You must have a word

And the word of the Lord came unto him, saying, arise, get thee to Zarephath, which belongeth to Zidon, and dwell there: behold, I have commanded a widow woman there to sustain thee.  1Kings 17:8-9

You must have a word.

There was severe famine in the land, as there was no rain meaning one thing: hunger

However the word of the Lord came to Elijah so he could be rest assured that even though everyone might be experiencing hunger, as for him, God had made provision for him

God always provide for His own.

In the verse above, he told him I have commanded a widow to sustain you. 
How will a widow sustain him in famine? that was not his business, all he knew was God had spoken....and he had God's word to hold onto.

Before the issues of life come calling as they will definitely come, you must have a word from the Lord that you are holding onto.

Jesus said in John 16:33
These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world

He is saying here, we will have problems as long as we are in this world, however He gave his word
'Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world
In me you will have peace

A believer who has this word will not be agitated therefore when tribulations come, he or she will have peace in the midst of the challenges he is facing with the assurance that he will come out of the challenges victoriously.

What about those times the challenges seem overwhelming?

Let's look at Elijah, How would a widow sustain him in famine? 
He could have questioned it because when you hear of a widow, what readily comes to mind is a woman on her own barely surviving as the husband is deceased.

But God had spoken. 'Go to this widow she will sustain you'.

As I meditated on this, I thought 'Lord, surely you knew this widow barely had food in her house to feed herself and her son yet you sent Elijah there. Why?

I didn't want to just read this bible passage and jog along as I knew there must be something I could glean from here so I kept meditating.

Then the Lord brought to my mind 2 Kings 7:1

This was when Elisha prophesied and said 'Hear ye the word of the Lord, thus saith the Lord, tomorrow about this time shall a measure of fine flour be sold for a shekel and two measures of barley for a shekel in the gate of Samaria.

There was severe famine in the land but God said by the next day food will be sold for say a penny in today's currency.
This was at a time when bird's poo (faeces) was sold for 5 pieces of silver and people were boiling their children to eat. 2 Kings 6:25-29.
The famine was grievous in Samaria.

The human brain will struggle to understand how there could be severe famine today and by tomorrow, food will become so cheap it will be sold for a penny.

God is not sitting in heaven thinking how He will solve your problem. He has the solution already.

You might say but my problem is a big one, it might be big in your eyes and look impossible but God knows what to do.

When Elisha prophesied and said by tomorrow, fine flour will be sold for a shekel in a land of severe famine, the solution was already next door.

Let's go to 2 Kings 7:6-7 - For the Lord had made the host of Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites and the kings of the Egyptians to come upon us.
Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight and left their tents and their horses and their asses even the camp as it was and fled for their life.

God had provided the food by making their neighbours, the Syrians hear a noise and run away leaving all their food and possession which the children of God through the lepers came later to find out and possessed.

I meditated on this and thought to myself 'So Lord, once you give your word over anything, no matter how hard the challenge is, it will come to pass because your word is forever settled.

Now back to our main story, then I thought to myself 'when Elijah entered the city, met the widow who God said will sustain him and asked her to bring him food (verse 12) and she said 'I have not a cake, but an handful of meal in a barrel and a little oil in a cruse and behold I am gathering two sticks that I may go in and dress it for me and my son that we may eat it and die.

What went on in Elijah's mind? Did doubt arose? Did He think God got it wrong? or did He say to himself 'I know my redeemer liveth, God cannot lie, if He said it, it will surely come to pass.
He had spoken and said this widow will sustain me, how it will happen, I don't know but it will.

Once you have the word, trust God completely.

If Elijah had turned back after seeing that the widow barely had food, he would never have witnessed that supernatural provision from God.

Believers say 'I read these things in the bible but I don't see them manifesting in my life. The truth is the word of God He sent to you is 'life' it cannot fail.
You have to go beyond the level of 'seeing before believing'
You have to trust God completely.

A widow can feed a nation if it is the Lord that has spoken it for 'Faithful is he that calleth you who also will do it. I Thessalonians 5:24

Your change will surely  come.

1Kings 17:16 - And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord whichh he spake by Elijah.

Till death do us part

Quite often, we've seen people look at a couple and say things like 'the man is very wicked but the wife is an angel or that woman is horrible, I wonder how the husband cope at home as he is such a good man.
I'm sure you've heard such statements before.

Is anything wrong with marriage? After all God instituted marriage and everything God made is good. (Genesis 1)

Today I want to talk about bliss in marriage. I want to talk about marriage 'done' the bible way.

I am not a marriage counsellor and definitely not here to list the DO's and DON'Ts of marriage as I don't know them if they exist. 
I just want to share with you some truths in the Word of God that has blessed me in this area.

I am not by this message telling people what to do, however if you desire more in your marriage, if deep within you, you know things should be better than how they presently are and you just know that as a child of God, complete peace and love can reign in your marriage then you can read on and share with your spouse. 
I have also been blessed by it and I pray it ministers to you too.

Proverbs 5:18 (GNB ) says so be happy with your wife and find your joy with the woman you married.

I have only been married 14 years and so you might say I am not experienced which is good in my opinion as people often tend to advice you on marital issues from their own personal experience which might or might not be palatable, therefore by the grace of God I will not be speaking from human experience or knowledge.

However I will share what the Holy Spirit taught me and as I have applied it together with my husband, the results we get is great. 

It takes pure love for the word of God, commitment between both husband and wife for it work, communication and the desire for the Lord to reign in our individual lives for there to be harmony.

Personally, I have realised that by spending time studying and meditating in His word, I don’t have to try by my strength to do the things people expect of a Christian. 

(Things like loving people even when they have not been nice to me, forgiving those who hurt me, living in harmony with my husband, being content with what I have and sharing the gospel with others).

I Samuel 2:9b says for by strength shall no man prevail.

You will always fall short no matter how hard you try which is why you will often hear a genuinely ‘nice’ Christian who is 'trying hard' say ‘I am trying to love that sister but she keeps stepping on my toes, I am trying to be patient with my husband but he is making it hard for me and does she think I am fool because I am a Christian? .

For me, I found out that the more time I spend with the word of God, these deeds flow effortlessly in my life. Of course it wasn’t like this before; I went to church like every other believer, prayed, maybe read my bible once in a while, try and do 'church things' and 'behaved' however I wasn't getting the result the Bible talked about in all aspects of my life.

I then thought to myself 'the bible is true, God cannot lie, there must be something I am missing so I started investing hours in studying the Word and while I do not claim to know it all, I am certainly getting result and not where I use to be and you will too if you invest time in bible study.

Let’s look at Ephesians 5:22, 25

Ephesians 5:22 – Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord.

Ephesians 5:25 - Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

The Lord said to me ‘when I submit myself to my husband, I am actually submitting to Him. 

This changed everything for me. 

It means as a wife, if I don’t submit to my husband, then there is no point saying ‘Jesus you are my all as I am already disobedient.

If I honour and respect my husband, I am honouring the Lord.
So I asked the Lord ‘What if my husband behaves in a way I am not happy with surely I will find it hard to submit to him or do it grudgingly and this could cause strife in the home?

Then He said to me’ You submit to your husband as unto me’ that is your duty. 
You don’t choose when to submit or when not to. It has no condition attached to it.

I thought that was a hard saying.

The Lord went further and said, each of us (husband and wife) have individual responsibility as laid down by Him. 
I have to do mine and my husband has to do his. They are not mutually dependent.
It is not in my place to judge or criticise my husband when he isn’t doing his. 

Only the Lord can judge as He is the only righteous judge.

I breathed heavily but continued reading. I got to verse 25
Husbands love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it.

Now until I got to this verse, I thought submission was the hardest!

As Christ loved the church!!! Now that’s huge.

I think we need to study how Christ loved the Church for anyone to understand this verse.

John 1:11a – He came to his own and his own people did not receive Him (talking about Jesus)

Isaiah 53:7 – He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth. (Talking about Jesus)

Luke 23:34a – Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

1 John 3:16a (NIV) – This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.

1 John 4:10 – This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.

Brethren, I could go on and on but Jesus loved the Church (us) completely. He forgave our sins, he cleansed us, He put his seal upon us and the enemy dare not touch us, we were His enemies yet He died for us.

How easy it is to love those who hate you, those who don’t want you, those who spat on you and chose a thief over you?
Yet Christ loved the church unconditionally.

Now he said to husbands, 'love your wife even as He loved the church'

Are you a husband reading this, the Lord says you must love your wife as He loved the church.
He didn’t say love her when she behaves nicely, obeys you, clean the house or prepares your food. I have read that verse several times yet couldn't find any condition attached to it.

It is not in your place to say ‘she is rude to me, she doesn’t obey me, she talks too much etc. The bible says ‘Love your wife, full stop.

How will loving a stubborn, rude wife yield any good result, you might ask?
Isaiah 55:8 our ways are not the ways of God. 

If God asked you to do it, do it and leave the rest to God. The ways of man is to demand or command respect from the wife or impose it or in whatever way, but the bible way is to love that woman regardless of her attitude. 
That’s how Christ loved you, warts and all.

Problems exist in home because everyone is doing what they believe is right. It doesn't matter if that's how your parents did it as long as it's not the bible way, it needs to be changed.

The husband think the wife is wrong and should change, the wife think exactly the same, no one is looking at their behaviour in the light of God's word! The word of God is a mirror. Go check yourself in there and see how you stand.

Do you promise to love your wife/husband till death do you part? You both said 'I do' on the day and Heaven heard it and recorded it. 

Honour your covenant and 'do' marriage the bible way, you will be plesantly surprised at the result you get.

My son

Few years ago, as I sat on the train very early in the morning on my way to work, my mind drifted to things happening around us generally.

I thought about the increase in ungodliness, the prevalence of wickedness and the fact that sinful deeds are fast becoming acceptable; People are not even batting an eyelid over immoral deeds any longer.

I sighed and then thought about my children. 
I thought of the fact that they are growing up in this generation. 
I thought of the friends they will mix with at school.
I thought of the fact that I won’t always be with them and that children are easily influenced.

So I asked the Lord a question.

I said ‘Lord, how will I raise my children to love you completely in this perverse generation?
How will they be able to say NO to sin when they are on their own and I am not there to correct or guide them?

The Lord answered me and said ‘Read my word to them’.

That’s all I heard.

I thought about the Lord’s response all that day long.

It was clear enough but it seemed too simple.

I wondered why the Lord said that because I love to pray and do pray for my children and so maybe a part of me thought 'surely my prayers over them should be adequate and I probably was expecting a response in the line of 'keep praying and fasting for them'.

Therefore when His response differed to my expectation, I decided to go into His word and check out what He said to me after all the Lord will never speak outside of His word.

Now if you are reading this, don't get me wrong, I am not saying do not pray for your children as you have to pray for them but the Lord showed me the reason He asked me to read His word to my children as I studied His word and I will like to share it with you.

My prayer is that even after we are long gone, our children shall stand in the midst of this generation and choose the Lord over the world.

Now let's look at these 3 verses of the scriptures. 

1. Judges 2:7 - And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the Lord that he did for Israel. 

2. Judges 2:10 - And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers and there arose another generation after them which knew not the Lord  nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

3. Judges 2:12 - And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers which brought them out of the land of Egypt and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them and bowed themselves to them and provoked the Lord to anger. 

One generation loved and served the Lord completely, the other generation KNEW NOT THE LORD?  How did that happen?

The generation that were under Joshua loved the Lord and served Him diligently. The law was read to them dutifully and they obeyed the commands of the law and so that generation was able to prevail over all their enemies as the Lord was with them.

However every man is mortal!

All that generation under Joshua died as every man will die, no matter how long you spend here on earth.

Right from the very beginning, God told them 'make sure you tell your children all I have done, tell them how I conquered for you, tell them about the God of Israel, let them know about me. 

Why did the Lord reiterate on this? 

People can take away physical things from you but the knowledge you have about something, no one can take that away from you.

For this generation under Joshua, even though they served the Lord valiantly, their children DID NOT KNOW THE LORD hence it was easy for these children to follow after the gods around them and bow to them.

For your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour – 1Peter 5:8

The enemy is always looking for a prey! Someone to pounce on, children are not exempted!

As I studied further, I found out that from this generation that did not know the Lord unto further generation, the problem continued.

They didn’t know the Lord, they had no knowledge of God to pass onto their own children and as a result, they did what the people around them did (serving gods- anything or act that is not bringing glory to God is a god) 

As they did what unbelievers around them did they must have thought that was the norm but they were covenant children of God that should live their life differently and so it was easy for the enemy to constantly afflict them.

How does this concern me, you may ask?

1Cor 10:11 (NIV) - These things happened to them as examples and were written down as warnings for us on whom the culmination of the ages has come.

The abomination that goes on now in our generation is simply mind blowing. Any child can easily become a target. Your children need to know what the word of God says; simply attending church with you once or twice a week will not be enough. You need to read and teach them the word of God.

If your children are still living with you, read God's word to them.
Don’t say they are too little or that it won’t make sense to them. Read it and explain to them.

God's word is a seed!

Jesus said his words are spirit and life. John 6:63.

You are planting life giving seed in their heart and it will continually grow.

The greatest temptations come to people when they are alone.
When your children are with you and they err you can correct them, what about when you are not there?
Will you always be with them?

When they are faced with temptation and you are not physically there with them, the Holy Spirit that breathes on the word of God will bring the word they have always heard you read to them to the surface and then strengthen them with an inner might and enable them to say NO to sin.

For the word of God is quick says Hebrews 4:12.

Even if they are grown up and are no longer with you, don’t think it is too late, send scriptures that has blessed you to them, tell them how that verse ministered to you, ask them to read it and think about it and then create time to discuss it with them.

The knowledge of the word of God will keep your children from the evils in this world.
In your old age your mind will be at peace.

If they have no knowledge of the word of God in their heart then the world will come along with different beliefs and ideas and occupy their mind as it is impossible for the mind to be idle. 

There are gods around that can easily entice them and take them far away from the Lord. You only need to look around at the decay the world has done.

Proverbs 8:33 says ‘Hear instruction and be wise and refuse it not.

I pray this ministers to you as it has ministered to me.

Can I make it?

It is quite easy to look at highly successful and wealthy people today and wish you were like them. People say things like ‘If I came from a wealthy and influential family, things will be better for me or if I was born in a particular country, I will be better off or if I had a western education, I will be on top of my game……..but the truth is every child of God has all it takes to succeed in life.

Everything you need to succeed in life has been given to you; Ephesians 1:3

The problem is most believers are very ignorant of this fact so they continue to live through life as second fiddle, poverty stricken, below their potential and weak.

I want to share with you today teachings that the Holy Spirit taught me through personal study of the Word. It has revolutionised my life and it will bless you too.

However this might not be everyone’s cup of tea if you feel you don’t need this teaching then please forward to someone who might need it. Thank you

The Lord taught me that my mind is powerful. He said through the workings of my mind, I can be whatever I want to be. As for Him, He has already pronounced me blessed because I am in Christ however through my thoughts I can achieve greatness or otherwise. 

In plain language it means your life now is going the way of your thoughts !!! (Proverbs 23:7)

Your mind – a powerful weapon

And be not conformed to this world but be ye TRANSFORMED by the RENEWING of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God Romans 12:2.

While it is true that some people have the advantage of being born into wealthy families or having western education to start them off well early in life, the truth is that the difference between a highly successful man and others can be traced back to the workings of their mind.

Your mind is a very powerful weapon which can work for you or against you depending on what you have done with it.

Take for example; some people’s attitudes are so terrible (Bad attitude stems from bad mindset) that no one will want to be near them let alone do anything with them. 

You just don’t want to be around them, they moan about everything, they see only the negative, they are the half empty glass people, they cling to bad news and always expect the worst. Their mind is accustomed to the fears of this world, they play it safe always and will never take a calculated risk hence they remain where they are for years. 

Such people cannot achieve the best that God has for them as fearful people cannot be great. It takes faith to venture into unknown fields, it takes faith to believe what you haven't seen, it takes faith to do what others are not prepared to do and it definitely takes faith to trust the God you haven't seen.

Your mind is going to either see fear or opportunity, failure or grace to succeed, average or greatness. Your mind can only see one or the other depending on what you have fed your mind with over time.

If you are a believer, you have no limit in life, irregardless of your background, colour, position or nationality. You are a seed of God, the Spirit of God lives in you. There is no limit to where you can reach as a child of God. Only you can put a seal on your growth in life.

In Romans 12:2, the Holy Spirit says expressly ‘do not conform to this world’. It is amazing how believers want to succeed yet still want to be like the people of this fallen world. 

Obey Romans 12:2 and you fast track your success in life, disobey it or ignore it and you keep moving round in circles.

What does it mean to conform to this world?
Romans 8:6 – For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.  Carnality simply is to do things in the flesh; just the way the people of the world does it. To respond to things in the flesh, some of us operate in envy, hatred, bitterness, wickedness, pride, unforgiveness etc. This is the way of the world.

Such attitude stems from an unrenewed mind which leads us to the next thing the Holy Spirit says in his word in Romans 12:2, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind.

The only way not to be carnally minded is to renew your mind. There is no other way. 
People say ‘But that woman is a Christian, why is her attitude terrible or look at the way that sister behaves, yet she is the worship leader at church!!. She is a Pastor's wife yet she treats people shabbily, He is a minister of God yet he talks to people with no respect, it's all a result of an unrenewed mind. 

It doesn’t matter how long she or he has been born again or what titles they may hold in the church.

So how do I renew my mind? Through personal study of the word of God.

Personal study of the word of God everyday will reveal who you are in Christ, the fruit of the spirit will effortlessly manifest in your life, you won’t struggle to love others or forgive, you will find it hard to be bitter or envy others because you know you are blessed. Only ignorant believers operate in envy as they don't know what they have in Christ or how to receive it.

Personal study of the word will reveal the innumerable treasures in Christ that belong to you, the provisions Christ already made for you and how to receive them.

The word of God will reveal to you how to overcome obstacles, fears, limitations and it will let you know how to achieve your potential as nothing will be impossible to you. 

When you know who you are, what has been provided for you already, how to receive it, it changes your perception about this life and it improves your relationship with people and God.

That verse says renewing your mind will lead to transformation!
To be transformed and succeed, some things will have to give.
I recently read a write up about highly successful people and found out that most of their time is spent reading books on business ideas, creativity and learning something new. They rarely watch TV!!!

I also read somewhere that if you want to hide money away from Africans, put it inside a book as they don’t read books. A lot of believers spend too much time watching films, movies and soap operas on TV. How does this add value to your life?

A believer who wants to be transformed will have to give up a lot of TV time to study the word of God for therein lies success, that success you crave, that height you desire, that greatness you pray for is all in the word. You will have to study personally to dig out the treasure in the word of God, believe it and see them come to pass in your life.

There are people wanting greatness, success, prosperity and blessings which are all in the word of God but are not prepared to put in the hours to study and meditate.

The word of God brings about an effortless change!

People are looking for success externally; they are wishing their circumstances to change but are not ready to do it the Lord’s way.

When you begin to study consistently, boldness comes upon you, you receive divine instruction from the Holy Spirit on what to do, you suddenly find out nothing will be impossible to you, the things you see before as mountains becomes stepping stones, your mind begins to think like God as it is being renewed daily with the word of God.

You will then be able to say like Caleb in Numbers 13:30 ‘Let us go up at once and possess it for we are well able to overcome it. 
When others see fear and impossibility, you will see opportunities for promotion and greatness.

Your story can change today. Start renewing your mind with the word of God.

It will come to pass

This is not the end.

If it's still dark and you are unhappy then it's not over yet. God's promise is abundance and joy.

Now look at your future with the eyes of faith and see God's light shining through this present darkness.

Your future is beautiful, fruitful, prosperous and your dreams shall come true.

Don't cast away your confidence in the Lord.

For thus saith the Lord, Ye shall not see wind, neither shall ye see rain; yet that valley shall be filled with water. 2Kings 3:17

Jesus or the Storm?

And he saith unto them, why are ye fearful, o ye of little faith?. Then he arose and rebuked the winds and the seas and there was a great calm. Matthew 8:26.

Jesus was the one speaking here to his disciples. They came to wake him up in the ship because all they could see was the storm.

The storm was raging, yes they could see the storm but Jesus was also in the ship and they could see Jesus too.

However they had a choice on which to magnify in their eyes, the storm or the presence of Jesus.

They chose the storm.

They looked at the storm that was raging and of course a stormy sea will bring in the waves which was happened so that their ship filled with water and fear filled their heart.

Jesus was with them right in the ship, they had seen him perform all manner of  miracles, his presence should be comforting and allay any fears but they choose to see the problem not the problem solver.

What do you see? The problem or the problem solver? Who do you magnify? The challenges or your maker?

The people that the bible calls  overcomers are those who see with the eyes of faith.
Rather than see and concentrate on the problem and become fearful they concentrate on what the word of God says.

1John5:4b, and this is the victory that overcometh the world even our faith.