Wednesday, 12 November 2014

Loving the world.


"Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him. The world and all its wanting, wanting, wanting is on the way out—but whoever does what God wants is set for eternity."
-1 John 2:15-17.

"But it's not wrong to spend on yourself!" "Never apologise for how you treat yourself!" "You deserve the best life to offer!" "You were made for this luxurious life!" "If you don't spend on yourself, WHO WILL?!" Yes! we are all guilty of waving one of these flags to satisfy our selfish reasons for loving the things of the world. Even I have in one time or another persuaded myself to splurge on things I really didn't need. There is a command from God saying "DO NOT love the world's goods..." Now don't get me wrong. It's not a sin to rock the finer things here and there, but it's a thin line between having yourself wrapped up in them and them remaining subordinate to you, and under your control. 

We get so absorbed in the labels, and the price tags (and some will even settle for the knock offs just to keep up appearances), but to what end? Why isn't it okay to be yourself anymore? Who gave us a finish line that we have to sprint up to beside the world? Last week, my heart was broken in a million pieces when I listened to missionaries and widows testify about how N5,000 a month (about $30) made a difference in their lives. They were over the moon excited about having their basic needs taken care of. Then on the other side of the grass, there we find our category. The category that spends without thinking. The category that screams NO NEW FRIENDS and YOU CAN'T SIT WITH US (let me find out: who are "we?" and why can't I sit with you? Oh! Okay...)  as if it's something to be proud of. The category that gives the spare change at offering and can't be bothered to tithe--after all, these pastors are going to spend our money. The category that loves God with our lips but there really is no evidence in the lives around us. 

When was the last time you bought a homeless person lunch? When was the last time you even took a friend out and paid the bill? when was the last time your neighbour mattered more than yourself? When last did you care for those that can do nothing for you? When last did you practice pure and undefiled religion? "Anyone who sets himself up as “religious” by talking a good game is self-deceived. This kind of religion is hot air and only hot air. Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God the Father, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight, and guard against corruption from the godless world." James 1:27. 

I'm not here to point fingers at all. In fact, this is a note to self. This is an internal dialogue that I am sharing.  We must become uncomfortable with living a certain kind of life. It shouldn't be "normal" to waste money unnecessarily. We must think about cost-effective options of doing things. We must be good custodians of the little God has given us. We ought to have simple hearts that are just fine having what we are given in the moment, and trusting that when God blesses us, the glory will go back to Him. We must no longer lose sleep over trying to appear important before this world. 

This is a call to have eyes that are open to those around us. That we may become sensitive to the needs around us, and start to lose sleep over the plight of those in lesser privileged positions. This is a call to silence our selfishness and feeling that we're "all-that." This is a charge to really put our money where our mouths are. To be like Christ. To be people-persons. To be #TeamNewFriends and #YouCanSitWithUs. That we will indeed be leaders of positive causes, and not followers of ignorance. Will we love the world or love God? We can't love both equally so where's your allegiance? Hold my hand, and I'll hold yours. There's more to life than your world. It's not all about you. I promise! 


You are beauty-FULL! Believe nothing else. I love you & only mean well. 

Favor O.
x

Sunday, 2 November 2014

Worship.

There's something truly beautiful about pure and genuine worship. Those moments you allow yourself to beckme vulnerable and can literally feel God's presence in the room without a doubt. It's those times when you're just before God not asking Him for anything or settling "issues" with Him for not doing so & so, but just being in awe of Who He is. It's in those moments we are operating in our highest calling.

At my core, I am no longer (because there was a time i could care) impressed by money, cars, clothes, the latest designer anything, status or recognition. Those were days of emptiness and living for audiences who could care less about you and also for the applause. It's such a self absorbed life where God gets no glory, and we act as if we provided for ourselves and deserve to be anything.

I find myself wanting to spend time with God and worship music (or just singing to Him for who He is) more than I desire to be with friends--chatting about stuff that really make no sense or add up to much, really. To get to this place, you must understand and truly believe that we are solely dependent on God for EVERYTHING. When you know you must depend on Him alone, you stop looking at your clock, keeping track of time so you can do "more important" things. You understand with deep conviction that there is really nothing you can do that will weigh more than your time with Him.

Morality has truly been on the decline and somehow in our minds, it's justifiable and reason enough according to some standard--or the lack thereof--I refuse to be familar with. We comfortably turn down church invites because a business meeting came up. We have allowed our hearts become hardened to the beggars on the streets because we FEEL they should go and find a job instead (forgetting how God had mercy on us and placed us where we are. Don't let Him regret it), or simply because "church just isn't for us!" Oh! I beg your pardon?! Who informed us we have control over the life God gave us to worship Him with? He is a jealous God and won't sit back and fold His arms while you put Him in second place.

Lately, between church, casual conversations and articles I stumble upon, I keep being reminded to lay up treasures in Heaven (and not this temporary earth).

Matthew 6:19-21, 24

" Don’t hoard treasure down here where it gets eaten by moths and corroded by rust or—worse!—stolen by burglars. Stockpile treasure in heaven, where it’s safe from moth and rust and burglars. It’s obvious, isn’t it? The place where your treasure is, is the place you will most want to be, and end up being.
 You can’t worship two gods at once. Loving one god, you’ll end up hating the other. Adoration of one feeds contempt for the other. You can’t worship God and Money both."

The way this world is going, anyone can drop dead any second and the wealth we amass on earth will remain. But, the treasures we accumulate in Heaven will eternally be with us. I will rather not "have it all" on earth,  and have all I ever wished and more in Heaven. Spending time with God is the best part of any day. It just sets the tone for how your day goes. Your heart starts to look like God's and people naturally will gravitate to you.

We must do better as people. We were put here on earth for God's pleasure. Let's live a life that God smiles down in delight when He looks at us. Anybody not worshipping God does not deserve to be alive. You exist solely on God's mercy. Don't stretch it!

This is a life-check, and a heart-check to refocus us, and bring us back to the heart of God. Allow your heart to become human again. Let's become sensitive to the things of God. Put your logic aside and put on FAITH. It's cooler.

I believe in you. Together we will worship God with purity. I trust you. You are beauty-FULL! Believe nothing else.
I love you.

Favor O.
Xx