Awaken the Dreamers- The importance of Scheduling

Do you have anything in your heart you’ve carried over the years? A deep burning desire within to accomplish something? If you don’t then i’d like to encourage you to begin to think outside the box.

If you were me then you would want to learn to play a guitar skillfully? You may want to speak a second language fluently? You may want to be a person that walks in deep intimacy with Jesus? You may also want to be walk in excellence in your career?

I can go on and on with several dreams and goals that i’m currently pregnant with. I’ve felt drawn into a season of fresh awakening of hope and dreams, and i feel like many of you may be feeling the same. Don’t abort that baby! Sometimes you just need to let go of regrets and disappointments. It can be difficult to dream again after going through disappointment. Move beyond the fear of failure.

Lastly, very practical advice- if you have a dream or desires to achieve certain goals you must have an action plan! This is where most destinies are lost. This is probably why many people start the year with new year resolutions but never follow through. We want to be people that carry dreams faithfully and diligently.

How do we that? I propose you may need a schedule. It sounds like such an ugly word doesn’t it? But its so simple that many neglect it. You get yourself goals, then you get an action plan for those goals, then you schedule time to actually engage in activities that help you move one step closer into bringing those dreams into reality.

I’d encourage you to begin evaluating how much time you spend daily in your pursuit of your dreams. For example the most important pursuit of my life is intimacy with Jesus that overflows into obedience to His will, and love and servanthood towards others. It is very clear scripturally that it is impossible to do that without living a life of prayer. We only love Him as we grow in our understanding of His love for us. This had led me to commit myself to spending time in long and loving meditation on the Word which includes a focused intellectual study of the Bible. This also includes a devotional study where i bring myself directly to the Man Christ Jesus on the right hand of the Father and talk to Him, in full confidence that His eyes are on me in that moment and He’s attentive to me.

Its sad, but many people would find that they spend very little time pursuing the things that are priority in their lives. Its called the tyranny of the urgent. I’ve found social media(which includes facebook, instagram and so on) to be one of the greatest distractions to living in a focused way. It may be something different for you. We don’t have to live that way, we can live with purpose- Starting with today.

If you want to learn more i have found this worksheet very helpful in action planning/scheduling: http://a1forerunners.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/20100108-power-of-a-focused-life_sheet_en1.pdf

Like a lily among thorns…

I still can’t believe i’m done with exams! I know i promised to publish an entry about my experiences as a Nigerian student studying in the UK; sadly there’s hardly been any time. I intend to do it sometime soon🙂 I believe one of the greatest hindrances to a life of freedom, contentment and joy is busyness and anxiety. They creep up on every man before he even knows it. Life is a vapor, fading fast.

One of my favorite people in the Bible(I’m sure you’ll be able to tell if you read my blog) is Mary of Bethany, John the Beloved, David. They lived simple lives of contemplation on the beauty of God. It says that a gentle and quiet spirit is incorruptible in beauty and precious in God’s eyes(1 Peter 2:4). I don’t believe its a personality thing. You can be an extrovert, and cultivate that gentle and quiet spirit.

For me what i needed after all those rigors of the past few weeks was some time in the Song of Solomon. By the way, if you want to understand the allegorical interpretation of Song of Songs you can look at http://mikebickle.org/resources/series/encountering-jesus-in-the-song-of-solomon. I needed this, we all need this.

‘Like a lily among thorns, so is my love among the daughters’(Song 2:1). First of all, i love poetry and the language used. However, if this is really Jesus talking about us it changes everything. I kept wrestling with this- it can’t be true that He sees us this way, perhaps. The human spirit is very prone to rejection and condemnation and confidence in the love of God takes time. Quoting Mike Bickle,

‘The King saw her like a pure lily among the thorns of a fallen and sinful world.
Thorns speak of sin; they came as the result of Adam’s fall (Gen. 3:17-18; Heb. 6:7-8).
17To Adam He said, “…cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it…
18Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you…” (Gen. 3:17-18)’

He goes on to say, ‘Jesus awaits the Bride—the great prize of
all the ages. The affections of the human heart are a most precious possession to Him; this is
what He deeply desires. He died to redeem and, thus, fully possess human affections.’

I dare you to take time out and ask God if He really feels this way. I believe this is what Holiness is, or the beauty of Holiness as described in the Bible. Holiness was never intended to be dull drudgery, but living fascinated in the pleasures of loving God. Again, He invites the rich, the poor, the lonely, the abandoned and all the scum of the earth. Everyone is invited to the wedding- to be equally yoked with Jesus forever.

We’re invited to have access to His affections for us, to have access to His authority and power. Our longing to be loved fulfilled ultimately by encountering the vast ocean of His love and our longing for impact and to be great fulfilled ultimately when we inherit all the wealth and glory of the nations with Him and sit and rule with Him forever from Jerusalem. When we understand this, we can’t help but love Him with our time, our money, our speech, our affections, minds, personalities, our talents. We just give it all away. And we wouldn’t see ourselves as so noble and devout, afterall this was what He did. He left all the glory and wealth of being the Eternal Uncreated Son in unbroken fellowship with His Father, put on human flesh and expressed His love in the most radical way possible. He knew if He did this, He would have to be a Man forever, but He still did. Jesus’ incarnation and death are the most radical ways He could ever express how He feels about weak and broken human beings.

(mikebickle.org is an awesome website that has helped me greatly and may be helpful to you if you want to understand who Jesus is as the Bridegroom God, King of the Nations, and Righteous Judge)

What I’ve learnt from the West: A Nigerian Peering Into the Cultures of the World

Throughout the course of the past few days, i have pondered how my personal worldview has been dramatically changed by my experiences whilst studying in the UK. This is my 4th year in the UK, and i have gone through the lows of culture shock, and the highs cultural fascination. I have grown to appreciate the Nigerian culture more, but also grown to be very critical of so many other concepts and ideas i have been accustomed to by being born and bred in Lagos, Nigeria. I’ve grown to regret not speaking any Nigerian Language fluently, and grown to question why i believed in the existence of God. Who says it is not ‘modern’ to speak your mother tongue? Do i believe in God because of my family, or fear of rejection from a religious Nigerian society as an atheist?

Although, my worldview may always shift slightly from time to time, i think it’d be exciting to blog about how i see the world now as an international student from Nigeria, studying in multicultural Leicester in the UK. Expect to hear more in the days to come!

The Glories and Beauty of Abandonment

These have been some of the gushings and ponderings of my heart this week. I have so many muslim friends around me, and there’s nothing i appreciate more about them than their devotion, and love for one another.

Personally in my own life, i have set my heart to live differently- Wholeheartedly! February is a new month; January went quickly and i was struck by how broken we are outside of the love of God. This month i’m making very specific decisions concerning lifestyle changes.

I reject slothfulness and laziness in my life that leads to a dull spirit. I can’t live dead on the inside and consumed with worry and anxiety. I must meditate and gaze on the beauty of God like David, and must allow myself to be washed with the water of the Word like Mary of Bethany.

There’s something beautiful about Devotion

There’s something transcendent about a lifestyle of self-denial and obedience.

The fasted lifestyle is a lifestyle of love and abandonment(Matthew 5-7).

This is the beginning and the end of it all: I’m in love with God, and God’s in love with me. I choose to pursue wholehearted obedience no matter the cost. I’m pursuing freedom from the glittering bonds and chains of the spirit of the age.

 

I am yoked to Jesus.

Youthful Exuberance, Maturity and Eternity

I love the book of Ecclesiastes. It’s definitely one of my favorite books to read in the Bible. I was thinking about this year, my age(I’m in my late teens at the moment) and just life in general. Apparently some argue that the 12 disciples of Jesus were in their teens when they decided to follow Jesus! I’m not sure how true that is, but what i do definitely believe is that they were below 30.

On Maturity…

In society today, people are either classified as babies, children, teens or adults. However i think the expectation of maturity greatly differs in various parts of the world. Someone else suggested that Mary the mother of Jesus was in her late teens(16-20) when she was pregnant to give birth to Jesus and betrothed to be married to Joseph. This also is a huge shock to me! Coming from Nigeria, in my opinion and from my perspective, there’s a lower expectation for teenagers to be mature in that context(Seems that way to me!). Studying in the UK, my observation from amongst my friendship circles has been varied. Whilst some still doubt they believe in the institution of marriage, some are engaged to be married by 20/21. The latter has also been a huge culture shock to me as well! However, i greatly admire the fact that many start to work on paid jobs from their teenage years in the UK. I believe this helps to increase their self-confidence as well as expose young adults to the value of responsibility.

Ecclesiastes 12:1 would advice,

Remember your Creator
    in the days of your youth,
before the days of trouble come
    and the years approach when you will say,
    “I find no pleasure in them”

I remember we had this verse stuck somewhere on the wall, when i went to my Christian boarding school in Nigeria. Although i never really paid attention to it, these words are plaguing my mind once again today.

On Eternity…

It is a lie to believe that you won’t ever die. It’s not reality. It might be optimistic, but it’s not reality.  I want more than optimism, i want reality.  So why waste your time on what does not satisfy? It’s meaningless. Why waste your time clinging to the spirit of the age? It’s all fleeting, passing away quickly.

On Youthful Exuberance…

The young shall grow.  Youth is wasted on the young, says an online blog i read today. I don’t believe you have to be foolish because you’re young. I believe we need to call more young people to maturity rather than pampering them. Sadly, as a young teenager, i’ve been to so many christian youth groups that feed one another with video games and meaningless conversations. Don’t get me wrong- I believe there is a room for light talk and a bit of banter. However, i find that the older people get to be taught the ‘meaty’ stuff. There’s nothing as beautiful as seeing devoted and dedicated young people who have wisdom at a young age. I love reading about the lifestyle of John the Baptist- this man that was described by Jesus as a burning and a shining lamp, and the greatest man born of woman. This man lived a radical lifestyle of prayer, fasting and meditation on the Word, and was martyred at 30. That may look so foolish on this side of time but then Jesus would answer and defend this man’s life and say, ‘Wisdom will be justified by her children’.  In other ways, “I will vindicate this man’s lifestyle on that day. He will be great for billions and billions of years in the eternal city. You have said he is demonised, but i will openly declare the wisdom in this man’s choices. And though it seems like a short time to live in this present age, this man’s eyes are fixed on something more, something lasting of greater splendor, beauty, magnificence and glory”.

Any thoughts?🙂

The pursuit of happiness, beauty, relevance…

My heart overflows with a noble theme

My mind wanders to a land far away from me yet so close to me

Only that i see the rest of humanity in this mysterious land

Its a land full of ponderings. A land full of wisdom. A land ancient, and famous for its mystery throughout the ages

There’s a vast world within. Not for the faint. Silence. Solitude.

Life’s a paradox; The only way up is down

The only way to live is to die.

Vanity upon vanity all is vanity. I’m searching for reality. I’m searching for happiness. I’m searching for beauty. I’m searching for relevance.

The voice of humanity echoes through my mind.

I once met a wise Teacher

He claimed to be the answer to the voices in my head.

The yelling of humanity.

He said, “the only way to live is to die. You’ll come alive when you learn to die”

He walked me through this mysterious land. He beckoned me to go with Him. He was taking me to my destiny.

Terrified.

I nearly said no, but then i saw then i saw the Fire in His Eyes.

There was something about those eyes. Desire.

I went with Him, still going with Him.

Oh the beauty of Transcendence! Happy Holiness, Joyful Righteousness.

Though i walk through the valley of the shadow of death, i will fear no evil.

The questions of the great philosophers answered!

Now i must embrace my pilgrimage to the eternal city.

I’m an ambassador, inviting all to the wedding.

For in that day, the first shall be the last, the last shall be the first. Kings and paupers. Queens and maids. The rich and the powerful and the forgotten of the earth.

The great Equaliser.

Therefore you kings, be wise. Be warned you rulers of the earth,

The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up His zeal, with a shout He will raise up the battle cry and will triumph over His enemies.

(P.S  I have no idea exactly what that was haha but i was having a good time writing that🙂. I have also referenced 2 Bible verses in the end- Psalm 2:8 and Isaiah 42:13)

The Global Shift of History at the End of the Age

As you may know if you’ve been following my recent blog posts, i have been posturing myself prayerfully to receive understanding on the book of Revelation. I would like to share my thoughts and observations with you all, as i set my heart to go on a journey into this great end time prophetic book. I’ve literally been journalling down my observations and most of this will be straight off my journal(so you should feel very privileged to have a peek into my journal :P)

      1. The book of Revelation is the action plan/ strategy of Jesus to transition all the nations of the earth from this present age to the coming age. It is His plan to purify the earth of evil, and the receiving of the fullness of His inheritance of the government of the nations.It is His plan to remove all that hinders love. This strategy has been designed with great care and is an expression of the wisdom of God and the love of God. It can also be described as the end time book of Acts written before its fulfillment, as the greatest outpouring of miracles and ingathering of souls happens at this time in history(Psalm 2, Joel 2:28-32)The greater works referred to by Jesus in John 14 comes to its fullest manifestation at the end of the age. There is also a similarity between what happens before the coming of the Lord and the exodus of Israel from Egypt in the time of Pharaoh. God released plagues on Egypt through the partnership of Moses(His stretching out of the rod);the end time church releases very similar plagues in the trumpet judgements on the end time Pharaoh, the Antichrist. Israel is protected in the midst of the plagues; God seals the saints as the judgements are being released through prayer. Infact, the book of Revelation is the end-time prayer manual for the church.
      2. The ‘god of this world’ as the Bible refers to Satan who has had the ‘kingdoms of this world’ will oppose and resist Jesus in His inheriting of the government of the nations. The tribulation is mostly about the judgements of God released by the praying Church on the Antichrist and his world empire, as the church partners with Jesus in removing evil, injustice and oppression from the earth. There is an element of the persecution of the saints in the book(Revelation 13:7). This is however a secondary theme of the book in comparison to the primary theme of the handing over of the leadership of the nations by the Father to Jesus and the Bride(believers from the 1st to the last generations in this age). For example, the book of Acts speaks about the revival at the birth of the Church, but there was also the theme of the persecution of the saints. However, this is not the main theme of the book. Undeniably, some will be martyred, as some were in the early church, but God will deliver some from martyrdom, as He delivered many in the early church. There’s a supernatural seal on all saints during this time in history that prevents them from being affected by the judgements(Revelation 7:2, 9:4)
      3. Revelation 1 is a chapter on the majesty of Jesus as the God-Man. Jesus reveals His glory through John for His people to be strengthened and to partner with Him and not be offended by Him, or resist His leadership at the end of the age. These descriptions of Jesus strengthen our hearts to love Jesus and to partner with Him in the release of the judgements on the Antichrist. Some of these descriptions include- ‘The faithful witness’, ‘First-begotten of the dead’, ‘Prince of the kings of the earth’, ‘Alpha and Omega’, ‘The Almighty’ and many more. There is a description of the beauty of Jesus as He is revealed as the Son of Man(an expression of His humanity), clothed with a garment to the foot(He’s the sympathetic High Priest), with His head and hair as white as snow(His eternal existence before there was anything called creation and His unsearchable wisdom), His eyes were like a flame of fire(He produces holiness in His people, He searches the hearts and minds to bring purity, an expression of His burning heart of desire for His people). Again, i’ve barely scratched the surface. We want to be meditating on the descriptions of Jesus in the book of Revelation for decades as it equips our minds and strengthens our hearts to love Jesus and partner with Him. If i’m correct i think there are about 28 descriptions of Jesus in the book of Revelation.
      4. Revelation 2&3 are letters to seven literal churches in Asia at the time when John wrote the book, that portray the conditions of the churches. However, it has an individual application, a prophetic application to local churches throughout the ages, and a specific application to the church at the end of the age. Some believe it also has a dispensational application(portraying 7 distinct church ages since the early church). Jesus commends and rebukes these churches, and reveals a particular aspect of His majesty that will motivate the churches to respond to His message. He also uses eternal rewards to motivate response from the churches. Some of the warnings in these letters may appear ‘harsh’ at face value but i believe Jesus speaks tenderly to these churches. His call to abandonment is an expression of His love and fiery jealousy for relationship with His people.
      5. Revelation 4&5 are chapters on the beauty realm of God before the throne and the Heavenly commissioning of Jesus by the Father at the end of the age, respectively. Revelation 4 is the prayer and worship scene around the throne of God and reveals aspects of the beauty of God, the throne, the saints and the activity around the throne.  The Father is seen like a sardius stone(which i think is deep red representing the all consuming fiery heart of God and His burning affections for His people). A rainbow is seen around the throne(God’s covenant mercy and tenderness). There are vast layers of meaning and revelation in every description of God, the throne scene, the activity around the throne and the elders around the throne.  4 living creatures around God’s throne cry out day and night, HOLY, HOLY, HOLY- Transcendent Beauty!!! They don’t stop resting as they are overwhelmed by the knowledge of God and the beauty of God.  As they cry out, there are heightened new realities opened up by the activity of the Spirit to the 24 elders and they respond by casting their crowns before the throne as they are overwhelmed by the beauty of God.
      6. Revelation 5 talks about the heavenly commissioning of Jesus, as the Father hands the ‘Scroll’ or in my own words, the action plan and strategy for the shifting of human history to Jesus. This scroll has been sealed by the Father and only Jesus has the right and authority to open its seals and reveal its contents, as He is the one that has paid the price with His blood. This is His reward. This is His inheritance. It’s also got to be a human being. The leadership of the nations was given by God for men to rule. Jesus is the worthy Man, who knows how to rule the nations in righteousness, truth, meekness and justice. A very important point to note is that Jesus will not and is not opening the seals and releasing the judgements until the prayer and worship movements come into full maturity. In Revelation 5:8 it says-‘And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of God’s people.’ The harp speaks about the music the worship movement, and the golden bowls which are ‘full'(speaking about maturity) are the prayers of the saints. It is in the context of the harp and golden bowls that Jesus releases the judgements on the Antichrist’s empire on the earth. Revelation 8:1-6 also describe how the prayer movement in partnership with Jesus releases ‘thunderings, lightnings, voices and an earthquake’ in the earth.
      7. Although i intend to talk about the judgements in more detail in another post, i thought it was a good point to note that Jesus comes at the ‘Last Trumpet’. 1 Corinthians 15:52 states-in a flash, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.  The judgements are comprised of 7 Seals(Revelation6&7), 7 Trumpets(8,9,11:15-19) and 7 Bowls(Revelation 16). Revelation 11:15  says ‘The seventh angel sounded his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, which said:“The kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord and of his Messiah, and he will reign for ever and ever.”  This talks about the governments of the world being handed over to Jesus and the Church. Literally, the meek inherit the earth to govern the earth forever! This happens after the 7th trumpet is sounded as identified by Paul.

The more i read this book, the more excited and sober i get. Its global implications are so vast that its almost beyond my comprehension. Being a Nigerian, i have often thought about the applications of the various judgements in that part of the world. From my little knowledge of history we haven’t been involved in many wars in Nigeria, and its almost so hard for me to wrap my head around this. I recently read Revelation 9:13-21 that talks about a global worship movement of literal idols and signs and wonders being released in a global dimension by these worshippers and it really made me wonder how this would fit in to the Western world. I mean, now everyone’s used to seeing atheists or agnostics around them. I can’t even imagine the western world with idol worship and sorcery in a prominent way. I’d love to hear your thoughts!🙂

Challenging and Breaking Stereotypes; A City Set On a Hill Cannot Be Hidden

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