BEHIND THE SCENE

Movies are great because of all that happens behind the scenes; the editing, re-shoots, make up and so on. Real life stories are even better because we can relate to the challenges and triumphs. I open my student portal frequently to check if my results have been posted, am always looking forward to an A because I know I worked behind the scenes – I studied. I grouch on the Bs & promise not to do the last minute study again. Studying, especially for an exam, is not always fun. Faith isn’t either. Trusting God in the middle of the storm is plain hard. Fasting makes me cranky at times. Keshas-nights of prayers, are long & cold. Sometimes I think of that clean, fresh & warm duvet, the pillow I had just replaced and I check my watch from time to time. Commitment is crazy and on this post I will refrain as much as possible from talking about the great results of pushing through hard times.

At times I struggle to trust in God then as I hold on to his word, my flesh follows suit. Its no longer about how I feel. What’s the point of reading scripture and attending church if they won’t have any impact on me in difficult times? How does it help me to know God is good yet I can’t hold on to his goodness in times of need? Being broken and hopeless should not warrant me to give up. Just because am coming down from Egypt with Pharaoh’s chariots behind me and the red sea ahead doesn’t mean I have to cut my wrist and choose an easier pain. Sometimes dragging ourselves is part of the journey, as long we are moving ahead. Usually, after a powerful sermon, I wonder how in the world I could have missed that. One disturbing truth I learned a while back is that God works with my pace and I can only learn from Him as much as I want to. I attended a one month series on purity and twice I left crying. How could I not have known these things earlier? Well, prior to that I hadn’t been to any event centered on that topic, how else could I have learned? Church is great but not enough. 2 hours in a week won’t give anyone a fraction of strength we need to overcome the flesh & to walk close enough with the holy spirit to be convicted of sin. Going for trainings, prayer meetings, bible study is all part of the behind the scenes work – it’s not always fun but it’s worth it. It’s worth knowing your purpose (& we can only know this in Christ) in life & avoid going round life taking chances.

Another disturbing truth I came across – if you are not up for the job, someone else is. God knew you before you were born & lets say, he put the gift of music in you for His glory. One case scenario – because you have not developed it through practice you feel inadequate and as a result your salt losses its saltiness. How can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men (Mathew 5:13). The enemy picks up the remnants of a good soul and uses it for his glory, then has you half naked singing & dancing in front of a crowd to be trampled by men (& he has plenty of ways to do that). I have seen a man who had anything but a musical voice start to lead worship. He took it upon himself to lead & clearly there’s a passion to worship God even from his choice of music. In the first weeks we would give each other glances through muffled laughter. Then he actually started to sing better than anyone in the room and that’s exactly how God works. He gives you a gift and you sleep on it, He gladly puts it on another willing soul.

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Am still chasing this awesome God & today in my weariness I told him to not let me be the first who will be last (mark 10:31). May I fight the good fight, finish the race and keep the faith; that I may receive the crown of righteousness which the Lord will award on that day (2nd timothy 4:7).

 

 

 

 

We can choose our sins, not the consequences.

I know Christ, I believe in Him, in His death & resurrection. I go to church and pray about my needs, I thank God and even give an offering. I receive the holy communion & give my tithe. Am a Christian, am a believer. I stumble & fall but then again He forgives me. God is love & for sure understands whenever I compromise with his truth, after all am still a Christian, am still a child of God; I still believe in him right? I know what the bible says, but a little lie won’t hurt; God understands I had to fix this, I had no other way around it. The company I work for takes me for granted, am never appreciated despite all I give; I will pay myself, I will adjust the receipts and sign vouchers for refunds. If God is just, He understands. I fantasize about him, even though I desire what I can’t have; it hurts no one and am still ‘faithful’ to my spouse (I don’t physically sleep around)/am still a virgin waiting on the Lord. He is married to her but she doesn’t get him like I do; am just being there for him, at the end of the day he goes home happy, am ok and she gets to keep her marriage; God knows that I honestly care about him.

‘Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the spirit, from the spirit will reap eternal life’.Galatians 6:7-8 (NIV)

Why are we born again if we compromise with the word of God just because it doesn’t suit us or we don’t understand why we are asked to obey certain precepts? Why can’t I have sex before am married? Simple, because God says so. Why should I have devotion every day? How else will you get to know about Christ and how do you expect to win a day’s battle without drawing strength from Christ first? Why do we support homosexuality when the bible is clearly against it? Because we ought to love people? Because Christ came for us all & we are all sinners and have fallen short of the grace of God? Just because I love my child, I won’t let him play with fire – despite how much it fascinates him, because I know he will get burnt. Does that mean I don’t love him? The truth is we don’t know the Christianity we profess. We don’t know the Christ we confess because if we loved him we would know right from wrong – through the holy spirit that convicts us of our wrongs. Yet, we still compromise because when we sin, we do not lose an arm or a leg, and we easily forget how he redeemed us. But this is what the bible says –

For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them away. That is how it will be at the coming of the son of man. Mathew 24:38-39. (NIV)

There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death. Proverbs 14:12 (NIV)

We can chose a night of pleasure to indulge in lust, alcohol & drugs; or hours of watching secular music, movies and a set of series that blind us from sin while enriching us with lust, deceit, bondage and envy; you will even get away with lying, denouncing God, breaking certain commandments (if you break one you have broken all – James 2:10) and have a successful life without receiving Christ – none of these is worth eternal damnation in hell.

Then I saw a great white throne and him who was seated on it. Earth and sky fled from his presence, and there was no place for them. And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what they had done. Then death and hades were thrown into the lake of fire. The lake of fire is the second death. If anyone’s name was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire. Rev 20:11-15. (NIV)

He will be tormented with burning sulphur in the presence of the holy angels and of the lamb (God is a loving God, but he won’t entertain sin). And the smoke of their torment rises for ever and ever. There is no rest day or night…. Rev 14: 10-11 (NIV)

Then who shall be saved? Keep striving, because those who seek righteousness shall be filled. Mathew 5:6 (NIV)

What happens when we die?

For we were born only yesterday and know nothing, and our days on earth are but a shadow. Job 8:9 (NIV)

The very instant you breathe your last on earth; life continues either in heaven or hell – our souls are eternal. With the toxicity of sulphur, the stench & torment in hell, it’s a struggle to breath and all one can do is gasp for air – forever. Its like that moment you have been running and are out of breath, and all you want is to catch a breath. Well, there’s no catching of breath in hell, the body is weary from fighting horrendous pain (physical and emotional because of the seclusion and hopelessness of knowing that your torment is eternal). Hell was prepared for the devil and his angels, not for you, Mathew 25:41.

There’s a place prepared for you though ‘in my father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you…I will come back and take you to be with me…you know the way to the place where I am going’ John 14:2-4.

If you want to read more about heaven & hell, read the books of Daniel, Ezekiel, Hosea, Isiah, Revelation and the 4 gospels – Mathew, mark, Luke & John. Also watch this true vision of hell backed with scripture and another one in Kiswahili that gave me vivid details of heaven and hell.

There are only two roads ahead of you; each day you wake up you chose either one of them, one leading to hell, another heaven. We were born into sin, we are automatically headed towards hell and as we get to the accountability age and hear the word of God we get to choose to redirect our walk. Jesus came that we may have life abundantly; He is the only way, truth and life, nothing or no one else gives you access to God. When you choose to follow him, it’s a life of wholeness, of sacrifice & purity.

Do not gamble with sin.

Am in a crowded road, it’s really packed and noisy. Am heading north and there’s a voice on the move giving direction. I miss it once and am lost, so I have to remain focused and keep following it. I have to carry only what I need, because I don’t know how far am headed otherwise I may get weary from the heavy burden. And this is what he tell me –

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light. Mathew 11:28-30. (NIV)

I will continue to write and tell about Christ, our hope for eternal life, knowing that it’s Him who draws hearts to himself; let it be you who is reading this now. Heed to the call & work out your salvation in fear & trembling as Paul instructed the Philippians.

Prayer: To receive Christ

Lord Jesus, I thank you for your sacrifice at the cross, that through your death I am able to be saved. I repent of my sins and ask you to come into my life, to redirect my path that I may sin no more. Help me surrender my life to you fully, that I may be received into eternal life. In Jesus name, Amen.

Prayer: To rededicate your life to Christ

Lord Jesus, I thank you for the gift of salvation and ask that you forgive me when I have taken it for granted. I repent of my sins (name them as they come to mind) and ask you to be my lord and savior again. Help me to keep the faith in anticipation of your coming, that I may be found worthy upon your return; written in the book of life. Release me from the bondage of the enemy who comes to steal, kill and destroy (name any addiction, struggle, sin) and keeps me from total commitment to you. Lead me in the way everlasting. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

Too much Righteousness?

With red puffy eyes, a 16 year old in high school boarding once pulled a chair and asked Jesus to take a seat. She locked eyes to what would be His and word by word she poured her heart out; why she had been crying and how lost she felt. She was flopping in her exams. She couldn’t feel God, her urgent calls went unanswered. The most unbearable one was His absence; He seemed farther than ever. Had she done anything wrong? It could be that Friday night prayer she missed, or the thoughts & feelings she had towards this guy she had just met. Perhaps how disobedient she had been towards her parents over the holidays, the secular songs she had listened to or the Sunday sermons she had missed. She was hopeless, yet, that very same day marked the very beginning of her ministry life. Of course, she would know that 10 years later; the beauty of His feedback then, in simple clear words was all she took home. She cried some more, only not tears of pain but joy. Her simple act of faith drew the attention of Christ himself & He came down as summoned, listened and these are the words He left behind…words she could not doubt or second guess because they hit her to the core; and because of the indescribable joy that filled her heart instantly. Words from Isiah 41:8-16

But, You O Israel, my servant
Jacob, whom I have chosen, you descendants
Of Abraham my friend,
I took you from the ends of the earth,
From its farthest corners I called you,
I said, ‘you are my servant’;
I have chosen you and have not rejected you
So do not fear, for I am with you
Do not be dismayed for I am your God
I will strengthen you and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand
All who rage against you will surely be ashamed and disgraced;
Those who oppose you will be as nothing and perish
Though you search for your enemies, you will not find them
Those who wage war against you will be as nothing at all
For I am the Lord your God, who takes hold of your right hand
And says to you, Do not fear; I will help you
Do not be afraid, O worm Jacob, O little Israel
See, I will make you into a threshing-sledge
New & sharp, with many teeth
You will thresh the mountains and crush them,
And reduce the hills to chaff
You will winnow them, and the wind will pick them up
But you will rejoice in the Lord and glory in the Holy One of Israel.

10 years later, after the many runs and detours, am hear chasing after God again. Am getting the very meaning of those words He gave me when I was young, hungry & thirsty for righteousness. I am the living proof of Mathew 5:6 ‘blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled’. But then again, how much is too much righteousness? My week (spiritually) goes something like this.

Monday – Devotion, lunch hour fellowship, meditation, witnessing, bible reading, praying throughout the day….

Tuesday – Everything done on Monday (EDM), evangelism meetings in the evening

Wednesday – EDM, Prayer meetings at church

Thursday – EDM, substitute lunch hour fellowship with campus bible study

Friday – EDM, home bible study

To clarify, this is not a self-righteous display of my Christianity, it’s an illustration that helps me approach the idea of how much is too much…in regard to walking with God and living a balanced life.

There are so many verses in the bible that tell me this is nothing close to what we are called to…and I agree. We need more.

Psalms 119:9, 11 – How can a ‘young’ man keep his way pure? By living according to your word. Verse 11, I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you….

A life of purity comes through the word of God – living it. So there’s no way I will keep sin at bay if I do not have the word of God in me. When you hide something you keep it to yourself…its hidden so no one but you knows, & when sin crawls in, you are rightly armored to fight. 66 books of the bible, hundreds of chapters, thousands of verses cannot creep into your heart through Sunday sermons. The bible, just like the speech of Jesus, is full of many parables; we need insight through fellowship, bible trainings, and devotions to get interpretation. The most amazing thing about the bible is the different revelation on the same verse; covering every season of life.

Joshua 1:8 – Do not let this book of the law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.

Deuteronomy 6:5-9 – Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul & with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon you hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the door-frames of your houses and on your gates.

Am sure if I inscribe something like ‘God is good’ on my door people will think that’s nuts – well…nothings on my door, yet!

Is this easy? No. Then again, there’s the power of the Holy Spirit working in us. Sometimes I get weary and I pray for strength, but then again it’s the 10 year stretch that compels me keep to the faith, because I have tried everything else and failed. My moral gauge dropped to a whooping negative, that which I upheld the most crumbled within me & yet, I rejoice in that because I was humbled to seek Christ for righteousness. I know that one day outside His presence drains my spirit, gets me weaker and vulnerable to be preyed on by the enemy. So I keep fighting to stay on course, to loose an extra hour of sleep and draw closer to God. Every day He draws me to the purpose of this beautiful creation story – before I was born He knew me, and I don’t have to wander in the wilderness for 40 years. One truth that sort of scares me is when I pass through paved roads that lead to luxury homes; I only see stones, light, gardens and I know in my heart I can certainly do without them. I want nothing more than Christ; & the burden in my heart, to secure the homeless stands in the way of everything flashy. Hold that! A sermon I heard today could easily dispute my thoughts; when i have the resources to do what i can, that’s the only time I can claim mother Theresa, and I agree. Unless I remain in Christ any good thought I have is worthless, because it springs from pride/self-righteousness – to bring glory to myself and not Christ.

Isiah 64:6 – …all our righteous acts (outside Christ) are like filthy rags. We all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Where’s the balance?

(A work in progress)

Family first.

Family is my first ministry…if they are unhappy, my spiritual life cannot thrive. Am learning to consistently prioritize their needs – my presence, food I have personally prepared and any other activity that makes me available to them.

Time management

There’s a lot that can be done in 24hours, if I plan for it, in that my timelines don’t crush on each other causing a state of haste around me.

Fun

I have recently scraped off movies as my fun source, am easily controlled by them so if I can do without them the better and guess what, I can. I love to exercise, read blogs, be with friends and family….along the way I will find more that will fill my tank.

Listen

Listen to my body when am too engaged, listening to others, especially E. Sometimes it’s not the easiest thing to listen when I feel am right, but am learning.

As long as He won’t ask me away, I will keep seeking Him…and yes He is faithful, for He shall be found.