Posts tagged Faith
Courtship, It's Like...

Well, it all started when I was born...

Honestly, it did. God knew even before I was born who I would marry. He knows every one of my future children's names. He knows where my future family will live. He even knows about my future kitchen that will be painted golden yellow with floral accents, and not to mention my genuine Kitchen Aid brand stand mixer that my husband will approve of…in JESUS NAME (SAY AMEN!).

A sister got dreams.


For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end
— Jeremiah 29:11

For some reason, I believed that I would never enter a relationship until it actually happened. Some would probably agree with me because if you know my community of believing friends, one cannot "spot" one serious "marry-able" brother whose mind was on marriage. Many of the sisters around me are between the ages of 23-30 and marriage is definitely a topic of concern. So many of us have yet to see our Adams awakened from slumber, and we are sometimes even tempted to awaken someone for the sake of satisfaction.  

I remember a time I was in a prayer meeting to pray for a family, and the leader raised a prayer point, "now let's pray for your future husband." Talk about random. I laughed. I was like Sarai when God said she would have a baby despite her dried-up womb.

Of course, like every girl, I desired a relationship. I desired to be a partner to a diligent worker in the house of God. Shoot. I wanted someone who complimented me too. I desired to be the object of a guy's affection. I desired to have someone to dream with, and so much more.  

By God's grace at the appointed time, He brought him to me, and when he came with his proposal of courtship, and I had to pray and make my decision.

Now can I tell you that this was the hardest and toughest decision I have ever had to make so far in life, for a few reasons. Like, I actually felt like I was being processed through a cheese grater to come to a decision. Y'all…He wasn't my "type." Like seriously. He's shorter than me, older than I preferred, didn't know me well, of a different tribe. You name it, I didn't want it. Having to pray about this took me to a place in my walk with the Lord where I had to seriously die to my flesh. This chapter of my life was called: "Girl, DIE"


For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another so that you do not do the things that you wish
— Galatians 5:17

The battle was real. To face the possibility that this brother was God's plan for my life was scary. But as Jesus said in the garden of Gethsemane, "not my will but yours be done." So for me to clearly hear what the Lord was saying, I had to remove my biases and make room for the Lord to have His way and speak to me. And guess what, the Lord made it crystal clear to go ahead with accepting his proposal. Like crystal-poppin-shiny-DUH clear. But if I kept my biases, I wouldn't have heard the Lord. Think of Jesus as described in Isaiah 53:2

For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,

And as a root out of dry ground.

He has no form or comeliness;

And when we see Him,

There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

When you look at Jesus with a carnal eye, there

When you look at Jesus with a carnal eye, there is nothing about Him that would ever draw us to Him. But guess what, He was (and still is) the plan of God for our lives. God's plan for us doesn't always look attractive or like what we expect. And so was future hubby to me.

Now, of course, it is different for everyone, but in EVERY Godly relationship, this is KEY: God has to be the originator of it. Psalm 127 says that "unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it." And guess what? It starts at your "yes." When the Lord makes His word and will clear, you will be able to stand strong in your relationship even in the difficult times. You may feel like giving up because he is plucking your nerves, or told you the jollof you made was soggy and needed more salt, but because the Lord spoke, you stand strong and suffer long. Build your house on the rock, so that when rain and wind comes, it won't all come crashing down.

But anyways, after I said yes, we started courtship officially. It's funny after I agreed, I went to my car like "WHAT DID I JUST DO?!" Now, the honest truth you don't hear every day, but I had no feelings for him. *GASP!* Yes, not a typo. No feelings. But because of God's word and confirmations to me, I trusted that the Lord would grow my love and affection for him. That was how I was comforted every day. God really made sure that my flesh was dead, He took full control. He wanted the glory, and He got it. I can proudly say I played no manipulating hand in my testimony. By God's grace, I grew more and more in love, in all purity, guided and strengthened by God's hand. Today I testify that I am in love with him, and even when it doesn't make sense to love him, I still love him.

Praise God for lovey-dovey mushy gushy. That is a major part of it, but the best and hardest part of godly courtship is going through the pruning process. BRUH. Like OUCH. It's like when we started courting, the Lord started to reveal everything wrong about me. I thought I was perfect. Everything that I CANNOT bring into marriage God started revealing and uprooting. Godly courtship changes you and plays a part of God's overall plan for your life. Here's a freebie: the proof that something in your life is godly is if it assists in transforming you into God's image. Does it edify you spiritually? Or does it cause you to sin and backslide? The blessing of God makes one rich and adds no sorrow (Prov 10:22). And that's what this courtship did and is doing. I didn't know I was rude, irritable, deceitful, a man-pleaser…oh did I mention rude? I‘m discovering that there is still work for the Lord to do, and God sent us into each other's lives to sharpen one another (though it feels like stabbing). Once you enter courtship, you'll see that it is not how you imagined it would be. But you'll love every second of it.

A word to my sisters: your "dream guy" that you think is your husband could be the opposite of God's plan for your life. He could be the cause of you stumbling and missing your salvation. I could have married a 7 footer, and that 7 footer could cause me to sin against the Lord. That 7 footer could marry me and then physically abuse me the next day. All in the name of satisfying my flesh. Or I could have married one guy from my village in Nigeria just to please my family and guarantee peaceful relations. Remember, God's will doesn't always look like how we want, but in the end is exactly what is best for you.  I beseech you, be praying about your husband seriously, and completely surrender to the Lord about it.


Delight yourself also in the Lord,
And He shall give you the desires of your heart.
— Psalm 37:4

Please don't misinterpret this scripture to mean that God will give me the man I desire. No! He is saying that as you delight yourself in Him, and you enjoy Him and His presence, as you abide in Him, He will create desires that don't come from your own flesh.

And Lord I pray, as you have done it for me, so do it for all of my sisters soon in Jesus name.

Love,

Lovergirl122616

Alpha Woman

This post is dedicated to all the extraordinary women of God that serve the body and love the church beyond ordinary human capabilities. And also to the men that are fortunate to do life with them. 


 

Are you saved? Are you dedicated to the house of the Lord? Are you single? 
Well, this post might be for you.

 

As you get older, you tend to go through this season where there is an increase of bridal shower, wedding and baby shower invites being sent to your house, that your parents believe they can open and read as well. But that, of course, proceeds after the season when couples announce to the single community that they are no longer affiliated with them and have joined the ranks of those walking towards marriage. It’s a very nice ceremony, sort of something out of Divergent.   

 

Just like Divergent, in the Kingdom, we have various types of personalities. According to Danny Silk, there are four types: Dominant, Steadfast, Conscientious, and Influencer. A better way to think of the first two is as — Alpha and Beta. Alphas are of course dominant, natural born leaders, who take initiative and are dedicated to whatever they are involved in.

 

By default, people would classify me as an Alpha, because of my personality. But deep down, I am really just a Beta with a loud mouth. 

 

In the summer of 2013, I was simply discussing the meaning of some scriptures with an aunt, when she abruptly looked at me with a deep stare. I was expecting her to ask me when did I become so knowledgeable about the bible. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Instead, she asked, "do you think you can be intimidating to men?"

 

Whoa! Was that even seasoned with salt? Instead of rebuking the thought and taking it captive, I did what any girl would do. I pondered on the thought. I mean I never thought of singleness like that. I assumed I was just being me; bold, dominant and an overachiever.  I asked Gabe, “am I intimidating to ‘men’?” He assured me that I wasn't to him, but I could be to others because I’m “confident when [I] speak.” 

 

Am I single because I am so ‘gong ho’ for the Lord like my other counterparts? Am I doing too much? Am I alone here? Nah, I’m not alone. I’m in the friendzone with other Alpha women. You probably think there is a lack of Alpha men. Or a lot of brothers probably overlooking you, and pursuing “newly saved, recently saved, barely saved or everything, but saved” women. 

 

Then, you start to feel like “Am I doing too much?” 

s t o p


Don’t let that thought take root. You may see ministry as a burden that’s hindering you from looking “appealing” to Brothers in Christ, but actually, you are right where you need to be.

 
When I look back at all the great women of God in the bible, I can't help to think that I’m right where God wants me to be.   

 

Eve | Esther | Rachel | Rebecca | Ruth


These women were all in ministry, going about their business, totally focused on the Lord when they caught the attention of Adam, King Xerxes, Jacob, Isaac, and Boaz. They were doing what they were called to do. Not avoiding ministry in hopes of marriage, but being empowered to be all that God had called them to be. 

An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit.
— 1st Corinthians 7:34

As single individuals, we are called to devote ourselves to the work of the Lord and seek His righteousness, trusting that He would reward us according to our diligent service. Even as married women, our pursuit for the Lord shouldn’t cease. 

 

Jesus replied, “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’
— Matthew 22:37

So surrender all your cares and worries to the Lord. He has every aspect of your life planned out. It’s literally mapped out in His hand. He will order your steps and He will make a path for you. Because at the end of the day, it’s not you, but God that leads you into a relationship. God is faithful to His servants. 

 

Don’t let the enemy feed you lies. And don’t feel insecure about your involvement in ministry. If you feel that it makes you less “attractive” to brothers in Christ, then realize you are avoiding men who need to deal with their insecurities before entering into a real relationship. 

 

So in the meanwhile, as you “wait,” please keep pursuing the Lord with all your heart. It may lead you to your partner or just help present you before him as you cross paths. 


 

I pray this blog post blesses you. As you continue to walk with the Lord, trust He will lead you in all aspects of your life, including marriage. In the meanwhile, check out "The Pursuit." 

- Olamide

It's A New Beginning

By the time you’re probably reading this, it’s likely well into the school year; you done wore all your crack outfits; you done met some poppin’ people and some not so poppin’ people; and you’ve also probably taken majors dubs in classes and started to fear some Ls.  All is well man. Hope is still for you! You’re still going to do great, (insert your name here)!

 

The start of a new school year is always very exciting for me. I don’t know what it is, I mean I’ve literally had a first day of school almost 20 years of my life (dang, that’s a lot of time in school), and this is the start of my fifth year of college—so, why am I still so excited?

I don’t know man. I really don’t know. I’m not too big on learning in a classroom environment, so I’m not necessarily eager to meet new teachers. What I am excited for might just be the ‘mystery of the new.’ It just smells like fresh air. Like, “oooooh it’s the first of the month...bone thugz lookin’ boy” type of stuff. I think it’s really the newness of life, the newness of hope, and the newness of adventure. People show up the first few days of the semester as fly as possible, well that is most freshmen who haven’t caught the revelation of the ‘sweatpants lifestyle.’ People like me, learn new words, delve in new slogans, and just come back juiced, refreshed and ready to run as hard as possible...that is until we hit that first bump.

That first bump, for me, has come anywhere from the first day, first quiz, first assignment, first test, or even simple class introductions. These were various variables that I’d have to face at another junction in the semester to conquer and advance, but at first sight, threw me all the way off. But one aspect that I’ve been able to constantly renew my mind with is:


“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, He is a new creation; old things have passed away, and look, all things are new!”

(2 Cor 5:17)


Literally, in those times that my mind and heart can flutter over this verse, I literally acknowledge this newness, believe it, and live it. A brother recently told me, “you make Christianity look so easy.” I almost slapped him for such a crazy statement. But in the moment I realized that I’m able to do this one thing really abnormally well: shut up, shut down and believe. Without delving too deep into it, I’ll just say, I go through quite a lot, and have my hand in so many different places, but through all that, when the pressure rises, I’m able to settle within myself, quiet my internal storm, and believe. And I honestly believe that’s the word for my life, for every moment—when the going gets tough, shut up, shut down and believe! It’s my translation of Psalm 46:10 and I believe it’s a word for someone reading.

Shut Up. Stop talking. Stop complaining to God, to people, to whatever. “You rapping, dawg.”

Shut Down. Take a second to pause and breathe, very big and deep breathes. Might require more than a second, I usually go days (I have an issue).

And Believe. Simply that: BELIEVE. Believe the words He’s spoken to you. Believe the prophecy you were given about your triumph. Believe in every single thing the Bible says about you (the good stuff more than the bad). And believe that “all things are new.”

Limitless

Written By Feyi Bab-Oke

 

And Jesus looking on them said, With men it is impossible, but not with God: for with God all things are possible.

Mark 10:27


If you are anything like me, you are getting ready to go back to school. And if you are anything like how I used to be, you are currently feeling stressed and anxiety is becoming your best friend. “USED TO BE??” Yes, you read that correctly, used to be, because the Lord has revealed to me a couple of tips that will ensure that you’re living free of stress and also fulfilling the incredible potential He has placed inside of you: the Limitless® Life (1). Now let’s get to the tips.


Footnotes:

1. WARNING this is only applicable if you are a born again, child of God. If not, please pause. Open up John 1:12, Romans 3:23-26, Romans 10:9-10, and 1 John 5:1-5. Pray and confess your sins to God asking Him to forgive your sins and change your mind about them. Now invite the Holy Spirit into your heart by faith and determine to live with Jesus as the Lord of your life.

BY RETURNING TO READ THE REST OF THIS ARTICLE, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU HAVE READ THESE TERMS AND EXPRESSLY AGREE AND CONSENT TO BE BOUND BY LOVE OF CHRIST. NO REFUNDS, EXCHANGES OR RETURNS ;)


Make your Requests Known

Don't worry about anything, but in everything, through prayer and petition with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.”

Philippians 4:6 (HCSB)


The first key to being stress-free and living out God’s purpose for your life is to prayerfully plan. In the place of prayer, we are able to communicate our desires to God and allow Him to properly guide us according to His desire and purposes. Proverbs 16:9 says “A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD determines his steps” The Lord isn’t able to direct your steps if you never plan on going anywhere. It is also important to make your plans and requests known to trusted, Holy-Spirit filled friends/advisors/mentors/pastors so that they can help to keep you accountable along the way, and also offer good counsel and prayer. No one is an island, even Jesus had the Father, Holy Spirit, and 12 disciples.


Plans fail when there is no counsel, but with many advisers they succeed.”

Proverbs 15:22 (HCSB)


Fix your Eyes upon Jesus

“Therefore, since we also have such a large cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us lay aside every weight and the sin that so easily ensnares us. Let us run with endurance the race that lies before us, keeping our eyes on Jesus, the source and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that lay before Him endured a cross and despised the shame and has sat down at the right hand of God's throne.

Hebrews 12:2 (HCSB)


Who was the most successful man who ever lived? Jesusduh (this IS UrbanDisciple.com). So what better example for us to follow, if we desire to be successful


and excellent. There are many things that can cause us to lose focus, and these things may not necessarily be “bad” in nature, but ultimately they are not beneficial. They will only bring unwanted and unnecessary problems into our lives in the long run, so cut them out. So how do I observe the life of Jesus to imitate it? Good question.


“The Word became flesh and took up residence among us. We observed His glory, the glory as the One and Only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.

John 1:14 (HCSB) 


This book of instruction must not depart from your mouth; you are to recite it day and night so that you may carefully observe everything written in it. For then you will prosper and succeed in whatever you do.

Joshua 1:8 (HCSB)

It is in the Word of God that we are able to understand His divine will for us and also to receive encouragement, comfort and peace when storms arise. Everything else is variable, the Word (Jesus) remains constant. Include it in your equation for success.


  1. Work Hard and Give Your Best Effort

“Idle hands make one poor, but diligent hands bring riches.”

Proverbs 10:4 (HCSB)


“Don't be deceived: God is not mocked. For whatever a man sows he will also reap” Galatians 6:7 (HCSB)


I speak from experience (good and bad) on this one. God has set up different laws in the universe that must always be honored. One such law is the law of sowing and reaping. As Paul makes it clear in Galatians, you only always reap what you sow. If you believe that God has given you dreams and a vision for the future, He didn’t just do it so they can remain that way. He desires for you to act upon them and give your best effort knowing that it is Him who determines every outcome at the end of the day. The type of person that God uses is the person of action.


For it is God who is working in you, enabling you both to desire and to work out His good purpose.”

Philippians 2:13 (HCSB)

  1. Trust in the Lord

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding; think about Him in all your ways, and He will guide you on the right paths.”

Proverbs 3:5-6 (HCSB)


I feel like this one goes without saying, but it is very important. You don’t know what lies ahead of you, and God may make it clear, but often He doesn’t because He wants us to develop our trust and reliance in Him. Why is it so important to God that we trust Him? Because trust is an evidence of love and is birthed out of relationship. And this is what God desires from us more than anything, He came all the way down to earth and became like us for this sole purpose.


This is the most IMPORTANT," Jesus answered: Listen, Israel! The Lord our God, the Lord is One, Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.”

Mark 12:29-30 (HCSB)


We need faith (trust) to relate with our unseen Father, and without we can never please God or receive anything from Him. Faith is born in our hearts by the Word of God and initiates action.


“Abraham never wavered in believing God's promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever he promises. And because of Abraham's faith, God counted him as righteous.

Romans 4:20-22

I pray that these tips have encouraged and enlightened you. I believe that these tips will not only help you have a successful school year (or work year), but more importantly they will help you to grow in your relationship with God and move you closer to becoming the person He has recreated you to be. Always remember, Jesus died and rose again so that With Him you can live a Limitless® Life. Remember, "With God, ALL things are possible"


Footnotes:

2. See point Number 2

3. See point Number 3

4. Once again, certain restrictions apply; refer to footnote 1


Feyi Bab-Oke loves Jesus. He also likes sports, sneakers, making people laugh, and good food. He is currently studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Georgia and serves as a leader in Bethel Campus Fellowship. He aspires to positively impact everyone he meets and give them the tools to go out and do the same. He is one of the creators of the Limitless® Life and believes that with God, ALL things are possible!


Let Go: The Innate Human Syndrome

I am sure we are all familiar with the story of Adam and Eve. Through the disobedience of Adam and Eve, sin was introduced into the world. Hence why everyone born after them, has the innate habit to sin. But indirectly, we also inherited this subconscious desire to play God. Most times when we play God, we are striving to “assist” Him with a promise He has spoken concerning our lives.

Eve had the desire to be like God. If she didn’t, hearing that the fruit could make her like God wouldn’t have enticed her to eat it.  


“No! You will not die,” the serpent said to the woman. “In fact, God knows that when you eat it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Then the woman saw that the tree was good for food and delightful to look at, and that it was desirable for obtaining wisdom. So she took some of its fruit and ate it; she also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it.

Genesis 3:4-6


Through her disobedience, we not only inherited the nature to sin, but we now have the innate desire to play God. Follow me as we travel down the family tree, scoping the oh so common trend.  

God promised Abram that he would be the father of a great nation. Cool! The only problem is Abram has no kids! Don’t worry! His wife (aka half sister) decided to play God and gave her maidservant to Abram. But there was a plot twist. The promise STILL WOULDN'T come through Ishmael. Ouch! When playing God backfires (Genesis 16 & 21). But since it’s an innate characteristic, they weren’t directly trying to play God.

Next up: we have Israel, the man formerly known as Jacob. The deceiver, not the jeweler. God told Rebekah that Jacob, although he was the younger twin, would rule over Esau. Cool! The only problem is Isaac had to bless his sons with their birthright. Have no fear! Mama Rebekah is here! She helped Jacob pretend to be Esau, so his near-death father could speak the firstborn blessings over him. We all know, we sow what we reap, so we weren’t surprised when Jacob got deceived and scammed by his uncle. Must run in the family (Genesis 27).  But since it’s a natural trait, they weren’t aware of the consequences of their actions.

Lastly, we have up to the block... YOU!

Have you been playing God lately? Have you taken it upon yourself to fulfill the desires God placed in your heart? Are you fully trusting God to keep His word?

If you find yourself playing God, before you act, ask yourself these questions:

1. Are these faith-based actions or actions done from a place of worry?

Before you act, test the motivation behind the actions. Acting from a place of worry just personifies your lack of trust in God and/or your lack of awareness of God’s plans for you. It’s okay to not always know ALL of God’s plans, but it's not beneficial for you to continue this journey without faith in the One who guides you. It can only lead to further setbacks and detours.   

“There is a path before each person that seems right, but it ends in death”

Proverbs 14:12 NLT


2. Will it align you with God’s plans for your life?

Our actions can either move us closer to God’s plan for our life or derail us. And to some extent, keep us in the place of complacency. Before you act, make sure this is the will of the Lord and it will align you with His plans for you, not your plan.

“We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”

Proverbs 16:9 NLT


3.  Do you trust God or is your faith wavering?

We should really examine the state of our hearts before we act. Because out of our hearts, flow the issues of life.

Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.

Hebrews 10:23 NLT


We must examine our hearts in order to ensure that we are producing Christlike actions. Before we act, we must see if we are acting in accordance with God’s will for our lives or looking for another way to fulfill His promises to us through carnal deeds. Unlike Eve, we trust God would order our steps to ensure the manifestation of His promise. He orders the steps of the righteous and as long as we remain righteous in His eyes, the path is paved for us to strut down.