BLOOM IN THE DESERT!

The Lord Jesus said to Ananias about Apostle Paul at the beginning of his ministry: “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim My name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for My name.” (Ac 9:15, 16)

This applies to all who desire to follow Jesus. The word ‘suffer’ here is experiential pain, not just imagination. There is a cross that kills the flesh; not all at once, but little by little, daily… For every drop of the revelation of God’s name, I had to suffer; so that I should desire to know it desperately…The knowledge of God’s name is for them that pay the price. The door of God’s intimate treasures is never found by them that just pass by…
I had to be sick, really sick, with no desire to go to see a doctor…for me to press on to know who Jehovah Rapha is, how He operates and delivers and heals…in the quietness of my spirit, there came a knowing…that my sickness is not ‘a sickness’, not a dead end… but a pathway, a road…who could have believed that…a pain that could not go away, forcing me to come closer to the throne and receive a testimony, not just healing, but so much more…

The healing baptized me…never the same, much more hungry to know the Healer and not just His touch of the moment…I became the apprentice to Jehovah Rapha…what a privilege…how can I ever describe in words the class rooms in the clouds…the surgery on top of the mountain…all my friends dwell in the same atmosphere and they too have lost the desire to be ordinary…

The first test expected by Jehovah Rapha is to praise Him in all situations, not because I feel like praising, not because my pain is gone, not because I know not what else to do…but just because the praise belongs to Him and can never be retained by men or idols…so if you look for healing, praise God with all the strength you have…do not imitate others, do not compare with others…just go on and think of God, think of His power and glory and willingness to touch and heal you… the presence of the infirmity, of the sickness, of the pain, is just the pulpit from where the praise must go up to the Owner…

Like a miracle flower in the desert, no water, no shade, but still blooms by the power within, I will rejoice and praise God, my Savior, my Lord and yes, my Healer!

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines; though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food; though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls… Yet! I will rejoice in the Lord! I will be joyful in God my Savior!” (Habakkuk 3:17, 18)

Poopy flowers

(In the picture, red poopy flowers growing from under the ruins of ‘the dead church in Sardis’ -Rev 3:1- They look like the blood of the martyrs. I took this picture during a trip to Turkey)

THE NARDOO PLANT

In Australia there is the Nardoo plant, an edible beautiful water clover fern that’s made into cakes. It grows all over the place, in the lakes and swamps. The native people used to eat it when they are very hungry. The nardoo is very tasty and sweet but it contains no vitamins, no nutrients and no carbohydrates. It is a fake food! It has an enzyme that destroys the Vitamin B1 in the body. The result is a sickness called Beri-Beri. It manifests as weakness of the legs, palpitations, heart failure and death. The people who eat the Nardoo plant like it and feel filled, but eventually, if that is all they eat and depend on it, they will die. It does not kill immediately but with time, it is fatal.
Dear Friend, in the same way, religion alone may be interesting. Church going may be ‘sweet’ to your emotions. But if you feed your mind with worldly religious ideas, you create a fake spirituality. It has no power. It cannot help in times of need. It will make you proud and foolish. It will eventually kill your soul. You need to come to Jesus! You need to become born again! Do not settle for anything fake! The true original salvation bought by Jesus Christ with His Blood is what you need! Study the Bible! Pray daily! Start attending a good living church! Ask serious Christians to help you, teach you and pray for you! Seek until you find eternal life! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! God bless you!
(In the picture, the beautiful water plant called Nardoo)

Nardoo plant

GOD IS IN CONTROL

“The God we worship can save us from you and your flaming furnace” (Dan 3:17)

This is a glimpse from the American History. During the summer of 1787, the American Constitutional Convention was at gridlock. For five weeks there had been a debate and a division concerning how each state should be represented. Should larger states with larger populations have more votes, or should each state have one vote, regardless of their size? Tempers flared and the division grew wider as each side strongly defended its position. Then one day, Benjamin Franklin addressed President Washington with these words – “Mr. President… I have lived, Sir, a long time and the longer I live, the more convincing proofs I see of this truth — that God governs in the affairs of men. And if a sparrow cannot fall to the ground without his notice, is it probable that an empire can rise without his aid?” Though Franklin was not what we might call an ‘evangelical believer’, he did recognize and understand that God is in control.

God is in control of all events, as evidenced by the fact that he is sovereign over the future. God doesn’t just know what’s going to happen in the future, but actually controls future events. This counters, among other things, the false teaching known as deism. Deists believe that God has merely created the world and established certain laws by which his world works. He is like the clockmaker whose hands build the clock but are then removed from its regular operation. That is not the Bible’s view of God’s role. If it were, how could he know the future with any certainty? Instead, the Bible teaches that every event that takes place in the universe comes at the direct command of God. Consider that amazing story when Jesus tells Peter how to acquire the temple tax for the two of them. “Go to the sea and cast a hook and take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find a shekel. Take that and give it to them for me and for yourself” (Matt. 17:27). Jesus didn’t just create the fish and let it swim wherever it wanted. The only way Jesus could have done this is to direct the actions of the fish in a place that was unseen by human eyes. God directs the fish of the sea and He directs the birds of the air. Every single one of the thousands of birds that you sometimes see flying together, in a form that seems chaotic to our eyes, is directed by the command of God.

Today, our nation (Nigeria) looks like it is out of control, yet God is still on the throne. Only He knows what will eventually happen to America. As Franklin said, “God governs in the affairs of men.” This does not mean that everything that happens is according to His will. What it does mean is that even when men are living outside of the will of God, they are never beyond His control. Someone has said that history is ‘His-story.’

Child of God, remember that you are not alone. No matter the problems you are passing thru, Jesus is with you. He is the Fourth Man in the Fire! He is the God that saved Daniel from the lions. He is the God who gave old Abraham and old Sarah the son of promise, Isaac. He is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is our Heavenly Father too. Tell yourself this morning! ‘I am no longer a slave to fear! I am a child of God! God is in control of my life!’ Say it until you believe it! Faith and hope shall rise in your soul. The peace of Jesus will cover you as a soft blanket. Love will manifest. You are a fruitful vine! Keep praying! Endure to the end! Jesus is Lord! God is in control!

I TESTIFY ABOUT THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS!

I TESTIFY ABOUT THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS

‘After these things I heard a loud voice of a great multitude in heaven, saying, “Alleluia! Salvation and glory and honor and power belong to the Lord our God! For true and righteous are His judgments, because He has judged the great harlot who corrupted the earth with her fornication; and He has avenged on her the blood of His servants shed by her.” Again they said, “Alleluia! Her smoke rises up forever and ever!” And the twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshiped God who sat on the throne, saying, “Amen! Alleluia!” Then a voice came from the throne, saying, “Praise our God, all you His servants and those who fear Him, both small and great!” And I heard, as it were, the voice of a great multitude, as the sound of many waters and as the sound of mighty thunderings, saying, “Alleluia! For the Lord God Omnipotent reigns! Let us be glad and rejoice and give Him glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and His wife has made herself ready.” And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.” And I fell at his feet to worship him. But he said to me, “See that you do not do that! I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren who have the testimony of Jesus. Worship God! For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy” (Rev 19:1-10)
It is my observation that most Christians are too shy when testifying about their Lord. Even when they share their testimonies, it is mostly about God’s provision for their needs on earth. Very few have the courage to declare the testimony of Jesus; what He has done for them in heaven and not only on earth. To testify about Jesus is a mighty weapon. Your testimony about Jesus and your faith in Him, is your victory crown! As you tell others how He shed His Blood for you and how He saved your soul, you defeat the devil, the accuser of the brethren (Rev 12:10, 11). But if you keep silent about Jesus, fearing men’s words, you give room to the devil to accuse you, to condemn you. He will bring guilt, doubts and inferiority complex in your heart. God forbid!

The testimony of Jesus spoken out is the manifestation of the spirit of prophesy, which is the power of the Holy Spirit! In Greek, the word ‘testimony’ is ‘martyria’. It means a martyr, a witness, reputation, an evidence given before the court. What does this mean? What is your responsibility as a believer? Before men and angels, you testify that Jesus is your Savior and your Lord; that He died for you. Your testimony will give glory to God and cause many to worship Him. The word ‘spirit’ is ‘pneuma’. Translated it means the wind or the breath of God. Prophesy means to declare the mind of God! It is the gift of hearing the voice of God, of communicating and enforcing revealed truth. As you declare who Jesus is in heaven and on earth, you facilitate worship. People will hear not just your words, but the voice of God, speaking thru you, telling them about the glories of His Son in heaven! As you can see, worship is more than a song. It is telling men about the glories of the Son of God!

The Book of Revelation shows us mostly things about the future, about heaven. In particular, it revels to us the Lord Jesus Christ who designed and holds our future! ‘Prophecy is not given primarily to tell you what the future holds. It is given to tell you Who holds the future—Jesus!’ (Adrian Rodgers). This is the story of two women, two brides. There is a competition among them because they desire to marry the same man. He is our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! The fake bride is called ‘Babylon’. She is wicked. She is an harlot. She shall be judged and punished. With all her evil seductions, she will not be able to marry the Prince of Peace. She is made of fake religious brethren who go to church but are not born again. Their ambitious hopes and unholy dreams shall be cut off. They shall be disappointed. The righteous Bride is called ‘The Church of the living God’. She shall marry Christ. Why? Because she is already one with Him! We, the true believers, born again by the Holy Spirit, are one with Christ! Our future has been preordained before the foundation of the world. The wedding invitations between Christ and His Bride have been written with the ink of His Blood long before the earth was formed. This holy romance, our destiny, wrapped in His eternal love, have been decreed and prophesied long before man was made by God.

Our God is The judge of all. He avenges His servants. Our God is worshipped in heaven and on earth. He is the Omnipotent One. He reigns forever! People must fear our God! He has prepared a party feast for the wedding between His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ, and His Bride, the Church. He has judged Babylon, the great harlot, the fake bride. God has exposed her to be a prostitute and not an innocent woman. Her power, her success as a queen and businesswoman comes thru fornication with the kings of the earth. But our God is a consuming fire! God’s judgment manifests as burning, as smoke rising eternally. Her judgment cannot be hidden. It is a true and righteous judgment. The true Bride, the Wife of Christ, is God’s choice for His Son. She is made clean thru the Blood of the Son. Christ loves her! He has openly declared His love on the Cross of Calvary! The Bride has made herself ready. Her righteous acts have become her wedding dress, made for royal beauty, reward and honor. The wedding and union between the Bride and Christ will result in great joy in heaven, expressed in loud songs of praise, bowing down in worship and by the word of our testimony!

We must testify that Jesus Christ is our Lord! We must testify that He has died for us and changed our hearts. We must testify that we are one with Christ; that we were crucified with Him, died with Him, buried with Him and resurrected with Him (Rom 6:1-10). We are now seated in heavenly places with Christ (Eph 2:6). This unity is eternal and cannot be destroyed. We are sure of our salvation and of the hope of our glory! We are sure of our wedding day! We openly testify to this unbroken eternal glorious love and unity! We are not ashamed to testify to the manifestation of God’s grace!

Someone may ask, “If verse 7 says that the Bride made herself ready, why does heaven cry, ‘Give God the glory’?” The answer is given in verse 8: “It was granted her to be clothed with fine linen, bright and pure—for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.” So how did the Bride make herself ready? By putting on fine linen, bright and pure. And what is the fine linen? The righteous deeds of the saints. But how did the saints come to do these deeds? By what power or means did the Bride of Christ clothe herself with fine linen? Answer (v. 8): “It was granted her to be clothed with fine linen.” By whom? By God. Did you hear that? God has ‘granted’ us our wedding dress! God has designed and granted to you your wedding dress! You do your righteous deeds, and therefore it is fitting that heaven cry out: “The Bride has made herself ready.” But we do not do them in our own strength. They are a gift from God—prepared before the foundation of the world that we might walk in them. ‘For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them’ (Eph 2:10). And therefore, it is even more fitting that heaven cry out, “Give God the glory.” Just imagine yourself, the Bride of Christ, saved by your Bridegroom’s Blood, and dressed in the good works you have done in His name, and for His glory, entering the celestial wedding hall! Your Groom is waiting… Oh, the Hope of glory! Can you testify to this revelation? Your Groom says that if you openly acknowledge now that He is your Husband, He too will testify in heaven that you are His Bride (Mt 10:32).

Finally, In Christ, I boldly declare:
*I will speak of Your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame’ (Ps 119:46)
*In my heart, I honor You, Christ my Lord! You are holy! I will testify about You and tell people what You have done for me, how You have given me this hope of glory! (1Pet 3:15)
*My God, You have given me eternal life! I found this life in God’s Son, Jesus Christ!’ (1Jn 5:11)
*I let my light shine before men so that they see my good works and give glory to You, my heavenly Father’ (Mt 5: 16)
*I am baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit! Therefore, I have the power to testify about You, my Lord! I bear witness, because I have been with Christ from the beginning (Ac 1:5, 8; Jn 15:27)
*My Lord has called me and taken me into the heavenly Banqueting Hall and His banner over me is love unfailing! (SS 2:4).

This is my Pledge! This is my Vow! This is my Testimony, Oh, my Lord and my God! I worship You now and forever!
“Oh, come let us adore Him, Christ the Lord!”

Mercy O

GOD’S BIRDS

“I know all the birds…” (Ps 50:11)
We lived in our former home for thirty years. Last Sunday we re-located. There was a silent wish in my heart. I did not want to share it with anyone for, among so many more important things to do, it seems like nothing. But this is a true story. Our children can confirm it. Since they were small, there is a bird who always sings a very complicated song on the roof of our house. She was our ‘clock’ in the morning. Her song starts at 6:10 and ends at 6:15. It is the same song, perfect each time, never missing a beat. It is something like that: DO-LA-SOL-FA-MI-RE D0…. She repeats that many times. Then she ends with SOL-LA-SOL-LAA-SOOOOL-LAAAA…LAAAAAAA….

I read somewhere that birds sing in the morning to find a mate and to declare their territory. The scientists said that early morning, when the air is fresh, and before the humans come with their loud noises, the sound of the birds travels faster. This is science. But for me, the birds belong to God and they praise Him early in the morning. They challenge us to remember our Maker and ‘from the rising of the sun, until the going down of the same’, to praise God!

My sadness was that I left my birds (sorry, God’s birds) behind. I only told my husband that I wish the birds come here. He encouraged me that God can do it! Thank God for believing and encouraging husbands!

The first three mornings in our new house we woke up without their songs. Can you imagine? I really missed them! But this night we slept with the windows open so that we can hear if there is even a whisper of praise at dawn, from the little birds. I am too excited to write well this morning. Yes, you guessed right! The birds are here!!! I do not know if the same family of birds followed us or God sent their relatives to our new home. But the birds, singing exactly the same tune, at exactly the same time, the birds are here!!! Is God not wonderful? He is sooo wonderful to me!!! God answers our most secret prayers!

Little birds, let’s sing the love songs of Jesus! Let’s declare that this territory belongs to Jesus! God’s name must be praised! We declare that Jesus is Lord over Warri and Effurun, Nigeria! We declare that Jesus is the Lover of our souls! The praise must continue!

“Father, I thank You! From my heart, I thank You! For caring for us, for knowing our silent pains and unspoken wishes, I thank You! For answering our prayers, more than we can imagine, I thank You! For the many blessings that come from You, always without sorrow, big or small, I thank You! For the flowers and the birds, I thank You! For the privilege to know and praise Your Name, I Thank You! For sending Your Love to us, I thank You! Father, Son and Holy Ghost, I thank You! We vow to always give You alone all the glory! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!”

(This article was written in October 2015, as we moved to our present house)

Bird in FH

THE STORY OF JOHN D. ROCKEFELLER

This is the story of the richest man in the world, the very first person to reach the status of billionaire.
By age 25 John D. Rockefeller controlled one of the largest oil refineries in the nation.
By age 31 he had become the world’s largest oil refiner.
By age 38 he commanded 90% of the oil refined in the U.S.
By the time of his retirement at age 58, he was the richest man in the country.
By the time he died, he had become the richest man in the world.

As a young man, every decision, attitude, and relationship was tailored to create his personal power and wealth. But at the age of 53 he became ill. His entire body became racked with pain and he lost all of his hair. In complete agony, the world’s only billionaire could buy anything he wanted, but he could only digest milk and crackers. An associate wrote, “He could not sleep, would not smile and nothing in life meant anything to him.” His personal, highly skilled physicians predicted he would die within a year. That year passed agonizingly slow. As he approached death he awoke one morning with the vague remembrances of a dream about not being able to take any of his successes with him into the next world. The man who could control the business world suddenly realized he was not in control of his own life. He was left with a choice. He called his attorneys, accountants, and managers and announced that he wanted to channel his assets to hospitals, research, and mission work. He attended the Baptist Church. He was faithful working for God in the church, a humble man, cleaning the house of God, until he died!

On that day John D. Rockefeller established his foundation. This new direction eventually led to the discovery of penicillin, cures for malaria, tuberculosis and diphtheria. But perhaps the most amazing part of Rockefeller’s story is that the moment he began to give back a portion of all that he had earned, his body’s chemistry was altered so significantly that he got better. It looked as if he would die at 53 but he lived to be 98. Rockefeller learned gratitude and gave back the vast majority of his wealth. Doing so made him whole. It is one thing to be healed. It is another to be made whole. Before his died he wrote this in his dairy:

‘I was early taught to work as well as play,
My life has been one long, happy holiday;
Full of work and full of play—
I dropped the worry on the way—
And God was good to me everyday!

John D Rockefeller

(In the picture, John D Rockefeller as an old man)

GOD FIGHTS YOUR BATTLES

“And he shall say to them, ‘Hear, O Israel: Today you are on the verge of battle with your enemies. Do not let your heart faint, do not be afraid, and do not tremble or be terrified because of them; for the Lord your God is He who goes with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.’ (Deut 20:3, 4)
The greatest enemy is internal. It is called fear! Cowards betray the vision of victory. Fear is a plaque; it is highly infectious. If tolerated, it spreads quickly to the whole army. Fear is like leaven in the flour, it corrupts the whole lump. The only Word that gives courage to fight to the end is this: ‘God is with you!’ If God is with us, we are the majority. It is the presence of God that decrees the victory. A. W. Tozer said: “It is not the praying or fighting sheep that the wolf fears. It is the presence of the Shepherd in their midst”
In Christ I declare:
I reject the fear of battle and the doubt of victory! I am led from triumph to triumph! I conquer more and more territories for my King! The truth is marching on! I dedicate all my spoils of war to my King. Let Christ use them all for His glory! I rejoice in the leading of Jesus Christ my Lord! The anointing of the Holy Spirit on me teaches me all things and destroys all yokes of bondage in my life! The truth of the Bible has set me free! My Commander has never lost any battle! Me too, I will never lose following Him!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!
(From The Doe of the morning by Silvia Lia Leigh)