Category: Plain Speaking

Plain Speaking…

Cultivating the “Others Matter to God, so they Matter to me” lifestyle

“Humility is not thinking less of yourself but thinking of yourself less”

Learning to consider others before ourselves selflessly does not mean we must demonstrate false humility or put ourselves down to make them feel good. It means as we know who we are in Christ, our sense of worth in Him, we are ready to be His vessels to bless others. We are not constantly self-focused and rather focused on meeting other peoples’ needs for love, care and provision.

If we are to be honest with ourselves it is not a lifestyle that we embark on easily and consistently. However it is what God requires of us.

God says that we must not only love Him, but “Love your neighbour as yourself” the second greatest commandment (a revelation that interpersonal relationships are of uttermost importance to God). If we receive His love and say we love Him, then it means we love ourselves as much as He loves us.

Now here is the test, are we willing to just stay in that cosy “God loves me & I love Him” mindset or to demonstrate the same kind of selfless love with which He first loved us towards our neighbor? Here neighbor means simply our fellow human being. When we are unable to love others for whatever reason do we just ignore our weakness in this area, avoid these people and carry on in life? This avoidance is detrimental to our relationship with God for as John the Apostle said “how can you say you love God if you hate your brother”.

God does not even care about our offering to Him if we have not made peace with others who are offended by us (Matt. 5:23-25).

We must address our inability to extend love, care towards others before Him; speaking to Him about it in true honesty, dealing with issues of un-forgiveness, offense or bitterness asking Him to change our hearts towards others. We will do this if we desire to demonstrate our love for Him & Yeshua by obedience to His commandments (i.e to love others) so that His presence/glory will remain with us (John 14:23).

God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. Thus the proud cannot enter into His rest or be in His presence for they are disobedient & resist chastening (see teaching on Chastening Jubilee Herald Newsletter Sept. 2015).

May we be intentional in setting our minds on others, starting with the brethren as God did for us through Yeshua by

-demonstrating selfless love; simply making time to listen to others, giving to help them in times of need and sharing what we have with them. This is true Christianity or “True Fast” (Isaiah 58 – see teaching “Church of the end times” Jubilee Herald July 2015)

-confessing our sins & weaknesses in prayer so as to be cleansed (1 John 1:9) and stay under His grace as well as

-praying for the fruit of the Spirit of God which includes love.

The Acts of Christlike (selfless) Humility towards others is God’s love demonstrated.

Blessings Deborah x

©️DENyamekye

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PLAIN SPEAKING II: Gotcha! Traits of the Enemy within; Self Idolater, Idolater & Self-Dependent

 

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“23 For if you listen to the word and don’t obey, it is like glancing at your face in a mirror.
24 You see yourself, walk away, and forget what you look like.”
(James 1:23-24 NLT)

Ever get strong negative reactions to unfulfilled expectations of others? willingness to self examine or point the finger inwards to self, may result in surprising, but redemptive results as I personally discovered.

Caution: This is likely to convict, challenge or cause you to break out in sweat!!

Have you ever reacted furiously or angrily when people have not fulfilled your expectations of them. I have a few times and the last time, the Lord ministered to me profoundly in a manner for which I am eternally grateful. You see, if you regularly react furiously or angrily when people do not fulfill your expectations of them, then it is time to sit back and think: why do I often have these emotions well up in me, what is wrong with me? It is as if there is a persona foreign to you within who is triggered negatively when your expectations are not met.

There could be many reasons why you behave in this manner, one being that these people have always given you the impression that they want to meet your needs and another one is that you have a subconscious deep-set belief that they are the gender who have to do this or that particular thing so that if they do not, you become like the untamed devouring Rottweiler in your thoughts and woe be to them if those thoughts translate into action!

Whatever you think that they owe you or humanity that propels you to want them to meet these expectations, the basic truth is that they owe you or humanity nothing at all. Anyone who is in Christ should know that it is against the will of God to impose unreasonable expectations on others, but we at times fall short of this truth. Spouses have certain expectations of one another which we all understand are normal and it is normal to have some expectations of immediate family members, close friends, a courting partner and work colleagues. Expectations of one another are the essence of relationships and parties in contractual agreements.

However if even in those relationships as in our casual ones there are recurring feelings of anger or contention when we feel let down, rather than always pointing of the finger outwards and blaming others, as Christians if we honestly point the finger towards ourselves for a change, we will be surprised but relieved at what we will discover. The problem may not be from the other person at all or not entirely, as the saying goes “there is no smoke without fire”.

If we choose to humble ourselves by examining our hearts before the LORD, God’s grace will abound for His grace responds to our humility. God’s grace results in the conviction of the Holy Spirit which we are ready to receive when we set out pointing the finger inward. It is not a deliberate attempt to blame ourselves for such things, it is simply a self examination exercise which is good for the soul. In this place, we are enlightened to the hidden and presumptuous sins that only God can reveal to us when we seek him sincerely.

David who became the king of Israel engaged in the self examination exercise regularly if not he would not have prayed as follows: “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

“How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart? Cleanse me from these hidden faults.Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don’t let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin. May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing to you, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer.” (Psalm 19:12-14)

If we are honest with ourselves we can easily be honest before God in prayer and therefore receive answers to our prayers. In my personal situation, during worship in church a couple of days after the incident happened, I was thinking “although I thought what I expected was reasonable, perhaps my reactions over the course of time meant I did not handle the person’s failure to comply very well”. I then sensed strongly the LORD was saying the following in response “actually Deborah, your emotional reaction and at times your utterances in this incident and similar ones in the past reveal
1. Self-idolatry (Controlling)
2. Idolatry
3. Self dependence

It was like a great knock on my head to hear that. Initially I was shocked and wondered whether it was God speaking to me. But I knew deep within that those words were true. In relation to that particular incident and similar ones in the past, the LORD began to give me further insight then and some time after church how these three flawed characteristics can manifest in a Christian’s life to varying degrees.

1. Self-idolatry (Controlling)
I sensed the LORD saying “You were not vocalising it plainly to others but the message your unreasonable emotional reactions conveyed is the following in words “each time I desire something and ask you, I want you to comply or do as I say. If you do not then I will not be happy with you and it will adversely affect my relationship with you”. Although you don’t realise it consciously, you are seeking to be elevated and therefore worshipped. You say you worship me, but in that situation, you are seeking others to ascribe worship to you!

The LORD showed me that in such situations, “most people at the receiving end (victims) react by either
a) becoming fearful and do what you want so as to live in peace with you or appease you to make you happy.
b) doing as you request but increasingly resent you with every fibre of their being because they discern that their obedience to your will is the only way they can receive your approval or live in peace with you.
c) shunning you permanently because they immediately become offended and want nothing to do with you.”

2. Idolatry
I sensed the following explanation from the LORD “This is when you have expectations of people and they do not fulfill them, and you find that your reactions are recurrently rage-filled or filled with disappointment. Your reactions reveal a deep-set feeling of being let down and even rejected so that you decide to have nothing to do with them. Such a reaction means that you place unreasonably great weight on their response as if your life depends on it. You make those people idols as well as whatever it is they failed to do”.

3.Self dependent “I always want my own way” syndrome
The tendency to be a self idolater /controller of people and situations as well an idolater in varying degrees even as a Christian, is basically a product of the fundamental “I always want my way” syndrome of the adamic sin or carnal nature. A truly committed or born again Christian does not deliberately scheme to act in any of these ways, but while they are being perfected in the sanctification process of gracious Father God, the old nature under the control of Satan (formerly called Lucifer) at times manifests. The source of this “I always want my own way” syndrome is Satan.This is why it is important to have a lifestyle of self examination as King David so as to honestly acknowledge one’s sins and seek God for cleansing from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).

A key scripture which expresses God’s desire that we refrain from being self dependent and rather to depend on him always is Proverbs 3:5-8 (NIV):
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones.”

After God rebuked me and got me thinking about all the aforementioned, there was no sense of condemnation but I felt convicted by the Holy Spirit and a profound feeling of being loved by Father to the extent that he would not only highlight the sinful nature that was so hidden, but he would include some teaching as well. He revealed to redeem and I accepted what he showed me about my sinful nature which led me to ask for forgiveness. Together we had nipped that flaw in my nature in the bud and I had received much teaching as well!

I am currently very conscious that no one has to do what I require of them even if they promise me they will. If they do not meet my expectations and disappoint me, I have developed the fruit of self control in relation to my emotions, rather than let my emotions run wild and let my mouth be an outlet of ungodly expression, I have learnt to quickly vocalise to myself the decision I choose to take which is to forgive them. I then quickly ask the Lord to heal my emotions from the disappointment or any anguish caused.

Doing this quickly really helps to prevent a welling up in me of negative emotions; exaggerated, violent reactions often have little to do with the situation in hand but more to do with unresolved past similar offenses, the emotions of which are triggered by the similar situation in hand. When we know our weaknesses, we must choose to partner with God in the right way to be free from temptation to sin so that we remain overcomers in Christ (Romans 8:37). I am not yet perfected, but I am getting there with God’s daily help.

When we study the life of King David, we note that he had cultivated the lifestyle of sustaining intimacy with God. Being quick to ensure his heart condition was right before God was key to his success at remaining the Apple of God’s eye. He was quick to forgive (i.e. Saul) and quick to repent, for instance in relation to his sin of adultery with Bathsheba and murder of her husband (Psalm 51).

Exposure of sin is lethal to satan’s kingdom only if the redeemed respond in the right manner because they are cleansed from all unrighteousness connected with that sin so that satan no longer has a foothold in their lives.

Following that incident which brought about this ministration, I recalled how I used to regularly and fervently pray for God to renew my mind (Romans 12:1-3) and also for the fruit of the Spirit (Gal 5:22), and for my heart issues but then I grew complacent and only did so very sparingly, while I prayed often for other things in my life and for others. I praise God that He used that incident to remind me that one of the worst things a Christian can do is to stop praying regularly and fervently for protection of their heart, renewal of mind, fruit of the Spirit and Spiritual gifts as well as what they are struggling with.We must not take God’s grace and protection for granted, Satan as a devouring lion does us no favours and is always ready to pounce at every given opportunity!

Thank you LORD that you reveal to redeem!

“Plain Speaking & Counsel” Series : Blunt, to the point narrative (not mincing words so to speak!) & counsel relating to a moral matter or subject requiring our attention as children of God. Click for
PLAIN SPEAKING & COUNSEL I : The question of failures/affliction – is it always the fault of the devil, me or both?
PLAIN SPEAKING & COUNSEL II: The question of friendships; Acquaintance, close/inner circle friend or none of the above!

©Deborah E. Nyamekye 19/03/2016

PLAIN SPEAKING & COUNSEL II: The question of friendships; Acquaintance, close/inner circle friend or none of the above!

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While we are called to love one another even those who persecute us because they too are God’s creation who He loves, not everyone is meant to be your close friend. While Jesus had many acquaintances he only had a few close friends. We note how he sent out 70 disciples to minister and had 12 disciples who walked closely with him, even among the 12 there were 3 who stand out as exceptionally close to him within his inner circle namely Peter, James and John.

Thus it is worth noting that our Messiah had different levels of friendships. As we live consecrated lives unto The Lord, the urgent, persistence call is to “depart! depart! from uncleanliness, you who carry “holy vessels” of the Lord ( Isaiah 52:10-12). To put this into action there are many things one is inclined to do which are a result of obeying the commandments of the LORD. Those that we allow in our inner circle of friends whether we are leaders or congregation members could be helpers in our holy walk or distractors and at times we only realise when it is too late. But there is hope, we serve a God of second chances who teaches us to learn from our adverse experiences.

If we are not doing so, we need to pray and ask Father who should be among our close circle of friends. If you have suspicions or discomfort about specific people, do not ignore them as this could be a nudge for you to be careful or start paying attention to what The Lord is trying to tell you. In fact get on your knees daily until you get your answer. Some people may want to be your close friend but are they sent by the LORD? Are they meant to be at the acquaintance level, rather than inner circle level or kept at a distance for reasons you don’t need to blurt out but highlighted by Holy Spirit enough times for you to take a serious stand.
As well as praying about specific situations, praying for the gift of discerning of spirits or a greater measure of it is important for we do not fight flesh or blood, but satanic principalities and powers.

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In these last days, we must guard our hearts seriously and be sensitive to the leading of the Holy Spirit. It is not about being fearful of people but walking in wisdom for there are wolves in sheep’s clothing, satan as a roaring devouring lion counterfeiting Jesus the redeeming Lion of Judah.
Also it is exhausting and an unproductive use of your time (it is set for God’s purposes, remember) to be here, there and everywhere being with people who may not be sent by the LORD and going places under their influence where God may not have sent you.

Prayer:

Father I commit all our friendships into your hands. You know us, who we are and our purpose in this world. Father I pray that you will minister to each and every one of us and give us wisdom and discernment in how to conduct our interpersonal relationships so that whatever we do with whoever we are with is your will and gives glory to your kingdom, in Jesus’ name Amen.

You are blessed, determine to stay blessed.

Deborah E. Nyamekye

©Deborah E.Nyamekye 21/11/2015

Also see PLAIN SPEAKING & COUNSEL I (posted 5th Feb. 2016) The Question of failures/affliction – is it always the fault of the devil, me or both?

PLAIN SPEAKING & COUNSEL I : The question of failures/affliction – is it always the fault of the devil, me or both?

image.jpegWhat we reap out of life as children of God is determined by our heart condition before God, and how we relate to people (remember two greatest commandments).

If there is always a cycle of failure or defeat in certain areas, let’s not suddenly or immediately blame the devil (He gets too much credit) or have a “pity party” lets re-examine our hearts before God HONESTLY!!

If we have done all that we have to do and discern from God it is indeed the devil at work, then let’s rise up in prayer/ spiritual warfare against his evil schemes. We must believe that we have overcome satan by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony as children of God (Rev 12:11). We are more than conquerors through Jesus who loves us (Romans 8:37).

In addition if we refuse to live in denial, blaming everyone else including the devil and rather humble ourselves and self examine, allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us, we may also realise that we have had a part to play in what is happening.

There could be unrepented sin against God and/or man. If we repent (1 John 1:9) and determine to change our ways (perhaps there is something we need to do -an action, let’s do it in obedience to God) with the help of the Holy Spirit we are sure to see circumstances change to the glory of God in those areas of our lives we have been experiencing defeat or affliction.
Indeed God needs our cooperation to “iron out the creases”, end the cycle of defeat and fulfil His will in our lives. Let’s partner with Him wholeheartedly.
You are blessed, determine to stay blessed!
©Deborah E.Nyamekye 05/02/2016