Soul Food 4 U

It addresses itself to every day issues of life from a Christian perspective. You'll be challenged. You'll be rebuked. You'll be encouraged. You'll grow.

Thursday, June 01, 2006


MAY 25, 2005


People who lack critical judgement are at the mercy of any point of view.

People who get used to a faulty system tend to zealously defend and protect it because they are entrenched in it.

It is easier to think outside the box when you are not staying in one. (Advert)

It is easy to be brave when you are in the presence of another; it is another thing to be brave when you are all by yourself. It is easy to be a Daniel in a land where there are no lions.

If you give in to opposition, you lose your position.


1 Sam 13:19 Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, "Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!" 20 So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. 21 The price was two thirds of a shekel for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

1 Sam 13:22 So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

1 Sam 14:6 Jonathan said to his young armor-bearer, "Come, let's go over to the outpost of those uncircumcised fellows. Perhaps the LORD will act in our behalf. Nothing can hinder the LORD from saving, whether by many or by few."

As I try to figure out how the soldiers in Israel could give all their weapons to the enemy for sharpening without realising what disarmament can mean to people who have differing life view, am reminded of words Bertrand Russell who said Poverty, since industrial revolution, is only due to collective stupidity (no pun intended). Sensitiveness would make people want to abolish it, intelligence would show them the way . . . A timid person would rather remain miserable than do anything unusual. Herd mentality develops as people live and work together. People get used to certain ways of doing things and to certain level of trust that often make people have a 45 degree view instead of near 360 degree view. When people accept the goals that they have come up and the means of accomplishing those goals, creativity and novelty get killed. Christian leadership is ability to get out of that narrow view and which is referred to as the box and allow the Holy Spirit to show you possibilities. The church and the economies of Africa need men and women who like Jonathan know that our God is able to save whether by many of by few. Even when the Christians around us in ignorance have given their weapons to the enemy, there is hope we put on the whole armour of God (Ephesians 6:10-18). Giving up of weapons is when people lose sight of who they are and start comparing themselves with those they need to be rescuing from the enemy, when prayer becomes less and the word of God remains in the bible rather than in the heart. There is hope for our people in as long as we have people like Jonathan who think differently because they know who their God is. Jonathan refused to cave in to the situational pressure and that saved his defenceless people from imminent attack.

What do you do when you realise that the people to whom you are accountable do not share your vision and viewpoint even though they officially say they do? How do you respond to the realisation that the driver/ pilot, CEO, pastor/bishop, president, chairperson, elder/deacon/counsellors, husband/wife, father/mother, etc are insecure, ignorant, lacking in confidence and clarity of vision? There are times you realise that while your warriors gave away their weapons, the enemies who did not give up their weapons are aware of your vulnerable state. Some symptoms that reflect warriors who have given up their weapons include erratic emotional outbursts, fire fighting management because of lack of planning and that makes everything an emergency, inconsistent behaviour, self-centredness, poor interpersonal relationships reflected by desire to control other human beings to the point where they lose confidence in themselves and so have to wait for another to think for them, generally suspicious of others actions, poor listening skills that close one from seeing other possibilities, and so on. The real threat is that the losses incurred because of the poor choices of the one in charge are borne by all including you who could see that you are facing the wrong direction. How many people have lost their lives and others maimed because of poor judgement of a driver yet there were passengers who could see the risk they were in? How many people have died without assurance of salvation and others have been deeply wounded because of poor choices of the believers?

The more you get to depend on the Lord and his word, the more you realise that dependence on man and his ability can be traumatic and imprisoning. What do you do when you found yourself closed in by choices of those to whom you have to submit? What do you do when you realise that you are among the few sighted in a land where blindness is so common that it is considered fashionable?

Some suggestions;

  1. Know that you are not alone. Learn from those who have had to live through similar circumstances and yet lived to save their people. Such people include Jonathan, Joseph who had to endure the choices of his unsighted brothers and Portiphars wife. , David whose success was a thorn in the flesh of his boss Saul, had to live in caves, among Philistines and even pretend to be mad just because he knew his strength in the Lord God who have enabled him to kill Goliath. David did not ask the people to praise him and yet he suffered because of his good acts. Like David we can choose not to use opportunity to embarrass but instead do good and keep your distance. David respected Saul even though he did not deserve the respect. Elisha had to pray for his servant to have his eyes opened so that he could see that there was a heavenly army that was fighting for them. Apostle Paul was not very popular and endured some hardships because of not speaking what was generally acceptable. Jesus Christ had to wade through very heavy opposition from the social authority figures such as Pharisees/Saducees, High priests and even his family to some extent, his hometown, did not share his view point.

2. Do not lose your ground. Remember, you cannot live with change if there is not a changeless core inside of you. Review and reflect on your source of security, guidance, wisdom and motivation. External source of strength is shakeable and easily falls off.

3. Keep your mind renewed by the word of God so that you may know Gods acceptable will (Romans 12:2). That is removing the log from your eye so that it is not blocking your sight. Remember ignorance is no bliss. Be informed. Share with other believers who are growing towards maturity. Have balanced view of self (Romans12:3).

4. Do what is within your ability. Jonathan had his theology in place when he confessed that God is able to save whether by many or by few. God used Jonathan who had the weapon and consciousness to save the army of Saul. That same God is able to use you to bring the change that is needed in your situation. Do what you can do.

5. Look out for opportunities to shed light in the dark corners. 2 Samuel 20:16-22 is an example of a woman who watched as they mighty were about to shred her city to a rumble. 15 All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maacah. They built a siege ramp up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications. While they were battering the wall to bring it down, 16 a wise woman called from the city, "Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him. That wise woman saved her town from destruction which would have rendered her people homeless and helpless. Use the opportunities available to you. The woman may have used her gender, a story, logic to gain Joabs attention. Prayerfully, wisely, respectfully and in love, use any entry that would illumine the chief decision makers. Like Queen Esther you may be in that church, organisation, family, etc for such time as this. There is something you can do.

6. Look out for precious minerals when you realise you are locked in. when you cannot progress, no promotion, not many opportunities lie before you, that is opportune time to develop patience, perseverance, genuine love and other aspects of the fruit of the Holy Spirit that are best learned and ingrained during valley experiences. Skills are sharpened at such times. When David was alone with animals he learnt the use of slings and stones that he could have gathered in the valley and that became important in confronting Goliath. Precious jewels are not picked on the surface and it is in darkness that precious gems shine so that you take notice of them. Some of those valley experiences may turn out to be burning bush that the Lord wants to use to speak to you about his new mission for you as he did to Moses. Many who have been used of God to progress the cause of Christ have had their lessons in closed prisons of this life.

Warriors who have given up their weapons can be so scared of any one with a different opinion that they try to shut them off, but as long as you hold to your faith in God, no one can shut you from serving the purpose of God in your time and generation. Be encouraged.

A friend told me that even if you apply strong perfume on a person that does not bathe, in due time the stench will overpower the perfume. Continued, reflection, repentance, review and drinking from the fountain of life will keep us clean and effective in the battlefield.


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