A few days ago, I managed to hitch along a ride to the distant terrains of Blantyre town (perhaps it was not that distant). We clumsily entered the hall as the body of believers welcomed us in as we all half attempted to hold our composure of seriousness as streams of silliness spilt through the cracks. We sat. We prayed. We listened. The buzz of excitement that jolted through the room echoed our inner ‘twang’ that threaded the bond of our connection. As the night drew to an end (and so we thought), a ‘stray’ comment stirred up an “unforeseen” gum gabbing that paved way to a second sermon. If one were to sheepishly walk by the room they would perhaps mistaken the bible gathering for a political rally grappling issues of race, gender roles and colonialism. Our differing yet complimentary views sounded a millennial melody of young adults contending the issues that plague their generation. Though some may appear asleep, a rising generation has picked up their mantle proclaiming the mantra of awareness and realization: Woke!

“When we have fallen asleep to the reality of our Maker, the only thing that remains ‘woke’ is the beastly condition of our heart.”

How woke are you? “Woke” made its debut as a byword in 2008 with the release of Erykah Badu’s song ‘Master Teacher.’ In recent years (and more so, in the last few months), social media frontiers and activists have echoed their deep felt sentiments towards social injustices and prejudices that dehumanize our rights and privileges (#StayWoke). Many have defined this byword within frameworks of their paradigm and grid of understanding. Yet what has cocooned as the prevailing characterization of those who are ‘woke’ is awareness: aware of the oppression that lays bare beyond their walls of privilege; aware of the injustices that claim normality yet appeal to sheer hatred and spite; aware of the need to be aware. The norm of van terrorism, racial tug of wars, and gender tension has portrayed our beastly hearts covered in bone and skin embodying the shape and form of human beings. Oppression and suffering tugs at the epicenter of our humanity begging questions of dignity and value equality. At what point did we become better than the other? At what point did the “love” for who we are morph into the hate for those who are not? At what point did marginalization become okay enough to sleep upon? Each waking moment, the fiber of our being claws at our conscious feeling for answers that will perhaps fish out the crux of our world predicament. What is the problem? Does it lie in racial wars as skin color paints canvasses of hierarchical worth, vanquishing all thought and reason behind the obvious (that the color of our skin is simply that: the color of our skin)? Does it lie in chauvinistic philosophies wrapped in misogyny that have tsunami across the cultural frontier as waves of feministic ideologies war in equal combat in the never ending battle of the sexes ? Does it lie in the fact that perhaps for so long we have been asking the wrong questions missing the fundamental answer to our human condition? When we have fallen asleep to the reality of our Maker, the only thing that remains ‘woke’ is the beastly condition of our heart. What are we to do? Better yet, what has He done?
Injustice and social oppression is not new to our millennial era. Infact, each time period serves as a reflection of the cyclical history that plays around itself, repeating only what history has taught and what our hearts have refused to learn. As we read the Scriptures we see wars against minorities and cries from those who have been enslaved by their masters; we see heroes emerge and heroes die as each plays his and her role in the sovereign plan of God to rescue humanity from humanity. Yet God ‘interjects’ the scenes of maliciousness and presents to mankind a new level of awareness- and dare I say, a new level of Woke. The death of Jesus Christ signified the death of all things that plagued us into a state of sleep. Our human condition of sin choked at His last breath as the mantra of His finished work put to death our greatest enemy: death. Yet, it did not stop there. On the third day, the Father ‘woke’ Him up. The great grace that stands beckoning at our hearts finds its footing in the fact that in Him, we too can be woke: empowered by the Spirit of God who rose Christ from the dead that we too may be ‘woke’ to the greatest reality- namely, God! For when our awareness becomes conscious of God, our hearts collide with this spell binding truth: that we were all made in the image of God; image bearers made with the intent to worship and live for our Maker. Gods heart for the oppressed has been to free hearts from the pangs of human evil that they may come into the freedom of worshipping God (the true realization of our humanity). The freedom that we receive in Jesus grants us liberty to freely love for in Him we understand the grace that God has for all of humanity.
So let us be a woke generation. A generation aware and conscious of God. A generation aware of what the gospel has done for us. A generation aware of Gods gospel plan throughout humanity. A generation aware of the social injustices that claw at our doors beckoning hate. Let us boldly pick our rod and stare oppression in the face, boldly declaring by the power of God ‘Let my people go that they may worship Him.’ For the end of all humanity has and always will be God. Stay Woke.

At His Feet…

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You may remember the awkward years as ‘subliminal suggestions’ came crashing down your ears, dictating the course of your newly found teenage years. ‘Stay away from (insert danger)’ was the novelty of our age. We often shuddered in submission at the thought of getting caught beyond the walls and constructs which those before us had erected. Anarchy, with the occasional ‘you don’t know what I’m going through’, painted the perfect picture of desired adulthood trapped in the awkward growing body of an adolescent. Seldom did we appreciate the unwanted advice of how low our pants can go and how ‘short is too short’ (and lest we forget, the secret rendezvous with the hims and hers). But lo and behold, we graduate from high school and secondary school and then enroll in college or start up our business and noble ventures. Sooner or later, we find ourselves standing on our own two feet (or atleast attempting to), figuring out why every time we open the refrigerator we only seem to find ice.

“We are uncertain whether we are certain about what needs to be certain”

A few days ago a friend said something that grappled with my mind. It seemed that those around them were placing demands and deadlines along the trajectory of their life (the pressure proved real). “They warned us about our teenage years. But what about our twenties?” ‘Adulting’ seems to be the politically correct term for ‘your life is about to land on its head but try not to have a concussion.’ There were times I would mess up (really mess up), yet deep down I knew the cushions that lay before me, lovingly waiting to catch me when I fall. I remember hearing the do’s and don’ts as my eyes rolled away any sort of instruction that seemed to block ‘my prerogative.’ I remember thinking to myself of how I cannot wait to spread my own wings and fly from the nest I had known. Eventually, and assuredly, I (and we) find ourselves stepping beyond the borders of our niche as we take our first flaps attempting to catch the wind and fly. Yet, admittedly or not, we discover the painful reality that perhaps the world we had hoped for embodies not the dreams we imagined. Though we meme and tweet about adulting, seldom do we freely and openly talk about the fears that harbor within us (we are supposed to have it all together right?). A blank canvass has the potential of being filled with anything. The brushes and water paint splash constructing illustrious melodies of eye dazzling art. Yet, when the canvass of our life appears blank (we often coin this term as ‘uncertainty’), we are quick to fill it with the greys and blacks, painting a dim graveyard where dreams die and fears resurrect. We are uncertain of how we will pay the bills and bring food to the table (or floor). We are uncertain of when and if we will find our significant other as wedding invitations and copious ‘save the date’ fonts chant before us. We are uncertain whether our life will be a constant rat-race of chasing the carrot at the end of the stick, never affording the chance to take a single bite. We are uncertain whether we are certain about what needs to be certain. But what if we collectively realized that it is okay? That it is okay to not have it all figured out? That it is okay to not know the steps of all our trajectories? That it is okay to feel like a child again?

“As our view of God increases we realize that He is the sole painter of the canvass”

I always find it amazing when Jesus referred to His disciples (grown up men and women who were in the business of adulating) as His ‘little ones.’ Often times He shifted their focus from their adult perspectives to be that of little children. As we grow older and ‘fend for ourselves’ we often forget that we are children in the hands of our Father who daily fends for us. The ‘struggle’ is real. The ‘fear’ that lurks within us is real. Yet His rod and staff which daily guides us has proven to transcend the shadows that beckon fear from us. Seldom times do we see the candid acknowledgment of the fears that lingered amid the disciples hearts and all those who followed Him. Yet Jesus knew. He knew the genuine needs and worries that plagued the hearts of His people as they daily followed Him. He knew the qualms that toiled with their minds as Peter and the adult crew thought about how their families would be fed the next day (remember what Peter said, ‘we have left our own homes and followed You [1]’). Yet each time, whether asked or not, He spoke of His sheer grace and care towards His little ones. He spoke of His constant provision towards those who would trust Him. He spoke of His sheer power which calmed the raging seas and cataclysmic storms. He spoke of Himself. Through every bad decision, unpaid bill and lonely heart, He sovereignly weaves His will and good intention bringing certainty (namely Himself) were doubt and fear once lingered. As our view of God increases, so too does our hope for a better today. As our view of God increases we realize that He is the sole painter of the canvass, carefully brushing each stroke as the greys and yellows intertwine creating a canvass of His unfathomable grace.

“So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Jesus (Matthew 6:34)

At His Feet…

Reference

  1. Luke 18:28 (New American Standard Bible)

 

 

 

 

 

I slammed my back against the corner of the wall as my mind took an unforeseen left. I stood there confused sifting experience and reason as I grappled with the ideas that once seemed precious to me. You see, a few months prior to that moment, something happened. It was my “God moment”; a God “moment” that would eternally leave a mark on me. Simply put, He found me in the corner of my room knees bent to the ground as I finally gave in to His pursuit (He seems to have a way with corners and four edged surfaces- but that is a story for another day). I had ‘known’ God to be a distant mystical figure, ruling deep in the cosmos, making guest appearances whenever I felt need of Him (which was few). Yet, as He showed up on that night, I realized, even more so, that perhaps the ‘God’ I thought I knew was simply a convenient entity that I had created in my mind. This One was real. And He was yet to shock me again.

You see, something had been happening all along

I was like a kid in a candy store (or a grown man next to a street food vendor). Eager to absorb everything I had missed along the small trajectory of my seventeen years, I dove deep. I read every book, marked every experience and sat under every voice that seemed to fan my newfound flame: God! If it looked, felt and tasted like Jesus, it had to be Him. I was sold! It seemed all too surreal for me. The sensation, goosebumps and heartfelt zeal had me pressing deeper (no longer did He seem far). And then something happened. It started as an insignificant little drop which escalated to a trickle which soon became a stream. I could not shake off the feeling. I slammed my back against the corner of the wall as my mind took an unforeseen left. You see, something had been happening all along. My starry-eyed wonder into all things ‘Jesus’ soon took a back seater. In all my wild pursuits God had graciously channeled my passion into the simple library room of His sixty-six books: the Bible. The more I read, the more I felt this gut wrenching feeling that perhaps some of what I had held onto was perhaps not Him; was perhaps not the truth. I felt confused. I felt lost. I felt wrecked.

He chooses to remove falsehood so that we may have a better glimpse of who He is…

Every so often God has a way of wrecking our theology. Studying God and knowing Him paints the crux of the Christian faith (‘this is eternal life; that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent [1]”). Every single one of us, admittedly or not, has predetermined notion of who God is (and dare I say, who we would like Him to be). Culture, human experience and even religion have contributed to our ideologies of who He is. We marvel at the ‘God’ who exists for our comfort. We marvel at the ‘God’ who desires our happiness and not our holiness. We marvel at the ‘God’ who propels our agenda instead of us propelling His. Yet, somewhere along our trajectory, He stops us in our tracks revealing bits of our perceptions that do not resonate with who He actually is. The first time He wrecked me, I felt the tears of sadness and embarrassment roll down my face. ‘I thought I knew You.’ It was in that moment that I knew Him more than I had ever known Him. God takes great pleasure in revealing Himself when we have come to our ends-when all that we have known comes shattering before His throne. It is then that His great radiance beams before our eyes and we see Yahweh for who He truly is: that He is the all-knowing, all present and all powerful God! He is not like me and I am most certainly not like Him. He is God. He is far beyond my league; far beyond all human comprehension and wisdom. Yet He chooses to reveal Himself to us. He chooses to remove falsehood so that we may have a better glimpse of who He is. He chooses to daily sanctify us, wrecking our theology and our idols so that one day we may see Him for who He truly is: God!

My prayer is that the truth we have sought be refined,

My prayer is that our knowledge be daily sanctified,

As truth gets revealed, no more hidden nor disguised,

My prayer is that He wrecks your theology as He wrecks mine…

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.”- Jesus (John 10:27)

At His Feet…

Reference

  1. John 17:3

I remember sitting myself down as I braced my cognitive facets for what media had trailed before me: Udani (song written by Edward ‘TNO” Chikhwenda). Cultural, vernacular and profoundly simple. The title had me semi-wondering as I grappled with ideas and concepts, attempting to construct the pillars of what this song might be. The ambiance was set, the network showed anything but ‘Udani’ and my ears were glued: “Tazunzika kwa nthawi yayitali ndi udani.” Gripped by the acapella prowess, sifted through the indigenous soundings of whistles and flutes, I was confronted by more than a melodious mantra. ‘We have suffered hate for a long time.’

“Wagulitsa m’bale wako ngati kapolo ndi cholinga choti uzitukule pang’ono? Wakaniza udindo nzako ndi ophunzira? Wafuna ntundu wako wokha utapindula?

Whether you understand the above words or not, the crux of the message remains the same; hate. Hate for those who are differently different; hate for those whose blood and yours is one and the same; hate for those who are not you. Our nation is embedded with culture. The ethnic mosaic paints a wild portrait beaming styles from the north, fusing passion in the central as the swirls of the south piece an ethnic masterpiece. Yet our eyes behold something different. We do not see people. We see ‘the others.’ We see the outcasts and frailties, exponentially magnifying our current divisions as we add ‘udani’ subtracting “chikondi” (love) as each day we multiply disciples of hate. I recently afforded the chance to be in a room with those who did not conventionally mirror what some may coin as “similar.” Our skin, vernacular and experiences embodied the very truth of our “differently different” differences. We started talking about our passions and what makes us ‘us.’ To pretend that we were the same would be brutally naïve. Yet, what stemmed from the multiplicity of worldviews was “the something” that bonded the hearts of mankind; something that glued the skin of humanity together; something that threaded through the seams of our human fortitude- and at the risk of sounding painfully cliché, ‘something that was bigger than us.’

When I look into your face I see mine

You see, whether black or white, ngoni or tumbuka, our humanity finds its roots in the same seed. A famous singer once said ‘when I look into your face I see mine.’ When I look into your face I see more than a tribe; I see more than a race; I see more than a world view. I see a human being. Our call to love one another spreads beyond the borders of our natural paradigms. The thread that we share, the knot that ties us together, is the bond that holds stronger than the walls we have erected in our hearts. For when I see you, I not only see me; I see an image bearer- I see God. I see His creativity being woven as our differences meet at the pivot of humanity. I see His holiness as I am daily reminded that we are all different (just as He is undeniably different from us all). I see His mystery as each encounter with His image bearers reveals my not so wanted tunnel vision. Our oneness finds its true meaning when our hearts perfectly collide with the heart of God. “And He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us [1].” Perhaps what we ought to see more in each other’s faces is this: a God who is wildly pursuing us in and through our differences. Our differences ought not to raise questions of ‘our superiority’ but rather of the Superior One for He intended (and still intends) for humanity to come back to Him- that He may be our God and we His people; a holy people; a differently different people.

Uniformity was never the plan. A sense of evenness in the tones, dialects and accents never made the cut. Each sunset is different. Each footprint in the dirt renders a dissimilar pattern echoing our innate diversity. Yet God remains to be the very thread of our existence; the very bond that holds all things together. Let us love. Let us dispel Udani.

At His Feet…

References

  1. Acts 17:26-28

 

Have you ever sat in a room that was in flames? Have you ever swam in a pool that kept you dry? Have you ever had to read senseless metaphors that only fuel the lack of clarity?  Better yet, have you ever had to write a blog post without mentioning the three letter ‘s’ word (perhaps this could be a subliminal allegory, “subtly” echoing the idea)? If you are lost, good. If you are not, good. We often skate around the surface, earnestly hoping that the ice beneath us will not give way to the vortex that is gaping wider by the day. I will be honest with you. I find myself (even now) skating around, both above and below, words, dialects and accents that will candidly, yet tastefully, address the matter, forming sentences and words with the right amount of cultural appropriateness and theological prowess. Often times we mask ourselves, mimicking childhood innocence as we secretly mutter unsaid musings, which coil from the very core of our insatiable curiosity. If you think ‘sin’ is the three letter ‘s’ word then perhaps you ought to read this again.

We have turned sex into a cheap commodity

Earlier this week I found myself gum gabbing with my fellow countrymen and women, overlooking the concrete terrain of our city. We had just slipped out of a one-hour discussion that begged our honest opinion on how pornography has affected our budding generation. It was painfully obvious that the prevailing concept of “sex” had been primed by societal ‘norms’ which, over the years, has parented our generation’s way of thinking. Though we firmly grip onto the mantra of conservatism, our copious thought trails, and what some may coin as ‘liberal’, has paved a crevasse in the human heart that digs deeper, creating a voracious appetite. Whether we choose to hide our heads in the sand, or peep through for a split second, we are all uncomfortably aware of the escalating sexual revolution that heads its campaign on our phones, television screens and clothing line. We have turned sex into a cheap “commodity.” Yet, in the eyes of God, it is perhaps more valuable than what we perceive it to be.

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled…

We wrestled with whether our lack of knowledge has contributed to the misuse of this gift. We wrestled with whether our current normality’s have fueled our misconstrued conception. We wrestled with whether we were innately missing something- something beyond the human eye. The err has not been our lack of cumulative knowledge regarding the three letter ‘s’ word. Our err has ironically been embedded and found its roots in our value system. We have turned sex into a cheap commodity. Yet Gods intended blueprint echoes a different tune. All precious commodities, whether expensive clothing, gold, or your mothers China, has an appropriate context by which it can be relished, satisfying its intended purpose. When used beyond the walls of its context it serves as commodity for questioning, raising insatiable appetites whose quenching remains unfulfilled, mounding copious amounts of confusion, insecurity and damage. Perhaps the reason we give ourselves away on every whim and impulse (if it feels good and looks good then it must be good right?) may possibly be due to the cheap view of sex, which the world persistently pumps. What if our view of sex became that of Gods? What if we realized that what He has provided us with is a gift (a good and perfect gift if I may add)? What if we recognized that this “cheap commodity” may in fact be priceless- so much so that one has to pay the precious gold of marital commitment to eat of its fruit?

“A garden locked is my sister, my bride, a rock garden locked, a spring sealed up.” The lines that God has drawn have not been for our misery nor for our pain, but for our joy. For when love has been awakened at its time, and love has founds its home at the altar, our physical demonstration of love and passion, coupled with godly affection, may be explored, for our enjoyment and to His glory.

At His Feet

References

  1. Song of Solomon 4:12

We are living in a cyber-village. At the click of a button, we are able to connect with thousands- and dare I say, millions. A few days ago, I found myself making a different sort of connection (the sort that requires little to no internet bundles). Though I was fashionably late for my rendezvous, I still managed to squeeze in a good hearty conversation, half-attempting to mop up my shameful guilt. Amid our gum gabbing came the concept of the modern day e-Vangelism. The obvious progression in our technological prowess has undoubtedly bettered our global outreach. With one click or tap of a screen, a generic broadcast message can be sent to family and friends, saving both time and money. This “paradigm shift” has bore the era of further gospel influence and kingdom exploits. The Christian aroma has found itself streaming the frontiers of social media. From tweets, hashtags, Instagram posts and Facebook, the advent of God on our pages has aided the fast reaching and fast growing spread of the much-needed Gospel of Jesus Christ.  With a new era comes new adjustments. The current tsunami of the social media revolution has, in some instances, replaced orthodoxy with what some may term as innovation. The cyber world has perhaps traded some of the more conventional ways of evangelism with a click of a button. Can we negate the old age ‘pick up your bible and talk to someone’ method or is a faster outreach a better option? The question still begs: is it enough to only be an e-Vangelist?

Whether it is the medieval times, the era of enlightenment or the insta-generation, the old age Scriptures remain to be the timeless innovation that stays relevant through the ages. I will be the first to admit that the scriptures do not explicitly address the said topic. Yet there remains to be a multiplicity of examples that serve as guiding principles.

Here are a few reasons why you should consider to be more than an e-Vangelist:

1. “I will dwell in them and walk among them; And I will be their God, and they shall be My people.”- 2 Corinthians 6:16

God has always desired intimate relationship with His people. Though He used angels, prophets and priests (and the occasional burning bush) to grab our attention, He ultimately sent Himself. Jesus ate, laughed and cried with His people. In doing life with them (in the flesh), He emulated His glorious Gospel in both word and deed.

2.  “…for I hope to see you in passing, and to be helped on my way there by you, when I have first enjoyed your company for a while.”- Romans 15:38

Paul would often express his heart-felt sentiments to visit those he had reached. Though letters served as a way of communication, it did not quench his desire to meet and fellowship with those who God had sought out for Himself (and those who had yet to be reached).

3.      “And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”- Mark 16:15

Though “going out” has been made easier by the dawn of the internet and social media, we must also be aware that not “all the world” has this access. Not everyone shares the same privilege (or interest) as we in possessing the novelties of social media and technology. Perhaps God may be calling us to go to where no tweet has been.

“Facebook profiles are great. But people are better!”

Technology is a gift from God. It has and still is serving as a useful tool to expand His kingdom in the hearts of His people. Yet it remains a tool. Let it not replace fellowship. Let it not replace Spirit led missions. Let it not stop us from going to those within and beyond our proximity to preach the glorious Gospel of our Saviour Jesus. He drew near to us. So let us draw near to those that have yet to know Him.

“That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our own eyes, which we have gazed upon and touched with our own hands — this is the Word of life. And this is the life that was revealed; we have seen it and testified to it, and we proclaim to you the eternal life that was with the Father and was revealed to us.…” 1 John 1:1-2

At His Feet…

 

 

There is nothing like freedom. There is nothing like standing on your own two feet, thrusting the crutches of dependency outside your window. There is nothing like marching out of your childhood home and stepping into the world as your heart and mind clumsily gather the rumored thought of ‘adulthood.’ Freedom. Treading beyond the borders of confinement, the crux of our existence is granted liberty to copiously vent its inner existence to the grand audience: the world. Nyasaland found her freedom. Nyasaland found her home at last. Her fire glittered as her flames (Ma-lawi) roared across the crystal lining of her Calendar lake (365 miles long, 52 miles width). The journey has been long and the journey continues. Adversity, resilience and budding revolution has painted the mosaic of her existence. Her people celebrated their “ufulu” (freedom). Her people celebrated their “mtundu” (culture). Her people celebrated “her.”

We often characterize freedom as the power to be; the power to truly and authentically radiate the depths of our being. Each day we wake up. Each day we spring into our daily musings, balancing the old age tension that yells “just get by” and “I was made for so much more.” Our needful wanting to “be” finds itself bargaining with society, family and even the church, questioning forms and fads that promise liberation yet leave us with a greater sense of captivity. Though it appears that our colonial masters have less of an official grip on us, our independence seems nothing more than a chronic mirage dangling before our eyes. I am not talking about Malawi. I am not talking about Africa. I am not even talking about the distant nations across the seas. No. I am talking about you. I am talking about me.

“From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”- God

More than 53 years ago, we gained independence from God. More than 53 years ago, we set ourselves in bondage. When God placed Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, He granted them freedom; freedom to eat of His provision; freedom to live in His shelter; freedom to live in Him. Yet the enemy, being in captivity himself, saw it fit to drift their eyes away from the Creator. He fed them the old age lie. He fed them a freedom from the very courts of hell. He fed them a freedom that nullified God. In our pursuit to live “our” life (besides, it is “our prerogative”) we have willingly set aside our freedom and chained our being to captivity. Our freedom to live outside the confines of God have trickled in shackles that suffocate our very existence. Though the YOLO mantra (You Only Live Once) echoes louder each day, we seldom stop in our tracks as we beckon the tousling question: am I really free?

The holy oxymoron that crushes the wisdom of this age finds its spell binding truth in this: our captivity to Christ sets forth the greatest freedom known to mankind. In God we can truly be. In God we can truly express the human experience as the divine meets the natural culminating in sovereign liberty which our hearts yearn for. His confines have been for our good. His confines have been for our protection. His confines have obstructed all that will try to scrape at our relationship with Him. He (Jesus Christ) came to restore this liberty. He came to restore our dependence to Him again. He came to set the captives free.

Are you walking in His freedom or is your “ufulu” from another?

At His Feet…

 

 

What if I told you “God told me to write this piece?” Would your hearts sentiments be the first to demolish my “heretical claims”? Or would you be the first to ride on my band-wagon, keenly clinging on to my prophetic mantra (besides, who are you to outlandishly write-off my spiritual experience?). Or would your disposition be one of indifference? Whether we choose to ignore it or take a curious peek through the curtains of Christendom, we will perhaps soon realize the swift surge of the prophetic that has extended its waters through our churches, television screens and city billboards.

“God told me to tell you…” Stop for a moment. What did you just feel? Encouragement? Affirmation? Or was it distaste and anger? A couple of years ago I remember telling my uncle, with utmost buzz and excitement, of all the different preachers I had heaped up. I was like a kid in a candy store. Everything that was branded Jesus lit the fire in my eyes. The desire to grow closer and deeper catapulted me into a journey of wonder. He genuinely seemed happy for me. He genuinely seemed to share my hearts sentiments. He leaned in and signaled the warmth he felt with a smile: “I’m glad. Just remember to be careful.” I stood offended. How could he? Or rather, how could he not?

“God does not want you to be suspicious. He wants you to be discerning”

We often, perhaps, wrestle with the “position” one ought to take regarding the prophetic. Are we to fully dive in its gushing streams or are we to stand at its shores wondering “maybe” (and conversely, “maybe not”). As we peek into Christendom, we will perhaps see the multiplicity of camps and dispositions that have erected themselves over the course of church history. However, the crux of the subject matter is not the “tent” in which we choose to lodge in. No. The tug of war pulls at the fabric of our faith posing a more crucial, and perhaps more deeper question: whose voice are you hearing? Whose voice are you obeying?

“My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me” – Jesus

Our battle stems from the garden. Because of sin, our hearts have been “naturally” primed to heed to all other voices but the Lords. Throughout the course of the age God has been drawing His children and turning their hearts and ears towards Himself. Many times, both then and now, He has had to fine-tune our ears to hear His voice. In our modern era, the enemy’s art of deception has not cowered away. Each waking moment he employs “new” methods of deception. Each waking moment he devices “new” methods of trickery. Each waking moment he trickles in “new” falsehood. Yet God offers ancient ways that remain timeless, to dampen “new” spiritual fads that seek to derail us. “It takes one to know one.” Though this is often said in a manner of spite, the notion of truth can equally be applied: it takes truth to know truth. The art of deception falls prey to truth when deployed through the prudent art of discernment. Our ears fall prey to trickery and to what sounds like Gods voice when our being is void of the voice of truth: the word of God. Jesus often drew the line in the sand by drawing their eyes beyond the blurred edges: “you shall know them by their fruit.” Yet, their ability (and ours) to discern fruit that comes from God grows stronger as our ability to hearken to Gods word becomes more devoted.

The crux of the matter is the timeless weaponry and filter that is the word of God. Whether it be a word of knowledge or a prophetic word that seems to fall right into season, the backbone by which all utterances are measured remains to be the word of God. As we seek more and more manifestations of the Holy Spirit, let us be reminded of this: not only has He endowed us with power; He has also endowed us with truth.

“…for they received the word with great eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see whether these things were so” – Acts 17:11b

At His Feet…

 

Do you remember the days when some of the “pedestrian” paths where smothered with local goods? You know, the occasional cabbage leaves and onion remnants? And who can forget all of Hollywoods greatest movie hits faithfully pirated (I mean packed) into one CD? The street vendors would speedily scurry along parading their illustrious merchandize and goods as pedestrians and car owners cruised along (well maybe just the cars). It was not until two or three years ago when the warm heart turned a cold shoulder to this organized chaos and pledged its allegiance to “Keep Blantyre City Clean and Green.” Part of the initiative saw the relocation of some of these street markets – that helped to keep Blantyre be anything but clean- to more secluded areas. The city bins where soon erected across the urban terrain as mounds of trash and unwanted filth monopolized their spacious quarters. I will be honest; it was (and still is) quite the sight watching the traffic police play cat and mouse with those that choose to peddle with the law.

 

A few weeks ago, I found myself mounding stuff into a different sort of recycle bin. You see, I suffer from a thing called boredom from time to time. To ease my dullness I gathered a couple of comical soothers. I laughed. I toppled over (well, not really). I needed a breather. I needed to feel entertained. Amid the humor, I could not help but notice how “unedifying” (and occasionally explicit) some of the comical content was. I therefore did what seemed appropriate at the time. I pressed play and continued musing my five senses as the elephant in the room stared me down at the corner of my eye. It did not take long (give or take a few weeks) when I found myself “relocating” my thirty minutes of ineffable humour into the computer trash can: the recycle bin (I was tired of playing pretend with my conscious). It did not take long (give or take a few days) when I soon found myself rummaging through my recycle bin scavenging for my once sought out trash treasure. Press play.

 

“though the hand has let go the heart still wants…”

 

The most difficult thing about letting go may perhaps not be in the clicking of a button; it may not be in the breaking up of ties with those him’s and her’s; it may not even be in the establishment of “boundaries” to keep the tempters at bay. No. Perhaps the most difficult realization is that though the hand has let go the heart still wants. I cannot recall the amounts of times I have “let go” of only to realize that my deceivingly empty hands are secretly hiding trashed “goods” within the closet of my heart. The problem was never the thing or the person. The problem was always me; my heart; our hearts. Jesus often drew the attention of His followers (and fans) away from the external coverings of religion. Instead He brought their gaze towards the abstract wanting and misplaced desires of their heart. It was easy for them (and easy for us) to “let go” of the things that are seemingly deterring our paths from a fuller and more meaningful relationship with God. Yet, their hearts were found lacking. The unreachable parts of their being could only be touched by One who saw it all and understood it all; by One who knew the hearts of all mankind; by One who has the power to transform our heart of hearts to something that will desire only Him: Jesus Christ. It was only when the reality of their wanting hearts was given to Him that surrender truly took place. For when the work of God has stemmed from within, only then can we truly let go and begin (or rather continue) the journey He has embarked us on.

 

What is your heart holding onto?

 

“You know when I sit down and when I rise up; You understand my thought from afar…search me, O God, and know my heart; try me and know my anxious thoughts; and see if there be any hurtful way in me; and lead me in the way everlasting.” – King David (Psalm 139:2,22-3)

At His Feet…

 

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