Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 

in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. 

Proverbs 3:5-6 NIV 

For Audio Versionhttps://pod.co/ignition-point/turn-up-the-dial

 

Hi Friend, 

I trust you are doing well as we all continue to navigate through the wake of these ‘exceptional times’. I say ‘exceptional’ because I am kind of tired of hearing that other word ‘unprecedented’ The way the word ‘unprecedented’ is used, it not only carries a negative connotation, it also sounds contrary to God’s Word, which qualifies it as a curse word in my dictionary. Anyway, I digress. So, why did I say, ‘exceptional times’? Because we need to flip the dialogue the world is listening to. I say ‘exceptional times’ because in the midst of all we can see, there is also the truth of God’s heart - that this is also an opportune time. ‘An opportune time?’, you may ask. Yes, I reiterate that it is an opportune time for you and I. It is an opportune time for the church of Jesus Christ, for the children of God. According to God, not according to the news, but according to God’s Word; where sin and the effect of sin (which includes sickness and disease) abounds or is in evidence, grace or the effects of grace (which includes health, wholeness and life) much more abounds. If our Father has promised us grace, that which we have not earned and that which Christ obtained for us in His death, burial and resurrection, then that is what we have. We are not to judge God by what we see and hear. We are to judge God by His Word alone. 

However, when I look around me, I see the hearts of men failing them. This is what the Bible warns that we will see in the last days. Please don’t misunderstand me. I do not make light of any circumstances you or others you may know, may be facing. It is said that if one has not walked in another’s shoes, one does not know where their shoes pinch them. In my case, I would say if you have not walked in my heels, don’t judge me.  Jokes aside. What I am saying is that we all have either been in storms, are in one now or will be in one in the future. It is not that I don’t wish you well but live a little longer and you learn. Storms are a fact of life. It is not the storms that we go through that unravel us; it is how prepared we were before the storm came. Jesus said that in this life that we will face persecution. Not maybe but we will. His promise though is this - that He has over come the world for us. The real issue then is, where are you spiritually; where are you mentally; and where are you physically when the storms of life come. How quickly we are able to deal with the storm using the word of God is determined by how prepared or ready we were before the storm came. Armies do not prepare for war in the time of war. It is too late then. Armies prepare for battle in the time of peace.  

Some storms are the result of the attack and the persecution of the wicked one. While some storms we get caught up in are the result of sin, disobedience, ignorance or strife. Lastly there are some storms that are the result of choosing the wrong companions to journey through life with. When I say wrong companions, I don’t mean your spouse because once you are married, there is a grace of God that comes upon that covenant relationship and that is available to both spouses in the marriage to tap into. Whether or not the couple tap into it is another story. When I say wrong companions, I am talking about people you add onto your life without the leading of God. Or when God tells you to move on from a relationship because your work is done in that relationship, you refuse to turn the relationship loose. There is an African proverb that says that 20 friends do not play for 20 years. Simply put, not all relationships are meant to last a lifetime and you should be okay with that. When you choose the wrong companions in life, it becomes easy to get caught up in their storms. 

Like I said earlier, the issue is never the storm. According to the Bible the real issue is the foundation. Do you remember the parable of the house that was built on a sure foundation? The Bible says the storm came and the house built on shifting sand fell but there was another house built on the rock and the winds blew but that house stood strong. If I understand this parable, the storm only reveals your foundation and where you are in your walk with the Lord. We don’t want the storm to unveil our strength as little in the day of adversity and if you are that one that has discovered that your strength is little, it is not too late. We are to strengthen ourselves in the Spirit with the Word of God. There have been times when I too have felt challenged with the circumstances of life. When the devil begins to flood my thought life and overwhelm me with the facts of life, I know it is time that I pull aside and dig deeper into the Word of God.  

Recently I have been strengthening my foundations with the scriptures in Galatians 5 and especially in verse 25 which says that ‘since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit’. As I have meditated on this scripture, I have found that the only way I can know that I am living by the Spirit and keeping in step with Him is when I see Him made manifest in my life. You may say what do I mean? I asked the Spirit of God the same question. I said, ‘Lord, what does it mean to keep in step with you?’ And He pointed me to verse 22 of the same chapter. Verse 22 says, ‘but the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control’. I now understand that these are the characteristics of the Spirit. These characteristics are the very nature of the Spirit of God that indwells me. As I live by the Spirit, they will be displayed. They are there to lead me into the fullness of the blessing, into the fulness of my inheritance. The fruits are the way God has called the body to live. I will get back to this but let me go back and complete my thoughts on the storms of life.  

When Jesus in Mark 4 said to His disciples, ‘let us go over to the other side’, as far as He was concerned, it was a done deal. This is why when the disciples and Jesus got in the boat and set sail and the storm came up, Jesus just kept sleeping. The disciples cried, ‘Master, carest not thou that we perish?’ As far as Jesus was concerned the storm could not stop the words He had spoken. Today, are you the one crying in your heart – ‘Jesus don’t you care about what I am going through?’, ‘Can’t you see that I am at the end of my wits?’. He cares. The Bible says we have a High Priest who is touched by the feelings of our infirmities. What does Jesus as our High Priest do? He intercedes for you. He stands in the gap for you. But He does need you to come to the end of your wits. The arm of flesh always fails but do you know Someone Who will never fail you? God. The end of what you can do for yourself and about your situation, is the beginning of all He has already done for you. If you have come to the end of yourself, that is a good thing. The only thing God does require of you and I is this – only believe. You may say, ‘I believe God’; no, the devils believe and tremble. He did not ask you to believe Him but rather to believe in Him. John 14:1 says, “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me”. 

Maybe you have been standing in faith for a situation in your life, maybe it has persisted for a long time and you are feeling worn out from the waiting and the wondering. I have good news for you; I have the gospel for you – and believe me it is truly good news. According to the Word of God, in 2 Peter 1:3, you and I already have all things that pertain to life and to godliness. We don’t have to fight for it. We receive it by faith; we take it; we take the harvest of all the Jesus did. Another translation of John 14:1 says, “Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me”. Trust is another word for believe. When I think of the word ‘trust’, the scripture that immediately comes to my heart is found in Proverbs 3:5-6 which says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him (or acknowledge Him) and He will make your paths straight”. What does it mean to trust?  

That scripture reveals that the way we trust is to submit to Him or to acknowledge Him. Trust is defined in the dictionary as ‘a firm belief in the character, strength, reliability, truth, ability, of someone or something’. Do you have a firm belief in the character of God? Do you acknowledge the character of God? He is the Truth and God Who cannot lie. God Who found nothing greater than Himself that He swore by Himself and His throne; God Who always keeps His Word. Trust is also a firm belief in the strength of someone. Do you believe and trust in God’s strength? The Bible says in 1 Samuel 15:29, ‘and also the Strength of Israel will not lie nor repent: for he is not a man, that he should repent’. He calls Himself the Strength of Israel. Commentaries also translate the phrase, the Strength of Israel as the Changeless One of Israel combining the ideas of stability, permanence, and constancy.  

If you want to know the character of God, read the scripture I mentioned earlier in Galatians 5. Read about the fruits of the Spirit or the characteristics of our Father. That is Who He is. He is- love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. In the Passion Translation it says – ‘But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions. (Don’t forget God is love). What are the varied expressions of divine love? Joy that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. The Bible ends by saying – ‘Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless’. I love that. That spells a life of victory and dominion to me. Every characteristic of the Holy Spirit of God in you, when you give it free reign cannot be limited by the circumstances of life or the systems of the world. They are meant to be limitless to put you over in all of life’s situations. They are the answer to the storms of your life. The fruits of the Spirit are what keep you in step with the Spirit. When the Spirit shows up in your life, through the fruits, the wicked one is limited. He is put on a leash. Praise God! 

Do you have confidence towards Him? Don’t be quick to respond. For many of us it will be easy to say, ‘yes, I trust the Lord’. However, we know you trust the Lord, when your mortgage is coming due and you have no other means to make the mortgage payment but you stir up the fruit of joy and you rejoice and declare that all your bills are paid; when you look at the mountain of unpaid bills and unmet needs and say, ‘bills I call you paid, needs, I declare you are met’. We know you believe, trust and have confidence towards God, when your heart takes side with God and with His Word and not with your life experiences.   

If your storm was caused by you, repent. It is the devil that holds your mistakes against you not God. What good does it do you to keep heading in the wrong direction? If you stopped trusting God, again repent – say, ‘God, I believe, help my unbelief’. Get back into the place of fellowship. You will not receive fresh instruction until you go back to the place of your last obedience. Begin to meditate on Who He is and revive your faith. That pilot light is still there in you it just needs to be cranked up.  

How do you build your trust and confidence in God? Through our knowledge of Him that comes from His Word. You cannot separate God from His Word. Remember that old time song that says, trust and obey, for there is no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey. Finally, I want to leave you with this, don’t spend one more moment in despondency or in despair. Get out from under that cloud and go after the trust in God that you have let slip. He loves you and has not left or forsaken you. It is William Paul Young that said – ‘Trust is the fruit of a relationship in which you know you are loved’. You know God loves you. He loves you more than life itself. So much so that Jesus went to the cross in your place and my place. It is time to turn back in your heart towards God. Trust comes from the heart and is about a heart connection with God. Trust is an unseen string between my heart and God’s heart of love for me. When I trust God, I trust His Father’s heart and His love for me. When I trust God, I trust that delay is not denial; I trust that God will do what He says He will do. Heaven and earth will pass away, but His Word will never pass away.  

Friend I want to encourage you: trust in His Father’s heart; trust in God to receive your healing; trust God to deliver you; trust God to be there for you; trust in the anointing of God on your life for it is there to serve you. The Passion Translation states, ‘Trust in the Lord completely, and do not rely on your own opinions. With all your heart rely on him to guide you, and he will lead you in every decision you make. Become intimate with him in whatever you do, and he will lead you wherever you go’. Trust God. You build trust with the Word. We have talked about trusting God. I have a final question for you – Can God trust you? Can He trust you to keep the faith? To stand up for all He stands for. Can He trust you to be His voice and speak the truth of His Word, and of His kingdom? Can He trust that what matters to Him, matters to you? Can He trust you? 

Until next time, stay ignited. 

 

Ayodola and the W2NM Team 

Yours in His service, 

Ayodola & the W2NM Team