What is remaining?

remaining

A few days to the end of 2018, I was reminded of a lesson from the story of Elijah and the Widow at Zerephath, I was reminded that the widow and her son received their miracle from what they had left, not from anything they had lost.

This came back after reading some tweets of people who were honest enough to say they definitely hadn’t crushed all the goals of 2018, but were hoping to do better in 2019 and I got excited at the thought of the lesson because despite all the lows and losses that left the goals underachieved, the best realisation was that ‘what is left’ is enough for the miracle.

Elijah’s words to her were “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have…”

Some of us think that the miracles will come from the whole of whatever, we think it has to come from a perfect and whole us, a perfect bank account, a perfect age, a perfect friend or even a perfect family. We sometimes forget that God doesn’t choose people to work in based on the status of a person but on the availability and willingness of the heart in question.

The losses never contained the miracle, they did contain opportunities but not the miracle. The widows miracle came from the “…handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug”. After the abundance of the flour and oil had been exhausted and she was down to the little left.

Were humans, as such we tend to spend more time on the things and people that did not work and forget the ones that did, we allow the devil rob us of our joy and peace as a result of the losses which sometimes really aren’t our fault, but I’m challenging us to see it from the eyes of Elijah, from the eyes of God, that despite the gravity of the loss, the one that remains is where the miracle will come from.

It will help us be optimistic, to focus on the blessings and not the losses, to remain grateful of the blessings rather than tolerant of the blessings God has bestowed on us and my prayer for us is that even as we remain in this mind frame, “The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord sends rain on the land”.

This week, we’re choosing to walk in gratitude, in abundance, in the mindset of ‘the remaining’.

Spoiler God

In bible study last week, we were talking about how God loves to lay a foundation for His children always, before He begins to build anything.

Our discussion progressed to understanding what God might do if a man builds already before he finds God, which often is the case. The question was, ‘will God carry on with whatever he is already building, or will He require the man to start over with Him?’ And as you can imagine, there was a range of answers, all presenting different perspectives and understanding of God, we looked into some bible stories with similar examples and I think the conclusion arrived at was that Gods demand on a man’s life to restart or continue with what he has already started to build is completely at the discretion of God’s sovereignty. Because sometimes he requested a fresh start from foundation level, other times, He worked around what was on ground and made beauty of it, but it was important that we purposed in our hearts to get it right from the start, from now, follow and go with God, rather than wait till we’ve built what we wanted and then invite Him in.

In the course of it all, a question emerged; ‘Do we think that God sometimes might be a spoiler? or a bit negative?’ seeing as some people are scared to ask God’s plan on certain things because they fear He might respond in the one way they don’t want to go.

Take for example, the rich man who sought validation, asking Jesus what must be done to be saved, after Jesus answered and He was validated, Jesus then advised him to go and sell all his possessions and give to the poor, and as we saw, this one threw him off guard because it was the crux of his desires.

Often times, it’s same with us, we think God to be the person who wants to take away all the good things and experiences in our life just so we can focus and love Him wholly, we think He is watching closely for anything that brings us more-than-is-needed pleasure so He can come and demand it of us, and as such, were scared sometimes to ask His opinion on certain aspects of our life.

An interesting story that always pops up among Christians is that of Abraham and Isaac, people are often perplexed as to why God requested Isaac be sacrificed even when He knew already that Abraham trusted Him completely and had waited so long for that promise. Why did God still need to set that test for Him? Did He want to cut His joy short? or maybe create a plot twist in the original plan?

Questions people are sometimes tossing around internally.

Here’s a summarised answer, God was never after Isaac, He was after Abraham’s heart. The whole ordeal was not in any way about Isaac, it was all about Abraham’s heart. The same is with us, all the things and people we feel we’re ‘protecting’ from God are the least of God’s problems, all He’s after is You, and if those things need to go to get to you, they will.

You is all that matters to God. Not the Work or the possession or even the career. And it makes so much sense cause when He has us, He has direct link to all those other things in our reach.

He isn’t trying to be the spoiler, as a matter of fact, He’s trying to be the beautifier, the Good father, the meticulous potter and the careful creator. When we grasp how much we mean to God, it’ll make so much sense to us why sometimes He allows certain things to go just so We can see Him clearly.

When next you’re at that verge of believing ‘God is being a spoiler now’, look for your heart in all of it, is it on God or is it somewhere else?

GRACE!

This Morning, I was reminded again of how inadequate I am and how adequate grace for me is, an excerpt from my devotional said;

” If you prayed every moment of your life, you could not pray enough prayers to earn acceptance with God,

If you gave every penny of every dollar that you ever earned in every job you ever had, you could not give enough to deserve acceptance with God,

If every word you ever spoke was uttered with the purest of conscientious motivations, you would never be able to speak your way into reconciliation with God,

If you gave yourself to an unbroken, moment-by-moment life of ministry, you could never minister enough to achieve God’s favour.”

Sin is too big, God’s bar is too high for us to think that we might be able to earn His righteousness by the greatest of our deeds.

The faster we grasp this Grace, the easier this journey becomes. God isn’t looking out for your performance.

Christ said ‘It is finished’.

The Best Love Story

There is an unpopular thought that the bible can be summarised to be A story of A Father who seeks a Bride for His Son.

It’s mostly unpopular because some people consider it blasphemous and others just can’t handle reducing the potency of that book to this cheesy summary.

But in my years of reading and feasting on this Bible, daily, my eyes are open to see the truth in the summary described above. My Spirit is also completely at peace writing this and I even felt a gentle nudge to blog about it and maybe open your eyes to those yet to see it this way, or those who’ve completely misunderstood it.

We know already that a summary is a concise, filtered excerpt of a larger text that attempts to present the main points in the text. In Academia, most times, depending on the length of the text, you’ll be told how long the summary will need to be and in all my years of writing summaries in academia, I’ve never had a summary of less than 40 words despite the fact that the text given to be summarised was never greater that two A4 pages.

So it is a wonder that were able to summarise the bible, with all its books, chapters and verses to just 12 words. Haha! I need not remind you of how significant 12 is in the bible. This might or might not be correlated but it got me excited!

God came, created a perfect world, placed His perfect creatures in His presence with divine laws and instructions. The devil deceived His highest creature into believing that they were deceived of God and they believed and fell and sin came into the world.

It went downhill from there. Sin made God’s highest creature a slave. They became self sufficient and forgot their creator.

The best Lover was pained, it was an interruption to His plan, not a termination of it, so in His omniscience, He decided to send help, send an atonement, send New Life. So of everyone to send, He decided ‘My Son’.

So He sent Jesus, who came and died to save you and I.

The Love story Began.

Sending Jesus was really a risk. There was no certainty that we would accept it, neither was there a hint of assurance that we will give our lives to HIM. But as love always does, hopes and believes the best, He still came and died. Without any collateral. Anything to hold on to.

Daily, God is seeking out brides who’ll come to His son.

No, He’s not a polygamist. He is a family man, A husband (Jesus) and His Wife (The Church). It’s not much of a shock why the bible relates the institution of marriage to the relationship between Jesus and the Church, It also admonishes A man to Love His wife as Christ Loves the church and the wife to submit to her husband as The church submits to Christ.

It’s the best Love Triangle!

When next you’re reading the bible, ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes to this pattern. To see how daily The Father(God) seeks A Bride (You) for His Son (Jesus).

Oh, what a delight it is to be THE BRIDE OF CHRIST!

Let us rejoice and be glad
and give him glory!
For the wedding of the Lamb has come,
and his bride has made herself ready.
Fine linen, bright and clean,
was given her to wear. – Revelation 19 : 7-8

the best lovestory!

Idol Worshippers like us

As soon as I gave my life to Christ and knew that God had a plan and purpose for my life, the only thing I concerned myself with, was getting to know that plan and purpose.

This desire in me was so great to the point where it exceeded my desire to even sit at the  feet of Jesus and learn. This was really funny because while God really wanted me to know and work in that purpose, He was not going to reveal it to me at the expense of my soul and my relationship with Him, so I think He was rather breaking that strong desire to know purpose over learning Him.

He revealed to me the idol I had created in the quest for my purpose. I felt hurt and cheated but I realised that it is a common error Christians always  fall into, might not be one of purpose, but when we have a desire to do something for God to the point where it exceeds our desire to allow God do through us.

From this short story, I need you to see how easily something or someone can become an idol. It does not have to be a carved image or glittery object. All it has to do is to take the place of God in your life to be seen as an idol according to heaven.

I was reading a book once by Gbile Akanni, He was writing about Abraham and Isaac and He opened my eyes to see that in getting Abraham to sacrifice Isaac, God was also weaning Abraham from Isaac.

After waiting the number of years Abraham waited for the promise, it was easy to idolise Isaac as soon as He came but to Abraham, it might have seemed like he was merely ‘treasuring that which God had given him’, but God saw his heart, God saw where He was placed and where Abraham had placed Isaac and so, beyond the numerous lessons we get from that story, it also teaches us one of weaning. How God dethrones the things and people we enthrone above Him in our hearts.

Theologians, philosophers and scientists daily make discoveries that remind us that the human man naturally, is an idol worshipper.

We were created with a void that science always tries to explain to mean something else but really is one only the creator can fill. As a result of this void, were daily searching out what or who to fill it and as such, we make idols out of things, people, desires and plans and we don’t even realise we’re doing this until we get to dead ends and realise that ‘This thing/This person has not really satisfied me’.

Idol worship doesn’t always look like you bowing down to a carved image, it isn’t also you kneeling and praying to some objects and images. It could be the smallest thing or the relationship you least expect. This is why the bible admonishes us to always search and evaluate ourselves and it is why David’s prayer to God remains gold, where he said

Search me, God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting

Psalm 139; 23-24

Until we realise that only Jesus can fill the void we have, we will remain idol worshippers by nature.

This year, i’m trusting God to open your eyes to all the things and people you’ve placed above Him, to the things and people whose opinions come before Gods and to the things and people who get your heart before God does.

Idol worship in the 21st century takes a camouflage and chameleon view that we must identify and work against and the only way to do this is identify the only One that can fill that void, cause once it is filled, it is easy to recognise the counterfeits.

idol

Godly relationships pt 2

deep

This is a follow up post from the previous Moment of truth post and it came as an inspiration that led me to think deeply about something after reading a comment from a friend, Kristy, on the previous blog post.

Kristy said that “Not every deep relationship needs to be romantic”, and I think reading it at first glance echos truth for a lot of us because we might think of it on the surface level, so now please, re-read and understand more and not just on the surface level.

If you’ve done that, you’ve probably still come to the same conclusion, that Kristy is right, spot-on even, but here’s the twist; For we as Christians, most, if not all our relationships are deep, so it amplifies more the accuracy of Kristy’s statement.

God never mirrored shallow, depth-less relationships and even when he just met a new person, there was really no shallowness, take the Samaritan woman at the well for example, He met her and immediately reached depths with her as a result of His personal interaction with the Holy Spirit which gave Him insight to even her past.

Here’s why we cant even have shallow relationships; we have to be able to connect with people on a personal level. Jesus spoke to people about their past, He healed people of their diseases and illness of the moment, He saved a woman from being stoned to death in the moment and He also provided wine in a wedding where wine had run out.

Do you notice how unique and personal each of these are? Even if you wanted to look at the times when people in their masses received salvation, it was only because they had heard Jesus say something that was personal to them and as such, they believed!

This is why we cant entertain shallowness. It keeps us from reaching the depth of a person and that is what Jesus is after.

Hence, Kristy’s statement that ‘not every deep relationship needs to be romantic’, is true, but we must now approach the question of what happens if all our relationships are deep? Does it mean that my romantic relationship would emerge from one of my deep friendships?

Well, I honestly don’t know, but here is what I know, as Christians, we operate beyond the physical, the emotional and even the psychological, we’re moved and led by the Spirit of God in us bearing witness with our own Spirit, so even when we have all the deep relationships in the world, when the time for romance or an eros relationship comes, the Holy Spirit is also there to guide us in. He never leaves us thinking and turning on ‘who to pick’ or ‘where to go’.

He comes with a precision that transcends human calculation and logic, so Dear Christian, don’t be scared of  building relationships beyond the surface. It does not stop you from identifying the bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh, contrary to popular opinion.

However, here’s the caveat, for some people, this can be a defence mechanism against sexual immorality and sin and as such, if it is, please carry on in your shallow relationships until you’re strong enough to handle deep without pushing for eros unless led by God.

Anything that will tamper with your personal relationship and growth with God, please ignore.

Moments of Truth; Godly relationships?

I had a very close friend whom I really loved and daily learnt a lot from.

We had met randomly and I remember the first day we started talking, he was joking about asking me to marry him and obviously it was banter, or so I thought.

He is rooted deeply in God and I really admired that so much about him, along with his tweets, posts and really uplifting messages.

Our friendship was full, especially because God was in the centre of it.

I wasn’t having any ulterior thoughts or motives regarding our friendship, I wasn’t thinking “oh, I’ll be close to him, maybe later we’ll get married”, I honestly didn’t even think our friendship would grow to one of romance so when he came asking me out, I was really shocked and really not sure what to say or how to say it.

He was convinced I had reasons for not saying yes, but the only reason I knew was that I hadn’t felt God lead me in that line but he couldn’t understand it and so whenever he brought up the topic and I didn’t respond with enthusiasm and the answer he desired, he would get worked up and throw some tantrums.

Our friendship became a bit emotionally difficult, I was careful of what I said and how I said it. I was careful not to call too often any more because I was concerned that the constant communication fostered more feelings and I was even more aware that I couldn’t be as free or open anymore because He had more feelings for me than friendship.

As such, we didn’t talk often any more, when we did, we would get into arguments over the silliest things. He unfollowed me on social media and when I asked, he did give a cogent reason, especially seeing the person he is.

It went downhill from there, when ever we got to speak, I was trying to keep it neutral and full of banter but he wasn’t having it, always wanting to get to the “why our friendship was not the same anymore” talk, which always left me struggling as I didn’t want to get to the relationship talk.

Eventually, I gave up, the arguments became too frequent, I got where I decided that if he couldn’t be friends with me without a relationship, I would have to walk away, however, never for once did I stop seeing him as the extremely Blessed and wise man of God that he really is.

Why have I written this?

It’s cause this wouldn’t be the first time I’m loosing friendship to “lets start dating”.

I’ve had to cut off friendships because the people couldn’t be friends with me without wanting more, I’ve lost amazing people who’ve thought I was patronising them for talking to them.

Especially the ones in the body of Christ, and for me, frankly it is scary!

Anyone who really knows me knows that I’m strongly anti-feeling and no, it’s not because I’m a rock or robot, it’s because feelings aren’t influenced by the spirit of God, they are usually in response to stimulus, thoughts and actions of the flesh.

And several years ago, I committed to living a life of spirit over flesh so when I have feelings that don’t tally with my spirit, my first reaction is to ignore.

God will lead you to so many people who will bless you, physically, mentally, spiritually and emotionally, our response as humans to that is one of love and care but we can’t mistake this to mean Eros love. We can’t try to elevate it also to Eros love, we must entertain this godly love and care until our spirit (influenced by the spirit of God in Us) agrees to upgrade it to an Eros level.

This is a daily struggle with most young ladies and Men in the body of Christ, and I think if we talk about it together, we might beat the devil out of leveraging on it and killing godly impactful friendships.

lovenfriends

 

How much does Age difference matter in a relationship?

relationships

Heyyy,

In preparing for 2019, It was a direct instruction to go ahead and start blogging on relationships so this year, you’ll be reading a lot more on relationship issues and topics on Foch Woman.

Everything will be bible based and founded so if you don’t believe in the bible and it’s values, I do not expect you to completely agree or accept any of the things you’ll be reading on here, however, I can assure you that The Bible is True, and even when you’ve read and are or aren’t fully convinced, I encourage you to go back and weigh it against your own study and definitely prayer!

I’ve chosen to start with this question because I think there is so much controversy around it.

So, first, to answer the question directly, Age difference does not matter in a relationship.

When we look at most eros relationships in the bible, you will immediately notice that for the majority, it is what our generation will consider ‘Cougar alert’.

Older men had young wives, but these maidens were all of marriageable/child-bearing age. I realise how controversial this statement is, and I’ll expand more on it as we go on. Asides from the fact that women by the natural order of things, reach a certain age where they are unable to conceive children, in those days, your children were also seen as your wealth, so the more you had, the wealthier you were, as your children basically helped out in whatever family business you ran and the more hands the more profit hence most men married young wives to keep them producing long enough, this isn’t excusing those who just loved a younger woman.

Popular examples are Ruth and Boaz, Jacob and Rachel, Abraham and Hagar, etc. The ultimate one that blows my mind is Christ (God) and we, the church (The Bride). Do you have any idea what the age gap between God and the church is? Lol! You don’t want to think about it trust me.

I promise not to focus too much on those ancient days as well, we’ll focus more in relation to our generation but to get us to understand it completely, it might be needful to sometimes go back to where were coming from.

It is also important to note that this is very much from a place of enlightenment as well because I use to be one of them ladies who you’d hear saying ‘it shouldn’t be more than 6 years’ age difference, but if you asked me why, I did not have any cogent reason that could hold water, it was just some idea I thought good in my head and so I stuck with it.

There are biological, cultural and physical sentiments around this topic but what supersedes all of them is the will of God and the Will of God is not dependent or influenced by either of these sentiments, but simply by the way God wills it.

Age is one of many numerous things that have been sabotaged to be a certain way in relationships, but all of it is man-made and while man-made sometimes is good, God remains supreme.

If you’ve received a go ahead in your relationship with someone and your only fear is age difference and you’re certain it is borne from cultural sentiments and not a conviction from the Holy Spirit, I need to advise you to not play yourself but walk boldly into the blessings of God.

God is not bound by number, time or space, I wonder what makes us think that His plans could be.

Happy New Year!

We always wait a few days before we acknowledge celebration on this blog, and frankly, it is intentional. We realise that on the day of any national event or holiday were  all bombarded with congratulatory and well meaning messages on the day and frankly, it might get long and boring so at some point, we begin to scheme read and not really read to get the message in the content.

For us, day 7 of the New Year is the best time to come say our own Happy New Year because you might have replied or deleted all other Happy New Year messages by now and settled proper into 2019.

Nothing different came with 01/01/19 except a fresh orbit of the earth round the sun and the obvious change in date. The only other changes that will be occurring will be the ones intentionally decided with measurable steps to achieve them, so by day 7, you know already that anything you have not consciously decided to stop, start or pause, is not going to miraculously happen oblivious to you.

We announced on the Instagram page couple of days ago on FOCH woman’s theme of the year. We said it is a year of Depth! Growing in depth in whatever God has placed in your hands. The beautiful thing of depth is that it is directly linked to growth. There is no depth without a level of growth, so as we strive to increase depth, we strive to grow.

Here’s wishing you your best year yet!

Foch Team x

happy new year!

Hello, from the other side

Elevation Church Steve Furtick, sat with T.D Jakes in an informal interview recently where they talked on ‘Building your vision from the ground up‘. (I’ve linked the interview, so please feel free to click and watch).

Anyone who knows T.D Jakes knows that his story is one of pure hard work, diligence, consistency and crowned with Grace. I wonder if he would describe himself as self-made as he really came from the true definition of a humble background. But Because of his clergy position, I doubt he might openly declare himself such because there’s the high tendency of this single line being used against Himself, His faith and His church, however, looking at it, as a mere human being, T.D. Jakes, can be classified as the few Bishop/celebrity in the world to be self-made.

In his interview with Steve, he makes a bold claim, saying that “Most CEO’s and Business executives know very well that the problem is not where we are going, or what we want to achieve. The problem is usually what we are willing to drop in order to get to that place”.

Seeing as were in this part of the year where those who make resolutions, make them, those who set goals, set them and those who merely live by chance, somewhere within themselves, also make decisions, I think it is worth considering this statement to understand the battle were really fighting.

If you look at a lot of resolutions and goals, you will see that they are all the ‘will do’s’ and ‘will be’s’. The actions we hope to put in place in order to achieve whatever it is we have set in our minds as the goal, however, T.D. Jakes is claiming that answering these questions don’t really empower us with what we need to achieve the set goals, but he challenges us to identify the things/people, we are willing to let go of in order to make it to that desired goal.

In these last few days of my retreat, i’m taking my mind off the things I plan to do, the places I plan to visit and the people I plan to meet and focusing my mind on the things I must not do, the places I must not go and the people I must not entertain.

It is a phenomenon in mathematics called logical equivalence, instead of directly attacking what you need to do, start by identifying the things you DON’T need to do. I think it is an absolutely exciting exercise for anyone who will be truthful doing it as it stops you from seeing possibility on just one side and opens you to the possibilities on the other side as well.

For a lot of us, 2019 is not the year of ‘will’s’ and ‘do’s’, it is more of the year of ‘will not’s’ and ‘don’t’s’. I hope with everything in me that you identify clearly all those habits, people and things hindering you from being your best self, as the faster we drop those things, the closer we get to those goals!

Have fun completing the statements below, I advise writing them down. It’ll be your writing against you if you ever do break any.

i will not