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‘No shaking!’

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.” – Psalm 125:1 NIV

‘No shaking!’ is a popular catchphrase in Nigeria and it’s often used to affirm that the person or issue has no need to fear as no matter what happens they will prevail. As I read the words of the psalmist here;

“Those who trust in the Lord are like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken but endures forever.”

I believe that ‘No shaking’ should be the Christian’s catchphrase because just like Mt. Zion there’s no shaking for him.

When it says here that Mt Zion cannot be shaken it implies that they tried shaking it but didn’t succeed. Mt. Zion has faced all kinds of winds and storm but it cannot be shaken. It has faced all kinds of shakings but cannot be shaken, it just goes on standing forever.

You will never experience the unshakable power of God in you unless the shakings comes. Don’t fear shakings, just know that like Mount Zion you cannot be shaken. Say to yourself as you face life’s storm ‘No shaking!’. It does not mean that the pressures won’t come upon you and sometimes even seem as if it will crush you. It doesn’t mean that the wind won’t push you here and there but it means that you will not be moved from your place. It may not look like it now while the storm lasts, but you will be standing after the wind is gone. You will not be displaced from your place of destiny. Nothing will move you out of God’s love. Nothing can separate you from the purpose of God. You cannot be shaken. ‘No shaking!’.

But the key to all of this is TRUST. It is ‘those who trust in the Lord (that) are like Mount Zion’. It’s those that trust in the Lord that remain unshaken. So don’t bother about looking at the thermometer of the heat around you. Rather watch the trust-o-meter of your heart and set your heart to trust him come what may.

So I’ve given you a new way to describe the Christian life -  ‘No shaking!’.


Do You Sing In The Night?

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“… God my maker, who gives songs in the night” Job 35:10 (NIV)

Songs normally follow victories. It is not natural to rejoice while our troubles last. Yet this is the privilege we have as God’s children. God gives songs to his children in the nights of life – the nights of weeping, difficulty, or trouble. These are those times when things seem impossible, when you have waited and waited and there seems to be no solution in sight. When things fail to go the way you hoped, and it seems foolish to go on hoping. Those are the times when God gives us songs.

It is like those three Hebrew young men – Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego who incurred the wrath of the ungodly king and had to face fire. They threw them into the midst of the fire and I believe that the first thing God gave them were songs of peace right in the midst of the fire. God didn’t stop them from entering the fire but He gave them praise songs inside a blazing furnace!

God longs to fill us with peace and praise right in the midst of life’s storms. I recall having experienced this myself sometimes in my walk with the Lord. I remember one time just before marriage when I was trying to get a new job and transfer to another town. Everything had been working well – the vacancy was there, the establishment wanted me urgently, and the process of employment had begun moving. Then all of a sudden everything froze. They couldn’t locate my file, people became unco-operative and I was running out of time, money and hope. I prayed and prayed and nothing changed. Then one day in the midst of all the trouble, when there was still no hope in sight, I heard a song inside of me. Naturally I wasn’t feeling like singing, yet here was my heart bubbling with a song of praise. So I yielded to my heart and sang out the words.

“Everything is gonna be alright in Christ,

Everything is gonna be alright in Christ,

Lift your hands and praise His name,

For eternity the same,

For I know

Everything is gonna be alright in Christ”

Things didn’t change on that day. But things did change and I found that every word of that song came to pass. If we were to go by human reasoning you would expect God to give us the songs when the morning of victory has come to replace the nights of hopelessness. Yes we must sing when the victory comes, but this kind of song we are talking about here is not the type that victory brings, rather they are the types that bring the victory. When we accept these songs from God and sing them, they go ahead to release the victory.

Jehoshaphat understood this principle of ‘singing-in’ your victory. In 2 Chronicles 20:18, 19 (NIV) immediately he and the people heard God’s promises they “….. bowed … to the ground…. in worship before the LORD ……and praised the Lord, the God of Israel, with very loud voice! ”. Note that their situation had not yet changed. They were still in danger. Oh, but their hearts had changed –from mourning to dancing – because they chose to believe God’s word. Note also, that their problem was not even solved the day they began singing. Yet the next day they went on singing. They were committed to praising God even though things didn’t seem to be getting better. Then, as they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against their enemies. As we receive and sing the songs God gives us in the night, we allow God to undertake for us.

The reason then that God wants to give us songs in the midst of the night is so as to help us walk in faith. He brings those songs to reassure us of His presence and to strengthen our faith. And He knows that as we sing even when we do not feel like it, we win. Please do remember to sing in the nights of life.


The Goal of Christianity

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” – Matthew 10:39 NIV

The phrase that our Lord used here is what got me thinking;

“Whoever finds their life…”

I thought, ‘Why? Finding one’s life is the general theme of most of our popular Christian books and messages today.’ Whether it is, ‘Your Best Life Now!’ or ‘How to Maximise Yourself’, the central message we are preaching and being taught is that one of the main goals for life in Christ, is for one to find oneself (who God created one to be) and to maximise one’s God-given potential. On the face of it this does not look like a bad message at all and indeed there are many Bible verses that support the idea that God desires the best for us and wants us to be the best we can be. But the problem is not whether there is any truth in this message, but rather, in the central position we have come to give to it. For in placing the cart before the horse we have introduced an error.

The goal of Christianity is not for you to pursue finding yourself or your purpose or even finding meaning. Those are all by-products of the life of a Christian. The goal of the Gospel is for you to find Christ. Not just at salvation, but to make the pursuit of finding Christ your goal for the rest of your life.

Let’s look closely at the paradox of this tough declaration of our Lord. First he says, “Whoever finds their life will lose it”. If our chief aim is the pursuit of finding our life, we will lose its essence. We will never find it. We will never be fulfilled and we will never fulfil God’s purpose for us. Rather he says, “…. whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.” God is not against our finding purpose and meaning and becoming fulfilled. No, he is right here showing us that there is only one way to get there – by losing your life. By giving up the pursuit of your own fulfilment for Christ’s sake, and rather making Christ your only pursuit, so that your life pursuit becomes like that of Paul:

“But whatever were gains to me, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all thingsI want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, and so, somehow, attaining to the resurrection from the dead.” – Philippians 3:7-8,10-11 (NIV)

So, this is the Gospel: Turn away from pursuing anything else and let Christ be your pursuit number One. Let the cry of your heart be, ‘I want to know Christ and become like him’. Then every other thing about your life will fall into place.


God’s field is the whole world

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“The field is the world, and the good seed stands for the people of the kingdom. The weeds are the people of the evil one ….”   (Matthew 13:38 NIV)

Most of my life I have understood the field in the parable of the weeds in Matthew 13:24 -30 to be referring to the Church and how the enemy comes to plant weeds (false brethren with false doctrine) in the midst of God’s people. This has been the classic focus of interpretation for as long as I have preached or heard others preach from this parable. Indeed this can be a lesson inferred from this story. Yet as I read it again recently, I saw that one obvious key to the interpretation is the explanation of the parable that the Lord himself goes on to give his disciples in Matt. 13: 37- 43. And in his explanation he says this ‘The field is the world …’

The field is the whole world, not just the church. You may wonder why this is important. You see, we often get caught up in the mentality that the only group that our God is involved with, is the Church. And that he has left the world with its madness and only focuses on the Church and those she can win. This is not true. God owns the whole world and is fully involved in it. God loves the whole world and sees it as his field. God is very actively involved in every area of the world right now, because it is his field.. As this parable says, he’s sowing his good seed in the whole world and expecting a harvest from the whole world.

There is a way that when we, as the Church, do not understand that the whole world is God’s field, we begin to withdraw from many segments of the world, and are not available to work with God. God wants his Church to be engaged in every aspect of society, because the world is his field. Yes, the enemy has sown weeds everywhere we look in our society, but God is not going to allow this world just to go to hell. He is going to get a mighty harvest. In the parable we see how careful God is that no one should perish when he says:

“ ‘No,’ he answered, ‘because while you are pulling the weeds, you may uproot the wheat with them. Let both grow together until the harvest.’ ” – Matthew 13:29 -30 NIV

With all the madness going on in our world God is ‘not willing that any one should perish.

What this parable is teaching us, is, that we need to be engaged in the world everywhere from classrooms to boardrooms, because God’s field is the whole world.

We need to have Christians everywhere.  ‘Let them grow together….’ he said. Alas, it’s only by being in the world, and not being of it, that we can determine the size of the final harvest.

When the Lord said “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.” – (Mark 16:15), he was saying “Penetrate all spheres of society and preach the Gospel.”

It means to go into the world of children, and that of retirees; into the world of entertainment and that of politics; into the world of business and that of the unreached in the ends of the earth. The whole world is his field. We must not just think of creating an alternative church-world, but rather think of how to penetrate the whole world. For example instead of Christians thinking of having the Christian political party, there should be on-fire-for-Jesus believers entering the so-called corrupt political parties and being God’s worker there to bring about a harvest from there too. Instead of just building Christian schools we need more Christians called as teacher-missionaries into our public schools.

This is our call – Let us GO INTO ALL THE WORLD. If you have not yet found where you should be penetrating, I challenge you today, to ask God where he wants you to be! I am certain that for most of us we are already in the place, we only need to awake to the reality of our calling and begin to see, for example, that secular school where we work, as our primary calling, and not the worship group we are part of at church. The latter is only where we go to refuel for the real task. Let us GO!


Whatever Happens Tell Him

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

Whatever happens conduct yourselves in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ” Philippians 1:27 (NIV)

What a big challenge this scripture is to me – “whatever happens“. There are times when I feel justified to “be myself” and really express myself not minding if God is pleased or not. For example a while ago, someone who had destroyed my property went on to say that my claim was a lie, instead of apologising. That really made me mad and I spoke to him angrily. I was soon proved right and he then apologised; but I had lost my peace. I had not conducted myself in a manner that was worthy of the gospel I believe in nor the Lord that I follow.

There are times when we feel justified to walk in the flesh – in moments of anger, discouragement, failure, disappointment, pain, tiredness, stress, etc. But God wants us to grow into the image of his Son, who was able to endure the cross without sinning,

He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly“1 Peter 2:22 & 23 (NIV)

There is a key here to how Jesus was able to please the Father in even such an extreme situation. He made it his habit to pour out his heart to God. There is a short verse in the same book of Peter that I have found very important in my daily walk with Jesus. It says

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you” 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV)

When I go immediately to God and tell him all that I am going through and all that is going through me, I always find that I receive grace to face whatever may be before me in a manner worthy of Christ.

Beloved I may not know what you may be facing now but I know that he cares and desires that you respond in the right way in that situation. He is waiting to help you if only you will pour out your heart to him. I pray that God will teach all of us how to cast our cares on him every moment and leave it there. He really does care and he is at work in us to make us true disciples focused on pleasing him no matter what we may be going through.


My Soul Longs for You

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory.” – Psalm 63:2 NIV

I love this Psalm. I find the thirst of David’s soul for God, powerfully attractive.

“You, God, are my God,

earnestly I seek you;

I thirst for you,

my whole being longs for you,

in a dry and parched land

where there is no water.” Psalm 63:1

His soul has one pure desire – God. ‘All I want is you Lord. It’s you Lord’ was the cry of his heart. How different it is from my own heart so many times. So many things creep in and make my longing dull and my cry so feeble. And then I begin to measure what matters by what I can see and touch. And the tempter tells me that it’s ok to pursue other things, for these are the real issues before me. The good becomes the enemy of the best. O Lord help me!

The soul athirst for God is not longing for something that is unreal. It is real because that one has tasted some of it before, and he knows there is much more. Hear David

‘I have seen you in the sanctuary and beheld your power and your glory’ (v2). David wants more, because of what he has already tasted.

I, too, like David, have tasted God in the past. I have experienced him – I have seen him. I can’t always articulate it well in words, but I know my past experience with him. I remember seasons of deep intimacy. I recall times when he came very close. I recall my intercourse with the Almighty when he spoke and I heard, and when he acted, I saw it. I remember the joy within my soul. I have beheld his power and his glory. The God who is there. I have seen him. I have tasted him and I know he is good.

This is why I am refusing to continue to fall for the lie of the enemy of my soul. This God is real and he is all I need. No matter what life brings, with its ups and downs, I won’t be deceived about my real need. I need more of Him. I want more.

It’s true that I don’t have all the answers to all the questions that plague my mind, but I know that my God is real and that he satisfies my soul with his living waters. It’s true that troubles may last and prosperity may flee, but my need is deeper.

So my soul thirsts for him. My soul longs to be with him – to continually drink of him. This is life. This is what I need. I do not seek in vain, for it is real. He satisfies my soul.


A Sacrifice of Praise

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“Through Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise – the fruit of lips that confess his name” – Heb. 13:15 (NIV)

Praise becomes a sacrifice (costly) when we offer it to God in the midst of the contrary situations of life. It doesn’t really take much to praise God when things are fine or not too bad. But it is much harder to keep on praising God when our hopes are dashed and we are surrounded by troubles. Surely it is much easier at such times to blame rather than praise God. Yet learning to offer costly praise is crucial if we want to see God’s victory.

In Hebrew 13: 15 the Bible says that what we are doing by such a sacrifice is confessing his name. What that means is that as we continue to praise God even when all seems hopeless, we are confessing all that God is, over our situation. We are confessing that he is love, even though it looks as if he has abandoned us. We are confessing that he is all-wise despite the confusion that faces us. We are confessing his almighty power, even though our situation may look impossible. The bible says, “with such sacrifices God is pleased”(Heb.13: 16 – NIV), and it causes him to act mightily on our behalf.

That was what happened to Paul and Silas. They had been shamefully beaten by the people they had gone to help, and when they found themselves faced with a night of hopelessness in prison, they CHOSE to offer a sacrifice of praise. Their minds may have rebelled against it, but they decided not to miss the opportunity to offer God a sacrifice. We know how this their sacrifice went up as a sweet smelling savour to God, and provoked him to come down and shake their prison.

This kind of praise has very little to do with our emotions. God does not look at our feelings but rather at our willingness to praise him in spite of how we may be feeling. This kind of offering is one that comes from our heart and our will, but it must be expressed through our lips. Not only does it bring God’s intervention, but also the repeated offering of this kind of sacrifice builds character into us. So let’s not waste the opportunity that the troubles of life offer us. Let us offer unto God a sacrifice of praise!

In concluding here is a chorus from a song by Larnelle Harris:

“When praise demands a sacrifice,

I’d worship even then.

Surrendering the dearest things in life;

And if devotion cost me all,

He’d find me faithful to his call

When praise demands a sacrifice”


Noise in the Sanctuary

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  1 Comment

“All your pomp has been brought down to the grave, along with the noise of your harps” Isaiah 14: 11 (NIV)

It is possible to be involved in church or in ministry and yet be making only noise, unable to impart life to men. Popularity  is not the same as effectiveness in ministry, and neither is multiplied activity. The seeds that fell on the rocky soil quickly sprang up. It appeared to be genuine but it lacked depth and so when the test came it was discovered for what it was – empty. We must not judge our usefulness by our visibility before men. We must be careful to grow deep roots.

Sometimes we do not originally set out to make noise. The Baal prophets on Mount Carmel were very earnest. They were intent on receiving an answer by fire but they ended up making only noise. Today the church is filled with earnest but empty people. People zealously pursuing one activity after another but only making noise in the sanctuary. We can’t give what we do not have. If we have not taken the time to develop depth – to have a deepening intimacy with Jesus, then our life and ministry will only be noise no matter how hard we try.

The answer is not in concentrating on not making noise but rather in concentrating on having depth. The same harp that is producing noise in this verse is what David used to produce powerful anointing to cast out demons. It’s not in methods or strategies, it’s in what we have in us.


God does not Pretend

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“He sent the ark of his might into captivity, his splendour into the hands of the enemy.” -Psalm 78:61 NIV

The truth in this verse is strange. That God would support the sending of his holy ark – the symbol of his might and presence in Israel – into captivity. We as humans do not normally act in this way. We work hard to protect our interests and everything that represents our glory, whether they are beneficial or not. We do not ever like to appear as failures.

But God is not like this. God has no problem in doing things that may make him appear as a failure if it would achieve his purposes. He would allow his temple to be desecrated and his ark to be taken captive, if it would help to wake His people up to repentance and restoration to him.

God is never in the business of make-believe. He rejoices in the truth. For He is the TRUTH. God’s glory is manifest in the beauty of holiness. He will have nothing less. He is prepared to tear everything down if it is false and empty, if this would allow him to build up in us something that is true and beautiful. This, right there, is a message to someone wondering why God is allowing such and such in his or her life which may look like a real shame.

There is a way in which we could become so familiar with God, that we would feel that our double life doesn’t matter. I must not ever fool myself into thinking that God would not allow such and such to happen to me, because of  special favour I have with him, or because of his mercies. No, it is because of his mercies and love that he chastens us!

“…. because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son” Hebrews 12:6

He that truly loves God will not take God for granted. No. He walks in reverential fear of the One who loved us so much that he was willing to die for us.


New wine requires new wine skins

By Chim  //  Uncategorized  //  No Comments

“Neither do people pour new wine into old wineskins. If they do, the skins will burst; the wine will run out and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins, and both are preserved.”” – Matthew 9:17 NIV

You are entering a new season in your life. God is doing a new thing.

I know that that phrase can sound so like a cliché, but it is true because it is in the nature of God always to do new things.

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

Isaiah 43:19 NIV

Yet behold what God does generally: I believe that he wants to do some new things in our individual lives. He is in the process of ushering a new season into our lives.

This was the case of the Jews at the time of Christ’s advent on earth as recorded in the Gospels. God had burst into their normal routine and he was doing a new thing. Christ had come in the flesh and was walking among them. It was a new season. This was the new wine. Wine here signifies the Holy Spirit and a new move of His among us.

Now here was the tragedy – the new wine had come yet they sought to retain their old wineskin and were working hard to try to contain him in that old wineskin. This was the reason why the majority of the Jews in those days missed out of that new wine. Most times the more religious a person is, the harder it is to move with God. The religious spirit is an ugly spirit,  and because it lives within the church it is very difficult to discern when it is ruling us. But the test question is, ‘What am I following? Rules or Christ? What does my heart pant for? Christ? Or just to belong and be accepted in the group?

So here is what I am trying to say: When God begins to do a new thing in my life I need to change some of the ways in which I do things so as to contain what he is doing. I can’t go on doing everything as before in a new season.

Sometimes the reason we are not co-operating with God – to cast away the old and be in shape for the new – is because we do not even discern that the new wine has come or is almost here. Just as the Jews did not recognise that the Christ had come.

The first prayer I encourage you to pray as you head into this year is ‘Lord please help me to see what you are doing in my life’. Then look around and notice what the new wine is that God is bringing into your life.

Then the second question you need the help of God to answer so as to contain, and flow in, this new wine, is this: ‘What needs to change in my life so that I will be able to contain this new wine?’ It is not necessarily bad things that have to go. Sometimes the biggest stumbling blocks are those things that were good and useful in the past season, but which are not necessary now, or have even begun to distract you from Christ in this season.