Tuesday, 31 August 2010

HE IS RESPONSIBLE - YOU TRUST & BE FAITHFUL


Blessed be the Lord, Who bears our
burdens and carries us day by day,
even the God Who is our salvation!
Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!
Psalm 68:19



If God is all-knowing, all capable, all-powerful and all-faithful, why do I still have unmet needs? Can someone please explain to me why He has not met them? Has he forgotten about me, lost my address or the knowledge that I exist and struggle to live? I have heard myself and a lot of people ask this question time and time again, with hands thrown up in the air in great despair.


These are excellent questions worthy of close examination. The keys to their answers, lie in two words - Trust and faithfulness.

God tells us to trust Him as He demonstrates through [(the Lord’s) Prayer?]. Verse 10 – 11 of Mathew 6 explains the simple trust we must and should have in God. It reads “Set the world right; Do what's best— as above, so below. Keep us alive with three square meals” (MSB). Just like a child trusts his or her parents to do what is best for them each and every day, in anything that concerns them, so must we trust God.

Verse 33 explains the trust element further and it reads: “But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides.”

This passage is encouraging us to seek everything about God’s kingdom wherever we are - at home, work or play, and everything else that we require will be added onto us.

Again, when you watch a child interact with his / her parents, all the child does is for their love (and attention?). When the child does something small yet momentous such as writing their own name, they are happy because their parents are excited. Then along comes the clapping, the shoulder-carrying, and the ice-cream as a reward.

I don’t know about you, but that devil (who I call a ‘billy-goat’) does his utmost best to cause anxiety to rise up within me, especially when I have been praying for a particular thing or situation to be turned around.

Whenever this happens, I refer to this verse. Why? It helps me to refocus and re-align my priorities. God is telling me here not to worry about the ‘other things’ in life, which I believe means clothes, food, situations and circumstances. Don’t get me wrong, I believe these things are important, and so does God. However, He is telling me to remain focused on Him and to do whatever He has asked me to do, wherever I might be or whatever I am going through, and He will make it all perfect in His own time and bless me beyond comprehension. He is saying the same thing to you.

I hear you say, “But, Remi, it’s not that easy.” I say back to you “I know, but then again like learning how to swim, it is all about ‘letting go’ so you can float and then paddle and then move freely in the water. It is all about ‘letting go’ and trusting God.”

We must let go in willingness and obedience.

Going back to verse 33, we must treat this (along with all His other words) as a promise and resounding commitment from God. I believe the value of any commitment is based on two things:

  • The ability of the promise maker to fulfil the promise made
  • The integrity of the promise maker, that is whether he has the character to follow through on the promise
Now we know from reading through the Bible, and from our experiences and those of others, that God qualifies on both accounts. He has all wisdom, power, ability, resources and faithfulness to fulfil His promises.

The question is,
“Do we trust Him enough to fulfil His promises, and are we faithful in doing and seeking His kingdom first in all that He has asked us to do?”

I have learnt that when I have unmet needs, the first place to look at is myself. I ask myself questions such as, “What could I be doing or not doing that is keeping God from fulfilling this or that particular promise?” “ Am I seeking His kingdom first in all I am doing, or looking for my own instant gratification?” “Am I in line with His agenda or do I want things cooked as quickly as I would a meal in a microwave?”

There is no situation or circumstance that can keep God from acting on our behalf. Nothing is too great or too powerful to stand in the way if God chooses to act. (except our own unbelief surely? Sorry I know this might be going off the point you’re trying to make, but I just thought to mention).

So I ask you today:

“WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THE MIDST OF YOUR CIRUCUMSTANCES OR SITUATION?”

Are you busy DOING what He has asked you to do or are you focused squarely on the problems that are trying to consume you whole?

Are you walking and working in willingness and obedience, which is an important criterion for experiencing God’s blessings?  Deuteronomy 28: 1-2.

God assumes full responsibility for our needs when we trust and have faith in Him.

I encourage you today to trust in God’s wisdom. Cast down any preconceived ideas about how you think or know God should meet your needs. It will not come from any person, but God will use them.  God is calling us to trust Him alone. I encourage you to tell God today,

“Father, I trust You completely to meet my needs, in Your timing, and according to whatever method or way You choose.”



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


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Monday, 23 August 2010

ARISE WITH INTENT

 

"ARISE [from the depression and prostration in which
 circumstances have kept you--rise to a new life]! Shine
(be radiant with the glory of the Lord), for your light
has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you!
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and dense
darkness [all] peoples, but the Lord shall arise upon you
[O Jerusalem], and His glory shall be seen on you."

Isaiah 60: 1-2 (AMP)

   
When embarking on something new, such as a new project, a new job, a new week or even a new day, we usually want to start on a good note and from a good stance.
 
A new week usually presents  all sorts of challenges, especially after a relaxing weekend. It is safe to say that most people (for numerous reasons) don't like Mondays.  They tend to live out this day in a daze and in the affirmed self acclamation that they don't like Mondays.
 
However we are thought that whatever we put our minds and hands to do, which includes living, we should start as we mean to go along.  We should not detest one day and love the other. Regardless how we feel, we must strive to make something good out of each day.
 
Time is a talent given us by God, and we misspend it when we do not use it according to his design.  Every single day we have been given and by God's grace, strength, power and wisdom, we should make it count.
 
This is why I greet people as thus "make a great day" as opposed to "have a great day". Why? 
 
 
To have a great day, I believe does not magically happen. We have to
work (with our minds and actions, consciously or unconsciously)
to make it a great day
 
 
We are reminded in Ephesians 5: 15 -16, to make the best of every day we are gifted with because they are precious.  The amplified bible explains it as thus "Look carefully then how you walk! Live purposefully and worthily and accurately, not as the unwise and witless, but as wise (sensible, intelligent people), Making the very most of the time [buying up each opportunity], because the days are evil"
   
The Message Bible translation brings this passage more to life. It reads "Wake up from your sleep, Climb out of your coffins; Christ will show you the light!  So watch your step. Use your head. Make the most of every chance you get. These are desperate times".    Desperate times meaning the devil will do everything in his power to get us to waster our time doing or not, lots of things, but that which God has asked us to do.

As we start out a new day and week, I encourage us all to make use of every time we have been gifted with.  Let us by the grace of God, through the wisdom  and discernment of the Holy Spirit, understand what our master wants us to do with our time, and then promptly move in willingness and obedience.

 As you start to live out the intricacies of the makings of another week, I want you to know that:

"the doors of heaven are open before you, BUT the CHOICE is yours to MAKE".

I encourage you to ARISE into the glory of this hour, this day and week. Allow your faith to fly.
Give it wings by being INTENTIONAL in your FOCUSED LIVING - your thinking, doing; 
making God famous along your way. 



BSL TRANSLATION

PRESS PLAY



video


Much Love, Remi
***pictures by google***

Wednesday, 11 August 2010

HE IS MOLDING US...!



Isn't it obvious that a potter has a perfect right to shape
one lump of clay into a vase for holding flowers
and another into a pot for cooking beans? 
Romans 9:21




*A Potter is defined as a person who makes pottery*

*Pottery is defined as the art or business of a potter, which is making ceramics, earthen and stone wares*


Pottery Process
Start
Pottery is made by FORMING a clay body into objects of a REQUIRED  shape and HEATING them to high temperatures in a kiln (furnace or oven for burning, baking, or drying something) to induce REACTIONS that lead to PERMANENT, including INCREASING their strength and HARDENING and SETTING their shape.
 
In the pottery process, all sorts of properties are grouped together (according to the end product required) and used when making pottery. The properties and grouping leads to the end product's unique character. 
 
A very important aspect of  the pottery making is the wheel throwing. This is when the clay is pugged and wedged and centred on the pottery making wheel.   This is a very critical step as it is the foundation of the vessel that is made. The pot is only as TRUE and as STRONG as the CENTERING  End.
 
When a potter takes a lump of clay, He knows what he wants to do with it. He knows whether He want to make a beautiful bowl or a trash holder.  
 
Just like a potter, God, who is the MASTER POTTER, is forming us into His required shape.  He does this by heating us through the heat of trials and circumstances - both good and bad.  These are meant to get a reaction of a complete turn towards Him in love and obedience.   When we do, we are renewed and changed permanently for the better.  We gain strength (spirit, mind and body), and become who God intends for us to be,.  
 
Also, like the potter moulding a ceramic ware, the most important element to God is for us to be in the centre of His will.  Without us being in the centre of His will, He cannot mold us correctly.
 
We make the job difficult (not that He has any problems) for God and make the journey of life a long and painful one when we are not aligned to and centred in God's will for our lives.   We usually do this by insisting on doing things according to our own plans, and having our way.
 
Daily, God is molding us through circumstances.  It is crucial that we are aware of this and Have faith in Him that He knows what He is doing.
 
When our circumstances gets a bit too difficult to bear and our faith begins to crumble and fall apart, here are some reminders about WHO the Master Potter, God is and what He is doing with and through you.
 
 
  • POWER:  Just like the potter, God has ultimate power over us, the clay He is molding.  He can do anything He chooses to do. However, He wants us to love and obey Him out of our free will.

  • PURPOSE: He is purposeful, which means he has aims, intentions and goals for us.  Through the molding process we must remember that God is working on on good plans way beyond our expectations. He knows exactly how He wants us to turn out.

  • PLAN: God is a God of order and not of confusion as we read in 1 Corinthians 14:33, which reads "For God is not the author of confusion...."  His word already confirms that He has a plan for each and every one of us as declare in Jeremiah 29:11 which reads "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD...".  Thus, He works patiently with us to implement and manifest His plans in our lives, daily. 

  • PATIENCE: He is a patient God.  He takes the time to teach and grow us to be spiritually mature as this is a life long process.  Even when we are old, we will still be learning.

  • PERSEVERANCE:  In the process of molding a mold of clay, when the potter finds any imperfections, he  never throws the clay away, instead he starts the process of  'Wheel Throwing' all over again.  He will put the mold of clay back in the centre of the wheel and reshape it. This is what God does with us. He refines and keeps refining until we become who He wants us to be. He never throws us away.

  • PERSONAL:  A potter does not make more than one ceramic vessel at at time. He gives all His attention to that one mold of clay until is is in perfect shape and condition. It does not lump it together with all other molds and shape them into a big mash of vessel.  God does not clump us all together in one big lump to mold.  He molds every one of us individually, paying attention to the specific requirements and outcome He has for us.

I encourage you that whatever you are going through, good or bad to wholeheartedly trust the Master Potter's hands on you.  He is molding you to become that which He has created you to be.

I encourage you to be willing and obedient so that you are right there in the centre of God's will, where He has the perfect opportunity to mold to be that which He created you to be.
 

Much Love, Remi Banjo
*pictures by google*


BSL TRANSLATION
PRESS PLAY


video

Saturday, 7 August 2010

REFOCUSING YOU... !


The Lord has given you trouble and sorrow as your
food and drink. But now you will again see the Lord,
your teacher, and he will guide you. Whether you turn to
the right or to the left, you will hear a voice saying,
"This is the road! Now follow it." 

  
God's desire is for us to have the best of Him and He is committed to helping us follow specific road maps leading us to it.  He has designed a specific pathway for each and every one of us and along the way, specific things for us to do. 

However, the truth is that we are sometimes as stubborn as the children of Israel that we don't see, hear or sense His leading, or teaching, not to talk of following His instructions.  Now because God's will for our lives is bigger than us and the fact that other lives are dependant on its manifestation, God will sometimes introduce certain situations to get our attention and bring us back on the right path. 

God will use the appropriate circumstance or event (pleasant or painful) to get our attention, and bring us back into the realms of His will.

Here are some ways He may use to get our attention:

  • A Restless Spirit: Sometimes we will find ourselves restless from deep within.  It is feeling we mostly cannot understand or identify why it is there.  We can't focus, eat, sleep or think straight, we are just restless for no reason, it seems. The best thing to do at this time is to pray and ask God what He is trying to teach or show us.  Usually when this happens, He is trying to move our attention towards something. We will do well and save ourselves a lot of sleepless nights when we pay attention to a restless spirit within us.
  • Unanswered Prayers: I can testify to this one and I am sure most of you reading this can. Think about it, you fast, pray, roll on the floor, shout, jump, scream, quote and support it with scripture, yet, the prayers are not answered. Yes, it can be extremely confusing and frustrating right? Everybody who takes God and prayer seriously must deal, sooner or later with the problem of unanswered prayer.  This is a hard one, however God is sovereign and every unanswered prayer situation is different and He helps us accordingly.  Some of my thoughts and how God has helped me with these are: I was praying for selfish reasons as explained in James 4:3, which reads "You ask and do not receive, because you ask(A) wrongly, to spend it on your passions.", I prayed, yet did not have absolute faith that I received what I prayed for.  There was the nagging feeling of "what if and buts and maybe", just as explained in Matthew 21:22, which reads "And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.”. I had iniquity in my heart which I either knew or did not know about as explained in Isaiah 59:2, which reads "But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God, and your sins have hidden his face from you so that he does not hear."   It could be also be other things such as praying for something genuine, but at the wrong time. When we pray it is important to ask God to help us understand how the answer or non answer fits into the greater scheme of things, the live of others and His Kingdom.

  • A Spoken (audible) Word: God sometimes uses the words like He gave a messages to Samuel and to Eli the priest as we read in 1 Samuel 3:4-18.  A good way to know that God is speaking through other is when quite a few people, within a short space of time are saying the same thing which connects to a burden or a prayer in your heart. 

  • Unusual Blessings:  God sometimes blesses us in unusual ways  which is meant to turn us towards Him. He shows us kindness love, even when we least expect it. It should encourage us to praise and thank Him and use it for His glory. Romans 2:4 explains it so well, it reads "You surely don't think much of God's wonderful goodness or of his patience and willingness to put up with you. Don't you know that the reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him?"

  • Disappointments: Is that a sigh I heard ripple through blogsville?.  Yes, we can all relate to this one right?  Just like He did with the children of Israel many years ago, God uses disappointments to bring some of us back to repentance, and back into the fold of His will.  Setbacks are meant to keep us from walking into a future we have mapped out for ourselves, as opposed to God's.  An example we find in the bible was when the children of Israel refused to follow God's command to take possession of the promised land. God judged them through disappointment for their unbelief and disobedience, to bring them to repentance and turn back to Him.  This we read Numbers 14:27-32 and the reaction of Israel when they realised their wrong is recorded in Numbers 14:39-40 (please read for completion). They became remorseful, repented and turned to God in obedience.

  • Financial Troubles: In Judges 6-17, we see how God brought judgement to the children of Israel through the Midianites. It was only when God took away all their material belongings, did they cry out to Him.  You see, they were dependent on and trusted in the riches they had and had no regard for God. What are we dependent on and trust in?  Our 'things' or God?.  When our trust is invested in the blessings of God (cars, houses, fame ) rather than the one who blesses - God , to refocus our priorities, He might take them all away.

  • Tragedy, Sickness and Affliction:  I have learnt that in this life, tragedies will come, whether we like it or not. However, I have also learnt to regard them as a reason and opportunity to get even closer to God.  Romans 8:28,"We know that God is always at work for the good of everyone who loves him. They are the ones God has chosen for his purpose...". Tragedy, sickness and affliction, when we endure, we realise that God will eventually worked it out for our good and for His glory and it brings us closer to Him.


God will use the above and more if required to get our attention and bring us back on the right path if we have strayed.  God knows exactly where we are in our journey of faith. He knows when we start straying away from the path, and He will do whatever is required to put us on the right path.

God is such a good God that even the adversity He might allow is limited, just like He did with Job.  God allowed Satan to persecute Job, but limited him not to hurt or kill him. Job 1:12 and Job 2:6 - (please read for completion).   All He does is for our own good.

I encourage you to stay strong, and be assured that whatever you might be going through, God is right there with you. Stay focused and alert. If you notice any of these things patterns (or others),  happening to you time and time again, pause and ask "Lord what are you trying to tell, show or teach me at this time".  He wants to tell and show you all the good things in store for you.   

He wants to see His will come alive in you; He wants to make a beautiful and glorious testimony out of the very makings of you. 


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


BSL (BRITISH SIGN LANGUAGE TRANSLATION)
(PRESS PLAY)

video