Fireworks Display

….Such a beautiful, colourful, bright, spectacular, sparkling yet loud and deafening display.

There were quite a few displays last month in the town where I live. From the comfort of my house, I could hear the noise and see the lights. Such a beauty to behold!

Whilst I admired the sight, my 2 year old daughter could not stand the deafening sound. She was scared! She clung up to me without letting go! I could see the fear and uncertainty in her eyes. She hid her face under my knitted jumper and was not going to move an inch.

Like most caring mothers will do, I cuddled and reassured her that it was a temporary noise etc. About an hour later, it stopped and my daughter went about her normal routine.

Still sitting down on the reclining sofa, my mind travelled to the children in war-torn zones. Theirs was not fireworks but real dangerous ammunition. Whilst I knew “my situation” was temporary, the mothers in Aleppo really could not tell how long the unrest will go on for. Whilst I was in the comfort and warmth of my home; those mothers hide under dilapidated buildings. How much reassurance could mums give their children? Would the concern of these mums be putting up Xmas trees or having a place to call home full of tranquility?

Hmmm. Father, please send your peace to these areas and have mercy on the souls in Jesus name. Amen.

The Word as seeds

I was studying the scriptures some hours ago and a spiritual nugget dropped in my heart. This is in relation to the fig tree in (Mark 11:12-25). To summarise the story, Jesus Christ and his disciples whilst on their way to Jerusalem saw a fig tree. He was expecting to see fruits on it that he might pluck some. Unfortunately, there was none! Consequently, he cursed the tree to dry up. Nothing seemed to happen physically after those words. Bear in mind, that the same Jesus Christ spoke to situations (the sick, blind, the lame, the storm etc) and there were immediate manifestations in the physical.

You might wonder – why then is the “fig tree” different? Let us carry on with the story, the following day (could be between 6 – 12 hrs after the initial incident) on their way back, they  passed by the fig tree. And Peter raised an alarm, “oh oh the fig tree has dried up!”.

The nugget for me is: there are varying challenges in a man’s life. Some will respond to the Word quickly to produce a physical manifestation. Some will take a day, days, a month, months, a year or years. It might not be clear-cut as to how to categorise the situations but one thing is sure that prayer ahead of time yield tremendous benefits.

I have heard several pastors, across the world, advice to pray for the future of ones’ children even if they are not yet born; to pray for ones’ marriage whilst still single etc.

Prayers/the Word are seeds. If sown at the appropriate time, they bear fruits at the appropriate time.

Intercessory Prayer

My mum has always stressed on the importance of intercessory prayer. She will gently say, “keep interceding for XYZ“. Intercessory prayers are powerful. There are quite a few stories in the bible where this weapon was successful utilised by the saints. For example, the brethren prayed for Peter’s rescue from the prison (Acts 12). I have heard of stories where people received angelic visitations at the hour intercessory prayers were being made on their behalf.

I particularly like the story in Gen 18 and 19. This was a conversation between God and Abraham concerning the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. God was going to utterly destroy the city but Abraham pleaded on behalf of the saints. A deal was struck to save the city if 10 saints/righteous men were found.

Angels were dispersed to go looking for 10 saints/righteousness men but found 1 household (not up to 10 individuals). The household was saved but the city destroyed.

Gen 19 Verse 29, “Now when God ravaged and destroyed the cities of the plain [of Siddim], He remembered Abraham [and for that reason], and He sent [Abraham’s nephew] Lot out of the midst of the destruction, when He destroyed the cities in which Lot had lived”.

For the sake of Abraham, the intercessor, Lot, a righteous man  (2 Peter 2:7) was saved.

Could God say that because of your prayers, I will deliver/bless XYZ?Are you an intercessor? Be an intercessor!

Grace – it can be activated

Following on from the lastest post, “Singled Out”, I asked the Lord another question, “does that mean I must wait till Grace locates me, I get the fact I needed to prepare for my day of visitation like Esther. But like Naaman and the widow of Zarephath, what preparation was needed?

I was led to Hebrews‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭AMP‬‬ “Therefore let us [with privilege] approach the throne of grace [that is, the throne of God’s gracious favor] with confidence and without fear, so that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find [His amazing] grace to help in time of need [an appropriate blessing, coming just at the right moment]”.

The commonality in the scenarios in the ‘Singled Out’ post was that ‘they all had a need’.

Is it not wonderful that I can activate that Grace? You could also  activate it, this is a directive from God. Activate it by asking for it.

On my bended knees, King of Glory, I boldly approach your throne to receive Grace and Mercy for my life, my marriage, my home, my children, my career, my ministry, my finances, my health in the name of Jesus. Amen

Singled Out 

It is wonderful how some verses get impressed in ones’s heart so strongly that you read them over and over again. I am sure I have read Luke 4 several times before however verses 25-27 where a bomb shell for me today. I like the Amplified Version.

Here, Jesus was conversing with folks in his hometown, “But in truth I say to you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was closed up for three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land; and yet Elijah was not sent [by the Lord] to a single one of them, but only to Zarephath in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. And there were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet; and not one of them was cleansed [by being healed] except Naaman the Syrian.”

The questions I had: why that specific widow? And why Naaman?

Whilst thinking through the questions, few other scenarios came to my mind.
The man by the pool of Bethesda. John 5:2-9. Surely there were other men/women by that pool; many with longer standing issues (> 38 yrs) and some with < 38 years. Old, young, middle-age. But it was recorded that he met one specific man.

Mary the mother of Jesus could not have been the only virgin. Angel Gabriel called her, “blessed among all women”. (Luke 1:27-28).

Esther was not the only virgin prepared for the King, yet she was chosen out of many. (Esther 2)

There must be something that attracted God to these ones. If the criteria was anyone widow in Zarephath, other widows qualified. If it was virginity and well-groomed body, others as well as Esther qualified, if it was being handicapped, others at the pool qualified.

What singled out these ones? GRACE, FAVOUR, MERCY.

I could not resist the prayer point, King of Glory, by your Grace, single me out for favours in Jesus name. Amen

Beautiful in its time

I took to gardening very recently, two years ago actually; it has been a learning curve for me and very exciting. Two years ago, I had about 15 pots of plants on my patio containing: tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes, green beans. I took  advice from a seasoned gardener meaning I planted at the right time under right weather conditions, watered the seeds as directed, added fertiliser etc. It was very essential to plant at the right time.

I started planting way too early this year (February) because I was over zealous and excited. I was unmindful of the weather conditions. For example, peppers germinate in 10 days from 18 – 21 degree C. However, temperature was single figures in February. Here I was with my 10 trays filled with pepper and aubergine seeds waiting endlessly to see the leaves.  After second week of no leaves shooting up, I was worried. I watered and added more water even though the weather was very wet and cold. After the fourth week (March) of no leaves, I think I lost faith in the seeds. But I decided not to throw them away just yet and I kept watering occasionally. Then April came in, weather was warmer and hitting double figures,  I saw a tiny little stalk from some of the cups. Oh, how joyful I was! My labour had not being wasted after all. To me, it had taken the seeds 8 weeks to germinate and grow. But was that really the case?

The instruction from the garden Center  where the seeds were purchased was: “plant seeds when temperature is between 18 – 21 degree C, germination takes place  in 10 days”. Until the condition was met, my seeds did not germinate  – it was not their  time.

I feel some prayer requests are like my pepper and aubergine seeds. Until the conditions are right, we do not see a physical manifestation though you could have received a note of victory in your spirit provided your prayer seeds align with God’s will. Not seeing any manifestation should not stop us from praying, i.e. watering the seeds continuously. What we should never do is give up faith!

But you might question what are the conditions to your own prayer requests? God knows. You only need to ask him specifically.  Jer 33:3, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know”.

Back to my garden seeds – my pepper and aubergine seeds were made beautiful in their own time – not my mine. Bless God.

Why demarcate?

Demarcating a plot of land with tall strong walls and barb wires is rife in my native country – Nigeria. Some of the land lords will go an extra mile to put a big sign board on the wall which reads, “this land belongs to Mr XYZ. Trespassers beware”. Some will actually place sharp-edged broken bottles on the fences.

I had often wondered why this was commonplace, bearing in mind that the landlord legally bought the land and was issued a title-deed. Whilst that was the case,  bandits will try to take hold of the land especially when the land is unoccupied.

I recall my dad had a practice of visiting his lands at least twice a month when I was growing up –  checking that hoodlums had not broken through.

I find this practice essential in the spiritual too. Jesus Christ has purchased a good life for us by giving himself as a ransom, he has handed over the title-deed to us. However if I don’t put a stamp on this title-deed or enforce my ownership, the devouring lion will devour my possession.

A lady shared with me how she lost her two pregnancies during the first trimester. She said it started by having horrible dream where she bled and few days after it’s reality. She searched the scriptures and came across “who gave himself as a ransom for all 1 Tim 2:6”. If the price had been paid, if the blood had been shed and a life had been given as a ransom, then her pregnancy is fulfilled. She held on to and  confessed this scripture through out the 9 months despite the odd dreams. She delivered safely!

Have you aligned your life with  Christ’s and yet you are being tormented? Rise up dear reader! Check out what the scriptures say about your situations. Confess them- these are your barb wires.