Friday, 20 February 2015

Spiritual Workout

One of the greatest tragedies in life is giving up.

For  those that may not really know me, I have what you call a fast metabolism. This means I will most likely remain thin unless I am willing to eat twice as much as the person with a much slower metabolism, and also work out to maintain that weight. I don't care what anyone says but this is one of the hardest things to do. Year after year I commit to a workout but at a later stage during the year I just... you know... I go back to being Innocent and allow myself to believe I'm happy with that. It has come to me that we tend to do that towards a lot of things. The evidence is on the incomplete new year's resolutions we set every single year. The evidence is on the things we say when we are completely motivated for those couple of minutes, only to see nothing come to manifest. The evidence is on the goals we set but don't score. Today we will look at the "Spiritual workout", because believe it or not, the evidence also lies on God's visions for us that don't come to pass, because of us.

So last night I set out to try working out at home again after I spoke to someone who told me they went to the gym. I was so psyched and started off with those inspirational videos on YouTube that normally speak some sense to me. While I was about my "business" I keyed in to one man who was speaking and one of the most interesting things he said was this : " A lot of people become comfortable, they stop growing, they stop wanting anything, they become satisfied". He later mentioned that "when you're not pursuing your goal, you are literally committing spiritual suicide" The funny thing was that it confirmed a conversation I had with one of my sisters earlier on about how she felt like her spiritual level had gone lower this year than it had last year, which is something I've also realised towards my own life. God has very funny way of revealing things. 

A few months ago I received this analogy that I'd hoped to share for quite some time so here it is. when you work out (Lets say lifting weights) you begin to see temporary results as you progress. You may also endure some pain since you are in the early stages. As time goes by you adapt to the pain and the only way to get bigger results is to add more reps or more weight. Time goes by where you stick to a certain schedule and follow up on work out plans and so on. However, if you're like me, you only work out for a little bit and see some sort of results and don't feel comfortable going through the pain to the point where that pain becomes quite discouraging. This my friends, is how we treat our spiritual lives. There is a time in our lives where we are what they say "on fire for God". This is also known as the "Honey moon" phase, where you're in good terms in with God; He speaks to you whenever you want, you read the bible to receive more knowledge about Him and He helps you understand every single thing. However, there comes a time of trials and tribulations where we mistake God's movement of refining us with fire for something much more tragic, to the point that we lose our sensitivity to Him. There comes a time where instead of giving in to trials, we give up.

Here's another thing we fail to realise. Working out is a lot like reading the word of God. You cant grow physically without increasing reps, in as much as you cant grow spiritually without increasing scriptural knowledge. You can't simply ignore your gym instructor or friend, or even your inner self shouting at you to do better, in as much as you shouldn't ignore the Holy Spirit  that screams in your conscience to endure pain, and yet we normally do. When we workout, we are to push it to 100% with determination, which is quite similar to us worshipping in truth and in spirit, that is, with all of our hearts. We actually fail to realise that whatever we sow brings about a harvest later on so instead, we wait in vain. We tend to allow distraction to be our companion and procrastination to dwell in our hearts without realising that they both work together to ruin our destinies. We fail to let prayer be our daily protein, only to starve and be weak.

To round it all up I leave us with these few lessons about Spiritual growth:

1. It is very hard- one of the other quotes I heard from the work out video stated that if "If it were easy, everybody would do it". Does this sound familiar to "For many are called but few are chosen" (Matthew 22:14) ? Spiritual growth is not easy. It takes a lot of obedience to acquire it and a lot of patience and trust in God.

2. If you ignore the growth process, It's harder when you come back- Make no mistake, God is faithful and forgiving even when we stray from the path. However, in as much as he sees our hearts, we have to earn that level of spiritual growth once more. One of my work colleagues told me that she previously worked in our company as a manager but had to leave. So when she came back now they put her as a normal sales associate under a temporary contract. We are in the same position. Things like that you have to earn back yourself, needless to say He will always help you.

3. You can endure- This is for whoever is out there trying to achieve their life-long dreams, spiritual growth, life-time goals etc. It will be hard, but you can endure. One of my teachers used to say "If you haven't experienced hardship or haven't been under attack from the enemy, you haven't started". Enduring hardship brings about your total strength and discipline for the future. That's why they call it survival of the fittest.

To anyone that isn't seeing any results right now in their spiritual life. To anyone that feels as if they have lost that drive or motivation to do better, or to anyone that feels that God isn't moving in their lives right now. The only encouragement I can offer is that you be patient because God's not finished with you yet. You're not dead and neither is He. To anyone that wants immediate results.... it's about time you put in some work. If you can't lift weights, surely you can lift a bible.

"Life is growth. If we stop growing, technically and spiritually, we are as good as dead"- Morihei Ueshiba.

And That's not #Omni
God bless you for reading.

Wednesday, 11 February 2015

Speak Out!

I apologise in advance for this long post. However I'm sure you will laugh very well and hopefully this will impact you in endless ways.

Last week I highlighted the fact that it's safe to say that the lord has allowed me to go through certain things in life so that I could learn a thing or two from them. My job now is to receive inspiration on how to acquire that knowledge and apply it in real life situations for anyone that might have experienced the same or is going through one right now. That being said, today's topic will be based on "Bullying". I'm sure we've all been victims of this, quite serious and tormenting abuse before but just in case you say haven't, now is the time to stop lying and speak out. Let's take a trip down memory lane.

So I used to live in the city back in South Africa where the TV naturally became my best friend while my parents used to either work or travel most of the time. I'll tell you one thing, television is such a powerful and influential tool when you're young... but perhaps I'll write a blog post about it in many more to come (By God's grace). So at some point my parents couldn't have me alone at home any more so they sent me back to the village to live with my grandmother so I could attend school there and so on. Like any other child I made a few friends but as you know you can't make everyone like you. Ask God He'll tell you. This one time during assembly a guy came up to me and started threatening to hit me if I didn't move from where he was standing. A city boy like me? I started recalling all the "Karate" and  "kung fu" shows  I used to watch that I could use against him.... I was 7 years old don't judge me.  That being said as I tried to stand up for my self one of my friends gave me this pale face filled with so much fear almost as if to say "do you know who that is ? He will kill you don't mess with him". I have never seen a pale, black guy before but this fear was so great it shook me. Long story short, I had a bully.

From that day on, this guy was on my case in school so much that sometimes I wouldn't look up to going to school any more. You know them TV shows where the little guy gets his lunch money taken off him and gets random slaps after school ?  That was me. This went on for quite a while until my grandmother found out somehow. One afternoon after school as I walking with my bully receiving the usual, my older cousin and his friend came out of nowhere and chased after him and I'' tell you this, never have I seen a beating so bad that made a brother cry like that. You think I'd be happy right? Nope. I was shouting at my cousin saying "what are you hitting him for what's wrong with you leave him alone!!" Why ? Simple, tomorrow was another day and I was so scared that I was going to get a double portion of bullying like never before... my cousin wasn't always going to be there. After all that we went home and my grandmother found out what I did and she simply whooped me for my stupidity. Turns out she had a hand in planning the beating that afternoon. Oh and by the way, my bully never touched me ever again.

Now that I've grown up a little I see the same thing happening in our generation. Much like myself, bullying has evolved in several dimensions that we barely comprehend. Here's a side note... one of my friends said that it is better for them to be beaten by their parents than to be given out or shouted at. They expressed that if they get beaten, the pain will go away, but words? they could last quite a long time. Think about it, bullying has gone more verbal than violent... oh and it hurts. Can you believe that depression has now become a trend because of bullying. Still don't believe you're a victim ? let's read some more

We all have one bully in common; the devil. You know, at some point, someone came to tell you all about the devil and what he can do and they filled you with so much fear that they forgot to tell you all about Jesus. Think of the devil as the head bully who has seen the power of  verbal bullying or abuse. For example, when you wake up and you set out to do a task but then something in your mind tells you that you can't do it because you are weak or unable, that's the devil. But let's just say you shake it off anyway and you go out there and do your task but as you are struggling, a group of people come up to you and laugh exclaiming that you can't do it, guess who's using them to bully you? One more example ? Even Jesus was a victim of bullying (Matthew 4:1-11). Here you see the devil blatantly saying "Bro you're not the son of God because if you were, you would do this.." (excuse my paraphrase). Jesus shook it off anyway and just as He continued to do His task up to the point of crucifixion  we see it again in Luke 23:35 that people told Jesus that If He was the son of God then He should save Himself... sound familiar?

Moral of the story: We have all been bullied before but the greatest of these is the devil. Bullying has evolved from "give me your lunch money", to "give me your soul". Time and again you'll find out that we allow him to penetrate our minds and fill us with the most disgusting and vile thoughts that allow us to indulge in in the dirtiest of sins if any. On top of that we forget to ask for mercy. When we do this we are actually protecting and defending him and therefore God has no other option but to punish us for our silence just as my grand mother beat me up.

Here's the solution: Speak Out!! I dare you to tell God about your bully and see what He can do for you. Do what Jesus did, for was it not He that said "Get thee behind me Satan" ? and did Satan not flee ? don't fear the devil as if he will come back the next day with a louder bang. Think of him as a creepy crawly, he's more afraid of you than you are of him. Seriously guys, don't suffer in silence while the enemy takes joy over your life it doesn't make sense. Speak Out.

And that's not #Omni
God bless you for reading.

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

The Work Experience: Just Tell Him

I would like to thank God for this divine revelation I received a couple of weeks ago while praying with a few people. I pray you don't get lost in my gibberish :P

So today we get to look at the word "Omniscience" which means "all knowing " or "knowing everything" (thanks again Google). I have been working in retail for quite some time now but I hadn't done "stock taking" with them before till a couple of weeks ago. Stock taking is done to make a clear record of the products we have and products that could be missing or have been stolen etc but more to the point. Because I hadn't done this before I was ensured by one of my managers that it would be fairly easy but if it so happened that I made a mistake then I should make sure to quickly alert them so that they could fix the problem and carry on (hold that thought). On the day of stock taking we were each given scanners. Here's how the system works:

1. Each employee is given a scanner to count products and an ID number so that the scanner can be put under your name.
2. Because the shop is so big, each employee is given a certain location to count products.
3. For every counted product, information is passed on to the main system, which records the number of products along with the ID number of the person who made the count.
Because retail is driven by productivity and such, it is very important that these things are done on time so that there's no loss of sales etc. Likewise, when you make a mistake, speak up so they can fix it within time. The consequence of your silence could cost you a verbal warning, a written warning and the loss of a job. Thanks to the system, they will always know who made the mistake if they check the ID number (oh technology, thy knowledge is cunning)

Just my luck!! I had to go and make the mistake. Well I wasn't about to get fired so I went up to the manager and told her I had made a huge mistake and mixed up a couple of things, my heart racing and everything. She saw what I had done and managed to fix it up properly and assured me it was sorted. 

Just last week I was praying with a group and I was asked to bring up some prayer points. So I'm there speaking to them about asking for God's favour in the area of mercy. At this point I'm searching deep in my heart for verses I could think of to show that God is very merciful if we come to Him for forgiveness; verses like 1John1: 9 'If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness." At that time I couldn't even remember the chapter or verse but I kept repeating that prayer point until He allowed me to remember my mistake at work.  Then it all made sense to me. God is omniscient; meaning that He knows when we sin against Him and yet He is very strong on this one request, just tell Him!!! tell Him because that is the only way He can help you before it is too late. The consequences are similar; failure to ask for forgiveness could cost you a verbal warning, a written warning (The Word), or you could be fired... literally. 

So what can we take from this:

1. God's omniscience is beyond understanding- Only He knows why I made that mistake. Chances are if I hadn't, I wouldn't be sharing this right now. 
2. What more can technology do that He can't ?- All I can say if you believe in the knowledge of technology then you best believe that God also has our ID numbers and has placed us in His own system that He checks daily to see if you have corrected the errors you have made because one thing is for sure; there will be errors.
3. Don't play with God's timing- have you ever sinned and said "I will pray for forgiveness later" God forbid but who told you you might see "later". Our biggest downfall is we tend to want to do things on our own time without acknowledging the consequences. Retail might lose sales.... but God might lose souls. Food for thought.

Finally!! we can Close at this, if you're ever overwhelmed by your fear so much that you can't go to God, just tell satan get the hell out of your way. No literally, you tell satan to take his hell away from your path because you are going to ask your father for forgiveness. sincerely guys... just tell Him :). 

 "O God, you know how foolish I am; my sins cannot be hidden from you"

And that's not #Omni
God bless you for reading.