November 2019

Late in the midnight hour God’s going to turn it around. On numerous occasions in the bible there is action at midnight. As we get nearer to the end of the year I want to encourage you that GOD IS A GOD OF SUDDENLY. We can’t predict when He will show up but we can be certain that He will show up & turns things around in your favour. Trust that God will suddenly show up and turn your situation around for the better – Don’t lose heart.

Have a Notable November!!

February 2019

Stop rehearsing your future troubles. You end up putting yourself through an experience several times when you are only meant to experience them once. Don’t multiply your suffering. Instead relax in God’s presence & peace. I declare that God is strengthening and preparing you for the future. He will transform your fear into confident trust.

Have a fear-less February!

Happy New Month – July

Congratulations on stepping into the second half of this year and my special month – July. In this month & for the rest of the year, doors that appear to be shut shall be opened, paths that appear crooked shall be made straight. Remember that your faith can move movements but doubt can also create them. Unexpected and unexplainable miracles are coming your way. Have a fabulous July!

P.S – I’ll be back with more blog posts once my exam season is over.

How to Shaku Shaku in the Storm

Let me start with a Disclaimer: I am not here to actually teach you how to Shaku Shaku. And if you do not know what that is, it’s the latest Nigerian dance style that has stormed the internet over the last few months. In an attempt to jump on this new dance wave I have watched endless YouTube tutorials and music videos, let’s just say there’s a very small glimpse of hope. 😂

If you are a student like myself you are probably in a storm or about to encounter one, and by storm I mean the long-awaited exam season. Stress levels are high, deadlines are fast approaching, exam dates creeping up not so slowly. And for those who aren’t students, I am sure you can agree that there are some storms that you may or may not be currently in. Each gospel has the account of the Jesus calming the storm, here it is in the Gospel of Matthew 8:23-27 :

23 Then he [Jesus] got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!” 26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. 27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Do we sometimes feel as though Jesus is sleeping in the midst of our storms? Whilst the waves were raging Jesus was sleeping!! He was cool, calm & collected. Imagine that. When Jesus wakes up he rebukes their fear and unbelief. That same rebuke may apply to us right now Jesus is asking:  “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” When we trust God correctly, there will be very little room left for fear.
The thing with the disciples is that they had reasons to have faith despite the raging sea; they had seen Jesus perform wonders in the past, they had seen people like the Centurion who displayed a big trust in Jesus and most importantly Jesus was on board. It takes great faith to trust that a “sleeping Jesus” cares about us even when he seems very silent. A bible commentator says: “There are many Christians today who seem to think the boat is going down! I am tired of the wailing of some of my friends who take that view. The boat cannot go down. Jesus is on board.” (Morgan)
The boat cannot go down: Jesus is on board.
 Key points to take from this story:
  1. Jesus is Lord over all; He has full authority & power over the circumstances that we face. Jesus appeared to have left them in the midst of their chaos but in reality, he was always with them – the same way he has never left our side.
  2. We Must trust Jesus in the storms of life
    • Storms often reflect our lack of trust in God – Sometimes we need to become weak so that we will learn to rely only on Christ’s strength
    • Not all fear is wrong, however, when our fear is excessive and causes us to panic & not think of God’s control over our problems – it is.
    • If we are so focused on a problem & can’t see God’s control over it, we are not trusting him.
  3. Storms should drive us towards God; One thing I have learnt about the storms of life is that the more we trust Him in our current storm, the more we will know Him and be able to trust Him in the upcoming storms.
  4. Storms hit us unexpectedly and without warning; thus in order to survive we must be prepared in advance. NOW is the time to prepare for the storm, if we don’t learn to trust God in the calm of life we will not be prepared to trust him when the storm hits.

Once upon a while ago, I heard: life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain. A bad habit I have adopted whilst at Uni is playing music whilst revising and recently because of this new dance style – Shaku Shaku I find myself getting up every time a suitable song comes up to practice my moves. 😂😂 I’m literally dancing in the storm, my revision (which is driving me crazy) is there but I’m dancing instead.  What am I trying to say? This is the attitude we should have whilst in a storm. The reason we should be able to dance in the rain is that we understand that we have a firm anchor – God. I am reminded of the hymn:

We have an anchor that keeps the soul
Steadfast and sure while the billows roll,
Fastened to the Rock which cannot move,
Grounded firm and deep in the Savior’s love.

So there’s only one main step on how to Shaku Shaku in the storm and that is to anchor our faith in God’s promises and presence. The purpose of an anchor is to prevent the raging waves from smashing the boat into the shore and to stop the boat from drifting or being swept away. And so the same applies to God’s role when we encounter storms, He keeps us sane despite the adversity around us, He gives us serenity amidst the hustle and bustle of life.

Here are some of God’s promises to claim as we encounter storms in our lives:

  • God will keep me in perfect peace because I trust in him and my thoughts are firmly fixed on him. (Isaiah 26:3)
  • When I pass through deep waters, God will be with me, and when I pass the rivers of difficulty, I will not drown. When I walk through the fire, I will not be burned, the flames shall not consume. (Isaiah 43:2)
  • The Lord’s loving kindness never ceases. I am not consumed, for his compassions never fail and they are new every morning, Great is His faithfulness. The Lord is good to me because I seek Him and my hope is in Him. Therefore I will wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. (Lamentation 3:21-26)
Fully trusting and relying on God & His promises means that in spite of the circumstances you can dance in the middle of the storm because you know; God will be with you, you will not be consumed, you will not drown and you will come out better and stronger to face the next storm. Faith is not an automatic thing, we must choose to exercise it daily, and sometimes you have to recall previous storms and remind yourself of God’s faithfulness. He hasn’t failed you in the past and he would not start now.
So I urge you today to drop your anchor and stand on the Rock of Ageslay a firm foundation in God and His Word and you will be able to Shaku Shaku in the Storm.
To all my fellow students, Go smash those exams and remember the same God that brought you here is still on board with you and will take you even further.
Stay Blessed
Dara xx
P.S: Students check out my previous blog posts for exam season for more encouragement & prayers :When fear creeps in… (for those who become very fearful & anxious during exam season), Do your BEST and He’ll do the REST (has a prayer especially for procrastinators) and Commit it to the Lord (a revision tool that works for EVERY & ANY subject).

What’s LOVE got to do with it? 

Yes, February has passed by along with Valentine’s day and all it’s festivities, but I hope the “love” shared and displayed hasn’t faded either.  In this post I’m going to talk about a 4 letter word that is most important in the life of a Christian. This word isn’t  FAITH or HOPE, I’m sure you could have guessed by the post title – it is LOVE.

You may have come across the verse in 1 Corinthians 13:13 – “And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.” Love is greater than both Faith & Hope, really!?   FAITH is the foundation and content of God’s message, HOPE is the attitude and focus, LOVE is action. When faith and hope are in line, you are free to love completely because you understand how God loves. Paul says though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.” (1 Corinthians 13:2) Having the highest degree of faith without love is nothing. Without love, genuine hope cannot exist. Is it possible to hope (long for or have a desire) for something you don’t love? I don’t think so …  Therefore unless faith and hope are coupled with love they are dead. 

It’s no surprise that love is a keyword in the 2 greatest commandments: Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37-40). I want you to draw close attention to verse 40. What’s love got to do with it? Rather than focusing on all the things we shouldn’t do in the 10 commandments, we should channel our focus onto what we should do. That way we are looking at God’s Laws in a more positive light. I’ve heard some people use the above passage to support the opinion that we are not required to keep the laws of the old testament. However, if we love God we are naturally going to obey the first 4 commandments which deal with God ( vertical relationship). Additionally, the remaining 6 are centred on our relationship with  one another ( horizontal relationship), if we love one another we are going to think twice before stealing, lying or murdering them. As I mentioned earlier the greatest commandments have a central theme. So verse 40 can be read as “All the Law and the Prophets hang on Love”.  Love is the fulfilment of the Law, love enables you to keep the Law.

Horizontal and vertical Love is what the cross is all about. Firstly, you come to the Lord and then you share or display that same love with others. Therefore if you do not have vertical love, you will not be able to display horizontal love. Let me use a song I sung at primary school to explain this concept; Love is something if you give it away, Give it away, give it away. Love is something if you give it away, You end up having more”. You’ll agree with me that you can only give away something that you possess. So, in order to love and be loved completely we need to love ourselves first. In Matt 22:39 Jesus says: You shall love your neighbour as yourself, if a person doesn’t love him/herself, this command amongst all others becomes very difficult to follow.

Then again, you might have self-love but find it extremely difficult to love those neighbours who have carved wounds so deep you think they can’t be healed. You develop love through trial, by surrounding yourself with people that are difficult to love. Falling in love with God for example may not be at first sight, it takes time. The love you have for God develops through strain and the trials of life, if we persevere real love muscles eventually develop.

So I ask again what’s love got to do with it?

At the centre of Christianity is love, the greatest sacrifice in history was done because of Love. Love is a practice that our Saviour embodied. Through love we may do good deeds, care for our bodies and possess a desire to help humanity. Love involves unselfish service to others.  If our lives are full of quick-fix, feel good approaches to our fellow humans instead of intentional and purposeful responses to God’s unselfish love, we have failed to understand the meaning of the gospel. God’s love is evident throughout the bible, it governs the actions and decisions He made and continues to make. And finally, God is love

No matter what I say, no matter what I believe, no matter what I do, I am bankrupt without love.

I love this song called “The Proof of Love” by King & Country, please listen to and meditate on the lyrics.

Stay blessed,

Dara xx

Happy New Month – June

Whatever trial, obstacle or test you are facing be rest assured THERE IS LIGHT at the end of the tunnel. A famous quote says: “When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit and trust the engineer”. In the same way, as you are going through a tunnel, no matter how dark your situation is keep moving and preserving while placing your full trust in God. He will bring you out in this month of June. Happy New Month. xx

GODFIDENCE †

As you may be aware it’s that special time of the year again. One of the few days (apart from my birthday in July)  in the year I get very very excited for. On this day 4 years ago, there was a celebration in Heaven as another soul decided to join the winning side.  If you haven’t guessed by now it’s my Baptism Birthday (as I like to call it). I enjoy using this landmark to reflect on my relationship with God and share some encouragement with others.

To begin I want to shed some light on the title – GODFIDENCE.

God•fi•dence

Definition:

A: a feeling or consciousness of Gods powers or of reliance on God’s promises. < I had perfect Godfidence in His ability to HEAL>

B: faith or belief that God will act in a right, proper, or effective way <I have Godfidence in the heavenly Father!>

Synononyms:

Faith

#HolySlang

Do you have GODFIDENCE? 

I believe that this past year has really strengthened my GODFIDENCE. There have been many doubts along the way; I doubted that God will make a way for me to get into Uni, I doubted that God will enable me to pass my exams with all the obstacles and even for a hot sec I doubted that my plane will land safetly despite all the turbulences, you get where I am coming from? I am sure some (if not all) of you are able to relate to those small moments when your mind wanders and you start to lose confidence in God & forget about His wonder working power. Having said all of that, I believe that doubts are a part of a Christian’s journey. Doubts strengthen us in ways we may not be able to understand straightaway.

“A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it”– Timonthy Keller

I have realised that when you decide to follow Christ and make a decision to no longer stay on Satan’s side, his attacks on you become greater. When we decide to turn our backs on the ways and customs of this world we become the number 1 target for Satan. One of the ways he attacks us is by depositing doubts in our minds. He makes us doubt God’s ability and promises. When Satan begins to fire fiery darts of doubts at us, what are we supposed to do? As Ephesians 6:16 states “above all, take the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.”

taking up this shield of faith

Taking up the shield of faith means that we decide to see things from God’s perspective, we decide to see beyond our current circumstances and know that ultimate victory is ours. It means that whenever Satan wants you to believe that you made a wrong decision by choosing to be on God’s side you, you remind yourself  that God is not a man, that He should lie, Nor a son of man, that He should repent; Has He said, and will He not do it? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good? Numbers 23:19. God will do what He said He will do, He will stand by His word and come through for you. Doubts pierce our trust in God, but when we take up the shield of faith we are protected.

Abraham’s faith is detailed in Romans chapter 4. Verse 21 says: [Abraham was] fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised. Unlike yourself and myself Abraham never doubted that God will fulfil his promises, eventhough Satan fired arrows to give him reasons to doubt. God promised to give him a land but satan fired the arrow of famine. God promised to make him father of many nations but satan fired the arrow of old age. Yes Abraham made mistakes, committed sins and experienced failures but he consistently trusted in God. Abraham had GODFIDENCE. The obstacles Abraham faced strengthened his faith. Abraham’s life demonstrates Faith in Action. We should all take a leaf out of Abraham’s book and obey God and wait for Him to fufil his word. As I said in my post A Shout Out to GodNever think that God is punishing you, he is taking you on a journey to strengthen your faith and relationship with Him. AND most of all he is showing that he will remain FAITHFUL to the end. 

How do you feel when your birthday is approaching? I don’t know about you but I am always excited, and sometimes slighlty anxious. I am usually excited to recieve the presents I have been looking forward to. But then I would be anxious about the ones I am not aware of -the surprises. Assurance and anticipation are words that accompany birthdays and surprinsingly or unsurpsingly those words also describe what faith is like. Faith ” is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1). Faith is the confidence based on our past experiences that God’s new and fresh surprises will surely be ours. Like I mentioned in If He dId it before. He can do it Again: Believe that the same God that helped you to succeed in the past is going to  help you again. He is the same God yesterday, today and tomorrow.

Confidence & Certainty are words that should describe our GODFIDENCE. These qualities have a begining and ending point.

  1. Begining point: Believe in God’s character – He is who he says he is.
  2. End point: Believe in God’s promises – He will do what he says.

When we believe that God will fulfil his promises even though we don’t see those promises happening  we should still demonstrate true faith. Consciously remind yourself of God’s power and rely on His promises. 

Doubts are not a bad thing, as I quoted earlier “A faith without some doubts is like a human body without any antibodies in it”. Antibodies help us build our immunity so that we are able to fight infections when they rise up again. In the same way doubts are fired at us so that we learn to pick up our shield of faith and strengthen it. In John 20:24-31, Jesus doesn’t have a go at Thomas for his doubts. Despite Thomas’s skepticism, he was still loyal to Jesus. Just like Thomas some of us need to doubt before we believe. Doubting leads to questions, then questions lead to answers and then the answers are accepted, in the end the doubts were helpful. It is when our doubt becomes stubbornness and stubborness becomes a prideful lifestlye that doubt harms our faith. When next you find yourself doubting, don’t stop there! Let your doubt deepen your faith as you continue to search for answers or wait for explanations or miracles from God. 

Doubts pierce our trust in God, but our faith protects us.

Stay Blessed,

Dara x

P.S- Please have  a read of the posts I have mentioned in the post, they reinforce the points I have made in this post. If you have any prayer requests please feel free to send them through this link. I am always happy & eager to pray for others 😊