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The “If You are” syndrome

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Our lives as individuals can be so plagued by different types of issues; the need to become, the need to acquire, the need to achieve, the need to do, the need to sustain etc. This happens so often that if and when we are not careful, such needs and how we go about fulfilling them can become devastating to our existence as human beings. We always have the urge to satisfy one thing from/or with another and should be careful in the choices we make in the process. 

Jesus at the start of His ministry was, like everyone else, faced with a challenge. He was tempted of the devil. The the Holy Spirit wasted no time in leading Him to the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. The idea that the Holy Spirit led Him to the wilderness be tempted by the devil just as the popular Psalmist prayer “He leads me in the paths of righteousness”, is something worth pausing to examine.

There are certain trials and temptations that whether we like it or not, we just have to face in our paths of righteousness for us to be adequately prepared for the work that God Almighty has ordained before hand that we should do. There has to be prunnings, cuttings etc, that has to happen and continues to happen, if we are to successfully please our Master. The likeness of these temptations faced by Jesus, are everyday dealings that we as humans are faced with and will continue to be faced with and must overcome! Jesus has become our example! We can overcome and are more than conquerors if we believe.

The “if you are” syndrome as I would like to call it, in Jesus’ case started in the first temptation, with the enemy challenging him in subtle terms concerning what he believes and stands for. Not just that alone, trying to make Him sabotage His person, to do deeds that would offend God and misrepresent situations!

How many times as children of God have we met situations that subtly required us to compromise? Quietly deny who we are? Or walk/work between the grey areas, just because we are after what to eat, drink and wear?

Even if you are a child of God, would it really stop you from doing so and so to feed yourself and your family? To the ordinary onlooker, what is truly wrong with turning stone to bread after forty days of fasting? Especially since there was no fast food delivery service to turn to at the moment or a “mama put” joint to quickly access and satisfy the hunger pangs.

But you see, the technicalities of what the devil was asking Jesus to do was wrong and incriminating, and the hunger-blind Christian may not perceive the subtleties of the situation until he delves in and is entrapped! Others may not get to see the bad at all even if someone comes along to point it out. They would just chunk it aside as jealousy or the like and move on with their lives.

The second thing we should point out in this very temptation of Jesus by the devil, is that our desire to “prove” ourselves to others is constantly being tried. It tries our silent need to be validated.

The devil knows that Jesus is the Son of God, Jesus was not in conflict with who He is, so why the “if you are” phrasing? Show your strength, ability, etc. There was even “no one” per se in attendance. But the devil would know and most importantly God would know when we decide to do something with the intent to show or prove ourselves. So whether others can read our thoughts or not, God can! We should be wary of falling into the temptation to massage our ego in the name of doing “the necessary” to achieve. Once it has to feed our ego/pride, we are in the wrong lane and would have ourselves to blame if we fail.

I still want to dwell on the point that we shapen ourselves or who we are more often than not with the decisions we make when none else is in attendance. Our thoughts, are inner decisions, what we consistently choose to do and say when we think we have no audience or the audience is of no immediate or substantial consequence, has defining, longer lasting qualifications on who we become.

So while your brother or sister may not be there to take note of your current happenings and access your heart’s intent, God can and the host of heaven bear record while the enemy is present to use it as foothold or evidence against you when the time is required.
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As the year unfolds, let’s see to it that our lives are not hijacked by the enemy and we do not succumb to the desire to meet the three fold ministry of the flesh. When we are controlled by our flesh, we stifle the sensitivity of our spirit to the things of God and to God Himself.

This is a New year, let’s begin well. For some, let’s continue well and if nothing, let’s not sabotage the ministry of Angels by the wrong choices that we make. This among other things, is what we stand to loose when the choice is “if you are” pleasing.

Happy New year!
🙂 😉 🙂

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

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UNAFFECTED BY SABBATH

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I had an interesting time one morning as my dearest shared with me some things that the Holy Spirit laid in his heart. I would love to share some of these things from the Scripture bellow:

John 5:1 After this there was a feast of the Jews; and Jesus went up to Jerusalem.
5:2 Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
5:3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
5:4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5:5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
5:6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
5:7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
5:8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
5:9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.
5:10 The Jews therefore said unto him that was cured, It is the sabbath day: it is not lawful for thee to carry thy bed.
5:11 He answered them, He that made me whole, the same said unto me, Take up thy bed, and walk. 5:12 Then asked they him, What man is that which said unto thee, Take up thy bed, and walk?
5:13 And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place.
5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.
5:15 The man departed, and told the Jews that it was Jesus, which had made him whole.
5:16 And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the sabbath day.
5:17 But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.
5:18 Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.
5:19 Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.
5:20 For the Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth: and he will shew him greater works than these, that ye may marvel.

This Scripture is so loaded with awesomeness from the Father that it’s amazing how much of God’s WORD, if we can get it into us will deliver what we need and subsequently set us free to go and become even as we perform for God.

Some of the first things that one will notice as you read this passage are:
1. That Jesus probably went to Jerusalem for something else-the feast of the Jews.
2. There were a lot of other folks there having one issue or another, the Bible referred to them as multitude.
3. They were all waiting for the same thing-the moving of the water.

It’s interesting to note that Jesus was the One that saw the man, and knew without receiving any update from the impotent man or others around, that the situation has been for a long time. The man didn’t even see Jesus first.  Jesus then asked him a question: “wilt thou be made whole?”

Simple question right? But what was the man’s reply? To think that he spoke of something else other than the answer to the question that he was asked, is somehow bewildering.

I don’t know if the man did not understand the question or if he wasn’t interested in what or who Jesus is and what Jesus was saying to him, maybe that was even a ready made answer he gave to every and any person that came by to speak to him.

I would like to believe that this man was used to people asking him these kind of questions that he now had a preset answer waiting and ready to deliver so much so that when he was asked a different kind of question, he automatically gave an answer like he always did oblivious to how inaccurate his answer was and that he was being asked a different thing.

The question he was probably expecting, that had most likely been asked him so many times that he had could have lost count, I assume was something along these lines; why have not received your healing? Are you still impotent? What are you still doing here? These are some of the questions this man had come to be asked that he eventually had his ready made answer for every occasion and caller.

This only goes to point out that he definitely didn’t know who Jesus is nor had he heard about him! One would think that his situation would keep him abreast with anything and anyone that could in any way be of help one way or another to him and his situation, but no, he didn’t know about the very person who would deliver him of and from his situation.

Was it that news about Jesus never filtered to him? Probably he was already tuned out to his surrounding and all he could see, hear and thinks about was his problem and how there was no one ready to assist him. He was in a hopeless situation!

As much as the man was looking to man for help, he was also being discouraged by many a man that were getting into the pool before him and he whined about it; “but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me”.

Before I even try to get into the pool, all those who are faster than me, smarter than me, stronger than me, everything else than me get into the pool first and they get healed! Get their miracle. Oh how doomed my situation, what will become of me!

This man indeed saw his position as very hopeless and none willing to help him when he desperately needed help.

This man was bedridden as evidenced in verse six, this then means that someone or some persons would have brought him there, so why didn’t they just hang around for a bit even if it meant taking turns at his side so they could push him into the pool once the stirring began? At least the man’s answer suggested that this would in no way nullify or disqualify him from receiving his healing assuming they chose to do so.

The helplessness of his situation was such that even friends and relatives had grown tired of his situation and were not willing to pitch in the final efforts to ensure his healing. They probably just brought him there to be rid of him.

A very hopeless situation indeed.

But what is amazing is that Jesus wasn’t bothered that he didn’t recognise Him, nor was He bothered by his wrong answer to His question. He didn’t even point out how hopeless the man had become or the fact that he would be be breaking the Jewish code of conduct slash traditional. He went ahead and gave the man what he needed.

I mean, the guy had nothing going for him physically, mentally, socially etc but yet the LORD of all found him and against all odds healed him.

But that’s not all, this story doesn’t end here.

The preceeding verses up to verse thirteen only helps to clarify that the man really didn’t know Jesus! Like really! Even after he was healed!

How uninformed can a person get especially concerning the very person that could have and eventually went ahead to heal you. Your curiosity didn’t get the best of you and your nonchalance to get you asking questions about the person that just set you free!!!

But that’s not even where I’m headed. In the next verse Jesus does something so utterly wonderful!

5:14 Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee.

Jesus findeth him. Jesus looked for him! The same man that knew nothing about Him, and as far as record shows wasn’t thankful for the healing he received. He didn’t even do a two step dance in rejoicing for what God had done for him. The guy just went on his merry way and Jesus still had to go “find” him….

He doesn’t even question his lacking attitude but goes ahead to completely rescue him from satan’s grip by making three statements. The three statements that loosed him and let him go completely.

These statements showed that the man was not made whole by just being healed. Secondly, the man was a sinner and his sins probably brought about his initial predicament, and thirdly, Jesus goes ahead to forewarn him to not go on sinning so that something worse doesn’t befall him!

How merciful our LORD is!

His mercy didn’t judge the man even though he deserved it. His mercy didn’t spite him. But most of all, His mercy doesn’t go on holidays!

This is so encouraging, so comforting and so loving!

I am personally grateful to God that His mercy speaks and continues to speak on my behalf.

Are you going through stuff right now and you feel family and friends have all rejected you are you feel like you have been left alone to die? That you are the least qualified or least deserving person in the world right now?

Does your situation seem hopeless and it has been around for so long it beginning to feel like part of you? A second skin?

What about that dream of yours that seems so overwhelming it scares you stiff and you don’t know who to turn to?

Why not cry out to God for mercy?

Maybe you are the one that needs to stop looking for the moving of the water and look to the God that stir the water!

He never fails! His mercy never takes a hike nor does it observe holidays.

Try Jesus today!

I testify with joy that I am a product of God’s mercy. Be encouraged, God.is. able!!!!!

🙂 😉 :0

Live, Love, Learn, and Grow!

The “jobless” better half.

This is fast becoming a bit of a headache in most families and the strain on the economic activities and earnings does nothing but help add salt to an already infested wound.

Bonds and relationships are constantly on trial from the daily financial requirements of the individual and collective demands that must be supplied.

Paycheck of parents do not sufficiently cover expenses without spillovers and the take-home pay does nothing but get you to the bus stop these days, especially when you have so many obligations that are already “stannding deductions” to your accounts which must be met except you want repo men showing at your doorstep for definitely more than a hello call.

Then wifey or hubby goes and gets herself or himself fired!

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What about the partner that has not succeeded in landing a job let alone keep it.

The weeks of taking care of the responsibilities alone, on the part of one of the couple, become months, that become years of pure agony.

Gradually, the bite becomes harsher and bitter and eventually disastrous.

The relationship starts to suffer.

One or both of the parties involved cannot bear it any longer.

What. To. Do?

I’ve heard of a man that lost his job, he was probably ashamed or afraid to intimate his family, and every morning, he gets dressed as usual but instead of going to the office like before, he goes about looking for another job until the wife finds out….

What. To. Do?

If you have ever been in this situation, you will agree that it’s not a funny place to be AT ALL.

But somehow, somewhere, a company downsizes-or whatever term suits the situation-and people are let go and for those who do not have a “fallback” on, the landing is so rocky that victims have severe broken limbs to show and nurse from their fall.

The fabric of the relationship is the next to feel the wear and tear that comes with the situation at hand after a lot of “sacrifices and let go’s” have been made.

Depending on the extent of maturity, patience and tolerance, of those involved, the reactions to the already apparent situation and the pending future doom further looming at the corner- except something happens real quick-begin to unfold!

Whether there will be adverse effects of one of two in relationship loosing a job is not in question here, because there will be all sorts of emotions running free and wild at such a time,  but rather, the handling of the situation and the emotions that come with; “I am out of the labour market” no matter how temporary or otherwise it is.

This is not a financial appraisal of what you should have done, what you should be doing or what you can do-financially per se-but a look at how we have allowed an already bad situation become worse.

There are some things that we could do and not do that could help soften the “slap” of loosing a job and keep us from landing in a courtroom with husband and wife slugging it out and trying to win the who-has-the-dirtiest-sharpest-tongue contest to the shame and heartache of family and friends.

It’s not the time for constant “referrals”.

I get that the situation can come as a rude shock to everyone involved but what I don’t get is, why we  always have to refer to the sack at every given opportunity especially in a bid to degrade, settle scores, look superior or some other self-serving schemes we may have up our sleeves. This is definitely a no, no.

How does this help the situation?

If anything and if you must make referrals, please do so in areas that will assist the “job search” of your friend or spouse and not go out of your way to prove superiority or relevance because you still keep a job.

Rather, remember that the axe can swing anyone’s way because loosing a job doesn’t necessarily mean the one is incompetent.

As for you, the one that lost the job, not every remark is aimed at you and ultimately seeks to further floor you from your position of “downfall”.

So “man up” or “woman up” as the case may be.

It’s not the time to expect immediate rapid change.

Depending on the individual and the circumstances around the “let go”, change may be difficult to make.

While some might take it in their stride and jump on the next bus towards the next job opportunity, others might want to take time to think through what just happen, absorb it, before taking decisions towards their next destination.

For some they might indeed get a move on but to destination x and will be busy trying out various ideas and things while some would consider a career change or might just want to start up that dream or vision of their’s.

So please, try and understand the position of things before making demands on change and expectations.

It’s not the time to rant and rave.

When all your neighbours can hear from your household, is your exchange of words with your spouse with lots of blame and insults trending and trading, then that’s a setup for disaster!

It solves nothing, resolves nothing, changes nothing and is worth nothing, so I won’t even dwell on it.

Please stop it!

If not for your sakes, then for your children. If that’s not a consideration, then for your sanity.

Please!

It’s not the time to have a “pity party” either.

I personally think of all the “do nots”, this is the most degrading.

What you lost is “a job” not your life!

So it’s not the end of the world-maybe the end of a phase-so move on to the next phase of your life!

What happened to as long as there’s life there’s hope?

You have to pick up yourself and move on for nobody else will do it for you.

Not your husband/wife, your children, family or friends. So quit the whining, it will get you no where, fast.

Learn the lessons of the fall.

This should be one of the paramount things to do in this situation and it would be helpful if the unaffected spouse-well the one that didn’t loose the job-to assist with this. With all the care required coming to bear or else, get ready for war! 🙂

This being, there could be some things that your partner may be oblivious to or might not be ready to accept. So that’s where you come in.

The watchword again-care. 

So please be careful.

Unless you are a phycologist, don’t play the part.

Even if you are, do it with care.

I might be wrong but, would this be the time to want to pick your spouse’s brain to see what’s going on in there? How balanced he/she is? How the situation has affected them.

I think not.

If that is a concern though, then leave it to the experts or another expert if you are one yourself.

Well, what do I know? I’m not a phycologist. I’m just saying…

Redirect your energy

Some folks are just completely restless and when befallen with this kind of issue, their inability to “sit still” could be their undoing.

So for the love of peace and sanity do something to keep that energy busy so you don’t implode or explode and destroy stuff in your path like family and friends.

And hey, as much as you think some members of the family could have played a part to the whole “loss” thing, you ultimately are responsible for what happens to you.

Not the children. Not the spouse but you. So get a grip on it and MOVE ON.

The quicker the better!

There are a lot of things you want to do to get back into your game.

Just make sure you understand what to do and do it passionately without fear, prejudice and blame.

Remember that it could have been worse. But here you are, alive and making a comeback.

Just be grateful.

Besides, it could be a blessing in disguise and if you think it’s not make it one!

With God’s help, you are unstoppable!