“I’m not ready”

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I was speaking to a Mentor recently and I shared with her how ‘unready’ I felt in a certain aspect of my life. To be honest, I was expecting a hug (over facetime), a cute endearment, followed by an encouragement to keep praying and doing what I can till I feel ready. Something like ‘Aww Rubie, I totally understand, I think you should keep praying about the feeling and also wait till you feel ready’.

This was what I was expecting.

I was hit with the biggest slap (figuratively), when she responded almost immediately saying “Then prepare Rubie!”.

Because that response caught me off guard, I went silent for the next few seconds recovering from the opposite of what I wanted to hear and she began to ask “what is making you unready?” and frankly, I didn’t have an answer, so I just stayed there, repeating “I don’t even know” and she broke into mummy-mode (as usual) about how It’s important to recognise ‘unreadiness’ as either our fears or an obvious lack of preparation.

I took what she said and meditated on it the next few days and I felt the Holy Spirit use her words to speak to me on how preparation is what is needed and how it is easy to settle into that ‘unreadiness’ mentality and think it okay.

So I made up my mind to prepare, like consciously, intentionally and actively prepare, so i’m not caught off guard or feeling unready when I have the entire time to actually prepare.

I’ve brought same tidings to you; what do you feel so unready about or for? Is it you feeding off your fear, or have you just ignored preparation for it?

It could be a job, a phase of life, a move or anything at all. God honours and blesses the ‘Works of our hands’, not the ‘thoughts of our minds’. we need to move from thinking to actually doing, all as led by the Spirit of God. Like me, someone needs to start preparing!

The real Owner

We meet yet another “flash-in-flash-out” woman in the bible, I’ve blogged about a number of them so far, from Micah to Orpah to Pilate’s wife and now, we meet with Moses Mother, Jochebed (thank God she was named!).

The only thing I hear her mentioned about is her bravery in placing Moses in a basket and letting him down in river Nile. But recently, I was led to read deeper about her, even though she appears only about 3 times in just one chapter of the bible and I’m excited about the amazing things this brave woman teaches us.

After she had let Moses down in the river and he was found by Pharaohs daughter, the bible records that Miriam wittily asked her if she could go call a Hebrew woman to nurse him because Pharaohs daughter had known right away that He was a child of the Hebrew people.
She obliged and Miriam went straight away to call his mother whom the bible records nursed him till he grew to a certain point and then she went back to hand him back to pharaohs daughter who had been paying her to nurse her new son. Lol

I couldn’t Fathom this honestly, she had reunited with her baby after the very gruesome parting which had to happen out of option and not by choice and after the divine reunion, she had to take him back and present him to his new mother who just found him in a river, and I began to think,
She recognised that she had done her own part!
The baby had lived, she had even nursed him to a certain age and now she needed to present him back to pharaohs daughter.

Imagine if she allowed her emotions to stop her from giving him back, if she had been so emotionally attached to the point where she revealed the truth of how Moses got to the palace! How dramatic and bloody that scene would’ve played out!

There was a divine purpose for Moses and her part in the plan of getting Him to live to fulfil it was done.

How hard is it for us to walk away from things God has finished working on in our hands and is now wanting to move to the next stage even when we’re the ones who’ve birthed it?
Bible actually records that “she took Him back to Pharaohs daughter”

I began to think and understand how in the kingdom, we understand that there are never really “owners”, only “stewards”. There’s a clear distinction between the two and it’s only a person who understands that they’re a steward that would find joy in parting with the thing that has been given to them only for a time.

Moses mother is our first teacher of stewardship, despite the pregnancy phase, birthing her baby and even miraculously hiding him for three months, she recognised her role as a steward and not an owner which is why she walked away so easily despite being able to claim every right over her child.

What has God given us to steward that we’ve taken ownership of?
It’s telling in our reluctance and inability to release it to enter its next phase, even without you in that next phase

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What do you call it? Miraculous coincidence?

churvh girl

I think it will be hard and almost impossible to recognise and enjoy the ministry of angels when one believes in coincidence.

It’s the first belief I see God stripped down from me when I got into this relationship with Him and I’m eternally grateful because it brought me to always see the divine orchestration of the good God that we serve. I also saw that being a logical person doesn’t hamper on your ability to recognise God’s move and not interpret it as mere coincidence.

Okay.
I’ll try to type this out as calmly as possible and also task myself the possibility of writing it out with tearing up, because I can’t fathom how God works sometimes and it’s taken me this long to even write it out because I’m just in awe each time it comes back to mind.

2 weeks ago, we had an event in my church which was going to celebrate the different cultures of the world in their different expressions. Through songs, dance, dressing, food and all.

I had opted to dance again this year, first, because of the chosen song; New wine and secondly, because I love how expressive one could be in their body rendering worship to God through dance.

After practice sessions, dress code had already been communicated and thankfully, skirts were gonna be generously catered for by the church but we were gonna have to purchase our shirts.
It was such a busy week for me so I even kept wondering how I’ll make it to get this shirt. It so happened that I kept having to go to the commercial area for other things I had to do which gave me proximity to the shops to actually get in and purchase a long sleeved white shirt.

So 3 days to the event, I walked into the shop and went round looking for a white shirt, which I never found and so I asked an attendant there and she signposted me to where the stand was. On arrival, I met with all shirts being L, XL or XXL which would mean me constantly raising the sloppy neck of the really big shirts, and during dance, I think the last thing you want to worry about is what you’re wearing.
So I left and resolved to check back again.

The following day, I got there and it was exact same sizes, I decided to ask an another attendant particularly for my size and she said that wasn’t in stock at the moment, so I decided to go to another shop to get it, knowing fully well it’ll cost me much more, but it was 2 days to the event, no time to be hoping my size comes in when I can just get it at another shop.

I went into the other shop and much to my expectation, I found my size and I was gonna spend times 3 on the exact same shirt i’d had got cheaper in the previous shop.
I heard the Holy Spirit clearly speak to me and paraphrasing, it was like “Rubie don’t shame me” 😂, He told me not to buy that shirt and I stood there for close to 10 minutes battling like “but I really need this and there’s no time again”.
But thanks be to God, I obeyed. I left the shop without my white shirt. 2 days to event.

The day before the event, I needed to pick up a few things from a decoration shop still around that area and by now, I was thinking to myself like “tomorrow is event, Rubie has still not got her white shirt”. It even seemed funny to me at this point. So I branched again into the shop that had all the big sizes without mine and I was met yet again with same results that I had found 3 days ago.
I was visibly frustrated now and I remember speaking subtly out to God saying “ok God, you didn’t let me buy this shirt yesterday, I’m here today again and still no shirt, tomorrow is show day”.

It was barely 2 minutes when I turned around and saw a size 10, white, long sleeved shirt spread wide open on a rack of clothes  like literally just waiting for someone to just pick it up. I’ve never been more confused in my life but I found the strength to move my legs in its direction.
On arrival, I picked his shirt and turned it round about to double check it was actually a size 10, then I began looking around like “I’ve walked this way back and forth today, I didn’t see this shirt, where have you come from???!”
No answer.

Doubting Rubie still spent about 10 minutes looking for a pile of size 10’s that I might have missed seeing as this one size 10 Just came out of no where.
I still didn’t find any other one. That’s how I finally made my way to the till and paid for my one miracle white shirt (hope you weren’t expecting to read it disappeared and reappeared in my house! Lol)

These small ways God shows Himself in my life are the ones I treasure the most, because it makes me realise how foolish I can be worrying over the bigger things when He’s so faithful to miraculously provide a size 10 white shirt for my dance for just one day.

Every time I see or think about that white shirt I’m reminded of David’s musing on how a great God like this can be so mindful of me to this degree.

Psalm 8:4 – what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?

Those little things, don’t take them for granted, but more importantly, stop attributing God’s glory to the random natural occurrence of things.

Moments of Truth ; Has He told You He loves you?

When I was in high school, I had a lot of male friends, I think that protected me from being attached to anyone of them particularly because I would relate same way to all of them, up until getting into my final year when it became visibly obvious that myself and this young man got a lot closer. It started as normal play really but if you went to a boarding school, you will know that people there have an uncanny ability to just blow things up, no matter how small it was.

So before I knew it, it was ‘Rubie and David‘ being sang everywhere. We knew we were closer than usual but frankly, me and him knew it was just friendship cause we’d sit and talk for long hours and just laugh together and despite the fact that we went to prom together, we never really dated or even so much as admitted that ‘we loved ourselves’, but without being bias, truthfully in school most people saw us as ‘a thing’.

We never defined whatever it was and then we graduated and carried on with life and this ‘thing’ dissipated like fresh air although we remain good friends till today.

Recently, I was on a group chat where conversations were going on about how some guys may be shy to come out and tell you they are interested in pursuing a relationship with you, even for us as Christians, and people were basically putting in their two cents on whether or not it is a legit issue and what a christian woman should do in such a situation. It might give more perspective to say that it is a group chat of very profound young christian men and women, so it was not really a random environment or conversation.

Contrary to what people think, I can be a very oblivious person, it has caused me blessings and mishap in my life because sometimes, things I should notice and pick up on, I don’t and I end up missing things, and then other times, not being able to notice and pick these things up have saved me stress and time. (however, I see it more as weakness which I still take to God in prayer). So it is highly unlikely that I would just know that someone is secretly harbouring love feelings towards me and I believe there are more ladies like myself too, so while there’s a saying in society that ‘women always know‘, some of us just hide our face in shame and thank God for the Holy Spirit within us that brings discernment because left to natural abilities, we would never know.

I think a lot of young girls and women base huge decisions on a lot of assumptions that have never come out as words or even actions. Women especially, being emotional and sensitive as we are, have a tendency to see more into things than the average man will. It is one of the gifts God has graced the woman with. Sort of like when Abigail went immediately to appease David with gifts after her husband had sent a harsh reply to David who sent his men to seek help from Him. (Check out the story here)

Her sensitivity and emotions as a woman led her to take action before David would make his way back and kill her husband and his men, and if we read that story to the end, after Abigail’s husband died, David took her as his wife, who knows, maybe it was just that pure display of sensitivity and emotion that attracted him to her.

So usually, when we over-read meaning into the actions of noble young men around us, we might interpret it for something more than what it is which leads to this whole play out of hurt and pain when the realisation finally hits you that you over-thought it. I  usually advice young women against sowing seeds in a garden that has not been open to you. By that I mean, fantasising and emotionally vesting yourself into relationships that has not been defined and discussed by the man in question.

There’s so much that we will save ourselves from if we just choose to move in step with the Spirit of God. The Holy spirit is just as interested in our ‘love-life’ as He is in our ‘bible study and prayer life’. He is a Spirit that influences ALL of us and not just a part and so let’s be mindful to bring Him along even when we get to such junctions.

To be honest, I don’t even know whether or not a man can be too shy to tell you he is interested (especially when this man is being led by the spirit of God), but what I can tell you confidently, is not to move ahead of yourself and allow your sensitive and emotional side lead you into a place you have not been invited to.

If it really bothers you that much that He might like you but not have the courage to say it, I think its a wiser choice to pray that God grants Him the courage and not just take matters in your own hand.

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Check out the last Moment of truth post here

God’s revelation of Himself to you?

Whats you personal relationship with God like? Asides church on Sundays, mid-week services and occasionally stumbling into conversations with people on God’s goodness, do you really enjoy the relationship and the intimacy of it?

There’s no point putting on a facade to appear like you do if you really don’t. I think God will be grateful if you came out clean and let Him know that it is a lot tougher than it should be enjoying the intimacy of being a christian, especially in this generation. If you truthfully don’t enjoy this faith-walk and see it more as a routine than an enjoyable relationship, God wants an appointment with you and I don’t think you should take that for granted.

Here’s why we must fully enjoy our relationship with God before we can attempt to showcase His love to the people around us.

A couple of weeks ago now, after my devotion, I had one of those moments where I wanted to do something grand for God, I mean I always want to be and do something grand, but occasionally, I sense a prompting some days that something really big will happen, and usually, something big happens. That morning was one of such days, so I was praying that God should make me sensitive to the person He wants to use me to bless today and “open my eyes and ears to see and hear the invincible and the inaudible”. (A prayer I think is always worth praying by the way). And as I was praying waiting for an answer, a simple sentence came to me that said “Today, I just want you to be to people who I am to you“.

Please feel free to re-read that sentence.

God was asking me to be to people who He is to me, That was the grand thing for that day and every other day really.

Now, God cannot tell you to be to people who He is to you if He is not anything to you yet, If your spiritual growth hasn’t got to a level that you can clearly state who God is to you, it calls for deeper levels of intimacy and relationship which God is always willing to have. The only reason I understand God’s reply to me to be to men who He is to me is because I know who He is to me. If I didn’t know, He can’t give me such an answer because that will be Him asking me to be someone I myself don’t even understand.

In a recent post, I wrote about how we cannot get tired of naming God. In the blog post, we named Him God, the bearer of my pain. Every name God has that we call Him now, was as a result of a revelation He was to someone at a particular time in their life. For example, after Abraham was provided with a ram when he was about to sacrifice Isaac, he called God Jehovah Jireh, meaning, The God that provides. When Hagar was met by an angel after she ran from Sarah’s house with little Ishmeal, after her encounter with the messenger of God, she called God El Roi, meaning The God who sees me. We name God who He is to us.

God keeps revealing Himself to us in intimacy and relationship that’s why we cannot run out of naming Him, but if we don’t have revelations of who He is, we cannot be to people what we have not experienced. God’s command that morning led me to a whole phase of deep searching with heavy tears because I tried to phantom how I could possibly be to humans who God is to me, and it seemed so deep because I know very deeply who God is to me.

Feel free to make this practical, I even strongly advice you do, get a paper, a journal, or your note and just scribble down who God is to you personally. Then read that and understand every function properly. Then, understand that God wants you to be those things to the people around you daily.

MIRROR MIRROR

I told my best friend that her fiance was messaging me

truthh

Yesterday, I was thankful again for some of the angels God gifted me as friends, This Girl called me up, asked to take me to lunch and later added seeing a movie to our hang-out and Lord knows I didn’t know I needed to relax till I lay in my bed at the end of the day reminiscing on how beautiful the day went, but even more, how relaxed I felt.

Let friendship not just be in our mouth, lets go a little further and put some action behind it shall we? But no, this post isn’t about Christiana or my day out or a need to have friends like her (Although i’m sure you’d have caught the point by now, lol).

We saw ‘What Men want‘ at the cinema and if you know me, you’re probably thinking ‘That’s not Rubie’ cause you know that it’ll be my last option if I was going to a cinema to watch a movie and the movie choice was up to me. The reason is that I find a lot of Black-American romance movies very profane, added to that, they’re also quite explicit and because I’m team ‘Guard your mind and heart’, I try to stay away from those things as much as I can because I genuinely don’t think I can handle it.

But Christiana wanted to see it and truthfully I had seen some good reviews as well so I obliged and didn’t object. This post is also not a review of the movie but of a trend that was accentuated in the movie.

It brought a flash back of a girl in my teenage church who once shared at one of the ‘Girl talk’ sessions at youth church camp, how her sisters husband had started to look at her lustfully while he was dating her sister and even went further to tell her that she was the one he wanted even if it was her sister he was marrying. (Yes, The effrontery!). Sadly, it was all verbal communication and not one she could screenshot and go show her sister who was about to get married then (Oh Lord, that you’ll give us the spirit of discernment to see through these facades, both male and female alike!).

She approached her second sister and told her what had happened over the months leading to the wedding and the other sister accused her of seducing him and went further to advise her not to tell the sister about to get married, so she didn’t. When she was sharing this story and seeking advice, her sister was married to this man and she had been running away from him the whole duration of the marriage (How she moved from kettle to pot! ugh).

In ‘What men want‘, there’s a very similar turn out of events, similar to a movie called ‘Boy, bye‘. There, a recently divorced friend, found out that her best friend’s boyfriend was actually married and so she took it to the ‘counsel’ of close friends to seek advise on what to do as she didn’t want to appear as the ‘Kill-joy’, ‘bearer of bad news’ or ‘jealous friend’. The ‘counsel’ of friends decided against telling her directly and just set up a scenario where the wife would meet them two in an inappropriate state (in the case of the movie, in bed). So these friends went ahead and plotted this decision.

On #QuestionAnsweringFriday on our Instagram page, a couple of weeks ago now, I received a similar question from a girl who asked if she should tell her best friend that her boyfriend was secretly messaging her, even while they were still in a relationship. And watching What men want and Boy bye just brought all these occurrences back and made me begin to question friendship in our generation.

How we would be scared of being named ‘jealous’ over telling the truth, or how we’d be willing to watch the people closest to us walk into fire because we don’t want to be the bearers of bad news! like what?

By God’s grace, I’m the friend that my best friends fiance wouldn’t even want to find out that he likes me, because once I so much as sense it (spiritually now), my best friend is knowing and not just knowing but walking away because if at fiance level you’ve still not been trained and taught by the Holy spirit to be committed to one, I don’t think that’s somebody spiritually fit for marriage, so yes, i’ll be snitching you straight up.

In that moment, as much as I know the hurt it will bring her, I know also the compilation of hurt I will be saving her from in the future, so we’ll mess up the now just to preserve the future, obviously as led by the Spirit of God.

My number one trait I look out for in all my friendships since I knew the real meaning has been ‘honesty’, honesty to yourself and honesty to me as your friend. It’ll shock you to know that it is not even god-fearing because I’ve been good friends with unsaved people and God has used that friend-relationship to draw them to God, If I decided to make friends with only saved people, I can’t imagine the number of people that I was led to bless, slip through just because I decided to make only saved friends. (Ps. not everyone of us can handle this, until you’re sure you won’t be influenced, please there’s nothing wrong in sticking around only saved people, let God be the one to move you).

If you want good friends around you, it starts with you being a good friend. What’s your testimony as a friend to the people around you? I think we should all think about this.

I say this with all conviction, that if you are scared or concerned about telling any friend of yours the truth that could save them trauma in the future, however complicated the situation, you need to reevaluate that relationship and pray about it also. It is not normal or okay.

Perfect love casts out all fear.

‘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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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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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.”

fear

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.

temptation