Understanding Anxiety : Fear God, Not Man

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My brothers and sisters,

Fear is also one of those things that if left unchecked, will cause one to lead a life of mediocrity.  Fear can be beaten if we know how. These are some of the notes I’ve taken from reading a book listed below, and I encourage all to read it for themselves.

ANXIETY: POSITIVE AND NEGATIVE

There are two types of anxiety; positive and negative. A positive anxiety pushes one to be responsible (eg. repaying a mortgage on time) and a negative one leads to unnecessary worry, which leads to psychological stress. It is also said that the common mental health disorder is anxiety. However, scripture makes it clear that we are not to be anxious.

THE TWO ELEMENTS OF FEAR

The source of fear (the fear object) will have two elements; presence and power. Both will need to be present in order to give strength to the fear, invoking a negative reaction. Over time, if the fear object is reinforced over time, this can lead one down to overthinking, faulty thinking, predictive thinking, day-dreaming resulting into a self-limiting, self-defeating lifestyle driven by fear or worse, cause one to withdraw into the realm of fantasy. What affects the mind, will ultimately affect the body.

THE SNAKE ANALOGY

If you were in your bedroom and were told that the most poisonous snake in the world was in the same room as you. One would understandably feel fearful. Both fear elements of presence (in the same room) and power (most poisonous) are present.

Let’s suggest that the same poisonous snake is not in your bedroom, but was locked in a cage in Australia. Though snake is still potent, its presence is far removed. There is no impending danger in proximity, and one can sigh in relief.

Imagine the same scenario but the snake is not poisonous. If you are afraid of snakes, one would still feel in danger. If not, then the snake can be quickly disposed of. Though its presence is noted, the snake is without power. The position would be the same if you discovered that the snake was actually dead.

To beat fear, either the power and/or the presence must be identified and removed or put in the correct context.

SCARED OF SATAN?

It is important to understand that as we are on this earth, so is Satan.

The bad news is until he is thrown in the lake of fire set aside for him and his angels (see Matt 25:41)  he will use his worldly powers to distract Christians into his submission.

The good news is that he has already been defeated and it is only a matter of time until this is done. For us, we need to know this truth in order to walk victoriously in our lives.

So, should Christians fear Satan? Of course not! Going back to the components of fear, yes, he is present, but he is not powerful. This is why he schemes, through the lens of the world, to get others to believe that he is powerful. Satan is not powerful and he never will be, unless you’re not alert to resist him.*

James 4:7 (ESV)
Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

*For an in-depth Bible study on this topic, please find the following links below:

You vs The World – Part 1
You vs The World – Part 2

THE FEAR OF MAN VS THE FEAR OF GOD

 Should we fear man? Scripture reveals that the fear of man is a snare/trap (Proverbs 29: 25) and if we lived to please man, we would not be deemed servants of God (Galatians 1: 10). This begs the question why we should fear God and what does it look like to fear Him?  Simply put it means a reverent fear, similar to a fear when a child finds out his parents are nowhere to be found. Another aspect is fear in the sense of being scared of the being in question in a healthy way, a call to be responsible.

It can be understood why a fear of man exists; they could harm you physically (presence) or, emotionally, psychology thought an attack on reputation, sharing intimate information, or even blackmail (power). All these horrible experiences can be caused by man.

But what about God? Why should we fear Him compared to Man?

Matthew 10: 28 (ESV) (Emphasis added) And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.

Man has the ability to destroy the body, but God, who is Omnipotent and Omnipresent (ALL powerful, and ALL present) can destroy the body and the soul.
Know that your soul has eternal value, and mustn’t be lost or given away cheaply. The world didn’t give you our happiness, and it has no right to take it away.

For those who are not Christians, this may seem a bit harsh and cutthroat, but allow me to share the good news; salvation is available to all those who believe in Jesus Christ! Click here to find out how! The Gospel: An Illustration

 HOW TO BEAT FEAR

Here are some helpful tips to help beat fear. I’ve broken it down into two categories; for we cannot ignore sin, and the harmful effects it can have in the future. Unfortunately, there are some consequences we are going to have to live with due to disobedience to God’s word. Nevertheless, God is a forgiving God and will provide grace to empower you to move forward towards freedom, which is found at the end of a disciplined life.

For an in-depth Bible study on this topic relating to the Holy Spirit, please find the link below:
Power, Love, and a Sound Mind

You cannot change your past, but God can allow you to become free from it –  Dr Neil T. Anderson.

Irrational fears:
Identify both fear elements;
Put them before God in prayer and meditate on scriptures, e.g.  Isaiah 41:10 (NIV);
Ask yourself factual questions surrounding both elements and remove one, or both elements;
Reinforce your mind with the truth as revealed in scripture;
Live in freedom and walk in victory.

Legitimate fears:
Identify both fear elements;
Put them before God in prayer;
Ask yourself factual questions;
Seek God’s for forgiveness;
Accept his forgiveness and Repent; Take responsibility for your action and mitigate by seeking help, guidance, accountability and work to on challenge until it is solved;
Produce fruit by keeping with repentance;
Reinforce your identity with the truth as revealed in scripture;
Live in freedom and walk in victory.

Book Recommendation

I recommend this book entitled Freedom From Fear: Overcoming Worry and Anxiety by Dr Neil T. Anderson and Rich Miller. I was quite sceptical at first, (total freedom from fear? Really?) but I was blown away at the wisdom shared. It is definitely worth the investment and would go on my personal list as a must read.

Thank you for reading and may God bless you on your journey of spiritual growth.

Tunde T. Amao

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Tree of Life – Bible Study

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My brothers and sisters,

I’m excited to share with you what I learned when studying the Bible with a man of God, which inspired the initial Tree of Life post. I’ve added a bit more to it and I pray that it will help you understand how much God loves us and how merciful He is to us.

Where to begin? Of course, in the garden of Eden. (Emphasis Added)

Generally, God created the garden, the animals, the fishes and place the First Ones, Adam and Eve in the garden. God instructed Adam not to eat from the tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and he passed that command onto Eve.

Genesis 1: 29 (ESV): And God said, “Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the face of all the earth, and every tree with seed in its fruit. You shall have them for food.

Genesis 2: 8-9 (ESV): And the Lord God planted a garden in Eden, in the east, and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground the LORD God made to spring up every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was in the midst of the garden and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

Genesis 2: 15-17 (ESV): The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and to keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man saying, “You may surely eat of every tree in the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.

As the event unfolds, Satan deceives Eve and she eats the fruit and gives it to Adam; the start of the Fall. As outlined in Genesis 3: 14-19, God punished the snake by way of a curse, increases Eve’s child pain in childbirth and declares that her desire will be for her husband and declares to Adam the consequences of his disobedience, a cursed ground and the reality of having to work extra hard to eat.

Sidenote: God cursed the snake, not Adam and Eve. God only told them of the reality sin has caused, in the body and in the environment.

God made a declaration in verse 22:

Then the LORD God said, “Behold, the man has become like one of us in knowing Good and evil. Now, lest he reach out his hand and take also of the tree of life and eat and live forever-”
and as verse 23-24 states, sent them out of Eden and placed cherubim and a flaming sword to guard the way to the Tree of Life.

Going back, God had told them that they could eat from any tree in the garden, which INCLUDED the Tree of Life. In Genesis 3:22, God provides the nature of fruit from the Tree of Life, to bestow one with life forevermore; everlasting life. As pointed out in an earlier post, the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil gave Adam and Eve the Knowledge of Good and Evil.

Can we infer the original purpose and intention of God? I believe so! I learned that if Adam and Eve had eaten the fruit of the Tree of Life firstand assuming that they had eaten the fruit of the Knowledge of Good and Evil afterwards, they would be like God indeed, with everlasting life and the ability to handle the Knowledge of Good and Evil just like God Himself, not in a relative fashion which is mankind thinking about Good and Evil from his own perspective.

But this was not so, and God had to push Adam and Eve out to protect the Tree of Life. Again, why? Well, I learned that Adam and Eve were hungry and their hunger reflected an issue of the soul caused by the introduction of sin. They had created capacity within themselves, their soul, and needed to fill it.**

However, as we are aware, this was not so. Adam and Eve were in a state of sin, due to their disobedience. If they were able to obtain access to the fruit of the Tree of Life, then a catastrophic would arise; they would have everlasting life, the knowledge of good and evil coupled with unrepentant sin. 

 Adam and Eve repented, shown by the skin garments God covered them with (Gen 3:21; the first animal sacrifice! Where else did God get skins from? May explain the animal sacrifices later spoke about in the Law, and Hebrews 9:22 provides insight: Indeed, under the law almost everything is purified with blood, and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.) rather than the loincloths they fashioned out of fig leaves (Gen 3: 7), but there was a problem; Adam carried the human race, and the sin affected them as well. Adam could not repent on behalf of the entire human race, but for his own sin.

Your sin effects other people. Read Romans 5: 12-19 for details. 

This is why God made provision to send Jesus, to die on the cross, to remove the innate sin, and to clothe you with righteousness. You have to believe in Jesus to receive the free gift of salvation and righteousness, then comes the renewing of your mind, the process of unlearning and relearning the word of God in its truth and entirety. Once obtained, you can put on the new man, your new identity and live it out with power and confidence.

1 Corinthians 15: 20-22 (ESV): But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

**The soul yearns for something more. The innate sin causes disruption in the soul. Some seek to fill the void by seeking drugs, sex, pornography, exorbitant spending, excessive television, relationships addictions etc. Capacity is created in the soul and a need to fulfil it grows, hence why addictions and reckless living manifests and takes place. The truth is, these will never satisfy you. They are temporary. Once obtained/consumed/indulged, the “benefit” vanishes. But when one fills their soul with Jesus, you create capacity, and your need for Him grows and grows. That’s why he’s satisfying. He always fills the void. 

Thank you for reading, and may God bless you for your diligence in studying His word.

Tunde T. Amao

 

 

 

You vs The World – Part 2

 

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My brothers and sisters,

As concluded in Part 1, Jesus himself was tempted by Satan, but He fought back and won the victory. Satan’s battle plan never changes but follows an exact or similar format. Pay attention to how Jesus handles the battle of temptation.

THE MATTHEW 4: 11 BATTLE PLAN

NOTE: This happened shortly after Jesus submitted Himself to God via being baptised.

 The Temptation of Jesus

1. Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.

2. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. 3. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”  

(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE LUST OF THE FLESH)

4. But he answered, “It is written,

“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, 
    but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’” 

(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 8: 3)

5. Then the devil took him to the holy city and set him on the pinnacle of the temple 6. and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down, for it is written, 

“‘He will command his angels concerning you,’ 

and 

“‘On their hands they will bear you up, 
    lest you strike your foot against a stone.’” 

(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE LUST OF THE EYES AND SHARES PSALM 91: 11 –12 ON TOP OF TEMPTATION.**) 

7. Jesus said to him, “Again it is written, ‘You shall not put the Lord your God to the test.’”  

(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 6: 16)

8. Again, the devil took him to a very high mountain and showed him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9. And he said to him, “All these I will give you, if you will fall down and worship me.”  

(SATAN TEMPTS JESUS WITH THE PRIDE OF LIFE) 

10. Then Jesus said to him, “Be gone, Satan! For it is written,

“‘You shall worship the Lord your God 
    and him only shall you serve.’” 

(JESUS FIGHTS BACK WITH DEUTERONOMY 10: 20)

11. Then the devil left him, and behold, angels came and were ministering to him.

**QUESTION: Why did Satan USE THOSE SPECIFIC SCRIPTURES to tempt Jesus?

Satan is a liar. IF Jesus listened, He would have jumped to His death. This will result in Jesus not dying on the Cross, and thus not fulfilling His purpose; no sacrifice for humanity’s sin, mankind will be eternally lost and Jesus would have fallen into sin, for disobedience. Praise God that He is all-knowing and aware of his schemes.

COMMENTARY

As we can see, Satan used the lust of the flesh, eyes and the pride of life model to tempt Jesus, who responded with Old Testament scriptures; the commandments of God Himself.

Please pay attention to a heavy distinction here. Scripture has made it clear and has given us insights to why being tempted, deceived and led astray by any worldly vices is dangerous.

Isaiah 14: 12: How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations!

John 8: 12: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

According to the Blue Letter Bible interlinear function, the Hebrew word for Lucifer is heylel, a masculine noun which means “light-bearer”, (some translations say Shining One, or Morning Star). Its verb equivalent Halal outlines the following meanings:

The light that Jesus is referring to is described below, the Greek word; Phos.

Both descriptions have stark differences. In Lucifers case, the common theme here is boasting.

Jesus presents himself as the light of brilliance, life and enlightenment. Lucifer, the light bearer, bears light in a boastful manner. Please note, he might not present himself, if indeed, with red horns, a forked tail and a pitchfork.

2 Corinthians 11:14 – And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light.

 

Brothers and sisters, we have to be very discerning in opportunities, for not everything is from God.

1. Do you know His will? This is the foundation of being discerning of your environment.

2. Do you know his Word? Can you apply it to your specific circumstance?

3. Has your eyes and flesh been tempted? Are there prospects of achieving or acquiring something that fills you up with boastful pride?

I ask these because the truth is, Satan is here to tempt you with the very things you want the most. Not everything that glitters is gold, and not everything you want is good for you.

James 1: 13-18 (ESV) (Emphasis Added)

Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God,” for God cannot be tempted with evil, and he himself tempts no one. But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death.

Temptation is a fact, it will always be there. To fall into temptation implies an action, one where a decision is made to fall in, knowing that the act of indulgence is against God. Sin is committed.

POINTS TO REMEMBER 

Temptation does not come from God, but from your own desires.

Satan presents the “light” as a way of drawing you towards indulgence.

God is always present to deliver by pointing the way out (Matt 6: 13, 1 Corinthians 10: 13).

You must make the decision to resist or run away from it. Timothy was warned about this in 2 Timothy 2:22 (CEV):

Run from temptations that capture young people. Always do the right thing. Be faithful, loving, and easy to get along with. Worship with people whose hearts are pure. 

CONCLUSION

To conclude, Jesus performed in detail what Scripture says we should do when we are tempted; face to face with the devil himself:

James 4:7 – Submit yourselves, to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you.

Be warned. Satan will be back; he rules the world after all.

Luke 4:13 (ESV) And when the devil had ended every temptation, he departed from him until an opportune time.

This is evident in the Gospels when he left Jesus in the desert, got rebuked by Jesus through Peter, (Matt 16:23, Mark 8:33) and then entered Judas Iscariot (Luke 22:3, John 13: 27).

My brothers and sisters, until He calls us home or when He returns, submerge yourselves in His word, pay attention to your surroundings and DO NOT be ignorant of his devices. If you are, he will outwit, outsmart and take advantage of you.

Follow the light; The right one.

Tunde T. Amao

You vs the World – Part 1

 

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My brothers and sisters.

I would like to share my Bible study notes with you on a topic that we all must have an awareness of.

Who truly runs the world? The politicians? The financiers? The lawyers? The media? The entertainment industry?

No. The one who runs the world is Satan.

THE FALL OF SATAN

Isaiah 14: 12 – 15 (KJV) provides insight around what I call the Event before Creation and explains how and why Satan, previously known as Lucifer, fell from Heaven (Emphasis added).

How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.

Satan wanted to exalt himself above God, a divine crime. God, being all-knowing, sussed out his plan, and cast him out of heaven.

Jesus, being present in the beginning (1 John 1:1), saw this. In fact, he even told the seventy-two disciples he sent out in Luke 10:18 (ESV): 

And he said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.”

Satan fell and ended up in the garden of Eden, to tempt Eve, (Genesis 3: 1-5) an act which caused reverberations across the earth, the effects we are seeing today. It is often said that Adam and Eve gave up their title of dominion of the world the moment they sinned against God. In fact, it is probably right to say that Satan still wanted to have dominion over something. If he couldn’t have heaven, then he would take the world.

SATAN’S CHARACTER AND ENDGAME

There are many instances where Jesus Himself and Paul talks about the “status” of Satan (as established above) as a result of his fall, as well as his character and his ultimate goal. Below are a few scriptures to illustrate:

Ephesians 2: 2 (ESV) – and you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience. 

2 Corinthians 4: 4 (ESV) – In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers to keep them from seeing the light of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. 

John 8: 43-44 (ESV) – Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do what he desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 

John 10: 10 (ESV) – The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. 

 Please take heed of the weight behind these scriptures.

THE 1 JOHN 2: 15-17 WARNING

We have all been warned about the influence of the world; practices, viewpoints, improper standards and self-seeking behaviours. In fact, scripture has said that being a friend of the world equates with being an enemy of God. (James 4: 4).

With the knowledge of Satan’s character and his link to the world, 1 John 2: 15-16 (ESV) warns us even further (emphasis added; Also, note 2 Corinthians 4:4):

Do not love the world or the things of the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the desires of the fleshthe desires of the eyes and the pride of life – is not from the Father but is of the world.  

This is the battle plan of Satan, he will tempt you with these worldly tools. He used them with Eve in Genesis 3:6-7 (NIV):

You will not certainly die, the snake said to the woman. For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil. When the woman saw the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye,  and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her and he ate it.

Eve had no desire to eat the fruit until Satan came to speak to her. Eve saw that the fruit was good for food, a thought that never came to mind before her encounter with Satan. The pride to become like God and the desire to gain wisdom? Again, that was not present or apparent before her encounter with Satan.

Sidenote: I find it incredibly cheeky considering the circumstances here as Satan said: “For God knows that when you eat from it…”. If this was true, then wouldn’t have God made it clear from the get-go? And look at how he phrased himself, (when you eat from it) as if he had almost anticipated the First Beings eating the fruit, a thought that did not even cross their own mind’s, to begin with!

Also, please remember that this happened before sin entered into the world.

 In other words, Satan’s influence can awaken or identify the desire to. I believe that the “desire to” can be awakened when exposed to external influences.  Rick Warren explains the same point well in his book The Purpose Driven Life:

“…Satan identifies a desire inside of you. It may be a sinful desire, like the desire to get revenge or to control others, or it may be a legitimate, normal desire, like the desire to be loved and valued or to feel pleasure. Temptation starts when Satan suggests (with a thought) that you give in to an evil desire, or that you fulfil a legitimate desire in a wrong way or at the wrong time. Always be aware of shortcuts. They are often temptations!” 

It is the same when we spend time reading and studying the Bible. The desire to know Him awakens.

We have to pay close attention and be wary of the many sources of influence. Is it satanic/worldly or is it godly/righteous?

Once we recognise that the desires of the flesh, eyes, and life are knocking at our door, we have to respond accordingly.  Jesus did it, and so can you!

To find out how, please keep your eyes out for part two.

Tunde T. Amao

Men and Women: The Real Relationship – Part 2

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Greetings, brothers and sisters.

We have explored in part one of the model relationship. Now, we’re going to look at the specifics in great detail.

Genesis 2: 24 (NIV) – That is why a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh.

This is the foundational scripture that many would use for marriage. Now, pay particular attention to this next point; Marriage is not man-made. It is an institution created by God so that men and women can express their love for each other the way God wanted love to be expressed. As we saw earlier, there is a model, a standard which must be followed for maximum fulfilment in blossoming, loving relationships.

So, why do I say this? If you want a Godly relationship with Godly foundations, you have to do it God’s way; the way He established it and using Godly materials.

Ephesians 5: 31 – 32 (NIV) – For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. This is a profound mystery, but I am talking about Christ and the church.

The above scripture speaks of the perfect unity of Jesus and the Church (we His people). The marriage relationship or a growing relationship should mirror this exact model. The question now is, what is the relationship between Jesus Christ and the Church, how does it look like and what does it entail? We will look at Ephesians 5: 21 – 27 in greater detail.

EPHESIANS 5: 21 – 27

(Emphasis added and broken down for greater analysis)

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.

Wives submit yourselves to your own husband as you do to the Lord. For the husband is head of the wife as Christ is head of the church, his body, of which he is the Saviour. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.

REVERENCE FOR CHRIST AND SUBMISSION

When building anything, the foundation has to be strong enough to hold the extra weight on top. Jesus Christ is the firm foundation (1 Corinthians 3: 11). If one has a sincere reverence for Him, then this aspect will not be a problem. Think about it; would you build ontop of a firm foundation or a shaky one?

Before we touch on the submission aspect, which can ring alarm bells for some, I wanted to touch lightly on this. Submission is not just a biblical woman thing, it applies to men as well. The same way we submit to one another is the same submission that we offer the Lord God Almighty.

In a relationship setting, men who are seeking to become authentic unapologetic men of the Lord God will need to apply their lessons to their submission to God and now tailor that to the chosen lady in their life. There also has to be a healthy boundary as this is more of a process to learn how to submit to their special lady as opposed to the full submission in the context of scripture which is reserved for Husbands and Wives only. Use this opportunity to learn how to submit to her lads!

BE WARNED: HEALTHY BOUNDARIES PROTECT. YOUR BOYFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE LEADING YOU ANYWHERE. YOUR GIRLFRIEND SHOULD NOT BE SUBMITTING TO YOU. THIS IS RESERVED ONLY FOR HUSBANDS AND WIVES.

WIVES SUBMISSION TO HUSBAND

Ladies, as mentioned in the above paragraph and taking what we learnt in the first post into consideration, I’d like to share a small analogy:

Jesus Christ is the husband. The Church is His wife. Imagine you are the Church now, your name is now Church. Jesus is your husband. What do you know about Jesus?

Jesus walks with integrity, loving, forgiving, compassionate and has a no-nonsense attitude when it comes to His Father’s business. Has an epic prayer life, doesn’t deny His emotions, but manages and expresses it appropriately, can protect you, encourage you, has a vision for His life and can lead you to a place He knows you can feel safe, secure and allowed to be who you are meant to be; yourself.

He knows your not perfect; He knows your flaws and loves you because of them and He encourages you gently to be the best version of yourself and will celebrate you along the way. Now, he may correct you in a loving way because He does not delight in anything that disrespects Him or any matter that involves His Heavenly Father and will fight passionately for the matters of God because that is where He gets His strength, worth and identity from. A man who is not ashamed of His Father and will continue to walk His way because He loves God that much.

Would you submit to such a man?

Now imagine a man, who isn’t Jesus, but is striving to have the same qualities, the same mindset, the same emotional disposition as Him. Who is constantly in the Word and can teach and encourage you and sees you for being YOU. He knows He isn’t perfect and will make mistakes from time to time, but knows as long as he follows Jesus, he will be led in the right way.

This is what means to be in submission to a man as on to the Lord. The man must display lord-like qualities, and it must be seen and evidenced, from the inside and out. That’s the man worth submitting to.

HUSBANDS TO LOVE THEIR WIVES

Lads, back to you again.

Jesus Christ gave His life to redeem the Church. He died so that the Church may dwell in the righteousness of Him. He knows that the Church is not perfect, hence why He always teaches the Church to dwell and grow in His Word, where they can find rest, comfort, security and strength.

It is not easy for women. The way the world is set up now, they have to make the extra effort to advance themselves and protect themselves from any hindrances as well as deal with their emotions with or without support. Women are blessed with creativity and the ability to multi-task; once they have a mission, they will complete it. I believe that even when women are tired, they still have to find that inner strength and resolve to push forward to get to where they want to get to.

Imagine juggling so many responsibilities and not feeling appreciated for their efforts.

Men, Jesus Christ died so that the Church can be restored, uplifted and placed on the path of righteousness. Jesus gave His all in the name of love.

My brothers, beware! Look at what scripture says:

Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.

There are alarm bells when a lady claims to love God, claims Christ and does not submit to Him. If she doesn’t submit herself to Him, how much more you?

Benchmark principle: How the male/female submitted to God is a clear indication as to how they can submit to you.

There are so many elements here, but the general message here is that you don’t take away from people you love. As men, respect the advancement of women and continue to add to that so that they may grow in self-confidence, joy and peace When they are tired and weary, be ready and available to step in and to pour love, attention, affection and strength into them so they can rise up and continue on their path towards greatness.

Women are going through battles we have no idea of. Pay attention and love them for who they are. They can only be themselves and you have to recognise and acknowledge that.

I want to stress again that this is in the context of cultivating a successful relationship. This will enable you to discover more about God’s standard in relationships as well as discover more about yourself and the person you’re growing with. Full submission only happens in a marriage relationship.

As women, remember that men also go through battles. They may not speak on them, they may not say due to the resurrection of hurt and pain, or maybe they are afraid of how you will view them afterwards. Some men do what to become the standard where they feel they ought to be, and place pressure on themselves to perform. Truth be told, this pressure they put on themselves, plus the pressure you may have placed on him, the mind can only take so much. Plus, most men do not want to hear about another man’s capabilities, especially that they know within themselves that they are trying and trying very hard.

One cannot, and will not, value full submission if one has not resolved in being willfully submitted to God, through Jesus Christ, first.

I’ve hinted the ladies above (I hope you got it ladies!) and as well as the men, (keep your eyes peeled bro! it’s not all about beauty and favour! (Proverbs 31:30)

Tunde T. Amao

Reading The Road Less Travelled by M. Scott Peck

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Greetings, my friends.

I’d just like to take this moment to thank all my readers for taking the time to read and follow up on this blog and I also will like to extend a warm, special welcome to any new readers! Thank you for joining us!

This book I want to talk about is an amazing read. I recommend to anyone I come across. In fact, it is a book of which I hold a very strong opinion that every person must read.

Entitled The Road Less Travelled, Dr M. Scott Peck had made a remarkable job using questioning, his experience as a Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist and in his Christian walk to produce this guide that if followed, will help you build a happier, fulfilled life, as a person, parent, partner and spouse respectively.

This is an exciting read and without revealing too much, the book explores the following themes:

1. Discipline

2. Love

3. Growth and Religion

4. Grace

Dr Peck also speaks about the importances of mental health. This may be a difficult topic for some and a topic that many would not want to talk about, but as human beings, we owe it to ourselves, our families and friends to ensure that we are totally healthy; physically, emotionally, spiritually and mentally.

When we are ill, we either take medicine or visit the doctors. When it is an emergency, we go to the hospital. When we are stressed or emotionally weary, we speak to our good friends and they give us a shoulder to cry on. The same when we are low in faith; we consult God through Jesus Christ for encouragement. On the point of mental health, how do we know whether we need help when we haven’t gone to check ourselves?

We need to be healthy in order to function. M. Scott Peck has used helpful case studies of patience he has seen and treated to highlight very important aspects of the human mind and emotions that we all should be aware of. He has also given us, what I call, a privileged look into his own mindset and thinking pattern through anecdotes about the existence of God and protection of His grace.

I have learnt so much from this book and have already started using the principles in my own life as well as taking the steps to be more aware of myself. I say this because, in order to truly improve ourselves and the way our life is set up, we need to be aware of the person we are and the place we are at right now.

For those who are looking for a healthy guide on discipline and how to love effectively and in the right way, then this is a book for you. Also, this is a special request to those who are parents, parents to be and those wishing to establish a family in the future: if you want to ensure the positive mental well-being of your children, establish a loving environment and to help your child grow up to be fulfilled, then you must read The Road Less Travelled. It will help your children and it will help you in turn.

Are there any books you would like to share that has helped you develop as a person? Please share it in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading friend, and all the best on your journey of self-discovery! God bless!

Tunde T. Amao

Bible Study – Helpful Tools

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Hello, my friends.

I thought it would be nice to share some very helpful tools that help me out during Bible study or when I want to ask questions or gain extra information about biblical history.

1. GotQuestions?org

GotQuestions.org has to be my favourite research tool for Bible study. The organisation provides answers to any biblical, spiritual or religious questions that one may have. There are various categories that most questions fall under and you can search and read GQ’s answers to the questions many others have asked. I often use this to ask biblically related questions, and research on Philosophical and Theological concepts. It also enables you to ask questions directly to them, of which they will research and provide an answer within 2 – 3 days! GQ is also available as apps which you can download from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store for android devices respectively.

NB: I will be using this tool to provide background reading on particular issues that I will share in future posts. I really enjoy this tool and I’m sure that you would too!

2. Open Bible.

The Open Bible is useful for researching scriptures within particular topics. Want to know what the Bible says about love? Pop it in the search box, click “Find Out” and read, learn and study to your heart’s content!

NB: I will also use this tool to refer to a cluster of scripture within a topic raised in the upcoming blogs (Just like what I did above)!

3. Commentaries and the Interlinear/ Concordance function on the Blue Letter Bible app (Click here to download on iPhone, iPad, and Android devices).

This is a very useful tool for those who wish to dive deeper into God’s word (Everyone should want to do this in my opinion). The Interlinear/ Concordance function enables you to explore the Hebrew and Greek words themselves and to learn the meaning of the original word. For example, the name “Eden” means “pleasure”. Once you locate the root word, it also provides the terms luxury, dainty, delight, and finery. and the term “garden” in Hebrew is gan, which means “garden” (of course) and an “enclosure”. (An enclosure of luxury, dainty, delight, and finery. Sounds delightful!)

Biblical commentaries are written by Theologians and can help with what we can spend a lot of time seeking before actually reading the Word; context. They also offer a range of biblical analysis and cross biblical referencing, which I thoroughly enjoy. My personal favourite is the David Guzik commentaries but have a look at the others for your own personal taste.

Remember, these are tools to help Bible study to be systematic, fun and informative. However, none of these will be helpful if the reader/researcher is not spirit-led. Before you open your Bible and notepad, shoot a prayer from your heart asking God to open your eyes to His truth within the words. Have a receptive spirit and be expectant to hear from our Heavenly Father. His Word is to enable you to know Him better and to discover His plans for you as well as to enable you to live an effective lifestyle based on his Word.

Are there any Bible study tools that you would like to use? Please share it with us in the comment section below.

Thank you for reading my friends, and my the Lord richly bless you. Amen.

Tunde T. Amao