Posts tagged ‘people’
Something wonderful happened to me this week.
The Lord told me to forgive some people who’ve hurt me so badly
and to go meet them and pray for them.
You could think it’s that easy, but I spent a sleepless night just imagining
how I will have to go down to those people who owe me
apologies, tell them I forgive them, then pray for them.
But I finally swallowed my pride and timidity and did just that.
When I began to pray with one of them, she just broke down to tears…especially when I
mentioned that I’m releasing her from the prison of my heart so that she can get blessed.
I just realized how much hurt I had been causing by keeping them in the prison of my heart.
At the end of it all, I felt so good, free and joyous. They too.
I challenge you to do same. Do not hold that person in the prison cell of your heart any longer. Do not even wait for God to say so.
Release them, pray for them and you will get blessed yourself.
It’s good to know God is not keeping someone in bondage because I, His servant have refused to forgive them.
Remember Jesus said, whom we forgive He will forgive too.
When you’ve been abused, mistreated, used and dumped
It takes courage, the willingness to forgive
And the desire to live again
To give out your heart another time.
That’s why we must never exert pressure on people
To open up their hearts to us.
We deserve openness and genuineness in every relationship
But we must give people the time to change,
To heal and to willingly open up again.
Trying to force it out of them can be counter productive
NO matter how much you love them and want to be with them
Just be gentle enough to let them loosen up naturally and at a pace
That is comfortable for them.
They may really be in love,
But still needing time to get on the rails
Do not be impatient when they seem reticent
Let the rose unfold naturally.
Love and Blessing, Gretiana
This post is in response to a request from a fellow blogger and reader based on the last post I published titled “Why I got out of bed this morning”. In this post I said my life took a completely new turn (a positive turn) when God showed me my purpose.
My fellow blogger wanted me to share my experience; how I came to discover my purpose. I will just give a run down of how it all started up till this moment.
The early part of my life was littered with verbal, sexual and physical abuse. I’ve known rejection, disease and acute poverty. This to me was the normal since I didn’t have access to another kind of life.
Due to these conditions I became an adolescent and young woman who suffered immensely from low self-esteem, inferiority complex and insecurities. I hated myself, and the kind of choices I made later in life simply confirmed my state of mind. I became frustrated by my choices and the inability of others to understand what I was going through.
I gave my life to Christ while studying to become a professional teacher. I came to Christ with a heavy load of troubles. My life was meaningless and dirty in my own very eyes.
Although I was envied by many for my academic success, I hated myself so much.
Once in the church, things did not get right immediately. There was a battle for my soul. God had rescued me but the devil wanted me so badly. This opened up the avenue for constant spiritual warfare. Very early on in my Christian journey I learned how to fast, pray and rebuke evil spirits (They were all over me).
I had to seek solutions, and I sought them wherever I thought possible. I attended crusades, bought books and tapes, asked to be prayed for and then fasted and prayed on my own. But this didn’t prove to be the magic wand I expected.
Little did I know that God had destined me to be His servant and that all what I was going through was part of the training for ministry. Sometimes I thought God didn’t care about me. I then wanted to die. I really wanted to end the stress and trauma because that is all my life comprised of.
During the early stages of my conversion I began to have these “strange” dreams and visions wherein I found myself ministering prayer, healing and deliverance to people. I later understood through the teachings I was exposed to that God was showing me my calling. At that stage I didn’t understand much of it.
Also, I once heard a sermon that really shook the foundation of my Christianity and pushed me to seek God deeper. The preacher challenged Christians to stop being those who “sit and watch” while others serve in the church.
I must admit that I didn’t like the way he described those of us who were not in active service in God’s house. I felt a holy anger in me that sent me on my knees asking God what He wanted me to do in His house.
I attended foundation classes for new converts. There, I learned the difference between general service and specialized service. The former is for those who do not yet know their particular area of calling and the latter is for those who already know exactly what God has called them to do.
I was challenged and I began to serve in the church. I have served with the cleaners, the hospitality team; I’ve been a Sunday school teacher, an intercessor, the intercessors’ leader, a member of the women’s ministry among others. Then one day when Pastor was transferred I was asked to assume the interim until a new Pastor was sent to the church.
I learned a lot in these various capacities. This general service established my foundation as a Christian and gave me a base for ministry.
As I continued serving in the church and spending time in intimacy with God He began to show me my area of specialization. This was facilitated by the books I read, tapes I listened to, sermons I heard, other men and women of God I observed, prophecy, and then seminars and workshops I attended.
I never missed any opportunity to attend conferences and seminars even if I had to forgo other needs just to afford the transportation I needed. I was hungry for more of God and He honored my hunger with deeper knowledge about Himself and His call on my life. I always came back from the events enriched and refreshed.
But I still had issues. Only gradually did God take them away one at a time.
I’ll like to cite a few of the resources which among others really helped me during my search.
- Your season is getting ready to change by Pastor Paula White (tape).
- The Assignment, the Dream and the Destiny by Dr. Mike Murdock (book).
- Maximize Your Potential by Dr. Myles Monroe (book).
- Tough Times Never Last, but tough people do by Dr. Robert Schuller (book).
- The confident woman by Joyce Meyer (book).
I accessed other numerous resources by servants of God like Bishop T.D. Jakes, Arch Bishop Benson Idahosa, just to name these few. (I’ve read a mountain of books and I’ve bought a great number of tapes. I’ve been to so many conferences and I’ve sat down to talk to not a few servants of God).
In the end God made me to understand that He let me go through hell so that I would help others come out of hell. I’m a survivor called to reach out to others and help them survive.
But in all these, God’s grace has been superabundant in my life. I owe it all to His mercy and favor.
If not for His grace, there’s no other reason why I should be alive today.
What I can say is that it takes patience, intimacy with God, the willingness to learn, to sacrifice and endurance, when things seem to go directly opposite to what God had promised you through dreams, visions, prophecy and especially His own Word, the Bible.
I’m still searching and I’m still learning. I agree with the Apostle Paul:
Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus (Philippians 3:13-14).
I hope and pray someone is inspired by this resume of my testimony to seek God more and to get to know Him in a deeper dimension.
You are blessed in the name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
I used to think that if I don’t get a good dose of joy myself, then I’m unable or unqualified to bring joy to other people’s lives. I’ve since changed my paradigm.
I’ve learned that it takes just a little effort and will power to make someone’s day.
When I share the little I have it goes out and comes back to me in a boomerang effect.
It’s selfish of me to think that because I don’t have what I want, I’ve got nothing to share.
I could be unhappy, but at the same time possessing the seed to someone’s happiness.
At Gethsemane, Jesus wasn’t happy about going to the cross. But He knew my happiness depended thereon. So He went.
Anybody can give when in affluence; true generosity is seen when we give out of little.
Life is made up of times and seasons. We are called upon to move on from one place, situation and level to another. This will happen to each one of us from time to time. There are moments of transition and there are new challenges and targets to handle all the times.
We can’t grow, make progress or even succeed in life if we get stuck in one position.
The problem with people like me is that we often get too emotionally attached to some situations that are meant to be only temporary; a job, a mentor, a habitation etc. It becomes difficult to let go and keep going when it’s time to break camp and advance.
In my own experience, God has dealt with this issue in my life in a number of ways:
A. He sometimes provokes a conflict that will then end up kicking me out of my comfort zone.
B. He sometimes incites people to reject and hate me outright. This is usually when I insist on holding unto a dead end- a relationship that has come to its natural end.
c. I have had situations where I was moved to hate an environment; this as preparation for me to move to a new location. Isn’t it amazing that the things that you loved and cherished yesterday have become simply unbearable to you today? Perhaps it’s time to move on.
Now, let’s be very careful here. There are things you are not permitted to move on from. You can’t just move on from your marriage, spouse and kids because you no longer feel like staying on. You will be hurting a whole lot of people and bringing more disorder and pain in society. You can’t move on from your assignment because things have become too tough. God calls us for life, not for ‘as long as it feels good’.
Sometimes the movement is not necessarily physical. It might be emotional or psychological; you may have to stop engaging in a certain activity, dressing in a particular style or treating someone in a particular manner. For instance, when your children become adolescents you move on from the way to used to talk to them when they were just little kids.
Remember, there is no promotion without movement (physical or mental). If you resist moving on when it is the time to do so you could miss out on what God wants to do in your life for that season. You could then be stuck on one spot all your life.
On your marks, get set, move…
This post is about a very controversial subject. This post will either shock you or comfort your heart. You could get annoyed or you could get a little wiser. I take full responsibility for whatever reaction might come off this.
I want to talk about pastors. I want to share the experiences I’ve had with some of our pastors out there. It is time to get it out of me. It might help someone to avoid being aped over and over again like me.
When I got born again I was coming from a background of rejection and abuse. When I went to church, I badly needed physical, emotional and spiritual healing. Since I had never really experienced true parental love, I thought I could get it from the people God had established over me as my shepherds. I didn’t hesitate to open up to them, considering them as people I could trust. In my own naivety I thought I could fully trust them; that they were what the Bible says they should be. Then I got shocked out of my naivety.
What actually took me to many pastors was the fact that I was suffering from the kind of spiritual attacks that defied even the most anointed men of God. In my attempt to get help from a number of them I equally had the opportunity to observe them closely. I found out that many of those who claim to be pastors are just business men and women or simply crooks who are out to make a living by what ever means they can. They think God’s vineyard is their personal enterprise for personal aggrandizement. Did Jesus not prophesy about it? Many will come as sheep but deep within they are just ravenous wolves.
Don’t get me wrong. Pastor’s money is in the pocket of the Christians. But Pastor’s responsibility is to preach the undiluted word of God and the Holy Spirit will move his Christians to take care of all his needs. God will bring partners to sponsor church projects. Don’t be the kind of pastor who , when you need five hundred dollars for Monday morning you sit in your house Saturday evening and plan a strategy on how to fund raise Sunday morning. If you are forced to do that, know that there is something very wrong in the way you relate to God and the Holy Spirit. You don’t even care to take your needs to God any longer because you have your own way of getting it done. Repent, man of God, repent.
As a Christian I have come across the following categories of fake pastors. Get this and learn from it. But before you do, know that I have nothing against men of God. I am called to ministry myself, so I know many are observing me too.
- I have met hungry pastors who are out to make money in order to make ends meet at home. Everything they say or do is geared towards meeting their financial needs. They will go to any extend just to be able to put food on their tables. Now, who called them to the ministry? Has God become unable or unwilling to take care of His servants? Something is wrong somewhere.
- Covetous pastors who want to be like X or Y. They want to drive the same car like so and so; they want to fly a private jet like their colleague. They will intentionally manipulate their Christians and squeeze money from their pockets in order to live the high life. God’s vineyard has become their private enterprise and they behave more like the CEO than servants of God. They are eaten up by the spirit of mammon. They have no conscience whatsoever.
- Charlatans who have failed in every other area of life and have found refuge in God’s vineyard. There is no requirement for any form of qualification, certification, years of experience and interviews. All they needed was a Bible and a briefcase and before you know it they are bringing shame on the name of God claiming to be preaching the gospel. Some of them have never been called to God’s service. They slept one day, had a dream, the revelation came to pass. Then they bought themselves a suit, a briefcase and a Bible and became full fledge prophets.
- Have you ever been in a church needing help, but no one cares about your troubles just because you have a nice job? Pastor’s eyes are blinded to your need. All he sees is your pay check. “If he earns so much money, then he shouldn’t complain about any thing else.” That is why some very rich and influential people commit suicide although they are members of a church. They are always the first to make contributions towards church projects; but they are lonely, they are suffering and no one cares.
- I have had to work with pastors who suffer from chronic low self-esteem. They feel inadequate and unqualified before their own Christians. It is not a crime to feel a little low sometimes. It can happen to any body. The bad thing I realized however was that instead of getting what it takes to be what they are expected to be such pastors rather mount up strategies to demean and subdue their Christians. Some go as far as embarrassing you publicly while others preach your intimacy from the pulpit. They don’t know who they are, but they won’t let you be who you are. How am I to blame for the fact that you don’t feel confident enough, anointed enough or educated enough?
I have observed a number of strategies these fakes use to extort money from their victims.
“God told me to tell you this and that…” God never spoke to them at all. They know that you are a God fearing person and that when you hear the name of God added to a prophecy you will fall prostrate and do as they say. So they use that Holy Name to dupe you. May God have mercy on them.
Nowadays the gifts of the Holy Spirit are for sale. My Bible tells me that we have received freely and we must give to others freely. But it is no longer so today. Prophets prophesy for money; before pastor lays hands on you for healing or deliverance you have to disburse a sum of money. You have to pay for your own healing. The blood of Jesus is no longer sufficient.
Some will pray and then ask you to bring an offering because your case is settled. You bring them a handsome amount. A few days later you realize your case was not settled after all. When you go back to them they will find a reason to prove that it is your entire fault. “You do not have faith; you did not keep praying about it; your offering was not big enough”. When some of them realize they can’t help you, instead of telling you the truth they will create scandal to send you away from their church. After all, they got the money in their pockets already. You can go commit suicide, they don’t care.
I have had bitter experiences, but I am still a Christian and I still believe in Jesus. God has not changed; there are still genuine men and women of God out there. They are few but they are there. May God give us the discernment to know who to trust and who to flee from. May God help us to see the wolves hidden behind the sheep clothing.
If you are already part of a local church under a genuine servant of God, thank God for your pastor and stay put. If you are still searching for a place of fellowship, make sure the Holy Spirit Himself leads you to a church. If you have been betrayed and hurt like I’ve been, I pray that God Himself will heal your heart and then help you to meet a good shepherd. There are still some good ones out there.
One thing is sure; I have changed. These things have had an impact on my spiritual life. I’m no longer naïve and easily trusting, no matter how anointed a pastor is. I’m a civil servant. When I get transferred to a new region and I get into a church I take my time to observe very keenly what is going on there. I don’t just get to trusting everybody, and I don’t mistrust either. I just sit there and watch, then pray for the Holy Spirit to tell me what to do next.
If (like me) you really want to serve God in spirit and in truth, but are afraid to get aped (again), don’t get discouraged. Take a time out with God alone and ask Him to tell you what to do next. He is faithful and He will not let you live in confusion and uncertainty. He knows that some of His shepherds have gone astray, even more than the sheep. He will guide you to those who are still genuine. If you are really out to serve your God sincerely, He will never allow you to be ruined by unscrupulous mercenaries.
Some of you have become very skeptical about the church because of what you have suffered. People don’t understand why you seem so lukewarm in the midst of so much fire. Some even criticize your attitude. Don’t cry any longer; your creator knows what you have been through. Others judge but your actions. They can’t see your heart. My prayer is that God will heal your heart and enable you to be zealous once more for the things of God.
Serve the Lord with joy; trust in Him. Honor His servants, but keep your eyes peeled. Be meek as doves but wise as serpents.
God bless you.
The area of town where you live can determine your outlook to that town. Your station in life can easily influence the way you see life itself. It ought not to be so. Life is bigger than your individual position and the town is bigger than the street in which you live. If you walk down the street and turn left, you are likely to discover the other face of your town. Life has many faces and the one you live in should never be the only contributing factor in building your opinion about life.
There are many nice people in that quarrelsome family next door;there is a sweet, quiet and well-behaved girl in that prostitute infested street; there is a nice lady behind that heartless harlot who just killed her own child; there is a gentleman in that drug addict who raped your daughter. The question is will you look deeper? Will you see the beauty behind the apparent ugliness? Is there a savior in Rahab? Will you help Rahab bring out the best that is hidden behind the ugly?
This book is intended to create awareness, a consciousness in men and women of our day about the importance of taking a second Look before giving the label. How many people have we labeled “hopeless” just to find out later that they carried a treasure within them? We are supposed to have the heart of our Lord Jesus Christ who sat at a well in a hostile territory waiting to have a closer look at a woman the Samaritan community has branded “hopeless.” Only then can we bring out the evangelist that is hidden behind the emotionally unstable woman; the one who has been jumping in and out of every bed in town. My prayer is that this book would create a paradigm shift in us as concerns branding and labeling individuals in our communities. It is my humble desire to see people throw off the veil that has labeled them, in order to enjoy the life Christ died for them to have.
No matter what we are called to do in life, no matter where we fine ourselves, we will have to submit to some kind of leadership or the other. Chances are that we might be the one in leadership position. A leader is the Captain of the ship. He is the visionary in the house and can like God, see the end from the beginning. He gives direction because he knows the destination.
A leader who feels threatened by the gifts and potentials of his follower cannot effectively handle his duties. When the relationship with a leader reaches a level where he really feels threatened and insecure with the mentee, disciple or follower, the best solution is for them to part because there is bound to be conflict, suspicion and little or no collaboration.
This should not be so. A leader should know his capacity and potential and equally understand that there comes a time when the mentor has completely duplicated himself in his disciple. This means that the latter can do almost all that his master does, but for the many years of wisdom-inspiring experience which the master has acquired and which his disciple is still aspiring to.
In Genesis chapter 31, Jacob had to quit Laban because the latter was becoming intimidated by Jacob’s speed and progress. The house became too little to contain the two and it was difficult to know who was master and who was servant. Laban became really uncomfortable with his nephew’s progress. If you spend your entire life with such people, you will hardly fulfill your destiny. They are too bitter about their own slow progress to help you advance; they are too jealous to recommend you to your Boaz (Ruth 3:1-4) and they will intentionally withhold information that could help launch you into your destiny. This should not be so because a child, no matter how smart, will never be greater than his father and the joy of a father should be to see his children achieve what he has dreamed up.
Let us consider the story of King Saul and young David. When God anointed David King in the place of Saul, it was time for the latter to retire from active service and let his “son” David take up the relay baton. This was the time for Saul to humble himself and take on the role of a mentor to this young king since he knew the terrain already. He had been there already, made some mistakes; now he could have said, “son, I made some mistakes I’m not proud of and I will not like you to do same. We have the same mission, to lead God’s people so I will help you as best as I can to fulfil your divine assignment.” No. Saul saw David as a rival. He was not comfortable with his progress. This pushed him to extreme bitterness and wickedness.
However, David being a more mature leader even at his young age remained humble and wise under the terrible rule of Saul and refused to harm him even when it was in his power to do it. David fulfilled his assignment in spite of it all.
No matter how uncomfortable you might feel about someone’s progress, you cannot stop what God wants to do in their life. No matter how hard you try to destroy them, God’s sovereignty will finally prevail. So why not rather team up with them so that you can benefit from the fall outs?
Since submission to leadership is inevitable in life, we must pray for God to place us under good leadership and once we find ourselves in such positions, we should continue to pray for our leaders so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life (1 Timothy 2 1-2).
I go, I go away.
I go away from here,
I go away from here to a far off land.
A land where love conquers hate,
A land where compassion overcomes satire,
A land where goodness drives away rejection.
I go where people can see beyond,
See beyond my frailties and follies,
See beyond my limits and mistakes.
Where a brother will soil his hands,
Soil his hands to wash off the mud,
Wash off the mud on me
And see the treasure that is within.