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Volume 10, Issue 12: Thrive on Your Way

I wanted to finish the message I started to relay at the end of last year from my Deacon's end of year message that I posted just before the dawn of the new year. I found it too powerful to not go back to and share with my community. She used the story of Joseph to encourage us to not let our circumstances keep us from the future God has prepared for us.

There are a couple of lessons we can't help but pick from Joseph's story. I will relay some of the ones my Deacon laid out for us at my church's end of year service. It was from prison that Joseph went to Pharaoh's court. He had every right to be angry and to give up on life. He had every reason to be dysfunctional. But Joseph maintained his integrity and resisted the urge to hold a grudge against his brothers for selling him into slavery.

Everyone has something to offer to the world, a God-given gift, ability or talent. The question is whether or not you are using your gift. Joseph's special gift was the ability to interpret dreams. It is this gift that helped Joseph step into his greatness. Joseph used his special gift in prison and that became his ticket to Pharaoh's court. Don't neglect your gift. Don't think something else will get you to the "palace". Stewarding your talent is your ticket to the "palace".

The favour of God on your life doesn't cease to function in your "dungeon". God was with Joseph wherever he went, and for that reason, he had favour. You have to acknowledge that God is still God in your difficult situation, and that He is with with you right in the midst of the chaos. We regard Potiphar's wife's actions against Joseph as unfair but have you ever thought that what she did was the best thing that happened to Joseph? Because it was in prison that Joseph's breakthrough came. He may have never had to interpret any dreams in Potiphar's house, and if he did, there may have been no connections to get to Pharaoh's hearing.

Don't be consumed by where you are but rather notice the goodness of God that doesn't respect your address. Favour will follow you regardless of your "prison". God's favour on your life will ensure you are favoured by your masters even in the midst of chaos. Joseph found favour with the Lord, and was therefore favored by his masters - from Potiphar, to the prison warden and to Pharaoh. Put not your focus on your "dungeon" circumstances but in stewarding your talent and honouring God. You can still bear fruit in prison.

You can still bear fruit in that work environment that drives you crazy. Don't fight the witch hunters, don't lose sleep over them. Leave it to God. Rejoice in your suffering because suffering produces perseverance, perseverance produces character, and character produces hope. Hope cannot put us to shame. Thank God for where he has brought you from and where he is taking you. Trust God to make all things beautiful in His time.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

Volume 10, Issue 11: Don't Hand Over Your Stuff

I sit on a ball seat at the office. I have used it for almost a decade and they haven't had them in stores for years now. I recently carried it home with me for the weekend after having pressure added to the ball at a fuel station. Unfortunately the ball landed on a sharp object and got a small tear. I was determined to have it repaired but I kept being told it's a waste of time, that the material just isn't repairable. But I wouldn't take no for an answer. It took 3 attempts, one each weekend at a cobbler's stand and one trip to a sports house, and my ball seat is back in business.

It's easier to throw in the towel than it is to stand your ground. But Jesus did not die on the cross so we could give up when the going gets tough. We are not quitters. We don't take the easy way out, we fight to the end for what is rightfully ours. I couldn't bring myself to just throw my ball in the dustbin and get another ball from the sports house to fit on the damaged ball's seat. I resolved to fight for my ball and no naysayers were going to stand in my way.

So, chaos have disrupted the otherwise calm waters at your job or home or health. And now you think you didn't sign up for a rough ride. Well, wake up from your slumber. Just the same way nothing good comes easy, keeping your good stuff isn't cheap either. But God didn't give you what you have just so you can lose it to the opposition. He knew you've got it in you to fight to keep it.

It's your job to keep. It's your family to keep. It's your sanity, your peace, your joy, your health, your integrity to keep. They are your well raised children to enjoy. If the enemy thinks you are going to walk away from what's yours so he can have it, then he has a rude shock coming.

All it takes is to stand your ground and let God fight for you. Nobody is expecting you to fight in the same manner those coming against you are fighting, your fight is at a whole other level, one that your enemies are clueless about. Don't ever concede defeat that isn't approved of God. Don't start looking for another job unless God directs you as such. You already have a job, and it's yours to keep. Realize you have the upper hand against the opposition and fight for what is yours.

So the kids you trained and raised well are taking up wrong company in their teenage years and you think it's too draining for you to get involved. Those are your kids to rescue. They may not be listening to you at the moment but you have a Father in heaven whose ears are always open to you. Fight for your kids on your knees. Love them through their craziness and remind God to fulfill His Word and cause your kids to come back to their senses.

Fight for your marriage. Fight for your health. Fight for your integrity. Don't give up what's yours to keep. Don't hand over your stuff just because someone has declared war on you. Stand your ground and see the deliverance of the Lord - let your enemies see whose side God is on.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 10: They've Come To Reveal You

This article is comprehensive on its own but it would be better if you first read the "You Can Handle It" article that I published last week. God didn't give the devil permission to devastate Job to crush Job, He gave him permission to devastate Job to reveal Job. In the same way, as Bishop TD Jakes put it so profoundly in one of his messages, God didn't send David to kill Goliath. God sent Goliath to reveal David. God always sends your Goliath to reveal you. He never sends your giants to kill you, he sends your giants to reveal you. To give you a platform for you to find out what you've got, to find out what you are made of. To find out how tough you are. To find out how strong you are.

In the message, Bishop TD Jakes emphasized that your Goliath is your platform. It's the place for you to strut your stuff. It's the place to show the devil who's boss. God sends your Goliath to reveal your power, your influence, your ministry, your integrity, your tenacity, your fight, your discipline, your honour, your function. And Goliath became the gateway that brought the shepherd boy to the palace. David may have never been noticed by King Saul had he not killed Goliath. Killing your giants will bring you to the attention of Kings. It will bring you before great men.

So, what are you going to do about the things and people that are coming hard against you? Are you going to allow them to reveal who you are - what God has formed in you, or are you going to allow them to take you out of character? Are you going to stoop to the level of your enemies or are you going to rise above the situation and be the bigger person? Are you going to let it crush you - allow it to defeat you, hand over your stuff to the enemy or are you going to stand your ground and fight like the child of God that you are?

The choice is yours to make. God wouldn't have allowed this trouble to come your way if he thought you couldn't handle it. I only see one option for your response, and that is to use the struggle to propel you to the next level as God intended. Let your enemies see what you are made of. Let them see whose side God is on - your side.

Get in agreement with God's Word in the 27th chapter of the book of Psalms and strut your stuff. You've got a lot going for you than you know. "With God on my side I'm fearless, afraid of no one and nothing. When vandal hordes ride down ready to eat me alive, those bullies and toughs fall flat on their faces. When besieged, I'm calm as a baby. When all hell breaks loose, I'm collected and cool. God holds me head and shoulders above all who try to pull me down. I'm headed for his place to offer anthems that will raise the roof. Point me down your highway God, direct me along a well-lighted street. Show my enemies whose side you're on. I'm sure now I'll see God's goodness in the exuberant earth."

Because he didn't crumble at the face of opposition but remained focused on his assignment and faith, Daniel went on to serve several administrations in Babylon as a high ranking official. As for Job, God restored his family and fortune to the tune of twice as much as he had before. So, do you see what's at stake if you fail the test in your chaos? We cannot afford to let our chaos get the better of us. We must press through them to get to the other side of the chaos victorious.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 09: You Can Handle It

As I was pondering over my response to the chaos that were intensifying around me not so long ago, I began asking myself a number of questions. What am I missing to comprehend from my disruptions at work? How am I looking at it? Why did God allow these chaos to rock my boat? Should I be pondering over how I am carrying myself in the midst of these chaos? Should I be considering how happy or not I will be with myself when all this is over? I think one of the reasons God allows difficult situations to manifest in our spaces is to reveal what's inside us, and sometimes to show us off.

Daniel faced extreme opposition at his place of work but nowhere in the Bible do we see a record of him whining or asking God to change his job. We see him continuing to work excellently such that his opposers could find no shortcomings in his work to use against him. The other thing he did was pray for the city he loved and for God's help. Daniel did not focus his attention to the negative energy around him, rather he maintained his focus on his faith and the work before him.

I have been listening to the book of Job lately and the dots are connecting in my mind as to how I was relating with my chaos. To show off Job's integrity, God allowed Satan to mess up with Job massively. Through all the devastation and losses, Job did not curse God. Do you want to know what happened to job thereafter? Stay tuned.

Are you who God is portraying you to be to your enemies? If Job wasn't who God portrayed him to be, he could have crumbled from the very first attack. But his first response was to bow down in worship to God. Who does that? Who responds with reverence and worship at the news of loss of all your children and fortune? Only a person whose foundation is secure in God - one who knows beyond the shadow of doubt that no matter what happens, God is with them and on their side.

There has to be more expected of us in the midst of chaos than just to react and ask God to rescue us. There has to be ways that we can carry ourselves to come out of the furnace smelling like a rose instead of smelling of smoke. Every struggle is a test to be passed or failed. And for God to allow it on you, it's probably because he has faith in you, so don't let him down. What if Job let God down? The devil alluded that Job feared God only because God shielded him, yet when the shield was removed and the devil released all hell possible on him, Job maintained his devotion to God.

How are you responding to your chaos? Let's continue in the next post.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi

 

 

Volume 10, Issue 08: Trade-offs

Have you ever reached a point where you consider trading position for peace? There comes a time when tables turn on us so much that the status we have from holding a certain job isn't worth our well being and comfort. Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with a demanding job. I have happily managed one for years. It's all about where you are at in life and what you have an appetite for in your current season. I have been in my line of work for 15 years, and typically, the higher you go up the ladder the more burdens there are to carry.

Have you ever thought of transitioning from a demanding job for a saner role that suits the pace you want? How about moving from your big house to a smaller house to escape hefty house payments and long hours spent on cleaning and maintenance? Is putting up with the rat race and a fast-paced life in the city worth it if deep down what you really prefer is a slower-paced life in your hometown?

I watched quite a number of family movies during the last holiday season. The story in most of them gravitated around a female executive battling with the decision to trade her high ranking job in the city for a saner pace in her hometown after coming home for the holidays. You can imagine why I gravitated to these kind of movies after the hectic work year I had.

Those movies spoke to my situation but they are not what fully lit the bulb for me. What did it for me after weeks of pondering over my transition plan is seeing an ad for a job near my house. I used to work in that building before my office moved to a further location. My interest in the ad made me realize how we can take precious things for granted and not appreciate them until we lose them.

Some of the things I place a lot of value on, which I lost recently is working from home or near home, and having the space to work peacefully without drama and unnecessary interruptions.

This job that I saw is well below my pay grade but I am interested in it because it brings me closer to my dream job, which is working from home, doing what I love. This job is a step closer to that because, it's a very short distance from my house, and it's sane! If I were to get it, I would leave all the nerve wrecking drama behind me, and I wouldn't have to be stuck in traffic for work.

So, what would be my losses and what would I gain if made this shift? I would be taking a demotion and pay cut. But these are just titles and money, nothing compared to the value I assign to what I would be gaining in return. I would be going back to a sane work life like the one I enjoyed before all hell broke loose at my place of work, I would be able to get home from work in a jiffy, and last but definitely not least, this shift would make for a smooth transition to my dream job.

What would you give up for the life you want? What's keeping you from making the trade? I understand that sometimes our circumstances don't afford us the luxury to choose what we want, but at the end of the day, we always have a choice. It comes down to what we are willing to sacrifice for the life we want.

So, how do we decide what to do? We can start by listing down what's important to us and assigning them degrees of importance. Next, we make the brave step to make a decision. And then we draw up a transition plan to get us to the life we want. We may end up with a smaller budget, but who knows, we could be surprised at how much more we can do with it by the grace of God.

I may not get this job that I saw or even have the time to update my CV to apply for it but in my mind and heart, the lines have been drawn. I know what's important to me and I will most certainly gravitate towards it. Whatever your case may be, don't be afraid of what you may have to give up. Think of everything you will be getting in return.

 

For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi