WHY DOUBT WHEN YOU CAN BELIEVE?

“Jesus said, “Come.” And when Peter had come down out of the boat, he walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink he cried out, saying, “Lord, save me!” And immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him, and said to him, “O you of little faith, why did you doubt?” (Mt 14:24-33)

The storm was great. The disciples, experienced fishermen by trade, did all they could to keep themselves alive. Suddenly they saw Jesus coming towards them, walking on the water. They became afraid, for they thought He was a ghost. He spoke and encouraged them not to fear. Then Peter said “Lord…” Jesus called Him to come. Jesus did not warn him saying: ‘Peter, make sure that you do not step in the rough area of the sea, be careful how you step out of the boat…’ No! Jesus simply said: “Come!’ Peter should not have looked at the waves. You see that doubt is of our making! That call ‘Come!’ should be enough for Peter. That call should be enough for us.

Peter came out of the boat. The storm was still raging. He walked on the water towards Jesus! (Clap your hands for Peter!!!). Peter started so well but ended so badly. Peter lowered his gaze and looked at the waves. He started sinking. Why? Because of ‘little faith’! Please observe that Peter had no excuse to doubt. There was no need to be startled, to shake. The storm did not start suddenly when he was walking on the calm sea. No! The storm has been there all along. Nothing new about that wind!

When doubt encroaches, your faith becomes ‘little’. Believers can doubt. If the doubt remains little, you can still go on, but with some difficulty. But if the percentage of doubt is greater than your store of faith, if doubt starts to control you, you will ‘sink’, you will fail at last. Doubt is like a virus, an infection or poison to your soul! Reject it!

Your problems, your battle with poverty, your marital crisis, your sickness…all these are not new challenges. These are ‘old’ problems you knew about even before you decided to exercise your faith and ‘step out of the boat’ of your comfort zone. So why do you allow an old problem to shake you afresh? Why doubt when you can believe? Please remember how great your God is! Night time or day, during peace or war, poverty and riches, health and sickness, on the land or on the seas, during calm waters or the storm, Jesus Christ is Lord forever! He is calling you ‘Come!’ His holy call is to greater heights of spiritual adventure with Him, where the word ‘impossible’ does not exist! Why wait? Why doubt? Go to His waiting arms! What are you afraid of? Do you fear death? He has the keys to it, the power to shut it down! Even if sinking, He is able to keep you from falling until that glorious day when faith shall become sight and glory will cover all His creation!

As for me, I have left the boat of the cowards and I step on the waves. My feet are wet, but that’s all! The wind is blowing spoiling my new hair style, but that is all! A little rough, I look straight on the face of my Christ! His gaze sustains me! Deep calls unto deep! Love lifted me! Doubt can never dwell in my heart as I look long and hard on the face of my King! I confess this…I did not know I can dance this ‘oceans dance’, but now I do! Glory!

I SING

It is Sunday, 5 am. The faithful brethren in the house have started the morning prayer. Heaven is supplied with fresh praises coming from Warri, Nigeria. I woke up with this song in my heart. This is a sign that this Sunday service will be wonderful. I am getting excited in my spirit. Once the Holy Ghost comes, anything can happen. There is an increase appetite for things spiritual. It is a sign of life, for the dead desire nothing. I am alive and I love Jesus! All is well! Praise the Lord!

May your Sunday be wonderful! Do not stay at home! Go to Church!

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

(Thomas Ken, 1637-1711)

“But I will sing of Your strength, in the morning I will sing of Your love; for You are my fortress, my refuge in times of trouble” (Ps 59:16)

PRAISE REPORT

Two days ago God bless us with the first mall in Warri, Nigeria. It is called ShopRite. The owner is from South Africa. But to me, it is a gift from heaven. I live in Nigeria since March 1980. I have not seen strawberries or plums with my eyes in Warri, the city where we live. I can only eat them when we travel abroad. But now, these are in a Warri. I was waiting for the crowds to get less before going there myself. A wonderful sister in Christ went there and brought me these fruits. To you, it may not be special, but to me it is. I could not believe my eyes. I can’t even eat them, I am so excited.
Many years ago we prayed (I mean really prayed) that our troubled city will change. That there shall be revival of the Holy Spirit. And also clean streets, with lights, and parks and malls. God has answered and now we have a mall. The rest will surely follow. I give God all the glory for His wonderful care for His children!

In the picture you see my gift…God bless you sister…

Fruits

HEALED AND HONORED

The prayer meeting was wonderful. It is true that each time I am repeating myself, but what else can I say if indeed it was wonderful? I prepared my sermon but there was no way to deliver it. The anointing was too strong for ‘regular’ preaching. As we were worshipping God, the Holy Spirit gave us two prophetic messages.

HEALED
The first one was for the sick in our midst. “Healed and Hired” (God has healed you so that you can be hired my Him, to serve Him). Many knelt at the altar praying for healing. There was faith enough to move mountains of evil, chronic and wicked, incurable diseases. To God be all the glory!
“If you will diligently listen to the voice of the LORD your God, and do that which is right in His eyes, and give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you that I put on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, your healer.” (Ex 15:26)

HONORED
This is a prophetic word, a praise report and a testimony. It is concerning Pastor (Mrs) Trish Eresanara. I testified to the glory of God that she has been my helper, my sister, my daughter in Christ and my friend for many years. She is a medical doctor by profession. Her hobby in the past was baking beautiful wedding cakes and sewing wonderful wedding gowns. She was very good at it. She made money and fame from both activities. Each Saturday she will be very busy with her cakes and gowns. Then the Holy Spirit told me that she will be my assistant in the ministry. Because I am a foreigner, my culture and accent is different. That can be a hindrance. I needed a Spirit filled Nigerian Christian woman who can connect me with the other believers in general and with the women in particular. I told her about my need and God’s call. It was not easy for her to let go of her Saturdays’ ‘jobs’. She is also a busy wife and mother to her two sons. Another difficulty was that she lives quite far from the church.

She went to pray about it and later she said yes. We prayed for each other and placed our relationship on the altar of God. We both fear God and we knew that ministry is a very serious matter. This is more than ten years ago. My testimony is that since then, she has been a very efficient, hardworking, humble and faithful helper, assistant and friend beyond my dreams. She makes my life easier and happier. Each time we have service (with the women’ fellowship or the Saturday Class prayer meeting) she is there waiting for me. She always comes first. All these years she has never complained. Each time, in rain or sun shine, in sickness and health, war or peace…she has never been late or looking tired. She has never been disrespectful to me or trespassing in my authority. For example, If both of us were cooks in the kitchen, she will prepare all the ingredients, not too many, not too few. She will wash the vegetables and boil the meat. She will place the spices on a row for me to pick what I want. She will make sure there is gas in the cylinder. She will fleet the kitchen so that no flies or mosquitoes will disturb me. My apron will be washed and waiting. Then she will wait for me to mix all these things in the pot and on fire. Soon, the soup is done and it will be very tasty. Everybody will like the soup! I am sure you know what I mean…

This is a lesson I have learned: you can do any job if God has granted you a good helper. Today we gave honor to whom honor is due! Well done Trish! God bless you!
We then prayed that God will grant good friends and helpers to all of us!
“Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to act…Pay everyone whatever you owe them… fear to whom fear is due, honor to whom honor is due” (PV 3:27; Rom 13:7)

Lastly, there was nothing else to do than to rejoice and praise our God! To God be all the glory!

Trish and I

(In the picture: praying for the women in our church with Trish faithfully standing at my ‘back’)

WHY PRETEND WHEN YOU CAN BE REAL?

“And so it was, when Ahijah heard the sound of her footsteps as she came through the door, he said, “Come in, wife of Jeroboam. Why do you pretend to be another person?” (1Kg 14:1-6)

In this story, Jeroboam’s oldest son was sick. He sends his wife to the old prophet Ahijah who prophesied good to him long ago. He tells his wife to disguise herself to look like any poor mother whose son is sick. Her royal garments were replaced by old faded clothes. She carries the gift of a poor woman, nothing to prove that she is the queen. They hoped that the prophet will be deceived to prophesy good and their son will be healed. At this time, the prophet is blind because of old age. But God reveals to Ahijah how the king and his wife have planned to deceive him. The deception failed. He rebukes the queen and gives her ‘bad’ news. Their son will die and she will not be able to meet him alive. It happened just as the prophet spoke.

What are the lessons we can learn from this sad story?

*God cannot be mocked!

The first and the greatest lesson is that no man can deceive God. God cannot be bribed. “Do not be deceived and deluded and misled; God will not allow Himself to be sneered at (scorned, disdained, or mocked by mere pretensions or professions, or by His precepts being set aside.) [He inevitably deludes himself who attempts to delude God.] For whatever a man sows, that and that only is what he will reap” (Gal 6:7, AMP) Why will men even imagine that they can deceive God? The only explanation is the work of evil lying deceptive spirits.

*A true servant of God who is filled and lead by the Holy Spirit cannot be deceived

You may deceive a false prophet or a backsliding believer. But you cannot deceive a true prophet who always lives in God’s presence. This is because God’s secret is with him. God will answer by Himself and judge any man who comes to a prophet with an idol in his heart and seeking a blessing thru deception!

*We live by faith and not by sight

You do not need natural eyes to know the truth. Prophet Ahijah was old and blind but he was not deceived because God spoke to him. “We live by faith and not by sight!” (2Cor 5:7)

*God shall judge all liars and deceivers

“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. Therefore do not be partakers with them” (Eph 5:6, 7)

Deception comes to you with ‘empty words’. To be empty it means lacking substance, reality, meaning, value, force and fruits. These attributes should have been there but they are not. The words of the deceiver are barren, giving false hopes, making hungry without providing food. These are idle and foolish words. The true words are the words of God, filled with the Holy Spirit, able to impart life to the believers.  We are commanded not to associate with deceivers, not to be intimate friends with them. They have nothing of value to add to your life. They want to take control over your life and become a burden to you. Do not allow the devil to step in even with a toe!

The victory over deception is one of the greatest man can ever experience in this life! The reward is beyond words! I counsel you to pay the price and live free from the wicked power of deception! Let truth be the belt of your soul! Be free! In Jesus name, Amen!

GLIDE FREELY MY FRIEND

This is the counsel I gave to a sister in Christ who teaches children how to worship. It may be useful to you too…

“Children are very sensitive to the Holy Spirit. You teach them the theory, the doctrine, you encourage them to join in worship. That is good. But lastly, you have to leave them behind and just enter alone before the throne. More than a teacher, more than a mother, you are a worshiper. They have to ‘lose’ you. They will discover that as much as you love them, they cannot control the size of your wings. That will impress them enough to try theirs too. You need to glide alone, not for their sake first of all, but for the sake of God and your spirit. That is when you let go of your cares and responsibility you have before men.
There are many teachers but few fathers or mothers. And even fewer lovers…Next Sunday, be a teacher, be a mother and give allowance to your self to be a lover of God in the sight of all, friends and enemies! To God be all the glory!
Glide freely my sister, my friend…
In Jesus name, amen!”

Gliding

I WISH YOU LONG LIFE AND PROSPERITY

“Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and set him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?” And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” So Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh” (Gen 47:7-10)

I read that the ancient Egyptians were always looking for ways to live long. They wanted to know the secret of a long life, even eternal life. They became experts in the skill of mummification. Their ideal, according to the prediction of their gods, was 110 years. If a man could live that long, he was declared a saint in the land and was worshipped by all. But very few lived long. This is because of sicknesses, accidents, drowning in the River Nile, the danger of crocodiles and snakes, famine and war.

When Joseph brought his old father Jacob before Pharaoh, one thing that impressed him was the age of the Patriarch. Try to imagine the scene: here was Pharaoh on his throne; the richest and most powerful man on earth at that time. Then there was Jacob standing before him, homeless and hungry, with a needy family waiting behind, hoping that good will come out of this ‘interview’. What a contrast…The sons of Jacob bowed before Pharaoh, even before Joseph. But Jacob does not bow to Pharaoh. He stands before him to bless him! Twice! The lesser is blessed by the better! Jacob is the better among the two! He may not have royal fancy clothes, food or a home on earth. But Jehovah God is with him. And that is all that matters. Selah! He stands before the pagan king of Egypt as the Servant and Prophet of Jehovah! Four hundred years later, Moses will do the same.

Joseph brought his father in and ‘set him before Pharaoh’. In Hebrew, the word ‘set’ means to stand firm, to raise up, to abide, to be established, to be ordained and be employed. Jacob was standing for Jehovah, as His messenger, ambassador, servant and minister. It is true that Jacob deceived many in his life. But now, Jacob stands before the world to give glory to the God who saved and redeemed him. This is a wonderful royal privilege and his best moment to shine for God. This is the picture of a true servant of God!

You may think that this old man Jacob has nothing to offer to Pharaoh. Please watch the interview…Pharaoh is interested in the age of Jacob. When he hears that he is 130 years old, he is totally amazed. This old Jew has proved wrong the mighty gods of Egypt Pharaoh represents and worships. Jacob, leaning on his staff and worshiping His God has disappointed the predictions of the idols (Heb 11:21). Pharaoh wants to know the secret of his old age. Now Jacob has a wonderful opportunity to give glory to God who has kept him alive, in spite of so many trials. Jacob even boasts about his father and grandfather, Isaac and Abraham, who both lived longer than him. Impressed, Pharaoh wants a prayer that the God of this old man may bless him too with such a long fruitful life. Jacob prays and blesses him. Then Pharaoh approves the request of Joseph, allowing his family to live in Goshen, the most prosperous area of Egypt. This is surely the favor of God. Do you see what I see?

Dear Child of God, this is my prayer for you this early morning:
May God satisfy you with long, happy, blessed and fruitful life for His glory!
May God show you His salvation, deliverance and strength!
May you continue to be active in witnessing to the power and faithfulness of your God until your last breath!
May your long and successful life put your enemies to shame!
May you continue to do exploits for God to the end!
May your hope in God who never disappoints be strong in you to the end!
May the power of the Holy Ghost enable you to witness for the Lord Jesus Christ until the end!
May the favor of God be upon you and your family!
To God be all the glory!
In Jesus name
Amen!