ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 48

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Inside The Caucus

Joshua 3

Joshua 23:2 – Inside The Caucus

In most translations of the bible at my disposal, it is rendered similar to the King James Version as follows:

And Joshua called for all Israel, and for their elders, and for their heads, and for their judges, and for their officers…

The first “and” is italicized which means it was not in the original text translated from. Removing it changes the implication of the list of people called by Joshua from every single Israelite to a select group of people responsible for the nation as indicated in the following rendering:

One day he called a meeting of the leaders of the tribes of Israel, including the old men, the judges, and the officials. (Contemporary English Version)

Well, translation or no, it does not seem practicable to me that a single man would be able to raise his voice in speech loud enough for an estimated three million persons to hear what he said directly. They would have had to receive the information from those close to him at the time he gave his speech.

People complain all the time about not being carried along when they are part of a group. Most of the time, the main reason for the complaint is not that the information did not reach them eventually but rather it is because they are not part of the select group that seem closest to the top.

Of course being a good leader means carrying everyone along but many of us get caught in the deceptive web that we can deal with an entire group directly just to avoid the complaining horde. I submit that we should get used to the fact that there would always be those who feel left out and playing to the gallery may not always be practicable or possible or even sensible. Have you ever tried to make a decision by deliberation with your entire team? How well did that go?

Surround yourself with men and women who are as committed to the team and to the vision as you are and work with them to lead the rest of the team. I think this is the model exemplified in the bible and all successful men throughout history.

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ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC …PT 47

Lessons from the book of Joshua

After hours

Joshua 3

Joshua 23:1 … After hours

Joshua 23:1  And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age.

Apart from the physical component of ageing which involves weaknesses of various forms in the body, it would appear that with the men of old, it also involved a mental and spiritual component.

Joshua did not “wax old” nor was he “besieged” by age until after the Lord and settled Israel both within and without.

It was written concerning Moses that, although he was a man advanced in age, he was not showing the typical signs of old age but immediately God declared his task accomplished, Moses died; he died, not of old age, but from completion of task. The same was written concerning David that it was after he had served God and his generation that he died. Although the Apostle Paul was incarcerated, he still chose to stay alive because of what needed to be done. Even Jesus did not “give up the ghost” until He said He was finished with the task at hand.

Apart from the obvious gradual but steady decline in creation as a whole with concomitant reduction in the life span of mankind, I think we tend to grow old too early these days.

Just as is typical for us, we always end up losing sight of why things are and then abuse them by attributing to them what was not part of their initial reason for being. Time, and its passing, was given to monitor and record things and signal when certain things are to be expected but it was not meant to determine what is to be. That is our own job.

Psalm 90:12  So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Genesis 1:14  And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years:

But in our practicality, we have concluded that people lose physical strength at a certain age and die at a certain age and so as we approach those ages, we tend to “give up the ghost” even before we are done with what we were born to do. Instead of our age being an indicator of how much time we have spent, we have allowed it become the determinant of how much time we have left and how much strength we should have.

You are not old until you have finished your life’s assignment and you shouldn’t die until God is through with you.

Deuteronomy 34:1-7, Acts 13:36, Philippians 1: 21-26

The lady: Her home, her career and her call … 2

by Dr Linda Oyanna

The lady: Her home, her career and her call.
Continued from part 1

THE LADY.

This refers to you … you the individual. 

As I said earlier, you are the one who is expressed in these various roles. If you neglect YOU, you will chase after these various roles, you will get some, lose some and lose the lady in the process.

Your focus should be entirely on the lady. Interestingly, there can’t be a lady without her Lord. You can’t ignore God and express your full potential. In him is your life, strength, wisdom, power, purpose, ability, beauty and our irresistibility.

Col 1:17 And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.

Amplified bible says in Him,all things are held together. Another translation says in Him,all things take their proper place.

Without Christ, everything becomes chaotic, out of place, out of sync. It is only in him you can hold things together. 

Seek God first and everything will be added to you. When you get your priorities right, all these things you are striving to get will be supplied to you on a platter of gold. 

If you want to see the virtuous woman in you expressed, spend time in God’s beauty parlour and let him prune you and mould you like a potter does with clay. Let him refine you like gold. Allow him prune those branches of virtue he has placed in you so you can bear much fruit in these areas.

Jn 15:4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 

Jn 15:5 I am the vine, ye [are] the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.

Let him cut off those dead branches of bad attitude, helplessness, hopelessness,  anger, unhappiness, unforgiveness, frustration, laziness,pride and any other thing that will truncate your glorious destiny.

Fruit can be likened to results. If you are connected to Jesus,you will definitely get the desirable results but outside him, you can do nothing.

Some of us have been battling with bad habits and undignifying secrets for years but Jesus is inviting you today to his beauty salon so he can remove those burdens. 

Mt 11:28 Come unto me, all [ye] that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you REST.

Mt 11:29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. Mt 11:30 

For my yoke [is] easy, and my burden is light.

Jesus is the word of God and the word washes.  He will wash you clean and prepare you for your glorious destiny. He will give your troubled soul rest.

By the time he is done with you,you will be irresistible.

After He finished with Eve and presented her to Adam, she was so irresistible that Adam became a poet. He had never seen such a remarkable and irresistible being. 

Gen 2:22 And the rib, which the Lord God had taken from man, made he a woman, and brought her unto the man.

Gen 2:23 And Adam said, This [is] now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.

My sisters,do you want to be irresistible? Then let God make you.

Esther was a slave but she became irresistible to one of the most powerful men of her time and was seen as fit to replace the erring Queen. She was groomed in God’s beauty parlour. Her Uncle said there was a possibility that God had PREPARED her for that time which was the truth because God preserved the Jews through her.

Esth 4:14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, [then] shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for [such] a time as this?

Let God prepare you and bring out that virtue in you.

There are  some bad habits you have that you may not know that you have or some things you do that are harmful to you that you have no idea of.  God will show you when you submit to him and help you deal with it.

Watch out for part 3

____________________________________________

Dr Linda Oyanna is a public speaker on health, relationship marriage and family. She is a mother figure, mentor and role model for several young ladies who desire the balance she has been able to achieve among her many roles. 

The lady: Her home, her career and her call … 1

by Dr Linda Oyanna

The lady: Her home, her career and her call.

As a woman, a lot is usually expected from you by your family and the society at large and most times,we crumble under the weight of these expectations. We are expected to be prim and perfect women, perfect home makers, on top of our careers and excelling in ministry so we end up with a lot in our to do list, leaving us wishing we were Superwomen.

     We get to church and we hear about Proverbs  31 woman, another epitome of perfection as it seems, and we get frustrated. 

So, what is the way out?

   The biggest mistake you will make is to view all these areas you are to function in as different entities and try to pursue them as such. The Lady is a woman, a being that expresses herself in these various roles. If these roles are separated, you suddenly feel inadequate and depressed because it is humanly impossible to chase several things at the same time and catch all, giving rise to a woman who is excelling in some areas but suffering terribly in others.

Proverbs 31:10-31

 Many ladies complain that the demands on  the Provs 31 woman is unrealistic because they tried to be her and failed. God told me many years ago to stop trying to be the virtuous woman  because I was ALREADY her.

 He has put in me everything to be her. All I needed to do was to expose myself  to the right environment and information. 

2Pet 1:3 According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that [pertain] unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and VIRTUE.

Do you know that the heart of a woman is generally bigger than that of a man? Why? Cos a time will come when her heart will pump blood to more than one body when she gets pregnant. God has prepared your body to function as a woman physically not to talk of preparing you spiritually. 

What I need is His grace (empowerment) to express the virtue already deposited in me by Him. We tend to struggle when we try to be like someone else or we try to be who we already are. Stop trying and rely on God cos you can’t succeed by your own strength. 

There is the grace to be a woman who is a wife, a mother, a minister and a career woman. The grace makes all these work together in a synchronized way like threads used to weave a beautiful tapestry.

Heb 4:15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as [we are, yet] without sin.

 Heb 4:16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Jesus had a lot of expectations of him too including being a sacrificial lamb and he handled it well so he can be  of great help to you in this time of your need. So go to him and ask him .

1Jn 5:14 And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

1Jn 5:15 And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him.

Watch out for Part 2

___________________________________________

Dr Linda Oyanna is a public speaker on health, relationship marriage and family. She is a mother figure, mentor and role model for several young ladies who desire the balance she has been able to achieve among her many roles.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC …PT 46

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Witness

Joshua 3

Joshua 22:16-34 … Witness

The one side of the nation of Israel were trying to prevent a repetition of the rebellion of their fathers against The Lord God by going to war against their brothers only to find that their brothers were trying to accomplish the same goals as they were which was to ensure that they and their children after them never disconnected from the Lord God. One side was walking with the benefit of hindsight and the other was walking with the benefit of foresight.

I think the accused tribes realized that when left alone, people don’t get better but rather get worse. They realized that blood relations would eventually be reduced to political relations which would break down with time and they didn’t want to leave their relationship with God at the mercy of political good will from a group of people with whom they shared a common past as well as a common river that could easily be converted to a political boundary.

I think it is important to learn from history and make adjustments accordingly as we move forward. Past events didn’t just occur sporadically; rather, they were products of the choices of people and, as we know, people act based on certain tendencies. And although the individuals involved may later regret their actions and repent, the fact remains that the human tendencies don’t go away and so history is bound to repeat itself.

I think it is equally important to look at the future we desire as individuals, as a nation or as any body of people and try to see what possible difficulties we might have getting to our destination and take or prepare measures in advance to prevent and/or resolve such problems.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC …PT 45

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Double Checking

Joshua 3

Joshua 22: 13-14 – Double Checking

… to go to war … they spoke with them …

These guys were already set for war; they had gathered the troops and collected weapons, all they needed were the orders to march and they would go over and mow down the target. But for some reason, they chose to open the communications channel and try to dialogue. Thankfully, they were able to discover that there was no need to attack their own people; what they initially thought was treasonous turned out to be a covenant aimed at binding the two settlements of the one nation together.

Many times, we find ourselves at odds with other people and we declare war and launch our attack but make the mistake of not verifying that what we have been told was said and done with malicious intent against us is actually fact and not some misrepresentation based on the reporter’s misunderstanding of what he saw and heard.

Many times, when a person lays a complaint, it’s usually with so much passion that one could get swept away believing as fact what the complainant has presented. Hearing one side of the story should never be enough to draw a conclusion and pass judgment even if this one side is coming from someone you trust.

Proverbs 18:17 The first speech in a court case is always convincing- until the cross-examination starts! (MESSAGE)

 

I have found that if we take out time to find out “the what and the why” from the other person’s point of view, things can, more often than not, be resolved amicably and a stronger bond of understanding and trust can be forged.

How do I hear God clearly?

Someone asked me this question recently and he was only one of several who have asked me in person and they are merely a tiny fraction of the number of saints worldwide across all times who have been asking this very same question but not so many have found workable answers.

I have something for you and trust it would be of tremendous help to you.

First of all, let’s capture some basics.

1. God speaks.

God speaks to us all. This is one thing that distinguishes our God from other false deities around us. In fact, you can know that he spoke to someone because he can tell you as well.

2. God’s children do not have hearing problems

If you’re a child of God, you hear God. I didn’t say you can you God, I said you hear God. Many times you were about to make a decision and you had a thought and you changed your mind and things worked out, that was God. When narrating the episode to people, we use expressions like “my spirit told me” or worse, ” something told me”.

As long as we don’t consciously acknowledge that it t was the Holy Spirit who was guiding us, we will keep short changing ourselves in this regard not because He will get offended and hold back but because we will never consider him a valid resource person we can always turn to when were in a tight spot.

3. This is more than God speaking, it is a relationship

The implication is that if you do not put to use what you do hear from God, you will not ever get to build your confidence in the concept that you can hear from God. Christianity is a walk and one testimony builds on the last. If you haven’t listened or heard God on other non-critical matters, you will naturally panic when it comes to hearing him on the matter of choosing a spouse knowing how much risk is involved. We are on a journey of faith and panic won’t let us hear God.

Now, many Christians, knowing that the devil also speaks get scared that they might hear from the devil when they ask God to speak. As valid as we feel that concern is, it is actually baseless … or perhaps based on ignorance or fear. 

If you ask God for something by faith, the devil cannot respond, God is the one who will respond that’s how the spirit world works. People think that when they ask and God is bringing an answer, the devil will rush and give a misleading word. This assumes that Satan is faster than God. Well, Satan is fast but God made Him so He can’t be faster. Besides, God is omnipresent, Satan is not. God doesn’t need to even move to get to you. 

And you know what, He lives in you so communication between the two of you is not on telecom but intercom. Have you ever heard someone say they couldn’t communicate with a colleague via the intercom because network was down? It doesn’t happen.

There is a very real story of Angel Gabriel being waylaid by the prince of Persia for 21 days until Michael went and freed him. Christians remind themselves of this story and worry forgetting that in Daniel’s days, God did not dwell in man but by faith in Jesus, God moved house when you got saved, and you are his temple. So, nothing really can stand between you and God talking to each other. 

All this is fine and dandy but how do I now hear God? I never consciously heard him before how do I start? 

Here, I’ll tell you my story. 

I was in fellowship and Pastor George Woodbridge, who was obviously one kain spiro like that, was talking about what I can’t remember but every few minutes he would say, “be sensitive to The Spirit and ….” or “with a high sensitivity to The Spirit, you’ll get …” and along the way he said, “increase your sensitivity to the spirit” but he never said how. So after the service, I walked up to him and asked, “How do I increase my sensitivity to the Spirit?” His answer was, “Study the word” and he walked away. If you’re thinking along, you like me were expecting more but, guys, that’s all I got. 

At first, I was disappointed that he didn’t give me more but then, I thought “maybe that is all” so I went back to my hostel and started to study. I started with the notes I took from service and went through all of the scriptures quoted. I made this my routine. I noticed after some time that as I studied those notes, I was making new notes, writing down things that “came” to me that were not said in the service. And after a while, I got used to it, I always expected it to happen and it never failed. 

Then one day, a though occurred to me that was not tied to the noted I took or the scriptures in them. The thought was this, “When you’re studying and things seem to be jumping out at you, it’s because I am there with you, as though standing over your shoulder pointing them out to you”. 

It was a first person comment to me. It was a thought but it claimed an identity of its own and I understood that the Spirit of God had spoken to me. I even did a painting in my drawing pad back then capturing that idea.

And friends, that is how my journey with God took off. All those times I was studying and getting new stuff, it wasn’t because I was so smart, it was because the author of the scriptures was giving me tutorials in His work first hand.

See the word says, every good gift comes from God so I concluded that if anything good was happening in me, it’s not me but the treasure of heaven inside me. So each time I got a good idea, I’d say thank you to the one who gave me the idea, not because I was being spiritual but because I was being real giving credit where it was due. That way, I kept Him front and centre of everything I did.

The more I spent studying, the more time we had together, the more He spoke and the more I heard his voice and gradually got used to how He “feels” and sounds in my spirit. Then in the place of prayer, He would tell me stuff about my siblings at home and I would pray and some days later, I’d get a message that something did happen about that time but God intervened.

From then on, since I’d become used to having Him around, I could talk to Him about anything at anytime I wanted and He always … always … always talks back. So, choosing a spouse was just one of those things two good friends talked about between me and Him. Two good friends …  just that one is all knowing and all wise and the other is a mere jar of clay that knows nothing really but together, we come off as one good team and I look good.

This story began in 1995 and till today, I have never heard the voice of God in my external ears and I really don’t need to. But those who know me can attest that they see signs that I am a man led by God and full of the wisdom of God. Am I boasting? Well, maybe I am but I am merely boasting in the friend that I have had all these years who walks and talks with me every time every where.

If you want to be led by God, pray in the spirit, study the word and you’re good to go. But practically speaking, start by asking small innocuous questions that have no risk attached so that fear will not build. For example, “what shirt should I wear today, what should I have for lunch, should I even have lunch?” Use what He tells you and the testimonies will build your confidence. From there, grow on up and don’t be afraid to say, “God told me”.