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Saturday, January 24, 2015

No Reward for Pretenders

I think it’s absolutely remarkable how God programmed the human mind. Simply fascinating! One of my current reads is Dr. Eric R. Braverman’s ‘Younger Brain, Sharper Mind’ and reading this has been quite the learning process for me. Coincidentally also, Kenneth Copeland’s guest on his show over the past week has been Dr. Caroline Leaf who is a renowned neurosurgeon and brain specialist. I've loved listening to her explain how the brain operates especially in line with God’s Word, and how finally science and scientists are slowly seeing alignment between their research and things which the Bible has already made quite clear.

I have especially loved the information regarding how memory is formed, the different kinds of memory, and the word associations and connectivity patterns in our brains. Since this is not a scientific blog, I will spare you the details. And much as my flesh would at this time love to try and impress you with some of the scientific jargon I have added to my dictionary recently, I won’t go there. I promise! So why did I start talking about it then? Well sis, I had an experience yesterday that made something I had read and heard recently so much more real to me than it had ever been before, because I could practically visualize from my learning’s just how that connection happened.

I was in attendance at a seminar on the economic outlook for the country in 2015 and I was pretty enthralled by what was a brilliant and highly practical presentation by the country head of JP Morgan. Towards the end of his presentation and while making recommendations of how best to hedge in 2015, he said ‘If it is a luxury purchase, then make sure you can afford it. There will be no reward for pretenders in 2015’. I blanked out for a couple of minutes after this and it took everything in me to pull myself back to the present moment so as not to lose the other key points he was making.

You see sis, as he made that statement, my mind made an immediate connection to the Kingdom of God, to eternity in Heaven, to what the Bible says about there being many surprises on the last day and about the first being last, last being first.. I heard clearly in my Spirit ‘The reward of Heaven is not for pretenders to the Kingdom’. Wow! In those few minutes that I ‘spaced out’, the Holy Spirit ministered so many things to my heart sis. He did! This is what I hope I can share with you today. It wasn't about the science of the mind connection per se. I mean, I could only reason that aspect out after the fact. And it certainly wasn't about the economics of oil prices, liquidity, politics, business and investments, etc that I had been listening to. No sis, this was about life… the truest form of life… the one we expect to be translated into when our time on this side of eternity is over.

I have mulled this over time and again since yesterday and I know without a shadow of a doubt that this is as much a message for me as it is for you sis. It is either a message we need to hear ourselves, or one which perhaps we need to preach to and share with someone who is close to us. The reality of life plays out - in my view, as an adaptation of an age long cliché. So, we can fool everyone most of the time, but we can’t fool everyone all of the time. We can even fool ourselves some of the time, but we certainly cannot fool ourselves all of the times. And then, we can fool everyone else, ourselves included, most or some of the time… but we can never fool God even one time. Yep! We can only always NEVER fool Him, for He see all things and knows all things. Hey sis, this is the God for Whom the darkest of nights is like day right? The One Who is Himself light?  The One Who knows our thoughts afar off? The One Who is all seeing, all knowing and all powerful? The One Who knows the end from the beginning? The One Who sees and knows the secret things in the deepest darkest places? Hmmm! How do we want to think we can ever fool Him sis? How? Absolutely always Never!

‘If it is a luxury purchase, then make sure you can afford it. There will be no reward for pretenders in 2015’. There will certainly be no reward of the Kingdom of heaven for those who are pretenders in Christ. It doesn't take much to see or understand this does it? Or does it? Hmmm!  We cannot be casual about our Christianity this year more than ever before. I don’t know why 2015, but really this is one caution that doesn't need us to ask why. We should never be casual about our Christianity anyway, so if the Lord chooses to chastise you and I about it even more today, then so be it, sis. So be it! I have since personally spent some time trying to see in what areas of my life I might be positioning as a ‘Pretender to the Kingdom’ and you know sis that as I examine my life, I also ask you to examine yours right? Yep! I certainly do. You see, the plan is not for me to make Heaven and leave you behind, or vice versa. Oh no, no, no! God helping us, we will both be hugging each other in heaven one day, in Jesus name, Amen.

One thing that ministered to me as I was ' in the zone' is that there are so many things that constitute pretense in the Kingdom. For many, pretense will be about secret sins, hidden aspects of their lives that they don’t want people to see - deep hurts, abuse, shame, a dark past (or present). It will be for many about sins of the flesh – sexual sins, lusts and perversions. But the Holy Spirit showed me that Kingdom pretense is also as much about the true state of one’s heart, and the motives and intents for whatever a person does or says; about who we really are when no one is watching; about how deep our love walk with Christ really and truly goes; about pretending to walk in love whereas one’s heart is black towards a person, but role-playing because we need that person to fulfill certain needs in our life, or perhaps because being associated with them elevates our social, business, or even Kingdom profile  and status in some way or the other.

It ministered to me that pretending in the Kingdom as a business person means outwardly profiling as a Christian, while doing dirty deals, giving and receiving bribes and the like in the name of  moving forward and making money - after all ‘it’s just business’. Pretending in the Kingdom would include positioning as a Christ follower and yet secretly consulting oracles and diviners, or dabbling in the occult through one means or the other. Pretending in Christ would include deciding to compartmentalize certain aspects of one’s life which are lived out according to the dictates of flesh, the world and society; and then only allowing God control to some degree in certain other aspects of one’s life – especially those which are more visible to the brethren and which give an outwardly apparent picture of holiness. Pretending in Christ's Kingdom would include singing and playing gospel music every Sunday, yet listening to music with lyrics that are sexually explicit, glorifying sex, drugs, violence and even rape, every other day for the rest of the week; spending money God gave you to grow a perverse industry while maintaining a hardened heart towards giving of tithes and offerings to further the work of the Kingdom. 

Pretending in Christ would include indulging an addiction to pornography in one's personal spaces, choosing to see it as just harmless ‘fun’; forgetting or choosing to ignore the immoral and outright demonic aspects of the pornography industry that clearly do not glorify the Christ you profess (not to mention ignoring the fact of human trafficking and sexual slavery are the backbone of this industry in our time, and that by buying and watching such movies, one becomes a participant in promoting and progressing these atrocities and sins). Pretending in Christ is on one hand outwardly professing Him as Lord and savior, claiming to trust Him to work all things out for your good; and then cheating during tests and examinations; sleeping around to get opportunities and promotions; backbiting, gossiping, and indeed fabricating stories to put others down, stealing other peoples work and claiming as your own so you can be favored or get ahead in the work space or school setting, etc etc etc. 

You get my drift sis? Some of the things that constitute pretense where God is concerned are hard stuff that we can all readily relate with and indeed point our fingers at others for, but many Kingdom pretenses are quiet, unseen, unspoken, but there nonetheless. It is those little foxes that you and I need to search for and purge ourselves of, sis; those little foxes that we can only discern with the help of the Spirit. It is not that we will not fall or fail on occasion sis. No, it's not that. The Bible does say 'though the righteous man fall seven times...' So we will fall once in a while. But something is clearly out of line when our fallen state becomes our comfortable space, and we make absolutely no effort to move up and out of it, even knowing grace and strength are available to help us out. 

Bottom line? Pretending in Christ is about not truly living in His image and likeness, and worse still… being casual about it. We are not perfect sis, not even anywhere near that. But we are also meant to grow in our walk in Christ. Hell is a luxury we can ill afford to ‘acquire’, and Heaven is the one luxury we can more so ill afford to miss. The onus is on us to decide daily and sometimes several times in a day, which reward we will choose. ‘I set before you life and death.... choose life!’ With each passing day we need to very consciously examine our thoughts, words, actions, motives and intents and work diligently to align them more and more with what we know will please and glorify the father. True, as children of the living God, it is not by our works that we are saved (lest any man should boast), but surely by our works we will either attract, or repel, or keep others who are in darkeness indifferent to God and to His Kingdom. This would be a major failing on our part as far as the mandate we have to be salt and light, spreaders of the Gospel, fishers of men, is concerned.

There is also the fact that we ourselves need to be sure we are walking in alignment with God for ourselves. We cannot be casual about our salvation and God’s work of grace in our lives sis. We cannot! If we do, what happens is that we become immune to our sin, and at some point we don’t even notice that the glory has departed and we are no longer hosting the Holy Spirit of God in us. No, we cannot allow this sis, for surely none of us wants to be among those to whom God will say on the last day ‘Depart from me for I know you not’. It would be too sad and too late (eternally so) for anyone to find out that while they were celebrated on earth as being a good (dare I say 'Great') Christian, that in the eyes of God they were only ‘Pretenders to the Kingdom’, undeserving of a the reward of a place in Heaven. May this not be our portion in Jesus name, Amen.

May the Lord help us to stay alert sis. May He help us truly see any area(s) of our lives that don’t really look like Him and where we have gotten so used to not looking like Him that we don’t even notice it any more. May He show us areas where we have become immune or complacent to something that does not glorify Him, and may He give us the strength to stand strong and make whatever changes we need to make in our lives - relationships we need to end, businesses we need to forgo, habits we need to drop, etc so that nothing on this side of eternity will stand in the way of our receiving His crown and entering into His embrace on the last day.

The Lord will help me sis, and He will help you. By the mercies grace and power of the Holy Spirit, we will not make the Blood which Jesus shed on the cross of Calvary and His ultimate sacrifice for our sakes to be of no effect. No sis, as you and I recommit every area of our lives afresh to God daily, as we draw closer and closer to Him in this year, our assurance will always be that indeed we will not be classed among the pretenders to the Kingdom; that we will daily conform more and more to His glorious image; that by our very lives we will draw men unto Him; that our lives will be truly pleasing to Him; and that in the end we will make Heaven in Jesus name, Amen.


Be blessed sis… for you surely are!

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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.