All Glory Belongs to Him…

John 11:4 “When he heard this, Jesus said, this sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.”

The first time I read the story of Lazarus as told in John 11, I took it at face value, didn’t see how it related to me. We all know the story, Jesus’s good friend died and He raised him from the dead. When Jesus was told of his friend’s illness the reply he gave seemed strange to me when I read it at first. To me it sounded like “O well he won’t die but the end result will be for my glory”. But with the knowledge I have of my sweet Lord and Savior it had to be more than that. Sometimes I get it at once; sometimes it takes days of re-reading the passage to get it. Well recently I read that chapter again and I had what Oprah Winfrey would call an “Aha” moment, I understood it all. At least I am pretty sure I did and wanted to share because it reminded me of a situation I had to go through earlier on in a job I had. I’m sure many of you can relate it to a particular season in your life but here is my recount and interpretation of the story.

Have you ever been in a situation where you ask for something and it seems like God isn’t handling your request as fast as you would like? Well, I have, there have been times when I think that a particular situation will be the end of me if something is not done to get me out of it now. But we all know that God’s ways are not our ways. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Isaiah 55:8). Just got a new job and had this co-worker who at the time it seemed that she would not be at peace till I was frustrated out of the door. Every night I would come home and ask God to please remove me from that situation or remove her, but for one whole, long, excruciating year I had to endure this situation because to me God did nothing. Every morning I go to work and I’m thinking …yes today is the day I will hear that she has been transferred but give it about an hour she would pop up and the never ending drama will continue. I was brought to the point that I stooped to her level and as a Christian, I knew in my heart that I was disappointing God with my attitude but if He didn’t do something by getting her out of the way then I would- by fighting back.

Just like what Mary and Martha told Jesus when He finally arrived to the village, in John 11:22, Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” And Jesus’s reply was what He wished for then and now and that is to TRUST and BELIEVE that He got it, as in (John 11:40) Then Jesus said, “Did I not tell you that if you believe, you will see the glory of God?”. We all know the popular cliché- He might not there when you want him but he is always on time- well that’s pretty easy to say when you are not in the situation but in actuality it’s so true. He knows that whatever it is will not “cause your death”. So if He doesn’t show up when He you want him to it’s for a reason and that is so that He might be glorified. Do you know what it would mean if every time we called on Him, he did exactly what we wanted when we wanted?? In, my opinion there would be a lot of swollen egos because if we didn’t have to wait or endure we would give ourselves the glory and not where it belongs which is with the Almighty God.

Anyways my story, just like Lazarus’s ended well.  There was a sudden re-organization and she didn’t work in my department any longer and you know what He does get all the glory, because when I’m encouraging someone else about a similar situation, I start the story with….To God be the glory, I was in that situation…………”

Be Blessed,

Unoma

Copyright2012

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In the Meantime..

Jeremiah 29 vs. 11, “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future”

Oh how I love that verse. In earlier days after finding Christ, anytime I didn’t get what I wanted from God, when I wanted it,  I would use this verse to encourage myself that it will come just how I want it because as the verse said “….plans to prosper you….” I would read that and be encouraged after all, what I wanted was all that mattered (now I can’t believe I had that mindset). For a couple of days or even weeks, I would be the ‘most righteous’ Christian chick out there, singing and praising like no man’s business, with the belief that ok, now very soon the thing I wanted so bad will come through after all …”plans to prosper me”. Whatever I wanted at the time in my mind was just the thing to make me prosper. Days, weeks, even months will go by with me keeping the ‘faith’, but I still didn’t get what I wanted. So I will go and read that verse one more time, then couple it with what Jesus said, if   we humans give the best to our children how much more the Father? You know the verse….Mathew 7:10  “if you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him”. Putting those two passages together, I will be encouraged to push on a little further.

In the end, sometimes I will get what I want, sometimes I won’t. When I don’t, get whatever it is I thought would make me prosper I will sulk and not pray for days, but just like the prodigal son (well daughter in this case), I will find my way back to Him. Why? Because another need has presented itself- you know we humans are constantly in want of one thing or the other. In times like this I tend to forget all the good things He has already done, the fact that I’m alive, healthy, have a job, a roof over my head, a family, can walk, see, hear, taste, smell and other numerous blessings often taken for granted.

Sometimes we forget to praise Him ANYWAY, in the midst of whatever we are going through or whatever it is we want and haven’t yet received. The story of Job is a very popular one; it tells us how a man though stricken with all kinds of adversity, unwarranted for that matter stuck strong to his faith, refusing to curse God regardless of what He is going through. I’m quite sure that any of us going through adversity will not actually ‘curse’ God but I’m certain that we will, just like I used to do…push Him to the curb or just sulk till we get over whatever it is we are trying to get over, then we are back again wanting more, – a never ending cycle of fickleness-#realtalk.com#.  Job’s response to his wife’s demand that he curse God and die in Job 2: 10 was that if we rejoice with God in the good then why we can’t do it in the bad. Being a wonderful Father, He knows what is best for us, Jeremiah 29vs11 says He knows the plans He has for us, not the plans we have for ourselves, but the promise is we shall prosper and have hope for the future. I’m also reminded of Hannah who stayed steadfast and kept the faith year after year of not getting what she wanted- a child.

 The ‘big’ question is how do we conduct ourselves in the meantime? Before we come to our ‘promised land’ how do we act? Do we act flaky like the people of Israel before they entered the Promised Land, letting every wind of adversity sway us to the left or right, or do we stand firm like Job and Hannah? Knowing that HE is the I AM that I AM, the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, the ever knowing God who commanded the universe be formed with just spoken word. Job had everything but God took it away and despite pressure from friends and family he stood firm and steadfast believing in the Lord his God. Hannah didn’t have that child yet but she trusted in God with the knowledge that someday her prayer would be answered,

Ok yes , we haven’t gotten that job, that husband, that contract, that promotion, that house, that child, or whatever it is that you are waiting for or going through…..God sees and HE knows, just as He told Jeremiah in 1:5,“before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart…….” your plan and His plan just might not be the same or it isn’t time for the plan to come to pass. The challenge is for us to be steadfast and hold on seeking, praising and thanking Him wholeheartedly while we are in our meantime.

Blessings..

Unoma

Christianty VS. Religion

“Whenyou cant hear his voice please trust His plan”….I love this line from the Smokie Norful classic. It reminds me of the story of Job. Once in a while I like to refer back to the book of Job cos it teaches or reminds me to be grateful and trust in God.

In reponse to critism by his friends,  Job in  8:7  said  “Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be”  and he was right because in Job 42:12 we are told that “…the Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life better that the former part ” We will still struggle and slip up from time to time in our walk with Christ. This trust things is sometimes hard to get all at once, after all that what makes us human.

 I’m in not where I want to be with trusting Him to bring me out of whatever Im facing but I am far better than where I came from. Sometimes as Christians we become weary but we esp. women have to learn to encourage and not tear down each other during our struggles. Let’s not get so religious that we forget to practise Christianity.

My prayer is that we encourage one another to “be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer”–Romans 12:12

Outstanding Performance!

                                                                                                    

John 3:27 “To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven” “

My baby brother’s favorite saying is “know your role”. It’s just a saying to him but it got me thinking. We all have different roles to play in this existence called life. Sometimes we love our roles, sometimes we dont! Therefore, instead of playing our role, we spend a majority of our lives trying to play or wish we had the role of another.

Finding contentment and happiness is a journey in life. This journey can be so beautiful and enjoyable if only we choose to have an outstanding performance in any role we find ourselves. The biggest mistake is trying to be someone else when God has made each of us a unique creature made out of His own image and likeness.

Now let me put in a disclaimer here, this is in no way meant to support mediocrity or laziness but encouragement that in any role you find yourself, you should always be the best there is at it. Now that’s what I understand to be purposeful living. With this mindset,  you will not spend your life looking for that ‘thing’  that will provide happiness for you. Happiness come from within.

John the Baptist came to make a path for our Savior. John was preaching the gospel, baptizing people and had so many followers that the people thought he was the Messiah. John knew his role, which was to prepare the way for Jesus. This did not stop him from doing what he was called to do with all his power and might. He did have people like we all do, that will try to discourage or bring us down about our choices and attitudes. As in John 3:26 “They came to John and said to him, “Rabbi, that man who was with you on the other side of the Jordan—the one you testified about—look, he is baptizing, and everyone is going to him.” It’s true what they say…misery does love company. However John’s attitude was evident in the reply he gave in verse 27  To this John replied, “A person can receive only what is given them from heaven.”

He carried out the role of evangelist very well. He did not get upset or offended that when Christ came, his ‘thunder’ would die down. He was not jealous or envious that the people now gravitated towards Christ. But he was content in playing the role that he was called to play and he put on an outstanding performance. John the Baptist’s attitude about doing what he was sent to do as if his life depended on it is an attitude we can all emulate and is taught in Colossians 3:23…” And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

God made you as a unique individual. You have a special gift, which should be used to its full potential. Dont try to be the imitation of someone else or when you are an original YOU.

Everyone has a role they have to play at different seasons of their life. The key is to be the best there is with a good attitude so that when all is said and done you would be living a purposeful life and putting on an outstanding performance.

© 2012 by unoma nwankwor

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