‘Fighting’ unwanted feelings

I think most people have been in positions where they started to develop feelings that were not appropriate for the situation, circumstance or person in question.

Most times, it is circumstantial that these things happen, it could be because we’re speaking to them too often, or spending more time than usual, or just stumbling over something that appeals to you about a person.

Sort of like when David randomly looked out of his window when Bathsheba was having a bath and he wouldn’t take his eyes away from her again and just that moment led him to a whole phase of sin upon sin, from covetousness to lying to deception to plotting evil and even to murder.

So we need not be told what harbouring feelings that should not be harboured could do to us. David is a perfect example that you don’t want to be, at least for that part of his life. But by all means, lets strive to be the people after God’s heart.

Truth is, we’re young, we’re mostly happy, (or should be) and our strength and hormones are all over the place, its a youthful phase really and they’re there for a purpose and for a time, not to be controlling and ruling us however strong they prove to be. So I thought i’d make a blog post about how to deal with unwanted feelings, which could be eros love towards another person, could be jealousy for no reason, it could be hurt due to the past or even hatred towards another just by the testimony of someone.

Like a friend who was confident enough to admit she was starting to harbour feelings for someone who mentors her. They meet once a week every week for mentoring sessions and they talk through her academic and career goals and he gives her advise on ways to do better going forward.

When these kinds of things are told to me, I usually have to take like 5 minutes to just quickly ask the Holy Spirit to help me not to reply to the person in a haste cause more often than not, i’d just say what I would do if I was in same situation, and its not every time that what I will do is in alignment with what The Holy Spirit will have the person do. Cause personally, I know i’ll stop the sessions immediately but was this was God was also saying to my friend? I thought not.

So I’ve broken down my advise to her in bullet points as I heard points work better for most people, so i’d use points rather than just type blocks of text and i’d appreciate feedback if this is easier to read.

  1. Remember your why – I asked her what the initial intention was for cultivating the mentor-mentee relationship, after she responded, I got her to be honest with me if she was already drawn to him before this relationship even started and she said no, that it developed after it started, so in that regard, I couldn’t really blame her just advise that she focused intently on the purpose for their meeting in the first place.
  2. Flee! – (Yes, my own solution), but might not be applicable in all cases, but the bible admonishes us to flee every appearance of evil, and i’m not saying that her feelings towards him is evil, but it could create evil if not handled with care, as it could lead to lust, lasciviousness and even sexual sin, even if it is in her mind. So after we prayed about it, I told her that If it persists, she might need to take a break away from the sessions. Sometimes you don’t have to fight some things, just flee from them. And Ps. Constant communication fosters feelings, just in case you weren’t aware.
  3. Renew your mind – In the cases of jealousy and hatred without basis, even with base even, you need to renew your mind and allow the Holy spirit deal with those things in you by opening your eyes to the desires within you that is causing you to have such ill feelings towards your brother or sister in Christ. Sometimes we harbour jealousy and hatred towards people because we don’t have what they have or want what they have. The bible says that Godliness with contentment is great gain! Spend some time in the word and renew your mind.
  4. Talk to God about it – The funniest conversations I’ve had with the Holy spirit personally have been those in relation to feelings I was having, and I think our generation calls it crushing?. Talk to God about the feelings, not the person! Because by praying about the person, you’re even easing your mind into getting comfortable about the thought of the person, kinda like ‘Well i’m praying for the person, not thinking about them’, please don’t deceive yourself.
  5. Spend your time wisely – This is so important please. Do you know that if David went to war that day, he wouldn’t have had cause to see Bathsheba bathing? He was led to that sin in his idleness. Idleness will always lead you to sin, so what are you doing with your time? My friend told me that ‘I can’t get him out of my head Rubie’ and I told her its because she doesn’t have enough work to do, and truthfully that’s it, if you have godly, lucrative things occupying your mind, you won’t sit and day dream about someone and even when the thoughts come, you’re honest enough with yourself to distract yourself by doing something else.
  6. Settle in the love of God – A recent post on foch_woman page on Instagram explains this clearly. We have to settle in the love of God to be able to recognise, understand and accept true love. Have you finished settling in Gods love? Because it is a faulty chronology to settle in human love before God’s love.

At the end of our conversation and prayer with my friend, she asked me ‘Do you think I should tell him?’ I asked her back if we just finished wasting our time… lol. Although that was our banter, but really, I responded with a massive No just because I do not believe in leading someone else into your feelings by your feelings.

If the Holy Spirit has not orchestrated or approved something, don’t move ahead of Him. Her informing him of her feelings would have complicated issues and frankly speaking, given the man in question an advantage over her seeing as she’s the one with those feelings. The bible says that Wisdom is profitable to direct. Please allow wisdom direct you.

God would never give us anything that will destroy us. Our hormones and feelings are not for us to sin with. They are also for His glory. We need to move in step with the Holy Spirit to navigate our way through these things.

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The Natural Abilities & The Holy Spirit

I love the display of God’s wisdom and sovereignty in His selection of people to use in the bible. Sometimes, truthfully i’m even silently praying not to appear a certain way that is too favourable to people, just by looking at the kind of people God chose to work through.

Moses was a stammerer, I don’t know if we ever sit and think about these things, like actually visualise them in our minds, the bible tells us that It wasn’t just a low level  speech impairment, his stammering was actually really bad, but yet, God chose Him to go speak to Pharaoh to let His people go. God really could have just chosen Aaron, who had no speech impairment to go do this job, but no, Moses was the one with that purpose and it was irrelevant to God that He had this speech impairment.

Remember also when Samuel was sent to anoint David king? when He arrived in Jesse’s house and automatically thought Eliab was the chosen one because of His stature and God was quick to remind Him that It was not about the physical but all about the heart and so while Eliab appeared fit physically, God had chosen the heart of David.

Naturally, God has blessed each and everyone of us with gifting that come naturally to us, it is inherent and so no one can take it from you because it is part of the nature you have been created with. These gifting  however, are no indication of the Spirit of God or a move of His power. Beyond these natural gifting are Fruits of the spirit that come to live in you after you have accepted JESUS as your personal Lord and Saviour. His Spirit comes with more full, rich gifts that even accentuate the previous natural gifting.

A lot of Christians look at the natural abilities of men and interpret it to be ‘The power or move of the Holy Spirit’. A man’s natural gifting from God can never replace the need to have the Holy Spirit empower such a man for God’s work.

I get people tell me all the time how I am a good orator, its not something I worked to develop or learn, I believe it came naturally to me by God’s ordinance and over time developed into what it might be now, however, once I, myself or someone begins to interpret my Good oratory skill as the Gift of exhortation or teaching or evangelism, there begins to be a problem because my natural gifting can be devoid of the Holy spirit but the 5 fold ministries and divine gifting are fuelled by the Holy Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit empowers a person with utterance, it’s never the same as having a natural gift of speaking which differentiates the motivational speakers from the Men of God who stand on the pulpit. Natural gifting appeal to the minds of men, but The Holy Spirit’s empowerment appeals to the hearts of men, which is what God is after.

It is actually beneficial to your spiritual growth to know your natural gifting and this shouldn’t be too hard if you have genuine people around you who truthfully give you commendations after a display of that natural ability. When you are aware of your natural gifts, you know even better how to pray when in a position when those natural gifts might shadow the move of the Holy Spirit. You’re also more conscious to not rely on that natural place of gift and reach into the supernatural empowerment of the Spirit which really is where we should be mostly, particularly for Christians in Ministry (which is you and I).

Your natural gift is not an empowerment of the Holy Spirit. The Holy spirit empowers the natural gifts when He comes to live in you but without Him, those things just remain gifts that our Gracious God has bestowed upon us.

These day’s when I speak to people, particularly in a ministry environment, whether in person or over the phone I’m not asking ‘did I make sense?’, i’m asking ‘were You convicted?’ because the Holy spirit’s conviction is what i’m after, not my ability to get people temporarily excited through a natural gift.

So let’s practicalize this shall we?;

  • Identify your natural gifts
  • Identify what else the Holy spirit has empowered you with by His coming to live inside you
  • Pray about the natural gifts, that they never be interpreted as Holy Spirit empowerment when it is a display of your nature
  • When in situations your natural gifts would thrive, that’s time to be more conscious and sensitive to the Holy spirit that you’re not just ‘being yourself’, but actually allowing the Holy Spirit work through you.

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Inviting now, rather than later?

I had some baking to do in the last couple of days so this morning, I got up and did the last of it before getting to wash the utensils.

Who else sees washing plates as a necessary evil? lol. It is not something I am very keen on doing but I’ve come to accept that it is something I might never be able to run from, no matter the number of disposables one decides to use.

Anyway, back to washing the baking trays, I always save them for last because they need the most space to wash and rinse properly without getting the entire floor wet so I did that. I finished washing every other thing that needed washing, preparing the sink to wash the trays.

As I was washing the biggest of the 2 trays, I noticed how water kept splashing everywhere no matter how low I tried to keep the intensity of the flow from the tap, I also noticed it took me longer to wash round it, and also rinse round it till it was clean enough to dry in the rack. By the time I got to the smaller tray, I was smiling, appreciating how easy it appeared to be with the washing and rinsing and with minimal water being splashed around because the dirt was not as bad and it’s size was also manageable.

Then the Holy Spirit reminded me of a conversation we were having recently in my bible study where we were discussing if God takes a man’s life when He turns to Him and gets Him to start again with His (God’s) original plan for His life, or if God continues to build on what a man has already started to build and ignores the previous buildings erected for that man even after he turns to God.

We began looking into the bible and we saw that it was all reliant on God’s sovereignty, for some people like Abraham, God required Him to stop and go back, Abraham had assumed that God will carry on delivering the promise through Ishmael, but God’s word stood on the fact that the promise was going to be delivered through Isaac and so Abraham’s plan of Ishmael was only a detour but not the original plan of God. While for some others, God did not necessarily get them to start again but restructured their foundations and carried on building.

The conclusion of that matter was to invite God from the start rather than take any chances to wait until you have started building to invite God into it. A lot of Christians are guilty of that, carrying on with their own personal desires and telling God “oh God, i’ll come to you, not just now”, most times, more in our actions than our words.

So The Holy Spirit was giving me an analogy with the baking trays, saying that ‘A man who decides to build and comes back to me after His personal buildings are erected, but I have rejected is the big tray who will take longer and undergo more tedious processes to get to the place I want them, they will also cause levels of inconvenience to the people around because in their washing and restructuring of their foundation, other people will be affected as well,’, then He said ‘With the small tray, notice the ease with which you turned it around to wash properly without splashing any water at all, that’s how much easier it will be when people just surrender to me before building anything that I have not authorised and making me look like the bad guy when I try to pull down structures that should not be there in the first place’.

I thought this very accurate, how we often run with out thoughts and desires without first waiting to hear from God and when He comes around later after we’ve let Him in and He begins to pull down structures not meant to be there, we make it appear like ‘God is testing me’ or ‘God is taking me through a wilderness right now’, meanwhile, all He’s doing is uprooting all the things that He did not plant.

It is always wise to submit your plans, will and desire to  God and just ask Him to rule and reign over them because He always knows best!. Don’t wait till you think you’ve achieved what you want and then hand it over to Him. While it is still little with minimal cost of damage, present it to God and receive His guidance on the situation.

You’ll save yourself and the people around you so much stress by just submitting and being obedient.

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This ‘thing’ called Love :)

I totally understand why Jesus summed up the entire law in the Love command. Like the 10 written commandments, together with all the other laws, offerings and sacrifices were just dealt with in one way. Love way.

Love is powerful!

Last night, I got home feeling like I would literally break in any moment, like physically speaking, it was not even the activity of just that day, I think it was a compound effect of my sleep deprivation and limited rest in the days leading up, so I was really down and to worsen it, I spoke to my mum earlier and she was feeling sick as well and that just really got to me, but on getting home, I sensed a deep need to spend some time in prayer, so I got to my room, lay for a while and just cried. The tiredness, the feelings, mummy’s illness and just wanting to be pampered by my loving Father in that moment.

I was mentally getting ready to get up to pray when God just led me to read Psalm 139:16, and the tears just started flowing, this time it was not even about the feeling or situation of the moment, it was in response to realising my importance to the greatest being that could ever live and His undying Love for me.

I was trying to rush through that feeling so I could get into praying about the things bringing me concern and I just sensed Him asking me to abide, to wait and get the fullness of it and I was mentally struggling, like ‘God, there won’t be enough time to pray’ but he just kept saying to stay there.

I obliged and by the time I was finished, I lay across my bed with my head dangling at the side, my heart full and my peace restored. My fatigue had disappeared as well and strength I could not understand came, but what blew me away was the assurance and nudge to go to bed, Everything was going to be fine.

God used His love to sort out my pain, my fatigue and my concerns. He would rather I stayed there and enjoy His love than shout out my prayers to Him in tears. It doesn’t automatically mean ‘Don’t raise your requests to God in prayer’, but in that moment, and for this time, this was all He required and I remain in awe honestly.

God’s love is second to none. It’s potency, it’s fullness and its consuming nature is one I pray we never miss out on. Love was able to cover every law that existed because everything responds to love. Not just people, but every situation, every pain and every harsh reality of this life.

Let’s be intentional in accepting God’s love. He gives it because He sees it is the solution, not a solution, The solution. Let love also be our solution to everyone and everything.

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Moments of Truth ; Self aside, Personality aside

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I saw early on that one of the weaknesses of my personality independently, is the need to understand everything, especially if it has logical elements, I always feel a need to understand why certain decisions were made up to the final stage. In submitting to the Holy Spirit (which is still in process), I saw He began to change this, He started teaching me that “sometimes, there won’t be sufficient explanation or logic behind something, but I still need to obey or comply as the case might be”.

My brain still interprets this as violation sometimes, but most times, if I sense the lead of the Holy Spirit to Just let it be, I ignore even myself and trust that even without me understanding it all, God will be God.
It’s part of that breaking process, part of God saving you from your own self so that you’re totally surrendered because in a pursuit of understanding something one day, I might be going against the plan or desire of the Spirit of God and in such a time, what it means is me standing in opposition to God which is somewhere I never want to get to.

So these days, when things I don’t fully get come around and I so badly want to understand it completely and I hear the nudge or words of Holy Spirit within me, I refrain, it’s so painful and uncomfortable but with each lesson, it gets easier.
God is breaking my so called personality to one totally yielded to Him.

And that’s same for each and everyone of us, for some, he might be pushing you to even ask more questions, while for others like me, were being pruned to not ask all questions till We completely understand.

Check out the last Moments of truth post.

Dealing with fear

From the blog-post ‘Do it Afraid’, I finished it with this sentence ;

“Don’t do it afraid. Deal with the fear, then do it.”

A meticulous friend of mine brought it to my attention that it might be worth breaking down what ‘Dealing with fear’ is, because logically reading that, it probably makes sense to most of us, but do we actually know what it means or what it takes to deal with fear?

Fear is no respecter of person or position as you might have discovered, it is also very sneaky and can crawl up on you without you even realising it is there, till you trace your actions backwards and realise that some of the steps taken were taken in fear.

There’s another twisted part of fear, it actually gives its own motivation, but it’s motivation is usually to take the more familiar or easy way because you can tell it’s outcome which really isn’t advisable for people committed to living and walking by the Spirit of God because most times, the Spirit of God will call us to the unknown and the daunting but expects us to step out in faith knowing Who has called us.

Below, I’ve highlighted 5 ways of dealing with fear, not in any particular order but depending on situation. I also want to first highlight that fear is Never of God, it is not in God’s nature to make us fearful or timid. His word says ‘For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.’ – 2 Timothy 1:7.

This verse makes it clear that fear is not a package that God comes with and so we should be intentional about dealing with it.

  1. Don’t deny it, confront it – We’re human with histories and backgrounds, sometimes fears have grown from things we’ve experienced or heard. Some people are terrified of travelling by air because of plane crash news, some are terrified of eating fish today because in their childhood, they almost choked to death by a fish bone, and I myself use to be terrified of Married men as I shared in a recent blog-post because of my past. Some of these fears have been fed by occurrences in our past and God doesn’t want us to deny them but confront them with prayer and His word which is truth. When we begin to see that ‘God has a plan for us and has given his angels command to keep charge over us’, we won’t be scared of transportation or death even, because lets even say death does meet us there, at least there’s the joy of going home. When I also saw that Married men are never the problem and they are not out to get me, that fear dissipated. God is with me and watches me wherever I go, automatically I cease to fear whatever is man made or caused. We need to find The truth of God that liberates us from the fears we have.
  2. Sometimes do exactly what seems to scare you – By personal experience, I also discovered that the devil uses fear to keep us from God’s promises. Using just a home example, there were numerous times when I allowed fear stop me from asking my Mum or Dad for things and I suffered in whatever situation I was because fear crippled me and when I did gather the courage to ask, the way they even received the request showed that they would’ve granted it whenever I had asked but I allowed fear stop me from even making the move to ask. Sometimes spiritually too, God calls us to people, places and things and fear stops us from launching out, but we have to be bold enough to trust the Word of God.
  3. Something has to be growing, so feed faith – Something is always growing within you. It is either your faith or fear, so make it intentional always to be growing your faith by exposing yourself to the Word of God. Why? “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17. When we feed our faith by seeing God’s work in the life of others, fear fades out because it has met with something more powerful than it, so please, spend some time in your bible.
  4. Talk to people about what’s causing fear – I had a friend who feared failing in school, the fear so overwhelmed her that when it was time to read, she was more afraid that she wouldn’t remember what she was reading than she was that she will actually write and pass. In sharing this fear with me, I always kept her accountable, encouraging her with words of success and also praying with her about the fear. Sometimes when we share fears with people, we lessen its power over us. Fear also takes the facade of guilt and shame sometimes, when you do something, because no one is aware, you move the rest of your life in fear just hoping no one finds out. In sharing that with someone able to handle it maturely and pray with you, you dismantle the power of guilt and shame in that fear, so sometimes, God might lead us to deal with our fears by sharing them with people. Confession has so much power, don’t ever let fear stop you from confessing.
  5. Ultimately, remember whose you are before even who you are – A major trick I’ve used in my christian journey is realising that I am empowered and backed up by God. My life is not normal or ordinary by the fact that the Holy Spirit lives within me. I think we Christians forget this sometimes, because you can’t have the power that spoke creation into existence inside of you and still be running away from cockroaches (By the way i’m so guilty of this, i’m not a fan of insects at all). But hey, it is something we must daily remind ourselves of. That, “You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.” – 1 John 4:4

If we’re intentional about these practical steps of dealing with fear, we’ll be more sensitive to recognise it when it comes around even.

So remember, “Don’t do it afraid. Deal with the fear, then do it.”

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How do I live above temptations?

This is a follow up blog post from the last one, where I spoke about a conversation I had with a friend. The question asked was ‘How do I live above temptations and stay spiritually grounded?’

This was my response to her, only with subheadings now and I hope it impacts you as well.

1) Talk to God about them : It is always worth talking to God about our temptations, I’m not even saying praying “oh God help me not to fall into temptation”, I mean like mentioning whatever they are and telling God to help you live above them, determination is never enough for the human flesh, our human flesh bows to our temptations no matter the level of determination we have, so it’s more of a spiritual thing, if we’re empowered in the spirit, it also helps us physically. So mention the temptations to God

2) Set times for Bible study and Prayer : Have a set time for bible study and prayer, whether first thing in the morning or after work when you get home, but the more frequent and exact it is, the more you’ll look forward to it.
We can’t downplay the importance of bible study if we want to walk in step with the Spirit of God, I don’t know how often you read the bible and pray right now, but I advice making it more frequently and at a Particular time.
If God gets used to hearing your voice in that time, He’ll always be ready for you when you appear before Him in that time.

3) Be mindful of your association : I learnt this one late even and it’s the most practical of all the steps, you have to be mindful of your association and the people around you.
As Odeshi as we think we are to peer pressure, it sips into our subconscious and we actually find ourselves compromising in areas we used to be determined before.
So have people who will actually push your spiritual walk with God and not demean it.
The right people around you bring out the good things in you.
If you’re exposed too much to someone who encourages your temptation, you’ll keep falling

4) Find Hobbies that keep you occupied : Find hobbies and things that’ll keep your mind from being idle, I don’t know what you enjoy asides your daily job, but I think it’s worth picking up a few hobbies that’ll keep you occupied.
For me it’s reading and writing. And it helps so much because asides the time I actually leave out for meditation, I hardly have “free” time.
It’s usually in free times that our temptations jump on us, so we can minimise that occurrence by giving ourselves to more beneficial things, so start exploring your hobbies and see what you can pick up.
And don’t let the hobbies be watching TV please lol

5) Remember always that Jesus has been in same shoes : Finally, it always helps when we remember that the bible says that “we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathise with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are, yet he did not sin”, because the same way we are tempted is the same way He was tempted and He still overcame. So if human like us, He overcame, we also can.
When you’re at those low points, just make a mental note to God and ask Him how He would’ve treated such a situation if He was in same temptation and God will answer.
He always speaks, and I find that He’s most happy when we’re honest and open about our temptations and struggles.

It is an inexhaustible list as I said to her, but these are starting points.

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Are our bible plans really enough?

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This post will probably not apply to every single one of us, some of us might even have an opposing view, so here’s stating in advance how subjective this is and my advice to any growing Christian like myself.

I had a conversation with a young woman a couple of days ago, she had decided she wanted to grow spiritually and live above temptations and she reached out to me on advice and ‘top tips’, as she put it.

I will share another blog post after this because I realised after typing out my response that it might be beneficial to someone else. In one of the points I gave to her, I spoke on how important bible study is in the life of anyone desiring to grow spiritually, and I explained that the Bible is that revealed word that gives us insight into the mind of God. And so, it’s importance cannot be overemphasised.

She agreed with me on these points and went further to share struggles with bible reading, asking how she can study the bible effectively and actually learn things and receive rhema and we got into the whole conversation of Bible plans on bible apps and even devotionals.

I completely understood where she was coming from in saying that she didn’t feel she learnt a lot in devotionals and bible plans, she said she usually gets the main message and sometimes it does linger in her heart for a period of time, but she’s not sure how much growth that brings her spiritually and I told her that I honestly agreed with her and shared how God taught me to read the bible, which I will also share in an upcoming blog-post.

There’s something called rhema in Christianity and I see rhema as the revelation of Gods word to a specific individual. When a human being receives an understanding of Gods word on a very personal level, that is rhema and logos might be word revealed to you by another human or through various agents, which also might bring rhema subsequently.

But I’ve come to see that there is nothing as beautiful as receiving rhema from God, if all our christian life, we live feeding on the rhema of others, including our Pastors, Bible school teachers and other ‘spiritual’ friends, how do we now grow to actually hearing God for ourselves and receiving that rhema?

I have nothing against bible plans and devotionals but they have never been the primary source of my bible study, I’ve received more from God by picking up my bible directly and reading and allowing the Spirit of God speak to my Spirit. The revelation your Pastor brings to you, might not be the same revelation you receive from God reading the same story by yourself, and this won’t be contrary words, it would just be from another angle that is more suited to the place you are in your life.

This is why we must push past logos to rhema word, and why I advise growing Christians to study the actual bible, even while doing bible plans and using devotionals.

God always wants to reach us at a personal level, not collectively or in pairs, but just Him and you, but how can that happen if we receive His word from other people and never from Him?

Bible plans and devotionals are awesome, for some people, it would even be the stepping stone to actual Bible studying and for that, I highly recommend it, but don’t ever limit your spiritual growth and communication with God to what you read in bible plans and devotionals. God has more beyond what He has revealed to someone.

Hence why after church on Sunday and after group bible study, it is not enough to remain excited in the message you received, rather, go home and further study and get the whole loaf rather than just the crumbs that got you excited.

The Oprah’s and the Ruth’s

It’s really amazing how Ruth made it to having a book named after her in the bible, I have nothing against her but I’ve just always wondered the criteria used to decide how books were named because if it was a show of strength and resilience, Deborah should’ve come first, if it was by leadership and devotion to God, Miriam would’ve come first and if it was by mere obedience and trust, Sarah, Abraham’s wife should’ve come first, not in any way demeaning the amazing strengths and characters displayed by Ruth really.

Another named woman in that book is Orpah, we seem to only remember Ruth and Naomi in discussions over the book of Ruth and most times people speak like Orpah was the disloyal one who left her mother-in-law to go back to her country.

Heroic Ruth decided to stick with her even to death and the place Naomi was going to be buried.
It’s also weird we hear nothing again of Orpah after this scene, and my thoughts as I meditated on this was that God had destined the root of Jesus to come through Ruth.

I want us to remember that Naomi had called both daughter-in-laws to honestly advise them to go back to their countries because she had lost everything and was also returning to her country. Remember she even said that “even if I did marry again and bare children, would you both wait till they were grown to marry them?”. She saw that these girls were both young and could still make much of their lives if they returned home.

After a little back and forth, the bible says that Orpah then kissed her and went, this kills every argument of Orpah being disrespectful because all she’d done was reason and see that Naomi spoke truth and her conviction led her to leave to go back home.
Ruth on the other hand was convicted to remain with Naomi no matter what! For her it was a do or die affair and this was her own conviction.

We can’t judge people’s conviction on the basis of how we see it because a conviction is what it is, a personal resolution that is come from deep within a person. For us as Christians now, the Holy Spirit will usually convict us on various things in our lives, can we say that same Holy Spirit convicted both Ruth and Orpah?
Maybe not, because Christ hadn’t come yet and neither had He sent His spirit to dwell in His children.
But as we’ve always seen, God has always made provision for keeping His children in step with Him, sometimes it’s the conscience, those days it was the law and prophets and today were in that era of the Holy Spirit, so Ruth and Oprah’s convictions emanated from somewhere which my spirit tells me was pure.

Now, thinking on the flip side to when they did get to Naomi’s home in Bethlehem, how many women was Boaz going to marry? If Orpah had followed back too, do we see that there could’ve been some levels of conflict and issues over which one of them Boaz would redeem?, seeing that both of them might have been sent to glean in His field as well. God purposed Boaz to end up with Ruth and if that purpose was manifested in the conviction of Orpah by leading her to go back to her home, I see obedience and trust, rather than disloyalty and fear.

This morning I heard the Holy Spirit tell me that some are Orpah’s and some are Ruth’s, sometimes your conviction will lead you to go and other times it might be to stay, what matters in both occurrences is your obedience.
We can’t interpret the absence of Orpah’s name in the bible after that chapter to mean that she did something wrong and was removed, it could just be that it is Ruth’s life, which we still read about that God was bringing someone out from, which is the Messiah.
Note however that not everything is recorded in the bible and sometimes the Holy Spirit gives insight to what might have happened that wasn’t recorded.

The point in this post is to be sensitive to the conviction of the Holy Spirit, don’t think of the “best ideal option” and stick with it, just be open to whatever option He might lead you to, even if it is going home as in the case of Orpah.
God isn’t judging you against anyone else, however similar your situation might have been, He’s looking at your obedience to Him in any and every situation.
So please drop the expectation and desires of others over your life, or better still, subject those expectations and desires to the spirit of God so He can sieve and filter through them.

Your obedience will always come first before the thought of any human or even yourself. We read Orpah’s actions sometimes as disrespectful and disloyal, but for all we know, it could’ve been her own conviction which stands tall even in the mirror of Ruth’s conviction to continue with Naomi.

I hope you don’t feel uncomfortable knowing that you might be an Orpah and not a Ruth because you’re just as awesome x

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‘Do it afraid’…

There’s a popular saying to ‘do it afraid’, it is very widely accepted amongst people who just want to push and encourage you to do whatever it is you want to set out to do. More often than not, it comes from a place of pure intentions and I think the Subject also gets the message however, is it right to actually ‘Do it afraid?’ it is biblical to do it afraid?

Setting out to start anything new is daunting, it’s never really a walk in the park because most times, there are levels of uncertainty.

I wanted to take our minds back to the time when God called Abraham to leave his fathers country and people and ‘go to the land which He (God) will show him’, I don’t know if I’ve ever come across a more daunting and adventurous command like this. What makes it all the more scary is how he was the first man God spoke to after Adam as recorded in the bible, so Abraham really did not have anyone to run this by, he couldn’t say, “I’ll have a meeting with so and so to get an opinion and weigh my options”, he literally picked up His things and ‘Went’, as the bible records.

My Spirit tells me that Abraham moved fearlessly and in boldness that God said what He said, at that point, he was not even considering all the ‘might happens’ or ‘could happens’, he had firmly set himself up in the word that God had spoken to him and he moved. I began to ask myself what it would have looked like if Abraham ‘did it afraid’, I reckoned that he would have made plan B’s, advised the people staying back that he would return later and maybe even gone without Sarah to see first if God delivers before dragging her into it.

He would not have obeyed to the degree he did if he was moving in fear. Whether or not we are conscious of it, when we do things in fear, we leave a small room of doubt within us, a small room of ‘what if’, a small room of ‘just in case this doesn’t work’ and this small room left is now manifested in our execution of whatever it is we’re out to do.

The results of a totally surrendered and trusting heart will always exceed that of the heart doing it in fear.

I honestly get the motivation in the advise to ‘do it afraid’ but today, God challenged me as I thought it to myself and I felt convicted to also encourage us never to do anything afraid. Deal with the fear and then move, so that your move is in full surrender to whatever God has called you to. Part of dealing with fear is confronting those things that actually bring the fear one by one if possible and telling them through your confessions and actions that the God who called you to whatever is bigger!.

Here’s another caveat, do you realise we move in fear when we aren’t even certain if God has called us? when there’s no certainty of God’s call to us on something, that’s another space left for fear to leverage on. Let’s walk and move in step with the Spirit of God. We either trust completely or not at all.

Don’t do it afraid. Deal with the fear, then do it.

fear