Dangerous Desires

 

Someone sent me a prayer recently. It read, ‘May The Lord grant you the desires of your heart.’ Superficially it seems like a good prayer and many people will say a loud amen to it. But as I read that prayer I asked myself, ‘Do I really want The Lord to grant all the desires of my heart? ‘

We all have certain desires we want to see manifest in our lives. However, not every desire in our heart is from The Lord. The super spiritual among us may be questioning this. The truth is that no matter how spiritual and deep you may appear to be in the things of the Kingdom, there are still certain desires that are a product of that part of you that wants to do its own thing, have its own way, be its own boss, go its own way, build its own empire and generally do as it pleases. There is a part of you that wants everything it sees that is flashy, beautiful, attractive. There is a part of you that wants to be recognised by people, honoured by people, seen as a great man or woman. There is a part of you that is driven by pride, driven by covetousness and driven by a desire to satisfy your own lusts. There is a part of you that wants to own more and more property just for the sake of having material things. If you don’t know this, you are living in self delusion. Bottom line is that some desires in our hearts are dangerous to our spiritual health and walk with The Lord. Such desires can compromise our faith and sabotage our destiny. Their manifestation in our lives may cause us more damage than good and they may turn out to be a curse to us instead of being a blessing. Continue reading

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The Deception At Jezebel’s Table

 

1 Kings 18:19
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.

In the days of Elijah the Tishbite, there were three categories of prophets in the land of Israel.
The prophets of Baal.
The prophets who ate at Jezebel’s table
Elijah and the prophets of The Lord.

The prophets of Baal openly served their sex and fertility god called Ashtoreth. Their worship of this evil deity wasn’t hidden. It was known to all that these particular prophets were absolutely dedicated to the worship of Ashtoreth. These were evil men who didn’t even pretend to follow Jehovah in any way.

Then there were the four hundred prophets who ate at Jezebel’s table. Jezebel was the daughter of a king who worshipped Ashtoreth. She married Ahab king of Israel and brought her Ashtoreth/baal worship along with her. Jezebel was a wicked woman who loved to be in control of both the political and spiritual aspects of the kingdom. These prophets allied and aligned themselves with this wicked woman because of what she offered them. She offered them royal dainties from her table. She offered them a royal lifestyle powered from her throne of wickedness. These prophets ate whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, however they wanted. There was unlimited provision at Jezebel’s table. There was no restraint whatsoever at Jezebel’s table. Eating at Jezebel’s table represents the unrestricted satisfaction of the desires of the flesh.

Those who ate at Jezebel’s table had certain characteristics. Continue reading

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When God Positions Your Name For Favour And Promotion

 

Sometime ago a ministry invited me to speak at their church Convention. During my stay with them I had a discussion with one of the pastors of the church. I was curious to know how I was invited because I didn’t have any ‘contacts’ in that ministry.
“How was I invited for this program?” I asked.
“We had a meeting where we planned the program. It was during that meeting that someone mentioned your name that you could get the job done. So we contacted you for the program.”
Here I was hundreds of miles away from that ministry, but they tabled my name for discussion and invited me to be the main speaker at their Church convention.
This has happened to me many times. I have been invited for programs in countries where I had no contacts, yet God placed my name on the lips of one of the organisers of the program and I was invited. While I was busy pursuing my assignment, God was opening doors for me by placing my name on the lips of men and women within and outside my nation to favour my righteous cause.

We should understand that real promotion, sustained promotion, long term promotion comes from the Lord, not from men.
Psalms 75:6-7
For promotion cometh neither from the east,
nor from the west, nor from the south.
But God is the judge:
he putteth down one, and setteth up another. Continue reading

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The Mystery of Divine Location.

 

A few years ago I was on a Virgin Atlantic flight from the United Kingdom to Lagos, Nigeria. Sitting beside me was a middle aged man who seemed lost in thought. As we continued on our journey we got talking and he told me his story. About 15 years earlier he was a branch manager in a bank in Nigeria but thought that life would be better abroad. He decided to seek greener pastures, sold everything he had and relocated to the UK with his family. When he arrived in the UK, he couldn’t find a white collar job so he accepted odd jobs that were beneath his qualifications. But no matter how hard he tried he couldn’t seem to rise beyond a certain financial level.

With a grave look on his face he concluded his story. “After 15 years of my sojourn in the United Kingdom, I have nothing to show for it. I have no money in the bank, I have no property in the UK, neither do I have any in Nigeria. The only thing I would say I achieved was training my four children through the university. My colleagues I left behind in Nigeria have all become directors in their various establishments. They are all doing well financially. I told them about my situation and they asked me to return to Nigeria and they would help me.” He turned away from me and became lost in his thoughts.

I believe God positioned me to sit beside that man on that flight. Over 200 people on the plane and it had to be this man with such a story who sat beside me. I could have sat beside a successful business man or woman; I could have sat beside a professional who had a good story to tell, but I sat beside this man. The Lord was trying to tell me something, so I paid attention to this man’s story. It had a lot to do with divine location, where God positions you in life in order for you to fulfil your divine assignment. Continue reading

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Broom 4

 

Changu ran through Manda Hill mall, her torn blouse hanging loosely on her like shredded pieces of the Zambian national flag vandalised by a discontented political activist. She ran until she got on the main road and stopped by a bus stop to catch her breath. Commuters waiting for buses regarded her with suspicion. Her hair stood on edge as if she had been tortured by the Chinese with electric shocks. Some religious people at the bus stop made the sign of the cross and muttered silent prayers for her. The superstitious among them scurried away from her as if her insanity was a contagious disease. A small crowd began to gather around her as she started talking to herself oblivious to the people around her. She turned in different directions and spoke nonsense to the audience.
What are you looking at, a woman asked her husband who was attempting to move to the front of the crowd to get a better view of the woman. She grabbed his right hand and pulled him away. The man followed her reluctantly, looking back to catch a glimpse of the woman with the torn blouse.

The woman at the centre of the crowd stopped talking to herself and began to move her feet as if a thousand soldier ants were bitting at her heels. She staggered like a drunken sailor before kicking off the shoe on her right leg. It flew into the crowd like a bird which had lost its sense of direction. She tried kicking off the shoe on her left leg but it refused to come off. She raised her leg, yanked off the uncooperative shoe and threw it narrowly missing an oncoming car.
My feet…my feet….are burning. They are burning, she sang in a discordant tone filled with pain. She stamped her legs on the ground several times in an attempt to put out the imaginary fire which engulfed it.
A strange wind of silence blew over the crowd as it watched the half naked woman.

A short man made his way through to the front of the crowd. He stood watching the woman with a curious expression on his face. He brought out a string of beads from his pocket and ran it through his fingers. He muttered to himself, looked around the crowd and muttered again.
This is muti gone bad, he said as he caressed the beads with his fingers. Muti gone bad, he repeated.

He returned the beads to his pocket then started clapping for the woman, giving rhythm to the madness of her feet. A fat woman standing next to him dropped the basket of mangoes which she carried on her head. She took a moment to tie her wrapper properly then she joined him in clapping. Another woman joined her, then a man joined them, then the clapping spread through the gathering like wild fires burning through the Mazabuka sugar plantations in dry season. More commuters stopped and joined the gathering and the crowd grew.

Changu began jumping from one foot to another in wild frenzy like a hyena in mating season. She tore off the remaining pieces of her blouse that hung on her like a curse and threw it into the crowd. The crowd parted for the blouse to pass through and it fell on the ground. Changu began to move with mysterious dance steps only she could understand. Her strange dance steps threw the gathering into a clapping frenzy. Continue reading

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Broom 3

 

The pastor nodded as Changu narrated her story. The last time he saw her in church was two years ago when she asked for help for her wayward husband. Apparently she wasn’t happy with his advice because she stopped coming to church. As she spoke he studied her eyes and body language. She seemed to be hiding something but he waited for her to finish her tale.

He left on thursday and hasn’t been back home for two days, Changu clasped her hands in front of her face. Pastor, I know I haven’t been to church for sometime but I have nowhere else to go. Please help me, Changu cried.

He waited for her sobs to subside before he spoke.
Mrs Banda, why did your husband leave home, he leaned forward in his chair. Was there a quarrel before he left home, he asked.
Changu was silent.
She wasn’t going to tell the pastor the circumstances surrounding her present crisis. How could she tell him that an ng’anga gave her a broom with a powerful muti to bring her husband under her control, the muti worked as promised but now the broom was missing and so was her husband. Would this pastor understand her predicament, would he be able to relate with the fear she had to contend with, the fear that drove her to consult with an ng’anga in the first place. He would never understand her, how could he, she asked herself. She regarded him with disdain sitting on his revolving chair, clothed in his black robe and white collar, looking pious, like a man who had conquered his desire to sin, a man who could do no wrong. She looked at the floor and shook her head in bitterness. If she hadn’t followed her friend to consult the ng’anga she wouldn’t find herself in this position.

Why did your husband leave home, the pastor asked again.
Changu lifted her face. The rays of the sun bounced off the window on her face forming a soft glow. She exhaled deeply. The pastor moved closer to the woman before him looking contrite, expecting a confession from her.
I don’t know why he left home. Our marriage has never been better, Changu said.
The pastor reached for a glass of water before him.
Changu thought she caught a slight smirk on his face as he drank from the glass. He couldn’t possibly be mocking her, eating up her misery like a hungry motor-park tout downing mouthfuls of hot nshima, Changu thought. It was probably her guilt making her read negative meaning to his facial expression.
I don’t know why he left home, Changu said.
Let us pray, the pastor bowed his head.

Twenty minutes after Mrs Banda had left the church, the pastor was still in deep thought. He sensed a darkness surrounding Changu. It seemed like her husband was bound by some wicked entity. He couldn’t shake off the feeling that Changu was lying to him. For all he knew she could be responsible for her husband’s disappearance. He got down on his knees and yielded to the strong urge within him pushing him to pray for Mulenga Banda.

*****

Changu regarded the phone ringing beside her. It was her friend Lucy. She ignored it, walked towards the open window and gazed aimlessly into the sky. Her visit to the parish priest had been a disaster. The man seemed to look through her soul. Somehow he knew she was lying but she couldn’t bring herself to tell him the truth about her husband and the broom. He prayed with her and adviced her to inform the police.
She picked up the phone and dialled her mom.
Changu, is everything okay, the older woman asked.
Mom, everything is not okay. Mulenga has not returned home since Thursday. I called his office, called all his friends but no one seems to know where he is. This has never happened before. I don’t know what to do, Changu said.
You know your husband likes visiting some bars in Olympia. Have you made inquiries in any of those places, her mother asked.
Changu exhaled. Mom, I don’t know all the bars he visits. Since we got married the only place I’ve been with him is club One at Arcades.
This is such a mystery. Have you considered the possibility that he went out of town to visit a lover, mama asked.
Changu was silent. Mulenga couldn’t do that. The power in the broom blinded him to the beauty of other women. Surely this couldn’t happen, or could it, she wondered.
She ended the call to her mother and sat down thinking. Something bothered her about the way her mom spoke on the phone. She seemed detached and unwilling to help. Was her mother hiding something from her, she wondered. There was only one way to find out. She got up and called the house help. The girl came and stood by the door.

We are going to see my mother. You and the baby are coming with me, Changu said.
Yes ma, the girl said with trepidation on her face. Continue reading

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Your Imagination and The Tower of Babel.

 

When God blessed man and woman in Genesis 1:28, He commanded them to be fruitful, multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion over the earth. The instruction was clear: ‘Don’t stay in one place; spread, explore, conquer the earth, bring it completely under your dominion.’ It was therefore odd to see all of the earth’s population gather in one place in order to build a tower whose top will reach into the heavens. They decided to inhabit a tiny portion of the earth in total disregard to divine instruction and there they built a magnificent monument: the Tower of Babel.

Genesis 11:1-9
And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them throughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do:and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth:and they left off to build the city. Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth:and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.

The bible said nothing could be restrained from them which they had imagined to do. Their faculty of imagination was used to conceive a tower which they built. But when God looked at that tower all He saw was rebellion against his plan, purpose and will for their lives.

That tower was an accursed building that came with confusion, pain and misery. Babel means confusion. Their imagination conceived and birthed confusion. When God doesn’t initiate or birth a project, a pursuit, a dream or an idea, it ends up becoming a Tower of Babel, a monument of confusion and waste. Continue reading

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