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Monday, April 28, 2014

Lift Up Your Head

You are my love, my life, my longing heart fulfilled
You are my quiet place, where all is safe and still
You are my gentle Father, and my loving Lord
You are my Savior and my King forever

Chorus:
And I will not fear, the storms of life, but I’ll ride upon the waves
Cos You are my Rock, the sure foundation of my faith
Oh my soul, oh my soul… find rest in God alone
Oh my soul, oh my soul… find rest in God alone!

You are the Living Water that I come to drink
You are the River flowing full of power and strength
You are the One Who reads the writing on my heart
You are the Wings that carry me beyond the dark

Chorus:
And I will not fear, the storms of life, but I’ll ride upon the waves
Cos You are my Rock, the sure foundation of my faith
Oh my soul, oh my soul… find rest in God alone
Oh my soul, oh my soul… find rest in God alone!

These are words of the song ‘Find Rest’ by Julie True that especially ministers right to my core. Not just the words, but the accompanying music that allows you simply soak and lose yourself in the Lord’s presence.

Over the past few weeks, I have found myself listening to this song over and over, and constantly singing or humming the particular the line in the chorus ‘Oh my soul, find rest in God alone!’ It has become a sort of anchor for me in the combination interesting-cum -difficult times that I have more often than not found myself in since the beginning of this year.

I have been silent awhile on this forum largely because for some reason, I have not been able to do more than sit and stare at my screen for so long. It had become a prayer point that the Lord breathe afresh on my creative abilities and minister something to me that is a word in season for you and I, sis. Truthfully, so much has happened over these past few weeks, each experience of which has been a message in itself, but somehow I would sit down to write… and strangely enough, my mind would draw a complete blank.

One of the things the Lord had said to me recently as I fellowshipped with Him, was that there was too much noise in my soul. And how right He was, of course! It has been really noisy inside at my end sis, how about you? From the major pains that I have felt as a mother thinking through the brutal murders of young boys in a school here in my country, and the kidnapping of about 25 young girls that same night by the terrorists; to the many unwarranted deaths that are daily reported in the news; to the incredibly frequent stories of rape that have suddenly become almost the order of the day… worse still being that most of the reported stories are rapes of minors; to the trauma of the missing Malaysian airplane; the ferry in Korea that sunk with all those school children on board; the second bout of kidnappings of over 100 teenage girls again in the northern part of my country…. Need I go on?

I have felt very physical pain imagining what the parents of those murdered, raped, and worse still – kidnapped are going through. I’m a mother myself, and with only one daughter who is so infinitely precious to me. Tell me sis, how do you go to bed each night not being sure if your 13year old daughter is at that time being raped physically, mentally, and spiritually by one or more dirty, disgusting perverts who kidnapped her from school? How do you go through the day not being sure what pain or trauma your child is facing at each point in time, or if indeed she is still alive? How do you reconcile the horror of your son being burnt alive in a school you sent him to, while you slept on in ignorance? Ah sis, my heart has been bleeding for a while. It certainly has, and it still is!

If all these weren’t enough to deal with, my precious uncle died. He was my father’s only sibling. There had always been just the two of them. He was my second father, so much so that he it was who gave me out in marriage on behalf of my own dad. This is a pain that is beyond words. In the middle of my grief, I have tried and cannot fathom just how devastated his wife and children are, if my own pain is so much. I cannot fathom the intensity of pain and loss that my father would be going through right now, given how close they had always been. Can you understand sis, when I say that I have stared at my screen for weeks and seen nothing? Life has gone on. I have gone to work and done the things I needed to do. I have run my home as I always have. I have stayed in the place of praying and spending time with God. But, there has been noise in my spirit that has tried to take my ‘voice’ away from me; that has tried to distract me from my assignment.

Sometimes, life just bows us down doesn't it? We find ourselves ‘hard pressed on every side’ sometimes, don’t we? Even the strongest of us will go through those seasons where our ‘strength’ is tested and we are reminded that in and of ourselves, we have no power. I have had to remind myself time and again of my commitment to be relentless in this assignment. But you know what sis? The furthest I have been able to get in that commitment has been to actually sit in front of my laptop and open a fresh page. Beyond that…. I couldn’t make anything else happen. I have given up on trying time and again because I couldn’t find it in myself to make it work. ‘I’ couldn’t sis, …But God could, did and has!

I love how those of us who believe are always able to come back to this place of ‘But God’, sis. by the grace, mercies and power of the Lord, He brings us back to where our simple declaration is ‘But God!’. Ah, but I’m so eternally grateful for the privilege of being able to declare ‘But God..’, sis.
·         But God… Who was and is always mindful of me
·         But God… Who is indeed the Anchor for my soul
·         But God… Who is indeed my gentle Father, and my loving Lord
·         But God... Who is indeed my quiet place, where all is safe and still
·         But God... Who is indeed my Rock, the sure foundation of my faith
·         But God... Who is indeed the One Who reads the writing on my heart
·         But God... Who is indeed the Wings that carry me beyond the dark
·       But God… Who is indeed my confidence, so that I will not fear, the storms of life, but I’ll ride upon the waves
Ah yes, sis… because of God, my soul finds its rest!  

We woke up really late on Easter Sunday and so had to go to another church to worship. I’m ordinarily a very early riser, so I know now that God had a purpose in my late rising that day. As Pastor Tony Rapu of This Present House opened his mouth, and the Lord began to speak through him, the word was a clear message for me sis, even as it is for you. Pastor Tony spoke about all the same sets of things that had been weighing hard on my spirit. He talked about how from the beginning of the year it had been one thing or the other – the kidnappings, the bombings, the rapes, the murders, the disappearing planes, on and on. It was like the Lord opened the pages of my heart and showed him everything that had been troubling my spirit.

The word from the pulpit was very clear… that the enemy is working hard to bow Christians down in their spirits; to paralyze us in despair and despondency; in fear and in uncertainty; in diminishing of our faith; and in a working to move us steadfastly into the place of prayerlessness and powerlessness; to remove our focus from our purpose and Kingdom assignments. This is the strategy of the enemy, but God…

God reminded me as He reminds you today sis that the devil is a defeated foe. He reminds us that all power belongs to Him. He reminds us that He has the victory in every situation, even in those circumstances that our human minds cannot recognize as victorious.  He reminds us that we are not among the hopeless who have nothing to look forward to on the other side of eternity. He reminds us that we walk in His authority alone and that His power is available unto us. He reminds us that in our troubles He is with us, through the fires and through the floods. He reminds us that as long as we keep our eyes on Him, it will be well with us.

And this is what it is today sis… that call to keep our eyes steadily fixed on Him Who is higher than high. We cannot see God if our eyes are looking down on the earth and things of the world. We need to look up. To look up, we need to lift our heads, sis. We need to straighten our backs, square our shoulders, stretch our necks and lift our heads, so that our eyes (physical and spiritual) are literally and spiritually facing the Lord. Lifting up our heads is our taking a stance that says ‘I am His, and He is working all things out for my good.’ It is our saying ‘In His strength alone, I am victorious’. It is our declaration to the camp of the enemy that he cannot and will not kill our spirit, and he will certainly not gain any victory in our lives because God, and God alone, is our Anchor, our Helper, our Ally, our Provider, our Protector, and our Victory. Looking up is our bold declaration to God that we are casting all our cares on Him, in full confidence that it is well with the righteous. And we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus sis! We surely are!

I wish I could share with you the many scriptures that came forth from the pulpit as God assured us continually through His servant that He is still and will always be in control, but that would make for another 1000 words at least. So let me leave you with this sis… if like me, life has tried or is trying to cause you to bow your head, anchor yourself even more firmly in God. In Him alone will your soul find rest. In Him alone is your peace. In Him alone is your place of quiet trust and confident assurance of victory. Find it in yourself always to lift up your head sis. It doesn't matter if you are so hard pressed that you can’t even find the words to pray. Just lift up your head in the physical, and the Lord Who knows all things will hear your spirit and do the rest. These are tough times for the world sis. And newsflash… it will only get worse! These are the end times, remember? We cannot allow the enemy put us in the camp of those who are unable to discern the times and seasons sis. In the name of Jesus Christ, I refuse to be bent, and I refuse to be broken. Let this be your confession this day also, sis and the Lord will honor this for His name’s sake.

Today I make a fresh commitment to lift my head, regardless of how much my heart hurts. I make a fresh commitment to fully walk my assignment. I come back to the place of being relentless in the things that the Lord has purposed to do through me. Can you do this with me sis? No matter what life is or will throw at us sis, we will make it. Not in our strength sis, but in the strength of He Who is the source of all our power; the One Who is our Rock of strength and Wall of impenetrable hardness; the One Who alone is our Rest. Yes, sis. we will make it - heads held
high, giving glory to the Lord all the days of our lives. The Lord will continually help you sis. He will help me.


Be blessed sis…. for you surely are!

About Me

Entrepreneur, Mentor, Wife, Mother, Sister, Friend. A firm believer in God. Walking in faith everyday that by His grace, I will achieve harmony in all areas of my life, and make measurable impact in the lives of other women of the world

WORD FOR THE WEEK

LUKE 1:

34“-How can this be, Mary asked the angel, “since I am a virgin?” 35The angel replied, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you. So the Holy One to be born will be called the Son of God

JEREMIAH 2:

5 Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.

6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. 7 But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.

8 Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. 9 Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. 10 See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.

1st CORINTHIANS 1:

25 [This is] because the foolish thing [that has its source in] God is wiser than men, and the weak thing [that springs] from God is stronger than men. 26 For [simply] consider your own call, brethren; not many [of you were considered to be] wise according to human estimates and standards, not many influential and powerful, not many of high and noble birth. 27 [No] for God selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is foolish to put the wise to shame, and what the world calls weak to put the strong to shame. 28 And God also selected (deliberately chose) what in the world is lowborn and insignificant and branded and treated with contempt, even the things that are nothing, that He might depose and bring to nothing the things that are,

Colossians 1:

28 Him we preach and proclaim, warning and admonishing everyone and instructing everyone in all wisdom (comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God), that we may present every person mature (full-grown, fully initiated, complete, and perfect) in Christ (the Anointed One).

29 For this I labor [[z]unto weariness], striving with all the superhuman energy which He so mightily enkindles and works within me.