Tuesday, 17 December 2013

The blame game

The blame game
When God visited Adam in the Garden of Eden and wanted him to define his current situation and standing with Him, He asked Adam, “where art thou?”

Every day in the midst of situations and circumstances of life, we are confronted with this demand to tell God where we are; our location and the choices we have made. We are confronted to define our standing in our relationship with Him and the ways we have chosen to live. For Adam, God was not unaware of what Adam had done. He was only requesting for a response from him. Adam’s answer was the beginning of the blame game in this world. He acknowledged that he was naked, afraid and in hiding. He accepted the fact that he had eaten the Forbidden Fruit but shifted the responsibility for his actions to his wife and God, "The woman you put here with me — she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it." Gen 3:12. When God asked the woman, she shifted the blame to the Serpent, "The serpent deceived me, and I ate." Gen 3:13. Read the story in Gen. 3.

The blame game is a game that we all instinctively play as fallen human beings. We do not want to take responsibilities for our choices and actions. We want somebody else to carry the burdens we have created. We do not want to be blamed. We want to enjoy freedom from blame. Nobody wants to be caught. The unfortunate thing is that the freedom we seek from blame actually drives us into more serious bondage and deeper into the cycle of guilt.

Now, in the family, there are some men that if they abuse their wives, the woman is the cause. If they are caught in adultery, the wife is the problem. If they are over reacting and making the atmosphere in the family uncomfortable, their wife is the cause; if they refuse to join their spouse in devotion, she is the reason because she made him angry. They never look inward to accept the fact that they are the architect of their actions and they are responsible for their choices.
It is not only men who fail to take the responsibility for their actions in the family. There are women that insult their husbands and refuse to submit to them, yet they claim their husband is the cause; if they refuse to pray with him, he is to be blamed; if they shout at him, nag and make the home a mini hell for everybody, their spouse is to be blamed.

We all shift blames not only to our spouses, we also blame our leaders, both political and spiritual. We blame our pastors and our pastors in turn blame the members of congregation. Pastors blame their bishops and General Overseers, while the bishops come back to blame the junior pastors. We blame our parents and parents in turn blame their children. We blame our friends and enemies and the system in place and the cycle continues.
The zenith of cowardice in the blame game is reached when we push the responsibility for our actions to somebody who cannot defend himself in our presence or someone who is absent or dead, just to make sure we are free from immediate blame. Worst still, when we are finally trapped by the consequences of our choices and actions, we blame Satan because we know nobody will invite him to defend himself. Hence for everything, there is something or someone to blame if we look around for one.
The truth is that in this loop and cycle of blames, there is someone who is conspicuously missing and incidentally he is the only one that needs to take responsibility for most of the blame – YOU. Freedom starts when you are able to say, I am the one. Solution and the ability to confront our situation come when we break the cycle of the blame game and take responsibility for our actions. Change can only occur in us when we quit the blame game and look at the man in the mirror and tell him, ‘you are responsible for all the choices you have made in life’. We all have the opportunity to choose our response to a provocation. Whatever we have done is what we have chosen to do and the way we have chosen to respond is totally in our control.

Sitting down playing the blame game is actually a posture and position of abject weakness. When we shift blames, we deny ourselves the opportunity to change for the better; the opportunity to receive strength and grace; the opportunity to learn and make better choices and ultimately the opportunity to really be free. At the end of the day, if you continue the blame game, one person remains in the prison of defeat and guilt and that person is you. When next you are confronted with the question, “where art thou?” will you stand up and take responsibility and say, ‘I am here. This is my current situation’? Or will you keep running from blame? At the end of the day, when we stand before God, this same question concerning our standing in our relationship with God will still confront us. Shifting the blame to anybody will not save us from the consequences of our actions. God’s response to the blame game Adam and Eve played is very instructive to us today. None of them escaped the consequences of their actions despite the fact that they shifted the blame for the bad choices they made to someone else and refused to own up.

Your life is your life, face it. Your family is your family, take responsibility. Your marriage is your marriage, defend and save it. Your career is your career, take responsibility today. Stop the blame game and take responsibility today and you will receive strength and grace and experience the change and freedom you are dearly looking for.

Monday, 28 October 2013

Church Leader Severely Burned in Acid Attack

All over the world, there is a rise in the persecution of Christians. Many are kidnapped, tortured, sent to prison, molested and even killed.The case of Rev. Anselm Mwang'amba, 61, comes to mind as this is more recent. He was attached with acid after leaving a cyber cafe in Zanzibar, where a muslim group is campaigning for Zanzibar's independence as an Islamic state. This is a common agitation all over the world.

Do you still remember Bishop Umar Mulinde of Uganda who I shared about his own acid attack here? It seems to be a new tactic for those who hate Jesus and His gospel.

Please just continue to pray for the persecuted church. God bless.

May the Lord completely heal both the physical and emotional wounds Rev. Mwang'amba has experienced as a result of the attack (Psalm 30:2). Pray that the church in Tanzania will not be fearful due to this incident and other similar attacks, but rather would choose to lean even more on our Almighty God who has promised His people strength in times of trouble. Ask Him to thwart any plans the enemy may have to inflict further harm on these believers through the militant group. Source: VOM.

For more, go here.

Islamic Shooters Gun Down Worshippers in Church

Please watch this video and continue to pray for our brethren in the Northern Nigeria where a lot of what happens to them are not reported in the Main Stream Media.

Christian persecution is real. It's amazing the faith of these suffering brethren. Watch, be challenged and continue to pray.

Go here to watch it.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Faith when God seems to be very far away

Faith when God seems to be very far away
Some weeks ago, my family was praying for three children whose mother died about a month before. My wife shared with me what one of the girls said to their teachers. She said something like, “Before our mother died, I had a dream where she died. We prayed and God did not answer us, she still died. Now, I’ve had another dream where my elder sister died. Does God love us? Why does He not want to answer us?” she is about twelve years old.

Often times in the journey of life, especially when tragedy strikes, it seems as if God has failed. Hope is seriously wounded if not completely shattered. Understanding hits a hard wall because we cannot see any reason behind why God allowed the situation. Sometimes, it’s not a hard wall that our understanding hits, it just gets lost in what seems to be ad infinitum. It comes back with nothing and starts afresh and wander away again in that cycle. We wonder whether He loves us. It suddenly occurs to us that we are so small on this earth and wonders whether God notices ordinary people like us. In fact, we even ask questions that we know no human can give us answers to - difficult life questions that seek to redefine everything that we seem to have known before now. When God seems to be far away, we ask a lot of whys with exactly the same relative silence. What happens to faith in this kind of situation?

Daniel was taken captive along with other young men from Jerusalem. Apparently, he was from either the royal family or from one of the noble families in the land. The record in Dan.1: 3-4 shows that they were selected from these special and privileged classes of families from among the exiles and were intelligent and well-educated with good prospects for leadership positions. In fact, they were perfect specimens. He was a young man full of aspirations which were cut short by Nebuchadnezzar who invaded Judah and took them captive. In spite of these qualities of Daniel, what distinguishes him is that he has a relationship with God and is living a righteous life when all these things were happening. We normally just read through these passages without stopping awhile to think. We seldom put ourselves in Daniel’s shoes. Often, the very thing that distinguishes us can be the very source of our crises in life. How can you explain the fact that a young man who is serving the Lord with all his heart is carried captive, displaced because of the sins of their leaders and fathers? Daniel’s life changed forever and he never returned from this journey. Right before his eyes, the articles and utensils from the temple of God are packed into the sacred treasury in the temple of the god of Babylon and the God of heaven keeps quiet. (Dan.1:1-2). You know what that means? Where is God when His holy vessels are desecrated? What happened to Daniel’s faith? It is amazing to see in the eighth verse of that same chapter that Daniel’s faith is still intact in spite of the emotional wounds he must have suffered. He was making a commitment to God not to defile himself with the King’s meat.

What do you do when God seems to be very far away? What do you do when the enemy’s attitude is that of pride and arrogance, giving the impression that your God cannot save you, in fact, that He has failed you? If you were Daniel, can you wake up in that foreign land, in what seems like a defeated state and still make a costly commitment to this God?

There are three things we can do when God seems to be far away:

  1. Remain committed to God the best way you can. Keep doing the things that are clear to you are God’s will. It is true that you may not understand what is going on now however, you have to hold fast to the things you have known about God before now. Like Daniel, when there is the challenge to sacrifice, go ahead and do it. Leave the result to God. Many a times, what you do next may determine whether you will experience God where you are or not. Remember, life is a test.
  2. Trust the character of God. He is good and He is perfect love, hence you may not understand your current situation, but you know that whatever is happening now, God allowed it for your ultimate good. We must be able to distinguish between our emotion and our faith in the God that loves us with steadfast love. Faith forges ahead even in the midst of confused emotions and when our human understanding shows limitations. We must accept that we are human and finite but God is infinite. We do not have all the pictures but God does. Though I do not understand but God understands.  Trust His heart even when you cannot find what His hand is doing. Real faith does not struggle when understanding is limited. Faith just believes and does not question how.
  3. Finally hang your life tenaciously on the word of God that you know. At the back of Daniel’s mind, he knew what God had declared through the prophets, The Lord sent Babylonian,  Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets.  Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood and the Lord was not willing to forgive.” “Nebuchadnezzar removed all the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and took away all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord.” “It was because of the Lord's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.” 2 Kings 24:2-4, 13-14, 20. Their suffering and punishment have nothing to do with how powerful their enemies are. They have nothing to do with the ability of God to save. God just allowed them for a purpose, and in this case, to fulfill His words through His servants the prophets and to punish Judah because of their sins. God is still able to save even in the midst of what you are going through right now. He will come to you right at the appointed time. Daniel believed in the word of God spoken by the prophet Jeremiah and hanged his life on it, in fact that was even why they surrendered to King Nebuchadnezzar in the first place. 2 Kings 24:11. If you hang your life on God’s word, be sure that it cannot land crash.
Remember to hold fast the confession of your hope without wavering because faithful is He who has called, who will also do it. Do not throw away your confidence in the Lord, it has a great reward. God bless you.

Wednesday, 12 June 2013

Irreverence and our warped view of God. Part 2

Irreverence and our warped view of God. 

Oftentimes, we forget from where God picked us up. There are sinners today who will become saints tomorrow, whether we like it or not. All these details are things hidden from us as humans but because we want to have our way by all means, we throw prayers to the god we can control to do our bidding.

It is not only in our prayers that our irreverence shows, it also shows in our preaching. Many of us no longer lead people to faith in Christ; we lead them to faith in ourselves. We no longer point men to Christ, we point them to ourselves. When we speak, we do not speak as servants and oracles of God, we speak as gods. We no longer lead men to worship God, we lead them to worship us and other men. We make all kinds of claims and erroneously quote Scriptures out of context to buttress what we are saying. However, when we do all these, it only shows our level of irreverence.

It equally shows in our lifestyles. We just roll with the worldly tide and live lives that have no checks and balances and still think that it does not matter. We live as though we are the ones that will be on the judgment seat on the last day and not God. We behave as if we are the ones that set God’s judgment standard. We do whatever we want to do with all liberty, without any recourse to God and His word and do not care. People cheat others and exploit only to bring their tithes to church with the mindset that they are doing God good – He needs money so they give Him the money He needs. We dupe people in business, lose all integrity and it does not bother us. In our families, work and business places, we hurt people and do not have good testimonies before people and we seem to wear the seal, “whether you like it or not, I’m born again”. Our attitude is as if there is no day of reckoning.

The truth is that we create the image of the kind of god we want to serve and worship, and set out with the kind of lifestyle we expect him to accept. We pray to him the way we want and tell him what we want – a god that has no reverence. We indeed preach about the god we have created and we rightly live as those who dictate to him what happens. The truth also is that this god we created in our minds and psyche must be an idol and not the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So, are you serving the God of Israel or are you serving an idol you have created?

If you want to serve the Living God, let His fear show in all you do; “as he said through his holy prophets of long ago,…to show mercy to our fathers and to remember his holy covenant, the oath he swore to our father Abraham: to rescue us from the hand of our enemies, and to enable us to serve him without fear in holiness and righteousness before him all our days.”  Luke 1:70-75 NIV. Serve Him all your day. God bless.