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Volume 13, Issue 12: When God Gives You A Word Part II

This is a follow-on article to one of last week's posts. Please start with "When God Gives You A Word" then come back to this post. In that post, we spoke about how you know that God has given you a word, what happens in many cases and what to do.

In this and the in next two posts, we will highlight five examples from Scripture of when God gave a Word.

1. God's word to Abraham and Sarah (Genesis 12:1-3, 15:1-6, 17:15-16)

God promised Abraham and Sarah a child. That promise took around two decades before it came to pass. Abraham was 75 years old when God told him that he would make him into a great nation. The passage of time caused them to doubt and they tried out an alternative. Sarah gave her servant Hagar to Abraham to have a child for her. But this alternative didn't replace God's word. Ishmael, the child that was born to Abraham from that arrangement at the age of 86 had to be sent away.

God qualifies for his word. This couple didn't meet the prerequisite qualifications for having a child. They were very old and Sarah was barren. But that didn't hinder God from giving the word and fulfilling it. Isaac was born to them when Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah 90.

When God gives a word, he sustains it. It was through Isaac that God promised to make Abraham a father of many nations. When Isaac was probably a teenager, in a test of his faith, God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac. After a display of Abraham's obedience, God provided the animal for the sacrifice and Isaac lived

2God's word to Joseph (Genesis 37:2, 5-10, 41:39-44, 42:6)

During his teen years, God gave Joseph a word through dreams, that he would be a leader. What followed is that all that could go wrong went terribly wrong. His brothers threw him in a pit, then sold him to slave traders.

A slave in Egypt, Joseph was put in charge of Potiphar's household. But Potiphar's wife gave him a hard time and eventually falsely accused him of a terrible crime when he wouldn't give in to her seduction. And he wound up in prison for a crime he did not commit.

While in prison, the people he interpreted dreams for forgot about him when they were released. It was more than a decade later that God's word to Joseph came to pass. He became second in command to Pharaoh, and his brothers bowed low to him when they came to him in Egypt to buy food during a severe famine.

God fulfilled his word to Abraham and Joseph to the letter. When God gives us a word, nothing can stand in the way of it's fulfillment. Not the passage of time. Not our lack of necessary qualifications. Not opposition. God is able to override protocols to bring to fruition what He has spoken.

When God gives you a word, hold on to it, travail for it, pursue it, persist in it and keep praying for it. Refuse to drop the ball just because it looks like nothing is happening. When God gives you a word, don't give up on it unless He says so.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 11: Willingness To Adapt

I just got back home a few weeks ago after living in Addis for a few months. At home, my environment allows me to do my walking workouts outside as early as 5am in the morning. And the setting in my house allows me to do strength training workouts with weights from YouTube workouts on my TV at 4.30am. And that's what I did until the day I left for Addis, and when I got back home.

The first hotel I checked into upon arrival in Addis had a great gym on a separate building, and it wasn't open until 6am in morning. The hotel management agreed to have it opened for me at 5am, and I used it for the first couple of days for both my walk and strength training workouts. But I soon felt uneasy about being in a gym alone when it was still pitch dark outside. So I stopped going and worked out in my hotel room with YouTube body-weighted workouts on the TV. My daily walking workout was substituted by walks to and from the office in the morning, during lunch break and in the evening.

When I left the hotel and moved to a more permanent accommodation arrangement, my hotel apartment was far from the office, so I couldn't walk back and forth. I also did not feel safe to go outside for my 5am walking workouts. And I wasn't disappointed about the lack of a gym in the facility. I adjusted my morning YouTube workouts on the TV from body-weighted strength trainings to walking workouts. I also did a bit of walking at the office parking lot during lunch breaks. And on the weekends I went out for long walks in the middle of the day.

I admit, my workouts in Addis weren't as rigorous and efficient as my workouts at home before and now. But I worked out. I adapted to my environment and continued to exercise in some shape and form. I maintained my identity of being a person who works out at least 5 days a week.

To be maintained and improved, habits have to be done consistently. But I have learned that practically, consistency is not about being disciplined. It is about being adaptable. If I wasn't willing to adapt my workouts in Addis, I could have either put myself in harm's way or put working out on hold all together. And so, when I recently read James Clear's post on consistency, I knew I wanted to write about it.

"In theory, Consistency is about being disciplined, determined and unwavering. In practice, consistency is about being adaptable. Don't have much time? Scale it down. Don't have much energy? Do the easy version. Find different ways to show up depending on your circumstances. Let your habits change shape to meet the demands of the day. Adaptability is the way of consistency." James Clear.

Which of your habits do you need to get comfortable with adjusting to suit your current circumstance? We can always show up for the things we have signed up for even when our circumstances change. All we need to do is adapt. Then we can be guaranteed to remain consistent and achieve our goals.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 10: When God Gives You A Word

When God gives you a word, hang on to it. Travail for it. Pursue it. Persist in it.

How do you know that God has given you a word, a promise? I believe one way is He brings to your mind a portion of Scripture that aligns with what you are in need of. And then He gives you the interpretation for it, and its connection to your situation. He deposits something in your mind and spirit that you had not thought of before.

When God gives you a word, at first you are excited and pursue it with all you've got. Then time begins to lapse and you see nothing happening. You start wondering if that word was from the Lord at all. You think that maybe it was your production, that you made it up.

Other than time lapsing, you may even receive communication that those holding the keys to what you are in need of are not willing to give it to you, that they are pursuing other options. You may be promised to be updated in a week but no update is forthcoming weeks later, and you feel embarrassed to ask again.

But none of that fazes you. What you will notice when God gives you a word is that even when copious amounts of time lapse, you are at peace. You are not worried even when it seems all hope of its fruition is lost.

You will also find that when God gives you a word and it tarries and you try out other alternatives, you find that He does not give you success with the alternatives. You may find that you meet all the qualifications for the alternatives, and in some cases, your qualifications surpass what is required. But you still don't succeed.

When God gives you a word, nothing can stand in the way of its fulfillment. Not the passage of time, not your lack of the necessary qualifications, not the opposing wishes of those in charge. God can override protocols to bring to fruition what he has spoken to you.

When God gives you a word, hold on to it. Travail for it. Pursue it. Persist in it. Keep praying for it no matter what. Don't drop the ball just because it looks like nothing is happening. After all, faith is about believing for what has not materialized. When God gives you a word, don't give up on it unless He says so.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 09: He Avails Helpers

I recently found myself in a situation where I felt incompetent. As is my practice, I talk to myself and talk to God about stuff. When I got back home that evening, my self talk wound me in a place of acknowledging that I don't have to be good at everything in my profession. There are things I am excellent at that someone else is incompetent at. And there are people who are outstanding at things I am not good at.

On this evening, and while praying the next morning, I found that God had sent me help to ensure I had someone to take care of what I didn't know how to do, and didn't have the time to learn. This person had just joined the organization and I was in the process of onboarding her. Without my asking, she volunteered to take responsibility for the task.

Don't feel intimidated by other people's competence. And don't be discouraged by the realization of an aspect of your profession that is not your strong suit. Take pride in your strengths and continue to polish them. And with regards to your weaknesses, manage them and take advantage of the support from those who are strong at them. Don't miss out on the helpers God brings around you to make up for your inadequacies.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 13, Issue 08: Extravagant Restoration

Until yesterday, I had been praying for something a certain way. Then I learnt that someone had made an appeal for me, and it led to an immediate shift in my prayer. As I started praying again later that day, the Lord brought to my mind a portion of Scripture from the Old Testament. My heart is so stirred up by the story in the eighth chapter of the second book of Kings.

The story starts a couple of chapters before. There was a Shunnamite woman married to an older man. She had no children. She was very hospitable to a prophet of God whenever he was in town. She even had a room built and furnished for him on her roof for his use whenever he was in town. After some time the prophet prayed for her and the Lord blessed her with a son, who later died but was brought back to life by the prophet.

The portion of the story that influenced the shift in my prayer was a time when years before, the prophet had told the Shunamite woman to leave the country with her family to go live someplace else. God had ordered a famine in the land that was going to last for seven years. She and her family left and lived as aliens in a foreign land for seven years.

When the seven years were up and the famine over, the woman and her family went back to their country. She went to see the king about getting back her home and farm. She happened to arrive before the king just as Gehazi - prophet Elisha 's servant, was telling the king about the time Elisha had brought a boy back to life, who happened to be the Shunamite woman's son.

After hearing the full story from the woman, the king assigned a high official to take care of her, saying, "Make sure she gets everything back that's hers, plus all the profits from the farm from the time she left until now." Another version says "The king directed one of his officials to see that everything she had lost was restored to her, including the value of any crops that had been harvested during her absence."

The Scriptures present this woman as a well-off woman. She probably had the means to purchase a new parcel of land and make a home anywhere in the country. But she wanted what was hers before she left. She wasn't interested in starting over.

Not only did the king direct that her land and home be restored back to her, he also instructed that all the income that had been generated from her farm from the time she left the country until the present time be given to her. What an extravagant restoration!

It wasn't enough that she gets her farm and home back, God wanted her to also have all the income that had been generated from her land while she was gone. Our God is a God of more than enough. He set out to be extravagantly generous with the Shunamite woman's restoration. What a showcase of His glory!

People may restore to you the bare minimum of what belonged to you. But not our God. He is not only a God of restoration, he is an extravagant restorer. In this story, He undertook to restore everything that belonged to the Shunamite woman, and then some.

Wouldn't you want to ask God to assign a high official to see to it that something that was once yours is restored to you, and then some? Make your appeal to Him. May He blow your mind and give you a personal story that mirrors that of the Shunamite woman.

“When the king asked the woman, she told him [everything]. So the king appointed for her a certain high official, saying, “Restore everything that was hers, including all the produce of the field since the day that she left the land until now.”” ‭‭2 Kings‬ ‭8:6‬ ‭AMP‬‬.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi