Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Week 4 –Weeping May Endure For A Night, But Joy Comes In The Morning


Bula (Hello) my brothers and sisters :) What have you all been up to? I heard about the bombing in Boston and the earthquake in China. I was sooo shocked! All of us in the base came together and prayed for the lives affected. God is in control, we are living in the last days and Jesus can come back at any time. I want to urge you to give your lives to God if you haven’t already done so and if you have I want to challenge you to go deeper with God. Psalm 91:1 GNT says “whoever go to the LORD for safety, will remain under the protection of the Almighty”

For me, every week begins with the students and staff fasting. We come together at 5am and pray and worship Jehovah. This Monday however, I felt sooooo tired! Many things have happened this week and I have not felt like myself at all!

Pressed Down!

I have been feeling low and discouraged. The language barrier hasn’t helped my mood either especially when everyone around me is speaking in Fijian during meal times and in the dormitories. And to be honest with you all, me reminding everyone to speak in English has been getting repetitive, so I end up going off by myself. One morning, I turned to my only source of hope, my Bible. When I opened my Bible it opened on Nehemiah 8:10. I was like wow, God You are real and so faithful! I felt so encouraged and uplifted. This has been happening to me a lot. I open my Bible and it opens to a scripture that speaks to me! God speaks people He speaks!

The language barrier is such a big challenge for me. With everyone speaking in the language, I feel so alone at times. I know I’m not alone because God is with me always but my lack of companionship with others is really getting to me. Sometimes I just want to call my close friends and family back home in London but the 11 hours time difference hinders me.

Testing Times!

Another challenge I have been facing this week is learning to say no to people. I have noticed there are a lot of differences between Fiji and England. England is a individualist society; people are very independent. Whereas Fiji is a collectivist society-people tend to do things in groups. Here in Fiji everyone always borrows things from one another sometimes without asking because that is the culture here. Some of the students I am not close with have been continually asking for a lot of my things and I feel like if I say no then I’m bad person especially as I’m an international student. It’s getting annoying and frustrating for me. I feel like people are more interested in what I have than in me! God has been teaching me to have courage and speak out. If I don’t, I’m living under bondage because I’m fearing man. He has also been reminding me however that everything I have comes from Him (Deuteronomy 10:14) so I have no right to be selfish and keep things to myself. Balance and boundaries are what I need to put in place.

Joy Comes In The Morning!

In spite of the issues I have been facing this week, the lectures have been a ray of sunshine for me. This week’s topic has been ‘Hearing God’s Voice’. It’s been a breakthrough week for me. It has helped explain why my walk with God becomes so stagnant at times. The word stagnant means; no activity, no flow, sluggish, dull. I’m so quick to speak to God and tell Him things He already knows but slow to listen. If we don’t take the time to listen to God, our relationship with God won’t blossom. He is your navigator, everyday of your life was written before you were born (Psalm 139:16). Do you see now why it’s so important we take the time to listen to His voice?

This week the speaker Siria gave us an exercise to do during the lecture. We had to leave the lecture room, go outside and ask God to speak to us through His creation and then come back and share it with everyone.  I prayed to God and was led to a tree and on the tree contained flowers. God spoke. My eyes were drawn to the leaves, as you notice on the tree there are more leaves than flowers on the tree. The tree represents the rest of the world. God gave me the revelation and told me that I’m set apart for His plan and purpose. I don’t need to focus on what’s going on around me with regards to me being the only international student.  The flower looked beautiful, it was full of life and God said that it represents me! God see’s me as the apple of His eye and feels the same way about you. I was in awe of God. It felt like God was my husband, speaking sweet words and melodies to my ears hehe. I want to persuade you all to try this exercise, God will surprise you!
 
What else has been happening? Oh yes I have found an ENGLISH speaking church praise God!!! The praise and worship reminds me of my church back in London The sermon on point too, the pastor spoke about how being a Christian=Suffering.

That’s all for this week folks. Thank you for taking the time to read my blog. You are always in my prayer.


My email address is: josieagyeman@gmail.com, I would love to hear from you. 

Much love,
Miss Josie Jo
Xxx

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Nature & Character of God


This week a Fijian speaker called Tanbaleto came and preached on the nature and character of God. One of first day, he felt led to speak about forgiveness. He said that forgiveness shouldn’t be an issue for us because it isn’t an issue for God. If God can forgive then so can we. If we don’t forgive others then it will hinder our spiritual walk. As human beings we will hurt one another because at the end of the day we were born sinners (Romans 3:23) it’s in our nature. He rounded off by saying whether we need to call, text, email or send a letter to the people we forgive that’s what we should do and close the chapter once and for all. And if God has laid it on our hearts to seek forgiveness from others. we should do so also.  Brace yourselves, below is what I have been learning this past week. 

DESIRING GOD

Did you know that there is a connection between loving God and knowing God? Because if we don’t know God, we can’t love Him. The greatest commandment is that we love God with all our heart, soul and mind (Matthew 22:37). The foundation of our Christian walk is for us to know God first. Sadly many Christians love for God turns cold partly because their desire to know Him ceases.

In Matthew 5:3 Jesus said blessed are the poor in Spirit for there’s the kingdom of God.  What does this mean you wonder?  Well, the poor in Spirit are those who acknowledge they are spiritually poor and weak, they are desperate to know more and more of God and are never satisfied. And in verse 6 the scriptures say blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be filled. My question to you is how thirsty are you for God? What is satisfying you? If we are not hungry and thirsty for Him, then He will not fill us. Our hearts desire should be set on knowing God and this is not a one-time encounter at the moment you give your life to Christ but from that point until we meet with Him in heaven. King David had everything, he had the money, fame, status, women you name it yet his soul was thirsty for God.  Earthly things meant nothing to him. He even asked where he could go and worship in God’s presence, how amazing is that?!

NATURE OF GOD

The next topic we studied was the nature of God. As humans we can never be like God in nature but we can become like Him in character. God is a triune God, the Father (John 6:27), Son (John 1:1) & Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 3:16) are all God and were all present before the foundations of the earth (Genesis 1:26).

When we pray Jesus says we are to pray to the Father. Too often many Christians and churches focus on the Father and Son yet neglect the Holy Spirit. They fail to realise that the Holy Spirit is just as important and is a person that we can fellowship with. Have you asked the Holy Spirit to come into your life, because we can’t be Christians yet have nothing to do with the Holy Spirit. It is He who gives us the power to deal with things we struggle with. He is our helper and will guide us in all truth. Before things happen the Holy Spirit will reveal what is yet to come (John 8:13). The revelation of who God is is revealed through the Holy Spirit.

God is eternal and was uncreated- He has no beginning and no end (Deuteronomy 33:27). Every other false god was created by man but God was not created and nowhere in the Bible does it say when God was created!

God is omniscient- He is an all-knowing God. He knows absolutely everything about you. Psalm 139 declares that He knows everything about you, He knows your thoughts even before you think it. He knows all the answers to every situation and every problem. He is the best economist, doctor, you name it, He knows all!

God is omnipotent-He has unlimited power. Psalm 115:3 declares that God is in the heavens and He does whatever He pleases.  God is more powerful than satan, He can’t be compared to satan because satan was created but God wasn’t ( mind blowing isn’t it?!)

God is omnipresent- He is always present, He is not confined to just a church building. There is no place we can go to escape His presence (Psalm 139:7-10)

God is infinite- God is not limited by time or space (Isaiah 40:12-30)

God is immutable-He is unchanging (Malachi 3:6) , He will always be caring, merciful, loving etc.

God is a spiritual being- John 4:24 says that God is a Spirit and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth. Jesus is also a spiritual being. After He resurrected, He went and visited the disciples. The door was locked yet Jesus was able to walk through the door!

God is a personal-He is all powerful, personal God and a spiritual being. We can call on Him at any time and He will be with us (Revelation 3:20)

CHARACTER OF GOD

He is our Father-1 John 5:1 states that whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God.  We must live in the reality that we have not received the spirit og bondage again to fear but have received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry “Abba! Father!” (Romans 8:15)

God is love- His loving kindness endures forever (Psalm 107:1). You can’t do anything for God to love you more or less. You are loved by God FULL STOP! He will only give you the best when the time is right, He knows what will destroy you. Take a moment to thank God for many unanswered prayers.  The same love the Father has for Jesus, Jesus has given to each and every one of us ( John 15:9).

Definition of love- giving/thinking/doing/believing the highest good for the other person. The best gift we can give to someone else is the Gospel. Share Jesus with those around you, He is the highest gift. Because at the end of the day we all need Jesus in our lives.

LORDSHIP OF CHRIST, THE COST OF BEING A DISCIPLE

This is the topic area that challenged me the most!!!Like damnnn, this challenged my thoughts and ideas and cause me to reflect and make some decisions. At the end of the lecture, the speaker said we must make a decision as to whether or not we really want to follow Christ.

When Jesus shows up, every tongue will confess that Jesus is Lord, this is regardless of whether you are atheist, agnostic, Muslim, Hindu, Sikh, Jew you name it. Jesus is already Lord, we make the decision as to whether we want to bring ourselves under the Lordship of Christ. Jesus didn’t just come to take away our sins, He came to be Lord of all.

If anyone wants to follow Christ they must take up their cross, deny themselves and follow Him (Mark 8:34-37). Us living our lives for God means there’s no plan b. God is looking for disciples, personal follower of Christ. However in this day and age many churches are full of Christians not disciples.  I was doing some research and found that the word disciple is mentioned 259 times in the Bible but the word Christian is in the Bible only 3. That’s says a lot doesn’t it?! God is looking for disciples and not for people who profess with their mouth that they are Christians

How many of us are willing to give up our career, family, job, home and follow Jesus? Being a disciple means loving Jesus more than everything and everyone else. God has given us the free will to choose. What do you follow and obey? If you want to save your life, you will lose it.

Making Jesus Lord of our lives means;

We lose the right to have a house “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.” (Matthew 19:21)

We lose the right to having own way of doing things and our preferences-Are we ready to deny ourselves? Genesis 12 tells the story of Abraham, the first missionary. He was told to leave his family, people, culture and go to a land that God would show him. 

We lose the right to having a reputation. We lose the right to marriage-This was a challenging one for me, I think I made some sound effects when the speaker mentioned this lol. Making Jesus Lord means we don't have a right to have sex, kiss or even marry. We belong to God and He comes first. Marriage is a gift from God and it's God's plan for you to get married then He shall bring it to pass. Marriage shouldn't be our main focus in life, Christ should be. 

We lose the right to protection-In Acts 7:55-56 Stephen was stoned. When we give our life to Christ, we will face persecution for preaching the Gospel. The question is, will you continue to preach the Gospel even if it could cost you your life? 

Week 3-Season of Pruning


Why hello there beautiful people, it's me again lol :) 


Lectures have officially begun this week and boy was I excited for what God had in store. On Mondays and Fridays we have worship sessions, Tuesdays and Thursdays we have intersession and on Wednesdays we have Bible study. This takes place in the mornings between 8:30am & 9:15am. Worship on Monday was in Fijian and I struggled again and found it hard to enter into the presence of God. After the session I spoke to one of the base leaders Vika and shared my issue with her. I expressed that I feel as though I have sacrificed so much more than everyone else with regards to me travelling to the other side of the world yet am not getting much out of the sessions. 

Vika explained to me that God can still minister to me even in the midst of others worshipping in another language especially as this everyone else's mother tongue. After all worship is between me and God right?. I get so frustrated when everyone else is speaking in another language and there I am staring into space. Whenever I feel disheartened and annoyed I’m learning more and more to take my issues to my Father rather than taking my frustrations out on people. One of the things I have been reflecting on this week is why God brought me all the way to the ends of the earth. He could have taken me to an English speaking country but He didn’t. There must be a reason and purpose for Him bringing me to Fiji. In time I know it will all make sense. He must be preparing me for things that are yet to come!  

After my conversation with Vika, I took some time out to reflect. I opened my Bible and bam right in front of me was notes on being flexible. God speaks people, there is no such thing as a coincidence! (God has been grabbing my attention a lot through me opening my Bible to scriptures that are about situations I am currently going through). Whilst reading the notes, it mentioned that the flexible are those who yield themselves to the Lord and serve Him, they submit to God's will even when it goes against what they personally desire to do (Matthew 26:42). The opposite of flexibility in scripture is to have a "hard heart" and "stiff neck". God was speaking to me about how there are seasons He places us in new environments in order for Him to transform us and for us to depend on Him more. He will place us in situations where our character is tested and challenged. He wants to purify us so we can become gold (Micah 3:2)

Heart Surgery!

This week I have also been meditating on John 15 which is about The True Vine. Jesus is the vine and we are the branches. A tree that doesn’t bear good fruit needs to be cut off and removed. The same way there are good fruits such as patience, lovingkindness, self control and gentleness, there are also bad fruits such as bitterness, anger, malice, stubbornness, pride, uncleanness etc (Galatians 5:16-22). God wants to remove the bad fruits and works of the flesh in our lives hence the process of pruning. 

I have realized I have a lot of things to work through, issues from my past and un-forgiveness has definitely been a big issue for me. I have found it hard to completely let go and forgive others and this week I came to realize the importance of forgiveness. It is fundamental in our spiritual life. If I fail to forgive others my relationship with God will become stagnant and this has been the case in the past. It’s time I lay it to rest and move on. I want to encourage you all to forgive those who have hurt you otherwise you become bonded to that person. Why allow that person to have power over you any longer? Also us failing to forgive others means the person continues to live with the burden, set them free and allow them to have peace. Let go and Let God deal with the person in HIS time.

Everything Has Changed! 
This week I have found myself drawing closer and closer to God. I have found myself falling more in love with God everything, I feel like a different person.  Before I came here, my plans where to come here for 6 months and then leave and go back to London and progress in my career, get married have kids and also have my ministry. But since this week’s lectures EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED! Like I have realized that apart of me was trying to find satisfaction and fulfilment to those things. It's like God was another part of my life and not the main part.

I was making plans and expected Him to bless them rather than asking Him what He wanted me to do next.  Now I'm not saying I don’t want to get married or have a career because I do (having said that at the moment I feel like I’m called to live a single life but I’ll save that for another time lol). At the moment apart of me feels like God is calling me to be a full time missionary. I know in time He will reveal all. Getting married and having kids comes second. God first. He is enough for me. I am satisfied with God alone and didn’t think it was possible for me to feel this way.

This week an ex-YWAMer came and was sharing her experiences about her life and relationship with God. She is 27 and was saying she is so content with God and was even quoting scriptures from Songs of Solomon about God’s love for her and her love for Him. The relationship between her and God is one like the a bride and a bridegroom. I was thinking wow as amazing as this sounds I questioned whether it was really possible for anything to truly experience that.  I spoke to God and told Him that I too want to experience what she has. I want Him to become my Husband (Isaiah 54:4). He has answered my prayers!

Jesus Take The Wheel

As I have been evaluating my life this week I have come to realize that Jesus hasn't been lord of all in my life. It's like I have been trying to control what happens in my life. My close friends know that I can be an very controlling person at times, I have my diary at hand and like to have structure and a schedule of everything.

Now however I’m truly learning to let go and allow Christ to have complete control of my life. So now if you were to ask me what my plans are after I finish outreach and graduate from this school, my response is I don’t know what’s next, I’m waiting for God to reveal my next step. Making Jesus Lord of all means we wait on Him to tell us what to do next and where to go especially when making big decisions. Proverbs 3:6 says in ALL of your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.

I’m also learning to live by faith on another level, it’s challenging yet exciting at the same time. I have gone from working full time 9-5:30 to becoming a missionary. Like things like perfume are a luxury lol. But in spite of it all I know that my heavenly father the creator of all things knows what’s best for me and His plans for my life are not to harm me but to prosper me and to give me hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). His plans for my life are greater and better than my plans for myself so I surrender to You Lord and let You take control. My life is not my own, Jesus take the wheel, I'll seat in the passengers seat and enjoy the journey hehe.

To conclude, this week has been a life-changing week for me. The revelations I have been getting from God this week have been mind blowing. Like wow! Thank You Jesus and thank you all for reading. 


My email address is: josieagyeman@gmail.com, I would love to hear from you. 

Loads of love,
Miss Josie Jo 
Xxx