Friday, 7 December 2018

God is in Control.




This title is SO cliché but today,  I began learning the depth of it all. (I try not to blog out of compulsion but out of a demand from my Spirit. For the whole month of November, nothing was on my heart to share, and so I didn't. This morning, I didn't wake up with intentions to post at all as my day is looking booked and busy already, but as I was doing my devotions I felt a strong impression. So strong that I wanted to pause my devotions and write this post, but fueling myself first will always be a priority for me than posting). 

Psalm 139:16 "You saw me before I was born, every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed."

Think about it, before you were born, every day of your life was planned out by God. He saw today--and even knows how tonight is set up. No day is surprising to God. A day comes full of the capacity for many emotions. You may have woken up with a burst of energy, but one text message, or phone call, or post can zap your strength. To you, it's a spin of events in your day but to God, He knew it all. So it makes me understand that if God already knew about all my daily events, there should be a peace and a rest that covers me in these moments of worry and frustration. I should rest easy knowing that God foresaw it all and if He isn't shook--and didn't prevent it from happening, what should my issue be?

From conception, God is in control (and that's why an embryo is a whole living baby. Forget what society tries to tell us). There is so much that Satan aka the accuser has stolen from our every day life because we get so pressed under the weight that comes with our daily living. However, with revelation comes restoration. When your eyes are open to a thing, the mystery that formerly existed is taken away. Your plans, thoughts, anxieties, fears and uncertainties should all be dropped. Leave them in the foresight and protection of God. We were not designed to carry worry and that's why we literally feel a weight on us when we immerse ourselves in these vices. 

Your plans may not always go as you put them on paper, but before you even began planning, God already knew that they wouldn't go as you intended. So this knowledge has equipped me to pass every test that comes my way. If God allowed it to come to me, then it's a test that I must pass (in my attitude, emotions, actions, and thoughts) when the reality catches up with me. He is Sovereign-having supreme authority or power. As much as I want to be in control, God is ultimately with the power. There is peace that comes with this understanding. When next you want to say, "I cannot kill myself!" let your understanding be that you can't kill yourself because God is the Sovereign One, and there is only so much you can do in the limitations of your humanity.

Take every area where your logic tells you the situation is impossible, acknowledge that you cannot overcome by sheer willpower, and ask the Holy Spirit to help you. "Don't despise the day of small beginnings." Don't underestimate accomplishments that seem minor to you. God's kingdom starts small and grows into something big. I was comforted this morning when I read that, "Small numbers make not difference to God. There is nothing small if God is in it. Everything big has to start small." The comfort I got from this...I can't even express it. So often I find that I measure the success of a thing by its number rather than its impact and quality. I am learning that my physical eyes may not find pleasure in what is, but I must rest in the purpose and promises of God's Word. Nothing in my hand will suffer or die because I choose to minimize it. 

God reigns and is in charge of my events and biddings. As long as He is in a thing, growth will come. "For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little..."-Isaiah 28:10

I am NOT in control of anything-God is.
I DON'T know if all. God does.
I CAN'T see beyond the here and now. God can. 
I am NOT all powerful. God is.
I DON'T know what I need. God does.

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. 10 That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.-2 Corinthians 12:9-10

"I can rest in the fact that God is in control. Which means that I can face things that are out of my control, and not act out of control."

When I believe, God works. So, I choose to believe God over what my eyes can see. I choose to trust His word over my reality. I choose to exalt God's promises over all that concerns me. I choose to believe that God's got me.

I love you. I mean it.
Favor.
xx

Monday, 15 October 2018

God of The In-Between.



Life as we know it is beginnings and endings. Life is what tends to happen in the in-between places. The in-between is often uncharted waters and a lot of transition, deconstruction and waiting. It’s the space between getting rid of the old and trusting God for the new. It’s silence and uncertainty. It’s torture and frustration and questions. It’s incubation and rebirth. It’s standing at the intersection of drawing from your memory bank of God’s promises or battling unbelief about who He said He is or will be for you. It’s choice and decision.

The expectations we have can sometimes be so blinding that we lose focus of all we ever knew, and we abandon ourselves in active doubt and constantly appeal to memory to help us remember our true north. Expectations will always be the thief of joy. There are moments when God gives you His silence and still demands your full attention. He may be leading you out of an old place but not really showing you directions to the new place. In this moment, you must consciously make an effort to believe that God is right in the midst of it all, and in every microscopic detail of your life. That He is entwined in the seams and has His faithful hand over you. In the victories and failures, hills and valleys, the big and small, and the hard and easy-He is right there. He’s in the doctor’s office when you get that bad report. He’s at work with you when that nasty email comes and sucks the life out of you. He’s in your parenting when you feel overwhelmed and under water. He’s in your marriage when your spouse is acting all kinds of foolish. He’s there. He’s there. He’s right there and He’s got you. “The Lord directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.”-Psalm 37:23


Martin Luther King Jr said, "The ultimate measure of a person is not where they stand in moments of convenience, but where they stand in moments of challenge, moment of great crisis and controversy."


It has never been our job to figure out how we’ll get to the new place. Our only job has been to keep putting one foot in front of the other and trusting wholly in the promises-that He will direct our path (Proverbs 3:6). I want to see God in everything I get to do. If I can see Him in the mundane and monotonous, I will fall deeper in love with Him in an unimaginable way. When I see Him in it all, I know everything will change, and awe will swallow up the stress and overwhelmed that may naturally consume me. I know that this walk of faith will have me caught up in moments of blindness where sight was comforting and trustworthy before I was called to fall with abandon into God. I rest in the assurance that God knows my needs and He knows best on how to work out the details. He was with the Israelites as they traveled to Canaan. He was with Mary as she received word of carrying life in her inside. He is and will continue to hold our hands as we progress through life. “He is watching to see that His word is fulfilled.”-Jeremiah 1:12.

Fall in love with the God of the in-between and fall into a new life of loving Him even more.

He is mindful of you.
I love you. I mean it.

Favor.
Xx

Monday, 10 September 2018

Mind The Gap




“Mind the gap!” is an audible warning or note of caution mentioned multiple times a day at the London underground train stations urging passengers to be mindful of the physical gap between the train platform and the train doors. In the hustle and fast-paced nature of the city, it is necessary for precaution to be given to passengers with the intention of entering into the trains to continue their journeys to prevent accidents, mishaps and unfortunate situations.



I was in conversation with a friend a while ago and in the course of the discussion, we realized there was a “gap” that needed minding so that danger could be avoided. It wasn’t too long after that I took a trip and kept hearing “Mind the gap!” Of course this was the warning to passengers, but I kept thinking of the many “gaps” we have in our lives—my life included. Staying on course requires dogged determination and focus and I’m not going to lie it hasn’t been flawless for me. There is a gap between our intentions and our actions. What we set out to do doesn’t always end up becoming our reality. The absence of mindfulness creates a lot of room for the possibility of ending up at a different destination, or worse, no destination at all.



So you want your finances looking right, but you are ignorant and unmindful of the wisdom in investing and saving-you can’t really be bothered actually. You desire to be in a committed relationship, but you can’t get past the misters shoes...even though you PROMISE you’re not driven by looks. You need your marriage to elevate in quality, but the flesh stays in the lead of your affairs. You swore that 2018 was your year to finally be free from the emotional damage and trauma you experienced in your past and held you as a prisoner to your real and ideal self, but it’s September and you’ve yet to offload, talk less of opening up the baggage to begin recovery—time doesn’t heal all wounds; that’s fake news. Intentionality and a commitment to do the work does. You can’t pray some things away. Until you heal, you will consistently bleed on those you are leading. You must do what needs to be done in the physical and pass every test that comes to secure you an expected end. “Stay dressed for action and keep your lamps burning.” Luke 12:35



Mind your gaps and take them to God. “You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3 Take some time to reflect on your year so far and identify areas where you have paid enough lip service without committing your hands to get dirty for change to come. The only time you fail is the time you stop trying and you quit. Until then, success is still attainable. I have committed myself to closing the blogging gap I have allowed to exist. With God helping me, I will put out a blog post once a month (So help me God). Take control of your life again and snatch your fight back from whatever it is that is keeping it captive. “Keep your heart with all vigilance,for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23



Go back to your drawing board—for most of us it’s the goals we set in January to accomplish this year—and notice where and why you dropped the ball and pick it back up. You can’t go along life “hole-y” or “gap-py” when God calls you WHOLE AND HOLY. It’s not okay. I don’t put on outfits that have holes in them (at least not consciously), so it shouldn’t be normal to have a life with gaps. Virtue cannot freely proceed from a vessel that has been left to rut and wither. Virtue requires a worthy and faithful vessel. Remove yourself from situations and people that make you comfortable with your gaps. People who are not yet committed to minding their gaps will be uncomfortable with the prospects of you climbing higher than them and so your progress becomes a threat to their mediocrity. That’s when separation becomes needful and necessary.



Change your autopilot! There’s a level you need to go where your old mindsets and your second nature reflexes can’t come. You can’t set your eyes on a high target and still make love with the debilitating thoughts of doubt and fear that have weighed you down all along. The two can’t walk together. Renew your mind and create a new normal way of being and doing. In the end, “Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who has no need to be ashamed...” 2 Timothy 2:15



Finally, the one point in all of this is: Mind your gaps!



I love you! I mean it.



Favor.

Xx

Sunday, 19 August 2018

On Letting Go.




Time Check: 2:50am (because jet lag and internal noise).

Every day, I want my seconds to be used on purpose. I want my moments to count. I desire focus and precision. My heart yearns for more. To be more, and for my experiences to amplify the grace of God deposited and moving inside of me. I'm at the point where normal is not enough or fascinating. I don't like average responses or conversations, normal biddings and dealings. I'm intrigued by grandeur and abnormal. Predictability has become repulsive. There is too much wonder in God, and so if I am in His image wonder should have free course in my realities and my expressions. "God thunders wondrously with His voice; He does great things that we cannot comprehend."--Job 37:5

He called me by name, and chose me. That's big! He gets surprised by the fact that I'm still where I am and why I have not released myself to the elevation He has faithfully promised. When your mind is a barrier, and external factors have a hold on you, your progress will be limited by externalities, and you will be controlled largely by the boundaries they define. However, there is a freedom that comes from releasing yourself from limitations within and without and soaring naturally because there are no weights holding you to the ground or keeping you from accessing more. There are decades of constructs and paradigms that have become a familiar place in the mental that quiets down every possibility of that bigness on the inside and the comfortable excuse, but they must be deconstructed to rebuild and represent. There are battle lines that mediocrity has drawn and waged war on the possibility of excellence. There are boundaries. There are limits and there is stagnation.

The holds present within me must be lifted. They are no longer needed nor necessary for me. I don't need the convenience of what has been familiar as I desire new ground. There is a place my ideal self must go, that I must give the old self an eviction--and maybe even a burial because, death. Death to the old ways of thinking and excusing. Death to every limitation I set for myself consciously and ignorantly. Death to saying, "No!" when greatness beckons. Death to swinging and swaying left to right without much of an elevation or even progress in whatever form. Death to normalcy and familiar. Death to superficiality when there is too much authenticity in life, love, other mysteries and the in-betweens. Death to the past. The old me doesn't live here anymore. This is goodbye.

"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. I do not treat the grace of God as meaningless. For if keeping the law could make us right with God, then there was no need for Christ to die."-Galatians 2:20


I'm falling forward-into You. Into the faithful arms of He who saw good in me to keep trusting me with consecutive 24hrs to get it right even though I failed massively. I'm falling forward and letting go of who I thought I needed to be for everyone else (or who I needed to be for everyone else to remain comfortable) at the expense of destiny. I'm falling forward and reaching out to heaven to lift me and make the clouds soft pillows for me to rest my head on and common ground.

This is me Lord, vulnerable and open. I'm still committed to getting this life-thing right. Like the potter, make and break me. Break and deconstruct me if you're not satisfied with my outcome. I understand the weight of this prayer and the discomfort it brings and I am willing to go through and grow through it all. Make me again into your very image. The one you saw before you placed me in the safety of my mother's womb.

I will be fully surrendered (for real) and resting at your feet. Do with me as you will. This is permission. This is consent.

Favor.
xx

Time Check: 3:24am

Wednesday, 25 July 2018

Vow To Do Better.

(This was my opening "speech" at The iVow Conference 2018). You're welcome :)

Vow: a solemn (characterized by deep sincerity) promise.

Every day of our lives we commit to things consciously or unconsciously. Our lives are collections of choices—some big, some small. Your choices push you closer to who you want to be, or push you further away from her. We are in the era of the rising of the woman. “She” is emerging and becoming all over the world. What part are you playing in our collective success or suffering? You are either pulling us up or bringing us down. We are a unit and so your choices affect the rest of our sisterhood. “Walk with the wise and become wise; associate with fools and get in trouble. Proverbs 13:20”

We have wasted enough time being down and on the ground. Elevation doesn’t come from nowhere. You don’t become by doing nothing. Every 24hrs before you is an opportunity to glorify God and make a contribution towards purpose. Every breath is a promise from God that He’s not done with you. Sitting in this room is a lot of purpose, potential, capacity and promise. The reality is only a few people have harnessed the power within and have fearlessly pursued their purpose.

Comfort should be your enemy. Comfort will have you satisfied and content with a 9-5 that gives you a predictable end, but not enough to solve the world’s problems (or even your neighbor’s problems). Refuse to have just a birth certificate, school certificates and a death certificate. Commit to a life of fierce progression towards your God-inspired goals. Let the world notice your absence when your time on earth is done. Refuse to be ordinary. Take charge of all God has entrusted you with, and multiply it. Some of us have created lanes for ourselves that God never endorsed us to create, so we keep running in circles and get upset when God doesn’t bless the mess.

Seek to discover that where you are is for you. Don’t waste another second of your life failing God or running a race you have no business running. You may need to get rid of some baggage to run lightly towards your mark. Your purpose may require a silent season of not really knowing what’s next, but God probably just wants to spend time with you. Sit at His feet and be content until He instructs you to move. There will be tests along the way to know where your heart truly is. Commit to a life of focus and shut away anything that distracts you or threatens your values and convictions. The iVow woman is focused and closed-minded. Focused on who she is supposed to be, and closed-minded to anything that negates her call or journey. Where you need to be will be actualized only when you start making the right moves and doing all it takes.

Success and healing always comes through community. Every “great” has a secure network and a village that holds them together. On your journey, you may need to reach out and hold the hand of your sister to ensure she doesn’t fail or fall. Women will scarcely be empowered until women genuinely care for each other. Every now and again you will need a familiar voice whisper in your ear that, “You’ve got this!” So, make a vow to be all you were created to be. Make a vow to stand tall and shine in the midst of darkness. Make a vow to be your sister’s keeper. Make a vow to treat your body as God’s temple. Make a vow to occupy all the streets marked out for you. Make a vow to be a relevant child of The Living and True God. Ultimately, make a vow to be like God, and we will make it together. Finally,someone said: "Have a soft heart and hard feet." A heart that reaches out in love and compassion, and hard feet ready to fight for the cause of many because we are a collective humanity.

I love you. Mean it!
Favor.
xx


Thursday, 1 February 2018

Hanging by a Thread


It's January February and majority of the world started the year with zest and zeal for life. Based on our predictions, the year should be looking right because we've made our plans and started the year on a good foot. All the mistakes of 2017 won't be made this time because we've had personal retreats and worked on the necessary. That's fine and good, but there is a group of people who has carried over some unaccomplished goals, unfinished business and some pain from 2017 and are not experiencing 2018 as something new. The new year is laden with discomfort because it validates a new season but still holds onto the bitter taste of dreams unfulfilled we beat our chests and swore would be reality by now. We started the year with fasts of various kinds-7-day, 14-day, 21-day, 30-day etc. If only God could see us through the last day of the fast, certainly, things would turn around for good (so we thought).

What do you do when life takes you from the hills and dumps you in the valleys? When tears are the only taste your tongue knows and heaviness of heart makes itself at home in you, where do you find solace? How do you handle the reality of placing your best foot forward, living right (privately and publicly) and doing ALL the right things you've heard to do as a Christian but end up mocked by life in the end? God when will this end? How long God? Why do the wicked keep progressing but I remain stagnant without a glimmer of hope? One thing I've come to know is God doesn't move based on our feelings. You can cry buckets and sweat bullets and break things and punch walls but it doesn't make the dry season end any quicker. Life has its complexities and uncertainties. Also, God is still good even in the valleys of life. "When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. Isaiah 43:2"

We sometimes have a mental picture of how we expect our lives to be, forgetting that God is God-not us. The flesh has gotten so much control over us that if something slightly irritates the flesh, we immediately launch a war against God because somehow He's failing (as if that's possible). Challenge yourself to get to the place where you find little pockets of God's blessings even in the midst of the storm. Develop your character to the point that when you don't have a job, you acknowledge that somehow you aren't going to bed hungry. When that relationship ends, find yourself thanking God for bringing you out of the relationship without being beaten in the process and one step closer to your spouse. When you get a headache, thank God you don't have cancer and a broken spine. Find the silver lining or create the silver lining for yourself. Sometimes your deliverance is in your mouth.

*Never lose your focus: It's easy to praise God when all is well, but our faith is threatened in the midst of trials. Learn to worship God in the good times, but most especially in the tough times. The time it's hardest to worship is the time it's needed most. Set up guards around your heart that filter what you think about, speak about, believe and do. Keep your eyes on God and be reminded that seasons don't last. Exchange your weakness for His strength.

*Don't turn to evil: The temptation will come to keep God on a shelf and put your hands to evil especially if the suffering has lasted a while. Resist it. Decline every invitation that invites you to step out of character. It's never worth it. Patiently wait on God and His promises over you.

*Search for the lessons: God never wastes experiences. He will allow us pass through some things so that we can learn some things. We spend so much time focusing on what we are passing through that we miss valuable lessons along the way. Some lessons cannot be learnt except we go through fire. Ask God what He wants you to learn and in humility, learn. When Job lost it all, rather than following conventional wisdom, He fell to the ground and worshipped God. Like Job, let your attitude be, "but He knows where I am going, and when He tests me I will come out as pure gold. -Job 23:10"

Whatever happens, let pressure bring out the best in you.

You've got this!
Love you...Mean-it.
Favor A.
x