Waiting On God Doesn’t Mean We Don’t Do Anything

Active_Work_Waiting_God

 

It seems to have become acceptable in Christian circles to say things like, “I’m waiting for God to direct me as to my next move” or “I can’t do this without God, so I really need to pray about this some more.”

While there is often truth in these statements, perhaps you, like me, have grown tired of hearing clichés like this tossed about constantly. Or perhaps you recognize yourself saying something similar to this, and aren’t sure what the problem is.

In Matthew 25:14-30, there is the parable of the master who gives his servants bags of gold and asks them to invest the gold for him. This parable is often called the “Parable of the Talents,” and it is aptly named because the bags of gold are not meant to represent money but rather resources.

Before we were born, God carefully and consciously selected for us resources for our lives’ journeys. These resources include our distinctive personalities, our amazing brains and the way we think, our heart and our passions, worldly talents we can use to create a livelihood for ourselves and various spiritual gifts.

 

Before we were born, God carefully and consciously selected for us resources for our lives’ journeys.

Like the last servant in the parable, we sometimes take the resource given to us and hide them in the ground. When the servant was called to account over why he hadn’t invested the resource given to him and returned it with interest, his response was “I was afraid” (Matthew 25:25). If we are honest with ourselves, this is often why we neglect using the resources God has given us—because we too are afraid.

 

What are we afraid of? We’re afraid of failure, of making mistakes—because so many of us still have this mental image of an old, stern, white-haired God sitting in the clouds keeping a tally of our wrongdoings all day.

So instead of moving forward, we say “I’m waiting for God to tell me what to do,” because then if it doesn’t work out it isn’t our fault. Or perhaps—even worse—we don’t ever make a firm commitment to anything and keep sitting on the fence, thinking, “I can’t get it wrong if I don’t commit myself one way or the other.”

This latter option is the one the final servant took. When his master found out what he had done, he replied, “You wicked, lazy servant!” (Matthew 25:26). If this seems like a harsh reprimand, consider this: The one talent that the servant received was said to be the equivalent of about 20 years’ worth of wages for a day laborer at that time.

This is how much God gives to us in spiritual resources for our life: the value of 20 years worth of wages! We are born into a state of such abundance, so though we should rely on God for power and strength, we should not mope around like helpless victims who need step-by-step instructions from God.

God is the ultimate creative being—the one who made the beauty of the entire universe and the awe-inspiring intricacies of the human body—and He is asking you to be creative too, to recognize that you can claim the resources given to you, and create masterpieces, too.

No masterpiece can be created without a risk, without the boldness and willingness to be wrong, to learn as you go and to claim your own power and admit your own responsibility. What we don’t realize is that God expresses Himself through us, but if we are not moving, we aren’t allowing Him to use us.

So how can we step up and live from a place of personal responsibility, not spiritual victimhood? There are three simple things each of us can do starting today that will help create this vital paradigm shift.

Firstly, change the way you pray. Pray humbly, but from a place of empowerment rather than lack. This is a fine line to walk, but what I mean is rather than asking God to tell you exactly what steps to take, thank Him for the wisdom He has already given you, and ask for discernment as you move forward. And then move forward in faith. This is the prayer of a child of God who is claiming their inheritance and birthright, and it is the prayer of someone who is choosing to be accountable for their actions.

Although God is constantly speaking to us, we do not need to have moment-by-moment instructions from Him to know His will.

Secondly, share your good works with the world. Although God is constantly speaking to us, we do not need to have moment-by-moment instructions from Him to know His will. Galatians 5:22-23 has already outlined for us what the fruit of the spirit look like: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law.”

Note the second part of that text: against such things there is no law. This means that if we are acting in accordance with love, kindness and self-control, for instance, we can be assured that we are doing God’s will, whether or not God directly spoke to us and specifically told us to take that action.

Thirdly, don’t allow yourself to get paralyzed looking for your “calling.” By all means pray, but don’t let your praying trap you into a state of paralysis. Instead sit down over coffee with a close friend or a career counsellor and make a list of what you are passionate about and what you are good at (friends are especially useful here, as often they can more readily identify our skills than we can). Then look at the common themes between what you are passionate about and good at, and think of how you could use them to address a community or world problem.

Once you do this, you will be overwhelmed with options for all the amazing ways you can start to make the world a better place and share God’s love. Then start something, anything!

There are already enough Christians burying their talents in the ground where they can’t be seen or used. Let’s start a new trend: one where Christians are known as people of action and change and living demonstrations of their faith. Who’s in?

SOURCE

Advertisements

What Women Want in a Godly Man (2)

Women_Want_Godly_Man

 

I saw an ad this weekend that read:

“Men, let’s be real men.”

The ad proceeded to promote a new testosterone pill. If consumed, this pill promised to boost manliness—increased sex drive, muscles and masculinity.

The most frightening thing about this ad is that it speaks some truth—in the sense that our society has managed to reduce manhood to sex drive and muscles.

I don’t know about you, but that is so ridiculously far from my definition of masculinity. The truth is, women are looking for so much more in a man than strong muscles and libido. Far more than cars, athletic ability and all the other meaningless things our society uses to define manhood, there are some things that actually define the measure of a man.

So men, go ahead and ditch the weights, the hot rods and the testosterone pills, because if you’re really trying to catch a fine woman here’s what she’s looking for:

Women are looking for so much more in a man than strong muscles and libido.

Honesty

More than any other trait, women are looking for a man who is open and honest. The thing about honesty is that it’s a sign of security. What you see is what you get, and there is absolutely nothing to hide.

Men, it’s time to stop pretending and start being real—real with your strengths, your weaknesses, your struggles. Real with your hopes, your dreams and your fears. Real with who you actually are; not who you want to be. A man who has nothing to hide becomes the safe place in which a woman can hide her heart. Now that’s straight-up manly.

Purity

We live in a society that has fooled us into thinking that women have no control over their emotions and men have no control over their eyes. I’m a firm believer that this is a lie straight from the pit of hell. It sickens me to interact with women who expect their men to fall prey to lust, cheating and adultery, as if that’s just part of being a man.

There is no doubt that we live in a world full of sexual temptation and struggles, but it is also true that we serve a God who gives us victory over our entire being—our minds, hearts and bodies. True masculinity comes when a man has enough honor and respect for the woman in his life to say no to temptations. True masculinity comes from a man who knows his weaknesses, but sets himself up to succeed. True masculinity is found in a man who says no to the expectations of this world and lives for a higher calling.

Strength

There is nothing better than a man who exudes strength. Not the muscle-rippling kind of strength, but strength of mind, heart and spirit. A strength that comes from a man who knows what he believes and stands firm for what’s right. A strength in recognizing right from wrong and confessing when he has given into the latter. A strength that is confident enough to do right, choose right and be right.

In this day of compromise, women are looking for a man who is strong enough to stand his ground and hold on to his values, his beliefs and, most importantly, his God.

Compassion

You can always recognize a real man by taking a look at his heart. Does his heart move for the things that move God’s heart? Is he broken by the pain in his life? Is he moved by the sins he’s working to overcome? Is he affected when things are not as they should be in life, in situations, in relationships?

A real man is one who allows his heart to be moved and then allows his actions to follow his heart. A man who strives for healing, restoration and resolution. A man who strives to right the wrongs around him—and the wrongs within him. Women are looking for men of compassion, tenderness and love because therein we will always find the heart of Jesus.

Women are looking for men of compassion, tenderness and love because therein we will always find the heart of Jesus.

Humility

What raises a man up more than any other earthly thing is his ability to humble himself. A real man doesn’t need to talk up who he is, because his life does that for him. He can put away the talk, because a man of humility is focused so much more on his walk. He is quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry because he has put away his “rights” for the right to be selfless, loving and full of grace.

The greatest example of humility is found in the manliest man: Jesus. A man who laid down his rights and made Himself nothing in order to be an example of undying love and affection to the bride who won His heart. Real men seek to do the same.

This is exactly the kind of man who I allowed to win my heart. While I can safely say that he’s nowhere near perfect, he is a man who strives to uphold honesty, purity, strength, compassion and humility in his life and in our marriage.

Women, it’s time to expect more from men, and then, to wait patiently until you see these qualities at work in his life. Don’t you dare settle for less.

Men, it’s time to say no to the lies that are being poured into your brains. You are worth far more than that. Your masculinity is defined by so much more than you think—and that is what is truly attractive in our eyes.

May God continue to work in the lives of our men, that by His grace they would strive to carry the traits that reflect nothing less than the heart of Jesus.

Now that, my friends, is what I call a manly man.

SOURCE

What Men Want in a Godly Woman (1)

Men_Want_Godly_Woman

 

“Single 27-year-old male, searching for a life-partner. Her best qualities must be external appearance and sexual appeal. Superficiality is welcomed. Preferably someone who is lacking in goals, neglective of dreams and aimless in direction to allow for me to become center stage. Would prefer to keep conversation entirely shallow—limited to pop culture and materialism.”

I can pretty much guarantee an ad like this wouldn’t draw much attention from females. In fact, if this were an actual ad, it would make most women cringe.

But the ironic thing is that though this ad seems so irreverent and disrespectful, it is often these very lies we are fed through movies, music and pop-culture as the way to a man’s heart. And many times as women, we believe those lies and try to measure up to a standard we were never meant to follow.

Just as women are not satisfied in defining a real man by his muscle mass and sex drive, real men are shifting their perception of what they are looking for in a woman. As women, we’re often told that our value and the quality of our relationships are directly tied to our sex appeal. But sex appeal has little value in the equation of a healthy and meaningful relationship.

Here are some qualities Godly men have told me they’re looking for in their brides-to-be:

Realness

It’s sometimes hard to believe being “real” is attractive to a man. It’s easy for women to look at the billboards and magazines that fill our minds with airbrushed beauty and enhanced bodies and think that being “real” makes you less than the others.

But I’ve found that real men are attracted to a woman who reveals her natural self.

This “realness” manifests itself partially in physical ways. Obviously, looking good is not a bad thing, but there is something about the beauty of a real woman that far exceeds the plastic Barbie version of ourselves so many women strive for and believe in.

Of course, men are not simply looking for a woman who is real with her appearance, but real with who she is. When it comes to attracting a real man, there is no need to pretend. They’re not looking for a woman who pretends to be into sports, cars, sex or anything else she thinks her man wants. They are looking for a woman to be fully herself—personality, quirks, deficits and all. Ladies, these are the things that make you unique and set you apart from every other woman.

Confidence

There is something about a confident woman that exudes beauty and attraction to a man.

There is something about a confident woman that exudes beauty and attraction to a man. A woman who is confident knows who she is and what she believes, and holds onto that in her interactions with others. She believes in herself, and knows she is valuable standing alone. She’s not defined by her relationship status, her physical appearance or her sex appeal.

She doesn’t buy into the lies that her value is dependent on what she does, but rather, who she is. Because a woman of confidence is aware that her value is rooted in nothing else but who she is in Christ, there is no need to flirt around or flaunt her stuff.

Flirting and flaunting will definitely attract a certain type of man to your side, but you’ll have to keep flirting and keep flaunting your entire life to keep his interest. A real man will be attracted to you because of who you are, not what you have to offer him. And just continuing to be yourself will be all you need to do to keep him there. That’s what healthy relationships are meant to be.

Beauty

Most men will tell you it’s important for them to be attracted to their significant other. But sometimes we as women misinterpret this to think that the way to a man’s heart is by achieving supermodel status. We beat ourselves up emotionally, physically and mentally trying to fit into a mold we were never meant to fill.

To a real man, beauty and attraction are defined by so much more than physical appearance. I’ve met tons of men who are completely turned off by women who are gorgeous on the outside, but hollow on the inside.

Real men are looking for a woman who displays true beauty, a beauty that cannot be enhanced, made up or airbrushed. They are looking for a woman who resonates with the beauty of kindness, compassion, humor, strength, love, joy and gentleness.

Believe it or not, real men are more interested in the size of a woman’s heart and mind than the size of her waist. It’s ironic then, that our society pressures women into keeping their focus on the external—the things that matter very little at the end of every relationship.

Passion

Let me clarify: There is a huge difference between a passionate woman and an overly emotional woman. The first is the kind men flock to, the latter is the type they run away from and never look back.

 

Real men are looking for real women who will reflect to them the qualities of a loving God.

If there is one thing that I hear again and again from men, is that women need to be less emotionally driven. This may be a gender stereotype, but as much as I hate to admit it, they might be on to something. Emotions are such a valuable part of human beings, for men and women alike. But a huge problem arises when women (or men) let their emotions take the lead. It’s important for us to be driven by what we know and balanced by what we feel. Feelings alone should never lead the way.

But now that we’ve discussed what passion isn’t, here’s what it is: Being passionate means living a life that is purposeful, allowing your heart and life to be guided by things that are meaningful and invested in things that are good. It means having goals, believing in dreams and holding on to your values. It means being defined and propelled by justice, mercy, forgiveness, charity and grace. It means striving for healing in your own life and in the world around you.

Living a life of passion is important, because that passion will seep into every part of your life—relationships included.

It’s time to redefine the qualities we as women think we need to have to impress a man. It’s time to say no to the draw of sex appeal and begin to believe true admiration from men to women comes only when we begin to respect ourselves. Real men are looking for real women who will reflect to them the qualities of a loving God—a God who has made us to be confident, passionate, genuine—and beautiful in every way. May we as women strive to reflect Him in all that we do.

SOURCE

5 Ways the Prosperity Gospel Is Hurting Africa – J Lee Grady

sad-African-child

 

I’m not an African, but in 2008 some Nigerian friends gave me a Yoruba name (“Akinwale”) because I have been to that country so often. My visits there, along with trips to Uganda, Kenya, Malawi, South Africa and Egypt, planted a deep love for Africa in my heart. My first grandson’s arrival this year from Ethiopia made the connection even stronger.

I’m often asked to describe how God is moving in Africa today. Since I’m an optimist, I usually tell of the large churches, the passionate praise and the intense spiritual hunger that characterizes African Christianity. But there is also a dark side, and I think it’s time we addressed one of the most serious threats to faith on the continent.

I’m talking about the prosperity gospel. Of course, I know a slick version of this message is preached in the United States—and I know we are the ones who exported it overseas. I am not minimizing the damage that prosperity preaching has done in my own country. But I have witnessed how some African Christians are taking this money-focused message to new and even more dangerous extremes.

Here are five reasons the prosperity message is damaging the continent of Africa today:

1. It is mixed with occultism. Before Christianity came to Nigeria, people visited witch doctors and sacrificed goats or cows to get prosperity. They poured libations on the ground so the gods would hear their prayers. Today similar practices continue, only the juju priest has been replaced by a pastor who drives a Mercedes-Benz. I am aware of a pastor who buried a live animal under the floor of his church to win God’s favor. Another pastor asked his congregants to bring bottles of sand to church so he could anoint them; he then told the people to sprinkle the sand in their houses to bring blessings. The people who follow these charlatans are reminded that their promised windfall won’t materialize unless they give large donations.

2. It fuels greed. Any person who knows Christ will learn the joy of giving to others. But the prosperity gospel teaches people to focus on getting, not giving. At its core it is a selfish and materialistic faith with a thin Christian veneer. Church members are continually urged to sow financial seeds to reap bigger and bigger rewards. In Africa, entire conferences are dedicated to collecting offerings in order to achieve wealth. Preachers boast about how much they paid for suits, shoes, necklaces and watches. They tell their followers that spirituality is measured by whether they have a big house or a first-class ticket. When greed is preached from the pulpit, it spreads like a cancer in God’s house.

3. It feeds pride. This greedy atmosphere in prosperity churches has produced a warped style of leadership. My Kenyan friend Gideon Thuranira, editor of Christian Professional magazine, calls these men “churchpreneurs.” They plant churches not because they have a burden to reach lost souls but because they see dollar signs when they fill an auditorium with chairs. A selfish message produces bigheadedopportunists who need position, applause and plenty of perks to keep them happy. The most successful prosperity preacher is the most dangerous because he can convince a crowd that Jesus died to give you and me a Lexus.

4. It works against the formation of Christian character. The prosperity message is a poor imitation of the gospel because it leaves no room for brokenness, suffering, humility or delay. It offers an illegal shortcut. Prosperity preachers promise instant results and overnight success; if you don’t get your breakthrough, it’s because you didn’t give enough money in the offering. Jesus calls us to deny ourselves and follow Him; prosperity preaching calls us to deny Jesus and follow our materialistic lusts. There is a leadership crisis in the African church because many pastors are so set on getting rich, they can’t go through the process of discipleship that requires self-denial.

5. It actually keeps people in poverty. The government of Malawi is currently under international scrutiny because of fraud carried out by top leaders. The saddest thing about the so-called “Cashgate” scandal is that professing Christians in the administration of President Joyce Banda have been implicated. One of these people stole millions of kwacha from the government and hid the cash in a teddy bear! Most people today in Malawi live on less than $1 a day, yet their leaders have been known to buy fleets of cars and huge plots of land with money that was not theirs. Sadly, the prosperity gospel preached in Malawi has encouraged pastors and leaders to follow the same corrupt pattern. As a result, God’s people have been financially exploited.

When Jesus described false prophets as wolves in sheep’s clothing, He warned us to examine their fruit. Matthew 7:17 says, “So every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit” (NASB). What is the fruit of prosperity preaching?

Churches have been growing rapidly in many parts of Africa today, yet sub-Saharan Africa is the only region in the world where poverty has increased in the past 25 years. So according to the statistics, the prosperity gospel is not bringing prosperity! It is a flawed message, but I believe God will use selfless, broken African leaders to correct it.

SOURCE

Gospel Boys – “No Way No How”

 

The single “NO way NO how” basically speaks about NEVER allowing the OLD person to have victory over the NEW person, anyone in Christ is a new creature (2 Corinthians 5:17) therefore we should never go back to our old ways, passions, desires, or intentions. NO Way! NO How! The influences of the Gospel Boys consists of artists that have boldly set out to shine their lights and has unapologetically professed to be servants of Jesus Christ. Artists such as Lecrae, FLAME, This’l, 116 Clique, and Toby Mac.

Think about it! The majority of today’s youth are listening to artist that are SLIGHTLY older than them or within the same age group as them, it’s time to replace the negative music which is sleeping within mobile devices, iPods, and computers worldwide, In exchange for some new school Holy Hip Hop, come on think about it!

 

CREDIT: WADEORADIO

Big Rob – “Problem Solved” feat. Soul Williams

This song makes it clear that no matter what the enemy throws at you, you are a going to WIN!!! You are equipped with the whole armour of God and ready for battle … “Yea, I’m goin out to battle and I know I’m already, I’m fighting but the victory is won already, And the devil wanna try me but he know he ain’t ready, Cause God is my protection PROBLEM SOLVED ALREADY.”

 

SHOUT OUT TO: WADEORADIO