The Sky is Falling!!

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear,
Even though the earth be removed
And though the mountains be carried
Into the midst of the sea
Psalm 46:1-2

I think we’ve all had ”Chicken Little” moments when it seemed like the sky was falling down around us but every other person was walking around, unperturbed.
I’ve had days when I felt shaken down to my core by situations that were beyond my control and all I wanted to do was curl up in a ball and cry but the world kept rushing around me, oblivious to the fact that the sky had, indeed, fallen.

In times like this, it’s so easy to want to withdraw from everyone and everything in a bid for self-preservation. A lot of the time, we even attempt to withdraw from God because somewhere at the back of our minds we’re thinking, “you abandoned me and let this happen”.

For King and Country’s “Steady” is my go-to song whenever I feel overwhelmed,
You keep me steady when the sky is falling
And I’ll keep steady after You
I’ll carry on when my strength is failing
Take heart ’cause you’re with me
So let the stars drop
Whatever comes, I’ll be ready

I love Psalm 75:3 which says, “When the earth and all it’s people quake, it is I who holds its pillars firm”. Whenever I’m about to start panicking and thinking that God has abandoned me and allowed my world to quake, He reminds me of all the wonderful things He’s said in His word,

“Trust Me with all your heart, don’t try to figure everything out on your own ” Prov 3:5 MSG (paraphrased)

“I know the plans I have for you and they are for good, not for disaster” Jer 29:11 NLT

“Be convinced that every detail of your life is continually woven together to fit into My perfect plan of bringing good into your life, for you who loves Me” Rom 8:28 TPT (paraphrased)

“Don’t panic, I’m with you. There’s no need to fear for I’m your God. I’ll give you strength. I’ll help you. I’ll hold you steady, keep a firm grip on you” Isa 41:10 MSG

So, Child of God, next time your world feels like it’s being shaken down to its roots, hold on to God and remind yourself that He holds its pillars firm and He is a very present help in times of trouble.

This week,
Have you ever had a “Chicken Little” moment? How did you get over it?

Where Feet May Fail

“Now the LORD had said to Abram: Get out of your country, From your family And your father’s house, To a land I will show you…” Gen 12:1

You call me out upon the waters,
the great unknown where feet may fail…
Oceans”, Hillsong UNITED

I’ve always been a homebody. Adventures have never had any serious pull for me and I get very uncomfortable when I have to leave my comfort zone for any reason. So, while I love the song ”Oceans” by Hillsong United, it lowkey inspires some form of anxiety within me because the fear of being called out into the unknown is a real one. How must Abram have felt when God called him? While packing up his belongings, what must have been going through his mind?
God was taking him to a point where he had no security blanket;
No inheritance to look forward to;
No relatives or friends to fall back on.

“So Abram went, as the Lord had told him….” Gen 12:4a

“Your grace abounds in deepest waters,
Your sovereign hand will be my guide”

It must have taken a lot for a 75 year old man to pack up all his worldly possessions and set off on a blind journey, with nothing leading him but the hand of God.

God had to take Abram out of his comfort zone in order to establish His covenant with him.

I think God did this so Abraham would trust and hold on to Him and Him alone. See, if someone called you and told you to go to a place only they could lead you, best believe you’d stick to them like glue. You’d check in with them at every point to make sure you were going in the right direction.

Sometimes when we’re comfortable with our circumstances, we tend to “forget” God. We don’t feel the need to seek Him, because we think all our needs are met and we already have everything neatly planned out.

”Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders,
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever you would call me;
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith would be made stronger…”

John Bevere said, ”We certainly are creatures of habit who can become set in our ways. Once these patterns are established, it is uncomfortable to adjust them. But if we are to step into the fullness of what God has planned for us, we must be willing to leave our comfort zone and pursue the way that God’s Spirit leads. This path will often take us through what the Bible refers to as a wilderness. This is where God causes new life to spring forth.”

God sometimes takes us out of our comfort zones to open our eyes to the plans He has for us.
He brings us to a point where the only option we have is to turn to Him because He’s all that we have left.
Note that if Abraham didn’t obey God and leave, he wouldn’t have gotten the covenant.
Don’t be afraid to leave your comfort zone. God might just be calling you for the adventure of a lifetime.

This week,
Have you ever felt God calling from your comfort zone? Did you step out?

Go Away, I’m Not Ready

Acts 24:22-26

Although I was born and brought up in a Christian household, for the longest time I didn’t want to give my life to Jesus. Christians seemed too boring and restricted and I felt like I’d miss too much out of life If I became one. So I had it all planned out; I would do everything I wanted to do while I’m young, and then when I turn 50 or something, I would give my life to Christ so I’d go to heaven when I die. Win-win, right?

From the above scripture, we see that Governor Felix had knowledge about Christianity. Scripture says “He had a more accurate knowledge” (v22). He and his wife even came to seek out Paul to hear about Jesus Christ. However, after hearing Paul speak about righteousness, self control and the judgement to come, he became afraid, and so he said “Go away for now, when I have a convenient time I will call for you” (v25).

It is the same with a lot of people today. They have heard the gospel, They know about Jesus. They’ve listened to teachings, they have the head knowledge, but the thought of surrendering and living for Jesus terrifies them.

So they say,

go away, I’m not ready.

I don’t have the time repent.

I’m not ready to embrace righteousness and self control.

Hold on to your gospel please, there’s still so much for me in the world.

Keep your Jesus aside, I cant surrender to Him right now.

Leave me alone, now is not a convenient time for me to become ‘radical’.

When I’m old, tired of the world, and have taken of all life has to offer, I will call for you.”

There is no record that Felix eventually found a “convenient” time to repent. He most likely missed his chance. This is the story of so many. Many people have been lost because they “set aside” the gospel for a later date. They thought they would have the opportunity to turn to it on their own terms, but nobody knows tomorrow.

“Seek the Lord while He can be found, call upon His name while He is near” (Isaiah 55:6). Please do not defer your repentance, you may never get another chance.

Recycled Burdens?

Philippians 4:6-7

A while ago I had this issue that was bothering me so much that it became a burden. It was something that I prayed about constantly, but it was like each time I prayed, I became more anxious and burdened by the issue. Finally, one day I cried out to God, “why isn’t this going away Father? Why is my heart still so heavy?” And the answer I got was one that has changed my life. God simply said, “how do you expect me to take this burden from you when you are holding onto it so tightly?”

A lot of people have this habit of praying from a place of anxiety (myself included sometimes). Whenever a bad situation comes up, the first reaction we have as humans is one of fear and worry, “oh, what do I do? How do I handle this?” most people will actually try and solve the problem with their own strength, and when we are unable to sort it out and prayer does come to mind as a last resort, we often take this anxious mindset into the place of prayer. And after praying, we promptly pick our burdens back up and go right back to worrying about them.

According to our scripture in focus, in any and every situation we are not be anxious, but we are to make known our requests to God through prayer, supplication (which is an intense earnestness in extended prayer by making direct request to God and fully transferring the burdens of ones soul to Gods hands), and then thanksgiving, and when we have given thanks we are to let go and allow His peace which passes all understanding to guard our hearts. It is important to take note of the progression of the scripture; Prayer, supplication, thanksgiving and then peace.

Once you have prayed concerning an issue, give thanks to God because you know that He has heard you and stop worrying! 1 Peter 5:7 says, “casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, because He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully” (AMPC, emphasis mine). The word “cast” means to throw something forcefully in a specified direction. We are to cast all of our worries and anxieties on God, and the amplified Bible adds a very important phrase, “once and for all”. This means that our casting should be a one time thing. When you throw something away in the trash do you keep going to pick it back up only to just throw it away again? No! You throw something away once and then walk away. It’s the same thing here, We are not to cast our problems, run and pick them back up, then cast again.

The peace of God, according to the amplified bible, is “that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fears nothing from God and is content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is”, and this peace is one that surpasses all understanding. Prayer and this kind of peace are closely connected. A person who entrusts their cares to Christ instead of worrying about them will experience the peace of God and this will help to guard their mind in Christ.

So, whatever it is that you are going through, that you are facing, that you are struggling with, take it to your Father in the place of prayer with the knowledge that He cares for and about you, and that He has good thoughts towards you to give you a good future. Give thanks to Him for this, leave your burdens at His feet, and allow His peace to fill you.

This week,

What burdens have you been unable to let go of?

Pardon me, my Lord

Judges 6:13

Have you ever had something inexplicably tragic happen to you? Have you ever been in a situation where it seems like there’s no hope and things can never get better? Have you felt abandoned and alone? Then you’ve been in Gideon’s position, and you’ll be able to identify with him in this verse.

Here were his people, the Israelites, under the rule of the Midianites for 7 years. Things were so bad that they were hiding in caves, starving and dying. In the midst of all this suffering and pain, The angel comes and says, “mighty hero, the Lord is with you!”. Gideon’s response is one that, if we’re being honest, most of us have had at different points in our lives. “Pardon me, my Lord, but if the Lord is with us, then why are all these things happening to us? Where are all His Miracles, signs and wonders that people are always talking about?” (v13, paraphrased).

We’ve all heard testimonies of the wonderful things God has done right from Bible times till now; Healings, resurrections, jaw-dropping miracles. So when bad things happen, we cannot help but feel short-changed. When people come and try to remind us of all the promises of God with things like, “All things will work together for your good” or “God is with you” the thought that crosses our mind is, “pardon me, but if God is with me as you say He is, and if He loves me like you say He does, then why has this happened? People have told me that He did mighty works for them, but as far as I can see, He has abandoned me”

It is no secret that bad things happen. Sometimes they are as a direct consequence of our sins (as in the case of the Israelites here), but a lot of the time, bad things happen for seemingly no reason. People who have done nothing wrong, who love and serve God with all their heart, have bad things happen to them and the first question that comes to mind is, “why?”

Even Jesus had bad things happen to Him. One of His closest friends betrayed Him; He had the very people that He left heaven to come and save crying out for His blood; He was whipped, ridiculed, and ultimately, hung on a cross to die a slow, painful, agonizing death for crimes He did not even commit. So if anyone knows about having unfair things happen to them, then its Him. He is fully able to sympathize with our weaknesses because He has been in our positions (Hebrews 4:15).

Whenever bad things happen to me, there are 2 portions of scripture that always comfort me. The first is is Isaiah 43:2-4,

“But now, this is what the Lord says— He who created you, [insert your name here], He who formed you, [insert your name here]:

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;

and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.

When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.

For I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;

I give Egypt for your ransom,Cush and Seba in your stead.

Since you are precious and honored in my sight, and because I love you, I will give people in exchange for you, nations in exchange for your life. Do not be afraid, for I am with you;”

The second is Romans 8:28 (AMPC), “we are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and called according to His design and purpose.”

In Isaiah 43, we do not see “if”, but “when”. It means that at various points we will go through rivers, waters and fires (challenges), but that through it all, He will be right there with us, helping us. In Romans 8, we do not see “all good things”, but “all things”, so even the bad things will ultimately work out for our good. These are promises contained in the very word of God.

The hope that we can cling to in bad situations that happen is that, God will always have the final say. Every bad thing that happened to Jesus, happened for a reason. Through His stripes, we received healing; From His suffering and death, eternal life sprung forth for us. To people looking on, it was as if the devil had won, and Jesus was no more, but no, there was a plan that not even the devil saw coming.

I cannot pretend to know the answer to the question, “why do bad things happen to good people”. What I do know however, is that when these things happen, He has promised to be right there with us, holding us up, pulling us through, working it all for our good.

Don’t let the Honeymoon end

Revelation 2:1-7

At the beginning of every relationship, there is what is referred to as “the honeymoon period”. This is the point where the love is new, sparks are flying, everything is perfect, and they can’t get enough of each other. Their love is the most important thing in their lives and showing it is as easy as breathing. Somewhere down the line however, things begin to cool down. The love is still there, but the flames that marked the beginning of the relationship have settled down into gentle embers. They have to work to fan these embers to keep the fire burning, if not it goes out completely. They may still care for each other and do all the right things, but the fervor and intensity that marked the beginning of their relationship is gone. At this stage, problems start in the relationship, and ultimately, it may come to an end. I cannot count how many relationships I have seen end because “the spark died”.

The church at Ephesus had the same problem. They still did all the right things-They worked hard, did not tolerate evil, suffered for Christ, but in the midst of all of this, Jesus wasn’t happy. What was the problem? Jesus said, “you don’t love me or each other AS YOU DID AT FIRST” (V4, NLT). He wasn’t saying they didn’t love Him, He knew they did. His problem was that the intensity of their love had dimmed. Their actions were good, but He was more concerned about the state of their hearts. He was saddened by the fact that their love had grown cold. So this shows that even if we’re going through the motions and working for God, He is looking into our hearts and assessing the intensity of our love for Him because, in the end, that is what truly matters.

The solution for relationships in which the sparks have died is usually along the lines of “remember why you fell in love in the first place, and take out time to do the things you did at the beginning of the relationship for each other”. Jesus gives a similar solution to the church here. He says, (v5)

Remember from what height you have fallen: think back to how it was in the beginning when you first gave your life to Him. How much you craved and longed for Him, how you always wanted to spend time with Him, how you couldn’t get enough of Him.

Repent: repentance isn’t a one-off act; the entire life of a believer is to be one of repentance. It’s a change of mind from being self-dependent to being God-dependent. It is a conscious decision to put God back at the center of our lives and to stop looking elsewhere for our sense of purpose and fulfillment.

Do the works you did previously: the things you did in the beginning, begin to do again. Begin to read your bible again; begin to pray again. Begin to love again.

Most importantly, we must continually fan the flames of our love for Him, and work at not becoming complacent in our walk with Him.

This week,

-Has the honeymoon period in your Christian walk ended? What can you do to “keep the fire burning”?

Cracked Cisterns

“My people have abandoned me- the Fountain of Living Water, and they have dug for themselves cracked cisterns that can hold no water at all…”

Jeremiah 2:13

“My people are staggering in the desert, dying of thirst. They’ve spent all their energy building cisterns and now they’re stubbornly clinging to them; cisterns that are cracked and dirty, empty with just a few drops of water clinging to the walls.

They’re lapping at these drops with the little strength they have left praying that they’ll be enough to quench their thirst, when in reality all they are doing is making themselves more aware of it.

My people, whom I created in my own image, after my likeness, to walk with me and talk with me and fellowship with me; these ones that I created with a thirst for me have ignored me and tried to replace my free flowing fountain, my clear, sparkling water which will never run dry with muddy, stagnant dregs from a cracked cistern.”

We were created with a need to love and be loved; a need to feel something. I love the way Solomon put it, “…He has also planted eternity [a sense of divine purpose] in the human heart [a mysterious longing which nothing under the sun can satisfy, except God]…” (Ecc 3:11). We try to fill this yearning with so many things. We use people, forgetting that just like us, they too are searching for love and validation, and we hold on to them with all our might, squeezing and hoping that if we hold on tight enough maybe, just maybe, our thirst will be quenched. But how can we fill an empty cistern from another empty cistern?

We acquire things (which are incapable of emotions) and hope that if we gather enough of them around us, our thirst will be quenched; maybe the void will be filled. But how can we attempt to quench our thirst with dust and expect satisfaction?

We go through life weak and heavy laden, laboring to be satisfied, building cistern after cistern, hoping at least one of them would get filled. We wake up exhausted each morning because the shadows we are chasing cannot bring satisfaction. We are enslaved by our passions and addictions, chasing after them compulsively just so that we can feel something, anything for a fleeting moment.

This longing in our hearts can only be filled by God. Jesus told the woman at the well, “the water I give takes away thirst all together. It becomes a perpetual spring within them, giving them eternal life.” (John 4:14). With the water He gives you don’t have to build a cistern. The fountain is right there and it is never going to run dry. Drinking from this fountain and abiding in it will take away the hurt.

He’s saying to us today, “come drink, and thirst no more; come drink and be refreshed; come drink and be satisfied. My spring is flowing as long as you here, it will never run out as long as there are vessels to be filled”

Won’t you come and be satisfied? Won’t you come and taste and see that the Lord is good? Walk away from your cracked cistern, and embrace the fountain of life.