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May The Fire on Your Altar Never Burn Out

Daily Devotional

Bible Verse:

Luke 2:36-37 And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.


Do you find that the fire on the altar of your heart burns bright sometimes and other times not? If so, that was not how God intended it to be. Leviticus 6:13 says that the fire shall ever be upon the altar; it shall never go out. What is implied by the scripture is that whatever the season of our life the fire on the altar of our hearts should be kept burning. That is evident by the mandate given to the priests to keep the fire on the altar burning in the night and day seasons.


Prophetess Anna kept her fire burning although her circumstance was less than ideal. She lost her husband seven (7) years after she got married. If that was the experience of some of us, the sadness that would have come over us would have been enough to affect our intimacy with God. Prophetess Anna did the opposite however, she used her unfortunate circumstance as an opportunity to draw closer to God. Luke 2:37 said that she never departed from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayers day and night.


What the scripture highlights is that she kept her fire burning whether she was going through a day season or a night season. Admittedly that is not easy, but Prophetess Ana did it by making God her one thing. That means she made intimacy with God her central focus regardless of what was happening around her. Because that was her focus, she lived in the temple or the presence of God through continuous fasting and prayer even up to the point when she was 84 years old.


Like Prophetess Anna you too can keep your fire burning in good times and bad. It requires you to make intimacy your central focus every day, regardless of the time of the day.


Life Application:

Keep your fire burning by first making intimacy with God your primary focus night and day and then maintain that intimacy by living in His presence through prayer, worship, fasting and study of God’s word.


Prayer:

Lord, May the fire on my altar never burn out. There are times when I go through difficult times and as a result, it affects my walk with you. But like Anna, may I continually seek your face even when all is not well. In Jesus name, amen.

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Stop Trying to Do It Alone

“Many of us learned that keeping busy…kept us at a distance from our feelings…Some of us took the ways we busied ourselves—becoming overachievers & workaholics—as self esteem…But whenever our inner feeling did not match our outer surface, we were doing ourselves a disservice…If stopping to rest meant being barraged with this discrepancy, no wonder we were reluctant to cease our obsessive activity.” 
― Maureen Brady, Beyond Survival: A Writing Journey for Healing Childhood Sexual Abuse

Ecclesiastes 4:9 Two are better than one; because they have a good reward for their labour.

“I’m self-sufficient, I don’t need anyone, and I can get things done on my own without any help.” If this sounds familiar, you’re probably jeopardizing your mental health and heading down the path to burnout.Yet if you can acknowledge that doing everything yourself is neither sustainable nor desirable, you’ll be able to make some corrections  and improve both your mental and physical health.I know it can be scary to admit you can’t do everything yourself, because I’ve been there. I remember worrying: What if no one believes me when I finally profess how hard it is to do everything myself? Maybe I’m just a complete wuss. If I come clean about how hard this is, am I negating my accomplishments? What if no one wants to help me?We also live in a society that makes one feel weak if he/she asks for help. 

But, there is strength in numbers. Deuteronomy 32:30 implicitly suggests that if God permits, then we are 10 times more likely to succeed if we go with someone else than if we were operating in isolation. Do not ignore the power of two. In Matthew 18:19 Jesus confirms the importance of two by stating “that if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. It is self-explanatory; your prayers are more likely to be answered when you have someone agreeing with you. It is the clearest signal yet that we must stop trying to do it alone.

Moses never tried to do it alone; he worked with his brother Aaron. David, even though he was a great warrior, had the company of 400 men when he was in the wilderness fleeing from Saul. Paul’s ministry was aided first by Barnabas and then by Timothy. All of these biblical examples are reminders that the principle of Ecclesiastes 4:9: two are better than one holds true. Therefore, magnify your success by identifying like minded people to partner with.

Life Application: Whatever your pursuit, Identify like-minded people to partner with and agree with in prayer.

Prayer: Dear Lord, I admit that I have tried to do everything by myself for various reasons. I don’t want to be a bother and neither do I want to feel insufficient. I pray that you will help me to find the right persons who are able to assist me in the various things that I have going on in my life. Help me to let go and allow you to direct every aspect of my life. In Jesus name, amen.

Never Make A Deal with the Enemy

Daily Devotional

Exodus 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods.33 They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.

Attempting to make any deal with the enemy will prove to be a mistake. King Ahab learnt this lesson in 2 Kings 20 when Benhadad, the king of Syria, and his army gathered against Israel accompanied by 32 other Kings and their armies.  Given the precarious position that King Ahab was in, Benhadad sent a message to tell him that his silver, gold, children and wives are all his. King Ahab responded to him by saying “I am thine, and all that I have”. What King Ahab was doing was agreeing with the enemy and thus consummating a deal with his enemy, falsely thinking that it would cause the problem to go away, but it didn’t. Benhadad responded by telling King Ahab that in addition to what he originally asked for, his servants would walk through the dwelling place of his servants and whatever looks good to them, they would take. Trying to make a deal with the enemy will expose you to the enemy taking from you the things that matter the most to you, that was what Benhadad attempted to do with King Ahab.

Regardless of what the enemy would want you to believe, you will not get the victory by making deals with the enemy, the victory comes by putting your trust in God.  What turned the situation for King Ahab was putting his trust in the word of God. God sent a prophet to King Ahab and told him that he would deliver the great multitude in his hand by the young men of the princes. On hearing those words King Ahab numbered the 232 princes and sent them out first to the battle and after them 7,000 fighting men and they defeated the Syrians and the great multitude that accompanied them.

Another reason  it is important not to make any deals with the enemy is because by doing so we sin against the Lord. In Exodus 23:32 God told the Israelites that they should not make any covenant with the people of the land lest they sin against him. One common way in which we make deals with the enemy is to act out of fear, instead of on the word of God. Making deals with the enemy is setting yourself up for failure; never put yourself in that position.

Life Application: Make no deal with the enemy by rejecting the whispers of the devil and his agents and refuse to live your life based on your circumstances. Instead, build it around the word of God. 

Prayer: Lord, I will walk by faith and not in fear. I will listen to your voice and not that of the enemy. My covenant is with you Lord. Keep me grounded in you and your word. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Make the Lord Your Shepherd

Daily Devotional

St John 10:27 My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:

Do not just say that the Lord is my Shepherd, make him your Shepherd. Make him your shepherd by waiting on His direction and acting upon it as soon as it is received.

There are two keys that were taught by Jesus in St John 10:27 that we must adopt to make the Lord our Shepherd. The first is to know the voice of the Spirit. The scripture said, “my sheep know my voice”. It would have been expected that Jesus would have said that my sheep hear my voice, but instead He said, “my sheep know my voice”. Why did He say that? Because the number one thing that stops us from making the Lord our shepherd is knowing the voice of the Spirit. There are many voices that we will hear, the key to ensuring that we do not follow the wrong voice is knowing God’s voice; otherwise, we will be misled. 

In 2 Chronicles 18 when King Ahab and Jehoshaphat enquired of the 400 prophets whether they should go against the Syrians, they prophesied that they should go up because the Lord would deliver them into their hands. However, Jehoshaphat knew that it was not the voice of the Lord so he asked Ahab in 2 Chronicles 18:6 if there was not another prophet of the Lord besides those they could enquire of. The true prophet of the Lord, Micaiah came and declared contrary to what the others were saying. It is important that we know the voice of the Spirit.

The other key element as it relates to making the Lord our Shepherd is to follow His direction. Jesus also said in St. John 10:27 that my sheep follow me.  The Lord is only our shepherd if we are following His directions. It is not enough for us to follow his lead sometimes, we must do it all the time.

In Exodus 39 when Moses and the people of Israel were creating the tabernacle according to the blueprint that God gave them, the scripture said in Exodus 39:42 that “according to all that the Lord commanded Moses, so the children of Israel made all the work”. In that matter the people truly made God their shepherd by doing ‘all”, not some of what he required them to do. Since Moses was the leader, he had to make sure that the word of God was carried out exactly as the Lord had said and when he confirmed that it was so, the scripture said in 2 Chronicles 39:43 that Moses blessed them. Making the Lord our shepherd will cause the blessings of the Lord to flow into our lives.

Life Application: Make the Lord your shepherd by getting better at recognizing the voice of the Spirit; that can be done by spending more time communing with Him. In addition, be diligent in following his directives.

Prayer: Lord, you are my shepherd and I want to follow you every step of the way. May I always know your voice and follow your words. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Rule Over Your Situation

Daily Devotional

Genesis 1:26 And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

There are several ways that we can choose to respond to an unfavorable situation; we may try to run away from it, make excuses, complain or blame everybody else. None of these approaches will yield  the result we want to see. To overcome this, we must learn to master that situation. It was because Joseph learnt to rule over his circumstance in Egypt why he became the victor. He went into Egypt as a slave, but it was not long thereafter that he became the overseer of Potiphar’s house. How did that happen? He became a master of the situation: Genesis 39:6 says that Potiphar “left all that he had in Joseph’s hand”. Because he learnt to rule over the situation, his master rewarded him by putting everything he had under his control.  It was the same approach that he took when he was thrown into prison; it was a different environment, but he applied the same principle and got a similar result. Genesis 39:22 said that the “keeper of the prison committed to Joseph’s hand all the prisoners that were in the prison”. It does not matter how difficult the situation is that you face, you can rule over it. Because Joseph did that, he had the victory and was able to name his second son Ephraim because he said that God hath caused him to be fruitful in the place where he was afflicted.

God wants you to rule over your situation; consistent with that, he instructed man in Genesis 1:28 to subdue the earth: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth. The essence of the instruction that God gave is to rule over our circumstances; there are three (3) keys that He has given us so that we can be able to do that. The first key is to apply the laws, principles and instructions of God to that situation; one example of Joseph using that key was refusing to lie with Potiphar’s wife. 

The second key is to tap into God’s power. Joseph did that by continually entertaining the presence of God. The scriptures repeatedly said in Genesis 39 that the Lord was with him. 

Finally, use your faith to rule over your situation. Habakkuk 2:4 says that the just shall live by faith. Fear is an open door for the enemy to rule over us but faith releases us to rise above the situation.

We can either rule over our situation or allow the situation to rule over us, the victory comes when we choose to rule over the situation.

Life Application: Rule over your circumstance by living by faith to practice the laws and principles of God, while continually entertaining His presence.

Prayer: Lord, help me to rule over every situation that arises that threatens what you have purposed for me. May I overcome and declare that I am victorious. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Pass the Test

Daily Devotional

Genesis 22:11-12 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I. And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.

If you keep taking the test and failing, you will not be able to move to the next level. In what way has the Lord been testing you? It is time to pass the test so that you can move to your next level. Joseph was destined to be a ruler, but before he got there God allowed him to be tested. God tested him as a servant, because the first mark of a great leader is having the heart of a servant. David was also tested before he became King of Israel: God tested his leadership skills by allowing him to initially lead a group of 600 men. After he passed that test, his next test was that of leading only one tribe of Israel: that being Judah. He passed that test and became the King of all Israel. God will take you from one level to the next as you pass the tests that He puts before you.

God tested Abraham in Genesis 22; the test was for him to sacrifice his only son. The Lord told him to take his only son and sacrifice him as a burnt offering. The purpose of the test was to see if Abraham loved God more than his only son, Isaac. Abraham showed that he loved God more when he willingly took his son up to Mount Moriah and bound him on the altar and raised his hand to slay him. It was at that point that the angel of the Lord called to him and said “lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me”.  Abraham had passed the test by being willing to give up his one seed and as a result God confirmed three (3) promises concerning his seed. To begin with, God told him that He will multiply his seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the seashore. One seed would multiply to become a great multitude because Abraham passed the test. 

The second thing that God said would happen was that his seed would possess the gate of his enemies. God would give his seed dominion over their enemies because he passed the test. 

Lastly, God told him that through his seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. Salvation is given to all mankind through the lineage of Abraham because he passed the test. 

In whatever direction God is taking you, there will be test(s) that you will have to pass. How quickly you pass the test will be one factor that determines the speed at which you reach your destiny.  Pass the test by being more aware and be fervent in understanding the reason for the current season. 

Life Application: Pass the test by understanding the purpose of your current season and align yourself totally to God’s laws, principles and instructions. The sooner that you do these two things, the earlier you will pass the test. 

Prayer: Lord, help me to pass the tests that I have been struggling with over the years. May I be resolute in my resolve to overcome. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Step Out into the Unknown

Daily Devotional

Judges 7:1-2 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. And the Lord said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

What is it that God has been telling you to do that you keep putting off because you do not think that you have it all together? Having it all figured out is not a requirement for stepping out on the word of God. According to one of my dearest friends, Sydea Wright, it is by taking the first step that the path is made clear. 

When Abraham was told by God in Genesis 12 to leave Haran, he never had it all figured out since he did not know where he was going. It was when he reached Canaan that God told him this would be the land that he would give to him and his seed. 

Similarly, In Judges 7 when Gideon decided to take on the Midianites, he never had it all together. He assembled an army with 32,000 and God told him that he had too many. Consequently, he was told to send home all those who were fearful and that whittled down the army to only 10,000. Even then God still told him that he had too many, and he was advised to send away all those who did not lap the water with their tongue, leaving him with only 300. Although the size of his army  was miniscule relative to that of the Midianites, it was enough for God to give him the victory.  Gideon stepped out into the unknown, not knowing exactly what to do, but because he allowed God to direct him as he went along, he completed the mission and broke the oppression of the Midianites.  You too can step out into the unknown and create a similar result.  

Stepping out into the unknown forced Abraham to leave his comfort zone and in the case of Gideon, it caused him to be fearful. 

The point is that feeling afraid and leaving your comfort zone are things that may accompany stepping out into the unknown, but if both Abraham and Gideon had not done it, they would not have been highlighted as great men of the Bible. So for you, do not allow fear and feeling uncomfortable stop you from stepping out in the unknown, the greatness that God has deposited in you will only come forth if you do.

Life Application: Step out into the unknown by taking the first step even without knowing how it will all work out and depend on God to lead you every step of the way thereafter.

Prayer: Lord, help me to step out into the unknown and walk in faith as your direct my steps. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Increase Your Capacity to Receive More

Daily Devotional

Exodus 23:29-30 I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee.30 By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land.

Before we can receive all that God has promised,  we must first increase our capacity to receive more. This was demonstrated in Exodus 23:29-30 when God told Moses and the Israelites that He would not drive out all the people of the land of Canaan in one year.  The implication of what God was saying was that He would not give them all the land that He had promised in one go. The reason that He gave for this approach was that the population of the Israelites was not sufficient to occupy all the land of Canaan. Within that context, if all of the inhabitants of the land were uprooted, then a large portion of the land would become unoccupied only to be later overtaken by the beasts such as lions, tigers and elephants. Since it would be easier for the Israelites to dislodge the people than it would be to remove the vicious animals from the land, God was withholding what they should receive until they were fully prepared to receive it because doing otherwise would have effectively placed them in a worse position. God will not bring you into any situation that will make you worse off, Be assured that He is working in your best interest.

The only thing that stood in the way of the Children of Israel receiving all that God had promised was a lack of capacity. God told them that He would drive out the people out of the land little by little; until they had increased; that meant that they were going to get all that God had promised, but it would be in stages and proportionate to an increase in their capacity.

Some of us may get frustrated with how long it is taking for us to reach where God has promised without recognizing that to possess the promises of God, our capacity must increase. Daniel and the three (3) Hebrew boys were in training in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar for three years before they qualified to serve the King. The purpose of that was to increase their capacity to serve the King. Similarly, the 13 years that Joseph struggled in Egypt was to increase his capacity to be a ruler. To receive whatever it is that God is taking us into, our capacity must increase to receive it. Based on Isaiah 54:1 some common ways in which we must increase our capacity is by expanding our wisdom, building and strengthening our relationships and stretching ourselves to do things that we have not previously done.

Life Application: Increase your capacity to receive more of what God has promised by growing your wisdom, expanding your network and taking on important tasks that you had been putting off because they would make you uncomfortable.

Prayer: Lord, thank you for the expansion and increase. I position myself to receive more. In Jesus’ name, amen.

More of His Glory

Daily Devotional

Isaiah 6:1 In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

Some of us are satisfied with only a sprinkle of God’s glory, when it is His desire that we experience a lot more. Moses never settled for what he had, although he spent so much time in God’s presence; hence he asked God in Exodus 33:18  to show him His glory. Moses experienced much more than most of us have experienced, but yet he wanted more.  Never be satisfied with less than what God wants you to receive.  God showed that He wants us to have more of his glory when he showed up in Isaiah 6:1 even without Isaiah asking. The scripture said the train or glory of the Lord filled the temple.  Isaiah would have had encounters with God prior to that, but God allowed him to experience more of His Glory. God wants you too to experience more of His glory; make it your pursuit.

Another occasion in the Bible in which God revealed more of His glory in 2 Chronicles 5:13-14. The occasion was the dedication of the temple that Solomon had built; they had sacrificed a large quantity of sheep and oxen. In addition, the priests and singers worshiped God in one accord and as they did, the scripture said that the glory of the Lord filled the temple such that the priests could not stand to minister. Again God showed up so that His people could experience more of His glory.  Let us refuse to be satisfied with a little of God’s glory when He wants us to have much more. The two scriptural examples cited were not given to us just for historical context, but rather for us to know that God wants to share similar experiences with us.

Life Application: Experience more of God’s glory by asking God to show you his glory and make it your pursuit daily.

Prayer: Lord, show me more of your glory. Reveal more of who you are to me on a daily basis and fill my life with your glory. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Live Every Day Expecting a Turnaround

Daily Devotional

Job 14:14 If a man dies, shall he live again? all the days of my appointed time will I wait, till my change comes.

Despite what the naysayers may say, be assured that your current situation will not last forever. Job was accused by Zophar, who was supposed to be his friend, that the reason he was going through what he was going through was because he was unrighteous. He and Job’s other friends could not fathom that someone who was a righteous man could experience what Job was going through. As part of his response Job cited the real reason for his pain: he said in Job 14:1 that “the days of a man are short and full of trouble”. What he was communicating was that the real reason for his season of distress was not that he was unrighteous, but rather because all mankind, whether they are just or unjust, face a time of trouble. Job was accurate in his assessment since the trouble that Joseph, David and Abraham went through had nothing to do with their spiritual state.

Another notable observation made by Job in Job 14:7 was that there is hope for a tree because if it be cut down, it will sprout again. This analogy was used to make the point to his friends that his situation would not always be like that, he would rise again. In the same way that when a tree is cut down it sprouts again, he believed that the story of his life would follow a similar path.  

To demonstrate that he expected his situation to change, Job declared in Job 14:14 that all his appointed days he would wait until his change came. The essence of what Job was saying was that all the days of his life he would live with an expectation that God would change his situation. Do not let a single day go by without expecting things to change in your life. Why is it important to operate in this way? Job answered that question when he said, “if a man dies, shall he live again?” In other words what Job was saying was that there is no hope in the grave, so he is not going to live like he is a dead person by being hopeless. Instead, he will choose to have hope and expectation that his turnaround would come. Because Job lived with an expectation that change would come, God gave him the change he desired in Job 42:10 when he doubled what he had prior to his loss. Your current situation does not define you, expect God to turnaround your situation, He is able to do it.

Life Application: Live every day with an expectation of a turnaround by taking four steps: write down a breakthrough goal for each day that is aligned with God’s purpose for your life; present it to the Lord in prayer; rehearse the goal to yourself a couple times throughout the day; and, take all the possible steps that you can take to accomplish it.  

Prayer: Lord, help me to live each day expecting a change in my situation. I declare a change according to your will and purpose in my finances, in my mind, in my walk with you, in my ministry. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Ask Repeatedly Until You Get the Result You Want

Daily Devotional

Exodus 6:11 Go in, speak unto Pharaoh king of Egypt, that he let the children of Israel go out of his land.

Not because you did not get the response that you wanted the first time around means that you should not ask again. In Exodus 5, after Moses requested of Pharaoh that he let the Children of Israel go so that they could go in the wilderness to worship their God, not only did Pharaoh deny the request; the immediate circumstance of the Israelites grew worse.  No longer were they provided with the straw to make bricks, they had to gather the straw themselves even while being required to make the same number of bricks as before. Failure to meet their quota would result in them being beaten. After that experience the Israelites lost confidence in what Moses had set out to achieve, but God told him to go to Pharaoh and ask him again to let the people go in Exodus 6:11. The first time he asked could have been construed as an utter failure, but God wanted him to ask until he got the result that he wanted.  Although Moses had to ask Pharoah ten (10) more times, it never mattered as the Israelites were allowed to leave Egypt. Keep asking until you get what you want to see.  

Sometimes we embrace the notion that if God is in it then we should not have to ask for what we want more than one time.  However, that was contrary to the experience that Moses had; that view also contradicts Matthew 7:8 which says, “everyone that asketh receiveth”. The fact that the word “ask” ended with “eth” should signal to us that to receive what we want we may have to ask over and over again. The Canaanite woman of Matthew 15, whose daughter was demon possessed, asked Jesus repeatedly and her daughter was delivered even though she did not qualify because she was not a Jew. Similarly, the persistence of the widow in Luke 18 who asked the unjust judge repeatedly to avenge her of her adversary, got her the result that she wanted. What is it that you need to ask for to get to where you want to go? Be prepared to ask over and over again until you get it.

Life Application: Make a list of everything that you need to ask for to get to where you want to be and ask repeatedly, that may include multiple persons, until you get the result you want.

Prayer: Lord, I will continue to push in prayer until I get the desired result. Help me to remain hopeful and to operate in faith even when it seems impossible. In Jesus’ name, amen.

It Matters Who or What You Choose to Believe in

Daily Devotional

Proverbs 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the Lord our God.

We often say that we believe, but who or what do we believe in? Are we believing in ourselves or is it in something or someone else? It is good to have people and things around us that are dependable, but our trust must be in God. Asa, the King of Judah, chose to put his trust in the army of the King of Syria rather than in the true and living God. He demonstrated this in 2 Chronicles 16:1-2 when Baasha the King of Israel came against him. He responded to the situation by taking out the silver and gold out of the treasure in the house of the Lord and sent it to Benhadad, king of Syria, to help them fight against the King of Israel. King Asa’s trust was in the King of Syria, hence his first response was to look to him for help. Who or what you choose to believe is evidenced by who we look to first when we are in a moment of need.

David’s trust was in God. He said in Psalms 20:7 that “some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but I will remember the name of the Lord our God”. David showed the difference by highlighting three types of people: those who chose to put their trust in chariots or manmade solutions. Those who chose to trust in horses, which represent created things. And those who call on the name of the Lord. David chose the latter, because his trust was in God, the name of the Lord would be the first thing that would come to mind when he had any situation that he had to deal with. This was consistent with David’s approach throughout the scriptures. He demonstrated that his belief was in God by consistently seeking His help and counsel when he had any battle to fight. As a great warrior he figured out what worked and what didn’t. From his experience, what consistently worked, was putting his trust in God.

Life Application: Choose to put your trust in God by not leaning to your own understanding and acknowledge and involve God in everything that you are doing.

Prayer: Lord, you are and will forever be my first choice. Help me to trust in you even when there are other things competing for my attention. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Start and End Everything with God

Daily Devotional

Revelation 18:8 I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.

The words “Alpha” and “Omega” are the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet. Jesus declared himself in Revelation 18:8 as Alpha and Omega, which means that He is the beginning and the end of all things.  When Jesus declared himself as such, the purpose was not to provide for us some fancy words that we can use when we do praise and worship; but rather for us to make him the Alpha and Omega of our lives. We can do that by starting and ending everything that we do with God. Instead of doing that, very often we make the mistake of starting things without him and when we find ourselves in difficulty, we call on him for help. In Joshua 7, after a great triumph over the people of Jericho, Joshua and the people of Israel went out against the people of Ai, but never sought God on the matter or asked for his direction. They began with God, probably thinking that because Ai was a small country, they could do it in their strength. The result was failure and they had to come back to God to discern what they needed to do next. We will get much better results if we begin and end everything with God.

One reason it is important that we begin with God is because how we start something is typically how it ends. If the foundation of a building is crooked, the only way to fix it is to go back to the foundation. Joshua and the Israelites eventually got it right in their fight against Ai by starting over with God to ensure that they got the foundation right.  Proverbs 16:3 teaches us how to start everything with God.  It says commit thy works unto the LORD, and thy thoughts shall be established. Committing our works to God is presenting whatever we plan to do to God by asking for his involvement and seeking his direction. Don’t do anything without first seeking God’s direction. When we choose to operate in this way, the scripture says that our thoughts will be established. In other words, those things that we conceive in our mind will come to fruition if we start by presenting them to the Lord; that was the foundation of David’s successes.

Life Application: Start and end everything with God by presenting your thoughts and plans to God before doing anything and thereafter wait on his direction every step of the way.

Prayer: Lord, I cannot do anything without you. So I commit everything to you before I even begin so that you can direct my every thought and action. Guide me oh God. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Believe, Even When Nothing is Happening

Daily Devotional

Genesis 15:5-6 And he brought him forth abroad, and said, look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be. 6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

It is easy to believe God when things are happening, but true faith is believing God even when it isn’t. Abraham demonstrated that. It was not happening for Abraham but he still believed God in Genesis 15:5-6. God told him that He was he would reward him greatly and in response to that Abraham asked God what he would give to him since he and his wife remained childless? The Lord brought him out and showed him the heavens and suggested to him that his seed would be as plentiful as the stars in the heavens. Bear in mind that at that point Abraham was about 85 years old and his wife 75 years old and barren, yet God said Abraham’s seed would be like the stars in heaven. Given his context, it was not easy for Abraham to conceive that reality that God promised; however, the scripture said that Abraham believed God. His wife was barren, and they were of old age, yet Abraham believed God although his reality was pointing to a different outcome. Since we know that it all happened as God said, the lesson to be learnt from Abraham’s response is to believe even when nothing is happening.

What helped Abraham to believe although nothing was happening was that he had proven God. He had his personal testimony where God made him promises and it was done according to the word of God. The first time that he proved God was when God spoke to him in  Genesis 12:1 to leave Haran and go to a land that he would show him.  In the 7th verse God performed His words when he revealed to Abraham that the land of Canaan, where he had reached, was the land he would give to his seed. Promise made, promise kept. 

In the second instance, as part of the 7-fold blessings, God mentioned in Genesis 12:2 one such was that he would bless Abraham, and he planned to bless Abraham in different ways.  One clear indication of the blessings that God spoke of was evident in Genesis 13:2 in which he blessed Abraham with wealth. Abraham proved God through his abundant blessings.

In what way have you proven God in the past? It should propel you to believe God even when it seems like nothing is happening for you.

Life Application: Believe God even when it seems like nothing is happening by reminding yourself of the times that you have proven God in the past. He will do what he says.

Prayer: Lord, increase my faith. May I choose to believe even when everything is showing otherwise. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Stay Focused

Daily Devotional

2 Kings 2:9-10 And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me.10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.

Do not be daunted by setbacks or initial failure; what you focus on is what you will keep moving towards until you eventually get there. The woman with the issue of blood was focused on getting her healing; she spent all that she had visiting doctors in the hope that they would be able to help with her condition, but all to no avail. Nevertheless, she maintained her focus and in Mark 5:28 she got divine inspiration. She said, If I may touch but touch the hem of His garment, I shall be made whole.  Thereafter, she pulled herself out of her house in pursuit of Jesus. When she reached the place where Jesus was, there was a thick crowd that could have stopped her from touching the hem of His garment, but it didn’t, because she was focused. She pressed through the crowd and touched the hem of Jesus’ garment and she was made whole. In like manner, if you maintain your focus despite the obstacles that you face and keep taking steps forward you will get to where you want to be. It is only a matter of time.

The key to your victory is refusing to be distracted. Elisha was the epitome of being focused. After he was anointed in 1 Kings 19:19, by Elijah casting his mantle on him, he took the 12 yoke of oxen that he was plowing with and slew them and gave it to the people. Part of the reason for Elisha doing that was so that he could be singular in his focus. He knew what he was being called to do and so he eliminated what could have been a potential distraction. After being trained by Elijah for a while, when it was time for Elijah to be taken up into heaven, his desire was to possess a double portion of Elijah’s anointing. To get it, he needed to be fixed in his focus. Elijah’s response in 2 Kings 2:10 was “If thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee.” The essence of what Elijah was saying was that you will get it if you stay focused. A chariot and horses of fire came and separated them both as Elijah was being taken up in a whirlwind, but Elisha kept his focus on Elijah, not the strange phenomenon, and he got the double-portion anointing that he wanted.  Free yourself from any distraction that could prevent you from getting to where you want to be.

Life Application: Guard your focus by writing down your objective for any time period and keep looking at it. In addition, eliminate all potential distractions and continually take steps towards what you want to accomplish.

Prayer: Lord, help me to remain focused on the tasks at hand and what you want me to accomplish through you. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Choose the Right Response

Daily Devotional

Genesis 9:22-24 And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father, and told his two brethren without. 23 And Shem and Japheth took a garment, and laid it upon both their shoulders, and went backward, and covered the nakedness of their father; and their faces were backward, and they saw not their father’s nakedness.24 And Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done unto him.

How you choose to respond to a problem in your environment could alter the trajectory of your success as well as that of all future generations. In Genesis 9:22-24, there was a problem: Noah got drunk and unknowingly stripped himself naked. This was an ungodly behavior by  someone who was previously referred to as righteous in his generation. Ham, who was his youngest son, decided to respond to the situation in two ways. He dishonored his father by looking at his nakedness and went and talked about the problem to his brothers rather than doing something about it. When Shem and Japhet, the other two brothers,  heard what had happened they never gossiped and laughed at the situation, instead they instantly decided to do something about it. They took a garment and walked backwards to go and cover the nakedness of their father. Their response, unlike that of Ham, was to fix the problem, while showing honor to their father despite his misdeed. Because they chose to operate in this way, after Noah came to his senses, he blessed Shem and Japhet and their seed, while Ham and his seed, Canaan, were cursed. What created the difference in the outcomes was how each chose to respond to the problem.

How are you choosing to respond to problems in your world? The scripture teaches us two things about how we should respond to problems around us. The first is that we must always respond with honor; not because someone made a mistake or is in a position that is less than we are in means that we can treat them anyway we choose. Because what Noah did was shameful, Ham may have thought his actions were merited, forgetting that Noah was the authority in his environment, and as such is worthy of honor.  

The second way in which we should respond to problems is to offer solutions. Without being prompted Shem and Japhet devised a solution to remedy the situation that had arisen and look what happened, the blessings of Shem came down on Abraham and the Children of Israel and they were given the land of the Canaanites, which was the seed of Ham, as an inheritance. Choose the right response to problems in your world.

Life Application: Choose to respond to problems in your world by showing honor and offering solutions to the problem that you see rather than just talking about the problem.

Prayer: Lord, help me to choose the right response at all times to the difficulties in my environment. May I always choose to operate with integrity and honor those around me who should be honored. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Made for Increase

Daily Devotional

Genesis 1:28 And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it…

The first instruction that God gave man was to be “fruitful and multiply in Genesis 1:28. The implication is that we were made for increase. To create increase and multiplication we must be productive or fruitful wherever we have been planted. Being productive is important because the higher the level of our productivity, the greater will be the magnitude of our rewards. There are several places where this was revealed throughout the Bible. One such is in Matthew 25:28 in the parable of the talent. Take note that the master took the one talent from the servant who was unproductive and gave it to the servant who was most productive. It was the servant who gained five talents on the five that he was given who was rewarded with one more. What this shows us is that we can increase our rewards or compensation by being more productive.

Being more productive is more than the number of productive hours worked, that is just one element. It also involves increasing the quality of the problem we solve for others. Note that not every job or problem attracts the same salary or reward; those who are deemed to require greater skill, attract greater reward.  

After Daniel stated the dream that Nebuchadnezzar had and gave the interpretation, he was given many gifts and made ruler over all the province of Babylon and chief of all the governors and wise men. The promotion that Daniel got was not because he worked longer hours, but rather because the quality of the problem that he solved was greater than he had previously done.   It was no different for David when he overcame Goliath. He solved a giant problem, and he received great riches and got the daughter of the King as his wife. Become more productive by looking at ways to raise the size and quality of the problem that you solve.

Even if your current situation is less than ideal, you can still be more productive. In Exodus 3, the Bible tells us that the more the Egyptians oppressed the Israelites, the more they multiplied. Regardless of the circumstances that you are faced with, choose to be more productive.

Life Application: Become more productive by looking at ways in which you can use your time to solve bigger problems for those you serve. One approach to this is to identify the greatest needs of the people you serve and meet those needs.  

Prayer: Lord, thank you for outlining in your word what productivity means. May I like the one with the 5 talents, seek to increase and make room for more. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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