Rich Kid, Poor Kid (Latest Post!)

Last year, I was reading a book called “The Millionaire next door”. The book is based on the principle that people who are rich don’t live the way we think they do. More often, those who are wealthy tend to live more basic, frugal lives. In contrast, those who appear to live flashy, ostentatious lives tend not be as rich as they would like us to think.

Another interesting thing, the authors shared was that most wealthy people tend to come from humble backgrounds and have had to work very hard to climb up the success ladder. Interestingly, they found that the children of the rich tend not to do as well as their parents. When they looked into this, they found a couple of reasons. Here is one of them, these children have never lacked, tended not to see the need to work hard for money because it was always available. As a result, they did not develop the outstanding work ethic that got their parents to get to the level they were at. In addition to this, some of the parents excessively pamper their children on a bid to “protect” them because they don’t want their children to “suffer” in the same way they did.

It struck me a few days ago how Christians go through a similar situation in a different context.

The message of grace and God’s love is such an amazing one. So, we come to Christ as we are. No pretending, no covering up. And we are reassured that there is no shame and Jesus loves us no matter what we have done.

It’s a beautiful message. It tells us that salvation is not based on how good we are. All we need to do is confess with our mouths that we are sinners and accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour of our lives. As we say this with faith, we immediately become part of God’s family. If you would like to join the family, there is a prayer here for you and feel free to drop me an email. I would love to encourage and spur you on this new journey.

So, it’s true that we are expected to come to God as we are but that’s only half the truth. Here is the full version, we come to God as we are, but we don’t remain there.

We can see this in the example of a child from poor destitute home who is adopted into a very rich family. While it is true that the child now has access to all the privileges of the biological children of that home. It also means that child must now assume a new lifestyle and culture. If the family speaks a certain way, the child will have to learn that language. If they all go to certain prestigious university, the child now has to work as hard as possible to gain admission to that university. As the child had been adopted by the family, the child also has to adopt the family’s lifestyle so as not to stain their reputation.

When we come to God, we are told of all the amazing things we now have access to. The money, the healing, the good life. But we don’t want to be like the kids I mentioned earlier who only care about their privileges and don’t develop the work ethic of their parents.

“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” Matthew 5:48 [KJV]

When Jesus made this statement, He was challenging the listeners to subscribe to a higher way of life, a Christ-centred culture. In this account He was talking about walking in love and by so doing distinguishing ourselves from the rest of the world. Here is the full account below,

“Your ancestors have also been taught ‘Love your neighbours and hate the one who hates you.’ However, I say to you, love your enemy, bless the one who curses you, do something wonderful for the one who hates you,and respond to the very ones who persecute you by praying for them. For that will reveal your identity as children of your heavenly Father. He is kind to all by bringing the sunrise to warm and rainfall to refresh whether a person does what is good or evil. What reward do you deserve if you only love the loveable? Don’t even the tax collectors do that? How are you any different from others if you limit your kindnessonly to your friends? Don’t even the ungodlydo that? Since you are children of a perfect Father in heaven, you are to be perfectlike him.” Matthew 5:43-48 [TPT]

As we grow in Christ, we are expected to start building character with the help of the Holy Spirit. The uniqueness and steadfastness of our godly character through every phase of life is more proof to the world that we are the children of God we claim to be.

Anyone can live a good healthy life but the thing that sets us apart  is the depth of character and godliness that we have partnered with the Holy Spirit to birth in our lives.

The bible gives us clear indicators for how much we have grown spiritually. These are called “fruits of the Spirit”. And we should strive to see that these fruits become apparent in our lives as they do we begin to look more like Jesus. Then our message to the world can move beyond what people can get if the accept Jesus to who they can become in Christ.

Remember the bible says that it is through our lives that God makes a plea of reconciliation to the world (2 Corinthians 5:16-21), the question is, how loud is the message in our lives? Have we muted it or is it screaming loud and clear through the Christ -like life we portray to those around us.

Paul makes a similar plea in the book of Romans, that we should not be conformed to this world and its value system (Romans 12:1-2).

I’ll briefly talk about two practical ways we can build character

  1. The Word of God.

As we study the Word of God, we need to get intentional about implementing the principles we read in our everyday lives. Let’s stop seeing them as suggestions but rather see them as instructions. Let us constantly examine ourselves in the light of the Word and see how we can change things in our lives. We can look at the scripture I mentioned earlier Matthew 5:43-48. Jesus says, “Pray for those who treat you wrongly”, rather than glance over and keep reading that would be a perfect moment to pause and think about the people who aren’t very nice to you and say a quick prayer for them. Or where he says, “do something wonderful for those who hate you” that’s another sweet spot for you to make a plan for how you are going to do something shockingly nice for someone who has been incredibly mean to you through the help of the Holy Spirit.

2.Don’t waste your experiences (good and bad)

Every experience or situation in life is a classroom where you can learn something new particularly the things that don’t go so well. So maybe you started a project that didn’t go how you planned, maybe it’s time to learn something about time management and organisation. You never know. Look to that situation and ask yourself, “Is there a lesson here for me?” The scripture below explains it perfectly,

“My fellow believers, when it seems as though you are facing nothing, but difficulties see it as an invaluable opportunity to experience the greatest joy that you can! For you know that when your faith is tested it stirs up power within you to endure all things. And then as your endurance grows even stronger it will release perfection into every part of your being until there is nothing missing and nothing lacking.” James 1:2-3

Let’s strive to let Jesus shine through us. As we do so, we become more like Him. Just imagine a world with loads of Jesus replicas. Nothing would stand a chance against us.

“ Be not overcome of evil but overcome evil with good.” Romans 12:21 [NKJV]

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Written by: Ayowade Adeleye ( through the Holy Spirit)

Don’t Let the Children Get in the Way!

Everyone loves babies, right? They are so adorable with their little features, you just want to cuddle them for as long as they’ll let you. What a lot of people don’t realise though, is the whirlwind of change that comes with these cute little babies. From sleep patterns to eating times, having a baby will always have a huge impact on the life of their parents.

Most parents are able to ride the tide and get back on their feet quickly however, some don’t manage as well as others.  The children become the centre of their universe and the couple no longer have time for each other. This can drive a wedge between the couple with a lot of damage done before they realise what has happened.

It struck me a few days ago how easy it is for us to fall into a similar trap in our walk with God. Sometimes, we “let the children get in the way”. What do I mean by children? In Christianity, “children” can be likened to the fruits of our relationship with God. This could be blessings like houses and cars, assignments like ministry and jobs or achievements like awards or promotions.

For the purpose of this post, I would like to focus more on our God-given assignments or destiny projects. We all have God-given roles to play in establishing His kingdom on earth. Yes, each one of us has a divine purpose that must enthrone God’s dominion and influence in every sphere of the world.

Your life matters and God has a specific purpose and plan for putting you on earth.

“For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.”

Ephesians 2:10 [NKJV]

I love the translation below,

“We have become His poetry, a re-created people that will fulfil the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfil it!”

Ephesians 2:10 [TPT]

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Jeremiah 29:11 [NIV]

Some people are called to serve the body of Christ as apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers. Others are called to minister in areas like government/politics, media, family, health, entertainment, education and the list goes on. We have that responsibility to partner with Holy Spirit to search out the plan and purposes of God for us and walk according to them. As we walk with Him, He start to point us in the direction of the assignments and plans He has for us and by His grace and wisdom we begin to birth them through various projects, innovations and witty inventions.

This is great. This is wonderful. However, things can get quite blurry. This is why I gave the illustration of raising of children impacting on the relationship between a husband and wife. Ideally, none of them should suffer for the other but they sometimes do.

It can be quite difficult to tell when you start drifting into the zone of chasing your divine assignment, purpose or calling at the cost of your relationship with God. I don’t know if you have been there before, but I have. All of sudden you may find that you begin to prioritize your assignment, project or calling above the God who has called you. The same way a mother may find that between caring for her children and perhaps working a full-time job, she no longer has time to be a wife to her husband. She may also find that the only reason she talks to her husband is that of things that concern the children. So also, it could get to a point where the primary motivation for communing with God is your ministry and not His person.

What do I mean? For example, with this blog, there have been seasons when I have found myself reading my bible with the intention of getting some juicy revelation to share not because I really wanted to spend time with God.

We see Jesus reprimanding the church of Ephesus for this same thing in the book of Revelation. He said,

I know all that you’ve done for me—you have worked hard and persevered…  But I have this against you: you have abandoned the passionate love you had for me at the beginning.”

Revelation 2:2-4 [TPT]

I love using this example because it highlights the constant tug of war that we all have to face as Christians. Finding the balance between serving God and preserving a passionate and intimate relationship with Him. I like to call it the Mary – Martha struggle.

To round off, I want to highlight two examples of people in the bible who had this struggle and examine how they dealt with it.

The first person is Saul who God anointed the first king of Israel. He had an assignment to leads God’s own people, but he became too obsessed and attached to it.  It seemed as though, he never tried to know the God that had called him. Eventually, he burnt-out and it cost him his kingship because he feared the people he was called to serve more than the God who called him. (1 Samuel 28:16-19)

The second person is David who was the next king after Saul. A humble shepherd boy who God raised to be king. One of the thing that strikes me most about David is how he didn’t mind looking weak or silly to display his love for God. Yes, he was king, but he never forgot the God who made him king. He never placed the people above God. The people were important, but God was much more important to him.

He understood this. His relationship with God came first, then everything else. This understanding made him one of the best kings Israel ever had.

As Christians, there are so many things to watch for and this is one of them. We must constantly check that God remains number one and nothing else takes His place. Always remember, the Giver must always come before the gifts and never let the assignment become more important than the sender.

Lord I thank you for the person reading this post. I thank you for the grace and calling upon their life. I thank you for the amazing destiny that you have planned for them. Lord, I pray that You will grant them the grace to put you first in all things. I pray that You will give them the wisdom to serve You and advance Your kingdom without compromising their relationship with you. Lord, I pray for courage and strength to forge ahead in the path of destiny you have called them to. Finally, I pray for humility of the Spirit to be completely aligned to your perfect will for them, fully pleasing You. Thank you, Abba. This is I pray, in Jesus name. Amen.

God bless you. Thank you for reading. Please drop your comment below and do share this post with a friend if it has blessed you.

Written by: Ayowade Adeleye.

Busy Bee

Happy New year everyone! I apologise for the long break since the last blog post . I pray for the grace to be more consistent with blog posts this year (Please pray for me too).

I know it is the beginning of the year and everyone probably has a list of new year resolutions they can’t wait to get started on. For most Christians, this list usually includes better bible study and a more consistent prayer life.

Trust me, I know this struggle quite well. You start the year off pumped and ready to go but life gradually tumbles out of order and 24 hours is no longer enough to do all the things we need to do. Nine times of ten, the first thing to take the hit when the whirlwind of busyness comes is our spiritual life.

I was reading the book of Genesis and I noticed something for the first time in the verse below.

Enoch walked in [Habitual fellowship] with God three hundred years after the birth of Methuselah and had other sons and daughters” Genesis 5:23 [AMP]

Enoch, the famous Enoch who walked so closely and intimately with God that he was taken straight to heaven (Genesis 5:21-24). No death, just straight to heaven. The one person who was noted in the bible for consistent and intimate fellowship with God was a family man who probably had a full-time job as well. He wasn’t some hermit in the middle of nowhere with all the time in the world, he wasn’t even a pastor, he was a regular person with a regular life like you and I.

When I saw this, it encouraged me greatly to keep pushing and not relent. God cherishes the time that we spend with Him. Yes, The God of the universe wants to walk with us. It’s so amazing that it made David ask the question below,

“When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have ordained, what is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him?” Psalm 8:3-4

The love that God has for us is second to none. This is why He gave his only son to die for us that we may be reconciled to Him.

 Busyness is one of the enemy’s timeless tools for hindering children of God. We see this in the book of Exodus when Moses challenged Pharaoh to release the Israelites so that they could serve their God. Here was Pharaoh’s first reaction,
 “Don’t supply any more straw for making bricks as before. Don’t reduce the quota. They are lazy. That’s why they are crying out, ‘Let us go and offer sacrifices to our God.’”  Exodus 5:7-8 [NLT]

In other words, when we give them more work they won’t have time too serve God. They will be too overwhelmed, frustrated and stressed to spend time with God. Sound familiar?

No matter how busy we get, let’s guard our time with God jealously.

I would like to share a few important points we should consider and seek to walk closer and more consistently with God.

1. Seek to understand the “why?” the value of understanding the reason for anything we do cannot be over-emphasised. Why do we pray? Why do we read our Bibles? Why do we worship God with songs? The Bereans Christians were commended in Acts 17:11 because “they received the word with all readiness and searched the scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.” As we begin to probe and uncover the reasons and benefits for certain things we do as Christians, our walk with God is put into clearer perspective

2. Keep it real! Remember that prayer, the word and worship are only instruments that we use to achieve our goal with God, what do I mean? You are not spending time with your bible. You are spending time with God using your bible. Hope you got that? Don’t get so overwhelmed by the activity that you shift your focus from God, the person who you are spending time with. This is a really easy trap to fall into, so we need to be watchful. The minute you notice your focus drifting, pull yourself back. 

3. Have a plan! If you don’t set apart the time you spend with God, something else will take up the time. Routines help us build habits, habits keep us going when willpower is weak or absent.

4. Give God time! Be generous with the time that you give to God. The God of Heaven and Earth wants to spend precious time with you and you give him just a few minutes? C’mon. If the president of your country wanted to speak to you, I’m sure you would gladly clear your day. Please don’t get me wrong, I know there aren’t enough hours in the day. But do give God as much time as you HONESTLY can (even if you have to cut back on some sleep and Instagram time). I promise you will never regret it!

5. Ask for help! Always ask the Holy Spirit for His assistance, He is always more than willing to help.

Lord, I pray for the person reading this post. I pray that you grant them the grace to seek you diligently and consistently. I pray that the blood of Jesus will wipe away every stain of guilt, condemnation and frustration that the enemy may have planted. Help them to see and perceive Your immense love for us and the desire you have to walk with us. Please, plant in them an unquenchable hunger for You and Your presence daily. This I pray, in the name of Jesus.

Thank you so much for reading! Let’s get talking in the comment section below, what keeps you dwelling in the secret place? What tips do you have for us? You never know someone else may learn a thing or two.

If this piece has blessed you, feel free to share with a friend. Remember, there is love in sharing!

By Ayowade Adeleye

Lit and Lifted

If you allow God to light you, there is no way He won’t lift you.

“No one, when he has lit a lamp, puts it in a secret place or under a basket, but on a lampstand, that those who come in may see the light. Luke 11:33

“When I light, I lift.” I heard the Holy Spirit whisper this to me a few months ago and at the time it was a word of encouragement to me to keep pressing in. These words made me reflect on the scripture above.

We have always been taught to aspire for greatness and there is nothing wrong with that. You know I can go on about the topic of standing out for Jesus Christ. As God’s children, greatness is encoded into our spirits. But I have come to realise it’s not automatic, it has to be activated. And there is a process that comes with this activation. I call it “The lighting process.”

Let me be honest with you. The lighting process is not easy. Think about it, when we light a candle, we are actually burning it. If the candle could speak, it would probably be screaming in pain. If we were using gardening terms, another word for the “lighting process”  would be “pruning”

 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. John 15:2 [NKJV]

These were the words of Jesus Himself, confirming that He intentionally works on His children to make them bear more fruit. The preparation that makes for anything valuable is never easy. I’m sure we’ve all heard of the metaphors about gold and diamond, and the beauty that emerges from them only after much processing.

How about athletes, who have to go through rigorous training to become the champions that we all know and admire?

Every beautiful and valuable thing requires careful preparation and processing.

How then does God prepare us?

Through regular and consistent prayer

As we spend more time in the place of prayer, God begins to work on us and strengthen us. I emphasise the word “time” because this is very important. Let us never feel like we need to rush out of God’s presence, it pays to wait with Him. We learn to hear His voice better as we fellowship and commune with Him. As we pray in the spirit, our spirit is built up and edified.

Through the study of God’s word

I can never stop emphasizing the importance of the word of God in our lives. It’s so much more than “a book” we have to read every day. As we engage the word of God under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, He begins to renew our minds and so transform us to be more like Jesus. I hope to do a full post on this later, but I’ll just mention a few things here. Our mindset, culture and ideology can have a big impact on how far we can walk with God.

So, as we walk with God, He begins to work on all those mindsets we carried over from our lives before we met Him and like a surgeon cuts, He cuts out those things that are not in line with the ways of His Kingdom and replaces them with His principles and ideologies. This is done by the Holy Spirit through the word of God.

Through our personal circumstances and situations

God often uses various situations and happenings whether good or bad to build a certain character or quality into our lives. I’ve seen this happen to me countless times and these things only make sense when you look back. For example, when I didn’t get into university at the first attempt, I really struggled, but through that, He taught me that my love for Him shouldn’t be dependent on the things that happen to me.

Through constraints on your life

As you walk with God, He may put certain constraints on your life that may seem unfair because others seem to be doing those things freely. This may even be things that aren’t bad in themselves, are just excesses. God lead to put more effort and time in building certain aspects of your life. For example, God may require you to wake up earlier to pray, spend an extra hour in bible study or fast on certain days of the week. God may say He doesn’t want you to have certain things or go to certain places. You may look around and wonder why God is being so hard on you, but you must realise that the price for greatness usually involves sacrifice.

So, remember whom God lights, He lifts and if He is taking His time to prepare you then He has already prepared your spot at the top. So, let us go through the process, it might a slightly uncomfortable but that’s because you are gold!

Thank you for reading!

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Written by Ayowade Adeleye (Through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit!)