Tag Archives: encouragement

God’s restoration

restorarionI have always loved studying. My mum sometimes reminds me that when I was in primary school and did not get an A, I would sob the whole day and cry. I wouldn’t say I was naturally ‘clever’, but hard work was installed in me.

Five years ago, last term of my degree in Biomedical Science. My research project was the last component to complete my degree. My supervisor, Mrs H, refused to offer any assistance. She didn’t come to the lab to show us how to hold a pipette, let alone explain to us what microvesicles were. She ignored all emails. With four weeks to go, I knew that if a divine intervention did not occur ASAP, my final grade for my dissertation would be 0 and I would drop down to a third class degree. I remembered how three years prior, I had gotten a conditional offer to study medicine. The day my exams started, my dad passed away. I chose to not go to Uganda to bury my father, and focus on ‘passing my exams’. I ended up failing miserably, and my route was diverted to Biomedical Science. Is this how my journey was going to end once again?

One day in the lab, I bumped into a PhD student conversing with one of the lab technicians. The lab technician introduced me and said: “Vanessa is also doing a project in microvesicles”. That is how myself and Ahmed clicked and for the next three weeks, we worked long hours on my project and even stumbled upon a new scientific discovery. His supervisor, the professor was so impressed with my work; he invited me for an interview for a PhD position. The interview went well, and given an offer to commence in 3 months. Mrs H wanted to submit a proposal for a research paper using my results. She contacted me and asked if I could send it before the due date and that she would refer to me in the ‘abstract’. I told her that I no longer had the word version of my dissertation. Why would I help someone who offered me zero assistance? In hindsight, perhaps I should have sent it to her. Out of spite, she went to the professor and I don’t know what was discussed in that office, but he was no longer interested in having me on board. I never heard from him again.

By God’s grace, I ended up completing my degree with a 2:1. One day, one of the technicians called me in confidence and told me I was never to tell or show anyone what he was going to show me. I agreed. He told me that they had stored research projects in the office next to the lab and he found my dissertation. I saw the grade 87 % being crossed out with a red pen to 70%. I was heart-broken.

I knew that with my research project, I would be able to attend a better university for further studies. I got a place at one of the best universities in the world to pursue my masters. I had worked as a science technician at a secondary school, and used all the money I earnt to pay for the course. From the first day I started at the university, I felt like I didn’t belong. Perhaps it was because I was one of few women of colour on my campus. I worked extremely hard during that year and didn’t go out (only had money for my travel card and for my lunch).

When I received my results, I scored very highly on my thesis, but received 0 for all three exams. I knew the course was intense and challenging, but didn’t expect to fail that badly. I was informed I have failed the course, not allowed to see my test papers and to come back in a year to resit. During this year, I was not offered any help and had to pay for these resits. I spent an entire year studying whilst working at this point. I sat the exams and I received the same results. I was not allowed to appeal, not allowed to see my test papers and was not allowed to receive any form of diploma. All they were willing to do is issue a letter from admin that I ‘attended’ the university.

For me, that was the most painful situation I have ever been in. I worked immensely hard to raise the money, studied long hours to end up empty-handed. I cried to God, “Take me home, I am tired of these disappointments”. It was my heart’s desire that God would one day compensate me for the disgrace, pain and disappointments.

Two years went by and I was working in the cytogenetics lab at one of the London NHS hospitals. The NHS was funding a handful of employees to pursue a masters in Genetics (course I had previously done) at one of the affiliated universities. I believed God for restoration and my manager put me forward and I was given the grant to do the masters (part-time whilst working full-time). I was so thankful, as this is what I had asked Him for. However, the following week, I was offered a job in Amsterdam which was a stepping stone in my career and an offer I could not reject. Why has this job offer come at a time like this? As painful as it was, I rejected the masters offer and moved to Amsterdam.

For months I pondered upon whether I had made the right choice to leave the masters opportunity for a job. I still didn’t have peace about it, so I started looking for masters courses within my current field (pharmaceuticals). I applied for a distant learning masters course in Pharmaceutical Sciences at one the top UK University for studying Pharmacy. They offered me a place on the one year course. I couldn’t afford to work part-time, so this meant working 40 hours whilst pursuing a full-time masters. I took a leap of faith and paid the tuition fee. On the day of enrolment, I happened to stumble on a scholarship on the university site. This scholarship was a full academic scholarship. I had nothing to lose (I had already lost enough) and decided once again to take a leap of faith and submitted the forms. To my surprise, I was invited for a Skype interview with the professors. A week later, I was granted a full scholarship and my fees was reimbursed in full (this happened to be on my birthday). This was last year. Two weeks ago, I was awarded a distinction for my masters.

God is amazing, He is big. It is us who limit Him. He is the one who restores, honors and blesses. When He blesses, He does not hold back. He taught me how to hold unto Him during pain, to have faith for the impossible and to never let go of my heart’s desire. I thank God for the tribulations because out of it He has molded me, as well as birthed out a testimony glorifying Him.

For it is written:

The LORD says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you.

Who would ever have thought that the girl who missed out on medical school, PhD, and a masters from a top university would one day complete her masters in one year with a distinction whilst working full-time on a full time scholarship? That could only be the hand of God!

The limitless Father

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I love prophecy. I have always had an awe for what is to come, to write it down and check it off in my notepad when it comes to pass. Some of them have come to pass, others were emotional messages and the rest I still believe God for.  The beauty of prophecy is that when it does come to pass, it is a reminder of God’s faithfulness and the fulfillment of His word.

I went to a women’s cell group where we prayed for one another and shared what we felt God had placed in our hearts. There was a lady there who gave me a word that I would move abroad sometime soon. I have always been the adventurous type, but that was impossible. I mean how on earth would I get a job overseas, moreover what kind of job and which country. I thought to myself, should I start looking for jobs and make this happen? It all didn’t make sense to me.

I was content with my permanent job and prospects of having any form of international career shifts were slim. I wrote the prophetic message down with the date and the lady’s name and surrendered it to God. I said: “Father, if this is Your will, I surrender it to You, You will make it happen”.I enjoyed my job and to be fair I was getting by, but I was not content. I wanted to achieve so much more. I had a salary figure in mind that seemed  impossible to attain but always said, if only I could earn that, I would be so happy.

Less than a year later, my CV was everywhere on the net. I was applying for jobs left right and centre because I felt like I had outgrown my position and wanted to attain a better post. A few months prior, I had sent my CV to someone I knew worked for a recruitment company, but they didn’t get back to me. However, out of the blue, they called me and informed me that they had secured a telephone interview for me for a job overseas and that the interview was the next day. I was astonished as I never told them to put me forward, let alone did I apply for the job. I ended up postponing the telephone interview by a week, as I needed time to prepare and think things over. The telephone interview went well and was invited for a face-to-face interview the following week. I already had a pre-booked holiday that week starting from the Wednesday and said I would be able to attend in two weeks’ time. However, they were unable to postpone. I then decided to go to the interview on Tuesday, fly in the morning and return that very evening to London. God blessed me with favour, and during my holiday I was informed that they had hired me and wanted me to start the following month.

It was all very overwhelming, I didn’t have time to think about it and had to make a hasty decision.  Therefore, I decided not to take the job, as I didn’t want to rush into things I never planned for. I knew that it was a good opportunity, but the most important thing was the will of God. then went back to the sister who prayed for me the previous year and gave me the prophetic message. We prayed together, and she encouraged me that this was the direction the Lord wanted me to take and that it would be an unmissable opening in my career.

I took the word she gave me, handed in my one-month notice and started the moving process. I had mixed emotions, going to the unknown, life-changing move, leaving behind my family and friends. However, I knew in my heart that this was where God wanted me to be. God was so merciful, not only did He bless me with the salary I desired, He exceeded my expectations.

I have faced many disappointments in life, and that was what I feared most, for the enemy to steal my blessing. So, I didn’t tell anyone about my move until I signed the contract. Also, I didn’t want anyone to discourage my decision because I knew in my heart that this was the direction God wanted me to take.

I want to encourage you today that God is with you. Sometimes, it may feel like He is far away, but that is because we are distant. God wants you to prosper. Irrespective of what your current situation looks like, He is there and wants the best for you. He wants you as His child to excel above your expectations, desires and prayers. He wants to give you more than you wish for or what you are worth. Why? Because He loves you. He loves you so dearly that when He died on the cross, it did not matter to Him what sin you committed, but that you would be saved!

Take a leap of faith today and ask God for the impossible. Write your vision and prayer point down and surrender it to the Lord. He will take care of your needs, your desires, and give you more than you ask for. If He can do it for me, assuredly, He WILL do it for.

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God given husband- testimonial

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Witnessing a testimony is an exceptional life changing experience. You encounter God doing the impossible, the miraculous and receiving unexplained victory. This testimony gave me hope, reminded me that God does indeed hear our prayers and that in His timing He perfects all.

I remember sitting on the tube to university one day when I had an odd conviction about my friend. I strongly had an urge to tell her she had to break off the relationship she was in, and that God wanted to bless her with a husband. How does one break this news to someone who is in a happy relationship? How do I really know this is God, or were these my own emotions? I decided to keep it to myself but the feeling kept coming back. After pondering on it for some days I decided to tell her. I said to myself, “God if this is you, you will not put me to shame”. She received the word better than I anticipated and she decided to seek God about it herself. I remember her being afraid of the unknown, leaving the man she loved for no “apart reason” and trusting that God would bring her better. As we went into prayer, I had a vision of a man who loved her, a man of God who had a pastoral calling. Again, I was hesitant to tell her but still did so in the end. For her that was confirmation to leave the life she was living, and solely trust God’s plan.

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I remember her telling me that she felt like it was a step back. How does one start all over again? She moved back to her parents’ home, but I encouraged her that God would not disappoint her. She decided to set up a fellowship at her parents’ house and it was powerful. We had bible studies, praise and worship, powerful prayer sessions and people came from all corners. She invited one of her high school friends to the weekly meeting, who happened to live down the road from her. He was a young man full of wisdom and on fire for Christ.

They started to spend more time together. A few months later, she invited him to come to our church, as we had a special service. During the praise and worship, the same urge came upon me as when I was on the tube. A voice was telling me to pray for them. I tried to ignore the voice but the burden was upon my heart. I decided to take a leap of faith. I walked over to them and told them that I felt led to pray for them. I remember saying in my heart: “Holy Spirit, please pray on my behalf because I don’t know what to say”. As the words started flowing from my month, I prayed for their marriage, their ministry and a boy child. After the prayer, the gentleman whispered to me: “Thank you very much, this is confirmation”. During the same service, the pastor called upon all who knew they had a pastoral calling to the front for a prayer, and he walked over.

Not long after that, he stated his intentions to marry my friend and a few months later they got married. When I see the spiritual growth within her personal life, and the joy she has with her husband I can only testify that it is God’s doing. Whenever I see pictures of their baby boy, I remember that God revealed Him to us, even before He was in His mother’s womb. Sometimes in life, one step backwards is two steps forward.
At the time, moving back to her parents’ house looked like a backward step, not knowing that her God given husband lived down the road from that home. Perhaps if she had not moved, this testimonial would not have taken place (obedience).

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Things I learnt for this testimonial:

1. God speaks to you
Many times we doubt ourselves and wonder whether it is His voice speaking to us. The word tells us that you know His voice- do not doubt!
John 10:27 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me..”

2. Take a leap of faith
Try to walk into the unknown by trusting the word God has given you. He has good plans for you
Isaiah 41:10 “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”

3. Uncomfortable situations build up character
No situation last forever and there is always something to learn from it. Sometimes we have to go through uncomfortable situation to embed godly characteristics into us.

Galatians 5:22-23 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”

4. God will not put you to shame
When we put our trust in God, we have the confidence that all will work out for our good.
Psalm 9:10 “And those who know your name put their trust in You, for You, O Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You”.

I want to encourage you today, that whatever your heart yearns and desires, God can give you more than that. God wants to perfect everything in your life. He will not start something that He will not finish and the outcome will be victory!

The blessed mourner

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Life has never been so overwhelming for me. I had encountered hardship and pain before, but this was one of a kind. There were days when I sat in silence and just did not know what to say anymore; I was puzzled and confused. How can so many hurtful things all happen at once, and why in this way?

The journey commenced in January 2015 when the Lord spoke to me and told me to urgently go to Uganda to pray for my grandmother. At first I doubted my hearing, especially since my grandmother was of a different faith. However, my prayer partner received the same revelation and said she would also accompany me on the journey.

So in April 2015, I went to Uganda. We asked my 87-year-old grandmother if she was receptive to us praying for her and she agreed. We laid our hands on her, prayed for her and her salvation. She was so grateful and asked when we would come back and pray for her. That was the last time I saw her. She passed away in December 2015.

Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015
Last time I saw my grandmother, April 2015

             

I was shocked as I did not have an incline that she would pass, let alone that the significance of the prayer and that it would usher her into heaven. It really taught me that when God calls you to move and do something, you have to act instantly- no hesitation or doubt. I was really distraught by her death and as she passed away a few days before Christmas and my arrival in Uganda, it was a sombre mourning festive season.

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It was during this trip that I got my hearts desire to pray for John, a minister who spiritually guided me over the years (read blog post – Discerning the season). He was a man of God who I looked up to, who believed one-day God would use me and wanted to see its manifestation. He suddenly passed away in July 2016. It was very devastating and painful. For days, I would stay awake at night wondering if this was really happening. I just didn’t understand how someone who had just started such a huge ministry passed away so suddenly.

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Minister and close friend, John Baptist Mukajanga

During this time of mourning, is when I found out my cousin, brother and friend Hamim had been diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. I don’t even know if the word “shocked” can sum up how I felt when I got the news. Is this really all happening at once? How can a fit, athletic, non-smoker, 29-year-old have lung cancer?

I found myself for the next few weeks going to the hospital almost daily to see him, to try and encourage him. The good thing is that he had a lot of friends around him and a big family support. I continued to ask God to heal him and for his salvation (as he was of another faith) but he became worse every day. Within weeks, he went from being a healthy athlete to being unable to talk and eat. It was heart breaking. It was during this time that I went on a prebooked holiday to Uganda. Days after arriving in Uganda is when he passed away. This was August 2016. I just couldn’t believe that another close person had passed away within the space of weeks.

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With my cousin, brother and friend Hamim

The pain became unbearable- I could feel the physical heart ache. This lead to panic attacks and depression. Depression is a silent killer which brought along old bad habits/sins, confusion and disconnecting me from the Lord. I stopped hearing and dreaming and was unable to pray. The spirit of fear had taken over and I was unable to sleep at night. I allowed the pain to consume me, and that was a mistake I made. However, at this time, I no longer knew how to deal with it or what to do anymore.

A week after my return from Uganda, my mum woke me up at 6 am. She initially asked me how I slept and if I was okay. I said yes. It was at that time that she informed me that my other grandmother had passed away. This was a lady I had seen the previous week before my return to London. She was fit, healthy and jolly and there was no sign that it would be the last time I would see her. At this moment, I felt like bad news had become the norm of my life. As I continued to suffer from anxiety, I went back to old habits and sins. I felt trapped in a box.

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Last time I saw my grandmother, August 2016

During this time, people would still send me their prayer requests and would ask me when I was next posting a post on Pearl Sisters. But I thought to myself, “How can I encourage some else when I need encouragement myself?”

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As much as people told me I was going to be “alright” and “get through it”, the times when I was alone in my bed  were when the real manifestation of emotions occurred. It was at this stage that I realised that only God was going to get me through and strengthen me.

1 Samuel 30:6 David was greatly distressed because the men were talking of stoning him; each one was bitter in spirit because of his sons and daughters. But David found strength in the LORD his God.

The Holy Spirit reminded me that this was for a season (read the blog post Discerning the season), and this season would pass. I started to discern the tricks the enemy was using to destroy me and my ministry, and knew I needed to stand firm. So I took a step back from ministry to focus on myself, my healing and deliverance.  I knew I needed to continue, to encourage someone that everything will be okay.

I want to encourage you today that regardless of what you are going through, you will get through it alive and in one piece. We all go through stages in life where it is so difficult, painful and sorrowful. But this is the time you need to hold unto God the most. He is the only one who can restore and repair and there is always a great lesson to be learnt. It is okay sometimes to take a step back and reflect, seek God for direction and focus on yourself. Take your time, there is no rush. God has seen every tear, pain, and sadness and it is His will for your to be joyful. Take courage.


In memory of Jajja Namutebi, Jajja Namazzi, JB and Hamim xxx


Discerning the season

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Seasonal people, we are indeed seasonal people. How do we know we are in a particular season and when will it end? Discerning the season can be tricky at times, and requires revelation from the Holy Spirit. Revelation brings about more clarity to ones’ situation, teaches valuable lifelong lessons and gives one hope.

My current season has had more lows than ups and I pondered why God allowed me to walk this journey. It can be depicted as a strong earthquake destroying all that is around it, all in a short frame of time – it is for a season. One may want to ask God What His purpose is for the current season. What is God trying to teach you? How does one pass the test? As uncomfortable as the season may be, one must walk and battle through it to get to the next phase in life.

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My biggest pain in this season has been the departure of John. I was 21 when I met John. I was at a Christian retreat in Uganda and we sat on the same breakfast table . “God is going to use you one day and you will have your own ministry, he said”. At the time I thought it was the most hilarious statement one had ever spoken concerning my life. “I mean people operate in their spiritual gifts as soon as they are born right? I don’t have any and I don’t even know how to pray. Moreover, I have committed the worst sins ever, there was no way God was ever going to be able to use me”. But he insisted He saw the revelation clearly and told me He would walk with me during my spiritual walk. During the prayer meeting, John uttered a few words and the presence of the Holy Spirit touched me in a way I have never experienced before. The Holy Spirit was real and I felt transformed. I later found out that he was one of the ministers at the church and I always admired his humility.

When I returned to the UK, we remained in touch and whenever he had time he continued to guide me in the ways of the Lord. He became like a spiritual father to me. His church grew to countless numbers of attendees, God blessed him with a huge teaching and deliverance ministry. He had his own TV show on the Ugandan television and a slot on the Christian radio station. He was a man who loved people of all dominions and would always go to the hospital to pray for my Islamic grandmother. After witnessing him healing and delivering many individuals, I also witnessed a personal testimony which touched the depth of my heart. He prayed for my unbelieving mother and she received Jesus as her Lord and savior. That was one of the most treasurable moments of my life.

It was always my heart’s desire to be able to pray for the man of God. I wanted him to see the work the Lord had done in me in five years since the retreat. In January 2016, this came to pass and he was astonished by the spiritual growth. It was as if it was a proud father/daughter moment and he encouraged me to keep pushing my ministry.

However, July 2016, John unexpectedly passed away at the age of 40. It was such a tremendous shock to me and it felt as if my life was over. Why him? How am I going to be able to carry on this spiritual journey alone? I physically cannot take this pain. He was such a great spiritual figure in my life, within my family and had become family to us. Why did he have to go so soon? His ministry has only just started and the body of Christ needs him! However, it was his season to be with the Lord.

The Holy Spirit comforted me by referring me back to the disciples and how they responded to Jesus’ crucifixion. They did not fully comprehend His purpose and why He had to leave them. However, they knew they needed to keep walking, keep fighting the good fight of faith and to continue the work Jesus had started. That is what has encouraged me to keep on going.

As much as this season has been a time of mourning, it has also been a season of growth for me spiritually. I have had to learn to stand on my own two feet and strengthen my relationship with the Father. It is a season where I have been forced to be bold and keep my eyes on Jesus, despite my current circumstance. There are aspects of myself I would not have been able to identify had I not gone through this low season and in the long run it has made me a better person. I thank God for the season He gave me with John, for the valuable lessons I learnt from him and for giving me someone who believed in what God was planning for my life. I would not have been the Christian I am not today had I not met him. God has reminded me that the Holy Spirit who worked through John is still alive. We cannot give up, regardless of how painful our current situation is. We have to continue with His work as our time is precious and there is still a lot of work to do!


Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

To everything there is a season,

A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,

    And a time to die; A time to plant,     And a time to pluck what is planted;  A time to kill,     And a time to heal; A time to break down,     And a time to build up;  A time to weep,     And a time to laugh; A time to mourn,     And a time to dance;  A time to cast away stones,     And a time to gather stones; A time to embrace,     And a time to refrain from embracing;  A time to gain,     And a time to lose; A time to keep,     And a time to throw away;  A time to tear,     And a time to sew; A time to keep silence,     And a time to speak;  A time to love,     And a time to hate; A time of war,     And a time of peace


Let go and let God

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Letting go and letting God, is a statement we have been hearing throughout our Christian walks. It sounds so easy, yet takes the grace to be able to fully accomplish. We say to ourselves that we have fully surrendered all to God. But have we really done so? Are there some things we partially surrender and are keeping to ourselves?

Time and time again we deceive ourselves and say we have gotten over something, yet the residues are still hidden within our hearts. We tell ourselves they are not there and cover it up. Other times we are not ready to deal with them and again pretentiously neglect them. Or, we accept that they are there and refuse to let go of them.

A couple of weeks ago, I was feeling troubled. I couldn’t pray, I couldn’t serve the way I would usually do and I had no peace. I tried everything to pin point what may possibly be making me feel this way. It was then that the Lord brought a friend of mine to my attention. As I envisioned this person, emotions of rage, pain, unforgiveness, bitterness and hatred came to my spirit. I remembered all the hurtful things this individual did to me, and the fact that they refused to apologize for it all. I had made up in my heart that I would “forgive” them but never “forget” what they did unless they had apologized.

Jeremiah 17:9 The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

The Holy Spirit encouraged me to love her, and see her the way He sees her. So I started to pray for her. I prayed for God to change her, for her salvation and for God to remove the heart of stone etc. It was at this point that the Lord gave me a vision, and I was standing in front of a mirror. It was then that He revealed the bitterness, anger, hatred, unforgiveness, lack of compassion and mercy that was buried in my heart towards her. He then showed me my house and it was a total mess. He then told me: You cannot ask me to change someone when you have all this clutter within you. You have clean your own house before you clean another someone else’s.

Matthew 7:3-5 And why do you look at the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me remove the speck from your eye’; and look, a plank is in your own eye? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

It was then that I realized I had not surrendered everything concerning this person to the Lord, and was still holding unto it deep within my heart. Not only so, but the seed of bitterness had taken over my personality. My compassion and mercy for people had been taken over by this seed without me realizing.

We spend so much time focusing on how we feel and on the faults of others. We spend little time examining ourselves and the flaws we have. We are consumed with emotions. We forget how compassionate and pure in heart Jesus was. That even when He was being crucified, He prayed a prayer of compassion.

Luke 23:34 Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.

At times, we find it hard to forgive other people, but if God was to deal with us the same way, based on all the sins we have committed in our entire lifetime, we wouldn’t be worthy of receiving anything.

We are in a season where God is cleansing our hearts, our spirits, our households. The vision the Lord gave me was of a washing machine, and He said that He will use His Holy Spirit to cleanse and regenerate us, if only we are willing. My prayer for you today is that God will give you the grace to fully surrender all that is hidden in your hearts to Him and let go. He wants to restore you and make you whole again. I pray that You will get the courage to stand before that mirror and ask God to reveal all the things still hidden in our hearts that we still hold unto. Only He can heal you and make you whole again

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Let go and Let God – pointers

  • Make a list of all the things hidden that You have been unable to surrender to God.
  • Be honest with God about how you feel about situations you have been unable to surrender to Him.
  • Pray and ask God for the grace to surrender them to Him.
  • Pray for healing, deliverance and restoration with your heart, mind and spirit.
  • Imagine yourself standing before a mirror and ask God reveal all the hidden things within your heart that are not pleasing unto Him.
  • Pray and ask God to deliver you from these sins.
  • Use the word of God to speak positivity over these sins and replace them with positive words (e.g the fruit of the Spirit-Galatians 5:22-23).
  • Ask God to give you spiritual eyes to see His children the way He sees them.
  • Pray for God to give you a heart of compassion and mercy towards His children.
  • Ask God to give you a tongue that declares positivity over your life daily.

 


Let go and let God – youtube teaching

The return of the prodigal son

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There have been a number of times in my Christian walk when I have fallen away from the Lord. I was distracted, gave in to the desires of this world and unwilling to give up my own personal desires. Other times, I felt too embarrassed and disgraced to return back to the Lord. How do I return back to God? I know Him, He speaks to me, I know the word- how can He forgive me?. I am no longer worthy of being His servant. Also, the judgement of others was something I feared and dreaded. What will other Christians think of me if they knew the sin I had committed? My Christian friends make the Christian walk look so easy, perhaps there is something wrong with me.

Returning back to the Lord after falling is something that requires humility and genuine repentance. It is not always easy to forget the mistakes we have made, but God is ready to wash it away and give us countless chances in life (2 Chronicles 7:14 If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land).

I want to encourage you today, that regardless of what you have done that may not have been pleasing to God, He still loves you. God cares about you, and the fact that You are still alive shows that He still has a great plan for your life. The enemy tries to deceive us by whispering lies to make us feel less worthy. However, it is written: Romans 8:1-2 There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

In Luke 15, God illustrates His unconditional love and joy towards us:

The parable of the lost sheep

Luke 15:4-7 What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’  I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.

You are very precious to the Lord, He loves you so much that He is willing to leave behind His other children to go after you. You are dear to Him, and He rejoices when You return back to Him. No matter how big the sin, He is ready to embrace you and call you His child

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God continues to emphasize on His delight in us returning to Him and how much He honors genuine repentance:

The parable of the lost coin:

Luke 15:8-10 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp and sweep the house and seek diligently until she finds it?  And when she has found it, she calls together her friends and neighbors, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the coin that I had lost.  Just so, I tell you, there is joy before the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”

Lastly, in the Parable of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32), a son greedily asks his father for his inheritance, which he then recklessly squanders and is left with nothing- not even food to eat! However, he humbled himself and returned home to his father and asked for forgiveness. His father felt compassionate towards his son and was grateful that his son was still alive and came back home. He did not condemn him for the sin he committed, but embraced him with love (Luke 15:22-24 But the father said to his servants, ‘Bring quickly the best robe, and put it on him, and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet. And bring the fattened calf and kill it, and let us eat and celebrate. For this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.’ And they began to celebrate).

Regardless of how far astray you have gone from God, it is not too late to come back. God is patiently waiting for you, to shower you with His unconditional love and welcome you back home. In your own words, pray and speak to your Father; converse with Him the way you would with your best friend. Pour out and tell Him exactly how you feel and pursue genuine repentance.

If you are believing God for the salvation of a loved one or are praying for someone who has backslidden, keep pressing on, its not too late ( see the blog post: Salvation of a loved one). The prodigal son is still able to come back home in Jesus name! 

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Compromising your faith

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The decision to walk in uncompromising faith is a daily battle we have to face. The temptations of this world seem endless. It feels so good and yet it is so wrong in God’s eyes- the struggles of the flesh. The inability to choose between God and man- the battle of the mind. Walking the narrow road alone or strolling on the broad road with a friend- which way to choose? A temporary fulfillment on earth or eternal glory in heaven- patience. Willing to remain unpopular and gain everlasting recognition- long suffering. Is it worth letting you desires die to please your creator? – obedience.

I recently found myself in a compromising situation and had to choose between man and God. The pressures of this world and my emotions got the best of me. Acting upon this, I considered compromising my faith for a temporary situation. Thoughts kept rushing through my mind “God will forgive me anyways, His grace is sufficient” “This is not as bad as it looks, God will somehow find a way of blessing me in this”. Those were all lies from the pit of hell.

However, deep down in my heart I had no peace about the matter and continued pondering over it. Overwhelmingly, I turned to friends for advice: some supported my decision, others did not. What do I do? By the grace of God, a friend of mine shared a dream that she had about me. She did not know I had been battling with this decision. However, in the dream she had, I had made the compromising decision and my life was a mess. I had turned away fully from God and was unhappy. There was a lot shame over my life and I was alone.

I had a dream a few days later, where the Lord said to me “I am pleased with you, however do not make the compromise because it will ruin all the plans I have for you”. I then woke up. The fear of the Lord gripped me and gave me the strength to walk away from the situation and trust God.

Matthew 5:30 And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell.

It was by grace that God spoke to my friend and myself in a dream. However, what if He had not warned me, where would I be now? Especially, if I had made the decision solely on my emotions, feelings and the pressures around me. Not compromising my faith resulted in shame, pain, disgrace and losing someone very dear to me. I am thankful for this, as it was all temporary and in the long run has given me honour.

Matthew 5:10 Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

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Hebrews 10:26-27 If we deliberately keep on sinning after we have received the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins is left,  but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire that will consume the enemies of God.


Compromising your faith- prayer

  • My prayer for us today is that God will forgive us for all the times we have compromised our faith one way or another. May God forgive us for when we have taken His grace for granted. Ephesians 2:8-9 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.
  • Let us repent for when we put our own desires before His and for the times we have been disobedient. May God forgive us for the times we have tried to please man and disappointed God. Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?
  • May God give us the strength and grace to overcome the daily battles we face and not to give into the ways of this world. May He teach us to be selfless and let His ways be our ways. John 3:30 He must become greater; I must become less
  • May God forgive us for all the times we have been ashamed of doing His will and tried to blend into the ways of this world. Luke 12:8-9 I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God
  • May He continue to empower us as His children and remain courageous and bold to fight the good fight of faith. Luke 9:23-26 Then he said to them all: “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will save it. What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, and yet lose or forfeit their very self? Whoever is ashamed of me and my words, the Son of Man will be ashamed of them when he comes in his glory and in the glory of the Father and of the holy angels.

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Why me?

1453022739779Why me? A question I repetitively asked myself throughout 2015. Everything that could possibly go wrong occurred. All that I feared happening in my life manifested. Why me? My prayers were not being answered the way I expected them to. Moreover, God was silent. Why me? Pain, grief, disappointmentFather where are you. Perhaps this was punishment for my former sins or maybe I was born to live a life of hardship. Everyone around me was having breakthroughs and my journey was getting harder- Why me?

I then found encouragement in the book of Job. Job was a perfect, wealthy, upright man that feared the Lord (read Job 1). One day, God gave satan permission to intervene in Job’s life and cause affliction.

Job 1:6-12 “One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.”Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land.  But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger. ”Then Satan went out from the presence of the Lord.

One would ask, why would God do or allow such a thing? Isaiah 55:8-9 For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,”declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.

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The conversation between satan and the Lord was beginning of Job’s misfortunes and affliction. Job lost his cattle, his children, his honour all at once (read Job 1). What amazed me is despite this occurring, Job continued to worship God (Job 1:20-22   At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said: “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.” In all this, Job did not sin by charging God with wrongdoing).

However, this led to the Lord allowing satan to afflict Job for a second time.

Job 2:3-10 Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil. And he still maintains his integrity, though you incited me against him to ruin him without any reason.”  “Skin for skin!” Satan replied. “A man will give all he has for his own life.  But now stretch out your hand and strike his flesh and bones, and he will surely curse you to your face.”  The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life. ”So Satan went out from the presence of the Lord and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the crown of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die!”  He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

However, this caused Job great pain and he repetitively cursed his existence on earth. Job 6:8-10 “Oh, that I might have my request, that God would grant what I hope for, that God would be willing to crush me, to let loose his hand and cut off my life! Then I would still have this consolation— my joy in unrelenting pain—that I had not denied the words of the Holy One.

What did Job do to deserve great pain and hardship? In addition to this, he faced shame and even his own wife and friends rejected him during his time of calamity.

Job 19:13-20 “He has alienated my family from me; my acquaintances are completely estranged from me. My relatives have gone away; my closest friends have forgotten me. My guests and my female servants count me a foreigner; they look on me as on a stranger. I summon my servant, but he does not answer, though I beg him with my own mouth. My breath is offensive to my wife; I am loathsome to my own family. Even the little boys scorn me; when I appear, they ridicule me. All my intimate friends detest me; those I love have turned against me. I am nothing but skin and bones; I have escaped only by the skin of my teeth.

Although Job wallowed in self-pity, he did not curse God and Job passed the test of obedience

Job 7:20-21 If I have sinned, what have I done to you, you who see everything we do? Why have you made me your target? Have I become a burden to you? Why do you not pardon my offenses and forgive my sins? For I will soon lie down in the dust; you will search for me, but I will be no more.

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God  promises us that we will reap more than we have lost; all to the glory of His name.

Job 8:7 Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be.

And indeed after God’s purpose was fulfilled in Job’s life, He blessed Job with even more than He had lost out on.

Job 42:11-13 Then came to him all his brothers and sisters and all who had known him before, and ate bread with him in his house. And they showed him sympathy and comforted him for all the evil that the Lord had brought upon him. And each of them gave him a piece of money and a ring of gold. And the Lord blessed the latter days of Job more than his beginning. And he had 14,000 sheep, 6,000 camels, 1,000 yoke of oxen, and 1,000 female donkeys.  He had also seven sons and three daughters.

When I made a list of the hardships I faced in 2015 and compared them to the affliction Job faced, it was incomparable. Let us ask God what lesson He is trying to teach us, what His plan and purpose is for the affliction, rather than complaining and dwelling in self-pity (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus).

Like Job, God knew that you would be able to handle the affliction, to pass the test He has set before you. He has placed a hedge of protection over you. No matter what hurdle comes into the path of His servant, you will jump over it victoriously. The book of Job also shows how powerless satan is, and that God Himself has the final say over your life.

Why you? Because God loves you and wants to use your life as a great testimony to others. Why You? Because God has installed greatness into you that will do wonders in His kingdom. Why You? Because you are His entrusted vessel who cannot be broken, and can withstand the challenges life offers. Why You? Because God was confident enough that you would overcome any misfortune that come your way. Why You? Because no plan of the enemy can destroy you, it only makes you stronger!!!

 

Trust God-not man

Trust God and not man. Easier said than done. The convenience of confiding in an individual with five senses, rather than a Father who at times is silent-inevitable. Trust in the unseen has to mastered in order to avoid misunderstandings, disappointments and paintotal surrender.

We place unrealistic expectations on humans, in particular vessels of God and are ‘stunned’ when they do not meet our “godly standards”. “If only the pastor could touch me, that would be the end of my problems”. “Did you hear about the pastor who slept with a member of the congregation?”. We thank God for pouring His spirit upon man and for the gifting’s He has blessed us with (Acts 2:17). However, just like the rest of us, vessels of God fall short and also have struggles. In fact, they need more prayers than we do.

It is becoming more evident that ungodly relationships are being formed within the body of Christ. Secret sexual relationships occurring between anointed vessels of God and other parties. Am I stunned? Not at all. Who is to blame? We all have a part to play. At times, men and women of God are unable to express their secret struggles- suffering in silence. Others have yielded to the pretense of being the ‘perfect Christian’ without flaws. Some are using their spiritual position to entice others, in particularly if one has not undergone deliverance before pursuing ministry. Many Christians desire a spouse that complements the ‘person on the pulpit’ whilst others fantasize of a lustful relationship with God’s anointed vessel. Others have been deceived by the anointed vessel.

Furthermore, the anointed man/woman of God may be dealing with more issues than you have knowledge of; hence why we need to turn to God first and not man. If God was to reveal to us what each and every man and woman of God was struggling with, you will realize that you are better of seeking matters directly with God. Does that mean that we should not seek after anointed people of God? No, not at all. But our primary trust should be in Christ Jesus and He should be the one we run to first. God wants to be your Father, confidant, your everything and will never disappoint you (Isaiah 9:6 “For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace”).

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Recently, an anointed man of God who does not personally know me told me that: “God told him I was his wife”. I immediately discernment his impure motives and indeed was offended by the pursuing: “How dare he, he’s supposed to be a man of God”. However, the Lord reminded me that we are spiritual beings, and have to deal with things in the spiritual realm (Ephesians 6:12 “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”). And like any other human being, he also has shortfalls (Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God”). By the grace of God, I put my emotions aside and  prayed for this man of God to be delivered from the spirit of lust and perversion and to pursue the ministry God has given Him in a righteous manner (Matthew 18:33 “Should you not also have had compassion on your fellow servant, just as I had pity on you?”).

My prayer for us today is that God will teach us to fully surrender and trust Him and not man. May God be the one we go to when we are in need and may He guide and order our steps. Let us pray for the men and women of God in ministry that God will continue to protect them from the devourer. May we acknowledge that they are not supernatural but fellow humans and have flaws and make mistakes (Ecclesiastes 7:20 “Indeed, there is no one on earth who is righteous, no one who does what is right and never sins”). May God help us not to judge people of God when their sins are exposed(Romans 14:12-13So then each of us shall give account of himself to God. Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather resolve this, not to put a stumbling block or a cause to fall in our brother’s way”).May God give them the grace to confess their sins to the Lord and be overcomers.

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