What do you see?

WHAT DO YOU SEE?

Lift up your eyes now and look from the place where you are northward and southward, and eastward and westward. For all the land which you see I will give to you, and to your seed forever. (Gen 13:14b-15, KJV)

What do you see? It is an interesting fact to note that God often asked men what they saw before he revealed his mind to them. In Abraham’s case, he told him categorically that he would give to him all the land which he saw. Whatever he did not see, he could not possess. In speaking to Jeremiah, Amos and Zechariah, we see God ask them what they saw before he gave the prophetic word to them. What you cannot see, you can not possess.

Of course, we are not just referring to physical sight here, but to pictures painted in the mind of a person concerning his desire or destination which guides that person to its realisation. It is also useful to note that we are speaking here of visions that are born of God. It is God who gives vision to his people and any vision not born of God cannot find help in God. God asked Abraham to lift up his eyes, which means he wanted to show him something. He wanted to give him vision. God is the author of visions.

We should also note that God asked Abraham to look from the place where he was. That meant he had a limitation as to how much he could see. But God knew that. We all like big dreams, and we serve a big God too. However, we usually have to work out God’s plan for our lives stage by stage, a little at a time. You may not be able to see far into the future today, but work at creating as much of your future as you can see right now. God expands our vision with time.

Finally, it is necessary to remember that God told Abraham that he would give him and his generation all the land which he saw. And he did give it to them. I am persuaded he will do the same for you – he will give you as a possession all that which he has shown you. It does not matter how long it takes. Just remember that whatever God does lasts forever. So what he will give you will last till generations after you – just as it was in Abraham’s case. The only question here is ‘What do you see?’

References: Jer. 1:11-13, 24:3, Amos 7:8, 8:2, Zech. 4:2, 5:2

Go Away!

Go away. Go away. We have decided you are not real

Neither are you true or to be reckoned with

You are only what we make you to be

You only have whatever life we give to you

When we are not here, you are not here either

We are your God, your life-giver

And all you do is to suck life out of us

But we know that you are not true, neither are you here

You were only here because we decided you were here

 

Go away from us, very far away from us

To a place we are certain does not exist

A place of whose existence we cannot know

We can no longer endure your indulgences

And your multitude of misdemeanors

Before you give us a bad name among men

We will ensure to give you no name at all

So we lay our hand upon your head today

And proclaim to all that you do not exist

 

So now that you are gone far away from us

You will no longer be a thorn in our flesh

Neither will you be a pain in our neck

You will be but a point in the line of our past

A part of ancient folktales to be told

We will say that in a way you did exist

But that, in reality, you did not exist

We will rejoice and be merry all of our lives

Because you are gone far away from us

Toyin Taiwo © 2012

Liar

Liar! Liar!! From whence did you proceed?

Clothed with falsehood as with a garment

You make a prey of the gullible and innocent

Holding him captive with tales that exceed

The limits of truth and possible realities

You nurture him with words that spring

Out of your poisoned and deadly mind

 

Liar! Liar!! Who was she that bore you?

And for whom did she conceive you?

Spinning webs of deceit from strings of lies

Like the renowned makers of “aso ofi”

You are an inspired and addicted liar

Who even believes his very own lies

Remaking yourself into the lies you told

 

Liar! Liar!! To where are you headed?

And with whom are you journeying?

Blessed is the man who never met you

And woe to him who befriends you

For your path is as slippery as your tongue

Leading you to where you belong

The place of judgment and destruction

Toyin Taiwo © 2012

Living as a believer

LIVING AS A BELIEVER

Nevertheless, each of you should live as a believer in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to you, just as God has called you. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. (1 Cor. 7:17, TNIV)

Nevertheless, each one should retain the place in life that the Lord assigned to him and to which God has called him. This is the rule I lay down in all the churches. (1 Cor. 7:17, NIV)

1 Corinthians 7:8-24.

The Scripture passage above provides deep insight into the mind of God and the manner in which he deals with his saints, in times past and in the present times. Here, the Apostle was speaking on the all-important issue of marriage relationships and lays down certain guidelines. He relayed both the direct instructions he had from the Lord and his own judgments as one called of God, in cases where there were no direct instructions from the Lord. Then, he concludes by saying that each person should live as a believer in whatever situation they were called by God. This is the verse which has become a deep source of instruction to us today. He goes further on to explain by saying that the circumcised should remain circumcised and the uncircumcised should remain uncircumcised. Slaves and freemen alike were to serve God in the situation they found themselves. Neither religious nor social status mattered in the sight of him with whom we have to do. We must not forget either, that this statement was initially made in respect of marital status. So whether married to an unbeliever who is willing to stay or divorced from one that is not willing to stay (or even remarried afterwards), live as a believer.

What does it mean to live as a believer? It means firstly, that you give priority to the word of God as the ultimate authority in all matters in your life. The scriptures have been given for our guidance, comfort, instruction, correction, warning, reproof and training in righteousness (2 Tim. 3:16). All of Scripture was inspired by God and is therefore the all-time letter of God to his saints. This we must note in a world full of philosophies, false knowledge and deception, so that we can avoid the spirit of error. The next mark of living as a believer is prayer. God’s word is full of instructions and admonitions to us believers to pray. Prayer is the means through which we access God’s power to effect changes around us. This is how we establish God’s kingdom in heaven here on earth; by intercessions and supplications with thanksgiving to God regularly. Another mark of one who lives as a believer is personal fellowship with the Holy Spirit of God who has been given to guide and instruct us after the Lord Jesus ascended to heaven.  You must yield your heart to the Holy Spirit and be led by Him through the word (Rom. 8:16). The last mark of one who lives as a believer we shall examine is the art of fellowship with fellow believers. This, the scriptures warn us not to neglect (Heb. 10:25). Corporate fellowship affords us the opportunity to be comforted and encouraged by others in our times of weaknesses and trials, and to contribute to the lives of other believers in diverse ways.

So what is the point in all this? The point is the priority of God as it concerns our lives. His priority is that we live as a believer, whatever our situation, status or condition in life. His primary concern is that we manifest the life that Jesus came to impart to us through his life, death, resurrection and ascension to heaven; that we bear the fruits of the Spirit which is what the husbandman seeks (Jam.5:7) and that we fully access and utilize the heavenly resources at our disposal in doing this (Eph.1:3). Live as a believer. That is the ultimate objective of God. And it is important to note that this objective is not without the hand of God in mind, because the Scripture says ‘…in whatever situation the Lord has assigned to you…’ So God himself assigns us to certain situations to bring out the flavor of the Christian life in that situation. After all, he wants to make known his manifold wisdom to the powers and principalities in the heavenly places (Eph.3:10). By this, the scripture means that God is revealing his many-sided, multi-dimensional wisdom to the world by bringing believers to victory regardless of their external status or situation. And this he is doing, in a world where your welfare would ordinarily depend on your status and condition. Indeed, he is a wise God!

Every believer must take this truth to heart and learn to live by it. Often, we as human beings desire changes in our status or situation in life. God is not against this. He loves for our condition to improve and our status to get better. The Apostle says that if slaves can get their freedom, they should (verse 21). So this reflects the mind of God to us. But he also emphasizes, more importantly, that we should not be troubled if we cannot change our status, because we belong to God, and so we should reckon things the way God reckons them. The slave is the Lord’s free man. The freeborn is the Lord’s slave. The poor is rich in the Lord. The rich should know that his riches are fading and only the word of the Lord will last. Everyone should reckon themselves, not by their natural heritage, but by their spiritual heritage in Christ Jesus our Lord. We therefore do not need to become desperate about changing our status to the extent of contradicting the word of the Lord, because we know that God in his wisdom is able to make all things work for our good and for his glory. Our own priority is simply to live as a believer in whatever circumstances we find ourselves. By so doing, we will be fulfilling the will of him who has called us to his own glory and virtue and to manifest his manifold wisdom to the powers and principalities in the heavenly places. Hallelujah!

October 8, 2011

The Evil Forest

Just beyond our tiny village

Miles afar from the big city

Stood a forest dark and evil

Greatly feared by young and old

 

There the trees made a large canopy

Under which dwelt the wildest beasts

Amidst them the yellow woodpecker

Picking at the bark of the sacred tree

 

The green mamba watched in silence

Waiting for the right time to strike

Its slimy body splattered by litter

Droppings of the lousy owl above

 

At the edge of the evil forest

Where the trees were fat and short

The tree-canopy bent to the floor

Reaching to the leafy shrubs

 

There the little black mole

Ran for his precious life

Pursued by a wounded viper

Hunting for an evening meal

 

At the centre of the forest

Where no foot must ever step

Sat the ancient boundary-stone

Set in place by our fathers

 

Standing tall among the trees

Of the dark and evil forest

Is the great ‘iroko’ tree

Still regarded as the greatest

 

Now I see it from afar

Towering above all others

At the centre of the frame

Giving meaning to its name

 

I should never hope to rest

‘Neath its giant leafy structure

While it’s sitting at the centre

Of the dark and evil forest

Toyin Taiwo © 2012

Choose, Now!

You do not have all the time

To choose to do right in life

If you think good today

Then do it right away

 

At first you feel you’re young

All in shape and strong

But soon you’re old and frail

And can do nothing again

 

You thought your days were plenty

But then you say in pity

“I am only one among many

And my days are not many”

 

The choice to do what you think

No longer rests with you alone

 

If you must make a difference

Then you must act in time

For the days are soon coming

When you can do but little

 

Then you only hope and pray

Others will do what is right

 

If you are one and limited

And have a mind that’s righteous

Then spread the word to others

And multiply yourself

 

Choose to do right today

And help someone do it too

So when your days are ended

You’ll be glad how you spent them

Toyin Taiwo © 2012

You

You always were my focus

At the centre of my locus

Of you I thought day and night

Whether in darkness or in light

I feared to let you out of sight

For fear that you might not return

Or into something else might turn

 

You later became my poem

For me you turned to an anthem

Of you I wrote myriads of stanzas

While I sat under the canvas

Searching badly for the answers

To scores of questions about life

Causing problems that were rife

 

You have now become my song

The only one for whom I long

Of you I sing with harp and lyre

For you I wish, crave and desire

With passion that burns like a fire

That leads me like a guiding star

Till I find the place where you are

Toyin Taiwo © 2012