Moments of Truth

I have decided to tag any blog-post that draws lessons from my personal life and experiences ‘Moments of Truth’. Because it is me, coming clean with you all, *cough, I mean, the entire world, seeing as anything that goes on the internet, has the potential to reach the entire world.

Part of my retreat is prayerfully meditating and answering some questions from the retreat guide (i’m happy to email it to you if you request it).

A few days ago, I was on question 17, and it reads – ‘How much did you grow in the Word this year?’

I honestly could’ve just written ‘I grew a whole lot’ and moved on, but as part of my retreat rules, I must think about a question for a minimum of 3 minutes before I attempt writing down answers and praying on them.

So while thinking on this question, something hit me really hard, so my answer went something along the lines of ‘I definitely grew in the word this year, but compared to 2017, I didn’t grow as much’.

After I finished writing, I felt a level of satisfaction, till I remembered that 2018 was ‘Read the entire bible’ through the year. 2017 was not that year. So it was fascinating to me that in the year where I purposely choose to read the entire bible, I don’t grow as much as in the year I don’t read the entire bible.

Ps. I am not one of those Christians who believe that reading the bible is a feat, for me, it was a personal goal I set for myself, as I also did in 2015 as well. That you’ve read the entire bible, page to page, word to word, does not gives you a ‘Rabbi’ title or place a Halo over your head in the spiritual realm. So please try to get my point.

Back to my story, as I was laughing at myself and marvelling at this funny truth, I heard God telling me that ‘It is not in the quantity or the milestones, rather, the quality and the fellowship’.

Basically, what that meant to me was that, my routine to read this number of chapters every day, did not mean that I was connecting and fellowshipping with the spirit of God in all of those moments, for some of the time, it was ‘crush the to-do list’ and not ‘sit at the feet of Jesus’.

So, I got more from my 2017 ‘random’ bible reading than I did in my 2018 intentional ‘read the entire bible through the year’ plan because of my pursuit for the quantity over the quality.

But affliction will not rise a second time, 2019, we’re reading the bible, whether all through or just as led by the spirit, the most important thing is that we are actually fellowshipping with the Spirit of God while at it. That makes all the difference!

Now, if you don’t mind me asking, How much did you grow in the Word this year?

truth

“You’re not my kind of Christian”

Hey Guys! Hope you’re all good? Like really good?

It is exactly 11 days to Christmas, and just this evening, I heard someone my church had been praying for, for a few weeks now, passed on. I was numb when I heard the news, I felt worse knowing how close it was to Christmas and how this family might always be mourning around this period of every year. That He was only 18, makes me feel a bit more puzzled, but in all, we’re thankful.

This is just a random reminder to live each day purposefully and intentionally, none of us hold a guarantee for tomorrow, but we can choose to live the now purposefully. Praying He rests in peace! And for anyone else out there currently grieving, accept my deepest condolences and love x

I’ve been on my annual personal retreat, although I have not been able to turn my phone off yet cause school is still in session, I have still managed to have a few of those quiet retreat moments to actually do what I plan to do in my retreats. Part of my own purposeful living is taking periods of time through the year, to do some reflection and evaluation of myself and the things and people around me, and prayerfully plan accordingly, it’s worked for me thus far, and I want to believe it might for you too.

But hey, none of this is the reason for this blog post, so I beg your pardon.

John 10:16 “I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.”

The highlighted verse above has been the object of my meditation for the last 2 days, I randomly stumbled on it in my bible reading and although in the moment, nothing came to mind, in meditating and thinking through it, i’m convinced God has a message.

This verse comes in one of the chapters where God addresses the Pharisees directly. It is part of my favourite portions in the bible, because you see clearly, the meaning of ‘God uses the foolish things of this world to confound the wise’.

Those people couldn’t get the simplest teachings of the Kingdom of God. Their religiosity blocked them a whole lot from revelation.

In that chapter, God is speaking of sheep that knows, hears and obeys its shepherds voice, He also speaks of Himself being the gate through which any Child of God would go through and not scale or jump the fences, then somewhere after that, He states that He has sheep that are not of this sheep pen, but He will bring them also, and they will listen to His voice, and we all will be one flock and there will be one Shepherd.

Who are these other sheep that are not of this sheep pen?

I’ll bring it back from Jesus time and then relate it to our own time, so bear with me if you cannot relate with the reality from Jesus time. I realise that we are the ‘millennials’.

Now, remember that the Jews in Jesus time were the ones thought to be the Holy people, seeing as Jesus was one of them and also that His genealogy is entirely Jewish. People were so convinced that the Jews were the chosen people, like the Israelite’s to the point where, even Peter, one of Jesus besties, deemed anyone who was not ‘Jewish’ as unclean. Up until Jesus cleared that misconception in a trance where He said that nothing is unclean in His eyes.

Anyone among the Jews then who believed, will be in that ‘sheep pen’. They had all grown together in the same culture, practising the same traditions and being taught the same things in their synagogues, so they could definitely identify with each other and relate even better together.

As Jesus began to challenge the belief of the people then, that the Jews were not, and are not the only ones He came to save, they didn’t understand it, they could not understand how Jesus could want to save such an unclean bunch, like the Samaritans, the Gentiles, the Philistines, or the people from all other places that didn’t practice the exact same Jewish tradition.

But as we see, it took time, angel visitations, trances and dreams to get this message across. Jesus says that “I have come for anyone who need just believe”. Jewish or not Jewish.

Any other person who believed that was not Jewish, can be referred to as ‘sheep from another pen’, which Jesus says will listen to His voice, and we together, will be one flock.

Now, we the millennial, I think it might be worse in our time with all these denominations of Christianity, I mean, the question that follows ‘Are you a christian?’ is  usually always ‘what denomination are you?’ Like it is not just one Christ we are going after.

I am not attempting to validate every denomination of Christianity. As a matter of fact, I cannot even do that as I don’t know them all, but this is me saying that ‘there are sheep in other sheep pen who Jesus will bring also, and who will be one flock with us and have one shepherd, Jesus Himself’.

Let’s face it, a lot of our religions are cushioned with culture, and your cushioning will vary with the environment and influence from your upbringing. And because of this reality, we need to be humble enough to be respectful and non-judgemental towards the practices of other denominations, which don’t tally with our own.

It is why, as we grow in Christ, one of the first things, God begins to challenge in us, are those cultural ideas which we’ve exalted to the same level as the unadulterated truth of the Word of God. God begins to teach us that our love for someone is not dependent on who they are or where they’ve come from, but solely on the fact that they are within reach of our love.

It is a tough one to completely explain in words, i’m praying the Holy Spirit opens the understanding of you who gets to this point of reading.

this blog post is not promoting liberality or passivity in Christ, what i’d rather you see, is that the love and belief  in Jesus has made us all one flock and He, our Shepherd.

I’ll wrap this up with the words of 1 Corinthians 7:19 – Circumcision is nothing and uncircumcision is nothing. Keeping God’s commands is what counts.

High Standards?

Hey ladies, this one is for you! *wink*

Is there really such a thing as having standards that are ‘too high’?, I’ve had numerous conversations with Ladies and Gentlemen in our generation and all too often I hear someone say that one of the problems with ladies in this generation is that “their standards are too high”.

Lets backtrack even, do you have standards? when it comes to friendship as well as relationship?

By standards,we mean, are there things, attributes or characteristics you’re looking out for in a person that might qualify them to be ‘potential’ for you?

Reminds me of this one time I was having a conversation with my mum and aunt and I remember I said ‘Mummy I don’t think I can marry a man who’s house is not as big as ours’.

A loud burst of laughter followed from my audience after my verbal display of, I dare say folly, and frankly speaking, thinking back myself, I can’t believe I said that.

My mum followed with a conversation of how it was not always like that for them and how they didn’t start off in the house we currently live in, mind you, it was not like I didn’t already know this.

I was definitely young, naive and very foolish to have thought that way, talk more less of made the statement. But hey, there’s no denying that there are so many of us out there who have such superficial standards, e.g. the size of the house/car, the prestige that comes with the job, the dress sense and height, and for me, at some point in my life, it was even about his mannerism with written English and oral speech. LOL!

I’m not trying to be annoying right now, but truthfully, a lot of women in our generation would have chosen The Nicodemus over The Jesus in the bible, based on the standards we hold now. (You’re able to click on their names to read about Nicodemus and Jesus in the bible, but in a nutshell, Nicodemus was this rich member of the Sanhedrin, that I think was handsome, and Jesus is the Saviour of the world who lived His life per moment.

Am I saying standards are wrong or shouldn’t be high? At all!

As a matter of fact, I am an avid supporter of having standards for any and everything, It helps us not to settle, but here’s the carveat though, your standards cannot, and should not be based or affiliated with superficial things. We cannot judge a person based on things that don’t matter in eternal life.

Don’t get me wrong, we are human beings with preferences, but we would usually adopt those preferences that best appeal to our flesh and our convenience, which is normal, were human.

I listened to a message once and I sadly don’t remember who said it but the preacher said  that “God is not committed to making a person into what you want, He’s committed to making people who He wants them to be”, frankly, this might not tie in totally with what you want, and in His words, ‘It is what it is’.

The solution I discovered to this is to think eternity, think Kingdom, think lasting, think godly. A lot of things are completely eliminated when we see that they don’t tally with what God also would look for in a person.

Can I just say, this is no license to be with someone you are not attracted too, whether physically, mentally or spiritually. It is more to steer us to think and see things the way God does and not as the world does.

A lot of you might have to re-write you standards list, God might be altering your TDH  (Tall, Dark and Handsome) definitions. LOL!

But here’s why there’s rest in this, Our God knows best, but that doesn’t even make me as happy as also knowing that He wants whats best for Us. Me and You.

When you re-write this list, (if you feel a need to), when next someone tells you ‘Your standards are too high’, the gif below is the best response.

shrug

*wink*.

Superhuman?

I know i’m not the only one who sometimes wants to be Super woman, save everyone, make everyone happy, love everyone in the manner they perceive love, heal every aching joint in very mammal body and sometimes, even grant the smallest wishes, even the little appetite cravings some of us have right now.

Have I succeeded in being this person, maybe actually.

JK. I have not. Not in the slightest.

I realised why kids idolise these Superheroes. And it makes so much sense even to us adults, why we might wanna be superman and superwoman.

Have you ever noticed how in the Superhero movies, they never show the weaknesses of these Superheroes? They’re always the brave, strong and knowing ones who always, always come through.

Also notice how, if at all, they show us a hint of weakness, it is in or related to their love life! lol.

From Superman to Spiderman to even Wonder woman. Everybody’s love life always brings out their weakness. I find it really funny.

So when we watch these movies and animations, and sometimes, even just from the genuineness and sincerity of our hearts, we want to be strong for people and even shield them from seeing our own weaknesses.

I’ve been reading the book of Nehemiah with my bible study team and my goodness! Nehemiah mirrors what a Diligent man is, what truly the bible speaks of, when it talks about a leader.

But in all his splendour, we see that Nehemiah does not deny the weakness of himself and that of the people He was leading to rebuild the wall of Jerusalem.

In chapters 3 – 5, Nehemiah speaks of Himself and the people and how they were working to achieve this feat while also protecting themselves from the opposition. In acknowledging their weakness, what we see Nehemiah doing, is giving God room to be glorified, in speaking out about the areas they lacked and needed super powers, he showed us that even at their best, they still needed help in some areas.

Christianity is not your license to be strength itself, not even the strongest. It is not telling you to renounce or hide weakness, it is definitely not asking you to shield yourself to accommodate people around you.

It is more of a call to use those supposed weaknesses to the glory of God. To ride on the wings of the one true Superhero.

God is not glorified in our hiding of weaknesses, His glory comes when people see Him be your strength in those weak areas, so lets stop robbing God of the glory due Him in our attempts to be super human.

superwoman

How much ‘world’ is in us?

woman

Before you carry on reading this post, I want you to stop and answer this question to yourself.

‘What does worldliness mean?’

If you don’t mind, i’d love to read the definitions that came to mind in the comment section, even after you finish reading this post.

A lot of us have got worldliness twisted. We’ve reduced it to mean a particular way a person looks, speaks, acts and even dresses. We’ve attached it to mere actions and words and we’ve said that it can be identified in a person at a glance.

Let’s backtrack to your definition of worldliness. Was it a bit vague? was it affiliated to dressing or action? was it affiliated to money, wealth or riches?

My immediate guess would be a yes, and that’s okay.

But lets all re-arrange our mindsets now about what worldliness is. Lets understand that it starts from the mind first even before it begins to manifest in our actions and words, lets agree that while we think we can ‘see’ worldliness in a person, it really is something from the inside and cannot be accurately judged at mere glances.

Worldliness in a just a line, is to believe, trust, exalt or acknowledge the world system above God, Jesus.

John Piper also gave this short and powerful definition; ‘resisting the seduction of a fallen world’

The world system is anything that pleases, glorifies and appeals to our flesh alone without glorifying God in some way. Thoughts of things that are dimmed ‘random’ might come to mind, like going to school, like exercising your body, like even eating food daily, how are these things glorifying God?

I won’t go round in circles trying to defend how I think each glorify God or don’t, but either of those things can easily become sin if not done according to the way God wills us to.

Exercising, hunger for knowledge and feeding can quickly become objects of idol worship, so really what I’m saying is that everything in existence in this world has the potential to be sin in the heart or eyes of man (Me and You).

Forget the Sunday school teachers who identified someone as worldly for how they spoke or looked, these things are only the fruits and while they may be valid, majority of christians are walking around carrying the seeds in their hearts. It is only a matter of time before they begin to manifest and produce fruits like the ones that are judged and frowned upon.

When we think of ourselves first, it is worldliness, we’re exalting our ‘self’ above others and sometimes above God.

When we think of doing certain things or going certain places for fame or popularity, it is worldliness. We’re craving the attention of the world and it’s accolades.

PS. there is absolutely nothing wrong with fame and popularity, Jesus had ’em both! The problem comes when we go out of our way, values and the Spirit just to get them, which is where the society we live in brings us to.

When we attribute the workings of Grace to our own works, we are kings and queens of worldliness.

When the motives behind our goals and visions do not in the end glorify God, Brother, Sister, it is worldliness.

And so many other things that don’t really manifest on the outside for people to see.

I think it is time for us to start looking inwardly as people and forget about the surface we see. The heart is what our God looks at, let’s work on that with Him first before moving to the container.

God won’t reward us for hiding our worldliness better than others.

Let’s take a challenge and confront every iota of worldliness in our hearts. It is not something that we can do by ourselves, so please don’t even attempt to. The Holy Spirit is there, always ready and willing to help.

 

 

Picture from: http://www.wonderfullymadeblog.org/?cat=3

The Created vs The Made

I’ve been starting out on my annual personal retreat, wrapping up the mid academic-year retreat in my fellowship and at the same time, juggling school, life and the Christmas giveaway which is currently ongoing (Make sure you check it out).

It’s been all exciting, to say the least.

For the mid-year retreat at my fellowship, we looked at the theme; ‘Follow me’, we were attempting to understand what discipleship means, how important it is for a christian striving for growth and also the cost of discipleship.

My take away is understanding the difference between the created and the made and striving to move from just being the created to being the made.

We’ve all been created by God, everything in existence is created by God and For him, without Him, nothing was made that has been made.

However, that we have been created by Him, does not automatically put us in the best place to be used by Him, beyond His creating us, He’s interested in making us, hence His statement in Matthew 4:19 to ‘Follow me, and I will MAKE you fishers of men’.

There is a process of making that comes after our realising and acknowledging that we have been created.

The making process starts from when we submit ourselves totally to Christ and carries on to the point where we actually look just like Jesus, which is a daily intentional process we must all apply ourselves to.

God will only use a man that He has made and not just created because God will not set us up in a prepared place when we ourselves are not prepared for those places.

God takes prepared people to prepared places. When we understand this, it makes it easier for us to submit ourselves to the making process.

For most people, they’ve been at one place in this spiritual growth. The place where they truly have accepted that Christ died and believe, but It is so much more than this. We need to move from the bench and actually get in to play the game.

A soldier does not remain in training forever, at some point, the commander moves him out to actually fight in the battle, but only when the commander feels that the soldier is ready.

Daily, were praying, asking God for revival, signs and wonder, but we ourselves aren’t going the extra mile in this making process.

The first and most important part of the making process is renouncing yourself as lord over your own life. A man holding on to his life will not completely submit to be used by a higher person even if they realised it is a higher person.

So one of my biggest prayers this retreat is to cease to be lord of my own self and allow God be God over me.

On a less serious note, here’s also encouraging you to take a break off everything and spend some time alone, in prayer, worship and study of Gods word to prepare spiritually for the coming year and all that’s coming with it.

While at it, also answer this question;

Am I being made? or have I just been created?

The created and The made

Another Wife

pilate wife

Very often we come across yet another overlooked person in the bible, not because we intentionally decide not to acknowledge them, but they don’t appear to do the things we dim ‘uncommon or miraculous’.

There’s no shame or shade to anyone really, it is just the human nature that is making us aware of its presence, like we can notice it any less, by making us acknowledge people based on what we think is inspiring or out-of-this-world amazing.

It is the best thing to know that God does not think like us or see things the way we do.

Pontius Pilate’s wife is named in just one verse in the entire bible, just a flash in and flash out stuff, and yes, she really was not named by her name, but referred to as the wife of Pontius Pilate, like The sinful woman and also The woman with the issue of blood.

It is very easy to rush through that verse and not give attention or spare a thought for this woman but yesterday, for the first time, I stopped to imagine how this amazing woman broke a record of being named in just a verse of the bible and yet showing one of the greatest faith, courage and believe you could have seen anywhere else.

Pilate had just received Jesus and was tasked to release one prisoner like he did annually, he knew in his heart that Jesus was innocent, but he could not understand why the people wanted to get rid of Him so badly.

In the midst of his dilemma, word comes from his wife via a messenger saying; “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him”.

There’s no indication that these people were Christians, to be fair, Christ had not even died so they hadn’t been given a reason to believe, however, God’s Spirit was at work even among those people before Jesus died. You can see it in all the events before the birth of Jesus, at His birth and even all the way leading to the cross.

As I meditated on this woman yesterday, I felt The Holy Spirit open my eyes to see how her flash appearance in the bible honoured God as well as her role as a help-meet.

She must have been a very sensitive, obedient and truthful wife.

I think it is also important to note the days she lived in, wives were more like property to their husbands, they didn’t have a say when it came to the ‘serious’ discussions of society, but we see a different relationship that existed between Pilate and His wife. The free communication, the effrontery she had to send in word to her husband at such a critical time and the conviction with which she said what she said.

In that moment, I see that she fulfilled her purpose of her existence and the purpose of her calling as Pilates wife.

It doesn’t seem so glamorous isn’t it? I mean Deborah was a whole Judge of Israel, Esther was the queen who saved her people, Ruth was the one who stuck with her mother-in-law till the very end, and Pilate’s wife just merely expresses her concern to an action her husband is about to take.

It opens our eyes to understand that God does not weigh what He has called you to do against anything or anyone else, He weighs it with the willingness with which you accept and execute the calling.

My Own Person

In High school, I read Tim LaHaye’s ‘why you act the way you do’, I read it again some time after graduation. It is a very comprehensive, thoroughly researched and informative book.

It helps individuals move slightly from the physicality of life and understand their persons and personalities which I have to say, is very crucial for any individual wanting to make meaningful impact.

Genuine impact comes from a place of complete understanding of ones self.

What that book does is explain in detail the 4 main personality types and further breaks each down to their strengths and weaknesses along with several other aspects.

He states clearly in the book that no one person is completely one personality, rather each person has one dominant personality trait which is true for most people.

There’s the Sanguine, Melancholic, Choleric and Phlegmatic . (Click the link to see summaries and reviews).

I’ll allow you go find that book to know more about your personality type which could inform you more about your person.

These 4 personalities create the balanced world we live in, if there was a deficit of one side, there could be chaos, so you find that the existence of all of us together creates beauty.

Each have their own strengths and weaknesses so we can be content in ourselves and reach out for help when in weakness.

If we look in the bible, its very easy to see perfectly the personalities of most of the characters. If you’ve read the book as often and as thoroughly as I have, you can decipher a persons personality from listening or reading their mode of communication.

Paul, for example, was a strong choleric and sanguine personality. He thrived most in leadership, he was also very vocal with any and everything and his strong will and motivation for things close to his heart could not be missed.

Silas on the other hand, was a perfect melancholic phlegmatic person. He was a lot more quiet and gentle, he was more intuitive and thought more indepthly about stuff. He was a structure guy, helping to put structure and clarity to things.

Paul and Silas served God in amazing capacities in their own unique personality. There was no question of “Am I thoughtful enough?” on the side of Paul or “Am I loud enough?”, on the side of Silas.

They both understood their person and used the strengths to the glory of God while relying on God in the cases of their weaknesses.

God made all those personalities, He knows exactly what He’s put in you and so you should not be battered at the thought and display of someone else’s strength. There’s beauty in everything God has made and while the world tries to exalt certain personalities above the other, we must remember that God’s ways and thoughts are higher than ours and so we must operate on His own wavelength.#

be yourself

Camera, Lights, Action?

performance

Ever wondered why there are negative connotations to the word ‘Perform’ or ‘Performance’?, Especially when it comes to faith environments.

You’ve probably heard people in church say a lot of times; “we are not here to perform'”or “Were not giving a performance”, and they don’t stop there, they carry on to say “It is ministry. We’re here to minister”.

We live in a world that is largely performance based. You have to perform in other to get a reward.

If you do receive rewards without any level of performance, there’s a tendency for you to feel that you have somehow cheated the system and truth is, most people will not regard the reward as much as if you actually put in maximum performance for it.

So were attuned to ‘Do before you can Get’.

It’s why the world glorifies hard work, performance and most importantly, results.

While your journey might be sad, long, hard and painful, most people aren’t willing to listen to it until there’s a good result in the end to show for it. So daily were striving to hit that result so we can validate the struggle through the journey and then the result at the end of the journey.

All of these natural laws apply only to the natural, when we climb a level to the supernatural, we see that these laws don’t apply.

Jesus death on the cross came at no price and no cost to either of us. We didn’t have to sit and think of what we could do to enjoy what His death brought for us. God did not require an instance of participation in the process and there was no grading of any mans performance to determine His coming, His death and His resurrection.

Now that He’s risen and unlocked the blessings of His resurrection, why do we feel a need to perform to receive or do something to earn anything from Him?

We think God like man sometimes, sitting out in some elevated pews watching for who performs the best to award her/him the most.

Contrary to that, He’s there right inside you cheering you on to do better than yesterday through the help of His Spirit in you.

God’s love for us is not dependent on our performance. It is not about what we have given or haven’t given. The irony in this is that the realisation of this unconditional love pushes us back to do over and above for Him, and not even so we can impress Him, but just so we can attempt to express our own love to Him too.

Quit performing and start Living!

The You were yet to meet!

I use to be very carefree in elementary school, I was overly social, so out-there and so  unlike freeee, there was not a lot of depth to me because I would intentionally try to hide my depth to fit in to the community I was in. My conversations were shallow and my text messages were random.

I remember I would get home and get on my laptop to type my thoughts on the most random thing. I felt like I needed to shield that part of myself to my friends then in order to sail together, and I think it lasted till about my first year in high school when I could not be less of myself any more.

Fortunately, I was surrounded by more mature and understanding friends who saw things in me before I myself saw it.

I would voice my opinion on things, I would state, however serious it might be, my review on books and movies I had read and seen and overall, I would just be myself, the Rubie not a lot of people knew or were used to.

This started my self confidence journey which I think is the best thing anyone can do for themselves, because there is little you can achieve when you are not completely yourself.

A couple of days ago, I was speaking to a friend who told me that she loved speaking to me because I reminded her that there were ‘sane and normal’ people in the world. She’s  a very very free spirit, so you might understand why she’d say this but I pondered on this and I realised that there’s no such thing as a ‘normal person’. Were all our own persons, and the idea is to be the better version of yourself daily.

There’s no reason to hide any part of you, particularly to accommodate anyone or be referred to as normal.

Introduce us to the You were yet to meet!

Miss Adeola