DANCING IN THE FIRE


So they finally threw me into the burning furnace, locked the gates, leaving me there to burn. I was burning, the heat was piercing into me and I felt like I was dead already. My skin smelt delicious as it roasted but then a hand tapped me from behind, it was soft and had an aura of peace. When He touched me, the spot felt chilled!

At first, I was shocked, who would be in the fire and still feel cold? Who would be comfortable in this fire like that? But I turned and behold it was Him! His beautiful face glowed even in the fire, the purity of His white wouldn’t be corrupted by the thick black smoke of that fire. He had come to me some time ago and I knew He had amazing powers, the power to save whomever He wants to save! He saved me from the sickbed miraculously and maybe He had come to save me from the fire.


“Thanks for coming… Please get me out of this fire!” I cried!

He laughed and started dancing! I was shocked at that “what are you doing? Dancing? While I am burning?” He didn’t say anything, He kept dancing but I had to speak again or even put His guilt on His face

“Why are you so selfish? So because you can survive the fire, is that why you’re making fun of my condition? Weren’t you the one who promised that you’ll always be there for me? Why did you ever allow me into the fire in the first place?”

“But I am not just here for you, I am here with you!” He said without looking at me, He was enjoying His dance steps and then He added: “You can survive it!”


“Howwwww?” I shouted as the pain was becoming much more for me to bear coupled with watching someone dance in the fire while I was dying


“The pain you’re experiencing is not as a result of the fire, it is as a result of your mind. I didn’t promise to prevent you from being thrown into the fire neither did I promise you that I will put off the fire. I promised to be with you as we walk through it and I promised you shall not get burnt in the fire.”


“What are you saying? But am already burning and I am dying!” I cried

“You’re burning not because I lied but because your mind and fear are shaping your reality. Why not ignore the fire and focus on dancing with me?” He said and then He did a dance step that I had been trying to learn. I was excited, I had been trying to learn that dance step


“Woooh! You killed it! Teach me that step!” I pleaded. As I began to take the steps with Him, I suddenly started hearing the rhythm He was dancing to, it was amazing and out of whatever was in the world. I closed my eyes to assimilate the sound coming from the strings and percussion, then I opened them again!

I realized we had an orchestra but not the kind we see around! They could play the instruments in such a way that the vibes controlled my feet to dance. The lights were amazing and I realized we were on a stage with the spotlight on us!

We had danced and danced when I suddenly remembered I had been in the fire some hours ago. And I was shocked

“how did we get here? What happened?” I asked

“We were dancing and we should continue” He smiled. We kept dancing while we talked

“I thought we were in the fire?” I asked

“No, we’re just in the spotlight, not fire! Can’t you see it?” He replied
“I am sure we were in the fire!” I insisted

“Well, it depends on what you want to see. You saw the fire, but I saw the spotlight and a nice place to dance. Let’s keep dancing or you like the fire?”

“No” I quickly replied, “I love where we are.”

“Listen, son,” He said holding my hand as we stopped the dance “where your mind is, is where you are. Keep your focus on me and you can walk on every storm. Let your mind be on the beautiful things I have done and not on the threats of men and the challenges of this life.”

Everything went off, it seemed I was back in the fire but now my focus had changed! I went back to dancing. Right now, I love dancing in the fire as I walk through it! They had come to take my ashes and they met a man on the spotlight dancing!

~ George O.N

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7 WAYS TO DEAL WITH SINNING PASTORS


In our previous discussion where we considered if we can take actions against a sinning elder, we that it isn’t out of place. What are the right actions to take? How do we take actions? Does the Bible offer us a guideline on how to take actions against a sinning elder? Let’s look at these few guidelines. These steps apply to every Christian but also shows us how to confront a sinning elder.

1. PRIVATE CONFRONTATION & CORRECT JUDGEMENT

When you notice an elder is sinning, you may be greatly disturbed, it is okay that you may struggle to let go or you may be struggling to come in terms with the fact that an elder sinned against you and God but there is a way to settle these issues in the Church which is the same way you settle issues with other believers. The Bible says in Proverbs 27:6

“Wounds from a sincere friend are better than many kisses from an enemy.”

It is your responsibility to confront someone you caught in sin and speak the truth to him or her in love (Ephesians 4:15). You don’t have to harbour their wrongs in your heart or go around making news out of it. You have to confront them privately for what they did! No matter how painful your rebuke may be to them, it is better than the praises they receive from people who never dared to approach them. The Bible says in Galatians 6:1

“Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted.”

Look carefully, the Bible isn’t talking about just a onetime mistake but a habitual sin! When you discover someone has been caught up in sin, the first thing you do is to confirm your assumptions without wrongly judging him or her and when your assumptions are true, you should seek to restore such a person in a gentle manner and with a heart full of love while you watch yourself to ensure you don’t get trapped too! The judgment that Jesus condemned is gossip, slander and sentimental judgments. The Bible says in John 7:24

“Look beneath the surface so you can judge correctly.”

We can judge things right when we do a careful and biblical evaluation of the situation. We shouldn’t just jump up and start taking sides based on appearance and things that appeal to the emotions, we must look beneath the surface. This is also how we are careful so that we don’t eventually go into sin while trying to help another. When you have confronted someone privately for his wrongs and he continues with it, take the second step.

2. INVOLVE A THIRD OR FEW MORE PARTY

The next biblical step to take is not to broadcast it to the world! You should involve two or three persons as the Bible says in Matthew 18:16 and go to encourage him out of that sin. These two persons could even be witnesses or Church executives. Your visit to the elder isn’t a sign of disloyalty but a portrayal of love for him and the people committed to his care. He may not even understand that it but that’s alright. If this elder continues in the wrong ways then the third step is necessary.

3. INVOLVE CHURCH ELDERS

In some Churches these days, there aren’t multiple elders who the Pastor is accountable. When you have confronted an elder (or Pastor) with few executives and he insists on living the way he wants, you may have to involve the senior Pastor or the Pastors he is submitting to in the case if he is the Senior Pastor of your congregation. The leadership are to take up the matter and discipline the elder. But if he admits he’s wrong, you must stop on this step.

4. LET THE ELDERS FAULT BE MADE PUBLIC

When an elder has refused to change and keeps on sinning the Bible recommends in 1 Timothy 5:20

“But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning.”

Many times, the sins of elders will go on influencing those he is leading. He may not even know that a lot of people already knows about his sexual misconduct or his tendencies to always write off money from the church purse for his personal use and he wouldn’t even be aware that he is wrongly influencing various other persons. The Bible recommends that such an elder should be rebuked publicly! Another instance is when an elder makes a public declaration that is totally against the word, the correction should be made public too and not private. This step would humble him and make him steer back to the right path, on the other hand, it will also correct those who had assimilated the wrong teachings.

5. LET HIM LEAVE THE FELLOWSHIP OR THE LEADERSHIP

If the elder had continued in that sinful way after all efforts have been made to address his issues and he insists on living the way he wants, he should come down from that leadership position and also be shown the way out of that fellowship. Now, this is very difficult for a Church organization where the elder happens to be the senior pastor and also happens to assume the highest authority where he isn’t accountable to the members of the Church or even the leadership board. The essence of leaving or coming down from his position as a Pastor is because he would continue influencing other loyalists, he would also continue using the resources of that ministry to shield himself. Concerning this kind of disciplinary action, Paul said in 1 Corinthians 5:1-5

“It is reported that there is sexual sin among you. I’m told that a man is sleeping with his father’s wife. Even people who don’t know God won’t let that kind of sin continue. And you are proud! Shouldn’t you be very sad instead? Shouldn’t you have thrown out of your church the man doing this? Even though I am not right there with you, I am with you in spirit. And because I am with you in spirit, I have already judged the man doing this. I have judged him in the name of our Lord Jesus. So when you come together, I will be with you in spirit. The power of our Lord Jesus will also be with you. When you come together like this, hand this man over to Satan. Then the power of sin in his life will be destroyed. His spirit will be saved on the day the Lord returns.”

When you study this passage carefully, you will discover that the man in question has been confronted and even reported to the Church elders in that congregation but because nothing could be done and the sin continued, it was reported to Paul by concerned persons who asked them to throw him out of Church by the authority of Jesus. Paul instructed that they hand him over to Satan. He didn’t mean that the Church has a deal with Satan, what he was saying is “throw him out of fellowship into the world where Satan rules there system.” Although it sounded tough and harsh, it was a disciplinary action that would drive that person back because he wouldn’t want to stay out there in the world after having a taste of the freedom from sin that Christ has given us. By throwing the person out, he is further disciplined by God in a way He deems it fit. The Bible also says in Titus 3:10-11:

“Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them. You may be sure that such people are warped and sinful; they are self-condemned.”

6. PRAY FOR HIM, FORGIVE AND MOVE ON

After he has been thrown out, you have done your part and God is pleased with you. If you are a victim of his wrongs, you can forgive him, pray for him and move on with your life allowing God to deal with him His way. The Bible says in Hebrews 12:6

“For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child.”

The Bible also says in Psalms 94:12

“Blessed is the man You discipline, O LORD, and teach from Your law.”

Always ensure that your motive towards him isn’t to see him punished for his wrongs but to get him restored by God and to send signals to others to desist from such actions.

7. SEEK THE HELP OF LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCIES

If the issue you faced from a Church elder is that which involves physical violence, death threat, rape and so on, it may not be out of place to quickly seek the help of the Police or other law enforcement agencies in your locality. The reason is simple, to prevent him from hurting others, to give him the privilege of seeing how terrible his actions are in the face of the law. While you do this, you may also need to keep others informed about the step you are taking. Concerning the government officials including the various arms of government, the Bible says in Romans 13:3-4

“For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the one in authority? Then do what is right, and you will have his approval. For he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not carry the sword in vain. He is God’s servant, an agent of retribution to the wrongdoer.”

Some conducts aren’t what can be fixed right in the Church, some are conducts that bring about the danger in the society and you are doing the right thing by quickly reporting to the law enforcement agencies. They are also God’s agent of retribution to the wrongdoer.

Meanwhile, when an elder or just any Christian admit their wrong and apologizes publicly, showing genuine repentance, they can be welcomed back to the congregation, given some time for godly restoration and assimilated back into leadership after they had taken time to prove that they are qualified for that position.

This is how I believe sinning elders should be handled in the Church as it is the principles of discipline I found in the Bible. Next time, we will be looking at how a Pastor should seek forgiveness, healing and restoration.

God bless you.

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SHOULD WE IGNORE SINFUL CHURCH PASTORS?


Should we ignore sinful pastors?

Don’t be shocked when a Pastor, Deacon or Bishop is caught in sin. It is not new, it has been happening a long time ago. Sometimes, they are wrongly accused, sometimes their past catches up with them, sometimes it was just a mistake and sometimes they are habitually and willingly engaging in it. First, they are humans and they have those tendencies just like every human. But then, that isn’t an excuse because there is a guideline for those who desire that office and they are supposed to strictly abide by those guidelines.

Many people usually believe that when an Elder or a teacher in Church is being criticized over a statement or an action, it is a fight against the Church but on the other hand, it may not be. Anyone who has been set above others in some sense will always attract public praise or public criticism. If you have no problem with public praise, you shouldn’t have a problem with public criticism. If you are a leader that people looks up to, you are part of their business and therefore you shouldn’t feel some people aren’t minding their business when they make a public discourse of you. Concerning this, the Bible says in James 3:1:

“Dear brothers and sisters, not many of you should become teachers in the church, for we who teach will be judged more strictly.”

You don’t expect people to react to the misdeeds of a leader or instructor less than they would have done towards a commoner. So much is required of Elders and leaders. Although the requirements should apply to all, these special requirements are heavy on elders and leaders in the Church. The reason is that people will usually be modelled after the leaders who are icons in society and therefore should set an example that is beneficial to the body of Christ. The office of Elders and Church leaders is a very peculiar one that must be threaded carefully. Concerning anyone desiring this office, the Bible says

“…Whoever aspires to be an overseer desires a noble task.  Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,  not given to drunkenness, not violent but gentle, not quarrelsome, not a lover of money.  He must manage his own family well and see that his children obey him, and he must do so in a manner worthy of full[ respect.  (If anyone does not know how to manage his own family, how can he take care of God’s church?) He must not be a recent convert, or he may become conceited and fall under the same judgment as the devil. He must also have a good reputation with outsiders so that he will not fall into disgrace and the devil’s trap.”

Being an elder is a noble task and it is worthy of desire! However, the above verse shows us how much is required of a person who desires this office. He must be morally sound and above all must have a good reputation with outsiders which includes unbelievers. This verse also indicates that a bad reputation can bring the minister into disgrace and the devil’s trap! This is the same reason why James wrote that the elder or teacher is judged with much more strictness. Now, how do we handle a sinning elder? How do we respond when an elder is going through discipline as a result of wrong deeds?

Sometimes, God rebukes a straying son by various means. His rebuke is that of love and He doesn’t leave him in the wilderness to die! He brings him back to his senses but also takes him back home. We can do the same by praying for other believers who are caught up in the web of mistakes and wickedness. We all know what the works of the flesh are but we also know that the works of the Spirit include love. As much as we admit a problem, and allow people to have a taste of rebuke sometimes, we must also accord them the opportunity to heal and become better!

A loving father may beat a child for doing wrong but he draws the child back and say “I hate to see you cry but I had to do it for your good.” Someone may beat up a sinning child not because she wants to bring this child to his senses but because she wants to leverage on that opportunity to vent her anger on the child. In the same manner, when a leader is caught up in the web of sin, certain people would use it as an opportunity to display their hatred while some others persons may be asking for discipline because of their love for the Church of Jesus Christ and their desire to see this leader or elder get restored.

Out of emotion, we often rob people of their period of rebuke and discipline! When I want to discipline my child, I will see anyone who tries to stop me as an enemy to my child! You can’t love my child more than I do and therefore your emotions may make you feel uneasy to watch me discipline my child while I am being compelled by love to make my child better. This is how it is between us and God. God may have given us several opportunities to change our ways from doing the wrong thing and we kept ignoring it. To help fix us and get us back right on track, God may have to discipline us with His kind of rod. God’s rod serves as a guiding tool which brings comfort after we have been rebuked! The Psalmist said in Psalms 23:24

“…or you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

It is not an act of love when we see someone going through God’s purifying fire and try dragging them out of it. We aren’t just fighting God, we are not helping that fellow. How do we handle a sinning elder; that is, an elder who commits sins that would distract others and cause factions in the body without repentance? Not about an elder who did something wrong a time ago but an elder who is habitually sinning? How do we handle it? Do we fall for the “do not judge” mantra or do we allow him or her go through God’s disciplinary process?

Sometimes, when God is disciplining someone dear to us, it doesn’t look amazing but God is simply in the process of restoring that fellow. When an elder is found doing something wrong, keeping quiet and hiding it under the carpet is not a show of love, some steps must be taken to ensure that he or she is restored. Remember, the only reason to rebuke and take disciplinary actions on elders especially is that we love them and want them restored. Certain people will not stop doing wrong until a strong action has been taken against their actions.

When we take actions against a sinning elder, we often hear things like “don’t judge a servant of God, let God judge His servants.” if this is true, how do we examine a false teacher? How do we consider someone qualified for ministry? Why would the Bible offer us rich guidelines on church leadership? Even Moses was taken out of leadership when he went against God’s will but then we would argue that it was under the law. What did the Bible say in the New Testament?

“Do not listen to an accusation against an elder unless it is confirmed by two or three witnesses. Those who sin should be reprimanded in front of the whole church; this will serve as a strong warning to others. I solemnly command you in the presence of God and Christ Jesus and the highest angels to obey these instructions without taking sides or showing favouritism to anyone.” 1 Timothy 5:19-21

Taking actions against a sinning leader or elder in the Church isn’t out of place as long as the motive is to save him from continuing, give them time for healing and get them restored. Being a leader, elder or bishop doesn’t keep us immune from disciplinary actions. As bad as it looks at times, this is an important way of keeping the Church environment safe for other Christians including new converts and a way of saving us from what is destructive. 

Are you looking for the right way to take actions against a sinning elder and sometimes a sinning Christian? Read our next article “7 WAYS TO DEAL WITH SINNING PASTORS”

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DISCOVERING THE HEADSHIP OF MAN IN THE FAMILY


Welcome to the age where men are fighting for relevance, where they have to suppress their wives and children to get what they suppose is respect. Sometimes, fighting for something simply indicates that we either do not have it, that we aren’t worth it or that we have lost it! If a man still has his headship intact, he may not have to fight for it, he would just have to act on it! If a man hadn’t lost his headship, is there any need fighting for it? Sometimes again, people fight for what they have because they don’t even know they have it or because they can’t even operate it and identify what they have from the results it yields.

Until men concede to the true essence of “headship”, until they humble themselves and take up the cloak of service, they will continue fighting for relevance, seeking for respect and yet never get restored into the seat of “headship”. Efficient leadership is found in the place of effective co-operation. You don’t fight for it, you don’t blow the trumpet for it! You simply walk into it within the doors of service. This service begins with love and gets achieved with love. Leadership cannot be proven by manipulated submission, it is proven by willing followership.

Before we look into some things that the Bible said concerning the man in his family, we are very much aware that if we want to understand the true way God designed men to serve his own body by the reason of the woman becoming one with him and the children being the products of that union, we must look at how Jesus served and serves the Church as His own body! Jesus said in Mark 10:45

“For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

Jesus who is our Lord, the King of Kings and the saviour of the world never came seeking for people to serve Him! He came with service in His hands, He came offering service to anyone willing to receive. Yet, it is His service that got us all running to Him! You see the sick, the sinners, the rejected and even Children running up to Him because He serves, He wasn’t forcing submission on anyone as the religious leader would do, He was rather giving out Himself to people and these people, in turn, were bowing willingly to Him!

No wonder the women followed Jesus so well! They look at Jesus and they see the definition of the perfect man! They couldn’t see this kind of man in the religious leaders of that time, they couldn’t see it in the common men because the demands were heavy on them to always submit. It was a forceful submission to men and the ills of the society. A woman was caught in adultery, they passed judgment on her and almost stoned her in condemnation while the man was not even brought to the public but shielded! The same happens in our societies today, women are condemned if they ever cheat on their husbands while men are absolved by the society. Well, Jesus treated everyone the same! In Matthew 9:3, Jesus told a paralytic man that his sins are forgiven and in Luke 7:48, Jesus also told a sinful woman that her sins were forgiven. Jesus sees differently and if men must discover the place of headship, they have to learn of Christ.

We see something amazing about Jesus, He is aware that He is the Lord and the master, He is aware of His authority but the awareness of His authority only got Him into serving those that were supposed to serve Him. It was absurd when He bent low to wash the feet of His disciples, it wasn’t a ritual, it wasn’t a kind of ceremony, it was an example that He had set for every leader called by His name to follow. Jesus redefined leadership, He brought God’s meaning of leadership and in Him, we discovered that leadership simply means “serving others.” In John 13:13-15, as the disciples wondered why He would stoop low to wash their feet which is the work of the least of servants, He said to them

“You call me ‘Teacher’ and ‘Lord,’ and rightly so, for that is what I am. Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another’s feet. I have set you an example that you should do as I have done for you.”

Jesus needed to set the record straight. By His actions, He was shouting on top of His voice “leaders are servants! Lords and teachers are feet washers! If you truly identify yourself as the head, you must bend low to serve. The head serves the body.” Have you ever studied the body? What is the duty of the head? The head serves the body in several ways until the body becomes strong enough to give back to the head. Before you started feeding yourself, your mother would bring your head closer to her breast and let you suck her milk. It is by this nourishment that you became stronger to the point of being able to feed yourself through the same head that had started serving you! It is with the same hand that had become strong that you wash your head, do your makeups and make the head attractive! In the same manner, Jesus showed us that the headship of man is greatly displayed in service to his body and turn, the body gives back to the man.

The reason many men don’t enjoy respect today is that they were fighting for it, they were mounting pressures for it and they never worked for it! You can’t earn what you don’t work for. Many times, we are forcing women into the position of headship by forcing them to serve! The leader is the one who initiates service, he is the model of service. Why leave women to train the children while you just make money and pay school fees? Haven’t you asked why many children grow up following their mothers? This is because it was the mother that they recognized her services, they are giving back to the leadership they felt and could relate with.

Why do we have to look up to Jesus to see what exactly leadership is in the family? First, Jesus and the Church is the reality of God’s design for the family (Revelations 19:7). Secondly, the Bible instructs us to learn from Jesus (Matthew 11:29) and thirdly, the Bible instructs men to love their wives just like Jesus loves the Church (Ephesians 5:25), the man must act towards his wife and family as Jesus acted towards the Church. However, there are still more that we can get from the Bible and if men can heed to this, they will explore the place of headship!

The submission of the wife to the man is by influence. The man influences his wife through his service; a pleasant display of love and true leadership. Someone would respond to you and even bow before you not because they respect you in their heart but because you have a gun and would shoot them if they disobey. Jesus didn’t come forcing Himself to us, He came saying “come unto me, I have the rest you seek.” This is the manner with which men should express headship. The authority of the man isn’t that of a dictator, the Biblical-leadership of the husband is expressed with Godly virtues. The Bible says in Colossians 3:19

“Husbands, love your wives and never treat them harshly.”

I like the sound of that word “never!” The duty of the husband springs with love as Jesus loves the Church. The Bible also instructs that there isn’t any account on which the husband should be harsh to his wife. God’s desire in giving a woman to a man isn’t to get a new servant for the man but to allow the man to raise and model a Godly family! The woman is also a child of God, with the advantage of helping the man in his areas of weakness and the tasks given to him by God. This isn’t the sole reason women were created.

My previous articles have explained that beyond marriage, women also have the calling and blessing to subdue the earth and lead in society. In marriage, the woman possesses a strength that can help the man. God never graded the women as a second-place or an afterthought and this is why men are wired to care for them, not as though they are weak but because they are treasures that need protection. What will you do to the store of your treasures? Will you invest in security to keep it secure or will you leave it to the mercies of chances? Husbands influence submission by protecting and caring for their wives! There is no place of commanding the wife or pressurizing her into something. You influence her by your love, provision and utmost care! This is how a man initiates leadership. The Bible says in this regard in 1 Timothy 5:8

“But if any do not take care of their relatives, especially the members of their own family, they have denied the faith and are worse than an unbeliever.”

The husband sets an example of care and provision! Yes, the virtuous woman also provides, she is also engaged with several businesses and in the same vein don’t ignore her family and husband but the man sets an example of service and the woman also responds to this love wholeheartedly.

God never gave you a wife to use her as a punching bag! God never gave you a woman to experiment with your power and physical strength, she was given for companionship, to humble you and to help you become the best of you! It is wrong when you attribute leadership to your quest for power! Your physical strength is given to you to use and protect your wife and your children. It doesn’t make you superior, it simply brings uniqueness to your role as a husband. The Bible says in 1 Peter 3:7

“In the same way, you husbands must give honour to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”

Wives aren’t to be treated as afterthoughts but with honour and understanding! This is one great way to discover and take your place as the head or leader in the family. Regardless of the physical strength of a woman, she is not inferior and should be treated as your partner! Sometimes men hinder their progress as “husbands” by the way they treat their wives. You need to also come to that place of submission, that place of accountability and that place of honour for your wife. The strength of the man was ever designed to be lord over a woman, the man should rather use that strength to care and love a woman. She will willingly follow as her followership is a gift for your awesome display of leadership.

Have you noticed that God designed both male and female in such a way that they would complement? Where the man is weak, the woman is usually strong and where the woman is weak, the man is usually strong! Technically, no one is truly stronger if we put all of this into consideration. We will always find the answer when we go back and look at the creation story. God brought the woman to the man because the man needed a companion and a helpmeet. The best of this woman can only be gotten in teamwork. When the recognizes and take his place as a leader in the place of true service, love and respect for the woman, he will build a successful home!

One way to dismantle spiritual order in homes is to fight for authority as a man. The kind of authority God wants the man to have isn’t that gotten through dictatorship, through pressure or even through emotional blackmail. It is the authority gotten through service and love for what God has committed to his care. When we serve, we win those who we serve and they gladly follow. A wife will always give back to the service of the man and this way the husband takes his place of ‘headship’ to raise a Godly-family.

God bless you.

~ George O.N

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IS JESUS STILL PREPARING A PLACE FOR US?


Before the death of Jesus, He made a promise to go away and prepare a place. Is that still so? Is He making many mansions ready for us? Are we entitled to a flat, semi-detached house, a room, a skyscraper or a mansion? How ready are you getting for the house? Will you be coming with your properties or will Jesus ensure each house gets furnished?

Well, I’ve got a news flash for you! Jesus isn’t preparing a place for us anymore. The place is already prepared. He isn’t building mansions as we were taught, the place He already prepared for us is Himself! Let’s do a little study:

“In My Father’s house, there are many dwelling places (homes). If it were not so, I would have told you; for I am going away to prepare a place for you. And when (if) I go and make ready a place for you, I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also. And [to the place] where I am going, you know the way. Thomas said to Him, Lord, we do not know where you are going, so how can we know the way? Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.” – John 14:2-6 AMPC

Jesus, before His death said He was going away to prepare a place, it was a pre-New Testament promise because He didn’t say this after His resurrection, He never implied it again. When He said He was going away, He was talking about His death. There was a place in the Kingdom of God, that place wasn’t for the unsaved and by the salvation made available to us by the death and resurrection of Jesus that place became available for anyone who is in Christ Jesus. Look very well and notice He said: “I will come back again and will take you to Myself, that where I am you may be also”. This greatly reveals to us the place Jesus was talking about, He was referring to Himself as the place being made ready for us because only in Him can we truly be with God. He is the place for the believer!

And Jesus further said, I am the way, the truth and the life! Now get this very clearly, Jesus being the way doesn’t mean He is the road to the place! Being the way here implies that He is the point on entrance into a brand new life and He is also that life. Being the truth implies that He is the reality of that place and being the life implies that He is the “making-alive” of any man. There is no other way to access the father because He is the father (John 14:9-10).

Note that when He said He will be back, He wasn’t talking about what we call the “Second Coming”, He was referring to His resurrection and ascension! We aren’t expecting diverse mansions in heaven, Jesus is big enough for every one us. No wonder we are seated with Him in the heavenly places. Jesus said He will take us to Himself so that we can be wherever He is. No wonder the Bible says

“And He raised us up together with Him and made us sit down together [giving us joint seating with Him] in the heavenly sphere [by virtue of our being] in Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One).” – Ephesians 2:6 AMPC

This is our present reality and not even about rapture! We are joined together with the Lord and we have become of one Spirit with Him! (1 Corinthians 6:17). This way, we were raised up together with Him and was made to sit down together in the heavenly realm because we are inside of Him as our dwelling place.

We are not expecting any other mansion better than Jesus! He is our home! We may not know the level and the height of the beauty of this place in Christ where we are. We will get to know this when the flesh wears off! Jesus wasn’t talking about mansions and buildings when He said he was going to make a place! He was talking about making homes for us and He is our home for in Him we have our dwelling place and in Him we find rest!

So, it no longer relevant to think that Jesus is still preparing a place for us in heaven, He isn’t building new houses neither are there any angelic contractors who had been delaying in finishing the buildings. Remember, Jesus said He is preparing a place, not places! He is that place which has been prepared by the reason of His death, burial and resurrection! The Bible says in Act 17:28

“For in him we live and move and have our being.”

The believer isn’t struggling to make heaven at last, the believer is in Christ already and the believer is currently functioning from the heavenly sphere! We have joint seating with Jesus because we are in Him already! While there are so many dwelling places in the Kingdom of God, Jesus prepared a specific place for us! This place is a place even the Angels and 24 Elders aren’t dwelling; they have their place and that’s why Jesus said there are many places. But the specific place Jesus made for us is Himself that we may dwell where He dwells! We are seated on the same very seat where Jesus seats by the virtue of us being in Him.

Isn’t this why we pray in the name of Jesus (John 14:13)? To pray in His name as I wrote many months ago is not just to have a routine of ending our prayers with “in the name of Jesus”, it means He has given us His own authority, it means He has placed us exactly on His own stead. This means to speak like Jesus! When we pray, we aren’t praying through Jesus, we are standing in the place of Jesus to talk! To pray in the name of Jesus means to stand by His own authority. And the Bible says “as He is, so are we in this world” (1 John 4:17).

With this understanding, I believe you are set for the extraordinary!

Blessings

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THE BEAUTY OF BREAKUP


It would seem absurd to say that breakup is beautiful and at its most critical state; a gift when you still loved him or her but watched them go away or when you just couldn’t help it but walk away. Although the instant feeling we get from it is awful, when we think of it in another way, we would be glad to discern that many times, a breakup isn’t a terrible thing, it isn’t even disgusting! It would be the most beautiful thing that has ever happened to us. 

It is okay to cry over breakups, it is okay to mourn what you seem to have lost, the good days you have always banked on and the people you have scared away from your life just because you believed that space is already taken. But can I ask you a quick question? What exactly do you want? What meaning are you reading into their departure? It doesn’t matter the reason why they left, it doesn’t matter if they made you call it off but your thanksgiving should be on the fact that you are done with someone who truly wants to live without you. When people suddenly realize that you don’t fit into their future and decide to walk away from you, it is not bad to cry but never desire them again and never even pray to have them back. Walking away from you is probably the most beautiful favour they have done to you.

Would you have fancied that he or she stayed more years and still eventually break up with you when they had gotten deeper into you? Would you have preferred they left you right after the altar vows? Would you have preferred they left you with a baby or two? I know someone whose reply would be “yes!” but that is because she is still lost in the euphoria of the past, she still feels there are people she can’t live without. In a matter of days, weeks, months or perhaps, years, she will realize we can really do without people who don’t truly want us.

We truly don’t have so much time on earth, why spend it mourning something that isn’t meant to be with us? Why spend it with someone who has a lot of options aside us? Why spend it with someone who believes there isn’t any future for us? They aren’t bad people anyway for wanting to live without us but we deserve better, they don’t deserve those tears and mourning. What they deserve is your acceptance of their departure! Since you were just an option in their lives, you truly need someone who doesn’t see you as an option, someone who has seen something in you that they can’t let go. It is not about something who can’t do without you, it is about someone who has decided not to live without you. When someone wants to walk away from your life, they don’t deserve your tears. What they deserve is that you show them the way out through the exit door.

Why want to stick to a relationship that is on its last leg just because you are afraid of walking alone for some time? There has to be a serious connection, there has to be a strong definition of purpose and there has to be a sense of security. When he or she always makes you question your place in that relationship, they don’t deserve you. See that break up as a blessing, see it as empowerment to move ahead with your life and build a more meaningful relationship that is relevant to your future and your dreams! No matter how bad you had felt, you need to change the way you look at break-up, it is usually a huge blessing!

Sometimes, that breakup is salvation from abusive and toxic relationships that you wouldn’t let go! It would be emotional abuse or physical abuse. This relationship may never have been what you desired, you may have been the one apologizing for all issues, you may have been the one trying to keep the relationship going simply because of how far both of you have gone! You may have been enduring months or years of never being understood, never been cared for or respected but you can’t let go because you believe that somehow it would work out. You believe you may manage all along and he or she has helped you by breaking it off!

There are other times it may be that your partner depends on you for all of his or her emotional fulfilment! You are blamed for every time they don’t feel good, you are blamed for every time they felt sick, you are blamed for not picking calls, visiting and being there all the time! Now that he or she is walking away, why not stand out for them to pass? Don’t you know this a deliverance? You need your own space, you need your own life too. You aren’t Jesus and you don’t need to lose your own life and dreams just to please someone who is all out for himself and not for you!

Anyone who wants to leave you today can still leave you at any point, don’t try stopping them. They can leave early and they can leave late! The longer their departure takes, the severe the hurt becomes. The more you try to hold them from leaving, the more you breed a bigger problem for yourself because you will keep getting much more emotionally attached to them. So, when they leave, they have liberated you from problems and regardless of the reason why they left, see it as good news for yourself, see it as deliverance!

Breakup isn’t as bad as you think, it is not bad at all! It is beautiful and very relieving! You may be willing to stay in an unhealthy relationship just because you have low self-esteem and you think you aren’t good enough for a beautiful and better relationship but breakup delivers you from that mentality! It gives you another opportunity to learn and even avoid certain mistakes you had made. Breakup is another opportunity to get things right, it doesn’t mean that things will automatically become right just after breakups but now you have an opportunity to correct things you couldn’t correct earlier and you also have an opportunity to look at yourself and make adjustments! Breakup is an opportunity to build again right from the foundation.

It is true that a big vacuum has been created, it is true that the once closed door of your heart has been left open once again but it is also true that you have a better opportunity to give that space to the right person. This is the beauty of breakup.

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THE ESSENCE OF CHRISTIAN GATHERINGS


If you are very close to me or have been part of any group or organization that I have worked with, you surely do know one thing about me. It is how uncomfortable I become when I stay in a Christian gathering for too long and all they make out of their meetings are praying for money, making prophetic declarations for wealth and teaching only about prosperity and other material things. If what is being preached in most Churches today round the clock is what Christianity should be all about, God knows I would have walked through the path of atheism. No wonder God came to me when I was very young and no wonder God allowed His healing power surge through me to heal people instantly on a few occasions! If I had never had these personal encounters of God or have never heard Him speak directly to me through His word, I would have given up on Christianity. Why?

Some teachings and practices in today’s Churches have made it seem as though what is very easy for a wealthy man to do is difficult for God to do. I remember some years ago when my Dad had issues in business, a Pastor told me and my male siblings that we would fast for two days without water and food and that after the fast, God would release His wealth on a date he gave to us. I remember that what was made out of all the gatherings I ever encountered in that ministry was about money, healing, babies and so on! There was never a day when I came and grew in the knowledge of Jesus. The financial breakthrough became my sole reason for attending those gatherings. Well, after the fast and after some years past the date he gave to us, nothing happened.

I also remember all the years I attended “21 years days fire conference” at the beginning of each year where various ministers are invited to come. It was very rare to have someone come to teach us the word, it was hard to really say we grew in the knowledge of the word. The common experience was that after each meeting, we go home bouncing in the excitement that before the end of the programs, we would be receiving miracle credit alerts, miracle jobs, miracle babies and all manner of material miracles. I have never heard any testimony that says “I want to thank God because since I started attending this meeting, I have grown in the knowledge of the word of God and my perspective is changing.”

Our faith in Jesus shouldn’t be about getting things. It is time we come to the true knowledge of the gospel, where our gathering isn’t about receiving prophetic declarations for wealth in the week or for visas to travel out. The essence should be to understand the gospel and grow in maturity. The reason God has called people into ministering to the Saints is not for anything else but for growth and maturity in the word and the things of God and His kingdom.

It makes me cry each time I look at believers gather in their thousands but miss the true essence of those gatherings, I see it as amazing opportunities being wasted. How can we be in gatherings all Sundays and Wednesdays of the week and all we ever do is ask God for a release of wealth, a release of material things but never a cry to quench our thirst and hunger for more knowledge of Him.

You will never see me in any financial breakthrough crusades or 21 days breaking of ancestral curses. This is not because I don’t regard people who do such programs but it is because I have something I am pursuing, I am hungry for more, I want to know more of Jesus and I want to be in a place of a genuine experience of God’s presence and the truism of the gospel. I am very sure that Jesus didn’t come to make us materially richer to even solve the world’s physical problem.

This earth as it is was created perfectly by God but God handed over to the man and at some point He doesn’t even decide certain things! You are wondering why we have many poor people and God seems not to be doing something about it. Well, it is not His job! It is our own job to help the poor, protect the weak, cloth the naked and even love our enemies. Why? Because this earth belongs to us and it is what we make out of it that it becomes. Jesus said that whenever we offer assistance to the least people on earth, we are assisting Him. We are God’s vessels of sharing love to others and therefore we shouldn’t be asking God to play the part that we supposed to be playing. Our focus as Christians should be about becoming better outwardly as we have been made perfect inwardly, it should be about representing what the word of God talks about.

Call for meetings where God’s word is taught, you will see me there! Call for a prayer meeting geared towards thanksgiving, you will see me there. As much as I believe in miracles and don’t joke with it, as much as I have seen God’s power surge through my own hands to heal the sick, I don’t go about seeking for Miracles, what I seek is the quench of my thirst, I seek to know more than I have ever known and I seek to know Jesus beyond whatever I have experienced. This should be the expectation of believers but now believers are the ones acting like unbelievers, going here and there in search of miracles instead of being hungry for God, they are hungry for money! What did Jesus say?

“So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?’ These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers, but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.”

Do you see that? It is people without faith and with unbelief that go about worrying about what to eat, drink and wear! When we commit our hands to something, we are very sure that the works of our hands are blessed! (Deuteronomy 28:12) We are the answers to world problems, it is not something we make out of meetings designed to help solidify us in the place we stand! Throughout the Bible, we will never see a time Christians gathered to pray for money and fame! It didn’t stop people from making money but they were maximizing the true purpose of Church gathering! It is immaturity to make our meetings all about material things and miracles. The Bible says in Hebrews 6:1

“So let us stop going over the basic teachings about Christ again and again. Let us go on instead and become mature in our understanding…”

The essence of our meetings should be to become mature in our understanding of Jesus and what He has done! Asking and crying for money doesn’t increase our understanding, we are only limiting God to the capacity of men because what we are asking is what mere men can do! It also showcases our worry over things we shouldn’t worry about. There should be a place of contentment in our everyday walk, there should be a place of thanksgiving regardless of our situations.

We weren’t given Pastors so that they could pray us into money, we weren’t given ministers so that they can pray us into marriage, awesome academic results and other material success! Truth is, unbelievers achieve these things without faith and without prayers, these things aren’t why Jesus came and why the Church became instituted. The Bible tells us why we have ministers of the gospel who are committed to the Church.

“Now these are the gifts Christ gave to the church: the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, and the pastors and teachers. Their responsibility is to equip God’s people to do his work and build up the church, the body of Christ. This will continue until we all come to such unity in our faith and knowledge of God’s Son that we will be mature in the Lord, measuring up to the full and complete standard of Christ. Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.” Ephesians 4:11-14

When a Pastor spends all the years of his pastoral ministry talking about material things and financial prosperity, he isn’t fulfilling the purpose of his calling. The only essence why ministers of the gospel are called is to equip God’s people to do a general work of reconciliation given to all believers. The duty of these ministers continues until that time when Jesus will come again, that time when we all come to unity in our faith and knowledge of Jesus. Miracle seekers are prone to fall into the hands of false prophets, they are prone to fall into the hands of tricky people! Jesus said concerning this in Matthew 24:24

“For false messiahs and false prophets will rise up and perform great signs and wonders so as to deceive, if possible, even God’s chosen ones.”

Our hunger in God’s presence should be to know more of Him and not to get more money, more health, awesome partner and good education. It is very nice to work and make earnings, it is nice to have dreams and bring it to reality but we must know where we draw the line! Mere men can offer these things like money, education and so on but our pursuit of God should be about those things men cannot offer us.

Attending Church meetings shouldn’t be about getting our names on the register and having a group support us in funeral and so on. It is not about buying God’s favour for the month and receiving “monthly prophetic words for financial release.” It should be about hearing words and teachings that help us grow and mature. It should be about meeting people of like mind and fellowshipping with other saints! When we attend our Church meetings, we are also getting new opportunities to bear one another’s burden and belong to a community where iron sharpens iron!

Why do you go to Church? To get God’s favour or to grow in the knowledge of who God has already made you become?

God bless you.

~ George O.N

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HOW WOMEN SHOULD NOT SUBMIT IN MARRIAGE


What exactly are we talking about when we talk about submission in marriage? Should the issue of submission be wrestled about? Do men have to out-rightly demand this submission? In what sense should women submit to their husbands? If you are an ardent reader of George’s Diary, you will have seen various teachings we had done as regards to women and we keep updating them every day to ensure accuracy. If women were asked to submit to their husbands, does it mean they are not equal with their husbands? Does it suggest they are to live by their husband’s rule without question? I will answer a few of these questions by actually telling us what submission isn’t or what God never defined as submission in marriage.

Marriage is like a plane where there are two pilots. Both contribute to a successful flight! For order, there is usually a captain and then the co-pilot. Sometimes the captain will need a rest and the senior officer (co-pilot) plays the role of the captain. In a family of two siblings, one would have come first and he is branded the “senior” but it doesn’t suggest he is superior or even more important. Being the senior is in age and ranking but in the real sense of it, they are equal as children, sons or daughters and they both have equal access to their parents and the resources made available to them as members of the family. However, certain tasks and responsibilities will be given to them with respect to their strength. Sometimes, the junior may even be stronger than the senior and it doesn’t make anyone more important or superior to one and another.

A captain and a co-pilot require the same skill and qualifications. There are no flight tasks exempted from the co-pilot as he or she needs an equal qualification to play the commanding role when the captain takes a break. In some cases too, the co-pilot plays a complementary role in difficult tasks where his or her own contributions and intelligence is also valued! It doesn’t rob the captain of his leadership position.

I believe that married couples are one and each contributes to raising a healthy family according to their areas of strength. Being a wife doesn’t make her inferior neither does being a husband makes him superior to the wife. In a simple line, to live in submission as a wife simply means responding to God’s call into the office of a helpmeet, recognizing and honouring the husband’s God-given position as the leader of the family with whom you stir the affairs of the family. It is in the identification of his role as the leader that you are even able to offer him necessary help and to also stand in his capacity when he is weak. In response to the issue of submission, husbands are also called to “highly respect” and hold their wives in high esteem! (1 Peter 3:7) To highly respect means to have a great sense and feeling of deep admiration for someone or something elicited by their abilities, qualities, or achievements.

So, a husband, in turn, should be in awe of the amazing qualities his wife possess in solving problems! Leadership is meant to bring out the great potentials of others and this is what a husband should do, he gives room for the “helping” potentials of his wife to manifest! You don’t get that by imposing authority, you get that by allowing them to manifest freely and it is in their willingness to manifest their gifts as a wife freely that they also submit. The logic is, submission becomes very easy when you love and greatly respect your wife and the “answers” they carry. Another way men express leadership in marriage is by loving their wives the same way Christ loves the Church and gave Himself for the Church (Ephesians 5:25). This is a sacrifice, a man must sacrifice everything including his ego as an expression of leadership in the home!

Now, let’s look at certain things we must never define as submission.

1. SUBMISSION IS NOT UNCONDITIONAL AGREEMENT

We often hear people say things like “you have to agree with him without question because he is your husband. You can only suggest but he decides.” Oh well, that sounds so cool but that is a whole bunch of lies. In 1 Peter 3, if there were wives whose husbands were not Christians; in this sense, they heavily disagree, then it is possible to disagree with things that aren’t healthy to your purpose, your convictions in life and your ultimate loyalty to Christ. If the husband decides to have a threesome sexual experience, you wouldn’t suggest “no” to him, you would scream “no!” and in the same way, you can be bold with your convictions. After all, we have established the fact that leadership in marriage means giving room for the good opinions of another. There are places in a marriage where a woman is left with no option than to disagree respectfully and there is also no room for a man to impose his opinion disrespectfully.

2. SUBMISSION IS NOT “WITHOUT YOUR MIND”

Marriage doesn’t make a woman a robot, it doesn’t even make a woman a sex machine in the sense that she can’t say “please can we do this later, I really overworked myself today.” Submission doesn’t mean that the woman’s opinion is inferior and it doesn’t mean the mind of the woman has been sold out to the man. A good leader in marriage will always want to know and respect the opinions and strength of the other person. Many people would misinterpret 1 Corinthians 7:4 by suggesting a wife will always be available for sex but the same chapter clearly says the body of the husband also belongs to the wife and in the next verse it talks about mutual consent. A respectful husband serving as a leader should always be able to respect the body of his wife and understand when she is weak. On the other hand, being a submissive wife doesn’t mean putting your mind away and accepting things that are anti-Christ and destructive to you. You can speak your mind in the marriage too, don’t let anyone deceive you into thinking that God wants you to say “oh! yes” to everything. Remember your ultimate submission is to God and your submission to your husband should be guided by your submission to God.

The Bible view on authority should not be likened to that of the world, loyalty and submission in the family isn’t like what we see in political parties where people agree to ideologies they aren’t convinced about just because they are members of that party. You can disagree with your husband when he wants to overspend, it is both of you that pilots the ship and your own opinion also matter. In leadership, we must admit a better opinion when we see it. A good leader in marriage should be able to accept a better view and leave his own views aside. Leadership is all about doing something together and not about rolling out a personal plan.

You don’t say “we must do this!”, sometimes you say it this way “should we do this? Is it a good idea?” This is what husbands should do as they stand in the place of captains.

3. SUBMISSION IS NOT BEING LESS IMPACTFUL

Never ever be discouraged by trying to also have a great impact or strong influence over your husband’s decisions and character. Many people think that you must allow him to live the way he wants but that is not true. You were called to help him as a wife and therefore you should be the biggest influence in his life. It is not a lack of submission when you want your husband to act in certain ways. My mother got my father born again, my mother influenced him into quitting alcohol and smoking! She also had a superior influence on us and ensured we didn’t follow that path. Does that make her less submissive? No, because she was submitted not just to the man but to the purpose of the marriage and the office she occupies as a helpmeet and a mother. Today, we don’t even remember we had a Dad who would smoke and drink alcohol.

4. SUBMISSION IS NOT DOING THE WORK ALONE

People also usually think that submission in marriage means doing all the domestic chores, doing the dishes, taking care of the Children and the laundry while still keeping up with your daily job in the office. This is very wrong! You can have a submissive wife without having her enter the kitchen once! Trying to take up all the work doesn’t make you a submissive wife anyway. It is not even wrong to suggest to your husband that he should take up some domestic responsibilities and as a husband you are not being a coward by not trying to blackmail your wife into making her feel she isn’t a good woman if she isn’t able to do all the work. There should be a division of labour in the home especially when she isn’t a housewife and no man is supposed to force a woman to sit in the house all day. In our family, Dad can’t cook and therefore he doesn’t enter the kitchen for anything. The first times he tried, it was an eye sour! Mum does the cooking when we are not available to cook! On the other hand, Dad loves to do the laundry for himself and mum while we wash ours ourselves. When we are not available to clean the house and fill the water cans, Dad would do them himself. Now you see that? They both respect their places of strength without imposing extra duties on the other person.

5. SUBMISSION IS NOT “HUSBAND” ABOVE EVERYTHING

A wife has a life to live, she is a staff, a student, a member of an organization, a leader in the social world, a doctor, a mother, a friend and so on! Therefore she should balance her life to meet up with all the demands. Submission doesn’t mean going to see your husband when it is time to be at work, it is not going out with your husband when you need to stay with the kids, it doesn’t mean staying with your husband when you have an emergency in the hospital as a medical doctor. Husbands should understand this! Above all, our ultimate submission is to Christ and therefore when it comes to choosing between the husband and Jesus, it is Jesus without negotiation but with deep respect from both sides. While we love and respect our spouse, our ultimate reverence is to God.

The list would go on but now we can understand that our definition of submission should not be defined with the idea of cult-like followership, a hopeless dependence and careless disregard of our own personal convictions, goals and God’s calling in an attempt to stick to order. Both submission and leadership in marriage can only be best understood in the light of the scriptures. In other words, submission truly doesn’t mean living for the man and in his own terms, it means living for God and shaping your marriage to truly reflect God’s will and purpose for that marriage. In turn, the man expresses true leadership by identifying the duty of the woman and allowing her to carry it out effectively.

To be submissive in marriage is to be loyal to the purpose of that marriage and to affirm the role of the man as a leader making the woman also understand her own role as a helpmeet. You can’t help solve an issue you haven’t identified with.

God bless you.

~ George O.N

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WOMEN ARE NOT GOD’S ORIGINAL IDEA. HUH?


Saying that women are afterthoughts is direct disrespect to God! Quote me anywhere! I will debunk that opinion in just a few lines.

 God’s idea about women isn’t hidden in the Bible, it is not even difficult to see. To say women are not God’s original idea is to say God is not perfect. But I think it will take willful neglect of the Bible or ignorance to say that women are afterthoughts. This is what the Bible says in Genesis 1:27

“So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”

Before the formation of the man and the woman, God had already created them. He charged both male and female to

“Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.” (vs 28)

Both male and female were created on the sixth day but they were formed only when it was relevant to God’s purpose. Both genders were asked to subdue to earth and be fruitful on it! It is not gendered specific.

In Genesis 2, after God had ceased from creating, He decided to call things into physical existence! The male and female human had been in spiritual existence but now God was going to call them into physical existence. The Bible says in Genesis 2:7

“Then the LORD God formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed the breath of life into his nostrils, and the man became a living being”

Do you see that? To form means to put into shape and what God actually formed was the body of the man and not the spirit of man which is the real man and cannot be formed with sand. When God breathed into man, it was the Spirit of man that He breathed into that man and therefore the formed body became a living being because a created Spirit has been deposited in it.

In Genesis 2:22 after Adam had looked for a helpmeet but couldn’t see, God was ready to also bring the woman who was created in Genesis 1 into physical existence. God wanted Adam to understand the need, strength and value of a woman. He couldn’t get such value from animals but only from another kind of man vested with a superior ability to help him in areas he can’t help himself. Before then, God already gave the world to both, God already handed authority to them both but when it comes to raising a family and the personal life of the male to some extent, he would also need the power of the woman just as Christians needs the Holy Spirit as a helper. Now the Bible says

“And from the rib that the LORD God had taken from the man, He made a woman and brought her to him”

If forming the body of the man with soil doesn’t make the soil superior to man, then forming the woman with some elements from the man doesn’t make the man superior.

When Adam saw Eve, he exclaimed in excitement

“This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called ‘woman,’ for out of the man she was taken.”

What does that tell you? Eve was not created out of the Man, her body was made out of that of the man just as the man was made out of the soil. However, the beginning of Adam’s statement shows us something powerful! He didn’t suggest the woman was made for the man, he rather suggests that “this is the same bone as my bones and the same flesh as my flesh!” This is a strong indication of equality. I wonder where people get their flawed opinion of women from if not from the systems of the Devil himself.

In Genesis 5:2, we are reminded that women are not afterthoughts, they are God’s original idea and both genders are truly what makes up the complete definition of man in God’s perspective. The Bible says:

“Male and female He created them, and He blessed them. And in the day they were created, He called them “man.”

Now, the Bible wasn’t talking about the formation but the creation. When God created man, it was referring to both the male and the female and this is why God still calls everyone “man”. It is even the woman that has the seed of multiplication, the power to multiply is in the woman and not the man. How then does someone stand up to boldly insult God by saying that He made a mistake and tried correcting by making a woman?

After the fall, when God said to the woman

“You will desire your husband, and he will rule over you.”

He wasn’t saying “this is my original idea of making you.” He was simply telling them what was obtainable outside His presence (Eden) because the devil will always want to reverse God’s original plan. Ruling over women is not God’s idea, it the adverse effect of sin and the idea of the devil.

As believers in Christ Jesus who has been set free from the curse of sin, we are meant to be an example to the world and we are meant to understand what God’s purpose is and live by it. This is why Peter wrote in 1 Peter 3:7

“In the same way, you husbands must give honour to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered.”

Can you read that? While women may appear physically weak, they should be treated with respect and understanding! Men too ought to respect their wives because they are an equal partner with them in God’s gift of new life! We have received a new life and it makes all the difference, reconciling us to God’s original plan. When we are asked to honour our wives, we weren’t asked to just respect them but to “highly” respect them and hold them in high esteem!

Whoever says to you that “women are afterthoughts” or “not God’s original idea” is either mischievous in communicating the truth of God’s word or very ill-informed on the truth of the word. This is more reason why you should bend down to study God’s word for yourself. Nobody taught me this except the Holy Spirit who shed light on these areas when I was studying Genesis.

God bless you!

~ George O.N

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SEVEN WAYS TO MANAGE YOUR ANGER


We all get to that point where we seem to have been caught off guard. Anger isn’t a new thing to virtually anyone, it is not something you are taught in school but a part of your makeup. Anger is very normal and to some extent very healthy and part of your emotions. Since anger belongs to you, it shouldn’t decide what you do, it should be under your own feet, you should be the one who controls how you express it. What you don’t control may turn around to control you and when anger begins to control you it becomes cancerous, it can damage you, your relationships and things that are very important to you. If you are looking for a way to manage your anger, it is probably because you are aware that anger isn’t giving you the best of what you want. Although you may be enticed to use what you have, you can also decide not to use it when it is not truly going to be helpful.

In today’s post, we aren’t going to be discouraging you from expressing anger because it can become a whole lot of bigger problems but we will give you helpful tips on how to manage your anger and express it in a very healthy way. Paul wrote in Ephesians 4:26

“Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger.”

It is okay to get angry, it is something God built in us to respond to threats and sometimes even help us find a solution to something. But it is wrong when we let anger take control of us, that is where sin comes into place. Sometimes people let anger take control by staying angry all day. It is a choice, you can decide to let anger take control of you or to take control of your anger. Here are some simple tips on how to manage your anger.

1. DON’T SPEAK BEFORE COGITATION

You are bound to say things you will regret in the future if you speak out of anger without thinking. Although when people’s actions stir up anger, we seem to want to act immediately, sagacity demands that we walk out of that situation for a time no matter what we are feeling and to think over it for another moment. Sometimes anger shapes our attitude and sometimes we see from a more helpful viewpoint after that anger is gone. When we decide to take a break and think, we are also offering other people involved with the corresponding opportunity to think before saying anything. The Bible rightly says in Proverbs 14:17 “People with a hot temper do foolish things; wiser people remain calm”

2. DON’T FEIGN PLEASURE

When you have really thought about it, express your anger in a controlled way. Don’t try wrapping up your anger in religious covers or because you want to appear more mature. The worst things to do about your anger is to hide it, don’t believe such half-baked truth that Christians can’t get angry. Anyone can be angry and God created those emotions in each and every one of us. Sometimes, anger serves a good purpose, it pushes us into taking actions concerning a situation that shouldn’t be there in the first place. If something makes you angry, then you’ve got something to deal with. Acknowledging your anger is truly a major way to start out with managing it because if we do not acknowledge it, we will not be able to manage it and it can graduate to rage, resentment not just towards a situation but towards other people. Hidden anger causes all manner of ailments including depression, disorders and even cancer! These things have been proven by various researches. The Bible says in Proverbs 14:30 A peaceful heart leads to a healthy body…”

3. DON’T OVER-SCRUTINIZE ISSUES

While it is okay to have a break and think about the actions you are about to take, you shouldn’t let your mind continue to journey back into that issue! You don’t have to keep examining and speculating over the wrongs meted out to you. In fact, the reason you have to think is that you want to take control of your anger and not because you want to give your anger rooms to truly express itself. The more you think about what they did and the punishment they deserve, you grow out of control. Truth is, you can control your thoughts as much as you can control your anger. This is why the Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:5 that “we should bring every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” How do we bring it to obey Christ? Jesus said we should love one another and therefore our thoughts about any issue should gear towards love.

4. YOU CAN ACTUALLY FORGIVE!

The easiest way I put my anger under check is to forgive my offender, whether they are there or they had gone out of sight. My decision to forgive isn’t usually because I feel like doing so but because I know this is the right thing to do. Sometimes, forgiveness has usually made me appear like a coward. While you have thought about the right actions to take, expressing your anger in a very less aggressive way and wedged yourself from overthinking about it, it is time to forgive him or her. The Bible says in Colossians 3:13 Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” We can mitigate the emotional pain by truly forgiving people and doing it vocally. Sometimes it is also important to reach out to that person and say “I am truly very angry with you but right now I have chosen to forgive you.” It brings healing and peace to your heart and even when invalidating thoughts try popping up, your decision to forgive puts it under serious check. The Bible also says in Ephesians 4:31-32 Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. You have the ability to forgive and you have the strength to control your anger.

5. LOOK BEYOND THE ISSUE

Many times, we often get angry with people not because what they did was even worth the anger but because we have other internal issues we are dealing with. Now that you have chosen to control your anger, it is also important that you look beyond the issue to know if the early nagging of your wife or bully from your husband is what gets on your nerves. You may also have to check if it is your poor income or the annoying character of your kids that pushes you to the wall and make you want to pour your anger on someone else. Perhaps, you just got off the phone with your partner and she just told you it is over and you are going crazy! You may not be able to fix those internal issues but you can admit to yourself that anger won’t fix it either. Decide to start putting a limit to how it affects you and your relationship with other people. Let nobody suffer the consequences of other people’s offence even if they are friends with those people.

6. AVOID GETTING INTO ISSUES

There are times it is inevitable, there are times we must speak up and stand up for something right but there are times we can avoid anger and things that lead to anger. When we discern that a decent debate is intensifying into a heated quarrel, we should withdraw. When we suddenly discover that something is bothering someone so much that he or she reacts to other things angrily, we can control how we communicate with them. We know those issues that could probably get us angry and therefore we can avoid getting into them. It is better to give up on an argument and be called a coward than try to win and eventually get yourself angry even when you are saying the right thing. Don’t be too quick to force a truth down people’s throat, if they don’t believe you, they may believe someone else later. Only a patient teacher can teach slow learners and only patient teachers are great teachers!  The Bible says in 2 Timothy 2:23-25 But keep away from foolish and ignorant arguments; you know that they end up in quarrels. As the Lord’s servant, you must not quarrel. You must be kind toward all, a good and patient teacher, who is gentle as you correct your opponents, for it may be that God will give them the opportunity to repent and come to know the truth.”

7. CHANNEL YOUR ENERGY RIGHTLY

Finally, there are other things you can use your energy for rather than let it turn into stress! You have good energy and the same energy can become negative or positive. When you are angry, instead of rage and fume, find something else to do! You could enter the kitchen and go make some popcorn, you could decide to take a walk, read a funny book, watch a movie or even play around with your kids! If you have video games, you could get your hands on it. For people like me, you could even write your best seller when your emotions are boiling. Stress and depression would happen when you don’t release that anger-energy through other means. When I am not writing, I have some friends I know I could hang out with and forget I ever got angry. The moment you have released these energies, you may even still want to stay angry and discover you can’t because the energy for that has been released. If you got angry or you sensed you are getting angry during the day, put hands off that job and take a walk to the ice cream shop.

“Ice cream tastes better than anger, why not choose ice cream over anger? I prefer vanilla flavour or farm-fresh yoghurt alternative!”

– George Onyedikachukwu Nnadozie, 7 Ways to manage your anger

When it becomes a whole lot of challenge to control your anger, you may want to seek a professional help towards managing your anger. If you realize that you experience sudden episodes of impulsive, aggressive, violent behaviour or angry verbal outbursts that result to reactions that are negatively gross, it may be a sign of explosive disorder and you should seek help!

God bless you.

~ George O.N

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