God Calls You Mighty

How Gideon’s Call To Service Will Inspire You.

Judges chapters 6 through 8 is about the life of Gideon, the man God used to lead and deliver the Israelites from the stronghold of the Midianites. I’m especially inspired by the 6th chapter as it highlights the events surrounding his call to service and how that reflects God’s unfailing love, unwavering acceptance of us and His willingness to work through us inspite of our history, fears or weaknesses.

The Israelites, as a result of their disobedience, had been living in constant fear, under the oppressive hold of the Midianites for many years. They couldn’t even farm or harvest their produce in peace. This cuts a very unappealing picture but all they could do was make the best of the situation from day to day and trust that God would send deliverance. In those days,there were no kings, just judges who presided over the affairs of the people and helped to maintain peace and order.

One fateful day, an angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and informed him of his divine assignment. He was actually hiding, trying to thresh harvested wheat, away from the prying eyes of the Midianites, when the angel visited and addressed him as ‘ Mighty Hero’.

The salutation seemed so out of place because Gideon just didn’t feel qualified. It was a long conversation, where he debated his inability to do what God was calling him to do. While Gideon was stating his points, the Lord said to him; “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” This means that Gideon had immensely great potential that he didn’t know of. He was yet to discover it because all he could see were the factors working against him because of his lineage, and his limited view of himself. Here are a few more insights from Gideon’s inspiring journey from mundane to mighty:

Then the angel of the LORD came and sat beneath the great tree at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash of the clan of Abiezer. Gideon son of Joash was threshing wheat at the bottom of a winepress to hide the grain from the Midianites. Judges 6: 11

God has equipped you to confront that stronghold, not hide or run from it.

The angel of the LORD appeared to him and said, “Mighty hero, the LORD is with you!” Judges 6: 12

You can hide from everyone but God. When it’s time, He knows exactly where to find you.

You may be in doubt about your potentials but God isn’t.

God calls you mighty, he’s rooting for you. He knows you can do it

“Sir,” Gideon replied, “if the LORD is with us, why has all this happened to us? And where are all the miracles our ancestors told us about? Didn’t they say, ‘The LORD brought us up out of Egypt’? But now the LORD has abandoned us and handed us over to the Midianites.” Judges 6: 13

The very things you complain about might just be indications of problems you were born to solve.

Then the LORD turned to him and said, “Go with the strength you have, and rescue Israel from the Midianites. I am sending you!” Judges 6: 14

When the assignment seems too big and so daunting, remember who is sending you.

“But Lord,” Gideon replied, “how can I rescue Israel? My clan is the weakest in the whole tribe of Manasseh, and I am the least in my entire family!” Judges 6: 15

God is more interested in your future – What you can do, than in your past – What you have done.

Your history and family background, do not determine your worth or value.

God qualifies the unqualified.

The LORD said to him, “I will be with you. And you will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting against one man.” Judges 6: 16

There’s one constant you can be assured of – God’s abiding presence

Redirect your focus away from limitations to possibilities and you’ll be amazed at what you’ll be able to accomplish.

Anybody But Me….

Taking Giant Steps Even When You Feel Inadequate

Why do we feel this limiting sense of inadequacy? Why does the thought of launching out and doing all God has for us to do seem so daunting and nerve racking? Here are some very common reasons:

  • Memories of too many failed attempts.
  • Fear of criticisms and rejection.
  • Unwillingness to put in the necessary effort.
  • Not feeling good enough or worthy enough.
  • The vision seems so big, it’s scary.
  • Comfortable with the familiar and unwilling to do something new.

This list is by no means exhaustive and I’m sure we can all relate but none of these reasons are valid enough to stop us except we allow them to.

The nudge in your heart to obey God’s call may be suppressed but it never goes away. So how do you go forward to conquer when you’re weighed down by so many issues?

The key is to not look down on yourself but to see yourself as God sees you. How can you call yourself unworthy when God sent His son to die for you? It doesn’t matter the number of rejections have come your way, He has accepted you and welcomed you to the family. You are His, God has called you so it means He knows you can do it. Start believing in yourself because God believes in you. Besides it’s not about your strength, it’s about making yourself available to be used of Him. Trusting Him day by day to express His purpose through you.

Secondly, you need to take charge of your thoughts. Next time you are bombarded with self limiting thoughts, break the flow by speaking God’s promises out loud. Anytime you do this, you’re not only putting a stop to unhealthy thought patterns, you’re also ministering life to yourself because God’s word is life. Joyce Meyer put it this way, “Think about what you’re thinking about. ” Thoughts affect our emotions which automatically affect our actions. The Bible is filled with scriptures about the power of uplifting thoughts, meditate on them and let them be your truth. Let me share some of these scriptures with you :

Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ- 2Corinthians 10: 5

Do not confirm to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – His good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12: 2

For God hath not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind. 2 Timothy 1: 7

God sees your potential even when you can’t. Why? He made the deposit long before you were born so He knows what you’re capable of achieving. This is the reason why having a personal relationship with Him is very vital. The Bible records that Jesus usually withdrew by himself to pray and spend some alone time with the father. Through fellowship, you’ll be guided, strenghtened and your confidence in Him will grow. The Lord longs to give you the true vision of who you are in Christ.

Don’t allow your potential to remain a potential, turn it into something productive. You are not useless, you are useful but you can’t get much done if you don’t believe that you can. Remember, you can do all things through Christ who strengthens you.

Between Your Position And Your Purpose

Mordecai sent this reply to Esther : “Don’t think for a moment that because you’re in the palace, you will escape when all other Jews are killed. If you keep quiet at a time like this, deliverance and relief for the Jews will arise from some other place, but you and your relatives will die. Who knows if perhaps you were made queen for just such a time as this?” Esther 4 : 13 – 14

If Mordecai’s words to Esther seemed harsh, it was probably because of the urgency of the situation.

The entire Jewish race was about to be wiped out as a result of the evil manipulations of certain people who hated them and everything they stood for. Something had to be done to prevent the impending destruction and Mordecai knew that Esther as queen, would play a big role in saving her people.

What happens when a young, orphaned Jewish girl unexpectedly becomes first lady in the land of captivity? The perfect fairy tale, wouldn’t you say ? Among so many other young ladies, and after a rather tasking and demanding process, the king of Persia chose her to be his bride – That’s the story of Esther and how she became queen.

Unlike most fairy tales though, the story did not end there – It was in fact the beginning. Before she could get comfortable sitting on her throne, God called her to arise and fulfil destiny.

This explains what Mordecai was trying to make Esther see because it seemed she was hesitant to make any move. She had come into Persia as a Jewish exile but had risen to the highest position as the king’s wife. This wasn’t just a stroke of luck, now wasn’t the time to revel in her new status with all it’s trappings and benefits. God had set this whole thing up because a divine assignment lay before her. There was a divine purpose connected to her position as queen. Mordecai was basically saying; “No Esther, don’t just sit back, relax and celebrate, so many lives depend on your swiftness in answering God’s call to act.”

Your calling, that position you occupy is not the end, it’s a means to an end. It’s not all about you, you were called to be blessed and to be a blessing to others. You came to this world loaded with talents and gifts but God didn’t fill you with all these treasures just to make you feel good about yourself. Even the time you’ve been given to live on earth will be accounted for. Remember that you are a steward. Let your light shine, pour out and be a blessing to those around you.

The world awaits your impact, don’t waste another day thinking only about yourself and how to get your needs met. When Esther caught the vision, she ran with it, never once looking back. She risked her life in the process because she caught the essence of seizing the moment in order to fulfil one’s calling. Oh my! What would have happened if she hadn’t listened to her uncle, Mordecai’s rebuke? She would have lost her life because she was also a Jew. Even if her own life had been spared, she would have lived a life filled with guilt and regrets. Through her, the entire nation of Israel was preserved as she stood in defense of her people.

Show up, Speak up and Deliver. The world awaits your voice. Please don’t bury your talents. Use them, maximise your potential. You may look at your current situation and feel like where you are now is nothing compared to being in a palace but you don’t have to be in a palace before you can make a difference. Be willing to start small. When you’re faithful with little, God will enlarge your coast. Start from where you are and God will take you to where you need to be.

Don’t Stop Because You Stumbled

It’s 6 months into 2019 and I’ve been taking stock. One of my goals this year was to do away with abandoned projects. I’ve had my share of them and I wanted to do something about it.

It was a cycle of having a fantastic idea, starting out and dropping it just as quickly and the major reason was that I didn’t like it when things didn’t fall into place as nicely as I imagined they would. It makes me smile as I realize the error in thinking that these unexpected detours were indications that I shouldn’t proceed with these projects. That is just not how it works.

Limitations, resistance, hindrances, mountains, oppositions, they all point to one fact of life which is that there are no platters waiting to serve you what you think or feel you deserve. If you want to achieve anything, you’ve got to get up and go after it with rescilience.

It doesn’t matter how small or big the project may be, get ready to face some level of opposition. It won’t be everyday that things will go as planned but they are all just temporary tests to see how prepared you are.

One fine morning, ( Luke 8 22 – 25) Jesus told his disciples that they were going to the other side. His ministry was thriving as people were being touched and transformed through his teaching and workings of miracles. It was time though to expand his reach, more people awaited him on the other side of the sea and he was also willing to minister to them. So this fine day, Jesus and his disciples got into a boat and headed out but the waves and the wind decided on this same day to dance wildly and display fierce acrobatics which automatically meant that their mission to minister was being threatened.

It’s not difficult to imagine what would have happened if they had all given in to the fear and helplessness that was about to swallow them up as a result of the storm. Everything did go well though, because Jesus, informed by his disciples of impending disaster, got up and rebuked the wind and calm returned.

There’s glory on the other side, achievements waiting to be attained but a lot depends on your attitude towards challenges. Sometimes, it’s not a question of the fierceness of the storm but your determination to keep going.

Personally, what was holding me back was how I interpreted challenges. This year, instead of complaining and feeling sorry for myself, I choose to use these stumbling blocks as steadying rocks to hold as I work my way to the top. Here are somethings I’ve been doing to stay on track and keep going;

  1. The Bible says ‘ If you fail under pressure, your strenght is too small.’ ( Proverbs 24 : 10) so I pray for God to increase my strength and help me to keep going.
  2. I read inspirational books, devotionals and articles. I also reflect on success stories of people who inspire me. Stories of people like Barack Obama and Joyce Meyer remind me that success is a melting pot of trials and triumphs.
  3. I take a break from it all so I can clear my head and get a fresh perspective.

Live Beyond The Bubble

Simple Ways To Touch Lives Everyday.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. Galatians 6: 2

I used to think that Northeast was so far away that I could not be touched by anything that was happening there. Many times, when I read about cases of extreme violence in states like Zamfara or Borno as a result of the activities of the insurgents, I’d shudder in fear or sympathize with those who had been affected or who still lived there, but those feelings didn’t run deep primarily because I don’t live there,and I didn’t have any close friends or relatives who did. All that has changed with news that a very close loved one will be moving to that region, Adamawa state to be precise, for work related reasons.

Now, Northeast that used to be ‘ so far away’ has become close, very close to my heart. News coming from Yola, in particular or the north in general, captures my attention and I pray about the place more. Prior to this, I felt I was just living my life and minding my business but it was just a mask of indifference.

All this has taught me a huge lesson about life and love. Oceans and vast lands; languages and cultures give definition to who we are but at the core of it all, we are all one. Isn’t that the message Jesus preached ? Love for mankind regardless of race or creed.

In error, we use our differences to create bubbles and we try our best to ensure that nothing or no one bursts our bubbles. But a life meaningfully lived cannot exist in a bubble, we are to reach out to one another and help as much and as often as is needed. The Bible tells us to bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ. The true foundation of the Christian faith is love.

Our prayer life also says a lot about who we are and how much of God’s love we are willing to share. You don’t have to wait for something to happen to you directly before you feel the need to pray about it. If it has happened or is happening to someone, pray for the person regardless of whether you know them or not. Your prayers may seem like a drop in the ocean but it does make a difference, a huge difference because God is constantly seeking intercessors. It was Abraham’s intercessory prayers on behalf of his nephew that saved Lot and his household, apart from his wife who chose to look back, from being wiped out when God’s wrath descended on Sodom and Gomorrah.

The Bible tells us about the good Samaritan, who, even though he had a destination he wanted to reach, took time out of his busy schedule to care for an injured man he saw lying helpless along the road. He also gave of his resources even though he had never met the man before.

What can you and I do to close the gap and make the world a better place? I once heard a radio presenter say that the most profound way to make each day meaningful is to purposefully decide to put a smile on someone’s face everyday, especially someone who’s not even expecting it. I’m implementing it, so help me God. Near or far, somebody today, needs to feel the love of God and it won’t be right to close our hearts to the needs around us.

Boost Your Confidence With These Bible Verses

Meditate On These Scriptures For Victory Over Self Doubt.

I recently shared vital tips for victory over Self Doubt.

Today I’ve outlined related key bible verses you can read and meditate on. They will definitely uplift you as they show how God was able to encourage and divinely inspire those He had called for different purposes but who expressed fear or doubt ( or both) for one reason or the other.

• Deuteronomy 31: 6 – So be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid and do not panic before them. D your god will personally go ahead of you. He will never fail you nor abandon you. (NLT )

• JOSHUA 1: 9 – I’ve commanded you to be strong and brave. Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God and I will be there to help you wherever you go. (CEV )

•PROVERBS 3: 26 – For the Lord shall be thy confidence, and shall keep thy foot from being taken. ( KJV)

• ROMANS 8 : 28 – And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ( NLT )

• 1 CORINTHIANS 15:58 – Therefore my dear brothers and sisters. Let nothing move you. Always give yourself fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labour in the Lord is not in vain. ( NIV)

• EPHESIANS 6: 10 – Be strong in the lord and in His mighty power. ( NLT )

• PHILIPPIANS 4: 13 – For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength.( NLT )

• 2 TIMOTHY 1: 7 – For God has not given us the spirit of fear and timidity; but of power, love and self discipline. ( NLT )

HEBREWS 10: 35 – So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you. ( NLT)

• JAMES 1: 6 – But when you ask for something, you must have faith and not doubt. Anyone who doubts is like an ocean wave, tossed around in a storm. (CEV )

Stones And The Message Of Easter

The Life Transforming Message Of Easter

It doesn’t matter how many people hurl condemnation, criticisms at you or revile you, Jesus isn’t one of them. He is so not a stone thrower, he is the lover of your soul.

I don’t know about you but that’s what keeps me going back to Him again and again. What I would do without the all embracing love of Jesus ?Wholesome healing love, never approval based – Just come as you are.

He told Zacchaeus, the fraudulent tax collector, “ Hey, I’m having lunch at your place today, come down immediately. ”

He told the condemned thief on the cross, who had turned to him for mercy and hope; “ Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise. ”

He had a chat with the Samaritan woman, and after their conversation, she left his presence liberated and full of joy because that divine encounter connected her with the grace she needed to forge ahead. He let her know ; “ I know everything about you and your past relationships because of your quest for love but I do not in any way condemn you. ”

“ What do you say Jesus? The angry mob pressed towards Him, questioning angrily. Pick up a stone and join us. Man, we have proof, she was caught in the very act. Look at her, just look at the mess she is. ” Instead of standing up to join her accusers, he stooped down; rather than being quick to judge, he wrote on the ground.

….“ All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone! ” John 8 : 7

I wonder what was going through her mind as she stood, surrounded by very angry and vengeful people. Each holding large rocks, ready to hurl them in exchange for her blood – her life. I imagine myself standing there, what would have been going through my mind? “ It’s over Oris, say your last prayer. ” When Jesus comes on the scene though, he turns what seems like a sad ending into a wonderful beginning. See! I’m doing all things new. ( Revelations 21:4 ). He not only made every one of her accusers drop their stones, he gave her a new lease of life.

“ How could she have done that ” ? I simply cannot believe she would have done so and so. ” That’s what we do to each other, hurting, judging and refusing to forgive. Forgetting that only God has the right to ask such questions but he chooses not to. He came to bind up not tear down. He came to set free, not cast into prison. “ I’m here with love in my heart not stones. ”

That’s the simple essence of Easter – Love that is so perfect and unfailing, it seems to good to be true. How can one so holy and perfect love someone like me? He gave up His life for us and by doing that, restored hope, faith and abundant life to mankind. Jesus lovingly took all our sin, pain and infirmities and nailed them all on the cross. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it.

Recently someone I truly loved hurt me so much. I literally felt the pain in my heart. Felt ? That’s not true, I still feel the pain so much so that I don’t even know how else to pray about it besides , “ Jesus please take this pain away. ”

As I write this post though, I feel an outpouring of God’s love. How can I expect perfect love from a human as I? Forgiveness is easier when you remember that you’re also human. The Bible tells us to forgive others because He also forgives us. Oh! the healing power of love, we love Him because He first loved us. That’s what Easter is about, a celebration of true love. Happy Easter everyone!

What does Easter mean to you?