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  1. Part 1) God Spoke to Me While I Meditated on Him (January 7, 2017) I listened to some sermons about developing a strong spirit. This reminded me that I want to learn to be still and quiet before God. To hear from him while being silent in body, mind and heart. So I lay down and tried doing just that. It wasn’t long before my mind wandered off. This kept happening just like it always had. So i asked God, how can I do this? How can I just lay here and concentrate on you with out saying anything? Then my mind wandered off once more. Then suddenly I realized something. I realized that when my mind wanders off I usually think about situations involving people whom I have seen. I hold the image of those people in my mind while I think about past or future situations involving them. So I asked myself how to do this with God? I’ve never seen God. I dismissed the idea of using the image’s of Jesus painted by people. Too cliche’! Then something mysterious and amazing started to unfold. I thought, now I want a 1970 Camaro and I often meditate on driving one of those. What about if I meditate on driving that car with God as my passenger. Then I wondered what it would be like if God were driving the car. I thought about how expertly he would be able to drive it. The next thing I knew I was vividly meditating on this. There we were, God and I, cruising in a red 1970 Camaro. I had let go of needing an image of God and accepted that he was there expertly driving that car. I started to chuckle not just in my imagination but audibly. When God saw that I was happy he became happy and he made a sudden left turn. In an instant the car was gone and I was staring into what appeared to be an empty universe. Then some pieces of this universe broke away and drifted past me. I knew that I was zooming in on something. Next I saw a man standing next to a stone structure. I new it was the apostle Peter. Then i began to slowly zoom away. Higher and higher above the ground. I kept looking down and saw Christ on the cross and a darkened world. Soon I was viewing Christ on the cross from outer space. Then the earth shifted to the left and I slowly zoomed back in. I saw a raging body of water and a boat. Noah’s arc afloat in the midst of a great storm. I saw a giant hand dip into the water and move like a paddle. This stirred the water and the waves from it adjusted the direction of Noah’s arc. Then I quickly zoomed back out and saw part of our solar system with the sun to the left. I marvelled at all of this. Part 2) Searching for Confirmation in the Bible (January 8, 2-017) I decided to re-read 1st and 2nd Peter. And there in those books written thousands of years ago I found confirmation. I laughed out loud when I realized that every topic God showed me the night before was in 1st and 2nd Peter. What does this mean to me? I’m learning to be still and hear from God! What a breakthrough! It's one thing to spend time talking to God. For me that became a good habit. But now I know I can also be still and meditate (focus) on God without saying a word. I know I'll have to exercise this if I want it to increase. I'm just very happy about this and want to share it with whomever. But you may ask…”what does it all mean though?”. Well I am working through that and if you read on you will see what I’ve learned so far. Part 3) Painting a Bigger Picture (January 9, 2017) Working back through the bible from the great flood of Noah, Jesus crucifixion to Peter’s Epistles. There are some biblical connections that I want to work at drawing out. I will first focus on some of fresh revelation from Monday January 9, 2017. I realize that God answered two prayers on Saturday January 7, 2017. One answer was that he showed me I can silently meditate on him. Two, that he forgave Peter for denying Christ and that He has been showing me that I’m forgiven for this too! I just wasn’t accepting his answer. I have faith in my Salvation now! 3-A) The Great Flood of Noah relates to Jesus Many biblical scholars and other authors of the faith have pointed out the significance of water in the account of Noah. Prophetically it is a type or image of the baptism of Jesus. Just as the whole event of the great flood is a prophetic type of Jesus and his purpose on earth. For example Jesus said “But the gate that opens the way to true life is narrow. And the road that leads there is hard to follow. Only a few people find it.” (Matthew 7:14 ) Only seven people found salvation through the ark when they walked through a door comparably narrow compared to the size of the ark or the whole earth. God’s own hand shut the door of the ark and God remembered the ark during the flood and guided it. 3-B) Christ’s Ministry and Peter Jesus baptism relates to Peter The four gospels give an account of the birth, the life, the ministry and crucifixion of Jesus. I’ll be using the gospels of Matthew and Mark (ERV) to draw out the connection between the flood, the Christ and Peter the apostle. Jesus was baptized in water by John the baptist. The bible makes it clear that this act was required. We know that after Holy Spirit settled upon Jesus God confirmed his approval of him saying “You are my Son, the one I love. I am very pleased with you.” After that Jesus went alone into the desert for 40 days to be tempted. When Jesus had successfully over come these temptations he left the desert and went to Galilee. There he began to choose his followers. The very first two men he chose after his baptism and testing were Simon Peter and his brother Andrew. The bible says they immediately left their nets to follow Jesus. Jesus Calls Peter to walk on Water From the account provided in Matthew (ERV) we see Jesus walking on the water. The disciples are terrified at the site of it. Jesus tells them not to worry “Don’t worry! It’s me! Don’t be afraid.” Then we see Peter asking to Lord to call him to come out on the water. Jesus responds to Peter “Come Peter” and Peter walks on water. Then what happens? Peter sees the waves and fear destroys his faith so he starts to sink. The bibles says then Jesus caught Peter with his hand saying “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?”. Jesus hand, stretched out to Peter sinking into the tossing waves. When I read that I immediately recalled the giant hand guiding the Ark through the water. Christ’s Crucifixion and Resurrection Deeply Connected to Peter The biblical account of Peter and the rooster crowing is well known to believers and non believers alike. Jesus answered (Peter), “The truth is, tonight you will say you don’t know me. You will deny me three times before the rooster crows.” This is one of the many profound moments where God shows us how human the people in the bible were. Peter did deny Jesus, not just once but three times just as Jesus said. We also know from Matthew’s account that Peter followed Jesus from a distance after he was arrested and taken away. I know that I have followed Jesus from a distance as well. My careless lifestyle and sinful choices most certainly caused a distance between me (in my heart) and Jesus. Perhaps the most remarkable thing is how Jesus redeemed Peter. Peter was crushed deep down in his heart after the rooster crowed for the third time. He suddenly realized he had denied Jesus three times. The bible says that Peter went outside and cried bitterly. He probably thought it was all over and he had completely blown it. I can relate to that, can you? We know from the bible that Jesus forgave Peter. Peter accepted his forgiveness and went on to be the rock of the church which Jesus had prophesied to Peter. I know that all of this seems so elaborate. But you must understand. I had blown it with God. I had pitched my tent in a forsaken campground along the shores of “Lake Mist-it Big Time”. I didn’t think I could ever come back to God. I know now that prior to Saturday January 7 2017, God had lead me to the two books of Peter to answer my question. “God, will you really take me back”? I wasn’t connecting the dots. I see it now. God is so incredibly wise and faithful. He want’s to talk to you as well. Oh, and God LOVES it when he see’s us full of Joy! It makes him HAPPY
  2. I’ve read many books that were classified as christian literature. Some were really good while others made me wonder if they should have been published. Of the books I wondered about, I don’t make the comment to be harsh, critical or judgemental. Rather, I wonder if they were really something God intended to be shared to that extent. I also wondered if I should have read them. Let me explain. I’ve read books about hearing from God and growing in faith and so on and so forth. These are great topics and many Christians have ongoing questions and desires for knowledge in these areas. I do and that is why I read them. However, at one point I kind of kept hearing myself asking this same question. Did I try to take a short cut by reading this? If so then what did I miss by not working it out with God? The simple fact is that these books, we assume, were inspired by the author's journey with God. A journey for knowledge or victory in various areas of their lives. So on one hand reading their accounts is not a bad thing for us to do. On the other hand, maybe we should have sought God for his direction in our particular journey. I’ve done that recently and found that the revelation I received just seems deeper. I get the sense that the things God showed me will “last” or “stick” longer. Maybe it’s like eating fast food versus a home cooked meal. It’s not that fast food is always wrong because sometimes it serves a purpose when we don’t have time to cook. Ever notice that a home cooked meal seams to stick around longer? By that I mean you don’t feel hungry again so soon after eating it. So maybe at the very least we should seek God on our own along with or supplemental to reading a book and also read the Bible. Not just focus on some one else's journey but focus on both? That way we can see God working in our own lives, in his own custom made way for us. Won’t our love and knowledge of God increase more this way?
  3. There are many opportunities presented to us throughout our lives. Jesus said “have faith in God”. I think that it’s good to check in with God about the opportunties we see in front of us. Even if, by our own understanding, all the opportunities look equally good. Here is an analogy. When we go grocery shopping we take a certain level of care selecting our produce. We’ll pick up an apple or bell pepper and flip it around to look for obvious faults. We do this because we want the best produce we can get for our money. In other words, we want the good fruit (and vegetables). If God were shopping with us, and actually he is if you think about it, we would never get a bad apple. But choosing produce is not as important as choosing a job, career, business opportunity or even a church for that matter. This is not to say that some of the possibilities are going to lead to ruin if we get them wrong. We know that God is all knowing, full of love and a giver of good gifts. So if we include God in our decisions won’t he point us to the one that is best? There is of course more to this because hearing from God requires a level of faith. I won’t address that problem here beyond admitting that I sometimes struggle with this.
  4. God knows my past. He knows all of the things I did and why I did them. He knew my heart then and he knows my heart now. First Peter chapter four is one of my go to sources of encouragement. I particularly find strength and encouragement in the NLT translation of verse three. It speaks directly to me every time I read “You have had enough in the past of the evil things that godless people enjoy…” because I truly have had enough. I finally came to a place where I just couldn’t wear the “old person” any longer. God through his mercy answered me when I asked him to show me the way out. His way out for me was reading his word and praying about what I read. I didn’t know where to start to be honest but I knew that my dad is strong in the Lord and very humble. So I talked to him. He encouraged me to read Ephesians, the books of John, the gospel of John and Psalms so that is where I started and branched out from. Throughout all of that scripture reading I grew in my understanding of how important my heart is to God. For me I suddenly realized that my heart was never really quite right with God. I felt sad at first. Looking at how I’d missed it. But God was merciful and kind. Through my bible reading and prayers I received a foundation to stand on. I don’t say that what God lead me through is the absolute blue print for everyone else. God may have different scriptures for you or whomever. I will say this, have faith in God. It really starts there and it’s the best place to start. God helped me to develop a thirst for his word because I got on board with his custom made journey for me. Now I find so much comfort, encouragement and healing in the bible. I thank God for that, it is the first time in my life that the word of God is so alive to me and in me.
  5. “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God” Romans 8:14 My friend Henry Amuoghobor, narrated to me, some months ago, the story of a woman, who went for a religious meeting. According to my friend, as this woman participated in the meeting, the so-called prophet, called out to her, and gave her a personal prophecy about her family… The prophet told this naïve and ignorant lady, that her Father and Mother In-law, are responsible for her predicaments. Then foolishly, this lady just went straight to her in-laws, and accused them confrontationally, of being the evil hands behind her predicaments. When the said lady’s husband eventually returned, and eventually got to his parents, they narrated to him how his wife had insolently accused them of witchcraft, and being responsible for their problems. After the man heard of the insult of the wife to his parents, as he got home, the issue eventually led to the breakage of their heavenly ordained marriage. This story is just one of many disasters that many spiritually ignorant individuals have caused themselves and others- by always trying to get direction and instruction from God through their fellow humans. Instead of going to God directly to hear from him. People have lost their money, their God given wives, relationships, ministries and other valuables by their undue inquisitiveness, and trying to pry into the future through human agents. And this is mainly as a result of ignorance to scriptural truth. They fail to understand that in the New Testament, Prophets are not given to give personal directions to any child of God. Yes, in the New Testament, there is the ministry of prophet. And their primary duty is to preach and teach the word of God, through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, just like every other ministry gift. And also, because they always have revelational gifts, they can also give direction to the general assembly of a Church by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit concerning God’s agenda per time. But when it comes to personal messages to the individuals in the Church, they are to only confirm to the believer only what God has already revealed to them personally for the purpose of confirmation and strengthening of faith. To this end, an individual believer, with the Holy Spirit in him or her, should not depend on prophets to give him/her direction for personal life. They should only go to the prophet to hear preaching or teaching. Then in the process of preaching or teaching, God can occasionally use the prophet to confirm what he has already revealed personally to the believer. However, if the prophet gives the believer a message that God has never revealed to him or her before time, and does not bear witness with the spirit, the believer should discard it. Then on the other hand, if he suspects there could be truth in it, he should personally go and inquire from God concerning the revelation before agreeing to or acting on it. It is very risky and dangerous to take any man’s word for it, without hearing the truth from God first. And when I say any man, I mean any man- regardless of whom the person may be. No matter the position of the man, we can’t afford to put our destinies in the hand of any man. Even if the individual has the true gift of prophecy, he is only a human as much as you are, and as such, is bound to make mistakes. Prophets operate in the realm of the spirit, and as the scriptures said, there are many voices in the spirit realm. Familiar spirits (that mimic the Holy Spirit) can speak through people. Including even genuine prophet or a child of God. Peter did yield to the devil, and started speaking against Jesus’s death. Anybody can at one time or the other, yield to the wrong spirit. So committing your destiny to any mortal man to direct, is to be toiling with your life and destiny. It is better to develop your relationship with God personally, and always consult him for any direction or instruction you need in any area of your life. If you want to make any business decision, go to him in a prayer of inquiries (if you want, you can take up some days of fasting and prayers)… If you want to marry, ask him for the right person. If you have a call for the ministry, go to him for instructions. Don’t allow anybody prophesy or call you into the ministry. If things are not going well with you in any area of your life, ask him personally to reveal to you what is going on. He is always ready and available inside of you to answer you if you are truly living in and for him… So my message in essence, is that you should learn to walk in the Spirit, instead of walking in men and prophets. When a believer always runs to a fellow man for answers, God is provoked to jealousy. Because by so doing, we tend to treat the man as God, and relegate God to the background. Hence, the errors many folks find themselves in the quest of seeking directions from prophets. So what are the various ways the Holy Spirit speaks to his Children? There are several ways the Holy Spirit lead or speak to his children. Principally, he speaks through the Witness of the spirit, the written word of God, small still voice (in the heart), audible voice (rarely), Wisdom (Godly wisdom, not sensual), situations or providence, visions and a host of other means. I’ll be discussing in details how the Holy Spirit speaks to the Believers through all these medium in my next article. But in the interim, I encourage you to smoothen out your relationship with God and his Holy Spirit, and learn how to be sensitive to his voice and leadings. Learn how to hear him for yourself for any situation you find yourself in; that you need direction for… Don’t subject your destiny to the direction of any man, no matter whatever title he or she is called. Right now, I decree your spiritual ears to pop open, in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. I command every deafening forces in you, to lose their grips off you, in the name of Jesus Christ! From now onwards, begin to hear God, per second, per minute, in the name of Jesus Christ! Remain Blessed! Emeke Odili
  6. UNFAMILIAR SURROUNDINGS She stood still in the midst of darkness. All of a sudden, the walls began to close in around her, but she could not move. She just stood there helpless, with no way out. She thought to herself, "This place is lonely, dark, cold, and miserable. How could anyone survive in a place like this?" She cried out for help, but no one answered. She cried out again saying, "God help me! Where am I?" She started to weep; and as her tears fell to the floor of this cold, dark, and lonely place, she saw a glimpse of light from above. Finally the Lord answered her saying, "This place that you said was so cold, dark, lonely, and miserable was the inside of your heart. You said you loved me with all of your heart, but it was only when the tears fell from your eyes that I believed you."- Ms. Kaye *Just a little something from my imagination*-Peace & blessings!
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