WAR FOR PEACE

It is exciting to have this blog up. I hope you will enjoy the read. Here is a snippet from a blog post I wrote last year: “There cannot be peace if a war has not been fought. Taking the case of David as an example; Israel before and during the time of David was constantly involved in wars. David in particular started fighting from the time he was a young boy acting as a shepherd by killing a lion and a bear that came to plunder the sheep. He was then able to kill Goliath when all the men in the town were shaking out of fear of the great giant. Further down in his rule, David eliminated all his enemies that meant to do him harm. He was a man of valor; a man of war.  In fact, he spilled so much blood that God did not allow him to build the temple. Solomon his son was tasked with that work. However, all the fighting war not in vain. It is important to note that during Solomon’s reign, there was peace throughout the kingdom. This peace was as a result of the fighting that David, his father, had been involved in. Practically everyone wants to be successful and live in peace in a good home, able to provide for their livelihood… and this begs the question, what are they doing to get there?”

“Anywhere you desire peace, you must be ready to fight. Peace is a sign of a man who has mastered how to fight” – Prophete Joel Lutuka

When you come to the realization that you will only have peace when you win some battles, then you will fight with all that you have. 1st and 2nd Kings is filled with stories of how different Kings went to war against their enemies either to conquer land or to avoid being taken as slaves to foreign lands. The art of war had to be mastered by every King starting with Saul. It involved preparation, strategy and good leadership. The King’s mastery of war and the capability of his army determined the security of his kingdom.

As children of God we have the power to influence our environment but you can only influence your environment when you are able to analyze and understand its atmosphere. It is from the understanding of how the present atmosphere can be manipulated that you will make steps that can lead to any meaningful change. The same mindset has to be used in battle. Failure to know the enemy that you are fighting will result in defeat. Failure to know what moves the enemy is capable of will render you useless and you will die on the battlefield or leave it totally shattered.

The common misconception among Christians is that it is wrong to fight. Do not be deceived. Fighting is the only way that you can remain whole. You have to fight to not loose your principes in the midst of a corrupt world. You are in foreign territory; you are only on earth for a short period of time and the enemy wants you to believe that life on earth is all there is thus it will not matter how you live it. This is far from the truth as how you lead your life here on earth determines where you will spend your eternity. When you just allow life to pass you by then you will lose out on the plan that God laid down for your eternity. Ephesians 6:12 clearly states: “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Spiritual battles are won in the spiritual realm and we get into the spiritual realm by mastering the art of prayer. Below is Timothy Keller’s take on how we should gauge our level of prayer and communion with God.

TIMOTHY KELLER ON BIBLE READING AND PRAYER
“I often ask Christians to evaluate their situation with regard to prayer by using a metaphor. Imagine that your soul is a boat, a boat with both oars and a sail. In this case here are four questions:
1. Are you “sailing”?
Sailing means you are living the Christian life with the wind at your back. God is real to your heart. You often feel his love. You see prayers being answered. When studying the Bible, you regularly see remarkable things and you sense him speaking to you. You sense people around you being influenced by the Spirit through you.
2. Are you “rowing”?
Rowing means you are finding prayer and Bible reading to be more a duty than a delight. God often (though not always) seems distant, and the sense of his presence is fairly rare. You don’t see many of your prayers being answered. You may be struggling with doubts about God and yourself. Yet despite all this, you refuse self-pity or the self-righteous pride that assumes you know better than God how your life should go. You continue to read the Bible and pray regularly, you attend worship and reach out and serve people despite the inner spiritual dryness.
3. Are you “drifting”?
Drifting means that you are experiencing all the conditions of rowing—spiritual dryness and difficulties in life. But in response, instead of rowing, you are letting yourself drift. You don’t feel like approaching and obeying God, so you don’t pray or read. You give in to the self-centeredness that naturally comes when you feel sorry for yourself, and you drift into self-indulgent behaviors to comfort yourself, whether it be escape eating and sleeping, sexual practices, or whatever else.
4. Are you “sinking”?
Eventually your boat, your soul, will drift away from the shipping lanes, as it were—and truly lose any forward motion in the Christian life. The numbness of heart can become hardness because you give in to thoughts of self-pity and resentment. If some major difficulty or trouble were to come into your life, it would be possible to abandon your faith and identity as a Christian altogether.

In this metaphor we see that there are some things we are responsible for, such as using the means of grace—the Bible, prayer, and church participation—in a disciplined way. There are many other things we do not have much control over—such as how well the circumstances in our lives are going as well as our emotions. If you pray, worship, and obey despite negative circumstances and feelings, you won’t be drifting, and when the winds come up again, you will move ahead swiftly. On the other hand, if you do not apply the means of grace, you will at best be drifting, and if storms come into your life, you might be in danger of sinking. In any case—pray no matter what. Praying is rowing, and sometimes it is like rowing in the dark—you won’t feel that you are making any progress at all. Yet you are, and when the winds rise again, and they surely will, you will sail again before them.”

Finally, Colossians 1:20b illustrates how Jesus took the ultimate step to bring us peace “…by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.” Jesus paid the ultimate cost for our salvation by shedding his blood. It is up to us to learn how to apply the grace that He made available for the attainment of peace.

THE SIMPLE THINGS – PART TWO

When God gives you a Word, don’t make a paragraph out of it!

We tend to neglect the simple things thinking that they are insignificant. This is far from the truth as the simple things build up to become quite complex problems or on the other hand they might just be what builds us up. A person who runs away from a problem that they are meant to handle at a particular time will encounter the same problem on a larger scale haunting them in a later stage in life. Your capability in handling the little problems will determine whether you can manage larger problems.

Simple acts of kindness have become rare in the current society. As Christians we should ever strive to be the people who stand out or we might lose the essence of our calling. When others are hating, be the one to show love. When others are cursing, stand up and bless. I once gave a polo shirt to a guy that had admired a similar one that I possess. He was really surprised and told me that nobody had extended such a gesture. Most of the people that he has encountered here in Kenya were just after money from him because he is a white man. Well, as you may well know, there is a misconception that every ‘mzungu’ must be a rich man…haha. So you never know, your small gesture of kindness might go a long way. It might actually be the only kindness that somebody receives in this crazy world.

Our relationship with God is also made up of the little things done everyday. When God gives you a Word, don’t make a paragraph out of it! When He asks you to perform a simple task, don’t complicate it and don’t twist His words. God always starts with little tasks and can never push you to a point where you cannot handle the task, so just trust Him. Your relationship with Him grows dependent on how well you can perform simple things. For example; if He asks you to pray for 10 minutes at a particular hour, you will be surprised at the rate of growth you will experience in your prayer life by just being faithful.

God works through principles. Case in point: Hearing the voice of God. One person might go forty days and nights to hear the voice of God while another might just put in practise a simple principle of what they need to do and how they should live and hear Him in just days. Your ability to discover and implement these Heavenly principles will tell how much you prosper and how accurate your representation of your father in Heaven is.

The Holy Spirit is here on earth to be our helper as we go about our lives. When we do not accept His heed by rejecting His voice, we tend get into trouble that He is trying to avert us from encountering. I am learning more and more to listen to the Holy Spirit, to recognize when He speaks. His voice is quite unique as it goes straight into my heart. I don’t like disobeying Him and whenever I do it causes me grief. The book of Ephesians:4.30 says: “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.”
I believe what one feels after such a disobedience is just the Holy Spirit showing you how much you have hurt Him. On the other hand, obedience has become thrilling. This is because with every small act of obedience, there is growth. What He asks of you becomes more ‘impossible’ in your eyes and it take faith to move that step, and when you do….well…the joy is unexplainable and my heart comes close to bursting.

Last week Tuesday I got to attend the KKrew Bible Study after such a long while. Dj Moz reminded us of the importance of the simple acts that make up who we are on the topic: ‘This is us’. What quality would people ascribe to you. Character is build by the simple actions. If you want to be a certain kind of person, start putting into action the small things. Start by saying hello to somebody, start by showing love to your neighbour before going to show love to the world. Give them your time and hear out their story, they might encourage you or vise versa. Have you ever been around somebody who just exudes love, not just pretense but genuine love? A person who naturally makes you feel appreciated? I treasure such people for indeed few exist. Being part of the body of Christ calls us to be like Christ. Those around us should feel the kind of love that Christ gives. You have to understand that He not only has love but that He Himself is love and that’s who He has called us to be.

Acts:19.13-16 “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of Jesus, whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this. [One day] the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and I know about Paul, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding.”

The seven sons of Sceva were people who did not understand the principle of starting with the simple things. You cannot cast out demons without knowing the Word of God. They did not know that you cannnot use the name of Jesus if:
1. You do not know the person
2. You do not have the authority
They tried casting out a demon and it turned on them, beat them up and shamed them just because they had not yet grasped the simple principles needed for the name to work for you.

My advise: Start with the simple things in order to achieve greater things that Jesus tells us in John 14:12 that we can do. Pastor James put it so clearly: “Many young people are trying to overtake their fathers yet they have not yet grasped how to do what their fathers are able to do.” You have to start with what is made available to you before going after what is beyond your grasp. Start by perfecting the simple things before trying to perfect the intertwined frameworks of a large operation. Start by laying a good foundation in order to build a grand pyramid. Have a blessed Easter Holiday!

 

You can view the first part of this blog here: THE SIMPLE THINGS – PART ONE

THE JOY OF THE LORD

Only when in touch with the Lord can you experience true peace,

Because He washes all your troubles away; indeed He is the Prince of Peace.

The only shaking…no! Booming…comes from my slow beating heart, reminding me that am alive.

Alive to proclaim His goodness and glorious grace.

Praise flow from my lips and laughter envelops my mouth. Well I don’t really know why.

Perhaps my spirit has fore-knowledge of an event am yet to encounter; or maybe it’s a battle secretly conquered.

Well, it ain’t the first time this has happened.

At times am considered crazy because of my unexplained laughing outbursts and labelled a ‘laughing machine’…haha…I rejoice because it is better to spread joy rather than sadness.

You see, my body trembles at this, on the realization that: “there is a fire starting in my bones and it’s coming out to light”.

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Indeed I rejoice that the Holy Spirit is working in me, pushing my spirit man into the light.

As Nehemiah realized way back that: ‘the Joy of the Lord is our strength’, I now know how true these words are.

Joy will keep you flying above the troubles others see blocking their path-ways.

Whoever said you cannot do it? Whoever said you cannot make it?

Trust me you are in coordination with the Spirit of God, He will reveal to you whatever principles you need to get to your prosperity; and in that prosperity, in that journey of revelation, therein your joy lies!

Feature Image credits: RealtyMeKenya

ABOUT A HOUSE-HOLD NAME

CRAFTSMAN

img_20170208_181448_437I’m radical. The way we livin’ is not the usual, invisible, it’s incredible. I’m radical. No other way I gotta let them know. I’m radical. They can talk if they want. I’m radical. They can never hold me down. I’m radical, yes I’m radical – Radical, S.O. Ft. Lecrae, J. Williams

Titus 3:4-5

But when the kindness and the love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. (NKJV)

There not many places in Nairobi where people can go and soak in the diversity of the urban culture. The urban culture in this context is a way of life with self-expression in identities like hip hop music, basketball, visual art, b-boying and the likes. So, three guys saw this gap in the industry…

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THE SIMPLE THINGS

Many things are not going how I would love them to work out but when I see the 
little things that God does for me, my heart can only burst out and sing "All 
things are working for my good".

Recently I have come to learn of the great significance that one item can bring. One person can determine whether you are fulfilled or whether you feel lonely. One minute while your life is on the line can determine whether you will survive or you will die. In a minute, you can lose a life changing opportunity or you can be introduced to a destiny helper who can change your life forever.

The number one is mainly associated with new beginnings and all beginnings carry hope. Hope in itself is quite profound. A spark of hope in one’s heart can drive a man to climb up a freezing mountain with only a ‘shuka’ wrapped around him haha…(it can drive you to achieve what you thought was impossible). Hope is the fire that lights up one’s dark world. It brings a shine to one’s eyes and changes the way they see their future by giving a new perspective to the things we see around us.  The presence of hope can determine whether a person lives and its lack unfortunately can literally kill somebody right from the depths of their soul.

Our greatest hope as Christians however is rooted in Christ. Galatians 3:28 says “There is neither Jew nor Gentile, neither slave nor free, nor is there male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.” This speaks of the grace of salvation; a grace that accepts us despite our titles, faults or even our current identities and makes into one entity (the body of Christ).  Personally, I love speaking of this grace that set me free because one can only share of a goodness that they have personally tasted. And ohh how good it is, a grace where our sins are forgiven whenever we approach the throne of God and repent. This is evident in Zechariah 3:9 “and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.” It does not matter how long you have thrived in sin, when you decide to turn to God in repentance and a broken heart, He forgives your sin in that very instant. This hope gives us an assurance of the impossibility; a home where riches flow through the street; receiving a love we did not deserve  by doing one simple thing – accepting Him.

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Recently I was taught about the ‘Fight for Peace’ and the teaching just changed my way of thinking. There cannot be peace if a war has not been fought. Taking the case of David as an example; Israel before and during the time of David was constantly involved in wars. David in particular started fighting from the time he was a young boy acting as a shepherd by killing a lion and a bear that came to plunder the sheep. He was then able to kill goliath when all the men in the town were shaking out of fear of the great giant. Further down in his rule, David eliminated all his enemies that meant to do him harm. He was a man of valor; a man of war.  In fact, he spilled so much blood that God did not allow him to build the temple. Solomon his son was tasked with that work. However, all the fighting war not in vain. It is important to note that during Solomon’s reign, there was peace throughout the kingdom. This peace was as a result of the fighting that David, his father, had been involved in. Practically everyone wants to be successful and live in peace in a good home, able to provide for their livelihood… and this begs the question, what are they doing to get there? Before success there has to be the work put in place to achieve it. Without this simple attitude, you will not get anywhere.

One of my greatest inspirations has got to be my dad. He is a real fighter, that’s for sure. He is not one to give up when pursuing what he puts his mind to. With all that the world has thrown at him, he would have been a gooner if he didn’t possess the will to fight. “You have to realize that what you desire to achieve will not come to you easy; there will be struggles that you have to act wisely to get across” is something he reminds me. Life is mainly about how you perceive what comes your way.

“A man who fears hell on earth shall be broke but him who lives by the fear 
of God shall be rich”- Prophet Joel Lutuka

Many things are not going how I would love them to work out but when I see the little things that God does for me, my heart can only burst out and sing “All things are working for my good”. Indeed God is good. Never doubt His goodness just because you cannot see past the obstacle in front of you. Enlarge your vision and keep pushing on. Be able to recognize the little things. Recognize the one person that speaks words of encouragement which strengthen your spirit; The hope and dreams deep inside you; the daily effort you need to punch it to live your dream; The investment that will earn you millions many years later. When you are able to do so, these simple things will result into life changing moments.

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THE MULTIPLICATION MIRACLE

John 6:5-14 (NKJV) 5 Then Jesus lifted up His eyes, and seeing a great multitude coming toward Him, He said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread, that these may eat?” 6 But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do. 7 Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may have a little.” 8 One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to Him, 9 “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two small fish, but what are they among so many?” 10 Then Jesus said, “Make the people sit down.” Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted. 12 So when they were filled, He said to His disciples, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing is lost.” 13 Therefore they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten. 14 Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.”

Two hundred denarii were actually eight months’ wages. Philip was saying this because that is how impossible that situation seemed. But as we all have experienced, it all seems impossible until it is done. Haha…well this was just a question directed at Philip only to test him; only to gauge how high his faith was and how far his vision could stretch. Somebody interrupts this exchange though; Andrew was explaining how a lad had 5 loaves and two small fish among the crowd. There was a portion but that portion was not enough for everyone present to benefit from it. My spiritual father (Prophete Joel Lutuka) always tells us how we must work on exciting the anointing of God in the man of God if we are to see any miracle. Well, Andrew knew how to do that. He gave Jesus something to work with. He gave Jesus a way to feed people by locating a lad who had food. A question keeps turning round in my mind: Did the lad always eat that much? Or was it already in his heart as he came to this particular meeting that he would share his lunch with a few more people? If that was the case then, his heart desire was fulfilled in a much greater way than he could ever imagine.

Jesus instructed the people to sit down but wait…was the environment conducive for that?

“10 Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand.”

Would have the people sat down if the ground was muddy? You have to realize that the environment that you are operating in really matters. When people are in an environment where they are uncomfortable in, they will be less attentive and less productive. This is something that leaders; whether in a church setting or at work, should work on – providing or creating conducive environments for people under them to thrive in. I have seen a simple atmosphere making people able to interact freely and just laughing their hearts out yet they are merely strangers and another where even the closest of friends would be completely silent.

Nature_Sprout_under_glassThe first principle of multiplication is that you have to have something in your hand. It is from what you have that you will get more. It’s from the idea that you have that you can create a sustainable business, it is from your planting that you can receive a great harvest. Jesus took what He had in His hand and started with giving thanks. This in itself is so profound. Many people own things yet they are always complaining about what they do not have. They look at where they want to get to but they forget that a process is involved in getting there. Their portion therefore cannot be increased because they are blinded by their greed without knowledge. God is interested in knowing what you think about what you have before He can give you more. Your complaining keeps your portion from being increased. Jesus gave thanks and gave the bread to the disciples to distribute to the people. He did the same thing with the fish. The disciples for sure were in amazement. Can you imagine giving out bread and more just comes out of nowhere? And in the end there was a surplus of 12 baskets left, from only 5 loaves! It is not a wonder that many from that particular miracle many believed that Christ was the one sent from God. There are just some things that cannot be done without God having a part in it.

I do thank God for the grace that is working for us in this present age. What took years to be accomplished is can be done in less than a month as long as you are connected to the one who supplies the grace. The grace for multiplication is certainly there. The only question is whether we have the right knowledge to make it work for us. More so, we have the grace to multiply and increase in our relationship with our heavenly father. One mistake I have been corrected from is in the area of my prayer life. Prayer should not only be about asking for things from God but about building a relationship with God. It is a direct line to our heavenly father that many tend to use only when it comes to asking. God desires to have your time, to spend hours with you just talking just as close friends would. How I long to get to the level that Moses was operating at – of speaking with God face to face! It is often that people received their multiplication out of their hard work but how much better is it if you just plug in to the grace and have an overflow in your life!

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OVERCOMING CHALLENGES

I love being challenged because it pushes me to move out of where I currently am into becoming a better version of myself; but challenges at times might make you feel worthless and unaccomplished. Someone else’s success might burst your bubble of ‘being the best’. It may show you that you are limited in some area and need to work harder for a new level or that you need help from another person to overcome your limitation.

At this pinnacle of revelation, is where the line is drawn. It is where you are built or broken. Your attitude to the revelation defines how you will proceed. For example; if you come to the realization that someone is better than you, you can choose to hate them or learn from them. Well, I can tell you one thing, your hatred will not benefit you nor will it harm the other party. It is better to find out what tactics they used to get to where they are and you can follow suit to be at par with them or become even better. I thank God for the people that He has placed in my life that I can look up to. Some are my friends while others are my mentors and they have been a crucial element in my growth.

Life is full of such situations where upon settling at a certain position, it no longer is enough. It no longer gives us the satisfaction or joy that we once derived from it. This is just an indication of the need for growth. Whether you are a CEO of a company or just an accountant, it is an indication that you need to move to a new level. If we never became hungry, would we eat? If we never yearned to be better, would we work towards it? No, I bet not. That’s why we need these little nudges in ourselves whenever it is time for us to move to a new dimension. Somebody performing better than you might be better just because he/she put more effort. Maybe they were up the whole night working while you were sleeping or completing an exciting action series season. The point here is that we have to have to be conscious about the effort we are putting into accomplishing a certain task.

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We however have to remember that there is always help whenever we need it. Our father is always there waiting to come to our aid. I have come to a point in my life where my own strength is no longer enough to keep me going, and am in constant need for God to strengthen me for the next step that I have to take. I need strength for my next assignment; I need strength to go through tough times and emerge on the other end a victor and only God can supply me that kind of strength.

In my conclusion, I will share something interesting found in this portion of scripture…

Genesis 3:9-12

9  But the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, Where are you?

10 He said, I heard the sound of You [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself.

11 And He said, Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you that you should not eat?

12 And the man said, The woman whom You gave to be with me—she gave me [fruit] from the tree, and I ate"

We all know that God is omniscient-all knowing, and He does not change with time as human beings do. So even that far back in the garden of Eden, the Lord already knew where Adam was and what he had done yet He called out seeking Adam. Why? Well, you have to come to a realization that God takes very seriously our responses. Despite the fact that Adam had sinned, God’s focus was on his response. Adam however started playing the blame game leading to his curse out of disobedience. Yes there will be challenges along the way but how are you responding/reacting to them? How you react to any challenge that you face will determine how it will turn out in the end for you, whether you will overcome it or you will be overcome by it! David faced Goliath with an attitude of victory knowing full well that God would fight for him. Despite the crowd’s fear, David came out with courage not because he was the best ‘boy’ in Israel but because his eyes were open to realize that the fight belonged to God. You better leave the fight to Him who’s victory is assured.