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“Only one Word – ‘Come!’ – was enough to make Peter forget about the safety in the sinking ship, the intimidation of the boisterous wind and, the limitations of the human body.

He has spoken more than one Word to us, we should at least be able to breathe!”

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I’m back…albeit in a new dimension as I set out to outdo my Self.

I don’t know how this would eventually pan out, but The One Who uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise, even He has convinced me,

“My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness….”

 

Believers & Self-Image

In Christian circles, the term ‘self-image’ is often used with great caution. You might even be tempted to think that it’s a taboo word.

It’s understandable that Christians feel a bit weird about the topic, since the Word of God clearly condemns placing all our attention and focus on ‘Self’

As Jesus said, ‘…if any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me’ (Matthew 16:24)

Unfortunately, a lot of people misunderstand what Jesus said, and as a result, they go the other extreme.

Christianity is not a religion, but a lifestyle.It’s not a doing, but a being. And believe me sincerely, you’d find it very difficult to BE a Christian if you have poor self-image!
Your self-image is simply how you see yourself. Depending on your choice, it could be positive, or negative, or somewhere caught up in the middle.

When Jesus was teaching His disciples about denying themselves, He wasn’t even talking about denying your self-image!

How could He? Jesus Himself had a self-image!

For heavens’ sake, Jesus Christ referred to Himself as the Son of God numerous times because that’s how He saw Himself!

When Jesus was talking about denying yourself, He was not referring to your self-image – He was referring to your sinful human nature!

That’s why Apostle Paul would later say in Colossians 3:5 that you should ‘…mortify therefore your members which are upon the earth…’

Paul wasn’t saying that we should cut off the parts of our bodies. Rather, he was telling us to deal with our sinful human natures!

The sinful human nature has absolutely nothing to do with your self-image!

As I’ve said before, your self-image simply has to do with how you see ourselves.

When the right self-image is in place, you’d realize that you need to choose to love yourself for who you are!

You need to choose to eliminate fear!

You need to destroy self-doubt!

You need to change your self-talk!

You need to choose your association wisely!

None of these things are evil, and it’s hard to understand why believers would prefer give the impression of piety and somberness by beating themselves up and allow self-condemnation to keep them in bondage to an ordinary, mediocre life.

If I was an unbeliever and you came to introduce Christ to me with your poor, beaten-up self-image, I would most definitely not accept Him into my life.

As an unbeliever, I would be thinking thoughts like, ‘Why should I accept Jesus into my life when He can’t even take care of you’ or ‘I’d rather remain where I am than join you and become like you’

Little would I have thought that Jesus didn’t make you mediocre…your choices and ignorance did!

Christianity is an awesome and fun way to live in such a time as this.

Unfortunately, many unbelievers would never get to know this because of the poor self-image of many Christians.

Reality check: If you had a chance of preaching the gospel to a wealthy aristocrat or a beggar that sleeps in a dump, who are you most likely going to preach to?

I can bet that the majority of you reading this would go for the poor guy because you do not think you’re good enough to talk to the rich guy.

Am I saying that the rich guy’s soul is more expensive and valuable than his poor counterpart?

No! All I’m saying is that if your self-image is in the right place, it won’t matter to you at all if you had to talk to the wealthy or to the poor. All you’d be interested in would be in sharing the gospel. Period!

As a Christian, you have a mandate from God to be a bright and shining light in this evil world full of evil and darkness.

However, you would not be able to fulfill that mandate if you have no idea about your Self-image.

If unbelievers can harness the powers of a positive self-image and have powerful results in their lives, you can imagine what would happen when a Christian can understand his self-image and use it to his advantage.

Sky would be the very beginning!

Will The Real Lights Please Stand Up?

“Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father which is in heaven”

(Matthew 5:14-16)

So many times, we read from this passage and it means absolutely nothing to us as a result of our overfamiliarity with it.

Yes, it is true that we are the lights of the world.

It is also very true that our lights should not be hidden but rather should shine so brightly so that men would see our good works and glorify God.

However, the truth of the matter is that so many people know that they should be lights of the world, but they do not know how to be lights of the world.

The good news is that the Bible shows us how exactly to be lights of the world.

Genesis 1:14-18 says,

“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

And let them be for lights in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth: and it was so.

And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also.

And God set them in the firmament of the heaven to give light upon the earth,

And to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness: and God saw that it was good”

In the passage, we notice that God creates everything for a purpose and a reason. From Genesis 1:14, we understand that God spoke these lights into being for these three reasons,

One, to divide the day from the night,

Two, to serve as signs, as well as season-, day-, and year-markers

Three, to give light upon the earth

The manifestation of those creative Words of God came this way,

One, to give light to the earth

Two, to rule over the day and night

Three, to divide the light from the darkness

Now, let’s examine the first function of light that God spoke and its subsequent manifestation:

God created the lights to shine upon the earth.

Why? Because in the dispensation in which we are living in right now, the earth is in gross darkness (Isaiah 60:2). You see, the funny thing about darkness is that it causes confusion. Now, take a look around you:

In the economic sector?

What about the health sector?

What of worldwide politics?

The thing is that the international policy makers and top government officials are all at their wit’s end.

Why? Because conventional human wisdom cannot cater for the challenges that the whole world is facing right now.

The problems of the world just cannot be solved by the people of the world

Why? Because their minds have been blinded by the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4)

So what happens as a result? The best they can provide are temporary fixes that cover up the deep systemic flaws.

On the other hand, as believers – as Christians –, God has shined in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God (2 Corinthians 4:6). Into where? Into the gross darkness that is in the world out there.

You see, the thing about the light of the glory of God is that it doesn’t struggle with the darkness of ignorance and confusion. The universal and irrevocable truth is that once light steps into a situation, darkness flees. Darkness simply cannot understand or comprehend the light (John 1:5). And as lights, God has mandated us and consequently expects us to put an end to the crises and confusion that is in the earth today.

The second function of light that God spoke and its attendant manifestation is to serve as a sign.

Now if you notice, the funny thing about this function is that there is a kind of discrepancy between God’s command and the manifestation of the command. However, inasmuch as we recognize that the entire world is held together by the integrity of God’s Word and His Word would not return to Him void (Isaiah 55:11), so we know that God’s released word actually came into fruition.

It’s interesting to note that despite the fact that God gave the command that the light should serve as signs, the manifestation was that light should rule over the day and night!

This is very, very profound!

The sign to the world that you are a light is to rule and have dominion. God created you to be a sign. He created you to be a wonder (Isaiah 8:18). You are not an ordinary individual. You are not created to be just a part of the general statistics. You were not created to blend and be a part of the background. No! God created you to rule in your sphere of influence. If you are in the gathering of believers, God created you to stand out in your own area of calling. See, the truth is that every believer is a light. And because you are a light, you have your area of calling. Let’s check out Genesis 1:16 again,

“And God made two great lights; the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night: he made the stars also”

As a church on the whole, we were made to be the very reflection of the Sun of Righteousness – Jesus Christ, the Son of God (Malachi 4:2), in the same way that the moon does not produce any light on its own, but rather reflects the light produced by the sun. Furthermore, note that the stars were also part of the heavenly bodies that God spoke into being. We all seem to forget that point at times!

The truth is that we have been made to sit in heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6) just the same way the stars are found in the firmament of the heavens. See, you were specifically made to stand out with your own outstanding brilliance unique to you. Beloved, the individual brilliance of each star in the firmament of the heavens does not hinder the brilliance of other stars.

God created you to be a sign and that sign is to rule over the day, in the midst of other believers also shining their own individual lights in their own areas of calling. Furthermore, He made you to rule over the night, in the areas where there are no believers.

And that is the scheme of things in the kingdom of God.

The third function of light that God spoke and its attendant manifestation is to divide the light of the day from the darkness of the night.

 

Now, the truth is that we have been translated from the kingdom and power of darkness into the domain and kingdom of light (Colossians 3:13). Furthermore, as believers, we are a chosen generation that has been called to tell others about the night-and-day difference that Christ and His kingdom made for us – transforming us from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted (1 Peter 2:9-10). We have been called to divide the light from the darkness. We have been called to divide the day from the night. By our lives, we have been called to show the world how Christ – the Living Word of God – has divided through our entire spirit, soul and body. We are to show the world how Christ – the Word of God – has totally permeated everything that concerns us. We have been called to be living, walking and breathing epistles of Christ (2 Corinthians 3:3), that other people can read through and be converted into God’s kingdom.

You are the light of the world. Stand up, arise and shine like you should!!!

Overcoming Temptation

Temptations are normal experiences that every believer would face at one point in time or the other. However, there is no need to be afraid of them for the following reasons:

First of all, God’s faithful not to allow us to be tempted above the level of grace we are conscious of at the moment. 1 Corinthians 10:13 explains it further,

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it”

Furthermore, we Jesus as our High Priest who can associate with our temptations since He was tempted in every way, yet without sin. Hebrews 4:15 tells us,

“For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin”

In addition to that, the tempter (the devil) is NOT wise. He does not possess a bag of limitless tricks. In fact, the summary of every temptation that we would ever face as believers can be found in 1 John 2:16,

“For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world” (Emphasis mine)

The truth is that every form of temptation we would ever face in our lives would either be in the form of pride or lust!!!

This is very profound.

Check out the nature of Eve’s temptation in the Garden of Eden,

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat” (Genesis 3:6 Emphasis mine)

If you look carefully at the text, you’d find striking similarities between 1 John 2:16 and Genesis 3:6,

Lust of the flesh (1 John 2:16) = Good for food (Genesis 3:6)
Lust of the eyes (1 John 2:16) = Pleasant to the eyes (Genesis 3:6)
Pride of life (1 John 2:16) = Desired to make one wise (Genesis 3:6)

And if that is not enough proof, check out Luke’s account of the temptation of Jesus Christ,

“And the devil said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, command this stone that it be made bread.
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God.
And the devil, taking him up into an high mountain, shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time.
And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it.
If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.
And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve
And he brought him to Jerusalem, and set him on a pinnacle of the temple, and said unto him, If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:
For it is written, He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee:
And in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone.
And Jesus answering said unto him, It is said, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God” (Luke 4:3-12)

Again, we find the same trend in the manner in which the devil tempts,

Lust of the flesh (1 John 2:16) = Command this stone that it be made bread (Luke 4:3)
Lust of the eyes (1 John 2:16) = Shewed unto him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time (Luke 4:5)
Pride of life (1 John 2:16) = Cast thyself down from hence (Luke 4:8)

So, it is very apparent that the devil is always going to try to deal with you in the area of lust and pride. It is simply non-negotiable. He did it with the first Adam, he did it with the last Adam and would in the same way try to make you fall into sin with these weapons.

Now, in order to know how to overcome temptation, it is expedient for us to know the mechanism through which temptations work. Knowing this would make us better prepared in dealing with temptation.

A portion of the Bible that deals with the mechanism of temptations can be found in Acts 5:3-4,

“But Peter said, Ananias, why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost, and to keep back part of the price of the land?
Whiles it remained, was it not thine own? and after it was sold, was it not in thine own power? why hast thou conceived this thing in thine heart? thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God”

Here Peter asks Ananias two main questions:
The first was pertaining to why Ananias allowed the devil to fill his heart to lie.
On the other hand, the second was why Ananias himself conceived the idea in his heart.
These questions, as innocent as they may look, contain the mechanism through which temptations lead to sin.

In Biology, we are taught that a man fills his wife with the seed of copulation before the wife eventually conceives and gets pregnant. Although, it is not every time a man fills his wife with his seed that she conceives and gets pregnant, we were taught that every time a man meets with his wife, there is always a chance of the wife conceiving and getting pregnant.

The funny thing is that the same principle happens in the course of a temptation!!!

The devil continually tries to fill our minds with evil thoughts. There are times we are able to consciously ward these thoughts away. But the truth remains that if we continually put ourselves in a vulnerable position where the devil can continue to bombard our minds with these evil thoughts, we increase the chances of an evil conception occurring in our minds that would eventually lead us to committing sins.

James 1:15 says,

“Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death”

So, the million dollar question now is this: How do we overcome temptations???

And the answer is very, very straightforward:

Continually fill your heart and mind with the engrafted, quick, alive and powerful Word of God which is able to save your soul.

The truth is that you can only be tempted with you think about.

James 1:14 says that one is tempted when he or she is drawn by what he or she lusts after. So, if you continually fill your mind with the Word of God, it would be totally impossible for the devil to suggest evil thoughts because your heart and mind is already filled with the Word of God.

Little wonder 1 John 3:9 tells us this:

“Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”

Whoever is born of God does not commit sin because of the Seed of God (the undiluted Word of God) is in him/her and such individual cannot (is totally unable to) sin, since he is born of God.

This is God’s plan for every believer!!!

HALLELUYAH.

More Than Just A Story

Ever heard the joke of the boss and his stenographer?

No? Okay, here it is:

The boss calls his stenographer to his office on this fateful day. After dictating a letter at rapid-fire pace, he asks the young woman to read what she has typed.

“Well sir,” she starts. “Do you mind repeating what you said between ‘Dear Sir’ and ‘Yours’ faithfully’?”

In the same vein, people see God as the Boss Who called everything into being in a rapid-fire six days. Like the stenographer, we are liable to miss most of what happened in the Creation Story. We just want to grasp only what our minds can easily handle. However, unlike the stenographer, we don’t ask God’s Holy Spirit what He said between ‘Dear Sir’ and ‘Yours’ faithfully’. We don’t have the humility to do so. Instead, we hold on to the part we heard (and the part we didn’t hear right):

Adam is created.

He’s told what to do and what not to do.

He soon becomes lonely.

God creates Eve.

Eve’s tempted with the Forbidden Apple. (I really don’t know where this came from)

She gives Adam the fruit to eat.

They find out that they’re naked.

They are sent out from the Garden of Eden.

The End.

The good thing about walking with the Holy Spirit is that He’s able to increase the pace of your understanding to meet God’s standards. It isn’t God that is too fast, we are the ones that are too slow.

Garden of Eden - animals, sunshine, tree, grass, garden, flowers

Now, let’s look at some parts of the Story and we’d find out what God is telling us.

Genesis 2:6 says,

 

“But there went up a mist from the earth, and watered the whole face of the ground. (KJV)

 

Personally, I mulled over this verse for months. I knew there was a greater meaning to it because the Holy Spirit was keeping me on the verse. I knew there was a nugget there for me but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

 

The mist that went up from the earth?

 

The same mist would water the whole face of the ground?

Then, I was led to John 7:38-39 which says, “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. But this spake he of the Spirit…”

 

Oh! We are getting somewhere.

 

If the mist came out of the earth (clay, MAN!) and then watered the face of the ground, surely, in the same way, anyone who believes in Jesus Christ would have rivers of living water ministering grace to as many that are thirsty. And this living water IS the Holy Spirit!

 

So, it is safe to say that Genesis 2:6 is talking about more than how God irrigated the Garden of Eden, but how the life of a normal Christian should be.

 

You were created for an overflow.

You are not getting the blessings in your life just keep on amassing and amassing wealth for yourself.

No! You were created to impart others.

You were created to touch lives. You are more than a cup of clean chilled water. You are a wellspring of life. God’s life!

The blessings that God has imputed into you are to the benefit and uplifting of others.

 

However, if you’re not yet satisfied with my explanation thus far, see this verse of the Bible,

“Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ. (Phil 1:6 KJV Emphasis mine)

 

It’s showing the same principle again. From within to without.

The Holy Spirit starts His silent work in the life of the believer in the same way that no one knows that the gentle mist rising up from the earth is still the same mist that would end up watering the whole face of the ground.

No one knows that the same Spirit that caused the man who is hungry and thirsty for righteousness to run to Jesus for a drink (“If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. John 7:37KJV) would also cause rivers of living water to flow from his very own belly.

 

That is how the Spirit of God works. His silent work on the inside a believer would always end up bringing forth beauty on the outside. That’s how He works!

 

Okay, let’s get into deeper waters,

Genesis 2:7 says,

“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul. (KJV)

Let’s play this in slow-mo:

God creates the man from the dust of the ground, but the man is as good as ordinary earth…which is not so bad, considering the fact that a mist somehow, somewhere had risen up from it to bring comfort to the face of the ground.

 

But God has more in store.

 

He breathes into the nostrils of the earthy man, the breath of life. And instantly, the man became a living soul.

In the original Hebrew text, the words that were interpreted as “the breath of life” would literally mean a raw, strong and fresh Divine Inspiration.

If only you cold grasp this profound truth.

You have the raw, strong and fresh inspiration from God Himself within you! In essence, it was until God gave you a part of Himself that you became a living soul.

 

The original Hebrew word that is translated as “breathed” would literally mean to inflate. That means, Jehovah God Himself inflated you with His raw, strong and fresh Divine Inspiration.

All that is within you is the very breath of God.

You are carrying God in you and you should be afraid of nothing.

You are carrying God within you and you are not permitted to be confused or suffer any lack.

You are carrying God within you and it’s a taboo for sickness, depression and fear to take over your body.

 

If only you knew. If only you knew!

 

I never planned this post to go this way. What I had in mind was to go in depth into some passages pertaining to Adam and Eve. All the same, I believe that God has shown you some truths embedded in just two verses of Genesis Chapter 2.

 

Why don’t you drop all the religion you’ve learnt and for once, ask the Holy-Spirit Himself to teach you His Word at the pace you are meant to be? Try this, not only for Genesis, but for the whole Bible and you’d be surprised with what God has in store for you.