Guest Post: “A Promise” – by Christina Girma( Inspired By Him)

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This is a guest post from Christina Girma’s blog.Check out Her blog (Inspired By Him). I hope it blesses you all as it has blessed me 🙂

This week I would like to discuss something that is very important to all of us.  Although it might sound very simple, I want you to to really think about each word you read.  In the end, carefully ask yourself this question:  “What do God’s promises mean to me?” 

Before we get into it, I hope you understand the significance of a promise.   A promise is a declaration – it’s the assurance of something.   When someone gives you their word, that word is to be trusted by you, and fulfilled by the one who made the promise.  For example, marriage begins with the union of two people bound in their promise to love, cherish, and be faithful to each other.  Secondly, although promises are verbal declarations, they are further validated when carried out into actions.   If you promise to love, then your behavior, character and life must be a reflection of the promise you made to actually love.  A promise that is not followed with an action loses it’s credibility, and gives a reflection of a poor character on the one who initially made a promise.

One of my favorite verses in the bible is found in Psalms chapter 119, verse 50; it says, “My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life”.  From the moment I laid eyes on this verse, each time I think about it something within me can’t help but react – it causes an immediate emotional reaction within me.   It becomes overwhelming to know that there is a God who has made me a promise strong enough to sustain me until this very moment.   A promise that He will never back out on because He is faithful, and a promise that I never did anything to deserve.  Throughout the bible there are many promises that we see God make to His people.  Promises of rescue, protection, guidance, victory, comfort, and much more.  In all instances we simply see Him giving His word of assurance and following that word of assurance with His actions.  Although there are many references to use, I would like to focus on one particular man named Joseph.

If you would like to read in detail, Joseph’s story begins in Genesis chapter 37.  In a family of 12, Joseph was the youngest son to his father Jacob.  Being the youngest son, his father loved and favored him the most.  This favoritism began causing jealousy in the hearts of his older brothers and would eventually lead them to do the unspeakable.  One night, Joseph had a dream.  He told his brothers that in his dream they had all been in the harvest field tying up the corn, when all of a sudden he saw their sheaves of corn bow down to his.  Another night, he had a different dream in which he saw the sun and moon, and eleven stars all bowing down to him as if he were a king.   Naturally, this only increased the jealousy of his brothers against him which led them to conspire against him and sell him off to a merchant without their father’s knowledge.  Eventually Joseph ends up in Egypt where he is sold as a slave to a rich man named Potiphar.   To make matters worse, Potiphar’s wife lusts after Joseph and tries to pursue him. When he rejects her she makes false accusations against him, and get’s him sent to prison for years.

Now keep in mind, this man’s life seems only to have gotten worse after seeing these dreams.   In fact, the dreams he saw years before, now seem to be completely irrelevant to where his life is at and where it seems to be heading.  Perhaps what seems even more heartbreaking in all of this, is that he has done nothing wrong.  You see, sometimes we hear or see the promises that God made us, and because He is faithful to keep His word He won’t fall short of bringing it to completion… but the question is, do we trust His promises enough to hang onto Him no matter what? What do God’s promises mean to you?

Joseph’s story only begins to change when years later,  the Pharaoh is troubled by a dream he keeps having.  After many tried to interpret the dream and failed, one of Pharaoh’s servants who used to be in jail with Joseph remembered that Joseph had the ability to interpret dreams and that he was still in jail.  Pharaoh then requests for him to come out of prison and asks for his dream to be interpreted.  When all that Joseph had interpreted about Pharaoh’s dream came to pass,  Joseph was then released and made Governor of Egypt.  Meanwhile, back in the land of Canaan where Joseph’s brothers and father lived there was a famine.  Their father sends them to Egypt to buy corn from the Governor, not realizing that the Governor they would have to bow down to in respect was the little brother they sold off years ago.  Isn’t it interesting that Joseph had to go from being “daddy’s favorite boy” – to being a slave – to being a prisoner –  and then to being a Governor before the promise of God was fulfilled in his life?

He had to hit the lowest and most miserable place in his life, before he could see the days of these promises being fulfilled.  Of course, I am not saying that you will always have to hit rock bottom before you see good things coming your way but think about all the traumatic experiences he went through. He watched in fear and probably even cried as his own brothers sold him off to a merchant. Then he became a slave against his will, and at last got sent to jail without having committed a crime. Think about what must have been going through his mind as life seemed to be spiraling out of control.   Think about what he must have been thinking during all the dark nights he spent alone in prison for years. What did God’s promise mean to Joseph? 

For most of us today it doesn’t take long before we toss out God’s promises and completely forget what He has already set out to do in our lives.  For a moment, let’s forget years in prison or slavery – If we were ‘Joseph’ we would have probably given up on whatever God had promised us the minute we sensed our brothers getting jealous. We would have gotten sensitive and emotional, or upset, and walked away in that instance.  And that itself is the issue with so many of us.  We have no problem receiving the promise of God, or even asking God to hurry up and fulfill it.  However, as soon as the journey of fulfilling that promise begins we want to crawl under a rock.   We need to understand that it’s not the promise of God that we lack in our lives, instead it’s the trust to see God’s promises being fulfilled, so I ask again – what do God’s promises mean to you?

Look at the Israelites, God made them a promise to bring them out of the land of Egypt which He did. He promised them that He would defend them against Pharoh’s armies, and He did. He promised to provide them with food, protection, shelter, victory, and He did. Yet their rebellious, stubborn, doubtful and impatient ways delayed some of those promises from being fulfilled because they constantly lacked the trust they needed, to see these promises complete.  Keep in mind unlike Joseph, the Israelites were in constant communication with God through Moses. They knew when God was angry with them, they knew when He was pleased with them, they saw God perform wonders and miracles right before their eyes. Yet, after all of that we see how lightly they regarded God’s promise and how quickly they would fall back in doubting God and His word.  Whereas Joseph, he had no one to encourage him.  The only hope he had were the two dreams he saw as a young boy, and the trust in God that no matter what happened to him, God would still remain faithful.

There are a few things we always ought to keep in mind.  First off, when God makes a promise it’s an assurance that whatever it is, it will happen.  As we have mentioned earlier He is faithful to keep His word, and His word will always be followed by an action – nothing He says will ever go in vain.  Secondly, we need to remind ourselves that with His promise also comes hope.  Hope is there to remind you, and to help you hang on during the journey of fulfillment.  It’s there to help produce endurance for the journey towards seeing God’s promises being fulfilled.

Joseph endured many challenges, and traumatic experiences before he saw the promise of God being fulfilled.  At any time he could have thrown his hands up in the air and walked away, and I’m sure we could have all justified that but he didn’t.  He remained still and held onto the hope that came with that promise because that’s how valuable and meaningful God’s promise meant to him.  If there is one thing Joseph fully understood despite the many challenges he faced was that, God was going to remain faithful and keep His word.  Third, we need to trust that if God spoke it, He will bring it to completion in His time.  If He’s planned it, and promised it, then He (not you) will get it done! Learn to take a step back, and watch Him show He is faithful.

To conclude I will leave you with this reminder.  When the promise of God begins to work in your life, you will face trials.  You will face challenges and go through situations that will often try to pull you down and keep you away from seeing the promise of God being fulfilled in your life.  Sometimes, such challenges and trials will be permitted by God not to discourage you, but to allow for your character to be built, and for your endurance to grow stronger.  Remember, it’s not what you go through but your attitude and character while going through the challenges that will determine your ability of seeing God’s promises fulfilled in your life.  Hang on to the hope found in His word and remember that He (God) who started it, will get you through it and complete it.

God is not human, that He should lie, not a human being, that He should change His mind. Does He speak and then not act? Does He promise and not fulfill? – Numbers 23:19

Message for Ethiopia: Partnership and Intimacy with God

Sebastian Angulo

Partnership and Intimacy with God

God is looking for partners on the earth. He wants friends that will agree with Him and even begin to think like Him. Those who will do what they see the Father doing. Jesus modeled this partnership for us when He walked on the Earth. He told His disciples “I only do that which I see the Father doing.” God was not satisfied with just getting the job done, He wanted the job done through friendship. When God rested upon God, He began to reveal the Glory of the Father on the earth!!!

John 5:19, “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; He can do only what he sees his father doing, because what ever the Father does the Son also does. For the Father loves the Son and shows him all He does.”

The Spirit of the Lord is…

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God is NOT Dead! Live Boldly, Walk in Power!

The biggest weapon of the enemy against believers is fear. And beloved fear is not an emotion, or a feeling, but it’s a spirit. The enemy has paralyzed many believers in fear, so they are not able to walk out the call and purpose that God has for their life. As king Solomon states in proverbs 29:25, “fear of man brings a snare”. Fear is the opposite of love, because whoever fears is not made perfect in love. (1 John 4:18). But since God has loved us so much that He sent His only begotten son to pay for our sins and has given us power to become sons of God (John 1: 12),we no longer walk in fear but have the spirit of love, power and a sound mind.( 2 Timothy 1:7)

I’m going a different route for this blog post. I want to share a personal testimony of a time that the Lord taught me how to walk in boldness when confronted with the intimidation of the enemy. It was last spring semester when I was enrolled in a class that I was taking as an elective. This was not a religious class, but it was interesting in that the professor didn’t fail to mention Jesus, and the God of Abraham, Jacob and Isaac every class. He started the first day by bashing Jesus and making sacrilegious remarks. I was shocked but I thought, it’s only the first day. Maybe he didn’t have his coffee today it will be different next time.

The second class came later on in the week. To my shock and surprise, He didn’t tone it down. In fact, he spent the majority of the class telling us how we have grown up with preconceived notions about God and religion and reality and he was there to help us unlearn those notions. Under the circumstances that I was in, I had to stay in class and I didn’t have the option of dropping the class easily. I felt pressed. I felt I was in a tight spot. I felt like this can’t be God and it must be the enemy. I spent the next 2 days greatly distressed and sought an answer from the Lord in prayer. One day as I walking out from the class in great distress, I ran into a friend who gave me a hug and asked how I was doing. I told him about the class and that I didn’t know what to do about it. He listened, and just shared with me how God is a big God!

That shifted my thinking and perspective. My professor had seemed big and intimidating before, but now I was starting to see that my God was bigger. This class, my grades and how I had to let my grades suffer or be an unashamed believer in Jesus had seemed an unpleasant choice. But I was now seeing the God who is able to make a way in the dry land. As it happened when Elisha prayed, God opened my eyes to see the chariots of fire that surrounded me (2 Kings 6:17) and the cloud of witnesses that were cheering me on to press on by faith (Hebrews 12:1). I decided to stay in the class and see what God would do. I decided to test my faith and my God and see if it would stand against the wisdom and hubris of intellectualism and academia.

What if God put me in this class for “such a time as this”?

When God wants to take us to a deeper or higher level in our faith, He starts by stretching us. He often takes us out of the comfortable situations we are used to and puts us in situations where we’re not sure how to act. He takes us from a place of ordinary and regular experiences to places of extreme and uncomfortable situations where our only option is complete reliance and dependence on Him and His word. I had been asking God for an increase in faith, for Him to show me more of His glory and more revelation. I did not expect it to come this way though.

If you’re not uncomfortable, you’re not growing. If you’re not growing, you are dying.”- Unknown Author

One particular day this professor was continuing as usual making fun of God, using profanity to blaspheme and walking around the classroom telling us about his Ph. D from a prestigious university and how he has studied the bible and he knows it well. Unfazed and unmoved, I would raise my hand and object to his ridiculous allegations against God’s character. This particular day though, he got really furious when I objected and started attacking me viciously. It no longer became about “the Christian God”, but now I became the target. He went on deriding me and making fun of me in front of the whole class. I kept my composure on the outside, but I was crying and screaming out to God on the inside.  There were Christians in the class that i knew, but not a single person defended me, God or spoke up. I felt like I was alone and God didn’t care. He got so furious that he threw the chalk he had in his hand at me mid conversation.

After this day, I stopped responding to him in class. I realized there was a heavy spiritual battle that was going on and there was no point in confronting him every class. Plus, now I was concerned for myself and I didn’t want to be attacked every class anymore. I told everyone I knew that prays to partner with me in prayer and decided to go on a Daniel fast for 3 days. I asked God that He would show his mighty hand in this class and that everyone would see that He was God! That He would defend His name! There were a lot of people who encouraged me and prayed with me this time. I believed that God heard my prayers and went to class the following week. This time things were dramatically different. He is tall and big and would walk around the class and sometimes would stand in your face when he talks to you to be intimidating. But it seemed for some reason, he wasn’t able to come near my desk or stand in front of me. In fact he couldn’t even maintain eye contact when he talked with me.

Revelation 1:14 says “His eyes like a flame of fire” talking about Jesus! I guess this professor saw this Jesus and his fiery eyes inside of me and couldn’t stand His gaze! From that weekend on, when I held the Daniel fast there was a dramatic shift in the atmosphere of the class. He started to listen to me more. In fact he would even ask for my opinion on certain issues especially when they involved things about the bible and God. He went from viciously attacking me to respecting what I had to say. It didn’t stop there, during the last week of class when we were deciding on the format of our final exam I was able to come up with a few ideas. He listened and made me responsible with coming up with the final exam! So I basically decided the format, the grading and how the final exam will be conducted! Hallelujah! He even came and asked me how long I thought would be good enough for everyone to take the exam while we were taking the final exam!!! Isn’t that the favor of God?!?! He went from attacking me at the beginning of the semester to handing me over the whole class and the final exam! All glory belongs to God!

I passed the class with an A, but more than that more confident in my God and with my faith being built up more than ever! I could now confidently say like Job “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.” Friends this was new to me, but it is not new to our God! He honored Daniel, when Daniel chose to honor him. He gave Joseph favor and exalted him in Egypt, because Joseph feared and loved God. God is still at work today! Your God is bigger than your boss, your adversaries, your difficulties, your circumstances and even your own sins and weaknesses!

I hope this encourages you! Let’s press in and seek to see the full manifestation of God’s glory on the earth! (Habakkuk 2:14)

GOD IS NOT DEAD! HE IS SURELY ALIVE! LIVE BOLDLY! WALK IN POWER!

Arise! Shine! For your light has come!

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It would only be stating the obvious to say that a great spiritual darkness is covering the earth right now. There is a demonic movement coming out of the Middle East that is hell-bent on destroying the church and any remnant of God’s people off of the face of the earth. There is so much perversion and loss of purity in the church in the west right now. There’s so much focus on “self-improvement” instead of “self-crucifixion”. Where is the first love the church had for the Gospel and for God’s Kingdom? Where are the worshipers? Where are the Nazarites who will consecrate themselves to the service of the Lord?

“Arise, shine;
For your light has come!
And the glory of the Lord is risen upon you.
For behold, the darkness shall cover the earth,
And deep darkness the people;
But the Lord will arise over you,
And His glory will be seen upon you.” – Isaiah 60:1-2(NKJV)

The church is asleep. The church is not ready if the King were to come back today.

We need to wake up!

We need to Arise!

“Jesus will lift you up from the deepest pit. But He will not lift you out of your easy chair”– Reinhard Bonnke

If we who have the Light of the world, Jesus, the Hope of Glory in us shrink back and cower, how great will the darkness be on the earth? If you are in a dark room with no light and the only lamp or candle in there is snuffed out, it will be pitch black in there. That’s what happens when we shrink back because of fear and complacency.

“For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed” – Romans 8:19(NIV)

God is asking you to rise up today! He’s not looking for anything other than a willing and obedient heart. He will do the equipping, if you are willing. Moses felt Inadequate when God called him. He said he was not eloquent. (Exodus 4:10) Guess what? He stood in front of the most powerful ruler at that time, pharaoh, and led God’s people out of captivity! Jeremiah said he was too young and didn’t know how to speak. Guess What? That didn’t stop God from using him. (Jeremiah 1:6-7). Gideon was in hiding when the angel of the Lord appeared calling him a mighty warrior (Judges 6:12). With a handful of men, Gideon conquered his powerful oppressors (Judges 7)

God doesn’t need your education, your skills, your knowledge or wisdom to use you. He only needs your heart and your obedience!

“Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”- 1 Corinthians 1: 26-31(NIV)

I am saying “Here I am Lord, Send me”! How will you respond? Will you be content with your once a week Christianity? Will you be ok with holding the Good News to yourselves and watching cold-heartedly as your friends, family, and the world around you is perishing? Will you be content with your Christian friends and your “Christian bubble”? or will you go out into the darkest places carrying the light of Christ? Will you be sent out like an arrow carrying the love of the Father, through the Son into all the world?

Arise Son! Arise Daughter! You have the Light of Christ inside of you. Let the whole world see 🙂