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

No Weapon! 

“No weapon formed against me shall prosper, it won’t work.” Those are lyrics to one of my favourite songs, at the moment. As I said in my previous post (To Gain the World or lose your Soul?) I stopped listening to secular music over 3 years ago. Since then my library of gospel music keeps increasing, with a variety of vibrant, God-led and inspired artists, with positive messages. Sometime in the future, I hope to write a post about music and why I think it’s so important to be cautious of what we are listening to. But at this moment, I’m going to give an interpretation of this phrase “No weapon formed against me shall prosper”. 

Life is like a battle field in which we are fighting against the forces of evil however in Isaiah 54:17, the Lord says “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me” While reflecting on this verse I thought, does it mean that we will not die or be injured from guns, bombs and other forms of the enemy’s weaponry? In my mind, an image of a Christian deflecting bullets is created, but we are not superheros or characters like Hancock (who can not be injured in any shape or form), it seems slightly supernatural. But what exactly did the Lord mean when he said this?

I went back to read the whole of Isaiah 54. As you may be aware the book of Isaiah has a collection of prophecies and has a great deal about the theme of salvation. This chapter talks about the future Glory for Jerusalem, he promises that our “enemies will stay far away. We will live in peace, and terror will not come near us”. To me this future day refers to after the second coming of Jesus, when we will receive our heritage; the kingdom of God. But till then, how can we internalize this verse to our lives now. 

A weapon is a thing designed or used for inflicting bodily harm or physical damage, however in 2 Corinthians 10:4, we are told “The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.” So, we are not only against physical weapons such as guns but the enemy can use weapons in the form of confusion, hatred, peer pressure, jealousy, envy, anger, discouragement, rejection, depression, financial setbacks, relationship breakdowns, sickness, fears against us. As I said earlier we are in a spiritual warfare and we are likely to have these sort of weapons fashioned, planned, preordained against us, however we should know that these weapons will not succeed, make progress and be completed successfully. They will fail and miss the mark and target they have placed on the children of God.

Make this declaration: “Nothing that has been formed against me will dominate me, or overcome me because I belong to God and that is my heritage from Him as a believer and Child of The Most High God.”

“Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him”  (Proverbs 30:5) Do you take refuge in the Lord and put your trust in Him? Do not fear for the Lord is with you! Don’t look around anxiously, because the Lord is your God. He promises to “strengthen you, help you and uphold you with his righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10) God’s right hand signifies strength, whenever we find ourselves in a battle against the opposition God will give us strength. Remember the Battle is not yours, It is the Lord’s. (1 Samuel 17:47)

Please listen and meditate to the song below (No Weapon by Fred Hammond), that I quoted the lyrics for in the intro.

Stay Blessed,

Dara x