Wednesday, 8 September 2010

Keep That Dream Alive- part 2

Welcome to the concluding part of the this post and I hope you did enjoy the part 1 of it. In this post we shall take a look at the other two things you have to do so as to keep that dream alive viz: seeing and pursuing. My original message on these has been updated. Enjoy!

2) See it:
What you see is what you become. Your life flows in the direction of your vision. You must see your dream and continue to see it until you see it because you become what you see. In II Corinthians 3: 18, the scripture declares that "we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory..." God ask Jeremiah, "what seest thou?" You see, God understands the principle of seeing. He used it on Abraham and still uses it today. He gave Abraham a sure word of promise but when it seems that Abraham was finding it hard grasp it, He applied the principle of seeing. He asked Abraham to look into the sky and count the stars thereby, associating what Abraham saw with the promise. He further declare that as far as Abraham's eyes could see, would be given him for a possession. Seeing is becoming! Seeing is possessing! This was the same principle Jacob used on Laban's cattle to get them speckled and ringstreaked. Don't you ever lose sight of your dream because seers don't quit and quitters don't see. Keep seeing it, don't stop seeing it until you see it. That is focus! The more you see it the more you fire up your desire for it. And the clearer the picture, the stronger the desire. Let the picture of your dream be your sleeping and waking thought. Let it excite you. Put replicas of it on your wall, in phone either as screen saver or ring tone. Associate with things and people that provoke thoughts of your dream. Live your dream in your imagination. You must hold a clear mental picture of your dream in your imagination. Remember seeing is possessing. So, until you see it, you can't seize it. This principle runs through the entire scriptures. Hebrews tells us to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross despising the shame. In another chapter, talking about the patriarchs, Hebrews tells us that they "all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them and embraced them..." Make no mistake, they didn't see the promises in the flesh because they (the promises) were dispensational in nature. And hope you know they still partook in them in the spirit for Abraham, Jesus said, rejoiced to see His day (that's a topic for another day).

Seeing is possessing- Dr. Yongi Cho
Seers don't quit and quitters don't see- Prince

3) Pursue it:
"Pursue it" is a call to action. Let me say that the pursuit of any worthy dream begins and ends in (or with) God. If the dream is such that you can not conveniently bring it before God and discus it with Him in the place of prayer, then it is not worth it. Pursuing your dream is where the men are separated from the boys. Hope you are aware that Martin Luther King Jnr. was not the only one with such dream at the time? Of course, yes! The issue he confronted was such that was not peculiar to him alone but to every black at the time but he knew that any dream that does not lead to action is nothing but day dreaming, it is nothing but fantasies and wishful thinking. So, he was willing not just to talk the talk but to walk the walk as well. What you don't pursue, you don't possess. Make no mistake. Seeing is possessing but this will only be true if your life flows in the direction of what you see.
In pursuing your dream you must be weary of dream killers.
One of them is pride. The Bible says pride goes before a fall. You must be humble enough to ask those who are in the know how they do it. There are things that God has packaged in the person next door and it takes humility and respect to access them. Be humble enough to acknowledge your shortcomings and work to update yourself.
Ignorance is another dream killer. For the labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them for he knoweth not the way to go to the city (Ecclessiastes 10:15). Invest in your dream. Go for information, it makes your journey easier and shorter. It is one thing to know where you are going and quite another thing to know how to get there. Attend seminars, read books. Be selective about what you spend your money on. I don't expect you (I was referring specifically to the convener of the youth seminar) to go buy a balckberry phone when you need a projector or even a mini website to give you an online international presence.
Mentor-ship and Networking are indispensable tools in the pursuit of your dream. There are people you don't compete or rub shoulders with. Whatever you want to be today, someone has been even before you were born and many more are, today. Look for them and learn from them. As they move up the ladder, you naturally fill up the vacuum they create below. I am talking about mentors. There are opportunities that may never fall on your laps except by the recommendation of your mentors. The world has been so reduced that you can be mentored by someone miles way from you. Buy their books, visit their sites, send them emails and try to establish contact with them. Let them know that someone somewhere is been impacted by their lives and works. There are also individuals within your locality that have what it takes to mentor you. Don't be ashamed to ask them for such favours. Networking is another MUST if your dream must kept alive. No matter how visionary Joseph was, he needed someone to mention him before Pharaoh. When Ziklag was invaded, and David after having prayed and assured by God to pursue and recover, he needed the help of a famished fellow to get to the enemies camp. He gave the fellow what he needed and got the information he needed in return. That is the power of networking. Let me warn that you need to be very selective in choosing mentors and those to network with. There are dream killers as well as dream parasites. Everybody can be your acquaintance but not everybody is qualified to be a confidant or partner including your blood relations. A times you need to adopt the "david-attitude". When he was confronted and chided by Eliab his elder brother at the battle front, he quickly turned away from him and turned to others asking the same question- "what shall be done to the man who kills Goliath?". Your brothers or sisters (relations and friends) may brand you names and mistake you for what you are not. Never mind! Don't let them run you down! You dream is your identity. There are many youths with same physical features as we all have but what stands you out is the dream you birth, the things you are able to accomplish. Let's go to God in prayers!

Any dream that does not result into action is day-dream-Anonymous
Happy weekend holiday!

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Keep That Dream Alive

I was with some youths over the weekend to speak to them on the topic "Keep the Dream alive" and below is my message. Enjoy!

The problem with most of us is not that we don't dream, it is not that we don't have visions, goals or aspirations. The problem is that most of us have turned ourselves into human prisons, cold rooms or cemeteries. Locked up and buried within a lot of us are lofty dreams and visions that hold the key to our destinies and fulfillment. Don't be a prison where dreams are locked up, don't be a cold room where dreams are frozen or a cemetery where they are buried. Hope you know the world does not recognize or celebrate you for what you carry on your inside. No! nobody cares, nobody gives a damn! The world celebrate you for what you were able to give birth to. Yes! the world does not celebrate pregnancy, it celebrate delivery. Dreams, just like life, have phases. It has the conception, the incubation period (pregnancy), the delivery, the infancy, childhood and maturity. A dream, just like the human life, can die at any phase. Even if it has attained maturity, there is still the challenge of continuity. Have you not heard of companies or churches that went under after the death of their founders? Every dream leaves you with responsibilities. Wisdom demands that you know what stage your dream is at the moment. President Jonathan didn't fall from heaven a president. He was once a seed in a woman's womb. Even at birth, he was not born a president.

Until your become a servant to your dream, you can not attain it-Prince

Your first responsibility is to know what stage your dream is at the moment. Is it at its conception? That period when it is still an idea that's yet to take root. Still formless and shapeless in the womb of your imagination (or mind). Many a youth has been talked out of their dreams because they were too eager to discuss it at conception. Conception is not the best period to discuss your dream with others. It is easier to be convinced by others at this stage and by so, abort the dream. At conception, you need to spend time in meditation, prayers and waiting on the Lord until the dream crystallizes and takes root within you. You need to incubate that ''seed''! Do your home work first. Research it, get the requisite knowledge and information about it and let your soul be set aglow with it then you can go and discuss it with men of like passion. At this point, whoever does not speak the language of your dream, you easily turn away from him 'cos you have been sold out to it already. It is clear and well rooted in you!
Your next responsibility is to know how to keep it alive and nature it to the next phase.
Let me at this juncture declare that until you are willing to be a servant to your dream attaining it may be impossible. The Lord Jesus told us that it is enough that the servant be as his master. Are you willing to take instructions from your dreams? I know am talking to christian youths so, i don't expect our dreams to be such that runs at variance with the word of God. Let this statement sink into your head because everything you need to do to keep your dream alive is hinged on it: That until you become a servant to your dream, until you become a slave to it, until you are addicted and sold out to your dream, forget it! It will die! Addiction in itself is not bad and i have discovered that every great man is an addict. He has something he is sold out to, something for which he is willing to sacrifice anything for, something he is willing to die for. For what things were gain unto him, he counted but dung for the excellency of attaining his life's pursuit. Don't let that dream die. If it dies, you are dead even while you are still alive. It is important that you know what stage your dream is at the moment. Ask a mother. She monitors her baby right from conception until delivery and beyond. She knows that each stage comes with its challenges, demands and peculiarities. Her life is dictated by the stages, kind of. The way she behaves at the sixth month of her pregnancy is different from the way shes does at conception. Likewise, her behaviour at the ninth month is different from that at the sixth month. The way she also behaves when her date is due is also quite different and so on, even after delivery. Her life is dictated by the baby in the womb and she must comply if she intends to successfully bring forth. It dictates to her the kind of clothes and even shoes to wear. The kind of food to eat and a times even the places to go. She sacrifices her personal likes or preference in response to the demands of what she carries on her inside. Beloved, the same holds true, in principle, for your dreams if it must be kept alive. It will dictate what and how you spend you money, time and resources etc. Are you willing to adjust?

There are things to do to keep that dream alive and I have crystallize them into three: Desire, See and Pursue. Desire it, See it, and Pursue it.

1) Desire it:
Desire is the fuel that powers the engine of your dream. You must have a strong desire to see your dream come true. Without a strong desire, fulfilling your dream becomes a burden. Nothing great has ever been achieved without a strong desire. I don't mean wish. I am talking about passion. I am talking about that inner drive that keeps you undaunted in the face of challenges. That inner force that pushes you on no matter how many times you may have failed. Instead of discouragement in the face of failures, what you get is a renewed vigor urging you never to give up, telling you it is possible. I read of the story of a lady called Mme who, in pursuit of her passion for music, enrolled for a course in music. Her music instructor after listening to her, advised her to go buy a sewing machine and pursue a career in fashion designing 'cos she wasn't going to make a good singer. The story had it that this lady in spite of this "professional" advise from a man in the know, went ahead to become a renowned singer. Another story was told of a trainee keyboardist whose instructor told him to forget about mastering the keys because he lacked the right size of fingers. Hmm! It was like telling the man that God didn't intend him to master the keyboard or like we would say, "it is not his calling". But this guy, fueled by passion, ignored this advise and went ahead to become a master of the art. You must have a desire that is strong enough to sustain your dream because when the road gets tougher, it is your passion that will drive you on. We often hear things like determination, persistence or resilience. But the truth is, these qualities are products of a strong desire for something. Many a youth gives up easily because their desire isn't strong enough. In fact most them either are pursuing their parents' desire for them or mistake wish for desire. Desire is obsessional! Most times, its natural but can be fired up. The Bible in Matthew 5:6 says, "Blessed are they who do hunger and thirst after righteousness for they shall be filled". This is a principle and if you substitute your dream for righteousness, the result will be the same-you will have it. What you strongly desire, you attract. You must learn to feed your desire.

To be continued....

Wednesday, 25 August 2010

The Law of Compensation

On my way to church one evening while reflecting on a number of things, I heard the words "The Law of Compensation" ringing in my mind. Actually, I was meditating on this statement, "Your problem is not what you don't have. You problem is what you have but have refused to use''. It was as I tried to reason it out, that these words- The Law of Compensation- dropped in. My mind was turned lose as I tried to ascertain the existence of such law and to my pleasant surprise, I discovered that there is indeed such a law at work in the universe- it is at work in man, it is at work in animals, it is at work in nature. Have you noticed that some animals have certain senses well developed in them in comparison to others. Some animals who may not be a fast as a cheetah more often than not have their sense of sight or smell well developed in them than in the cheetah to compensate for their slow pace. Some of them even develop (or acquire) special organs that compensates for the lack of pace. The same applies to man, at least in principle. I once told the youths of my church that everybody has something about them that should make them bold as well something that should also make them shy. For some, their height is their source of pride and they use it to their advantage whether you like their faces or not (i mean they may be ugly by your standard). I have also seen short guys who command attention with their oratory prowess whenever they stand to speak. So interesting, such guys would always have "something" to say at any meeting they are. For some it is their complexion while for others, it is their beauty. The examples are countless!

I strongly believe that this law is the basis for the popular statement, "there is ability in disability". There is this general believe (of course with examples to back it up) that if a physically challenged person esp a cripple holds you in his grip, you are done for except he chooses to let you off. So long as your sight is intact, your mind or your senses of touch can never be developed to the point of mastering certain musical instruments. But when your system equilibrium is disturbed, the system adjusts to re-establish a new equilibrium. We know the story of John Foppe, a man born without arms, whose lower limb muscles have been so developed to compensate for his seeming "disability". They now do for him what the arms do for us. That's why they say, there is ability in disability. The problem is that we don't look deeply inward to discover it.

Your problem is not what you don't have but what you have and don't use- Anonymous
"What have you in your house?" was the question Elisha asked the poor widow whose late husband's creditors were after her two sons. It was with what she had that her needed miracle emerged from. Stop lamenting your "have nots" and start maximizing your "haves". When the disciples of Jesus met him to complain about how to feed the multitude, it was from what they had amongst them that what they needed to feed the thousands came from. Adam didn't have a wife but he had a rib from which a wife was formed for him. Blind Bartimeaus didn't have sight, but he used what he had, a voice, to get what he needed, sight. Identify and maximise what you have today and watch God use it (or them) to make you the man or woman He created you to be.
Like the mathematicians would say, "start from the known (your haves) to the unknown (your have nots). The Law of Compensation is activated when we effectively use what we have. If we do this, it has a way of either creating, attracting or transforming into, the "have nots" that are indispensable in our journey to greatness. The Lord Jesus said, "those that have shall be given (because they effectively maximize that which they have) while those that have not, that which they have shall be taken from them (because they refused to make use it)". Emphasis mine. This is a both a natural and a supernatural law. What you don't use you lose, the Law of Atrophy states. And until you effectively use what you have, you are not entitled to more.

The Law of Compensation states that what you don't have has been compensated for, one way or another either naturally or supernaturally, in what you have
What you have has the potential of creating, attracting or transforming into the things you need but don't have at the moment if you effectively deploy and utilize them.
Folks, for your information nobody is born empty! God has packaged everything you need within and around you.
The English alphabet are twenty six in number but through permutation and combination, the words we can create with them are innumerable. The same with numbers, we have natural numbers ranging from 0 to 9 (hope am correct?) from which every other number imaginable is derived from. All truth are parallel and the above is true even in life. The message is that you can with the resources you have within and around you, recreate your world. Do you have potentials, talents, ideas, gifts, money, or people? Which ever you have can be utilized and harnessed to attract (or create) that which you lack but need to be successful in life.


Wednesday, 7 April 2010

In Pursuit of Excellence 2

I am sure we all had an exciting and thrilling Easter holiday. In keeping with my promise, I will be concluding this series today and I hope it won't need a part 3. I sincerely hope so. I recommend you read "In Pursuit of Excellence 1" if you are new to this series. In part 1 we saw a few things about the first "H" which is the Heart and how it comes to play in our pursuit of excellence. Statements like "follow your heart" or "follow your passion" goes to show how important it is in our pursuit of excellence because therein lies the secret of true success. Now lets move on to the other Hs-head and hands.

2) Head
The Head speaks of the Mind - the intellect, the imagination, the reasoning and thinking faculties.
It is one thing to know what you want and be passionate about it and quite another thing to know how to get it. This is where the head comes in. The heart may be fully in it but it takes the head to fine tune and refine the process. Your passion and desire fuels you but your head provides the road map. To be passionate about a cause and yet refuse to learn the nitty gritty or rudiments of it is actually to practice folly. In fact true passion makes you hungry to know more. It is passion (desire) that drives your quest for knowledge. Proverbs 18:1 "Through desire a man, having separated himself seeketh and intermeddleth with all wisdom". There is a better way of doing that thing you do currently, seek it out. For "...I show unto you a more excellent way" I Corinthians 12:31b. Go for knowledge, go for information. Knowledge makes your journey shorter. Get educated, enlightened and informed about that stuff for which you pursue excellence. A story was told of Soichiro Honda, founder of Honda Motor co. He has been passionate about automobiles right from childhood and actually set out in pursuit of his passion. The story had it that he had great difficulties making marketable pistons. He lacked the requisite knowledge to do this and his competitors were not willing to oblige him either. Fueled by passion, he went back to school and took up a course in production. He attended only classes that deal with production and as a result his academic performance was very poor. Worried by his poor performance, the coordinator of the college called him to find out what the problem was. You know what Honda told him? Honda tried to explain to the coordinator that he was not there for the certificate but for the knowledge of production. He was eventually kicked out of school but he went home armed with the knowledge of how to make marketable pistons. That is when passion meets knowledge.

The heart may be fully in it but it takes the head to fine tune and refine the process.

Another aspect of the head that must be involved in your pursuit of excellence is the imagination. Romans 12: 2b admonishes us " be transformed by the renewing of our minds". There are those who are prisoners of their (negative) imaginations. Imaginations are deep rooted thoughts, mental images/pictures in the subconscious mind. They often influence and dictate the thought patterns of the conscious mind. Take it or leave it, your transformation has a lot to do with the quality of your imaginations (thought life). "For as a man thinketh so is he", the Bible tells us. You can't hold a picture of mediocrity in your head and expects excellence. Negative imaginations are strongholds and the scriptures in II Corinthians 10: 4 enjoins us to cast down every imagination that exalts themselves above the knowledge of God. Positively engage your imagination with thoughts, images and pictures of excellence. That's meditation! Let them saturate you on the inside and failure will be far from you. This practice is not a piece of cake, I must confess. The ability to hold a mental image or picture of that which you desire no matter the happenings around you is no mean task. But thank God we walk by faith and not by sight (II Corinthians 5:7).

Excellence is not for the mentally lazy. Engage your reasoning and thinking faculties in your pursuit of excellence. Sit down, and thoughtfully plan your ways. Fine, you know what you want but have you a plan of actions which if followed will deliver? That things ain't working out as expected, have you sat down to think it through?. I don't mean worrying about a problem. Rather be creative and innovative in your thinking. Do you know there are those who are paid to think through problems? Oyedepo once said that God gave us brains so He could have some rest. Use your head no be curse. Hope you know your hands (activities, works) can not be wiser than your head. What your hands do is a function of how intelligent you are upstairs.

Your hands can not be wiser than your head.
There is a lot to say on the head but time and space won't permit.

3) Hands
The hands speak of work and physical activities. Your work is your portrait and signature, so you better be serious about yours. Excellence does not respond to mere wishes but to hard work. Pay attention to your work-the finished product. Be sure of the quality before it goes on display. It's no crime to have an internal quality control system in place. Let men know you for something.
Be skillful and diligent about it. For the Bible warns in Proverbs 10:4 that "He becometh poor that dealeth with a slack hand: but the the hand of the diligent maketh rich".
"Seesth thou a man diligent in his business? he shall stand before kings; he shall not stand before mean men" Proverbs 22:29

The Bible say in Proverbs 13: 4, "The soul of the sluggard desireth, and hath nothing". Don't let that idea die in your head! Translate it into work with your hands. God promised to bless the works of our hands. It means we take delivery of HIS blessings through the works of our hands. So get to work!
Put your heart and head into your work. That is, while you are passionate about what you do, you are also creative and innovative in how you do it.

Your work is your portrait and signature

When God gives you a promise, He expects that you fully engage your 3-Hs in corporation with HIM: your heart MUST believe, your head MUST agree and your hands MUST labour.
If you know these things, blessed are you when you do them.


Thursday, 1 April 2010

In Pursuit of Excellence- 1

May i seize this opportunity to say Happy Easter to ya all. It is your season of resurrection! If the depth of the grave or the size of the stone or even the fierceness of the soldiers couldn't stop the King of Glory from rising from the dead, then nothing can stop your rising in Jesus Name! Jesus rose after three days and Easter comes up in April after three months and on the fourth day after three days in the month of April. This is symbolic! I have never thought of it on this manner until Monday this week while leading prayers somewhere. I declared unto them that we have moved into the season of resurrection and without premeditation, my eyes were opened to these facts and I immediately expounded it unto them. Whatever has been dead in our lives shall live again by the resurrection power of God in Jesus name! Lets get to the main dish for today: In Pursuit of Excellence.

Why is it that so many desire excellence in whatever they do but only a few actually attain it. Excellence is what stands a man out from the crowd and puts him high on the pecking order. Others many scramble for recognition, or opportunities but excellence commands it. Excellence recommends. No matter your location, when the spirit of excellence is at work in your life, you will be recommended. Joseph was recommended before Pharaoh and when the king heard him, he exclaimed "can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?". What about Daniel, a man in whom the Bible says an excellent spirit resides? He was found ten times better than his peers. By excellence, he was recommended before kings in his days. Who doesn't want to be distinguished?
If you desire excellence, then your entire being-heart, head and hands- must be involved in its pursuit. Excellence does not come by accident neither does it respond to mere wishes. Until your 3H (heart, head and hands) are in it, excellence may remain a mirage. I call it the 3-H factor in pursuit of excellence. Any thing short of it will not and can not deliver excellence. Have you looked at this scripture in Luke 10:27: "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind;" closely? A close look at it speaks of these factors which we will see in details. To the above verse, Jesus added in verse28, "...this do and thou shalt live". The same holds true in pursuit of excellence: our heart, (spirit and soul), and head (mind) and strength (hands) must be in it. Excellence comes with a price and one of the greatest price you will have to pay is the ability to put your whole heart, head and hands in your chosen field of interest. Nobody has ever excelled without a good combination of his/her 3-H. No matter how much you try to drag God into it by prayers, and positive confessions, excellence is not in sight until these factors are fully at work. Remember, "a threefold cord is not easily broken", Ecclesiastes tells us.

We already know what these Hs are but lets look at them in details and how they come to play in our pursuit of excellence.

Until your 3-H (heart, head and hands) are in it, excellence will remain a mirage

1) Heart
The heart speaks of your spirit and soul and it encompasses our emotions- love, faith, desire, hope, zeal, enthusiasm etc. There are others but I have carefully selected these ones for the purpose of this discus and may use some of them interchangeably. I call them emotions but they are, in reality, forces. No man has ever excelled in any venture for which he is not passionate or zealous about. It is not enough having vision beacuse vision without desire will evaporate with time. R.W. Emerson once said, "nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm". Every great man is an addict! They always have their hearts in something for which they are willing to give up anything for. Do you have a heart for what you do? Some of us go about our business and work as though we forgot our hearts at home- no zeal, no passion, no enthusiasm, no drive. A lot of folks fail because they give up and many of them give up because they lack passion. If you are in a business you don't truly love, a business you are not passionate or zealous about, you will only be existing and not living. There are potentials and abilities in us that may never be discovered or expressed while in such ventures. Everything bows to passion. A story was told of a keyboardist whose instructor once told him to forget it, that he doesn't have the right sized fingers to really master the keys. Hmm! It was like telling a man that God didn't intend him to be a keyboardist. Yea! he may not have the right sized fingers but he had passion in excess. He ignored that "professional" counsel and went on to become a renowned keyboardist. That is the power of passion. Another story was told of a lady who enrolled for music class but was advised by her instructor to go and buy a sewing machine instead and pursue a career in fashion designing because she was never going to make a good singer. She thanked him but ignored his advise and went to become a celebrated singer. They prevailed because they were sold out and their consuming passion paid off. Even seeming disabilities have a way of bowing to the demands of passion. When you hear of ability in disability, it is often the stories of those whose passion and desire wouldn't let go. Passion makes your pursuit of excellence a pleasure. Without it, the journey is bound to get boring and frustrating when the going gets tough.
No man has ever stumbled on excellence by accident. No man attains excellence without first a desire for it backed with a passionate pursuit. The first step is knowing what constitutes excellence in your chosen field or career and giving yourself wholely in its pursuit. Do you know what constitutes excellence in your chosen field? Take a moment to ask yourself that question and try to find answers to it.

Nothing great was ever achieved without enthusiasm-- Ralph Emerson

To be continued!

Thursday, 25 March 2010

Overcoming Through Praise

I was inspired while in Church last Wednesday during my Pastor's teachings to do a post on praises. The Topic of his teaching was "The Tongue as an instrument of praise".
We have often heard statements like, "prayers move mountains but praises move God". I, for one, have not been too keen in using this statement may be, because I can't find it verbatim in the entire Bible or may be, because I am a man of prayer and felt that such is a slight on prayer. Be that as it may, there is awesome power in praises and I have reasons to believe that praises indeed is more powerful than prayers. Someone has said, "when we pray, God sends angels but when we praise, HE comes down Himself.In fact, when your praises go up, HIS presence comes down. Have you not read in the Scriptures that HE (God) inhabits the praises of His people. I have also discovered that praises is an integral part of prevailing prayers.
The aim of this post is to provoke a lifestyle of praise in us!

When your praises go up, HIS presence comes down

In the book of Acts 12:1-11 When Peter was imprisoned by Herod to be executed the next day, the Bible says prayers were offered ceaselessly by the Church for him. What happened? An Angel was dispatched by heaven to go and effect Peter's release. The manner in which the release was effected made Peter to think he was dreaming. The Bible says, the chain (handcuffs) fell off Peter's hands as the Angel tapped him to arise. The Angel led him out of the prison and in to the city before vanishing out of sight. That was prayers in action.
But in Acts 16:23-40 when Paul and Silas faced the same fate-imprisonment- the Bible says they prayed after which they sang praises unto God. Their praises were so high and loud that all the prisoners and wardens heard them. What happened? God Himself came down! The foundations of the prisons were shaken and the whole doors and windows swung open. Not only that, the chains fell off the hands of every prisoner and the Jailor, as a result, gave his life to Christ. Unlike Peter's case, this one was more dramatic with earthquakes because God Himself came down. No wonder Psalms 22:3 declares that "HE inhabits the praises of HIS people". God may send angels to receive prayers on HIS behalf but not praises. He comes down Himself to receive them.

Praise is a weapon of war:
Praise has been a prophetic weapon of war even from ancient times. Psalms 149:6-9 declares "Let the high praise of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron...". In Psalms 8:2, the scripture says: "Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings has thou ordained strength because of thine enemies..." but when Jesus in Matthew 23: 16 quoted this same scripture, He substituted "strength" with "praise" telling you that praise is power. Also When the children of Moab, and Ammon et al came up against Jehoshaphat the king of judah to battle, it was through this weapon that He overcame them all. The Bible says in II Chronicles 20:21-22 that, when he (Jehoshaphat) had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth for ever.
And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of
Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten. Because they praised, God himself set ambushments against their enemies. See full account in II Chronicles 20:1-30
Focus your energies on praising God and let Him take over your battles.

Praise is the gate-pass into the sacred chambers of the Most High:
The Psalmist enjoins us to "enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name (Psalms 100:4) Rev. Dr. Uma Ukpai once said, that nobody is permitted to enter into God's presence without praises and thanksgiving
. If God inhabits the praises of His people then it means the one who praises is right in the presence of God. Lets forget our worries and lift our hearts above our challenges to come into His presence through praise and worship. Spirit-inspired Praises and worship provokes a release of the anointing. Elisha once requested that a minstrel be brought to minister in songs before he could prophesy. It was as she was ministering that the Spirit of the Lord came upon Elisha and he prophesied. Praise and Worship is one of the ways we minister unto the Lord. See Acts 13:1-2

Be a Praise Addict
When it comes to praises, there is one man who knows how to use this weapon and that is none other but King David. David was a man after God's heart for two reasons: one, he was tender hearted and of a broken spirit who knows how to say "i am sorry, forgive me" whenever he erred and Two, he was a man who loves God and knows how to worship HIM in praises. He was a praise-addict! Every great man is an addict and for king David, his was addiction to praise. Praising God was his sleeping and waking thought. He seemed to know no other thing to do with his time and his tongue than to simply praise the LORD all the days of his life. He could thank God for virtually everything about himself and situations whether good or bad.

Lets do an exposition on this praise addict and learn from him:

1) For what did he praise the Lord? In all things! In battle and in peace, at home and in wilderness, in abundance and in want. So must we also praise God.
The Bible says we should give thanks to God in all things for this is His will concerning us in Christ Jesus. All things may not be His will but in all things, His will is that we should thank Him because He has what it takes to work out His glory from every mess in your life.

2) Why did he praise the Lord? For God is good, and His mercies endureth forever (Pslms 22:3; 136:1-6;145:21). Knowing how he started and from where the Lord picked him from, he never failed to thank God for this unmerited favour. He saw God's goodness in every thing that happened to him. The Bible says it is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed.

3) Who did he say should praise the Lord? The living shall praise the Lord (Pslms 150:6; Isaiah 38:9) The dead can't praise God. Not just the physically dead but also the spiritually dead as well, for God is a spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Remember, God is the God of the living and not the dead.

4) How did David praise the Lord? With all available instruments; including his mouth and all that is within him. (Pslms 103:1; 150: 1-6). Everything about us ought to praise Him-our appearance, our speech, our car, our phones (the ringtones, wall paper etc), our homes(and houses) etc.

5) Where did he praise the Lord? Everywhere and anywhere (Pslms 48:1, 2; Acts. 16:25-26).
6) When did he praise the Lord? At all times (Pslms 34:1, 134:1-2, Chronicles 16:8)
There are folks who praise Him only on Sundays and soon as they out of church, grumbling and bitterness take over. We should praise Him at all times and in all places so we could carry His presence withersover we go.

Praises (and thanksgiving) is the bank cheque with which we make withdrawals from our accounts in Heaven. Many Christians by their many prayers are rich in their accounts in heaven but still live wretchedly on earth due to their lack of thankfulness and gratitude to God. Somebody said, "if you want to be FULL of great things, be greatFULL" and another said, "if you are not grateful, you are not better than a great fool". What is that challenge for which prayers have been offered and it seems nothing's happening. Try praises! There are testimonies of men who have obtained promises through praises.
Don't just be a prayer warrior, but be a praise warrior as well

Praise is an evidence of faith in God:
The economy may be bad, and life very rough but don't let praise depart from your Tabernacle. Your Praises and thanksgivings in the midst of hardship are testimonials of your faith in God. To praise and thank Him for things that's yet to be is evidence of faith just like our father Abraham in Romans 4: 20-21, "He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory unto God; And being fully persuaded, that what He had promised, He was able also to perform".

Living a life of praise (gratitude, gratefulness, thankfulness) is an attitude you cultivate. Learn to live by praises. Praise God for everything because "we know that all things worketh together for good to those that love God, to those who are called according to His purpose". I have had testimonies as well along this line. One of which was the increase in my pay. My pay became so insufficient that i had to write our management some time around mid 2008 requesting for a pay increase. I never heard from my MD on the issue again and the letter, i believe, ended up in the trash can. God gave us favour through our DMD who happens to be a believer but the MD sat on her proposal for a pay increase as well. Meanwhile, as all these transpired, i was engaged in all kinds of fire for fire prayers until December 2008 when I read the book "from prison to praise" by Merilyn Carothers. I started thanking and praising God for the situation including the MD and by this, committed Him to my cause. Without any further efforts, the MD approved a pay rise for us later in 2009 and back dated it to January 2009.

It doesn't matter how hard life has treated you. That you are reading this post is enough reason to praise Him. There are stronger guys who couldn't survive the same conditions. Praise Him because He has what it takes to turn the table in your favour.
If you can't praise and worship Him for who He is, then praise Him because of who you are. Yes! who you are, because there is somebody somewhere praying to be what you are today even though you are still miles away from whom you ought to be. A fellow was crying because he has got no shoes until he came across someone without legs. You may be down today but certainly not out, so praise Him. You may be in what seems like a prison, an incapacitation sort of, just like apostle Paul and Silas but thank God your mouth is not bound. Praise your way to freedom! When you praise Him in the midst of adversities, you drive the devil mad. The devil wants to steal your joy cos he knows the place of joy in fullfiling destiny. Isaiah 12:3 says: "therefore with with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation (salvation from poverty, distress, adversities etc)" If your case has deteriorated to the point that praises have dried up in your mouth and what you have is murmuring and grumbling instead, then accept my sympathy. This was the undoing of the Israelites in the wilderness en-route Canaan.
Praise refreshes and renews our souls.

When everything else fails, try praises!


Friday, 12 March 2010

The True Essence of Knowledge

So much has been said and written about knowledge. Every motivational speaker and writer would want to drum it into his audience that knowledge is all they need and that if anyone thinks otherwise, he should go and try ignorance. And in fulfillment of Daniel's prophecy, knowledge has greatly increased in this later days. The result is that man's quest for knowledge has been on the increase. The average child today knows more than his parents knew when they were his age. There are a thousand and one books on virtually every field of human endeavour and existence. Is it marriage, finance, spirituality, relationship, you name it. Almost every home today has a copy of the Bible. Knowledge is so accessible today that ignorance can no longer be excused. Even if you can't read, at least you can hear and there are speakers (tapes, and CDs) in whatever is your area of interest. The importance of knowledge can not be over emphasized. Bishop Oyedepo once said that every exploit in life is a product of knowledge.

Every exploit in life is a product of knowledge- Bishop D. O .Oyedepo

But there is an evil I have seen under the sun, our lives do not match up with the level of knowledge we wield. With the volumes of knowledge available to us today, can we boldly say that the level and quality of lives we live is a true reflection of how knowledgeable or versed we are? Is your financial status a true reflection of how versed you are upstairs in financial matters? The world has seen the marriages of those who taught others how to build healthy relationships hit the rock. The Church has seen believers, theologians and scholars alike whose lives and what they profess or teach are worlds apart though, knowledgeable and versed in scriptures. Hope you know there are professors in the sciences today who comparatively know more in their fields than did the likes of Edison back then but who have no invention/discoveries to their credit? The list is endless! We know so much upstairs but with so little to show for it. These things ought not to be.

The essence of knowledge is action, not information. It is not to make you a walking dictionary or encyclopedia but to enrich your life. The true essence of knowledge is change, and not information. And such change can only come through action. This is where we often get it wrong. Hear the words of the Lord Jesus in John 13:17, "if ye know these things, happy (blessed) are ye if ye do them" It is the "doing" that brings the blessing and not just the "knowing".
The aim of knowledge is action, and its true essence is change, not information-Prince

Knowledge does not equal change neither does it equal results. In fact having the knowledge does not always automatically translates into results. How many people today know that Jesus saves from sin? How many more know that prosperity is God's will for them? Quite a good number of course! But only a minute fraction of them are actually saved or prosperous. "knowing" is not always "being" and the bridge between them is "doing". Many of us have the same attitude as that young rich fellow who came to Jesus to ask him what he will do to inherit eternal life who when he was eventually told, walked out on the Lord. We attend seminar, read books, ask questions with an attitude of "what must I do to get..." but unfortunately, that is how far we go. No commitment, no action therefore, no change!
Knowing what God has promised you is information, and knowing what to do to make it yours is revelation-Bishop Oyedepo

Something instructive played out in I Kings 17:9-15 when God informed Elijah that He (God) has commanded a widow at Zarephath to sustain (or be feeding) him. Armed with this information, Elijah set out for Zarephath. Surprisingly, when he got there, he didn't meet a widow eagerly waiting with a sumptuous meal to feed him. Rather he met a resistant "poor" widow. It took Elijah a little persistence to prevail on the widow to do what God has said. Many of us would have backed off after the initial resistance. Knowing what God has promised you is information, and knowing what to do to take delivery of it is revelation. "Knowing" is not always "possessing" and "revelation-based actions" is the bridge between them. There is the word of faith, there is also the action of faith. Faith most times is justified by actions (James 2). Knowing is not always possessing! Knowing the importance of stock and how to buy them doesn't make you a shareholder in any firm. Having a knowledge of the presence of crude oil underneath your house won't make you a millionaire. Got that? No knowledge is automatic, you must believe and act on it. It has often been said that "knowledge is power" but i beg to differ. It can only be power when used or acted upon or else, knowledge is potential. Active knowledge (i.e. knowledge applied or acted upon) is power whereas dormant knowledge (i.e. knowledge yet to be applied or acted upon) is potential.
Francis Beacon said, "knowledge is light". What this means is that it lightens our path and shows us the way to go but we have to walk the walk.

What shall it profit a man if he acquires the whole knowledge and uses it not?-Prince

I will end this piece with an exposition on John 8:32, "ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free" (KJV). Note He didn't say, "ye shall be free for knowing the truth". There are two clauses in His statement connected by a conjunction. Although the second is a function of the first.
The First: "ye shall know the truth"- that is knowledge
The second: "the truth shall make you free"- that is knowledge at work (or putting knowledge to work)
A lot of folks stop at the first without progressing to the second.
"I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health even as thy soul prospereth" the Bible says. Knowing this is good but do you know how to activate this acknowledge to work for you? The essence of knowledge is change and until knowledge goes to work in your life or situation, there won't be any change.
Yes! Knowledge is a key but it will not, and can not, on its own open any door until you specifically put it to such a use.


Wednesday, 24 February 2010

It is your business...

I have been vacillating between topics recently not knowing exactly which to write on but thank God, I finally have my mind made The choice of title for this post was another mental exercise as it were. I initially was between two options viz:"It is in your mouth!", and "Not So!" but none of them quite sit well with me until this morning right at the point of blogging. While still comtemplating, the above topic, "It is your business..." just surfaced and settled with ease.
Our text will be taken from Luke 1:13,59-61. We all know the account, it is about the birth of John the Baptist but I wouldn't want us to be over familiar with the Scriptures so lets read it together: v13: "But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shall call his name John". vs59-61: "And it came to pass, that on the eight day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John. And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name".
Whenever I read this account, certain facts about life stare me right in the face. Some of which iI would share with us in this post. In verse 13 God via an angel had told them that their expected child shall be called John but when the time came for him to be named, Zacharias' kinsmen decided to name him after his father and God was up there watching. At that point the child's destiny was being bargained and if they had succeeded in changing his name, it would have affected not just his life but also his mission and ministry because the name John has a direct bearing on his ministry and mission. When all these were happening, God was up there watching and probably, may be saying "Elisabeth, if they succeed in changing that name, it is your business and I will hold you responsible". It took Elisabeth to refute their choice and not God, it took her to ensure that that which has been spoken to them by the angel was enforced. It doesn't matter how many they (the kinsmen) were in number. Of course, they were her husband's kinsmen and so command some level of respect from her but she didn't look at their faces. It was just enough that they (Zacharias and her) have heard from the Lord and like they say, "one with God is majority". Elisabeth with God prevailed because she refused to keep silence. She understood that a closed mouth is a closed destiny so she refused to keep sealed lips but rather opened her mouth and declared what God has said. No wonder Psalms 68:11 declares "The Lord gave the word: great was the company of those that published it". Beloved, it is strictly your business to declare (publish) the word of God concerning your life. The Bible in II Corinthians 4:13 declares thus, "we having the same spirit of faith (with God) as it is written, I believed and therefore have I spoken, we also believe and therefore speak". Don't keep quiet, cos heaven is waiting for you to say it! That reminds me of a story my pastor once told us about Papa Idahosa of blessed memory and his conquest against the forces of hell. The story had it that there was to be an international conference of witches to be held in Benin and announcements regarding the conference rented the air. But the man of God went on air as well to announce that the meeting would not hold. The more the witches announced theirs the more he did his with greater slots. This prompted the station to invite Papa Idahosa and the head of the witches to really know what was actually going on. To cut a long story short, it was reported that the head of the witches boasted during the interview that even if God comes down from heaven, the meeting would still hold. But Papa Idahosa told him ( and I love this) that "God doesn't need to come down when he(Idahosa) is here". You got the message: it means God is too big for such shit, He would rather have one of his Sons to take care of that, and the son in question was well equal to the task. Of course the conference didn't hold. It doesn't matter what the host of hell are saying against your life, they may have gathered just like Zacharias kinsmen did to "decide" your destiny but that will only stand if you permit them.
Another important fact is that, it is good to know what God has said concerning your life or else you may settle down for what men say you are. Elisabeth didn't have to declare what she felt or her own words but the word of the Lord. You must know what has been said (written) in the volume of the book concerning you.
Hope you know that "thus saith the Lord" is not a license to go and sleep. Apostle Paul in I Timothy 1:18 has this to say, "This charge I commit unto thee, son Timothy, according to the prophecies which went before on thee, that thou by them mightest war a good warfare;". Paul was simply telling Timothy that it is his business to wage a good warfare with those prophecies. God has given him His words by prophecies, the rest is his business.
Elisabeth declared, "Not so". What are those "Not Sos" in our lives. I mean those situations and occurrences that negate the word of God in our lives, that tend to give us a name that is not ours like the woman with the issue of blood whose predicament took up her name. Is it possible you bear a ''name'' that's not yours simply because you permitted it? Is it possible you may be going through situations that ought not to be so because you decide to hold your peace? Those "Not Sos" will remain until you take a stand against them and it is your business to confront them with the word. Have you not read in the scriptures that "whatever you permit here on earth shall be permitted in heaven"? I don't know what name men have given you may be, based on your family background or history: the child was named Zacharias after his father in line with the trend in his kindred. Whether or not the name sticks is your business. Open your mouth wide and declare HIS word. If you understand your position in God, you may not need to report the matter to God. Jesus says "whosoever shall say to this mountain be thou removed..." He didn't ask us to report the mountain to Him or the father rather we should exercise our authority. Elisabeth didn't have to consult God but rather she declared what she knew God has said. The scriptures say "where the word of the king is, there is power and who can say what doest thou?" You are a king for crying out loud! That is the realm God wants us to attain in our walk with Him.
Another aspect of this account that trips me so much has to do with the intercessory dimension of it. Elisabeth at that instance was standing in the gap for the child whose destiny was being decided as it were. There are those whose lives hang in the balances and whatever becomes of them depends largely on those whose duty it is to stand in the gap for them at such times in their lives. Have you wondered why certain fellows no matter how rough and wayward their lives seem to have been over the years eventually end up clean, i mean end up saints of the most high? Whereas some others may not be that privileged and do end up badly some even meet their untimely end. I believe the difference may not be unconnected with the activities of such intercessors-most times parents esp. mothers- who refused to let go but held on to the horns of God's alter interceding for these ones. God says is Ezekiel that He soughts for a man that will stand in the gap and make up the edge so He would not destroy the land but find none...
Your life is an challenge, rise to it! It is your business and not God's.


Tuesday, 9 February 2010

The Labour of a Fool- 2

In keeping with my promise, I will conclude this series today and I hope you find it very instructive and enlightening. Our Text this time is Luke 12:15-21. We will look at verse 15 now then later 16-21. Verse 15 "And he said unto them, "Take heed, and beware pf covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth."
The above was from the mouth of none other but the Lord and Master, Jesus himself. And it calls for serious attention in a materialistic world like ours. The life of a man does not consist in the abundance of things-certificates, houses, cars, clothings, women (men) etc- which he possesseth. Folks, life is more than food, drink and raiment. Life is about the legacies and ideals we live and stand for. Your life is not measured by your perceived worth but by your relevance. Someone has said, life is not measure by duration but by donation. This Verse 15 prompted Jesus to narrate the parable of the rich fool in verses 16-21 in order to drive home His point. Verse 16-21: "And he spake a parable unto them saying, the ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully; And he thought within himself, saying, what shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, this will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods. And I will say to my soul, soul, thou has much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry"
This rich guy, no doubt, was enterprising and visionary. The Bible says his ground (or business in modern terms) brought forth plentifully to the point that his packing store or warehouse couldn't contain his harvest. The guy like every other shrewd business man decided to expand and grow his business by pulling down and building bigger warehouse. In the eyes of an average business man, this fellow was a success as far as what eyes could see was concerned. But is that all that success entails? If you think so, then wait for this shocker in verse 20: "But God said unto him (the business magnet), thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee. Then whose shall those things be which thou hast provided?''
Doesn't it surprise you that this "wise" and shrewd business man was described in no mistaken terms as a fool? By extension, he has succeeded in just engaging himself in the labour of a fool.
But why was he called a fool? Lets do some expositions as to why he was called a fool.
He was not a fool because he made money but because he made it for the wrong reasons. the Bible says, he layeth up treasure for himself. Hear him, "my soul thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, drink and be merry". This guy lived for self-gratification and aggrandizement.
The labour of the foolish is a labour that is laboured to be consumed on self. When God told Abraham that He was going to bless him, it was so that we would be a blessing. God is not interested in your perceived worth but in your relevance to His cause and to humanity. You may be worth a billion dollars but still be irrelevant to God and to man. Men Don't care how much you worth until they know how much you care. If today you are no more, would you be missed?

"your life is measured not by your worth but by your relevance"-Prince

The labour of the foolish is a labour that is laboured without eternity (life after here) in view
. I Corithians 15:19 declares: "if in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable". The rich guy forgot that "we brought nothing into this world and we can take nothing out of it'' (I Timothy 6:7). It reminds me of a story worth sharing here. A mad man happened to be around during the burial of a wealthy guy but was infuriated that the dead man was deprived of any of his belongings. He (the mad man) accosted them and was pointing at the dead man's belongings-houses, cars etc- one after another insisting that each be buried along with him. But when they refused, he concluded that they were wicked for refusing to give the man what he laboured for so he could use them on the other side of eternity. He walked away wagging his head. There are those who have vowed to stop at nothing until they get their soul's desires only to live them behind unceremoniously for others without even a "thank you" from their beneficiaries. Jesus asked in Mark 8:36 "what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his soul?.." The rich guy died leaving behind all he had laboured for and Verse 21 added "so is he that layeth up treasure for himself but is not rich towards God''. To be rich towards God speaks of having a rich personal relationship with God. How rich are you towards God? Be wise!

A labour of the foolish is a labour without regards to the Almighty from whom all blessings flow for His providence and mercies. The Psalmist says: "a fool has said in his heart, there is no God". Some don't say this but they act it out in their actions. They violate God's words (commandments) with reckless abandon. I read on a news site the other day a comment by a young fool who declared thus, "God if you exist, strike me dead by this time tomorrow. I don't believe you exist" And another fellow replied him very intelligently (he called him by his name and said) "if God strikes you dead as requested, how would we know?".

Folks, a fool is not just someone who can't spell his name or someone who talks balderdash. It is not just someone who gets coned by fraudsters-someone very gullible. There are also fools in 3-peice suits, living in mansions, driving posh cars and who speaks impeccable English. Some of them are even in positions of authority but their actions give them out as nothing but fools. You can tell from their philosophies of life and by their mad quest for the pleasures of life at the expense of their consciences and souls. The words of the rich fool in verse 19 sums up their lives, " soul...take thine ease, eat, drink and be merry". These are they who connive to steal company's goods (or government/public properties) and would tell themselves that "na where you dey work na you go chop" (or government money/property nobody get am, na all of us own). These are they who believe that they have to "use what they have to get what they want" and would go as far as selling their bodies to make that grade, get that job or pass that exam. These are buyers (or managers) who put contractors (vendors) through hell because they wouldn't play game with them.

What legacies would you leave behind after you are gone? Let your actions do the talking!

Friday, 8 January 2010

The Labour of A Fool- 1

The above title has been ringing in my head and heart recently. As I meditate on it, I came to the realization that a lot of us have engaged in such labours at some points in our lives albeit unknowingly. If we must make progress this year, then it is imperative we understand what this labour is because your actions (labour) are a function of your understanding, a pointer to the level of wisdom your possess. Ecclesiastes 10:15 say, "The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them, because he knoweth not how to go to the city". Let me explain this scripture with a personal experience I went through when Adeolu Akinyemi visited Port-Harcourt (PH) sometime last year. When I got news of his presence, I decided I was going to meet him in flesh and blood for the very first time. You can imagine how excited I was to meet one of those I hold as mentors for the very first time. I took excuse from the office so I could attend the meeting he was holding in his hotel suite. You can imagine how i felt seeing the man whose words (write-ups) burn like fire in my bones and have always set my soul ablaze. Part of my time there was spent gazing and wondering at his person and not actually listening to what was being discussed. lol. In fact I had to repeat my visit the following day to really get some of my questions about the subject of the meeting answered. What I didn't tell him was that the journey to locate him wasn't an easy one although i endured the pain for the joy of meeting him. I knew fully well that he was lodged at Amanda Hotel along Woji road in New G.R.A. He even called to give me his suite number. I was born and brought up in PH, in fact I had my primary education in the same G.R.A., but what i went through that day trying to locate the hotel sums up the above scripture.
I had the options of accessing Woji road either from Olu-obasanjo road where u have everyday supermarket or from G.R.A. junction at Aba road. I went for the later option. Just behind Manuchim (OCJ Okocha's) Chamber on Tombia street, i asked a guy if he could direct me on how i could get to Amanda Hotel. He did using Le meridian as a marker and I followed his explanations but when i discovered i had missed the way, i asked another guy who also obliged me. I followed his too with Amanda Hotel not yet in sight. I eventually arrived at Woji road at everyday supermarket (i.e my first option above) and right there i asked another guy who told me that Amanda Hotel is still ''miles'' away from where i was. Well, i decided i was going to do the trekking since am on woji road but how wrong i was. I met another guy down the road and he told me that the hotel is still a bit far but advised me on a short cut to take. Surprisingly, he told me that the short cut would lead to an area (where polo golf club is) which was just a stone's throw from where i started off from at manuchim chambers. Poor me! After about 30 minutes or more of trekking i still haven't arrived my destination. Funny enough, there was no mass transit or taxis service per se in the area so I decided to take a cab (a drop) at that point and the guy was glad to take N150 from me or was it N200? I have forgotten. In less than 5 minutes, we were at Amanda Hotel though i noticed tha the driver played smart as he, kind of, lengthened the drive a bit.
After the meeting as i walked out of the hotel and walked a little to my left, there was Tombia street where the primary school i attended is situated. Oh my God! so this is where this hotel is? i quipped. How things have changed, if the hotel had been there during my primary school days some 20-25 years ago, i definitely would have known it like the back of my palm. Most of those areas were undeveloped then. Well, I trekked (or is it strolled?) down to my starting point at G.R.A. to find my way back to the office. Of course! my visit the next day was a straight forward one.
That experience taught me an instructive lesson about life: It is one thing to know where u are going and quite another to know how to get there. It is also one thing to have what it takes and quite another to know what it takes. Having what it takes and not knowing it, is worse than knowing what it takes and not having it "for my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge" (Hoses 4:6). Although the difference between both may be the willingness or unwillingness to take the necessary actions. Most of us do have what it takes! One may have what i takes and in ignorance, waste it while someone who knows what it takes is in a position to acquire it if he doesn't have it. Sure, he can tell whether or not he has it. Well, that is a food for thought.
This is 2010 and most of us already know what we want: we have visions, goals and targets we want to hit this year but do we know how to go about or achieve them? The labour of the foolish wearieth every one of them because he knoweth not how to go to the city. Mind you, he knows which city it is, he may even be able to describe this city to his co-travellers but yet, doesn't know how to go there. Very pitiable indeed! That is ignorance and i think, a pathetic one at that because it may lead to self delusion. I thought i knew how to get to amanda hotel and if any one had questioned my confidence about it, i would have fired back reminding him that i schooled there. That would have settled any ensuing argument.
You have no bragging right to wisdom until you have demonstrated same in your works. You are not wise because you say so, let your works (labour) do the talking. No wonder a scripture in Psalms, speaking about God, testifies that by (or in) wisdom he created the world. His works are a manifestation of his wisdom.
Your destiny is so precious to be gambled and run on trial and error this year. Wait on God for direction and guidance. Acquire information relevant to your goals and vision. Knowledge makes your journey easier. Associate with the right people because "he that walketh with wise shall be wise but a companion of fools shall be destroyed" (Proverbs 13:12). Find better ways to do things; they may be the same things but there are better ways to do them than you have been employing. Persistence simply means having your eyes on your goals while modifying your approaches or methods. That is, being dynamically focused. It is not doing the same thing over and over again yet expecting a different result. Lets not engage in the labour of a fool this year. The labour of the foolish wastes energy and resources including time and money and may prove too costly.
"Persistence means being dynamically focused"-Prince

Wait a minute! But the scripture says "'in all labour there is profit' (Proverbs 14:23), so it means there is some kind of profit in the labour of the foolish'', someone may remind me. Yes! but the profit in it is the lessons that experience teaches and some are better imagined than experienced. If we have engaged in such labour in the past, God expects us to learn from it and get on with our lives, avoiding the same mistake.
I have a strong impression in my spirit that 2010 will be a turning point but it will not be enough setting goals or making resolutions without any action plan on achieving them.

"Having what it takes and not knowing it, is worse than knowing what it takes and not having it although, the willingness or unwillingness to take the necessary actions may make the difference between both"-Prince

Stay with me, there is another aspect of the labour of a fool that we shall look at in my next post but till then, let me have your take (comments) on this one.

Love u!