Thursday, 17 January 2013

Understanding God's Will

Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

One thing we need to note is that God’s will does not mean absence of challenges. Sarah was God’s will for Abraham yet they waited for years and even tried to help God before the promised son came. Eve was God’s will for Adam yet the apple challenge that sent them out of Eden came, the loss of one son and the banishment of another came. 

A sister, who was once counseled to sign into God’s will by the minister, ran back claiming she probably did not hear well and so she wanted out. Why? She miscarried after 5 months into the marriage by which time the husband had become impotent! Ms. Famuyiwa encouraged her to hang in there, the pull from other men she thought were better choices was stronger but she prayerfully faced the challenge with support from other men and women of God. Today, she has three children by the same man and others who had no clue of the challenge that made the couple’s bond stronger use them as prayer point, “Lord God, if only you give me X or Y, I would never consider divorce”. 

If God tested the trust of man-Jesus, if He tested the trust of blameless Abraham, what gives you the erroneous opinion you will not be tested? He did not say you will not pass through fire but that He will be there when (not if) you do. So how do you differentiate between self-will and God's will? The challenge that emanates from self will may kill, maim, dent or break your heart but that which comes out of God’s will would strengthen and build you; if your trust for God can stand the test of time.

Ephesians 1:11. In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own will. As Christians, because of the inheritance we have received most (if not all) things that come to us are in line with God’s own will! The instruction for Abraham to kill his son was in line with God’s will, the delay in conception for Hannah who was in a polygamous relationship was according to God’s will. I don’t know why Hannah entered a polygamous relationship but my Bible tells me God shut her womb! Later on God ushered the greatest prophet that ever lived into the womb of this polygamous woman. If this happened today, most women would scold Hannah and tell her that her delay is a punishment but I made it clear in "WAITING or WASTING" that the period of waiting is never meant by God as punishment. If God has decided to punish you, he need not make you wait; He'll give it to you hard and strong.

If you and I were to judge, we would say that Rachael merely took what belonged to her but perhaps God did not see it that way. Why did God shut her womb? I do not know exactly but I know that God may have delayed her conception for a divine reason. She was so upset that even when God chose to relocate her she hid the wooden gods and incurred the wrath of her father which led to her death in that tragic love story.

During a ministration I administered a questionnaire which, unknown to the participants, had 24 profiles each for females and males. Participants were told to shade or leave un-shaded the profiles of those they cannot marry or can marry respectively. The analysis of the questionnaire is below and tells you more about whether we truly wait for God’s will. The questions I asked after and the interesting discoveries about the activity are as follows:

1. What is the average number of “opportunities” you meet in a month?
2. Who shaded the most? Why?
3. Assuming these are part of the characteristics of male/females God sends you, one after the other, in 2 years and you shaded or shielded them?
4. So if you are still unmarried in 2 years who is to blame?
5. Are there people who partly shaded a box because they were unsure of how to answer?

1. Female participants agreed that an average of 2 “opportunities” approach them monthly. Male participants say they meet an average of 12 "opportunities" in a month
3. Least: 1(F) signifying she was open to anyone except a younger man
4. Least: 24(M) signifying he wasn’t open to any of the profiles
5. Few participants partly shaded few boxes

1. Choices were self motivated; nobody prayed before choosing
2. People chose according to physical description of profiles
3. Nobody asked further questions about the profiles
4. Most participants kept looking forward to better options until the profiles ended and they realised their options were not limitless
5. Participants seem to believe that God’s will should be “perfect”. Believers may pull out of a relationship when “imperfect” characteristics appear. Usually they site not hearing well from God as reason for breaking off an initial God’s will relationship


Of the 31 CHRISTIAN men that participated in the activity:
 19 would not marry a woman who is ugly
 25 would not marry a woman who is flat-chested
 20 would not marry a woman who has a child from a previous relationship
 10 would not marry a woman who is not in man's class
 8 would not marry a woman who believes she is equal to man
 15 would not marry a woman who is very tall
 21 would not marry a woman who is fat (orobo)
 21 would not marry a woman who cannot cook
 13 would not marry a woman who expects to share house chores with man
 9 would not marry a woman who is very, very rich and accomplished
 20 would not marry a woman who is crippled
 23 would not marry a woman who has fibroids
 19 would not marry a woman who may not have children due to earlier abortion
 19 would not marry a woman who makes up heavily
 21 would not marry a woman who is a staunch Muslim
 15 would not marry a woman whose mother hates him
 17 would not marry a woman whose siblings disrespect him
 15 would not marry a woman who is too spiritual; does not allow hug/peck
 26 would not marry a woman who is dirty or whose room is always untidy
 19 would not marry a woman who is a divorcee or/and older
 22 would not marry a woman who is a stark illiterate
 22 would not marry a woman who drinks beer
 10 would not marry a woman who has a lot of male friends
 15 would not marry a woman who wants sex before marriage

Of the 27 CHRISTIAN women that participated in the activity:
 17 would not marry a man who is a divorcee
 14 would not marry a man who is separated from his first wife
 12 would not marry a man who is very ugly
 7 would not marry a man who is unemployed
 11 would not marry a man who has first school leaving certificate
 20 would not marry a man who has local accent/doesn't speak good English
 19 would not marry a man who has HIV/AIDS
 11 would not marry a man who has no dress sense
 19 would not marry a man who has low self esteem
 13 would not marry a man who is very short
 20 would not marry a man who has skin condition that makes his face swell
 19 would not marry a man who is crippled
 22 would not marry a man who is blind
 17 would not marry a man who is a Muslim
 9 would not marry a man who is younger
 16 would not marry a man who is not born again
 6 would not marry a man who is not from her race (Iraqi, Indian etc)
 16 would not marry a man whose father is a herbalist
 12 would not marry a man whose mother is very wicked
 17 would not marry a man who sees women as second class citizen
 17 would not marry a man who wants sex before marriage
 5 would not marry a man who likes phone sex talk
 16 would not marry a man who likes women a lot
 23 would not marry a man who smokes

WHAO! So who is left to be married? Where is God's will in the numbers?

Adam saw and accepted Eve with only a confirmation, “This is the bone of my bone, she shall be called woman”, no query! The confirmation stood only on the premise that Eve is God's will. Today we dissect and reset God’s will and fashion out our will from it. God sent Foluke an Adejare that drinks beer, has a lot of female friends and was a boxer; an easy candidate for illegibility! She confirmed him, signed into marriage and that seemingly foolish trust in God has etched out a global master piece whose trademark has become "Let somebody shout halleluyah".

In conclusion, man, woman is the ground through which Satan initiates a lasting heartbreak ONLY BECAUSE we do not trust God enough to blindly follow God’s will.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Male or Female: Who initiates heartbreak?

The Youth & Singles Fellowship of RCCG Throne of Grace, Obalende invited me to minister on the theme: ASK ME WHY. The tilt of the theme was more about heartbreaks. Before my ministration, there was a drama and a debate.

The drama was about a sister who dilly-dallied with God’s will in reference to a brother she was in a relationship with. She broke off the relationship when a challenge faced by the brother – loss of job – reared its head. She went after another guy who was seemingly in money but later got arrested for fraud. She retraced her steps to God’s will; unfortunately he had found another rib. I decoded many issues from the drama whose narration was done by a “wise old man”.

1.   Was the relationship actually based on God’s will?
2.   Did the pastor who counseled the engaged couple seek God’s face or based his approval of the courtship on confirmation by the man and woman that it is God's will?
3.   Was the break up motivated by self or by God?
4.   If indeed the initial relationship was God’s will, why did the brother not pray and wait for a reversal of the lady’s decision to break up with him?
5.   Was it right for the brother to sign into another relationship?
6.   Can the second relationship be regarded as God’s will?
7.   Whose heart was broken by the break up in the initial relationship?

While I leave you to sincerely seek answers to these questions, let’s look at the debate that followed the drama:

Who are the initiators of heartbreaks? Is it the guys or the ladies?

For the debate, we had a vibrant sister and brother who represented their sexes and tried to argue out that, males or females are the initiators of heartbreaks. The woman’s points were clear:

1. Men are heartbreakers
2. Women are fashioned to support the heart so they cannot break the heart
3. If women are weaker vessels how then can they break the stronger vessels’ hearts?
4. The man was present in Eden yet he broke the heart of God by letting the woman act alone.

Of course the man did not mince words in making his points:

1. Women are heartbreakers
2. Women have used their being fashioned close to the heart as reason to dent the heart
3. Women in their selfishness usurped man’s role in Eden and broke God and man’s heart
4. If women could break the heart of God then they can definitely break men’s hearts

Interesting! Surprisingly, men fought their way into getting a supporting speaker but the ladies got none. But really who are the initiators of heartbreaks?

After the debate, I was invited to the podium where I started by praying and introduced myself as a media specialist, relationship coach and host of DC. I hit the ground running by asking few questions. Thereafter, I administered a questionnaire; first to the males then the females. An interesting questionnaire that generated haaaaas, hooooos, laughter and scream from the audience. I then shared the thoughts below before continuing with questions that led participants to share their experiences.

Not all heartbreak come from break up and not all break up lead to heartbreak. Heartbreak is present in one or both partners if the breakup is incidental, coincidental or accidental.

Take for instance a man and a woman who mutually consent to split because they are not willing to “faith” the issue of blood group.

Jacob may have ended up with a heart break if Rachael said no but Rachael’s life may have been saved and Jacob may have realised earlier that living a life of supplanting, a life of cheating others would not urgur well. Some heartbreak could become a life line.

Relationships are not the ultimate; what we seek is marriage. So if a relationship continues for ever and the "Will you marry me?" question never comes or the lady never responds with, "Yes, I will" the result is stagnancy. Except both parties have an understanding that this is a lifelong friendship which may not include tying the allegorical knot but tying the spiritual knot, a relationship is bound to break into pieces or break into new life.

An egg must crack, time, location, outcome may be different. An egg may break into new life birthing a chick. An egg may break and spill its content thereby ending its life abruptly with no benefit. An egg can break into a white life either as boiled of fried to give energy to the eater. But for an egg to fulfill its divine purpose, it must break!

Heartbreaks happen because we are flesh who may at times trust man more than we trust God. Jonah’s heart was unbroken despite all God did to compel him to go to Nineveh but his heart was broken when God removed his cover. A man or a woman could act out a heartbreak but God or Satan could be the initiator. How? Satan as we know is not interested in relationships especially those by Christians heading towards marriage. Satan sets out to break hearts because he knows that such unions are potential grounds for re-populating the Kingdom of God.

God on the other hand does not set out to break hearts only that our lack of understanding and our limited knowledge of the future make us see it as such. Take for instance a great Christian man who asked a great sister out, of course the sister wanted to say yes and was already looking forward to marriage but God said no. The sister’s heart was broken and so was the brother’s but in less than 2 years they saw why; the brother was called home to be with the Lord. God of course knew the brother had a limited time on earth and did not want to sign the sister into a life of misery. If they had married, most people would have believed the marriage is God’s will because they were both spirit filled ethical Christians but when the man dies soon after, more people would have blamed God for creating such sadness when in actual fact God warned against it. 

When a seeming heartbreak is motivated by God, it is short-lived; only for a while. Of course Abraham’s heart was completely broken when God asked for his only child but in obeying, he witnessed one of the greatest miracles – an exchange of pain with gain. 

Usually the heartbreaks motivated by Satan are as a result of lack of trust in God. So God sends you a helper or a friend but to you this man/woman has everything you want so you find a way to scheme yourself into a relationship; so what happens? God shows you His will but you look at him or her and what you see is an unbeliever and you re-quote God’s Word to Him, “Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers”; you look at the physical like Prophet Samuel did and you say NO. Three months down the line the woman marries someone else and becomes a believer and then your heart is broken. 

God sends you a man and you know from all indication that this is God’s will, you look at him and tell God, "But he is Catholic, but he is separated" and you conclude, no this CANNOT be the will of God. So you compel the man to wait in the name of praying through for an answer you have already received. The man get’s tired and pulls back the proposal and then you return to God to cry. Guess what God will do, God will lovingly embrace you as He works things out for your good hoping that this time you’d trust and obey.

A man after seeking God’s face approached a woman and the woman said, go and pray again. He returned and said, "You are God’s will for me" but she laughed and said, "You better go and pray again and stop deceiving yourself". He returned and said, "You are God’s will for me". The sister said, if you are very sure, go and tell the pastor; knowing full well that the pastor knows her health condition. The pastor had to ask the brother to go and pray again and approach the sister only if he is 100% sure. He did (some patient brother he is!) and returned to the sister. She broke down in tears and told him, “I am HIV+, if you change your mind now I would understand.” The brother took a deep sigh and said, “If God says you are my wife, I bet He knows your status”. Hard, but that is what God expects of us. Today they are happily married with children and living a blissful and fulfilled life.

Often times when we say we are waiting for God’s will, what we are actually saying is that we are waiting for a physical manifestation of our will – single-single (meaning never been married and no child), fine/handsome, comfortable, mannered, moral, tongue-talking, high self esteem, refined…. Because we cannot trust like Adam and Eve did, because we cannot blindly jump when it is God saying jump, because we cannot hang on to faith and fate, we sign up for a date then we find out too much and we become so scared of the journey ahead. To complicate matters, we run to a pastor who ends up seeing your fears instead of the will of God.

Romans 8:28: And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

Why do we always forget in our instance of fear that the Lord is leading and is able to make our marital journey blissful?

Monday, 7 January 2013


When I stepped into God’s call to minister to mature singles in 2009, I wonder how I would transition from working with young people to working with mature singles. These special groups were different in many aspects. After prayerfully considering both groups, I realised that God was not calling me to choose but to expand my scope in working with those on the life bridge or crossroad called waiting.

During an interview in 2012, I was asked, “Why have you chosen to combine the mentoring of young people with the counseling of mature singles?” I answered thus:

I was led to start both by God and honestly I am only just seeing the link. Teenagers and young adults are at a crossroad in their lives where they need guidance and mentoring. Mature singles are also at a crossroad where they feel the need for family life. Being able to connect the teens to mature singles that have time to devote to them creates a very purposeful symbiotic relationship. The added advantage is that the relationship serves to impact the young person and positively affects the esteem of the mature single whose need for family life is met by the commitment towards the young person.

Waiting in God's waiting room, as I have assured many over and over again, is not a punishment but a phase to prepare you and test your capability and capacity for the blessing ahead. Are you waiting or wasting? Adeleke Aladekoba, a mentee of mine, waited for many years to get into higher institution. When my God who is never late arrived with his admission package, it was to Covenant University with a scholarship. I waited 10 years after my bachelor’s degree to receive a master’s degree but one of the ingredients (Willows Magazine) that delivered my admission and degree to me happened 7 years into my wait. I know a widow with three children who is today married to a single man. I also know an unmarried mother of two who insisted she wanted a single man and God sent one her way in His time. Maami attended the wedding of her principal's daughter in 2012. The bride was 52 years; never being married. On October 13, 2010 we heard of the wedding of Esther Folashade Aduke Blaize to William Folorunso Kumuyi. What many may not know is that at 65, this was her first marriage. She was one of the founding members of the Deeper Life Bible Church.

No matter the bus stop you believe you are stranded at, stay out of the elements - sun, rain or wind, then walk tall to impact lives. Carol Akpala, a former junior colleague of mine shared an inspiring story of how after waiting for a while at the bus stop she discovered a little blind boy who has been waiting longer just to be helped to cross the street. Her wait was a solution to the boy’s wait. While you are waiting be sensitive to your environment and do whatever positive things your hands find to do. When your celebration bus arrives, what matters would be how you spent - wisely or foolishly, your waiting period. Remember the story of the maidens and the lamps? God always arrives but will you be there, will you be ready?

‎"If only I am educated", now you are a graduate; "If only I am employed", now you have a job; "If only I have a car", now you have a ride; "If only I have a place to call home", now you own an apartment, "If only there is light…" Instead of waiting for NEPA, get off the whining wagon and grab a torch to see how blessed you are that you can read, earn, own and see. The word contentment means consciously accepting, appreciating, enjoying and making the best use of the allocation in your location and finding peace in the knowledge that God knows your frame and would increase your supply in due season ~ 1 Timothy 6:6.

There are two different ways to wait: ACTIVE and PASSIVE.

When you wait actively, you are wise. When you wait passively you are foolish. Passive wait should actually be called wasting! All you are doing is wasting your period of preparation.

A man of God once shared about a lady who told anyone that cared to listen that she can only be successful abroad. She claimed to have received enough revelation that made her believe this fact; she implored everyone to avail her of information and opportunities to travel abroad. One day, her pastor landed a perfect opportunity and immediately sent for her. When she arrived, he excitedly narrated the opportunity and how she can leave in one week to live her dream of living abroad. He ended the narration with a question: “Can you get your passport to me asap so we can process the visa and get the ticket?” Her response will weaken your limbs, “I don’t have a passport.”

I can here you say, “How on earth could anyone be waiting for travel and not have a passport!” But isn’t that what you are doing, if you are waiting for marriage and do not have a job, waiting to study abroad and do not know how to use a computer, waiting to become a leader and do not understand the principle of followership, waiting to step into a career or call and do not want to develop yourself in the field?

Many of us are at the 'wasting close' where there is no way out except back to the 'waiting boulevard' where you can pray and prepare. A man talked about his brother who was very fervent in the Lord. He was waiting for employment. While this seemingly God-less sibling prepare and leave home for work daily, this God-filled brother will lock himself indoor and pray. One day, the sibling returned to pick something during lunch and found the brother still praying, then he asked, “Have you ever applied for a job or cold-called or even browse the internet or newspaper for jobs?” His shocking response was, “No, my God will do it!” That is worse than passive waiting because you have jumpstarted the principle of waiting by trusting in God but your applicability is lame. The Bible says, “Faith without work is dead”.

Except you are willing to settle for the cleaner, carpenter or plumber who comes to fix things around the house, if you are waiting for a man or woman, you must activate your wait by acting. Abraham activated his wait by blessing strangers. Though Abraham seem to have been waiting aimlessly after flying the wrong kite with Hagar but it wasn’t a blind passive wait because he positioned himself to see and bless the angels. Rebecca activated her wait by going to the well and by blessing a stranger.

Quickly let’s look at the master keys in active waiting:

1.  Rewire your mind to the junction where you believe that waiting is not a punishment. God does not punish His Own; in fact he says in His Word that He will never leave you nor forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6). All the way, through your wait or challenge, know and believe that God is there. Accept that as a God-loving person, all things will work together for your good (Romans 8:28).

2.   Worship and pray to The One who knows the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10). Communicate your desire to God.

3.     Listen attentively (Proverbs 4:20). If all you know to do during your wait is to sit and look, at least position your ears away from noise but closer to what God is saying. If he says, go and visit so and so, don’t question or query Him, just go. The word I received in 2004 was a barely audible whisper “Go”. That 2-letter word delivered a trip through which I landed a study abroad with scholarship!

4.     Act on the prompts. God may speak through the still small voice, He may send someone to you etc. If you are so stubborn and just buried in non-profitable ventures, He may even break your rib to bring you to your wits end and get your attention! When you meet a man your Spirit clearly tells you, “That’s your helper”, don’t let him go without at least striking a conversation, “Hello”, “May I have your number”; acting promptly may be the difference between waiting for one more month or one more year.

5.     Learn the rudiments of your expectation. If what you are waiting for is a wife, wait expectantly by learning how to treat women nicely, communicate well with women, create conducive atmosphere for a relationship etc.

6.     Prepare for your miracle. If a job is what you are waiting for buy office shirts and shoes. If a child is what you are waiting for, minister to children or ensure your home is child-ready. A couple trusting God for a child furnished their home with all-white leather chairs. It took a minister of The Word to let them see that their home was not child-ready.

7.     Trust The One who says, “All things will work together for those that love God and are called according to his purpose”. Trusting God means leaning to His understanding.

8.  Be open. If Abraham was close minded, He would not have been nice to strangers. At times those bearing our gifts are clad in rags yet we must trust that if God brought them to you then they have a message to deliver. A mad man saw Pastor Adeboye and was steered to greet him, clear traffic for him to lead his vehicle out of a jammed traffic.

9.   Read the amazing stories of patriarchs and matriarchs who waited and were not disappointed by God. The Bible is filled with beautiful testimonies. You can also speak to those whose testimonies are closer home than those in the days of the Bible. Spend time to read the Bible and the stories of those who know the God of the Bible. 

10. This key should be titled play but you may end up playing away your blessing if you take playing too seriously. So I'll tag this key; relax and refresh. When we are too uptight about finding the right man, we end up interpreting and misinterpreting every sign. Similarly when we are too uptight about getting the right job or even having a child, we end up using ungodly means. Relax and find refreshing in knowing that God is in control of the reins of your life. Find time to laugh, socialise, mix with the right crowd, go to the beach, visit a resort centre. Don't put your life on hold because you are waiting for a puzzle piece. Don't merely exist, inhale and exhale; live!

David in Psalm 62:1 say, "Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation". Salvation here of course also means being saved from the trauma, grief or stress of waiting.

To wait is to sit in active silence and listen to God’s voice and words, watch for His revelations, hear His command and obey His directives. The Bible in Isaiah 40:31 say, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint:.

Simply put those that wait upon the Lord shall renew their energy by empowering themselves to fly. After they have been empowered to fly, they will fly and will ensure no challenge keeps them from going higher. When a plane wants to fly, it will taxi before take off. When an eagle wants to soar, it positions itself to gather momentum before take off. Mother eagles prepare baby eagles by flying with them then they graduate to throwing and catching them until their wings are strong enough to fly on their own.

Do you remember Noah? Noah could have waited passively or aimlessly by just telling people about his revelation but instead he acted and by so doing preserved creation for posterity.

Why, when, where, what you are waiting for should be the driving factor for how you should wait.

Are you waiting or wasting?