CALL

Telephone rings are not taken for granted this days. We’ll use a favourite song or trending song as ring tune. Others will specify the ring tune to indicate the particular person calling. A family member, a loved one or someone we’ll rather avoid all together.

Though a few of us like myself would prefer the vibrate alert for calls and messages. As long as you own a phone you would definitely get alerted when someone is calling your number, sent a voice mail or message.

The same is with our inner man. First we all are born with a conscience. A little voice that convicts us of sin. Not a timid sound. But a cool well thought out good version of us. You may hear it in the voice of a loved one, an elderly person, a friend, mentor or even religious leader.

However, at baptism (baptism by fire -holy spirit). A more decisive ring tune is discovered. As you walk, talk and listen to God in your inner self, we start recognising that voice more and more. We Begin to understand how our heavenly phone works.

The apps available on the direct line starts to appear more clearly. Like we may discover the dream app like Joseph did.

Now Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers they hated him even more.ESV Gen 37:5

Or the revelation app like John the apostle. Even the instinct of Modecai is sharpened as we keep growing in constant communication with the father.

Like a child learns to recognize the voice of its parent so do we start recognising God’s call in our daily lives.

This voice starts directing our decisions and actions to the point were we become a rallying point for others. A pointer of direction for crucial decisions because they see us as wise.

eAt Gibeon fthe Lord appeared to Solomongin a dream by night, and God said, “Ask what I shall give you.” And Solomon said, “You have shown great and steadfast love to your servant David my father, because hhe walked before you in faithfulness, in righteousness, and in uprightness of heart toward you. And you have kept for him this great and steadfast love and ihave given him a son to sit on his throne this day. And now, O Lord my God,jyou have made your servant king in place of David my father, kalthough I am but a little child. I do not know lhow to go out or come in.mAnd your servant is in the midst of your people whom you have chosen, a great people, ntoo many to be numbered or counted for multitude. oGive your servant therefore an understanding mind pto govern your people, that I may qdiscern between good and evil, for who is able to govern this your great people?”

10 It pleased the Lord that Solomon had asked this. 11 And God said to him, “Because you have asked this, and have not asked for yourself long life or riches or the life of your enemies, but have asked for yourself understanding to discern what is right, 12 behold, rI now do according to your word. Behold, sI give you a wise and discerning mind, so that none like you has been before you and none like you shall arise after you. 1kings 3:5-12. ESV.

That is when we get a glimpse of who we are/meant to be and the possibilities that lay ahead.

We! Are the salt of the world, the light of the world.

Yes! We have being called by the father to give sweet taste to this bitter world. To light up our universe. We are being “called” daily to respond to who we are meant to be…

You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet. Matt: 5:13 ESV

MIND OVER MATTER- GOD FIRST.

Being a christian is easy. As in you give your life to a very powerful Almighty God and no evil can prevail over you. 
Giving our lives to God is a simple insurance policy. It means;

No weapon forged against you will prevail, and you will refute every tongue that accuses you. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and this is their vindication from me,” declares the LORD. Isaiah 54:17 (NIV)

It also means;

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. Psalm 91:1 (NIV).

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15399F" data-link="(F)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>
He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;Psalm 91:3-4 (NIV).

A thousand may fall at your side,

    ten thousand at your right hand,

    but it will not come near you.

You will only observe with your eyes

    and see the punishment of the wicked.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15404J" data-link="(J)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>

If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,”

    and you make the Most High your dwelling,

10 no harm<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15406K" data-link="(K)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”> will overtake you,

    no disaster will come near your tent.

11 For he will command his angels<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15407L" data-link="(L)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>concerning you

    to guard you in all your ways;<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15407M" data-link="(M)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>

12 they will lift you up in their hands,

    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15408N" data-link="(N)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>

13 You will tread on the lion and the cobra;

    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15409O" data-link="(O)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>

14 “Because he<span class="footnote" data-fn="#fen-NIV-15410b" data-link="[b]” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>[b] loves me,” says theLord, “I will rescue him;

    I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.

15 He will call on me, and I will answer him;

    I will be with him in trouble,

    I will deliver him and honor him.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15411P" data-link="(P)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>

16 With long life<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15412Q" data-link="(Q)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”> I will satisfy him

    and show him my salvation.<span class="crossreference" data-cr="#cen-NIV-15412R" data-link="(R)” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”>” Psalm 91:7-16

Then it means; 

The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it. Proverbs 10:22 

All these blessings, protection and security abound if we make the decision to make God first and centre of our lives.

Fortunately, many of us have taken the first step in deciding to be followers of Christ some have even gone further to be preacher and propagator of the word. But these blessings and promises are not tied to our words, our profession of being followers. They are tied to our actions, our daily decision to choose God over our senses.

Sometimes, we may feel stagnant believing God as left us to our own vices. We may even feel/hear God calling us to a life we thought demeaning. A spouse you may think you don’t love, a job you feel is beneath you. 

If we always choose God over our senses. We will find the truth and reality of Gods promises for us. We will find fulfilment in that assignment he as given us. Find true love and peace in our marriages. Find wealth in health and material things and even enlarge your coast. 

All is dependent on one thing “CHOOSE GOD ALWAYS” in our daily decision.

Let me leave you with one last scriptural quote. 

Do not be deceived, my dear brothers and sisters! Every good gift and every perfect present comes from heaven; it comes down from God, the Creator of the heavenly lights, who does not change or cause darkness by turning. James 1:16‭-‬17 GNB

FUND RAISER OR CHURCH GATHERING.

THE STRUGGLE

I’ve being struggling with church attendance. Initially, I felt guilty. I was so guilt ridden I started to think I was bound for hell if I continued to avoid church.


GROWING UP

Growing up, church attendance was absolutely important. The only time we won’t go is when on admission in the hospital. In fact after secondary school while i waited for my WASSCE and jamb result church became an everyday activity. 

Hence, I got used to beliving that in order to make heaven the first and perhaps one of the most important factor is church attendance. My struggle in the last few weeks has being real. My mind felt like a battle ground.

Sometimes, the good wins and i go to church. Emotionally I’m happy but deep inside I start to wonder if I went to mass just to fulfill an emotional need or if I thought it really important to attend.


EVENTUALLY

Eventually, I resolved to stay away from church until I found the source to this inner battle. Wage my wars and come out with a decision. The last few weeks has been interesting. I’ve not attended mass, but I’ve made note to watch and follow at least one mass on TV. 


REALIZATION;

On Sunday (I wanted to go to mass for thanksgiving but didn’t ), I had watched mass on TV and gone on with my day. But it dawned on me. I really listened to what the priest was saying without biase, without anxiety. 

I was at peace, I was in the right disposition to listen to God’s word, take notes and even remind myself that God is my everything. 


I FOUND IT

That’s when I found it. The main put off I’ve had in weeks about going to church had nothing to do with my relationship with God. I still prayed fervently more than once a day. I still read the bible at free time and did devotions. I still said my Catholic prayers and followed bible study plans. 

What I found unsettlingly was the way and manner money is raised in the church. We believe to stay close to God we need to give our substance so we can get answers to our prayers. The priest stands on the alter issuing subtle threats and causes on anyone who dears not contribute his substance. 

Sitting on the pew while everyone goes for offering makes other Church members look at you funny .  There is the body language that screams You Rebel! 

What about the time we spend? I came to note that liturgy of the word and holy Eucharist lasts about thirty minutes (when the priest does not overly stretch the liturgy of the word) then we spend the remaining two and half or three hours raising money for one project or another. 

In fact during harvest season we think it more important to launch and make money for the harvest than the liturgy of the word and holy Eucharist which is the foundation and crux on our coming together. The word is rushed sometimes. Skipping the preaching aspect altogether is considered prudent in some cases to allow more time to “raise” money for harvest.


WHAT ARE WE DOING!

What are we really doing? I’ve attended churches that holds 1hour masses on Sundays and everything is Incorporated. The preaching is concised and effective. I was better for it.

And I’ve attended churches (most common group) where the mass lasted and average of 31/2 hours with preaching too long that majority are sleeping or skipped altogether to raise money. Majorly, I discovered that only Dominican priests took not wasting time seriously around here and truly considered spiritual growth of their congregation more important than raising more. Unfortunately only few of those parishes exists. Many of the rest are no better than the pentecostal churches they enjoy condemning.

Now I know what I didn’t agree with. I know why I started hating going to church. I’d love to go back to attending church regularly on Sundays but I’m unsure of what how to achieve this without feeling I’m going for a fund raiser instead of the gathering of brethren…