Three decades ago as I watched Pat Robertson on the 700 club The Lord touched my heart. I joined brother Robertson in prayer and something broke in my heart. The yoke of rebellion that had held me bound was broken and I was set free. In spite of the issues I brought with me from the world, there was something very clear in my heart: I knew I was called to preach the gospel. It was as clear to me as daylight. Deep within me there was something which pulled me in the direction of ministry. At that time I was in the university but all I wanted to do was take the gospel to the world. Nothing else mattered to me. What I experienced was the stirring of a calling. While I didn’t fully comprehend the ramifications of the stirring in my heart, I prayed and asked The Lord to guide me to do His will.
A calling is what you have been assigned to do and accomplish for Christ in the kingdom. Every believer has a calling. When you accepted Jesus into your heart, you were not only delivered from darkness and translated into the kingdom of light, you were also brought into alignment with your calling. This assignment or calling is what you should focus on and pursue for the rest of your life. Your assignment can be in any area of life. It may be in business, politics, government, writing, arts, science, church, etc. Although it may involve making money but your assignment is not primarily about making money. You may be called to innovate, to invent, to birth new ideas, to create unique services and products in business. This will attract riches into your life. You must understand that everything in your life serves a purpose to please The Lord. The riches you attract in business are not just for you to live like royalty but to further the cause of Christ; for you to use to deepen and extend the reach, power and influence of the kingdom. Continue reading
An ‘Ishmael’ is something we build, birth, create in an attempt to fulfil God’s promise in our lives by our own power. It is a situation we create in our lives when we are impatient, go ahead of God to do something to protect ourselves from perceived or real life threats.
It is foolish to use your own hands, employ your own abilities and deploy your own resources to birth or create something that will cause you problems for the rest of your life.
There are two reasons why we go against God’s will, do our own thing and move in a direction of our own choosing thereby birthing an Ishmael in our lives. They are the instinct for self preservation and impatience.
The instinct for self preservation is what makes us move to protect ourselves from real or perceived, present or future threats. These threats may appear in the form of business, career or ministry failure, financial adversity, social or political adversity.
God gave us the instinct for self preservation to do something proactive when confronted with the possibility of harm, hurt, or impending calamity. This instinct for self preservation is what keeps us from walking in front of a fast moving vehicle or jumping of a cliff. It is what makes us choose a career that will set us on the path of financial and material success. We look at our options and choose what makes sense to us logically and move in that direction. This is all well and good.
However, the moment we receive Jesus Christ into our hearts and submit our lives to His guidance, leadership and Lordship, we should realise that the dynamics of our lives become different. Our lives are no longer ours to live as we please. We belong to the Lord spirit, soul and body. Everything we are, have or will ever be now belongs to the Lord. We now live to please The Lord, we live to do His pleasure and nothing else. We willingly yield to the master’s will because we know that He has our very best interests at heart. The good thing is that God knows you better than you know yourself. He knows the best combination of talents that will make your light shine bright. God knows the very best career for you to pursue that will bring you the highest possible fulfilment. He knows what businesses you can birth that will not only make you successful but enrich the lives of thousands and possibly millions of people who are connected to you.
God knows the future. He knows in what direction the economy is headed and where to position you so that you prosper in it. This is the reason why the safest place we can be is in the very centre of His will. Continue reading
As believers God has promised to guide us by the Holy Spirit. In Romans 8:14, the Bible says that as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God. We should learn to discern and distinguish between a green light which means ‘go ahead’ and a red light which means ‘don’t do it.’ Sometimes silence may mean ‘wait’, ‘not yet time’ or simply ‘no’. This is the reason why we need to develop more intimacy with the Holy Spirit and seek more clarity in the place of prayer.
There are times when we sense a restraint in our hearts not to do something, not to go somewhere or not to get involved with certain people or organisations. The restraint of the Holy Spirit is a tug we feel on our heart telling us “Don’t say it, don’t do it, don’t go there, don’t remain in this place.” He warns and gently turns us away or pulls us back from our intended course of action. When this happens we feel totally uncomfortable in our heart with whatever we planned to do.
Sometimes we are in a rush and want to do something because everything seems okay from the natural point of view. The truth is that only God knows tomorrow, He sees the heart of men, He sees things that are hidden in secret, therefore He can guide us to avoid every trap set on our path. When the Holy Spirit restrains us from a certain course of action we must understand that it is for our protection and for our benefit. Continue reading
Saul was angry. He was driven by an insane rage to kill those who followed and preached Christ. He went to the high priest and asked for letters of authorization so that he could arrest any Christian he found in Damascus and bring them chained to Jerusalem. In Acts 9, he journeyed towards Damascus, with the letters in his hands and murder in his heart. He had a very specific plan in mind and that was to jail and kill as many Christians as he could. When the Martyr Steven was stoned to death, Saul was consenting to his death. The witnesses laid down their clothes at his feet to prove that they were a part of his acts of terror against Christians. His plan clearly defined in his wicked heart, Saul journeyed towards Damascus to carry out his purpose. But things were about to change. Continue reading