Sunday, 7 December 2008

Dealing With Conflict in a Relationship (Part One)

We all meet people in at different levels, and under different circumstances. And with some, we end up developing relationship. We all are in some sort of relationship with somebody; it could be with a spouse, a boy friend or girl friend, a colleague at work, a class mate, roommate or a neighbor.

Relationship is a beautiful thing and some are ordained by God. God says it is not good for man to be alone. All relationships ordained by God are designed to empower us and help us become the people God created us to be. There is a place we may never get to in life until somebody comes into our lives – destiny helper. relationship is relevant in a man's life and we need to cherish it and do all we can to maintain it.

Once in a while though we experience conflict in our relationships. Conflicts don’t happen because we've stopped loving somebody or because we are in a relationship with the wrong person, they happen because of the human factor; we all make mistakes. we all change, only God does not change.

Conflict means that there is a misunderstanding or difficulty in your relationship or that you are having a disagreement in opinion regarding a matter and it is causing a rift between you and somebody you relate with.

It is important that you value your relationship no matter what, and look for a way to deal with any conflict you’ve found yourselves in. Working out Peace in a challenging relationship is very important, don’t ever say I don’t care if he wants to leave, let him and I don’t really care what happens. No, we are to pursue peace and pursue it hard because destiny could be interrupted if there is a breaking away and what you could have achieved in a year might take you ten years to achieve them.

So the Bible says:

Romans 12: 18
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men.”

Note that God desires that we make peace even with our enemies.

Proverbs 16: 7“When a man's ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him”

your enemy may turn out to be a mighty ally. he may be the introducer you are waiting for that can help bring before the king. Remember every man has got worth, every man is gifted, every man has something that can benefit somebody. No one man created by God is useless. So do all you can to maintain peace and friendship with people God has brought into your life, especially with those in the brotherhood.

Ephesians 4: 2-3
“With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; 3Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace”.

Why resolving conflict is important

I. We have the ministry of reconciliation
We are called to make peace with all men and to help them make peace with God.

2Corinthians 5: 17-19
“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. 18And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation”.

Matthew 5: 9
“Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God.”

II. conflict can impact on your ability to be a witness
You can not be a witness to people you are not getting along with; they cant see the light of God in you if you are having a fight with them. You can not be a blessing to somebody who you cant look in the eye and I care. If the devil can cause a rift between you and him, he can will hinder your ability to reach out and make a difference in his life. Dont let that devil.

Philippians 2: 15
“That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world”.

Matthew 5: 44-45“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; 45That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust”.

You know that you are walking in the light or are manifesting your light dependant on your fellowship life.

1John 1:6-7
“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: 7But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin”.

Fellowship is not about your attendance to church but your relationship with people.

III. Conflict can impact on destiny
Psalm 133: 1-3
“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! 2It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard: that went down to the skirts of his garments; 3As the dew of Hermon, and as the dew that descended upon the mountains of Zion: for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore”.

Like I have said before, anybody that comes into your life can be a destiny helper. And you could be his destiny helper too. Conflict arises to separate you and to hinder destiny fulfilling. Do what you can to maintain the relationship, dont just walk away, and never think you dont need anybody to get there.

IV. Conflict can make you ill
It can cause mental illness, depression, and heart ache e.t.c.

James 3: 16
“For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.”

It is difficult to live a peaceful and a happy life when there is somebody in your life you can't forgive or you are having a fight with. I dont know how you are able to get on with all the bitterness, with all the sense of betrayal and unforgiveness. I dont know how you manage to get on with people in your life you dont want to see, and dont want to talk you. that itself is imprisonment.

Romans 12: 18-21
“If it be possible, as much as lieth in you, live peaceably with all men. 19Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord. 20Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 21Be not overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good”.

V. Conflict can hinder your prayer
Mark 11: 25-26

“And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father Who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. 26But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcoming".

VI. Conflict can stand on your way to heaven
Romans 12: 14-15

“Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled”.

Saturday, 22 November 2008

Match Make from Heaven - Finding your soul mate

Proverbs 18: 22
“Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD”.

Marriage is a good thing; guys don’t be scared of it. If you take time to pray about it, God will favour you and will lead you to the right person.

Here are some hints that can help you make the right decision.

1. Look out for the fear of God in the person
2Coringhians 6: 14-16
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? 15And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? 16And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people”.

2. How much do you love the person
To make a good marriage, two kinds of love are required:

I. Agape: the love that is of God. The love that can make you be selfless for the person. The love that can lay down anything for the person.

II. Eros: this is sexual attraction. Don’t say I want to marry this person because God says so. No, you need to find the person sexually attractive. She must look beautiful in your eyes and he must look man enough and handsome in your eyes.

Something about the person’s physical feature must attract you. Otherwise tomorrow you are going to compare the person with someone else and wished you had married them.

3. Check the person’s sense of responsibility
Hebrews 11: 6
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”

If you are faithful to God and you wait on him, he will not give you an irresponsible person i.e someone who will not have regard for you and treat like you have no value, Someone who has no regard for your parents, Someone who has no purpose in life, Someone selfish, lazy and unproductive, Someone who will end up being a pain and a burden.

If the person is a busybody, tell him to sort himself out before coming to you. You want to marry somebody who is willing and ready to be the bread winner, but don’t limit anybody to his now, People change and only God knows tomorrow. Michel Obama did not know she was marrying the future president of the United States of America when he first asked her for a date. My wife would not have married me if she had considered what I had then.

What to look out for are his attitude to learning, his attitude to work and his dealing with people. Also look at his vision, his drive and what he is doing to get there.

4. check your compatibility
No two people are the same so expect to be different.
Marriage is more exciting if you two don’t do things the same but you must agree on fundamental issues. It is a big problem if you are fundamentally different. If he or she is a match make from heaven, there will be chemistry for two cannot walk together except they be agreed.

Amos 3: 3
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”

Matthew 12: 25
“And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:”

5. Consider your spiritual calling
Your relationship with God is one and the same with his calling for your life. Don’t marry anybody who has no regard for your calling or is not open for the unexpected from God. You cannot forsake your calling for the sake of your family as you cannot follow Christ if you are not willing and able to forsake them for him.

Matthew 19: 29
“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.”

But you don’t have to put yourself in a position where you have to choose between God and man, so you need a spouse and a family that will stand by you and support you to fulfil your heavenly vision.

6. The place of family history
Family history and background is not necessary in destiny so dont rule out anybody because of the family he is coming from. But you need to know about the person's background so you are aware of what you are going into.

7. Parental consent
You need parental consent and blessing to go ahead with your marriage but don’t leave it to your parents to a make choice for you and don’t give them that power.

They love you and want the best for you but they are not to make your choice for you – you need to listen to their advice though and weigh it in the light of what you think is best for you. If parents resist your choice, patiently wait for them and pray until they come round.

8. The place of counselling in your decision making
Proverbs 11: 14
“Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counsellors there is safety”

Proverbs 15: 22
“Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellors they are established.”

You need the assurance that you’ve got it right and you can know that assurance though counselling. Remember at the mouth of two or three witnesses a thing is established. Most people who refused to be talked to in the area of marriage end up in trouble. Seek counselling from your parents especially if they are born again. Seek counsel from someone who has parental or mentorship role in your life. But most importantly, seek counselling from your pastor – never go into a serious relationship without first seeking advice from your pastor. And if you don’t have a pastor, go have one – we all need a pastor.
Jeremiah 3: 15
“And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.”

Whatever the case, you should make the ultimate decision.

9. Taking time to know each other
It is most interesting when love develops between two friends, so it is okay to fall in love with someone you’ve started with as friend. I encourage you have a period of courtship before marriage, don’t just meet somebody and arrange marriage straight away. It is not a clever thing to do, to marry someone that you know so little about. Someone you intend to live with for the rest of your life with.

The essence of courtship is not to find out God’s will – don’t go into courtship until you are sure you’ve found the right person. if you do, you are going to be breaking somebody hope and expectation when you decide to change your mind. Courtship is to help you work out your differences, help you develop friendship and intimacy, and help you to channel a pattern or the style your relationship will take. Marriage is meant to be enjoyed, if you don’t develop friendship before marriage, you may end up spending the best part of it trying to resolve differences that would have been sorted before marriage.

Friday, 21 November 2008

Making A Fresh Start

Isaiah 43:18-20
"Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. 19Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert. 20The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen”.

We are all people of destiny, created by God to fulfil a purpose here on earth. In pursuit of our destiny, we sometimes hit our target on one go and sometimes we fail and will need to try again and sometimes we need to try again and again and again. Don't feel bad or like a failure because you have to restart again; sometimes we all need to try more than once to achieve something meaningful in life. I call it making a fresh start.

We all need to make a fresh start sometimes to breakthrough, to recover what was lost, to repair what was damages or to make a head way. Winners are those that always want to start all over again and are not ashamed to. To make a fresh start simply means:

1. You are back to where you were before, with a new perspective, drive and intention to make something happen.

2. You are giving a new opportunity to do what we’ve done before in a different way.

3. It could also mean the start of something new, something you’ve never experienced before. sometimes God brings us back to where we started the journey so we can take a different route this time.

Making a fresh start is not a sign of failure but a sign of determination, and it shows a sense of purpose. Always remember that we all sometimes need to make a fresh start, and need to do something different to get to where God wants to take us to. Every new day gives us a new opportunity to take stoke, a chance to do something different. You are only going defeat your purpose and end as a loser if you are proud or ashamed to start all over again.

In making a fresh start, you will need to:

1. Have a desire for something better, bigger and higher. If you don’t see the need to make a change, if you are just happy and contented with where you are, nothing is going to change for you. Its not greed to have a desire for more; life is about growth.

2. Know that you’ve got the capacity to achieve more than you already have. And What people think of you don’t matter. If you've got God, you've got what it takes to make it. Philippians 4: 13

3. Put behind you the old. What is the old in your life that has blurred your vision of the future or hindered your progress? It could be:
• Sense of Failure
• disappointment
• feeling Betrayal
• Rejection
• Bitterness and unforgiveness
• Laziness - Proverbs 14:23
“Work brings profit, but mere talk leads to poverty”! (NLT)
• lack of focus
• unfaithfulness
• lack of fear for God

Whatever the thing is that in the past stood on your way must be sacrificed, let go so you can breakthrough. Let it go!

4. Make a bold step of faith forward. God might have been leading you to take a step of faith to do something you’ve never done before. Something that may appear crazy. God may be saying to go back to school, start your own business, go into the ministry full time etc. until you start to make a move into the unknown you might never make progress.

Isaiah 48:17
“Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go”.

5. Change your attitude toward God, people in your life, your work or studies:
Make commitment to approach your duties with dedication. Make commitment to treat people with respect, and with some kindness. To a friend, be a good friend. Make commitment to put God first in your life and never to allow anything come between you and Him.

Making a fresh start is about change, when you change your mentality and your lifestyle, everything about you will start to take a new turn for the best.

Somebody once said, if you want to have what you’ve not got, you’ve got to do what you’ve never done.

You need to ask yourself this question. What do I really want to achieve in life, who do I want to become, where do I want to get to in life. What I am in this life for.

You also need to ask; what do I need to do to achieve it.

Being Fruitful in Every Good Work

Colossians 1: 9-10
“For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; 10That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God”.

there are four things I like to highlight from the above scripture:

I. We need to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.

There is a difference between knowledge, wisdom and understanding:

A. Knowledge is the collection of correct information. There is worldly knowledge and there is godly knowledge. worldly knowledge is the value passed on us through conventional teachngs or the way the world sees things. Godly knowledge is the value that is passed to us by God via his word.

B. Understanding is the correct interpretation of acquired information. there are two ways to interprete things; from the world stand point and from spiritual stand point. we need to operate in both but to walk with God, and to live in the supernatural we need always see things also from a spiritual stand point. Spiritual interpretation is revelation knowledge, and insight from God. This is superior to natural understanding.

C. Wisdom is the ability to apply knowledge correctly. There are also two kinds of wisdom; worldly wisdom and spiritual wisdom, we need them both to live our day to day live and to operate in the realm of God. Worldly wisdom is acting based on worldly knowledge; this is common sense like not crossing the road when the light is red, not driving while drunk, not putting your money into a business that is going downwards. On the other hand, wisdom that is spiritual is acting on the word of God or yielding to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Spiritual wisdom don't necessarily make any sense, and might conflict with conventional wisdom but it is superior to worldly wisdom. you act on a higher knowledge and on a higher realm when operating in spiritual wisdom.

Now, from our text, we can see that God desires that we know exactly what he has in his plan for us, he desires that we have a clear understanding of what the plan involves and how to realise them. we need to know exactly what he is saying to do at every stage in our lives, and we need to be bold to act as he says even when they don't make sense to us or the people around us. We are walking in divine wisdom anytime we act as we are being led by God. Nobody operating in divine wisdom fails. He may have some challenges, but will ultimately break through and reach that destiny.

To follow and fulfil God's plan for our lives, we need to operate in spiritual understanding, that is, learning to interpret things in the light of the Word of God, looking at things from a spiritual perspective and not in the light of how the world sees it.

II. Walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing

To walk worthy of the Lord to my mind means to live by faith, to do our work not for what we can benefit out of it, but for the glory of God, for the increase of his kingdom here on earth and for the benefit of others.

We must live a God fearing life, ordering our affairs in the light of the Word.

We need to live like pilgrims here on earth, looking forward to the blessed and glorious return of our Lord Jesus Christ.

We need to be witnesses wherever God has placed us, for we are ambassadors for Christ.

Our lives should not be about us, about what we can become in this life but about him and what we shall be like when we see him face to face.

III. Being fruitful in every good work.

Note that it says to be fruitful in every good work, meaning everything that we are part of.

We need to be fruitful in our walk with God – knowing God and being part of a church is not enough, being fruitful involves experiencing a quality and peaceful life as a result of our relationship with God.

Fruitful in our studies – as a student you are not to drop out, fail exams or study something that will not impact on your life. Look into your choice of career and only do a course that you sure will benefit you in the future. after school, your life must be seeing to have improved.

Fruitful in your marriage – not just having children but having a relationship that is beneficial to you both. your spouse should be able to say; look what I have become since becoming part of this person, see how I have increased. A fruitful relationship is that which brings increase to the people in it.

Fruitful in your investment – you are to make profit and not suffer loss.

Fruitful in relating with peoples – anybody you meet must be impacted. You are a blessing, an inspiration, a source of joy. The people you meet must remember you for good.

There must be results, good results, in all your endeavours. Your work place must see value in you. Your contribution to your work place must challenging and incomparable. You must make yourself a valued staff and when you leave, you should be missed.

IV. Increasing in the knowledge of God.

You need to keep acquiring Knowledge because knowledge increases your capacity. Your performance and your productivity can be determined by your level of knowledge. You become stale if you don’t continue to retrain and redevelop yourself. Develop yourself both in spiritual things and in the area of your career.

Try to understand how things around you work, don’t just walk in the dark; it will only make you a mediocre. Read books covering different fields of life and not just in the line of your discipline.

Before you embark on anything significant, try to find out as much as there is to know about the thing. Don’t go into anything major, anything that can impact on your entire life if you know so little about it.