Gideon was a young man completely empty. He was empty of pride, status, power, ambition, influence, achievement, ego, power, etc. He was completely empty of self! Yet the angel of the Lord called him “mighty man of valour”!
There was something in him that he never knew was there! The call was for him to look inward and discover the beauty hidden in him.
Jesus said “the Kingdom of heaven is within you”. There is something in us that is waiting to be discovered. Until this discovery is made you cannot look beautiful and admirable to your neighbours. Again Jesus said
“Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” – Matthew 22:39
You have to first discover the measure to which you love yourself and extend the same to others. You cannot love others when you have not discovered the depth of love in you. To love your neighbour as yourself, you need to do a personal discovery first. It has to be in you, resident in you. Till you master yourself, your beauty, your worth does not come out!
(1) DISCOVER YOURSELF
I discovered myself. That was how I became a pace-setter. I did not compete with any of the others as I knew I could not compare to them financially. While the others bought clothes that were in vogue and in magazines off supermarket rack, I went bending down for fairly used clothes at Yaba, Lagos. The clothes were neat, modest and fitting. I never allowed anyone to despise me for my mode of dressing. I was bright, smart and confident in my dressing, and carried myself as though my dressing was worth more than any other’s.
As write this, I remember a song by Dolly Parton, “the coat of many colours”, in which she told the story of a girl whose mother was so poor she couldn’t afford to buy her any clothes. She could only stitch pieces of different clothes together and the girl wore it proudly everywhere, even to school. Though others laughed at her, she knew every stitch of that dress was made in love.
Like that little girl, I wore my clothes proudly. And why not? It is the man, the carriage of the man, that makes the cloth, not the cloth making the man. Before long, I noticed that others were copying me! When I began parting my hair, a neighbour laughed at me, called me odd and old-fashioned. I ignored her. One month later, it was the in- thing!
(2) BE IN CHARGE!
I was responsible for my appearance! No one, no magazine and no situation dictated to me. I was lord and master of my dressing.
Until you charge, you are not in charge! In your life, you are first-class! Don’t surrender that first-class to the second-class of another person’s imagination.
The prodigal son almost missed it when he submitted his originality to the imagination and dictates of so called friends. They praised him, hailed him and he got swollen headed, lived their expectation, not his, and ended having the carpet pulled from under him!
Thanks to God, he discovered and became in charge of himself after the friends had left! (Luke 15:11-32)
“And when he came to himself ………” – Luke 15:17 KJV
This was the time he made the decision not to allow others rule his life. See the end; not only was he restored, he was given a ring, which signifies authority. Something his brother did not receive.
What about Jacob? He became unique after he wrestled with God, and lived no more by other people’s imagination. Not only was his name changed, he became a nation!
Discover yourself, and be in charge! Are you short, tall, fat or slim? What shape of face do you have; oval, flat, round, square? Do you have high-cheek bones? What is your skin type; oily, dry, etc.
Your beauty is in your hands. Discover yourself and be in charge!
……… to be continued.
A Sculptor went to the wood market to buy a log of wood. There, he saw different sizes and colours of wood, yet he stayed long wondering from wood to wood, stall to stall. The log dealers conducted him round the market as he scrutinized each log to the amazement of the dealers. Still, he would not make up his mind which to buy. One by one they left him, disappointed to have wasted so much time on him. They concluded that he was not a serious customer and was not worth paying attention to.
However the Sculptor had something in mind; he knew what he was looking for and of all the log in the market, he could see only one with the pattern.
The dealers noticed he kept returning to a particular log. They could not see what he saw in the wood because as far as they were concerned, the logs were the same.
Presently, the Sculptor returned to the log. He stared hard and long at it; going round it in deep study. The years of experience had trained his eyes toward recognizing at a glance, the pattern on wood that matches the design in his mind. He could actually see the image in his mind on the wood!
Uninterested, the owner of the log turned his face away, looking for a potential customer. Certainly, this man is not serious, he thought, until the Sculptor beckoned on him.
Back at his studio, he went to work chiselling over the contours of the wood, his trained eyes seeing the design on the wood come to life, depicting the picture in his mind. At last the work was completed. It was a breath-taking master-piece.
We are the Wood, the Holy Spirit is the Sculptor. He knows God’s mind for us individually: His gifts and callings; God’s plan and design put in us before the foundation of the world.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:10-12
He alone knows where to chisel us. And He does, here and there, in the path we should go so that the beauty and aroma of God in us may be revealed.
“……but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” – John 21:18b
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Rom. 8:14
He connects us to God.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of his.” – Rom. 8:9
He makes us know our heavenly inheritance.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:12
He teaches us and comforts us.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26
He prays in us according to the will of God.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Rom. 8:26-27
It takes the Holy Spirit to bring out or manifest the god in us as the Sculptor reveals the unseen beauty in the log.
Like the Wood, let’s learn to give Him the preeminence.
God does not protect people from the devil but from pride!
“That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.” – [KJV] Job 33:17
This He does through His Word.
“For God speaketh once, yea twice, yet man perceiveth it not. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falleth upon men, in slumberings upon the bed; Then he openeth the ears of men, and sealeth their instruction, That he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man.” – Job 33:14-17
The devil is not our main enemy. Our heart is!
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? – Jeremiah 17:9
Often times in life we pray for open doors. Especially as Christians we want breakthroughs; we want doors to open up for us so that we can venture into new things; new jobs, new businesses, a new house, new relationships.
However in Revelations chapter 3, we see that the Lord Jesus Christ has set an open door for us. It is for those who have encountered the word and holding strongly to it.
He spoke to a particular group of believers, the group found to be on the right path or track.
In other words there is a depth of Christ that we get to and we don’t need to pray for open doors, because he has already set before us the open door. The door that the enemy shut against us.
He asked them to “behold”.
What Jesus is saying to everyone of us especially his children as Christians is that we should “behold”, “see”, “Look”, “stare at”. Behold means to look properly.
Jesus was pointing to something that he wants his believers to see. He was pointing to something that he wants his disciples to see, something that ordinarily they overlook; something that is there but not easily seen. He spoke to them in comparison to the synagogue of Satan, the congregation of the dead, who go by the name Christians. They go to Church, have the form but deny the power, by not holding onto the Word.
“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” – Prov. 21:16
Jesus began to draw a distinction, a line between Christians and TRUE Christians.
There are people who go to church, believed to be Christians, they carry the Bible and even preach the Bible but they’re not disciples of Christ!
Jesus sets the distinction by saying, “look the door is open!”
Open door is only for those who are true disciples. They hold on to the Word of God, act like Jesus, talk like Jesus, think like Jesus. As a matter of fact it is Christ that is living in them.
But the other, the congregation of the dead? They do not hold to the word of God, they don’t act like Jesus or talk like Jesus, having wondered out of the way of understanding.
God has set an open door before those who hold firmly to His word, those who bought His Word and refused to sell it. But they couldn’t see the door because of the cares of this world, as Satan magnifies their want, making their God-given vision or dream look small and consequently, they despise the little beginning throwing the vision away. Instead of searching out divine judgement, they give up. It was so at the beginning when man bought the lie from the serpent throwing away what he thought was of no value: God’s vision and plan for him.
But, God hide treasures in trash!
They see themselves as failures, not capable of carrying the vision. They think they are the ones to carry the vision not God, so they write themselves off.
Whereas the door has been opened, it remains shut for these, making it impossible for them to enter through because of these two negative thoughts -fear and unbelief.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5
We are told here that nothing should be allowed above the Word of God. We should not, like the ten spies, allow the devil steal the vision from us, consequently the crown of glory. We defeat ourselves whenever we write ourselves off.
As it is said and written that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
Stop crying, complaining and murmuring! God is saying “move on!” Don’t allow fear to paralyze you!
The key of David (praise) opens the door. You can only enter the door with the “heart-tittude” of David.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”- Psalm100:4
It has to come from your heart. Remember Steven who was being stoned, from his heart he looked up, saw heaven open and from the abundance of his heart, did what was right before God.
Praise is not only in singing but in our obedience to Him no matter what we go through.
Until you learn to give all the glory to God even in the deepest agony, you are not a candidate for growth and supplies: open door.
Most often however, people abandon a praiseful life to equate themselves with others.
Learn to praise God even in the toughest of times, only then will you “behold” the open door.
I find this very interesting and inspiring! Buffalos kill 7 people every year.
Lions kill 500 people every year
Hippos kill 800 people every year.
Spiders kill 5000 in people every year.
Scorpions kill 7000 people every year.
Snakes kill 10000 people every year.
Mosquitoes kill 2.7 million people every year.
The smallest are the deadliest.
Small ‘sins’, hardly noticed by many, are the most deadly to your spiritual life.
Avoid excuses for not praying and allotting few moments of your day to your creator or your.
Sins of omission are just as deadly as sins of commission.
White lies, gossiping, small lies, are committed more frequently and are deadly.
Mind those little compromises that you do daily.
They are the ones that will bring your downfall.
Successful people have two things on their lips,
“Smile and silence”.
Smile can solve problems, while
Silence can avoid problems.
Sugar and salt may be mixed together
ants reject the salt and carry away only the sugar.
Select the right people in life and make your life better and sweeter.
If you failed to achieve your dreams, change your ways not your Creator.
Remember, trees change their leaves, not their roots.
You will never reach your destination if you stop and throw stones at every dog that barks.
Haters will see you walking on water and say it’s because you can’t swim.
Even if you dance on water, Your enemies will accuse you of raising dust.
Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your own hands.
Remember Don’t ever wrestle with a pig. You’ll both get dirty, but the pig will enjoy it.
Be wise and be smart……………
“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep: and the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” (Genesis 1:2).
After we are told that God made the Heaven and the Earth (verse 1), the bible begins to give the details by telling about the Spirit of God moving upon the face of the waters.
It must be so important to God for this to be the first thing mentioned after the introduction.
Equally important and worth noting is that God ended His writing with water! “And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth, say, Come. And let him that is thirsty, come: And whoever will, let him take the water of life freely.” (Revelation 22:17).
The Water was introduced at the beginning and offered at the end!
All through the bible the Water has been flowing but man has not been drinking! Whereas this is an integral part of God’s will and plan!
The Water is free! This is the Holy Spirit. Let’s hook-up and start drinking!
“But whoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him, shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.” (John 4:14).
“Against all odds.”
The Christian race is full of obstacles.
Hurdles that present themselves as problems. Things designed to slow us, even stop us.
If there are no hurdles in your race, you are either not running or you are compromising.
Hurdles help shappen or form your character to fit into the purpose of God to make you useful.
God expects us to make it, against all odds.
“He maketh my feet like hinds’ feet, and setteth me upon my high places.” – Psalm 18:33
My feet, representing my human ability cannot stand or overcome the trials and hurdles in my path. This means the impossible situations I cannot handle, sicknesses that refuse to go, debts I could not pay.
They are stumbling blocks in the path of the believer, and weapons in the hand of the enemy used to reproach the believer.
The more we struggle the further we get from our God-given vision! Sorrow and distress encompass or overwhelm me. Yes, I may be troubled on every side, yet not distressed; perplexed, but not in despair, persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed! (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)
Oh, but the race is not to the swift nor the battle to the strong, nor yet bread to men of wisdom! Abilities come from God. So in my distress I called upon the Lord (Psalm 18:6-9) He heard my cry and suddenly mountains of problems shake at the very foundations. Because God was angry with the problems and the people that stood against me accomplishing His will for my life, fire poured from his mouth and fell on me! I became a Stone; a coal of fire! I became alive!
In his anger, He bowed the heavens and came down!
No one saw him but I felt His presence inside of me, for greater is He that is in me than he that is in the world! He set me on high. Without being drunk with alcohol and no drugs I became high, fearless and full of faith, knowing I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me! Rather than complain and murmur, I began to give Him praise! Suddenly obstacles begin to turn to miracles!
As a soldier in God’s end time army, God turned my thin, dry, draggy and powerless feet into hinds feet to leap over hurdles, over obstacles. Things that people thought impossible became possible with me. Things I couldn’t do before I began to do! God is my strength, my power and my ability!
“For by thee I have run through a troop; and by my God have I leaped over a wall.” – Psalm 18:29
Who or what shall I be afraid of?
There is no mountain I cannot climb, there is no river I cannot swim, there is no wall I can not jump!
The secret to every victory is in:
(1) Knowing that your strength is in God.
“Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.” – Ephesians 6:10
(2) You activate that power with the instrument of faith.
“Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” – Ephesians 6:16
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” – Hebrews 11:6
As faith comes only by hearing and hearing (having an understanding) of the Word of God, ask God to make you of quick understanding. (Isaiah 11 verse 3)
God bless you you.