Roses are red, God is on my side, in 2021 I wanna be…

… where the money resides. Have you come across this viral catchphrase? A car salesman in Louisiana shared a creative Ad as a form of marketing to potential new customers, I’ve inserted the video below.

And as usual, according to social media custom, a lot of people have taken on this term as their aim for the year. However, I beg to differ. Honestly speaking I’m concerned with how our society is obsessed with the acquisition of money amongst other materialistic things. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good to have good things and I’m certain God also wants the best for us but there is more to life than having money and good things. A lot of people will disagree with the phrase ‘money cannot buy you happiness’ – I have had several discussions in which people have tried to convince me that money can buy happiness; however, I am yet to be convinced. Yes, money can help achieve happiness to an extent but after interviewing 21 billionaires, entrepreneur Rafael Badziag discovered that billionaires appreciate the simple things of life and find their happiness outside of being rich. After all, being a billionaire does not protect one from tragedies such as the loss of a loved one or illnesses. Having enough money has enabled me to go on holidays, eat out at restaurants and buy the clothes I want however there comes a time when the holiday ends, the food is digested and excreted, the clothes get worn out or become ‘out of fashion’; the extent of the happiness has halted.

As Christians when we fall into the trap of thinking that being “where the money resides” is what would bring us happiness we conform our thoughts to the thoughts of the society we are living in. Of course, I am not a millionaire or have thousands upon thousands in my bank account but I can truly say that I am happy and in 2021 there’s somewhere else I’d rather be than where the money resides. This post will share a concept in terms of where our place of residence should be in 2021.

Over the years, Psalm 91 is a psalm that I have fallen in love with. Here it is for reference.

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked. If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent. “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.””

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭91:1-16‬ ‭NIV‬‬

A close study of the overall theme of this Psalm reveals that God promises security and safety amid danger – he does not promise us a world without danger but he promises to help us when we are faced with danger. Just like an eagle which spreads its wings to protect its young, God is described as a tender, loving and caring father that uses His metaphorical feathers to cover us His children.

We are promised protection from the ‘snare of the fowler’ – these are traps that are set up for your downfall. The fowler (someone who captures birds) is quiet and secretive however if you dwell with God you will not be deceived by Satan or those around you. Your eyes will be opened to see the traps.

We are promised protection from the ‘deadly pestilence. The pestilence is a posh way of describing a contagious disease (would you look at that – cough cough corona cough cough! ). If you dwell with God, he protects you from terrible health conditions and he acts as a shield during pandemics. This is not an absolute promise for everyone in every circumstance so it does not mean that those who have lost their lives did not dwell with God. But as believers, there are still times when you can see God delivering you from dangers as you place your trust in Him.

We are promised peace of mind – ‘shall not fear‘ – even though there are reasons to be fearful when you dwell with God he gives you strength and courage so that your fears will not have complete rule over you. His peace will make you calm amidst the troubles.

True safety can only be found in God. The society that we live in can fool us into thinking that we will find safety in our possessions, the figures in our bank account, our jobs, our degrees, our friends and loved ones – but the reality is that these supposed safety nets do not provide a fool-proof safety. We are still vulnerable to all sorts of harm and danger. However, taking this further, calamities in this life ultimately cannot harm us because through Christ we already have victory: everything has been overruled for good. Death is sad but, in view of, eternity it brings us closer to our reward in heaven, so it is a gain.

So let’s go back to the beginning of this post; Roses are red, God is on my side, in 2021 I wanna be under His wings. The “shadow of God’s/His Wings” is repeated several times across the bible; so it’s not just an isolated concept. Let me tell you what’s so special about being in the Shadow of God’s Wings. Dwelling in the shadow has connotations of close companionships; we must be near God to have His shadow on us. The fruit of being under the shadow of God’s wings are peace, protection, joy, goodness, mercy, grace, comfort and care what a blessed place to reside. To experience these blessings we must place our full trust in God – there is no protection for the young eagle that strays away from the nest or from under the mother’s wings.

At the end of this Psalm: God speaks of promises and blessings he gives to those who chose to love Him. So I ask today, have you chosen to love God. In the year 2021 are you going to love God more than the things that this life has to offer? Are you going to love God by spending time with Him, listening to Him, reading about Him, adoring Him, thinking about Him, speaking to Him, speaking to others about Him, giving and happily making sacrifices to Him and for Him? – more about this in an upcoming post.

Believers miss out on numerous blessings because we would rather chase things that God created such as money and declare that we want to be “where the money resides” than choosing to chase after God the creator and trusting Him as we should. As explained in David Guzik’s Bible commentary when we chose to “reside under the shadow of His Wings” we receive the blessing of God’s presence, protection, promotion, prosperity and preservation.

God is saying to you today if you love me and trust me – I will be with you in time of trouble, I will answer you, I will deliver you, I will honour you, I will give you long life, I will show you my salvation – what is your response?

Stay Blessed,

Dara

P.S – If you would rather listen to this post check out the podcast episode amongst others on your favourite listening platforms.

The Perfect Résumé The Undiluted Word

Have you written a résumé or CV before? Were you successful in getting the job or being called for an interview after? In this bonus episode, Dara shares her insights about The perfect résumé – you will want to get your notes app or notepads out for this one.Follow @theundilutedword on Insta, read blogs on http://www.theundilutedword.com  and listen to the Gospel playlist on Spotify and Youtube. Stay blessed!
  1. The Perfect Résumé
  2. In 2021, Imma be…
  3. The Weary World Rejoices
  4. S1E10: The Act of Disentangling
  5. S1E9: The Act of Being Entangled

August 2020

Throughout scripture there is a reoccurring concept: “the Lord your God is with you”, “I am with you”, “it is the Lord your God who goes with you”, “He is in your midst”, “I will never leave you” etc. Sometimes we think our consolation is in a change of circumstances but, God wants to console us right in the thick of our difficult times. Instead of demanding an escape route, become aware of God’s presence which is impregnated with abundant joy.

Have an Awesome August!

Dara

I can See You 

The next prayer is also from the book of Exodus and was uttered by Moses. 

There is a story told of a nurse named Clara Barton. She nursed those who were dying on the battlefield of Antietam. One night while she was walking through the barn where those who had been wounded were kept, she came across an injured boy. She heard him gasp “Shall I die alone… here…in the dark?” Clara brought in thirty lanterns and placed them around the boy. The youngster took the nurse’s hand and said, “Oh, I won’t die alone now. I can see you.” 

Did you know that there is POWER in presence? The presence of Clara Barton brought hope to the striken men of the Civil War. Moses also knew about the power of presence. As a man, Moses sought after the Presence of one who would spell the difference between life and death. He knew that if God was not with Israel, all was hopeless. Therefore Moses said, If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. 

Moses prayer in Exodus 33:12-23 is very appropriate for us today. 

Exodus 33:12-23

One day Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Take these people up to the Promised Land.’ But you haven’t told me whom you will send with me. You have told me, ‘I know you by name, and I look favorably on you.’ If it is true that you look favorably on me, let me know your ways so I may understand you more fully and continue to enjoy your favor. And remember that this nation is your very own people.” The LORD replied, “I will personally go with you, Moses, and I will give you rest—everything will be fine for you.” Then Moses said, “If you don’t personally go with us, don’t make us leave this place. How will anyone know that you look favorably on me—on me and on your people—if you don’t go with us? For your presence among us sets your people and me apart from all other people on the earth.” The LORD replied to Moses, “I will indeed do what you have asked, for I look favorably on you, and I know you by name.” Moses responded, “Then show me your glorious presence.” The LORD replied, “I will make all my goodness pass before you, and I will call out my name, Yahweh, before you. For I will show mercy to anyone I choose, and I will show compassion to anyone I choose. But you may not look directly at my face, for no one may see me and live.” The LORD continued, “Look, stand near me on this rock. As my glorious presence passes by, I will hide you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and let you see me from behind. But my face will not be seen.” 

As we are led through our own personal wilderness toward the Promised Land, we need the guiding Presence of our eternal Lord. He is not hiding from us but is there–an “ever-present help in the time of trouble.” God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. (‭Psalms‬ ‭46‬:‭1‬ NLT) David, the psalmists says that even if the world ends, we need not to fear. In the face of utter destruction, David expressed a quiet confidence in God’s ability to save him. God is not merely a temporary retreat; he is our eternal refuge and can provide strength in any circumstance. 

This would be a good moment to point out something special about Moses’ interactions with God. Exodus 33:11 reads “Inside the Tent of Meeting, the LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.” God and Moses talked back and forth with each other, just as friends do. How cool is that? Why did Moses find such favour with God? It certainly was not because he was a perfect, gifted or powerful man. Rather, it was because God chose Moses, and Moses in turn relied wholeheartedly on God’s wisdom and direction. Friendship with God was a true privilege for Moses, out of reach for the other Hebrews. But it is not out of reach for us today, Jesus called his disciples and all his followers his friends. John 15:15 ( I no longer call you slaves, because a master doesn’t confide in his slaves. Now you are my friends, since I have told you everything the Father told me.) He has called you to be his friends. Will you trust him as Moses did? #foodforthought 

So to conclude from this prayer, we should all learn to pray for the Lord’s guiding presence. There is power in presence. God’s presence gives us hope to face tomorrow without fear. 

Stay Blessed,

Dara  x

P.S- the next post in this Walkthrough the Major Prayers in the bible will be posted on Wednesday.  Stay tuned and feel free to send in your prayer requests on this link. All requests are kept confidential. 🙊