With Friends like These

“Have pity on me, my friends, have pity” – Job 19:21a

“And Saul’s son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God” – 1 Samuel 23:16

I’ve been reading the book of Job now for a little while, and even though so many lessons can be learned from this man’s life, the one that has always ministered to me was the kind of friends he had.

I remember a time in my life (many years back now) when I had relocated to Manchester to start a new phase in my life and how my meeting with a young woman by the name of “Joy” changed my LIFE for Good. I had just invited the Lord Jesus to be my Lord and Saviour yet again and was getting to know what all that involved. Then I met her, there was something so vibrant, so wonderful, so successful, so powerful about her that I said to the Lord Jesus whatever she has I want it (and if you can double). Like Elisha did in the time of Elijah, I had recognized that she was no ordinary person, and made plans quickly to find out. Every time I would listen to her talk about her love for Christ, and her life exemplified what she spoke. I’m sure she might have had her weak moments, but I had never met anyone with greater faith and walk than this young woman, and knew that if I was going to succeed in getting what she had, I had to partner with her, and not too long after asked her if she could be my prayer partner. One of the many lessons that the Lord used her to teach me was on regular bases she would ask who are your friends Life of a stranger? Till today a question which on a daily basis I ask myself, and a mental inventory I still continue to check.

If David’s friends in the Kings palace at the time of the reign of King Saul (1 Samuel 16:21-22) had known the man that David was and who he was to become (1 Samuel 16:12-13); if they had known that the man they had pursued who in fleeing for his life went and hid in a cave; if they had known that the Lord had chosen David as His priest and ruler of His people; If they had known that David was to become a King, a man that God would call a man after His own heart; If they had known that his name will forever be remembered for generations to come; if they had known that he would have a son who was to become the wisest and wealthiest man ever known; if they had known that this man would write Psalms that will continued to be an inspiration to all that studies it; if they had known the anointing that was upon this man; if they had known that though he may look young and may have been successful in a few battles, that he was a man that God had chosen to be His mighty man; I somehow don’t think they would still be enjoying the comforts that King Saul had to offer and joined in the hunt to kill and destroy such a man.

If Job’s friend knew that the man they were mocking with their words, and whose condition was of no fault of his but a consequence of his ‘jobless” accuser who had nothing to do with his time but to roam through the earth going to and fro in it looking for people to accuse (Job 1:6-11); if they had known it was an opportunity that Lord had allowed to come into his life, so that He would bless him abundantly greater than what He had previous; since all that he had before was small in the sight of God and God was looking for an opportunity to increase him even greater (Job 8:7); I somehow don’t think they would be too quick to tell him what their heart had been harbouring all this while throughout their friendship; because indeed out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks (Matthew 12:34).

So dear friends, who are your friends? Don’t act surprised when instead of encouraging and comforting you in the day of adversity with God’s word, someone you thought was your friend appears to be doing the exact opposite. Even now my witness is in heaven; my advocate is on high. My intercessor is my friend as my eyes pour out tears to God; on behalf of a man he pleads with God as a man pleads for his friend – Job 16:19-21. If the Lord Jesus (whom for sure we have wronged), still cries to God pleading on our behalf, on what basis does a fellow man have to bring any accusation, or to stand in judgement against another. For we have been sent to encourage one another with the truth (1 Thessalonians 5:11; Hebrews 3:13; 10:25), not be quick to judge (Matthew 7:1; Luke 6:37). Jonathan was such a friend to David (1 Samuel 19:4; 20:18-23; 42), a friend whom always spoke to him truthfully and was always there when David needed help (1 Samuel 23:15-16). Men and friends may look at your outward appearance or current circumstance but it is not enough to know the worth of man (1 Samuel 16:7)

If you knew what the Lord has prepared for you, you will be able to discern who your friends are because your real friends will never stand in your way of fulfilling the purpose for which the Lord has created you especially for. I thank you Lord for the men and women Lord that you have connected me with, whom Lord You have used to bring a much needed blessing upon my life. Today Friends, I thank God for you.

Living in the illusions of the Future: I was blind

A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps – Prov. 14:15

Journeying to the future born out of one’s imagination is by no means an easy feat, but when you’ve lived in it for too long, you can’t help but wonder why your present leaves a blazing trail of blunders; which then becomes tantamount to what we now perceive as the past. I have been such a fool, whom from a young age lacked appreciation of the present, living on what the imagination of future had to offer.

At a very young age, I longed for when I would be in my teens, the age I knew for sure all my desires and dreams would come true (I know many do, but mine was unlike the others). O yes, how I longed to wear those coloured shoes, have my nails painted, and wear those earrings mum forbade me to wear. I am now in my teens, struggling with my exams, forgotten completely those coloured shoes, hair styles and nail polish colour, and longed instead for when I will be in my twenties, how I will have that man, you know the one that looks like that one in the magazines (J) with that certain hair cut style, and how wonderful my life would be, as we stroll in the Amazon forest, and write stories, that will be our legacy for years to come. I am now in my twenties, trying to finish my first degree and Ph.D, and now longing for a new destination. O how wonderful my life would be when I get there”. Always how “wonderful my life would be when I get there”. Isn’t it a wonder then why stories told by others became more fascinating than mine?

Then one day, last month, this month, last week, this week, today, this time, as I pondered on how to tell him, my attempted journeys to the future which has left a trail on the present, how I’ve been a fool and lacked discernment, how I’ve believed the stories of others instead of the story about me, I couldn’t help but wonder, was it all worth it. Was it worth disregarding today’s present, the future of the past, the story the Lord had written concerning me, for a nightmare that was only believable in my imagination; a dream in itself worthless that only visited me in my sleep.

The Lord had blessed me greatly indeed; even more so now, but I was blind, and was too zealous for the images of the future. In my haste to live in it, I threw caution to wind, cared nothing of the present, if only I could get closer to the future. If only I had taken care, the future, now the present would not have been a nightmare of sorts; but for God who in my chase of the dream, comforted me in the aftermath. Today I watched you smile as you gently reminded me of yet another present blunder, and how you spoke so highly of me yet to another. Dear Lord, how could you continue to speak so highly of me, when I’m still struggling in the mire of the past present? Why was the illusion of the future more alluring than the living of the present? How did I miss the present completely all my life, only to find the future present, with a trail that leads deep into the past. What was I looking for? How did I allow myself to be distracted from the goal the Lord Jesus set before me? – But the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things come in and choke the word, making it unfruitful – Mark 4:19; But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness – James 3:17-18; For it is light that makes everything visible. This is why it is said: “Wake up, O sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.” Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is – Ephesians 5:14-17.

Dearest Father, for so long now I can’t quite remember the last time I said thank you for my awesome life, my job and the opportunities You’ve given me in the last three years to see the world that You created. All I’ve ever done is bicker, whine and complain. I don’t remember the last time I said thank you especially for my life that you have enabled me to live in peace, and the “protection programs” you’ve signed me up for. I can’t remember the last time I took the time out to say thank you for my health and the life of all my family, friends, loved ones and colleagues. You have hedged me in so and have refused to allow sorrow near my abode and for that Lord I want to say thank you.

Dearest Saviour it is my desire to do Your will and have an understanding of all that it requires (Ephesians 5:10). Thank You Lord for helping me to realize that my life ought to reflect a life firmly based on Your word (Joshua 1:18-19; Romans 10:16-17; Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12; 2 Timothy 3:16; John 14:26), and to be vigilant of the words of others (Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient – Ephesians 5:6). I thank you Lord for my present, because I know I don’t need to plan about how I will live in the future, because You Lord have already taken care of it.

So Today, I am declaring to my Lord Jesus where I have gone wrong; that I am now able to recognise real change and true deliverance; that the vision of the brightness of the Lord Jesus is ever before me; and that because I remember where I am coming from I am ready to appreciate where I am going to. And therefore, if there is any out there, who cannot handle the ashes of the past present, I’m leaving it with “yall” in hot pursuit after the Lord. Halleluyah for the Lord has lifted me.

Come and Join me Sing Halleluyah

“What is man that you make so much of him, that you give him so much attention” – Job 7:17

Who is he that dares to say that God does not answer prayers or He’s in the business of helping others but not you?

Ok erm, I may at one point in this life of mine brought such an accusation before the Lord, which right now I repent of and ask the Lord to forgive me of (for all the times in disappointment wondered if You are really good to me, Lord I’m sorry).

Some times it is good to challenge God and ask for fruits of answered prayers. Sometimes you may have been waiting on Him for something and for years you feel like you are just knocking your head against a brick wall; and maybe since it appears that the prayers are not being answered, maybe it’s time for you to just accept it’s never going to happen.

So as I was entering this awesome month of March, I said to the Lord, that I wanted Him to crown my prayers with testimonies; that I wanted to see signs of answered prayers in my life. I asked the Lord that the prayers that I’ve been seeking Him for, that I wanted the beauty of honoured prayers in my life. I wanted to see, and people to see that there is glory and beauty that comes with honoured prayer requests upon my life. I had said to God that I wanted to know if my prayers were not just bouncing back unnoticed.

And just when I least expected it, the Lord embarrassed me with more than I could imagine or envisage. And it’s only the first week in March. Wow, this God is really fast.

Mighty God, if I had known, I would not have despised my life to the point of death (Job 7:16). For Lord you are indeed God, and truly there is no God like you dear Lord. You have shown me on so many occasions that you are not an unfair God and that each and every one of us, You Love with the same passion. And that Your will for us is of Good and not of evil, and for us to have a wonderful life lived in fulfilment of purpose (Jeremiah 29:11). Thank You Lord for just being You.

I thank you Lord, because I know that for the rest of this AWSOME year of 2009, I will be singing halleluyah. Praise be unto Your Holy Name, for the Great works that You have done, and the countless more that You keep doing.