Archive for November, 2017

Chris Russell recently published a blog post called “8 Keys to Knowing God’s Will For Your Life.” That post was directed toward helping believers to figure out the big picture in regard to God’s will. For instance, those keys have much to do with God’s plan for you vocationally, in ministry, and in the important stages of life.

This post, on the other hand, lends help for the “smaller” decisions that we make from day to day.  In order to continue in the middle of God’s perfect will, it is vital that we make right decisions each day and each week. But that is not always easy. As a tool to help you make right decisions from a biblical perspective, I have pulled together 13 questions you should ask when facing a choice. Here they are:

1)  Does God already have a clear teaching about this?

Joshua 1:8
This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.

If God has already spoken clearly about this, you do not have to wonder any longer. Just do what he has told you.

Simple, right?

Well, the problem here seems to be that most people in our culture today seem to have a fairly low level of knowledge of the Scriptures. They are “low-information believers.”

So, I would encourage you to saturate your mind as much as possible with God’s Word. Read it. Study it. Memorize it. Learn it. Once you have done so, you will be amazed at how much better you are at making good, solid decisions in life.

2)  What do my top spiritual advisors tell me about this?

Proverbs 11:14
Where there is no counsel, the people fall; but in the multitude of counselors there is safety.

It is vital that you surround yourself with godly friends who will be able to speak into your life about life’s decisions. Do you realize that you are basically a composite of the five people you spend the most time with? It is crucial to choose those people carefully. If you don’t have those types of friends, I would encourage you to increase your involvement in church and small groups and ministry in order to establish those godly relationships.

3)  What do authority figures in my life have to say about this?

Titus 3:1
Remind them to be subject to rulers and authorities, to obey, to be ready for every good work.

(Also see Romans 13:1-7Hebrews 13:17)

God often works through authority relationships in our lives. For instance, it would be extremely rare for the best choice to be something that is illegal. Look at this choice from the vantage point of authority figures in your life, and at least use that as an important reference point for you.

4)  How will this affect me spiritually?

1 Corinthians 10:23
All things are lawful for me, but not all things are helpful; all things are lawful for me, but not all things edify.

There is much more to this life than just earning a bigger paycheck or improving your status amongst peers. When you make choices, make sure you consider how this decision will affect your spiritual development. Will this draw you nearer to God or further from him?  Will this decision interfere with your ability to attend church, maintain godly relationships, or spend time cultivating your spiritual disciplines?  If it harms you spiritually, then I would suggest pulling the plug on that choice.

5)  How will this affect my family? Will this draw us closer to God or further from God?

1 Corinthians 8:9
But beware lest somehow this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to those who are weak.

Not only must you consider how this decision will affect your own spiritual development, but you must also consider the affects it will have on the spiritual state of your family. Will this help your family to grow in Christ, or will it interfere with that spiritual growth? Will this pull them away from godly friends and away from a healthy, godly church environment? Will this divide your family in any way? Be careful not to make decisions that will cause your family to pay a big price.

6)  Is this going to bring more peace or less peace to my life?

1 Thessalonians 4:11
That you also aspire to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.

Did you know that God actually wants you to have a peaceful life? Of course, this is not the “American way,” but it is definitely an important consideration when it comes to making decisions. Be cautious that you are not stacking your life with more and more “stuff” that will send you over the edge with stress and anxiety. And make sure it is not going to steal the peace from your family as well.

7)  Is this consistent with the way God has wired me?

1 Peter 4:10
As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.

God has created you for a purpose, and He has designed you specifically to fulfill that purpose. You are a gifted individual, and His plan will be for you to function within that area of giftedness. When we veer outside of the way He has wired us, we often feel excessive stress, anxiety, and burnout very quickly.

When it comes to making decisions, make sure you evaluate the choice in light of the way that God has designed you. Are you creative? Are you detail-oriented? Are you relational? Are you task-oriented? Are you a communicator? Pay attention to how God has wired you.

8)  Am I paying attention to the risks that are associated with this?

Proverbs 27:12
A wise man foresees evil and hides himself; the simple pass on and are punished.

When making decisions, it is very important to honestly assess the risk that is involved. Sometimes we can become so mesmerized by a “golden carrot” that we overlook the risks that are associated. For this one, I would suggest that you have an outside voice speak into the situation.

In his book Entreleadership, Dave Ramsey says that anytime he has made a business decision that has gone against his wife’s advice, it has cost him at least $10,000. Sometimes others, like a spouse, can see the risks that we overlook.

It is a sign of wisdom to be cautious. Not fearful, but cautious.

9)  Do I have total peace from God about this?

Philippians 4:7
And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Sometimes everything can look right on the outside when I’m making a decision, but there will still be angst within my spirit. I have learned that making a decision without that inner peace is nearly always a mistake. God gives us peace as a protection and a guide. Seek His peace, and be cautious of making decisions that move against that peace.

10)  Are the doors of circumstances clearly open here?

(See Acts 16)

God often works through obvious circumstances. For example, He did that for Paul in Acts 16. In that chapter, Paul and his entourage kept facing closed doors as they were seeking where they were to minister next. And then, one door to Asia flew open while all other doors were closing.

God often directs me more by closing doors than by opening them. But there have been times in my life when I have attempted to force open a door that was not truly open. That never ends well.

It’s always good to look at how God is opening or closing doors in front of you. And while an open door does not always mean that you are to pass through, it is often an indicator that God is at work. Pay attention to open doors, and be cautious of forcing doors open when they are closed.

11)  Is now the best time for this? Could waiting be better?

Ephesians 5:16-17
Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be unwise, but understand what the will of the Lord is.

Haste does not always produce the best decisions. Sometimes everything might seem right about a choice, but making the decision at a later time might make more sense. This isn’t always easy, because we often want to move forward quickly when we see an opportunity. But sometimes the wiser decision is to slow down, plan more, get more input, and give it more time to develop.

12)  Am I willing to let God close this door?

(Again, refer to Paul’s journey in Acts 16.)

An important element to making good decisions is to make sure that you are completely submitted to God’s ultimate plan for your life. Sometimes we get it into our heads that we want to do a certain thing, and then we struggle immensely when we begin to realize that God may not want us to move forward with that particular choice.

The disaster comes when we place our desire above God’s plan. Let me be clear here. That never turns out well. The best decision you can ever make is to submit your choices to God’s plan and be willing to give up an opportunity when you sense God does not want you to move forward with that decision.

13)  Am I willing to trust God if He asks me to step forward?

Hebrews 11:6
But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

Closely related to the above question is this: Are you willing to trust God if He asks you to step forward? This is basically the flipside of question 12. It’s important to stop when God says, “Stop,” and it is equally important to move forward when He says, “Move forward.”

Are you willing to do that thing He might want you to do? What if it makes you feel uncomfortable? What if it moves you out of your comfort zone? What if it requires faith?

I can testify to you that the most exciting moments of my life have been when I have submitted to God and stepped forward with Him in faith. I hope you can experience that same joy.

Wrapping It Up

OK, so when you have a tough choice to make, I would encourage you to go over these questions before confirming your decision. Perhaps print these questions out and keep them as a reference point for the future. Talk through each of these questions with your spouse or a friend in the context of a decision you are currently making in your own life. I know of some parents who have used these with their kids to help train their children to make good decisions as well. In essence, these questions can serve as guidelines for helping you and your family make decisions that you will not regret.

* All Scripture quotes are taken from the New King James Version of the Bible

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What to Do When You Don’t Feel God

“Then the LORD said to Joshua, ‘See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men. March around the city once with all the armed men. Do this for six days. Have seven priests carry trumpets of rams’ horns in front of the ark. On the seventh day, march around the city seven times, with the priests blowing the trumpets. When you hear them sound a long blast on the trumpets, have the whole army give a loud shout; then the wall of the city will collapse and the army will go up, everyone straight in.'” (Joshua 6:2-5)
 
Born in Egypt as a slave and then chosen as the assistant and successor to Moses, Joshua would’ve had a front row seat to all the miracles God performed during the Exodus. The Red Sea parting, manna falling from Heaven, water pouring from a rock — Joshua had seen his fair share of God doing the seemingly impossible. But just as time can prove God’s faithfulness, it can also put your faith to the test.
 
Joshua had witnessed Moses’ obedience over and over again, but as he faced the impenetrable walls of Jericho, this time the obedience was up to him. Joshua was instructed by God to lead his people around the city for seven days. This meant he had to lay his head down six nights in a row with the realization that the walls he had been walking around still stood tall and strong. 
 
There aren’t many details recorded of what went through Joshua’s mind during those seven days, but what is recorded is his steadfast obedience. Surely he fought doubt, but with each day that passed, Joshua continued to lead his people around a wall that showed no evidence of falling.  
 
Like Joshua, you have a choice to make when you don’t feel God. Will you keep walking even though it doesn’t seem to be working? Will you continue to believe God is moving even when the wall isn’t?
 
Your faith might be getting put to the test right now, but don’t focus on what hasn’t happened — focus on what hashappened. If you’ve seen God do it before, He can do it again. Obedience is your responsibility; the outcome is God’s. 

Galatians 3:26-27
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus. For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Following World War II, there were more than two hundred French soldiers with amnesia who returned to Paris. They had been prisoners in Japanese camps and suffered through horrible ordeals of privation and torture. These men had been so psychologically devastated by their imprisonment that they lost the conscious awareness of who they were and where they had lived before the war.

Most of the soldiers’ identities were quickly established from Red Cross records or with the help of fellow prisoners, but after all known efforts were exhausted, there were still thirty-two men whose existence seemed impossible to trace. Not only were there no records of them, but none of the other soldiers knew anything about them. The doctors who were treating these thirty-two men believed that the chance for recovery would be impossible unless they were reconnected with family and friends.

Someone proposed publishing photographs of the men on the front page of newspapers throughout the country. A date, time, and place of meeting would also be given, hoping anyone having information about them would come. The plan was implemented and French newspapers soon published the pictures, adding that the Paris Opera House would open its doors for the potential identification and connection with loved ones.

On the assigned day, a huge crowd gathered inside the opera house to view the veterans. Every seat was taken and people spilled out onto the streets. Finally, in a dramatic entrance, the first of the amnesia victims walked onto the stage of the darkened room and slowly turned around under the glare of the spotlight, giving everyone a full view. Then, according to instruction, he and the other thirty-one soldiers who followed asked the same pleading question: “Does anybody out there know who I am . . . does anybody know who I am?”

Thankfully, many of the men were soon reunited with their families.

Isn’t this the same question that all of humanity is asking? Sadly, many people have a terrible case of self-imposed amnesia. But this is to be expected from a generation that has stepped back from God’s Word. Sadder yet is the church–professed Christians seem to have forgotten that they belong to Christ.

So who are we? We are called sons of God(Galatians 3); new creations (2 Corinthians 5); children of God and heirs of God (Romans 8). The New Testament is brimming with descriptions of the Christian’s identity in Christ.

Understanding who we are in Christ will cause us to recognize why we are different from the world. The truth is, if we don’t understand what makes us different from the world, we will never be able to make a difference in the world.

We, of all people, need never ask, “Does anybody know who I am?” We are new creatures . . . children of God.

Prayer Point: Thank God for the incredible, life-changing work He has accomplished in your life: through His death on the cross, paying for your sin; through His resurrection, securing for you eternal life; through His mercy, flowing for you every day. Don’t live in a state of spiritual amnesia any longer; instead, meditate on God’s promises on your behalf, and thank Him for who He is molding you to be.

Extra Refreshment: Read 2 Corinthians 5.

3 Habits of a Healthy Heart

Posted: November 8, 2017 in Uncategorized

“I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end. I hate the double-minded, but I love your law. You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word. Depart from me, you evildoers, that I may keep the commandments of my God. Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!” (Psalm 119:112-116, ESV)

Over the course of history, God has used all types of people with all kinds of problems to do great things for His Kingdom. He used people like David, an adulterer; Moses, an exile; and Paul, a murderer of Christians. While there seems to be no limit to who God is willing to use, the one kind of person that God has consistently not used is someone who is living half-heartedly.

I don’t know the current condition of your heart, but if you want to prepare yourself to be used by God, that is where it has to start. The writer of Psalm 119 seems to realize this and reveals three things you need to know when it comes to having a healthy heart.

Know What to Hate. “I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.” (Psalm 119:13)
Training yourself to hate the things that hurt you can be a powerful motivating force for change. For example, if you want to develop healthier habits, learn to hate the effects of the unhealthy ones. Learning what to love is crucial, but learning what to hate can be just as important.

Know Where to Hide. “You are my hiding place and my shield; I hope in your word.” (Psalm 119:14)
When things get difficult, we all have a hiding place that we run to, but where you choose to hide makes all the difference. For some, their hiding place is harmful and creates even more damage. Things like drugs and alcohol, or even blame and bitterness, provide a temporary escape, but the relief is short-lived, and the damage it creates can be permanent. If you want to be able to weather the storms of life and keep your heart healthy, you’ll need to find a healthy hiding place. God’s Word, worship, or even the presence of people who build you up are good places to go.

Know How to Hope. “Uphold me according to your promise, that I may live, and let me not be put to shame in my hope!” (Psalm 119:16)
Knowing how to hope is often the difference-maker for keeping a commitment. Most of us hope incorrectly because we expect things immediately. We let our hope expire before the outcome we’ve been praying for even has time to develop. Over time, the disappointment from unrealistic expectations can sometimes train our hearts to stop hoping. If you want a healthy heart, don’t put your hope in quick fixes. Anchor it in the bedrock of God’s promises.

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Funbi is poised to make his solo debut with the first official single from his upcoming project, a reflective track titled “Hallelujah”. The tune, written by Sir Dauda and Funbi, comes at a time he considers ripe.

“‘Hallelujah’ is like opening the gate,” Funbi said.

“We all fight different battles as we journey through life. The key is to find a way to use them as an opportunity for growth. My battles inspired this song….I hope it inspires you”

The upcoming project will delve deeper into the Funbi ether. From funk to soul, folk and alternative, with this debut the singer looks forward to enticing more listeners to his brand of cool.”

Download Audio here

LYRICS

I was lost inside the desert, vultures circling round my head, but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

I was just another sheep inside the belly of the beast but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

Goodu goodu. meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
goodu goodu meje le se

yaya mefa mokaleluya
goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
mokaleluya

Hmmm… This ain’t lucky, no
Can’t you see the hand of heaven is upon yeah yeah
This ain’t lottery, no
this is forty days and forty nights
seek and you shall find

I say more muscle to your hustle
more bustle to your bubble
more blessings to to the talika
may God give you alubarika
more muscle to your hustle
more bustle to your bubble
more blessings to the talika
may God give you alubarika

I was lost inside the desert, vultures circling round my head, but thanks to God now, I made it out of there
I was just another sheep inside the belly of the beast but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah)

Eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh

I see clearly now
sun’s outside and my night has turned to day
I see clearly now
used to be lost then God showed me the way
I see clearly now
all I see is blessings every time I look back
I see clearly now (I see clearly now)
Mokaleluya meje Baba mo juba o

I was lost inside the desert, vultures circling round my head, but thanks to God now, I made it out of there
I was just another sheep inside the belly of the beast but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya

Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah my head, but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

I was just another sheep inside the belly of the beast but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

Goodu goodu. meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
goodu goodu meje le se

yaya mefa mokaleluya

goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
mokaleluya

Hmmm… This ain’t lucky, no
Can’t you see the hand of heaven is upon yeah yeah
This ain’t lottery, no
this is forty days and forty nights
seek and you shall find


https://d-2309645494948303579.ampproject.net/1508896929494/frame.html

I say more muscle to your hustle
more bustle to your bubble
more blessings to to the talika
may God give you alubarika
more muscle to your hustle
more bustle to your bubble
more blessings to the talika
may God give you alubarika

I was lost inside the desert, vultures circling round my head, but thanks to God now, I made it out of there
I was just another sheep inside the belly of the beast but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah)

Eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh
eh eh eh eh eh

I see clearly now
sun’s outside and my night has turned to day
I see clearly now
used to be lost then God showed me the way
I see clearly now
all I see is blessings every time I look back
I see clearly now (I see clearly now)
Mokaleluya meje Baba mo juba o

I was lost inside the desert, vultures circling round my head, but thanks to God now, I made it out of there
I was just another sheep inside the belly of the beast but thanks to God now, I made it out of there

Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya

Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
Goodu goodu meje le se
yaya mefa mokaleluya
mokaleluya (halleluyah)
mokaleluya (halleluyah)