December 8, 2008

God's character

One of the things I do not like to tell people is the year I gave my life to Christ -the year I declared publicly for God. Interestingly, people whether out of reflex or out of curiosity or out of spirituality or out of whatever ask such a question.

Personally, it becomes embarrassing as the years go by and I feel that my faith journey has been awfully slow. Of course there was a period I put my relationship with God on 'pause' and chased shadows. I could feel I was slipping but was deceived to think that I could do nothing about it. But somehow I sensed God's loving hands was upon me. I remember I only had time to pray one prayer most times:

'Dear Lord, please do not allow my conscience to be seared'

I had always known that the best place to be was in Christ, but I was trapped in the things of the world. However, God who searches the heart seeing that I truly desire to live for him began to orchestrate events to help me out. As I retraced my steps, on 25th June, 2007, I read Ephesians 4:20-24:

But that's no life for you. You learned Christ! My assumption is that you have paid careful attention to him, been well instructed in the truth precisely as we have it in Jesus. Since, then, we do not have the excuse of ignorance, everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you (The Message).

The last verse struck me and I earnestly prayed asking God to reproduce his character in me. He replied, "As you are continually in my presence, I will reproduce my character in you"

I wrote it down ( if you read the post "hearing God: my challenge", I stated that I record some of the words I hear), which explains how I could remember the exact date. Once in a while I go through the words of God I have written down and on one of such occasions, I discovered that God has told me something similar on 5th October, 2005.

"When you spend more time in my presence, you will be transformed"

So there is no shortcut! To be changed, to remain changed, to exhibit God's character and to show forth his glory, I must spend time in his presence, studying his word and communing with him.

December 4, 2008

I thought I heard God I

In the posts, 'Hearing God: my challenge' I stated that there were times I thought I heard God concerning certain things but the events did not happen as I supposedly heard them.

One of such times was on 31st January, 2006. I thought I heard God tell me that my sister will have a child the same year. I watched the year, 2006 pass by and it did not happen. I also had a mandate to pray and fast for her every Monday. Or did I give myself the mandate? However, I failed in this task - I did not fast every Monday of the year.

I found myself wondering - was it because I did not fast every Monday of the year that it did not happen? Or God probably did not speak as I thought.

However, we have not given up trusting that God can do it. Indeed, He is the one that gives conception and He created the human body. He can repair any physiological defect and make what may be medically impossible possible.

December 1, 2008

My Little Finger

It is amazing how little things are taken for granted. Initially we don't know how valuable they are until we are compelled to do without them. I had a deep cut on the little finger on my right hand which bled as if it would not stop. I got to the clinic only to realize it was closed. Next day, I had it cleaned and dressed with the instruction to ensure the hand is kept dry so that the wound could heal fast.

I had so much to do that I was ready to comply so it will heal fast. As I thought of my predicament, I remembered the scripture says all things work to together for good. I must confess I could not help but to wonder how a deep cut could work together for my good. Then I remembered that my handwriting has been poor since the cut. I realized the little finger plays immense role to the so admired handwriting of mine.

So one good is that I learnt that nothing, no matter how small should be taken for granted. It may be small but may be playing a huge role.

November 23, 2008

Jehovah who saves cost

I wonder if you have encountered God as one who saves cost? Well, recently, I did. I am doing a research which is being funded by my supervisor and I needed a particular enzyme which could be obtained by Sigma-Aldrich but very expensive and sold in aliquots. Buying from Sigma-Aldrich was not cost effective because I would need a large quantity of the enzyme so I had to try to source it elsewhere. I found a company who was going to give me at a good price but it was not one of the companies registered with the school. For a new company to be registered with the school, a form which required a lot of information would be filled. As I discussed with the procurement officer, He said because of such personal information required, a number of companies are hesitant. In fact some do not respond once he sends the form. Some of such information were recently introduced. Well, a form was sent to the company and the guy it was sent to was nice enough to reply to say he was not going to give some of the information required.

Well, since the enzyme was important to me, I began to consider bypassing the school and it meant I would have to pay with my money. But God who knew my present financial situation went ahead of me. When I got to the procurement officer to ask for feedback from the company, he told me that the guy was not eager to fulfill the requirement before we could buy from him. However, he had arranged with a registered supplier to go buy from him and supply to us!

Believe me I was not expecting him to take such an initiative! Indeed it was beyond my expectation. As I thought of it, I realized that I have been saved some money.

Indeed He is the Lord who saves cost.

November 13, 2008

Approved

It can be quite challenging trying to believe God despite all odds. When one is at one's wits end and it is obvious there is no place to go to, God remains your only option. Then you make a deliberate effort to kick out doubt and trust God who has spoken into your situation.

I had a trying time writing a proposal for my postgraduate study. After I had spent four months writing on a research area, struggling to write it just the way my supervisor wanted, he suggested a change of topic. Initially, I dreaded changing the topic because I was considering the efforts, time, eye aches, headaches and sleepless nights I had put in. However after much deliberation, I accepted to change my topic, spent three strenuous months writing and I submitted. I submitted at the last minute on the last day of submission against all odds. This was because it had to be just as my supervisor desired. Even up to the last day of submission, we were still making corrections.

The next hurdle was the proposal defense where it will either be approved or revision required or rejected. For someone who has spent almost the whole year writing a proposal, I was a bit apprehensive coupled with the impression I was given about the defense. I was told that the assessors do not hesitate to dismiss a proposal. I was made to rehearse my presentation a number of times. Though it was good for me to be prepared but I began to think that it was not in how prepared I was. It was in God granting me favour before the assessors. So I started praying:

"Father, You know am tired and bored with proposal writing and I want to move on to the next hurdle. However, the outcome of the defense determines the next step. I sincerely desire that the proposal be approved"

As I prayed, I saw a paper. I did not see clearly what was written on it but I did see that the word 'approved' was boldly stamped across it. I got up, believing that indeed the proposal had been approved. So I deliberately kept playing the picture over and over until the time to meet the assessors drew near. This helped me a great deal to relieve tension and to kick out doubt.

The presentation went well and apart from a minor correction, the proposal was indeed approved.

November 9, 2008

You are my Creation

Have you ever called yourself stupid? Well, I have, a number of times. But recently, I did something stupid and I said, "Ndidi, you are stupid!" Then I heard in my spirit, "Don't call yourself stupid. If you called yourself stupid, you are saying that what I created is stupid"

I found that interesting but I understood that God was trying to say that my action may have been stupid but I am not stupid. He certainly looked at everything He had created and He saw that it was good. So I am good!

October 8, 2008

Hearing God: my challenge IV

There are times when you are earnestly seeking an answer from God and He provides it however and through whoever He chooses. So I got more answers to why things dont happen as I supposedly heard when a guest speaker came to our church and talked about "protecting the promise". Then I realized it is one thing to hear God but I ought to protect the word I hear. That I have received a word or a promise does not mean it will be fulfilled. For the promise to be fulfilled, I have to build strong walls of faith around the promise. The promise has to be protected against:
  • Past failures which cripple and hinder one from trusting God and His word
  • present circumstances when things do not align with the promise
  • fear of future failure
  • sin and temptation: there is nothing the devil can throw against the shield of faith and succeed. However, if I yield to sin and temptation, then he can succeed
Finally, hearing God requires that I take time to be with Him in an intimate way so that I can hear his voice clearly and then build walls of protection around the promise.


September 11, 2008

Hearing God: my challenge III

Hearing God is still not 100% but I see it as a process which I have decided to gladly go through. My joy is that if I draw close to God, he will draw close to me. I spent some time praying and asking him why I can not consistently know his voice clearly from other voices. I remembered the scripture (John 10: 1-18), where Jesus talked about the sheep hearing the voice of the shepherd. The sheep follow the voice of the shepherd and never follow the voice of a stranger. So I thought to myself; the sheep are able to recognize the voice of the shepherd and never that of a stranger because they have mastered the voice of the shepherd. The shepherd's voice has become familiar. Jesus said he knows his sheep and his sheep know him. So for me to really know God's voice, I ought to know him. I can not know him from a distance; I must draw close and have an intimate relationship with him. The relationship will be intimate and consistent. A daily time with God will draw me closer to recognizing his voice anytime I hear it than weekly, bi-weekly or monthly time with him.

As I continued to pray, I sensed God telling me that for me to identify his voice from other voices, 'self' must die and flesh must be subdued.
  • Self - the desire to be seen, to be know, to be praised, ego, pride and focus on accolades must die and be buried. Then Christ can work through me.
  • I have to come to a point where I accept to be only a channel/vessel for God and nothing more.
  • Yielding to what the flesh wants should cease because satisfying the flesh generates more voices making it difficult to identify God's voice.
  • I must come to a point where I always strive to satisfy the Spirit
  • When self is dead and flesh is subdued, identifying God's voice becomes a piece of cake because at that stage, only his voice becomes audible

August 29, 2008

Hearing God: my challenge II

"But I thought you heard God?"

After my father asked me the above question, 'God said' became two heavy words that I find difficult to say. I only dare use those words after what I heard has happened. Then I would begin to testify boldly. After my father's question, I took a break from hearing God. You may ask did God allow me to take a break. I think not. I realized he was still speaking and so I began to obey once again.

The journey of hearing God has not been bread and butter. Several incidences happened afterward in which I thought I heard God but the events did not happened as I supposedly heard. I found myself getting more and more discouraged. I took several breaks from hearing from God and obeying until the year 10th March 2005 when I received instruction from God that if he gives me his word I should write it down. Indeed, this was God coming to my rescue to deliver me from frustrations. So from then I got a book and began to write down God's word to me. I must confess here that I do not write all but writing down his words to me has helped a great deal.

Whenever the word comes to pass, I go to where I had written it and put down the date it happened as well as the words 'He did it'. If it did not happen, I wrote such words like 'failed', 'it did not happen' or stated what happened in place of what I heard. On 23rd June, 2007, I wrote in the same book, 'it appears hearing God is still a battle but I am not giving up'. It was a major step in my journey of hearing God for me to get to this point. I no longer take breaks or fall out with God when things do not happen as I supposedly heard.


August 9, 2008

Hearing God: my challenge

My first experience at hearing God and obeying the supposed word was embarrassing if not devastating. About eighteen years ago, before I took the entrance examination into the university, I was to indicate my 1st, 2nd and 3rd choices of universities on the application form. I prayed about and wrote down the universities in the order I heard (or thought I heard). My parents were surprised at my first choice to which I replied that it was God's instruction to me. It is usually not easy for anyone to argue with one who God has given instruction. Even if you doubt that God actually spoke to the person but you are left with the choice of waiting for the fulfillment of the word. So my parents did not insist otherwise.

I submitted the forms, took the examination and when the result came out, I did not meet the entrance mark for the university I chose as first choice. It was bad enough that I was wondering what had gone wrong? At that time I was still a novice in the acts and ways of God. It was worse that I was pondering and wondering if I actually heard God concerning my first choice university. It was worst and crippling when my father asked "But I thought you said you heard from God!"

August 5, 2008

My Perceived Mandate

I have been having the nudge to have an online journal of my dealings in God. I must confess I have been dragging my feet but it came so strong last month. So I turned to God and said "Alright Father, if it will glorify you, then I accept. But what will the title of the blog be?" I heard "Havilah." I did not know the meaning of havilah and so I set out the same day to find out its meaning. I found out havilah was a place of good gold and had other gems such as onyx and bdellium. Havilah signifies abundance, great wealth, the free flowing lifeforce of God which streams into the mineral Kingdom (the earth).

It is my belief that God desires to reveal to each visitor to this blog, the riches in Him. We struggle through our trials, not understanding that they are to enrich us and draw us closer to God. However, God understands our frailty and is ever patient, waiting for us to attend to what he reveals so that we can be blessed.

This blog is not about theories but about a lady's ups and downs in her walk with God and how all have worked and is working together for her good. It is my belief that it will encourage you to trust God and your encounters with Him.