to it. It starts where you are, in your home, in your community, even at work. A word, a prayer, an act of compassion here or there goes a long way to plant good seeds that will bring forth good harvests in the future.

I encourage you to do your best to invest precious time to sow seeds into the lives of the future generation, and when their time comes, they will not be like the generation spoken about in Judge 2, but their very existence; love passion and fire for God, will make Him famous along their way.

Much Love, Remi
***pictures by photobucket***

Thursday, 15 April 2010

God's Schedule --- Same As Yours?

"you saw my body as it was formed.
All the days planned for me
were written in your book
before I was one day old"
Psalm 139:16 (NCV)

Yesterday was our local area prayer meeting gathering, and it was awesome. God is good and a rewarder of those that diligently seek Him. We spoke and prayed about the need to always check our standing in God's will, to make sure we have not deviated off track and gone our own way.

During the discussion, a couple of individuals asked questions around what to do when God is silent and what to do when we have desires that we seem to be praying about over and over again, but nothing seems to be happening - well that we cannot see. This inspired me to put this post up.

Sometimes when we think or feel that things are not going the way we planned (that is our prayers are seemingly going unanswered), we start to fret. We have prayed, even embarked on a 3, 7, 21 or 30 day dry fast and still no outcome. At this point in time it might feel like God has completely abandoned us. However, I would like to suggest that maybe, just maybe God is working on completely different schedule and agenda for our live than we are at that particular point in time, and it might be that we align our will and desires to His? Selah.

God's master plan for our lives is not to satisfy us with a list of wants or shopping list - the house, the car, the business, the job and much more. His master plan is to develop a loving and personal relationship with us individually. It is through and of this relationship that He blesses us with the desires of our hearts, and that everything else comes as an addition to us - the house, the car, the husband, wife and much more.

Yes, whilst we are developing a relationship with God, getting to know and trust Him more, life will often bring its share of pain and suffering. However, we should be confident in the knowledge that God works everything (trials, tribulation and all) for our good, as confirmed in Romans 8:28.

You might read that and say, "but I know what I want and I want it now, for time is slipping away and I seem to be tagging along others through this journey called life". Hands up me, for I have said the exact same things a million times before.

By the grace of God, I have come to understand that a life placed completely in God's hands and guided by His Holy Spirit means that His timing takes precedence. To only way to live through life at the pace God has set for each of us is to live according to trust and live according to God's schedule. We must trust God that He knows what He is doing.

A few reasons why we should trust God's schedules for our lives are:
  • GOD IS ALL KNOWING:  The opening verse of this post, Psalm 129:16, confirms that God has already written the book, with all the pages of our lives, which includes all the things that must happen - including your very act of reading this post. This means He knows our end from the beginning. The reality of this knowledge, when we start to fret should encourage us to pray as such "Lord let my today, and everyday, including my wants, needs and desires, unfold as it is already written in the pages of your book for my life - trials, tribulations, abundance and all". We must learn to COMMIT OUR PLANS TO GOD (click on link to read further), and let His Holy Spirit guide us. From experience, I promise that you will experience peace, rest and assurance beyond comprehension. For more on trusting in God, please read click on and read the "TRUSTING IN GOD KEY" post I wrote a while back.
  • GOD IS ALL WISE:   It is foolishness to think that any human being can know the absolute best thing to do or say in any situation. We can try to do things to the best of our ability, but even then we will often make mistakes. Why? This is because we mostly make decisions based on an imperfect perception, of the present or future. God's wisdom is infinite and perfect. God takes His time to teach us all we know through His Holy Spirit, if we let Him. All wisdom comes from Him as declared in Proverbs 2:6, which reads "For the LORD gives wisdom, and from his mouth come knowledge and understanding".
  • GOD IS ALL LOVING:   God loves us. His schedule and plans for our lives revolves around the fact that He wants the BEST for us. Our problem usually arise because think we know what 'best' looks like and when it is not happening, we get discouraged. God's thoughts towards us are precious as described in Psalm 139:17. Time is one of the tools God uses to teach the weighty lessons of patience. It opens us up further to have a deeper and closer relationship with Him. It is also prepares us for the good things He already wants to give us.
These are just a few reasons why we should embrace God's timing about everything for our lives. Yes, we have desires, because we have been given the power of imagination and we are meant to use these to conjure up dreams and visions and possibilities that in the natural will seem utterly impossible. However, all these needs to be in line with His will for our lives and once they are, has to happen in His own time.

The rewards of trusting in God are
endless as the blue sky on a summers day
countless as the stars in night sky
never-ending, much deeper than the deepest ocean
and the joy it brings more vibrant than a
million fireworks on display at the grandest celebration

As you live out the reality of each day, I encourage you to align yourself with God's schedule for your desires, hopes and dreams. Get close to Him in prayer, willingness and obedience.

I encourage you to trust God completely, knowing that the very essence of your life is in perfect hands.

Be patient and trust that the pages of the book He has already written about your life, will unfold more beautiful than you could ever dream or think; making Him famous along the way.

Much Love, Remi
Picture by ***google***

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Courage Essentials

God said "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to
obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate
from them, turning either to the right or to the left.
Then you will be successful in everything you do.
Joshua 1:7

Courage is defined as the quality of mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger, pain, etc., without fear; bravery.
It is possible for an individual to understand the will of God for their lives, be willing to obey, yet have no courage or bravery to arise and act to fulfil it.

Obedience is defined as the act or practice of being dutiful or submissive to instructions.

Any time we face trials and tribulations, God is always there, whether we acknowledge Him or not. He is always there providing courage for us. However, the choice is ours, we either accept or don't.

When we look through the book of Deuteronomy we realise that Moses and Joshua were great men of courage. This reminds me of a post I wrote a while back about, about the fact that we have the imprints of courage in our blood line. You can read the post here - BLOODLINE AND HERITAGE

We all have inbuilt courage, and I believe the adversities we go through is like boot camp to develop the courage within us further. The boot camp can be rigorous, painful and challenging, and sometimes this is what makes most of us give up before we grow the muscles of our courage any further. Adversities are there to help us to adopt new routines, habits and develop aspects of our physical, mental and emotional and spiritual being.

Everyday, we need the essence of courage to keep our balance and our stance, firmly rooted in God's will. We require courage to get us through our feelings, emotions any restrictions or limitations that might have been placed on us. Courage is required not just to endure, but to make the necessary changes we must make for our lives.

Going back to Deuteronomy Joshua Knew all about adversity, being part of Israel that wandered through the wilderness for 40 years. It is safe to say he definitely, from that experience, understood hardship, trials, and troubles - physical, relational and spiritual most probably emotional and mental to.

Do you feel the same where you are in life right now? Don't despair, I encourage you to look within and conjure up the courage God has placed within you.

Through Joshua's association with Moses, he grew up in faith and leadership abilities, and hence knew that in the midst of they went through in the wilderness, the Lord was with him and his people.

When Joshua was to succeed Moses (please read Deuteronomy 29 - 31 for completion) in leading the nation of Israel to the promised land, God spoke, enlightened and commanded Joshua about the courage and obedience he must have for his new role and journey ahead. His mandate of courage are recorded as thus:

  • In Joshua 1:6: God said "Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them" God's encouragement to Joshua .

  • Joshua 1:7: God said "Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the instructions Moses gave you. Do not deviate from them, turning either to the right or to the left. Then you will be successful in everything you do." God's encouragement and command of OBEDIENCE. 

  • Joshua 1:9: "This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” God's COMMANDMENT of courage.

As God encouraged and commanded Joshua, He is saying the same to you today. Through that trial or situation or role that you are going through or about to go through, God is saying and commanding you to have courage; remembering that God is always with you.

Yes, it is a great story of courage that Moses and Joshua presented, but the questions we should ask ourselves is "what can we learn from their willingness to obey and be courageous, in the face of adversity? A few things we can learn are as follows:

  • Defeat is never a viable option: Even though Moses faced Pharaoh and his mighty army, and Joshua faced problems that impeded Israel's claim to Canaan, they did not consider giving up. What problem are you facing that you feel like giving up? I encourage you not to. Like Moses and Joshua, set your face on advancement and victory that God has already given to you. Remember He has already completed your end, and it is good. Know that your success lies within an unshakable God.

  • Recall past victories and God's faithfulness: When we look through the book of Deuteronomy we see that Moses and Joshua, when faced with new problems, reminded themselves of how God helped them in the past. In Joshua 3, specifically, we see that when Joshua had to lead Israel through the Jordan, and he was afraid, BUT he remembered how God parted the red sea and was encouraged. Don't forget the past victories God has given you, remember them and be encouraged. The Lord that did it then can do it again and do greater things.

  • Have the right attitude and look to God for help: Embracing the spirit of courage, helps instill the right attitude within us, which is to believe that "with God, nothing is impossible". It enables us to believe His word and promises. Moses and Joshua knew that they could not do or win any battle or progress to the promised land without God's help.

  • Do not be discouraged by inner fears or difficulties: There is something called the enemy within and it is this that most times, presents fear within us. It keeps us rooted to the spot in fear of doing what God says we should do. Developing the strength of the courage within us through God's word and His abilities, will enable you to arise and obey in confidence.

  • Use the resources at hand to the best of your ability: This sometimes can be a sensitive point for most of us. When God says do something, we tend to give God a list of all resources we need before we even start the work. However, like God asked Moses in Exodus "what is that in your hand"? He might be asking you the same thing. I wrote about this in the post called "WHAT IS THAT IN YOUR HAND" PLEASE READ. It will bless and encourage you immensely.

  • Have success and victory in mind: We serve a God who has completed the end before the beginning. Thus, as long as God says do it, no matter the obstacle or how difficult it might seem, keep going and believing that the victory is yours. Moses and Joshua must have thought within themselves that how in the world will they get to this promised land, after so many years in the wilderness. However, we know because they believed and obeyed wholeheartedly in God and held onto His promise of victory, they succeeded.

We all need courage every day; at home, at work on the streets or at play. It takes courage to stand up in the face of adversity, to stand up for what is right, in a society that is bent on self destruction. It takes courage to stand for what you believe when everyone and everything is up against you. It takes courage to say that God is still in control, even when you are in the eye of the storm. It takes courage to patiently wait on God, being obedient to do all that He asks you to do, no matter how ridiculous it might seem (remember Noah and the ark).

It takes courage to live a life of integrity, when compromise seems to be the order of the day.
Despite all of these, not having the courage to walk in obedience to God's will should NOT be an option. There is courage in your bloodline as shown through Moses and Joshua and all the other great men and women of the Bible, like David and Esther. There is courage within you.

As you live out the realities of your week, I encourage you to ask God to give you the same spirit of courage and obedience of Joshua and Moses. Embrace this courage, work at it through obedience and see God magnify Himself in your life, bringing you to your promised land; making Him famous along your way.

Much Love, Remi
***pictures by photobucket***