YOUR LIFE MATTERS:

By You I have been upheld from birth; You are He who took me out of my mother’s womb. My praise shall be continually of You.
Psalms 71:6 NKJV


Childbirth is one of the greatest phenomena I can think of.
For a fetus to survive inside a human body then get delivered 9 months later is nothing short of a miracle. The new born baby who once found comfort in a fluid-cozy womb now has to take in air for herself/himself. We are now able to look at this child and appreciate his/her form. The little limbs that punched and kicked are now in sight. This once silent being, now lets out a sharp cry to announce their arrival.
Friend, we all went through this miraculous and life giving event.
On average, a person at rest takes about 16 breaths per minute. This means we breathe about 960 breaths an hour, 23,040 breaths a day, 8,409,600 a year. Whoa! Isn’t that incredible?!
We are here, not on our own accord; but because the Lord Himself allowed us to take in that first breath of air…and then the next and the next; up till your very present breath. He holds your next breath in His hand. On average, 7178 babies die at birth (may they rest in peace, and may the Lord God comfort the bereaved). God allowed you to live….up till this very moment.



Friend, you did not will yourself into existence. You are not a mistake or an accident. You are not useless or the scum of the earth. I don’t know what your past says about you. I don’t know what people have said about you or what you believe about yourself. All I know is that the Supreme King Himself fashioned you. The Creator of Heaven and earth. He who scattered the stars across the sky. He who said, let there be light and there was light. He who paints the beautiful sunsets on the canvas of the sky. He thought of you before He laid the foundations of the earth and made you in His image.

Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.”Jeremiah 1:5 NKJV


His thoughts towards you are precious:

How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!
Psalms 139:17 (NKJV)


He loves you recklessly and His pursuit of you is relentless.
Think about it.
Consider this.
Why are you alive today?
It’s not about you. It’s all Him. He made you. He knows you. He designed your very being, your mind, your spirit, your personality….He set you in a specific family, neighbourhood, nation, continent, race and time-period. He wasn’t late or early in placing you here on earth. He knows. He has your blueprint. Want to know what it is? Want to know why He put you here? Here’s why:


Let everything that has breath praise the Lord . Praise the Lord !
Psalms 150:6 NKJV


To worship Him.
Alone.
To love Him.
Alone.
To glorify Him.
Alone.
Want to know why else you are alive? Get to know this Maker. This King. He will show you great and mighty things you have never known.

Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.’ Jeremiah 33:3 NKJV)


He will correct you like no one ever has, He will father you and love you, comfort and cover you……forever.
If you already know Him, good. Continue in the pursuit, enjoy His presence and leading as you await eternal fellowship with Him. If you don’t know Him, say this prayer. Invite Him into your heart and grab yourself a Bible either in digital or physical form. Get connected with Christians in your life and tell them of your decision. Reply in the comments below so that I may pray with you. Thank you for making this choice. Your life will take on a different meaning from now hence forth.

Be encouraged friends.
Warmly,
Sojourner.

THREE WORDS:

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If you’re sad, confused, anxious, depressed, uncertain, fearful or feeling alone, read on.

If you went to sleep feeling like there was no one to talk to and had no where to turn, read on.

If you feel more hopeless than you’ve ever felt, read on.

If you feel like no one would understand, and just want to lock yourself up and cry, read on.

If you feel like the only solution for you is Jesus appearing to you and holding you in a warm embrace because you hurt so much, read on.

If telling yourself not to give up is no longer enough, read on.

If you feel like your life lacks meaning, depth and rhythm, read on.

Dear friend, my heart breaks for you, whoever you are, wherever you are.

Don’t feel like a wuss. Don’t feel like you should handle it better and that you should have spiritually outgrown such feelings. We all feel messed up sometimes. It’s the result of living in a fallen world. I’ve had my days where I just want to stay in bed and nurse depression. I know how it feels. I’ve been there. I know how life can beat one down. I know how it feels to wonder whether it’s the devil or the lack of dependence on God. You wonder whether situation X, Y or Z has all that power to knock you down to where you are right now.

Take a moment and meditate upon this verse:

The LORD’S lovingkindnesses indeed nevercease, For His compassions never fail. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23
Whatever your situation;

HE IS FAITHFUL.

Be encouraged.

THIS HIT ME HARD:#1

Scripture focus: Jeremiah 29:13

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I recently walked into a bookshop in search of a book that would speak to me. I didn’t know exactly what I wanted at that point but I knew that I would know it when I see it.  So I scanned and scanned and saw a few titles that brought me back to sanity. First off, there is a sea of authors and titles out there. There were innumerable titles on ‘devotion’, and I thought to myself, ‘Why not go and actually spend time with the Lord instead of reading about it? Why not just step into the actual activity without having to read 67 ways of how to do it? Why not just do what you can in your capacity?’ We don’t give ourselves enough credit. I then realised that I didn’t need a book. What I needed was to spend time with my Maker. Another thing, there’s so much information and there are plenty of online resources. It’s all well and good to have a community of believers in the blogging/writing/vlogging ministries. But I’d encourage us to grow our relationship with the Lord first rather than rush to sign up for yet another plan, yet another email list etc. Let us stick with the basics by allowing the Holy Spirit to minister to us first.

This hit me hard: The only way to grow in your walk is, not to read books upon books or blogs upon blogs, but to experience the Lord for yourself through consistent prayer, Bible study and fasting.

Ask. Seek. Knock.

BREAKING THROUGH SEASONS:

I recently went through a season of dullness and a sheer lack of spiritual focus. I would get thoroughly distracted whenever I tried to read Scripture that  I took a break altogether. My secret place was filled with God, me and the pussycat dolls. My attention would shift to my almost non-existent knowledge of quantum physics or the crack on the wall. But one thing didn’t change, my resolve to find God even in that state. I allowed Him to speak to me through that season of dullness.

Before I get into what God taught me about breaking through seasons, I need to share a word.

Ever been in a ‘weird headspace’? Where you know something’s off but you aren’t sure what? I have; one too many times. Search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxieties. (Psalms 139:23). I claimed this scripture for all my weird headspace situations and for sure the Word was quick and active in equipping me with self awareness. You can’t cure a problem if you don’t know what it is. Early detection of any illness improves chances of survival. People perish for lack of knowledge. Claim Psalms 139 if you ever find yourself in such a situation, where you don’t quite know what’s going on.

 

IDENTIFY THE SEASON YOU’RE IN:

Delve into the real picture of things. Come to terms with what’s happening through:

1. Taking a time-out: A ton of introspection would do. Thoroughly explore your thoughts and feelings about your situation(s).

2. Acceptance of what’s going on: Do not be the ostrich that buries its head in the sand.

3. Admitting your limitations: Do what you can up to where you can. Leave what you can’t.

 

WHAT THE WORD HAS TO SAY ABOUT YOUR SEASON:

Just as there is spring, summer, autumn and winter; dawn, noon, dusk and nightfall; so shall there be different seasons of life.

-To everything there is a season, and a time to every purpose under heaven. (Ecclesiastes 3:1). You will have Kodak moments where you paint the town red and even heaven itself seems to shine upon your very existence. Then there will be moments marked with sadness and confusion. That’s life for you.

-Be ye angry,and sin not. (Ephesians 4:26)

We process the world through emotions. We respond to seasons through emotions, which is in order. The problem comes in when we let emotions rule over us. We need to find strength in the fact that given that we are in Christ, the old has gone and the new has come. We need not let situations rule over us as they did when we were not in Christ. You shall not be given over to anger or any other emotion that seeks to rule you.

-For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. (2 Corinthians 4:17)

Your season may beat you down but it won’t last. It’s temporary. Seasons come and seasons go. Don’t miss the point. Your inner man is being renewed. You might not understand the situation but just ask God for grace to fix your heart on things unseen.

-In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. (John 16:33)

Tough seasons are as certain as death and taxes. We as Christians aren’t immune to painful circumstances. We need to know that He has overcome.

-Greater is he who is in you, than he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

-There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

You are never alone. Someone else somewhere has gone through what you are going through. The beauty is that God provides not just grace sufficient but a means of escape.

-No weapon formed against me shall prosper. (Isaiah 54:17)

-And we know that all things work together for the good of those who love him. (Romans 8:28)

-Be still and know that I am God. (Psalms 46:10).

Stop. There’s only so much that human strength and wisdom can do for any particular situation. We are limited in our solutions, vision and view of the bigger scheme of things. Our highest wisdom is nowhere near His lowest folly.

All of life happens within the context of grace. Whatever season you’re in,  I do pray that you will find the highest pleasure in drawing near to God. (Psalms 73:28)

WHO’S YOUR DADDY?

Focus Scripture: Psalms
Is your trust really in God? Who or what do you run to when you are at your wit’s end? What is your source? Do you remember God at all times, good or bad? Where do you get your ‘real and practical advice’? Husband, wife, girlfriends, the boys, google, barman, book club, mentor, boss or fellowship? Do you run to the one who cares for your situation more than all of the above? Are you hasty in running to other sources instead of relying on God to open doors for you?
I am guilty. There are times I am faced with puzzling questions and situations. The first thing I normally think is, “Hmmm, I should give X a call. Or I should rush to the bookshop and look for author T’s book. Better still, I should go see that therapist, the one I saw on TV. Or Pastor M.” Am learning to run to God first. There is nothing beyond Him. Actually, there is no ‘beyond’ when it comes to God.
The following is a list of alternatives that seduce us in our relentless quest to make God our be-all-end-all:
STATUS/POWER SYMBOLS:
Chariots and horses(20:7) Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
Bow and sword(44:6) For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me.
Chariots, horses, bows and swords formed an important part of ancient Israel’s military architecture. Masters in the art of war were highly skilled in the assemblage and organisation of such weaponry. In present day, just as it were then, a nation’s power is measured by its military capability. David, relying on God, prevailed over Goliath with a sling and a sword. He trusted, not in his own strength but, in the power of the name of the Lord.(1 Sam17:45) It’s not by might, not by power but by the Spirit.
VANITIES:
Lying vanities(31:6) I have hated them that regard lying vanities: but I trust in the Lord.
Wealth and a multitude of riches(49:6) Those who trust in their wealth and boast in the multitude of their riches (52:7) Here is the man who did not make God his strength, but trusted in the abundance of his riches (62:10) If riches increase, do not set your eyes upon them.
King Solomon can teach us many a lesson concerning vanity, seeing that he was the richest and wisest man BC. In Ecclesiastes, he writes about wisdom, pleasure, selfish toil, popularity and gain; summing it up in one verse: “All is vanity”. The love-for-money curse is still with us to this day. Jesus, through parables, portrays to us how difficult it is for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven. The prosperity gospel is a highy debated topic both in and outside the church. The Word is so clear on this: Seek God’s kingdom first.(Matthew 6:33). The deceifulness of riches chokes up the Word(Matthew 13:22 & Mark 4:19). We are told to store up riches in heaven.
WICKEDNESS:
Lies and pride(40:4) Blessed is that man who makes the Lord his trust, and does not respect the proud, nor such as turn aside to lies.
Oppression and robbery:(62:10) Do not trust in oppression, nor vainly hope in robbery.
Stories of injustice, corruption, modern day slavery, murders abound. Society is at its sickest. Some people take pride in oppressing and degrading others. Others take full advantage of their positions of power through dictatorship. On an individual level, we lie to get ourselves out of murky situations and come up with excuses for our sins, forgetting that there is no justification for sin.
RELATIONSHIPS:
Familiar friends(41:9) Even my own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
(146:3) Do not put your trust in princes, nor in a son of man, in whom there is no help. His spirit departs, he returns to his earth; in that very day his plans perish.
Man was built for relationship and expresses himself best through the connections he has with people. Relationships could be anything between downright amazing, you know, chemistry and all, to toxic and draining at worst. Human, is synonymous with limited. God on the other hand,is limitless. Men go back on their word,men change. God is eternally faithful and does NOT change. He remains the same; yesterday, today and forever.
AUTHORITY:(118:8) It is better to trust in God than to put confidence in man. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes.
This consists of government systems, kingdoms, leadership, official permission amongst others. There’s a bifold aspect of dominion and submission. Regardless of which way one looks at it, the common denominator remains: Man. There has to be one to lead and another to be led. Again the limitation factor checks in. However, we are to obey our masters in the flesh (Ephesians 6:5-9); keeping in mind that in as much as all authority comes from God, He is the Highest power.
I don’t discount the importance of relationships, government systems, wealth or any other life incentives. All these are in place to support us in our daily work. I believe that we can do it all for the glory of God. Life is busy and oftentimes demanding, but we must pose and ask ourselves whether our activities point back to God. Make God the foundation of your support system. Rely on him for every single thing. Delight in Him. Abide in His Word. He says, “Cast your burdens unto Me”. He cares a mighty lot.
GOD IS OUR TRUST.