A victorious hybrid.

“Humility is freedom and surrender is strength.”

When we follow Jesus, we recognize we are following The One who humbled Himself so much that He became obedient even to the point of death, and that too, death on The Cross. That humble act of obedience is the very essence of what we mean by the crucifixion of the flesh as believers in Christ. Its a gradual process that helps us grow into a more authentic version of ourselves. It is a journey where we begin to see for ourselves that perhaps compassion really is a better choice than anger, asking for forgiveness when necessary is better than having to defend oneself or blame others, sowing in peace is better than striving in flesh, giving grace is better than harboring grudges, trusting the purposes of God is better than having it our way; and as I write, the eternal Words of Jesus come to mind,

“What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?” (Matthew 16:26,NIV)

Jesus is the Lover of our souls and died for it. He died for our freedom in order that we may learn to live on Earth as He did. It is the trenches of unforgiveness, bitterness, shame, negativity, rebellion that holds us in shackles, when Christ came to set the captives free – free in our hearts, minds and souls, and therefore, in life.

The more I live, the more I am aware that there are times when we have to fight for this freedom and make conscious choices to become the very embodiment of grace, mercy, gentleness, kindness and love in a world that more often than not, is anything but. Complaining about our circumstances fetches little, but taking them to The Only One who can do something about them, is where we learn to walk in victory. This requires a spiritual posture of humility before The Lord where we allow ourselves to come undone in The Presence of Him who looks at us when complete compassion and perfect love. He already knows our state, and is waiting with open arms to take us into the warmth of His Embrace in order that we may leave healed, restored, revived, renewed and set free.

This, to me, represents a prolific picture of the relationship between our posture of humility before The One who is Victorious in order that we may walk in His Freedom, freedom FROM the shackles of shame, regret, brokenness and bitterness; and INTO the wide, open meadows of faith, hope, love, peace, rest and trust. This is a freedom that we experience deep within our souls as we surrender to the Love of The Father. This surrender is not a sign of weakness or defeat, but of strength and victory for The One we are surrendering to is already victorious. Death could not hold hold Him, for He rose again with the keys to our freedom. However, this freedom is a gift from God that we walk in everyday, while simultaneously it is also a decision we make to walk in the fullness of every single day. He has set our souls free and nothing can change that, but it is also our responsibility to make wise choices that will help nourish the spiritual condition of our souls. Slowly friends, even I am learning the paradox of God.

In short, humility is a posture of strength that causes us to surrender to the very embodiment of Victory, Jesus. Humility says, “not my will, but yours.” Humility says, “I’m only a tiny drop in the ocean, yet so precious that You died for me.” Humility says, “now that I am more mature than I was, I feel like a child who knows nothing, all over again.” Humility says, “I can’t Lord, but You can.” Humility says, “I surrender all, Lord.”

And THAT surrender, friends, is what takes us from strength to strength and glory to glory. That surrender is opening our hearts to God in a fresh, new way that allows His Love and Light to break in and break out. That surrender is trusting God with every detail of our lives and allowing His Spirit to guide us forth. That surrender keeps us in sync with His leading in every season of our souls. That surrender reintroduces us to the power of walking in the Love of God as we navigate our journey here on Earth. That surrender empowers the crucifixion of the flesh paving the way to a resurrection of the spirit, a process that not only sees us walking in the Word of God, but in the ways of God.

Suffice to say, humility is freedom for it is the very point where our spirit is empowered to surrender to the power of The One who though reigns as an Eternal, Everlasting God; was humble enough to descend from Eternity to Earth simply because He is the kind who leaves the ninety nine to find the one, every single time; a detail that wins my heart over, every single time.

So, I humble myself today before Him and surrender all that He has given me in order that He may breathe on it afresh, till His fire falls on my heart and paves the way for the next move of His Holy Spirit.

I pray you would do the same.

Amen.

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Knowing Him.

“Knowing You is my strength.”

I thank The Lord that I know Him. In a world rife with brokenness and chaos, I am just thankful that I know Him. Somewhere, I have a feeling that you do too.

In my journey thus far, Immanuel has never failed me. He knew me before I did and now that I do, I seek to know Him more. I understand that the strength of our journey lies in the depths of our intimacy with Him. It is in that sacred, “soul to Spirit” space that has been bought by His Blood and sealed with The Holy Spirit, that I find Him and begin to find myself too. It’s a pristine journey that is new every morning, simply because I need to receive every morning – fresh mercies, renewed strength, daily sufficient grace. I need Him to wash me with tidal waves of His Love every single day. I need Him to remind me of who He is to me and the Truth that He is the same; yesterday, today and forevermore. Tethered to that Truth is the essence of true confidence to me.

Through the varied seasons of my life, I have encountered Immanuel as a Constant who through the valleys and mountains, remains steadfast in His Love and Faithfulness. I have seen both, the ups and downs of life and remained sensitive to the truth that it has always been the Hand of The Lord at work. He sends us as sheep among the wolves because He is confident in His Character towards us, and that confidence inspires mine too. He knows what He has put deep down on the inside of us, and every trial is sent to simply remind us that He is not testing us to see if we can withstand or not, because He knows that we can. It is simply we who need to know, and to know beyond a shadow of doubt that we can. Therein lies the strength of our intimacy with Him, which in turn strengthens our experience of life itself.

The Lord has even made a promise to us. He says that in this life, we will have tribulation, but we can take heart in The Lordship of Him who has overcome the world, and through all that we face, is teaching us to overcome as well. He calls us mighty warriors who know how to stand on the battlefield of life simply because in His mercy and majesty, He has first lavished us with His Love which is the very thing that gives us the capacity to stand. In short, the secret to our strength lies in the depths of His Love towards us.

In the days we find ourselves in, I feel it is important to know who The Lord is to us, personally. For me, He has revealed Himself in ways beyond articulation. I am certain that perhaps this is your testimony too. He has revealed Himself as an Invincible King and a Faithful Friend, all at the same time. He has met me at my worst and loved me into wholeness, every single time. Pardon me for repeating myself, but I think it imperative to reiterate that He is the same; yesterday, today and forever. In that Truth, my soul finds rest.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30,NIV)

The Lord will never put more on us than we can bear, and His Grace is sufficient in every circumstance of life. When we feel burdened by the cares of this life, I hope and pray that we remember The Heart of Our King who warmly invites us to lay our burdens at His Feet and our ears next to His Bosom, for it is His Words of loving kindness which are able to revive our souls and restrengthen us in a way that leaves us better than we were before. It is our dependency on The Holy Spirit; our Friend, Counselor and Comforter that becomes our confidence. It is our intimacy with The Father that makes Him our Greatest Confidante.

Knowing Him as The Shepherd who illuminates our path, step by step is a journey that we are privileged to walk. There is much ahead that He has in store for us, but as we walk, we begin to know The One who prepares us for what He has prepared for us. After all, He will never put on us more than we can bear, even if it is in the guise of a blessing, for a blessing given prematurely can become a burden, and a burden cast at His Feet can become a blessing.

As I hasten to a close, I will share an exhortation from The Lord that beckons us to draw closer and go deeper in our walk with Him.

“Oh, that we might know the LORD! Let us press on to know him. He will respond to us as surely as the arrival of dawn or the coming of rains in early spring.” (Hosea 6:3,NLT)

Friends, He is Faithful to deliver, save, heal and redeem. There is nothing that He cannot do, but the more we know Him, the more we will know The Truth that sets us free.

Amen.



It’s begun :)

Dear Heavenly Father,

The Jewish New Year just about rolled in, and we are so excited to see all that You have in store for each and every one of us. We thank You for cultivating us in Your Love the past year, and developing us in ways that have left us dumbfounded. Truly, Your thoughts and ways are higher than ours, and we are grateful for that. So, in the same breath Father, we ask You to go ahead of us and illuminate our path. Guide us, guard us, instruct us, counsel us and watch over us; as Your Word promises. Keep us close to Your Bosom in order that we may hear Your Words of loving kindness that bring healing to our soul and strength to our bones. We pray Father, that the promises You have given us from Your Word will begin to see visible manifestations in this new era, that You will bestow upon us signs, wonders and miracles from The Heavens above as a constant source of encouragement as we tread uncharted territory simply because we trust in Our Father who will never fail us nor forsake us, but instead promises to fortify, strengthen and uphold us. We pray that the coming year would be drenched with Your supernatural favor and goodness. We Thank You for being our Constant One, Father and pray that as we continue to yield ourselves to Your Careful Hand, You will make us into the vessels that will spread the Love and Light that we have so freely received from You wherever we go. We Thank You for all that You have promised to bring to pass in our lives and ask You to grace us with the patience, love, peace and joy in our souls as we continue to travel with You into destinations yet unknown. We love You, Lord!

In Jesus’ Mighty Name,

Amen!

Beloved.

“If faith works by love, perseverance works by trust.”

My walk with The Lord has revealed to me that it is a revelation of His Love that gives me the faith to believe. It is a knowing deep down within me that because My Father loves me with a love too profound to even articulate, He will never let me down. Let me share what He revealed lately through Scripture,

“Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone?  Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake?  If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!” (Matthew 7:9-11, NIV)

Reading this passage of Scripture lately was extremely life giving to me. It ministered to me on a deep level that if as mere humans, we know how to give good gifts to our loved ones, then how much more can we trust in the Love of Him who loves with no strings attached to make good on His Promises? He may take time in the process, because the preceding verse talks of a need to persevere. Allow me to share,

“Ask and keep on asking and it will be given to you; seek and keep on seeking and you will find; knock and keep on knocking and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.” (Matthew 7:7-8, AMP)

I believe this is a warm invitation from The Lord to us to come into the secret place and continue to fellowship with Him in order that He may reveal to us what it is that He is cultivating within us through the process that our promise has ushered us into. This was an astounding revelatory truth to me that liberated me from the need to have circumstantial resolution, and instead empowered me to focus on who it is that I am becoming in this time frame, in and through my relationship with The Lord. This is vital for our spiritual development as that is God’s main focus: to make us more and more like Jesus.

Ever since I received the call to persevere, my journey, by His Grace, has gone to a whole new dimension. I have encountered situations and circumstances that have had me seek The Lord and adhere to His voice. I have realised that the strength of our journey lies in our intimacy with Him. I have understood the sheer importance of our relational component with The Father, who knows us the best, loves us the best and therefore, guides us the best.

The Lord told me to not just persevere any kind of way, but with the fruits of The Holy Spirit : love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, faithfulness and self control (Galatians 5). This completely shifted my spiritual posture from one of despondency to that of passionate engagement with The Father. As the situations and circumstances came my way, I would ask The Holy Spirit, “What does persevering look like now?” At times, it would look like patience, at times peace, at times displaying the goodness of God, for He has been very good to me. As I began to practice like this, I was unwittingly growing in different areas. Suffice to say, I have realised that the promise is granted not just to bless us sometime in the future, but in the here and now. The blessing may look like an internal fortification that happens as we yield to the work of The Holy Spirit, but rest assured friends, the rewards shall be substantial.

We can persevere only because we trust. As God’s very own, we can put the outcome into His Mighty Hands because we are well acquainted with His Majesty, Supremacy and Sovereignty. We know that a call to persevere is synonymous with an assurance of breakthrough. It is like two sides of the same coin. But the level to which we allow God to grow us through the process is the extent to which we will live victoriously during the process. In a way, a wilderness in the natural can lead us straight into our promiseland in the spirit. It’s a journey that quite honestly, I’m still learning to navigate my way through, and occasionally fall into pits that only The Holy Spirit can help me climb out of, an experience that further fortifies my faith in His Faithfulness and Constancy.

Hebrews 11 is a glorious chapter in The Bible. It speaks of the heroes of faith and how their faith saw them accomplish the seemingly impossible. A specific verse, however, stood out to me concerning the journey of Moses,

“By faith, Moses left Egypt, not fearing the king’s anger, he persevered because He saw Him who is invisible.” (Hebrews 11:27, Berean Study Bible)

The Word of God always encourages us to keep our eyes fixed on Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith. He is alpha and omega, and everything in between. I think that sometimes He is more evident in the spaces in between. He uses these spaces to teach us who He is and who we are becoming in Him – the righteousness of God in Christ. We don’t let go of the promises, rather we use the promises of God to empower us to travel well in the process, as Christ continues His glorious work of transforming us into His image. He start to learn how to abide in Christ and what it means to be seated with Him in heavenly places. We start to learn to see the way He sees, think the way He thinks and act the way He would act; something that puts us in a position to manifest a piece of Heaven on Earth wherever it is that we find ourselves.

Because I have encountered the Love of Christ, I can believe. I can believe that He is who He says He is and He will do what He says He will do. His Love also inspires trust. I can trust Him with the journey and also, to teach me to travel with Him, light and free with a radiant confidence that comes from knowing that The One walking by my side, is both, The Invincible King and my Best Friend Forever.

He calls me, “Beloved,” and the last time I checked, Love never fails.

Selah.


Around the block.

“You only get exhausted when you don’t enjoy the journey.”

Our residential complex is such that I love taking a small round around the block every once in a while. The pavements are beautifully laced with plants and flowers of varied hues and colors, varieties and species; making for an exquisite amalgam of creation presented in miniature. However, I noticed a very interesting dynamic taking place as I started to make these rounds. Let me explain.

Initially, as I started taking a round around the block, I would return feeling a tad bit exhausted and worn out. Then, something beautiful happened, almost as organic in its revelation as the wind in its movement. I felt something change and began to concern myself more with finding delight in the tiny steps that I was making as opposed to accomplishing the goal of finishing a round around the block. Ever been there? We all have, I’m guessing.

As I started taking the time to notice the beauty of the strokes within the plants that surrounded me and touch the majestic palms that I would otherwise be too preoccupied to pay attention to, my whole disposition began to change. I really didn’t care if all I took was four tiny steps, but in keeping with the rhythm of the beauty of creation around me, I knew those four tiny steps would be more than enough. The task of completing one whole round around the block was replaced with a delight found in appreciating the tiny, yet potently significant things along the way. Noticing The Creator within the creation started to bring a smile to my face and light up my soul. And it all began with a slight pause, a simple readjustment leading to a remarkable change.

The same holds true for our journey with The Lord as well. He takes us by the hand, and lovingly leads us on. In our childish impatience, we often demand a blueprint for our lives, but Our Creator knows better. He understands that as we make His Word a lamp unto our feet and a light unto our path, we will have by divine design agreed to walk in sync with His leading, one step at a time. This positions us to enjoy subtle yet significant details of life. It enables us to find our delight in partnering with The One who brings all things to life. It graces us to travel light and free, with peace and rest in our souls. It liberates us from the need to know it all and grounds us in the reality of what is. It empowers us to be willing to encounter His Presence, a reality more tangible than the one we are currently standing in.

So, as I hasten to a close and perhaps prepare for a round around the block, I hope and pray that we will learn to find the beauty in the mundane and the sacred in the simple.

All my love!

Secure with and without.

“Even in my vulnerability, I’m secure because I’m held within the arms of Perfect Love.”

This post is literally what The Lord has me walking through, and I still don’t know how to unpack it except that I’ll try.

In my experience, our walk with The Lord will have us go through phases of vulnerability that when stewarded well under The Sovereign Care of God, will prove to be invaluable in transforming us from strength to strength and glory to glory. I have come to understand that our journey has more to do with the strength of our relationship with God than the fickleness of our circumstances. The circumstances that we see manifest and change literally on a daily basis are only tools in the hands of God to draw us closer to Him in order that we may seek His Heart in the situation, thereby aligning ours with His, and manifesting a piece of The Kingdom wherever necessary. This spiritual heart posture requires vulnerability because it really humbles us to know that we don’t really know, and because we don’t really know, we are compelled to seek The One who we know does know. Quite a tongue twister, aye?!

Seeking the will of God and what it is that He is trying to teach us through circumstances that are clearly beyond us, but not beyond Him is powerfully liberating. It liberates us from the narrow confines of our thinking and draws us into the majesty of His Kingdom. We begin to humble ourselves under His Mighty Hand, acknowledge our need for Him and allow Him to guide us, counsel us and instruct us in the way we must go.

I personally had an experience of late where I saw circumstances shift dynamically in a way that was beyond my comprehension. I knew I had to put everything aside and simply let Jesus in. Friends, that is the best decision we can ever make in circumstances that seem out of alignment, but present themselves only to push us closer to His Bosom, because when He speaks, everything changes. Maybe not on the outside, but certainly on the inside of us.

I spent my day with The Lord, and as it wound to a close, I heard The Holy Spirit whisper,

“If circumstances are fickle, then what is not?”

I’m guessing you know the answer as well as I do. “The Infallible Word of God,” is what I found myself saying. You can well imagine the “selah” moment I had thereafter.

However, this wasn’t only a “selah” moment but a lesson for life. When circumstances come to contest The Word of God spoken over us, we can rest in what has been decreed as opposed to what is seen. What is seen will eventually align with what is spoken, which is what makes us vulnerable in the middle of the mystery. However, it is a vulnerability that Our Father honors and covers as He holds us close and promises to never let go. It is a vulnerability that makes us realize that without Him, we are not enough to win this battle. It is a vulnerability that finds us like little children again, eager to know more and willing to learn. It is a vulnerability that God uses to build our trust in Him, as the alpha and omega, the author and the finisher of our faith. And I also believe that it is a vulnerability that reintroduces us to the strength of His Perfect Love.

Standing in the midst of circumstances that seem daunting, I am held within His Perfect Love. Caught contesting for the seemingly impossible, I am held within His Perfect Love. Letting my light shine, one speck at a time, I am held within His Perfect Love. Sometimes fearful, sometimes faith filled, I am held within His Perfect Love. Seeking resolution and being lovingly restored to a place of contentment deep within, I am held within His Perfect Love.

All this to say that Perfect Love casts out all fear. We are defined by neither failures nor successes. We are defined by neither trials nor triumphs. We are defined by neither the perceptions of others nor their opinions. We are defined by nothing of this world, but everything of another – the Precious Blood of Jesus Christ.

And that Blood has set me free. It has given me an Identity that nothing can add to nor take away from. It has given me a Purpose that finds direction in His leading every single day. It has given me a Destiny so profound that it blows all my paradigms of how great Our God really is.

My experience has taught me that in our most vulnerable moments, it is the strength of His Love that keeps us, shapes us and molds us. It is His Love that comes to reassure us and settles as a deep peace within our souls. It is His Love that takes our weakness and transforms it into strength. It is His Love which looks at us with compassion and starts to make ways in the unseen, when we have realized that if all we have is Him, we have more than enough.

It is my hope and prayer, friends that this truth will shift our perspective on how we view ourselves in our vulnerability, and that we would be able to see ourselves the way God sees us, as much loved children who cannot fail, because we know the end from the beginning, and are determined to find the joy and delight in partnering with Our King in the process, a joy that will sustain us through the valleys and mountains alike, because it is a joy that comes from knowing beyond a shadow of doubt that irrespective of what is going on, we are held within the arms of Perfect Love.

Amen.