HEAVENLY TREASURES

Matthew 6:19-21 [NIV]

19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. 20 But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. 21 For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

A treasure is something that is highly valued. Earthly treasures are quantified in possessions such as gold, houses and these expire with time. Heavenly treasures on the other hand are not limited by TIME. However, just like any other treasure, you have to search for heavenly treasures. Yeah, if you have watched any pirate movie, the general theme is centered on crossing vast oceans and going around the world in search of treasure. You have to get knowledge, sacrifice and work hard to get to what you desire.

One misconception we must break is that heavenly treasures will only be obtained when we get to heaven. Jesus sacrifice on the cross gave us access to the heavenly realm and we can pull what we access there and pull it to the earthly realm. We can make them to be a part of who we are. They can be principles or values that revolutionize how we live in the world of men. Whenever we receive such treasures, we are meant to grow them.  Yes, cultivate the godly treasures within you by experience and the Word of God then bring them to the surface by prayer and obedience.

Cultivate the godly treasures within you by experience and the Word of God then bring them to the surface by prayer and obedience

Proverbs 2:3-5 [NIV]

3 indeed, if you call out for insight

    and cry aloud for understanding,

4 and if you look for it as for silver

    and search for it as for hidden treasure,

5 then you will understand the fear of the Lord

    and find the knowledge of God.

Most of what God has endowed us with has to be searched for. The problem comes about when you don’t know what is yours. If you don’t know something exists, you will never be bothered by it. If you don’t know that something belongs to you, you will never search for it. Your search can only start when you realize that you have lost something or when you realize that something is yours and belongs in your hands. You will definitely labor to make sure it gets back to you.

Believers living a Christian life have the hope of the return, the resurrection out from among the dead, and eternal rewards to motivate them and provide focus for their endeavors. Hebrews 11:6 [NIV] says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Our love for God and desire to please our Lord encourages us to labor for him out of love and to store our treasure in heaven, rather than to build temporal fortunes. I came across Paul Ellis teaching while researching for this blog and what he had to say about heavenly treasures blew me away.

Genesis 15:1 [NIV]

After this, the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision:

“Do not be afraid, Abram.

    I am your shield,

    your very great reward.”

Whatever the treasures of heaven may be, they are nothing in comparison with Jesus, who is the Reward for those who seek him. There is a difference between inheritance and heavenly treasures. Our inheritance comes to us through grace alone; when we accept the Lord Jesus as our savior and are adopted as sons into God’s family, while heavenly treasures can be worked for and accumulated. Now there is a totally different way that we can view what ‘heavenly treasures’ are. What are eternal rewards? What is our heavenly treasure? The answer may surprise you, but it is people.

Children are a heritage from the Lord, offspring a reward from him. (Ps 127:3)

This Psalm is not just talking about biological children. God has bigger plans for you and they involve spiritual children. Lots of them. Dozens. Hundreds. Thousands. Millions. Don’t limit God. Just as Abraham was called to be the father of many nations, so are you. Jesus said those who followed him would be fishers of men. What is a fisherman’s reward? It’s fish, or people in this case. What is the reward of the one who sows and waters the good seed? It’s a harvest of people. What is treasure that never wears out and cannot be stolen? It’s people. In Matthew chapter 5, Jesus introduces God as our heavenly Father. In Matthew chapter 6, Jesus says he is a Father who rewards us. And what is a father’s reward? It is children.

crowd diversity

When Jesus exhorts us to store up treasures in heaven, he is not saying, “Store up me.” How would we do that? He’s saying, “Be fruitful and multiply so that when this moth-eaten, money-grubbing world passes away, you will have treasures in heaven—spiritual children, and grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.” God isn’t your average Father with average dreams. His desire is to grow the world’s largest family and He treats people like treasure.

Deuteronomy 7:6 [NIV] “For you are a people holy to the Lord your God. The Lord your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession.”

Don’t take people for granted. One of the things that distinguishes a son from a servant in the house is the son having the same desires of the father. If God values people, as a son of God, you also have to value people. You have to expose them to the gospel and pull them into this large beautiful family.

You are your father’s treasure.

Watch the video of the week below 🙂

 

All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise stated. Drop your comments and thoughts on the above post in the box below. Like and share the post if you have been blessed. See you on the next one.

suit2

YOUR LIFE IS NOT DRIED UP YET

Hello there. I hope that you have been well these past two weeks. Let me just start off by saying, ‘I love how the Holy Spirit works!’ Today I was really yearning for something new to share on my blog and somebody was sent my way with such a powerful word. So I will deviate a bit from my planned post and hopefully the same will be ready by next week. Also today’s blackout was a blessing in disguise, because I would have been so engrossed in work that I wouldn’t have the time to quietly complete this post. So get your cup of tea or coffee to batter the cold and let’s dig in.

John 5:4-9 [KJV]

4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.

5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.

6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?

7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.

8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.

9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.

There are so many different lessons and revelations that one can get from one portion of scripture. The more you listen to and meditate on any scripture, the deeper you understand it. Most of the time it is God using the Rhema word to speak into your situation. This is one such portion that I have learnt so much from. A story is told of an invalid who had been in this condition for 38 years. This man had spent almost four decades in crisis. Can you imagine that? In that period of time in today’s world, someone would have been born, grown up, graduated, married and had kids! When you’ve been in such a situation for that long, your purpose could be blurred, hope might have been lost after losing an opportunity that you long for time and again. The word says that an angel stirred the water at a given season and whoever jumped in first was healed of their disease. This occurrence did not happen that often. Seasons are not specific to years or weeks. Some seasons once passed might come back around even after ten years. Thus anyone who was hoping to be the first to jump in had to be sensitive and be ever alert because the angel could come at any time.

But…Jesus came along and saw him. This guy had been not lost hope. Maybe every time someone jumped in before him, he moved closer and closer to the pool and refused to give in. When Jesus asked him “Do you want to get well?” he started giving his story but Jesus cut him off and told him to get up and in that instant he was healed. We might be so caught up in our problems that we just start talking too much about what has been happening when help finally comes our way. If not careful, our subconscious might get so adapted to that new low that the possibility of normalcy seems ridiculous. Constantly speak hope to yourself, constantly remind yourself that the low you are currently in is not what God has planned for you. We have to be specific when God asks us what we want. God knows your situation and that’s why He has made or makes that visit.

This man’s situation shows how sometimes it is only God that can understand what you are going through. People might be around you but are unable to help. Medicine might be available but only God holds your healing! So stop focusing on people and focus on God as your deliverer. A similar account is found where the woman who had the issue of blood for 12 years was healed the instant she touched Jesus’ cloak.

Luke 8:43-44 [NIV]

43 And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years, but no one could heal her.

44 She came up behind him and touched the edge of his cloak, and immediately her bleeding stopped.

Your restoration can only come when you connect yourself to the life-giver. Restoration comes when your mindset changes to believe that with God, anything is possible. When you become connected, it no longer matters how many years found you in dryness and despair because just like Ezekiel you can prophecy to your situation and it will come together and live again.

Ezekiel 37:2-3 [NIV]

2 He led me back and forth among them, and I saw a great many bones on the floor of the valley, bones that were very dry. 3 He asked me, “Son of man, can these bones live?” I said, “Sovereign Lord, you alone know.”

plant

Needless to say, your situation has not gone as far as you being dead, and years being rotten and eaten away to the point of becoming very dry bones. You are not yet cut down, and if you are, you can sprout again. All you need is a scent of water, all you need is to hope again in God.

Job 14:7-9 [NIV]

7 “At least there is hope for a tree: If it is cut down, it will sprout again, and its new shoots will not fail.

8 Its roots may grow old in the ground and its stump die in the soil,

9 yet at the scent of water it will bud and put forth shoots like a plant.

 

All scripture references are from the New International Version (NIV) unless otherwise stated. Drop your comments and thoughts on the above post in the box below. Like and share the post if you have been blessed. See you on the next one.

Do not worry

WORRY NOT

A beautiful sight

It was a pleasant sight. My gaze was fixed, unfaltering as I watched them. Legs crossed and seated on the bed, looking through the window at the little birds playing in the light showers that came after the heavy rain earlier. The excited chirps filled the chilly air with lightness as they jumped into water puddles, ruffled their feathers and flew away. It was a good distraction for me. God’s small creation always amazes me in big ways.

Matthew 6:25-34

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?

28 “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. 29 Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. 30 If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? 31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

This passage resounded in that moment. When you’ve had a busy week but feel like you got nothing done and dreams that brought joy are a pain when you have been chasing them for so long without fulfillment…sigh. Anyway, that was the moment I was in and when I was reminded of this verse I could not come to terms with it. Maybe I have been staring at my problems for too long instead of focusing on Christ. I pray that God will make this word solid in my daily life.

depression

 

Let go of worry

George Burns, American actor and humourist said, “If you ask, ‘What is the most important key to longevity?’ I would have to say it is avoiding worry, stress and tension. And if you didn’t ask me, I’d still have to say it.” Burns, who lived to be 100, enjoyed making people laugh and apparently followed his own advice.

Many a times we are consumed with the worry of when will I buy this or that,  school completion, work and we drive ourselves crazy with nonconstructive thoughts. Worry does not add anything to us, as a matter of fact it takes away our confidence. In the passage above Christ is calling us to a place of surrendering our anxiety and worry and taking on His peace. A place of trusting Him as the shepherd and provider of our lives.

“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1 Peter 5:6‭-‬7 NIV) Instead of being consumed by anxiety and worry, we are set free to enjoy God’s love for us and express it to each other.

“God is my father, I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?” – Oswald Chambers

We are called to LIVE! There is so much more to life than achieving milestones that the world declares to be important. A change of perspective is necessary in living a faith filled life. Rejoice in the little things. Engage in activities that make you happy. Start off the week by placing your trust in Christ and throw out the shreds of worry that threaten you daily.

 

Video of the week

Enjoy the video below. Have a blessed week.

🎵 So long bye bye. Goodbye to my pain and my sorrow! 🎵

TWO RIVERS LIGHTS SPECTACLE

All shots below were captured using my Huawei P9 lite. Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @picsbyphoenix

So on the last Wednesday of 2017, I got to tour Two Rivers Mall with a few friends. Now I live less than 30 minutes away yet have never actually been there before. The place is a city on its own. I got lost a couple of times while there…haha. The lights that came with the Christmas decorations were amazing! From the street lights all the way to the pillars inside the building. Well as you already know am just crazy as one can be about lights.

So, about mind blowing shows, there is this water/lights show that went down at the Riverfront where a deejay plays music and the water and lights play around in sync with the beats. Being a techie person, I could not fail to notice how well they were able to project videos onto the wall of water. Watch a snippet of the show below (don’t forget to subscribe to the channel).

Later, we got to play some games at the arcade including basketball, Piano sth 😀 and my favorite was Kungfu Panda obviously from my love of cartoons and animations. I redeemed my tickets to get these awesome action figures key holders – Iron Man and Groot from Guardians of the Galaxy.

I am definitely going back there soon to complete the tour though I do need a good DSLR(maybe a NIKON D750) for better shots, anyone thinking of a gifting me this year *hint*hint*.

View all the photos on Behance: https://goo.gl/Jf3WtD

KNOWLEDGE FOR CREATION

Pretty strange to publish blog posts on two consecutive days…huh? Well, I figured this was too long a post for social media and I wanted to share as soon as I could. My energy tonight has been at crazy extremes and my spirit is just too excited for the new beginnings rising out of this year.

So yesterday (1/8/2017) the Holy Spirit tagged at my heart to take a walk back to town from Upper Hill, just a silent walk, no earphones blazing cool tunes which I rarely move without. Well, I thought the walk was just because it did not make a big difference between walking and hitching a bus ride since there was so much traffic at that late evening hour and I would literally get to town at the same time while walking as those KBS buses. However, by the time I got to the streets of Nairobi,, the reason was quite clear and I could focus on the seed that He planted in me. Sometimes the Holy Spirit just longs for time alone with you, avail yourself to Him.

With every new year, we tend to go with the flow of the new year’s excitement, then just hold onto hope that the year will be better than the last one. You gotta change how you do things to see a different result. Get in line and make 2018 instead of waiting for the year to be favourable to you; gaining new knowledge with every beginning, with every new dawn. Then with the knowledge gained, create; bring to reality what others cannot grasp with their mere thoughts.

Photo credits: Grey 116

I am a silent person by nature. That is just part of my character built over many years. I listen for long periods of time before I give my say and most times if the conversation is not directed at me I might not utter a word. Silence keeps one from trouble is a good proverb ? Am not really an introvert but an ambivert. I tend to talk more when the conversation is natural and I love extroverts who complement my character though if you keep talking too much and repeating the same point over and over yet I understood it two minutes ago, I will get bored and run away from you ??? I am sorry if I you are on my unconscious list of MARK AND AVOID but that is just me, you have somebody else out there for you ?. and I do enjoy events where I can socialize and have fun with friends.

So all that explanation on silence was just to bring you to the reason for the behind this post. Someone one year back, while in a group setting mentioned that I possess a lot of lessons to share with people but I do not. It got me thinking I should share more…and now ta..da the season is here. It is amazing how God can work on you consistently until you grow to where He desires you to be. This was just a reminder of what had began one year ago.

So, this year I plan to learn something new everyday to empower my creative being. Some lessons will definitely be flashbacks to secrets and principles I previously overlooked. I will be sharing across social media (Follow me on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram @phoenixthadj) some of the lessons that I have learnt in the past as well as those that I will learn over 2018 using the hashtag #KnowledgeForCreation. I do not promise to share daily, some lessons may just be for my own personal growth.

Am grateful for my spiritual father Prophete Joel Lutuka. He has worked to achieve such great spiritual levels and has become an amazing example of how much one can enjoy life in Christ. I have indeed learned a lot from him directly or indirectly. My sharing will be based on what the Holy Spirit drops in me during this season of grace. Aye, you are most welcome to engage me. Happy learning!

#Making2018
#GreaterGraceLife
#KnowledgeForCreation

CONCERTS THAT MADE MY 2017

I will not lie, 2017 has been one of my toughest year. I do hope that yours has been better than mine. Nevertheless, I always gain strength when I focus on the good rather than the trouble. Being a lover of music, concerts always have a part to play in making amazing memories year in year out. So let me share with you 6 concerts that made my 2017. The list would have been longer…sorry to say, I missed out on a few amazing concerts. So here we go. (The list below is in chronological order.)

  1. Radical 5ve (Sunday 9th February)

Verse 5ve has an event every quarterly at Memorial Park, Nairobi. Being part of the street team and marketing these events has been an amazing experience.  Radical 5ve was the first of these events this year. What made it epic was that S.O. the kid was in the building. This guy knows how to grind in his music ministry. If you have never heard of him, do check out his YouTube channel.

Photo Credits: Krugan
  1. Maranatha Ministries Int 3rd Anniversary (27th – 29th January)

If you did not know, Maranatha Ministries International has been my home church for the last few year. Now the highlight of this three year celebration was worshiper Hlengiwe Mhlaba from South Africa. Talking of shaking heavens…story for another day. The sync with which she works with her team is just perfect. There is was this dude on the keys who was like producing music on the go….weeh, I don’t even have technical terms for the experience. Perhaps you can catch her and the team on January 26th to January 28th as we celebrate the 4th Anniversary. Prophet Victor Kusi Boateng will also be ministering. Its gonna be ???

  1. Mary Mary Concert (Saturday 27th May)

Some classic tunes from back in the day by the duo Mary Mary got the crowd singing along. The turnout though was very low and Mary Mary performed for only a few minutes then rushed back to the airport. The music selection prior to their entry on stage was also terrible.

What I enjoyed about this day was the company I had. Team Ambition is all kinds of awesome. I made the most sales I have ever made in just a few hours, selling Ambition album by Recapp. Aye, choose your squad well, they determine how well you enjoy those little moments.

  1. Momentum KE (Sunday 27th August)

Zambian music could be classified as a genre on its own. The talent in that country is just on another level.

When I knew Pompi was going to be the main act at Momentum 2017, I made sure I did not miss out on the fun. Pompi’s performance was epic. This dude can worship! See the stills I got to capture; armed with a Canon; on Facebook and do follow me on Instagram and Twitter too @picsbyphoenix The video below is courtesy of letmusicpreach.com

  1. Worship with Donnie (Saturday 2nd September)

“I need to worship because without it I can forget that I have a big God beside me and live in fear. I need to worship because without it I can forget his calling and begin to live in a spirit of self-preoccupation. I need to worship because without it I lose a sense of wonder and gratitude and plod through life with blinders on. I need worship because my natural tendency is toward self-reliance and stubborn independence.”— John Ortberg

Jubilee Christian Church organized a free concert dubbed ‘Worship with Donnie’ to culminate the end of Daughter of Zion 2017 convention. Mercy Masika and her mum were on stage together. That family can truly sing. Donnie McClurkin and Sammie Okposo later ministered in their own amazing way. Donnie even sang Natamani by Rebekah Dawn word for word. It was amazing considering he had only been to Kenya for a few days.

Photo credits: Nick Mug
  1. Aflewo Nairobi (Friday 15th September)

I wasn’t really well prepared for this one. My heart was torn at the time and I didn’t really feel like worshipping. Anyway, I just pushed myself and took that bus ride to Winners Chapel that cost me about Ksh.60 only and ohh boy, it was amazing. I was favored and got a good seat. Yes, I celebrate when am able to get a seat at one of the largest worship events of the year. Was even able to shoot a few videos. This is one night where one can just enjoy the presence of God through music. I got to enjoy my favorite tunes and a couple of other new songs that night. My favorite moment was when Kaberia steps on change and the atmosphere just changed onto a new level.

Something else that stood out was my curiosity at trying new food. So this one vendor ran out of buns and instead of hamburgers, they started selling ‘mandazi burger’ which am sure you have already figured out is a combination of mandazi, grilled meat and some onions. So am there in line that cold morning after the event like (conversations in my head): “This is interesting, perhaps I should try it. It should be enough to allow me to get home without a grumbling stomach”. So I did though I was not so sure about the sight of it and to tell you the truth, people can really come up with some cool things with what they have.

Photo Credits: Genius & Aflewo
  1. Road To Ambition (Sunday 3rd December 2017)

Recapp finally held their first live band concert with Born To worship Band. Proud of this family, they really came through with such excellence that they blew me away. Other performances were from Joyce Omondi, Stone, Bboy Harry and Rigga. Best concert of 2017 in my opinion. Watch the snippet below and do subscribe to my YouTube channel.

MIRRORS

Am I selfish?
Is it selfish to want something so bad that you would give your life up?
Is it selfish to pursue a passion that is so ingrained in your heart, that even the mere thought of not achieving it makes you ache
Is it selfish to set standards for yourself that others consider crazy?
Is it selfish to life a life that gives you joy and fulfillment?
Is it selfish to want out of poverty?
Is it selfish to not care about somebody who hurt you in the past?
Is it selfish…

The constant fear leaves me paralyzed
In a despicable state yet powerless to overcome
Will this be my fate?
Never progressing? Never being at peace?
Despair flickers through my mind
I brush it off with a hope…
Yes I still have hope
Even though my feeble grasp on it is obliterated every once in a while and I am plundered into another sea of depression
I still find hope
I still wade through the mucky waters to touch the tip of the shores

No confidant has been worth pouring my heart to
Perhaps one is meant to win their own battles
Proverbs 14:10 says it well “Each heart knows its own bitterness, and no one else can share its joy.”
But what if I realize am too weak?
Too weak to even put up a resistance and fringe myself into my promised future?
What if am too weak to even ask from help from those who are willing to offer it?
I will not deny the truth that am troubled
The non-existent exhaustion caused by my worry tags at my soul
The pain rips at my heart
Even though there is a twist
Yes, a twist. Am sorry I never told you
The cause of my pain is myself.

Strength means nothing without faith. Yes, faith. Faith that opens up your vision to see beyond the trouble. Faith to know that greater is coming. So I gather up the tiny seeds I own and sow them. I know that when that tree blooms, it will be strong enough to lean on and in time my own strength will be unfathomable.

STEP UP

A prosperous life is all about steps
Steps to change perceptions and positions
Take that step no matter how small
Aye steps turn into leaps

Life entails pursuits and conquests
Races against time and towards opportunity
Of flights fueled by passion and dreams
Running tanks refuelled within every meagre hour and dials that always scream danger
Yeah you gotta learn how to read the signs
Or you’ll get lost in the traffic
Discern who to help on your path because not all mean you well and your time is not meant to be wasted

Credits: Brian Kigen

Aim to be soar high above the expectations of the lowly and simple minded
Rush towards the unknown and take in the total bliss that comes with taking a risk
And because depression kicks in when the pursuit of a dream bears no fruit,
Look for joy in the little wins
Your goliath will eventually fall
When your arm sling becomes perfect

DARK CROSSROADS

Today I have dreamt dreams
Of colorful orange skies and shiny cars
My hopes are lifted even if it’s only for a moment
Yes the dream is there but its execution buffles me
I know I have to wake up because making the dream a reality is not part of the dream

Strength and weakness my two opposites seem to be going at each other with each passing day
Some days I feel like King Arthur with his legendary sword slaying all day long with extraordinary ease but other days am just superman ripped of strength and drowning in a pool of crystal green kryptonite
I am numb with pain
No relief comes my way
I laugh in the crowds but cry in my closet

Just a normal day or is it?
When you face the dark demons that haunted you yesterday all over again
And your strength fades away with each passing encounter
The blur of life causing me to question my worth when after all the wear and tear no fruits are reaped

Standing at the crossroad, I stare ahead as the names of each path seem to magically appear then disappear
Debating whether to go ‘right’ or follow the enticing path
Knowing full well the enticing path leads to an aftermath of guilt and regret
Fear grips my soul
Every second filled with worry that my mistake will break Savior’s your heart
When John 6:35 seems impossible – that the thirst of worldly things can be quenched
Powerless to the addictions weaned into full growth
When will I stare into the eyes ablaze with love?
When will my light grow to shine and cut through the darkness?
Faith is all I have, its my only shield, I gotta hold onto it

The corner of my eye catches a glare afar off
Hope is always here even when I chose to ignore
Peace floods my heart
The path to destiny is fully illuminated
Yes LIFE is calling
With a voice so sweet it makes my ears tingle
The crossroad puzzle has been made void
And the darkness overcome by light

WAR FOR PEACE

It is exciting to have this blog up. I hope you will enjoy the read. Here is a snippet from a blog post I wrote last year: “There cannot be peace if a war has not been fought. Taking the case of David as an example; Israel before and during the time of David was constantly involved in wars. David in particular started fighting from the time he was a young boy acting as a shepherd by killing a lion and a bear that came to plunder the sheep. He was then able to kill Goliath when all the men in the town were shaking out of fear of the great giant. Further down in his rule, David eliminated all his enemies that meant to do him harm. He was a man of valor; a man of war.  In fact, he spilled so much blood that God did not allow him to build the temple. Solomon his son was tasked with that work. However, all the fighting war not in vain. It is important to note that during Solomon’s reign, there was peace throughout the kingdom. This peace was as a result of the fighting that David, his father, had been involved in. Practically everyone wants to be successful and live in peace in a good home, able to provide for their livelihood… and this begs the question, what are they doing to get there?”

“Anywhere you desire peace, you must be ready to fight. Peace is a sign of a man who has mastered how to fight” – Prophete Joel Lutuka

When you come to the realization that you will only have peace when you win some battles, then you will fight with all that you have. 1st and 2nd Kings is filled with stories of how different Kings went to war against their enemies either to conquer land or to avoid being taken as slaves to foreign lands. The art of war had to be mastered by every King starting with Saul. It involved preparation, strategy and good leadership. The King’s mastery of war and the capability of his army determined the security of his kingdom.

As children of God we have the power to influence our environment but you can only influence your environment when you are able to analyze and understand its atmosphere. It is from the understanding of how the present atmosphere can be manipulated that you will make steps that can lead to any meaningful change. The same mindset has to be used in battle. Failure to know the enemy that you are fighting will result in defeat. Failure to know what moves the enemy is capable of will render you useless and you will die on the battlefield or leave it totally shattered.

The common misconception among Christians is that it is wrong to fight. Do not be deceived. Fighting is the only way that you can remain whole. You have to fight to not loose your principes in the midst of a corrupt world. You are in foreign territory; you are only on earth for a short period of time and the enemy wants you to believe that life on earth is all there is thus it will not matter how you live it. This is far from the truth as how you lead your life here on earth determines where you will spend your eternity. When you just allow life to pass you by then you will lose out on the plan that God laid down for your eternity. Ephesians 6:12 clearly states: “For we are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” Spiritual battles are won in the spiritual realm and we get into the spiritual realm by mastering the art of prayer. Below is Timothy Keller’s take on how we should gauge our level of prayer and communion with God.

TIMOTHY KELLER ON BIBLE READING AND PRAYER
“I often ask Christians to evaluate their situation with regard to prayer by using a metaphor. Imagine that your soul is a boat, a boat with both oars and a sail. In this case here are four questions:
1. Are you “sailing”?
Sailing means you are living the Christian life with the wind at your back. God is real to your heart. You often feel his love. You see prayers being answered. When studying the Bible, you regularly see remarkable things and you sense him speaking to you. You sense people around you being influenced by the Spirit through you.
2. Are you “rowing”?
Rowing means you are finding prayer and Bible reading to be more a duty than a delight. God often (though not always) seems distant, and the sense of his presence is fairly rare. You don’t see many of your prayers being answered. You may be struggling with doubts about God and yourself. Yet despite all this, you refuse self-pity or the self-righteous pride that assumes you know better than God how your life should go. You continue to read the Bible and pray regularly, you attend worship and reach out and serve people despite the inner spiritual dryness.
3. Are you “drifting”?
Drifting means that you are experiencing all the conditions of rowing—spiritual dryness and difficulties in life. But in response, instead of rowing, you are letting yourself drift. You don’t feel like approaching and obeying God, so you don’t pray or read. You give in to the self-centeredness that naturally comes when you feel sorry for yourself, and you drift into self-indulgent behaviors to comfort yourself, whether it be escape eating and sleeping, sexual practices, or whatever else.
4. Are you “sinking”?
Eventually your boat, your soul, will drift away from the shipping lanes, as it were—and truly lose any forward motion in the Christian life. The numbness of heart can become hardness because you give in to thoughts of self-pity and resentment. If some major difficulty or trouble were to come into your life, it would be possible to abandon your faith and identity as a Christian altogether.

In this metaphor we see that there are some things we are responsible for, such as using the means of grace—the Bible, prayer, and church participation—in a disciplined way. There are many other things we do not have much control over—such as how well the circumstances in our lives are going as well as our emotions. If you pray, worship, and obey despite negative circumstances and feelings, you won’t be drifting, and when the winds come up again, you will move ahead swiftly. On the other hand, if you do not apply the means of grace, you will at best be drifting, and if storms come into your life, you might be in danger of sinking. In any case—pray no matter what. Praying is rowing, and sometimes it is like rowing in the dark—you won’t feel that you are making any progress at all. Yet you are, and when the winds rise again, and they surely will, you will sail again before them.”

Finally, Colossians 1:20b illustrates how Jesus took the ultimate step to bring us peace “…by making peace through his blood shed on the cross.” Jesus paid the ultimate cost for our salvation by shedding his blood. It is up to us to learn how to apply the grace that He made available for the attainment of peace.