YES, YOU CAN BARGAIN WITH GOD!

I have a friend who was addicted to alcohol, cigarette, and women. He was on a modest income, and it was apparent that he was pushing himself rather too hard to feed his passions. As expected, he was always broke, so, he could not discharge his duties to his family and society as he should.

Many people advised him to turn a new leaf on different occasions, but he could not. According to him, it was as if some unseen forces were controlling him, and urging him on. Before long, his health began to deteriorate, and he was gradually coasting to an ugly end.

One day, he came to us and asked for divine help, having gone round various experts to no avail. As we were chatting, I remembered one of my friends, who had a protracted family problem. He told me how he went round for help in vain, before he went to God and bargained (reasoned, discussed, negotiated, settled, etc.) with Him. In the end, he came to an agreement with God to serve Him for the rest of his life, in exchange for His intervention in their situation. True to form, God kept his side of the agreement, and my friend kept his too. Today, he and his family are totally free to the glory of God.

I shared this story with my friend, the one battling addictions, and I encouraged him to bargain with God also, and he agreed. He implored God to deliver him from his addictions, and in return, he promised to serve Him with his talents, for the rest of his life. We later agreed with him in prayer! Guess what? God answered us, and today, he is totally free, clean, and doing well. He celebrated his tenth (10th) year of freedom recently, and he is still serving the Lord with his amazing talents to date.

Friend, what are you battling with at the moment? Is it an addiction? Is it a health challenge? Is it a nagging family issue? Is it a work related difficulty? Is it an academic problem? Is it a wobbly relationship? Is it a financial crisis? Or, is it a lawsuit? Perhaps you have done all you could to be free without success; today I have good news for you. And that is, God is ready to help you (Isaiah 41:10); He is eminently able to do so (Ephesians 3:20), and He will leave no stone unturned to actualize His plans for you (Isaiah 45:2-3).

However, you must be prepared to bargain with Him first. Yes, you can actually bargain (reason, discuss, negotiate, settle, etc.) with God (Isaiah 1:18a)! And in the process, you are free to yield certain things to Him, in return for helping you. For example, you are free to yield a part of your wealth to support His work. In addition, you are free to yield your time, energy, skill, personality, frame, fame, and connections to Him.

Besides, your words of encouragement, acts of kindness, love for humanity, ability to mobilize people, flair for mentoring the young ones, etc. are very vital, and you are free to yield them to Him for His service. Please, be rest assured that whatever you yield to Him will not be lost; they will certainly come back to you sooner or later (Ecclesiastes 11:1), and in multitudes too (Luke 6:38).

My friends, and others in the past (e.g. Jephthah (Judges 11:29-33), Jacob (Genesis 28:10-22), Hannah (1 Samuel 1:1-20, etc.)), and these days, bargained with God at one time or the other; they delighted themselves in Him also, and He gave them the desires of their hearts. He will give you yours as well (Psalm 37:4), in Jesus name. Amen.

Jesus is Lord!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu.

Dr Stoney is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies

RELAX; GOD IS IN CONTROL!

I was a motor Mechanic Apprentice at some point in my life, even though I had always wanted to be a Medical Doctor, and I worked very hard to actualize my dream. But, I derailed badly, and abandoned my study at the famous Government College Ibadan (GCI), Nigeria in Class Two. The reason being that a senior boy called me a leper; a very degrading tag in our culture!

For the benefit of my non-Nigerian readers, please note that unlike in the developed world, being a motor mechanic is not necessarily a great achievement in Nigeria! I will say the profession is not much fancied in our society, and it is prevalent among those who don’t have funds to further their education past the most basic level. It is also prevalent among those who for one reason or the other are academically untrainable. Majority of Mechanics in our clime are hard up!

I was under the tutelage of ‘Baba Yellow’ (Yellow Man) the Mechanic’ without my father’s consent, as he was then abroad and my mother could not sway me to change my mind. Baba Yellow was a good man; he had a couple of wives, several children, a rented apartment, and an old green Opel Record car. A lot of people streamed to his garage daily to fix their cars, and he had many junior mechanics, and apprentices working for him. To me, he was a star, and I wanted to be like him!

I settled down very quickly at Baba Yellow’s garage, and before long, I picked up some traits associated with the place, a few of which are, scruffiness, playfulness, talkativeness, waywardness, and dishonesty.

Above was my life till my father returned home abruptly from his trip abroad one night, and he was very angry with me, when my mother updated him on what I had become in his absence. The next morning, he bundled me back to school amid deafening protest from me, thus ending my dream of becoming a motor mechanic like Baba Yellow; a huge victory for my parents! As luck would have it, our Principal accepted me back, and protected me. He also did not announce my escapade to all and sundry, thus saving me an unpleasant backlash.

Yes, I derailed big time, but God restored me back to the path He intended for me initially by using some senior boys to help me settle down quickly. Sina Fagbenro-Byron, among others, showed me love, which I lacked before I dumped School. Decades later, he also encouraged me through an email to continue my activities for God; he never knew that I had abandoned Him at that time. That email jolted me back to God to date!

God also used Yinka Adedayo​, Lanre Amos, and Adeniyi Adekunle​ to strengthen me academically. The solid foundation they laid for me paid off in the end, as I went on to pass the School Certificate Examination with distinction, and then study Medicine. May the good Lord reward these gentlemen richly, in Jesus name. Amen.

My experience as a returnee subsequently inspired me to show sympathy to the people I met in GCI and beyond, each time I had to. My Medical training, which became possible because I went back to school by the grace of God, also allowed me to help numerous people back to good health. Besides, my training in medicine and other fields is now instrumental to our being able to preach Jesus Christ via our activities, to several thousands of people, in over 110 countries, in all the continents of the world, every month. I give God praise!

Friends, do you think you have derailed badly like I did as a consequence of your actions or inactions? Did you derail because of an earlier occurrence (viz. divorce, ill health, job loss, imprisonment, etc.)? Do you think you have lost your way, target, respect, position, voice, etc. thanks to it? Do you now see yourself as a bad parent, child, student, professional, friend, leader, Christian, etc.? If you do then, I have good news for you! God can still get you from where you are right now, to where you ought to be in life (Psalm 32:8). Just relax, He is in control!

But you have to play your own part very well too! Firstly, you have to be honest with yourself, and admit your mistakes (Proverbs 11:3). Secondly, you have to ask God to forgive you, and He will (1 John 1:9). Thirdly, you have to trust Him to direct you back to the path of glory and honour, which you ought to be; He will as well (Proverbs 3:5-6). Fourthly, you have to stand firm at all times, so that you don’t fall (derail) again (1 Corinthians 10:12).

May the good Lord prove Himself very strong in your life, restore you back to the position you ought to be in life and keep you there, so that you can become who He wants you to become, help humanity with your skills, and finish your earthly race superbly, in Jesus name. Amen.

P.S. I dedicate this write up to my Sister, Aderonke Ilemobade Adegbulu, who passed on to glory on the 27th of May, 2015. She used to enjoy my ‘Mechanic’ story, and narrated same to her friends to honour God. Continue to find perfect peace and rest with the Lord your maker my darling Sister! Nothing will ever stop me from loving you!!

Jesus is Lord!

Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu.

Dr Stoney is the author of About God! Undeniable Facts & Testimonies

FALL DOWN, WALLS OF JERICHO, FALL DOWN!

Abraham obeyed God whole-heartedly in his time, and He (God) promised to give him and his descendants, the Israelites, Canaan; the land full of milk and honey as a possession (Genesis 17:8).  But His promise did not materialize until about 500 years later, because the Israelites disobeyed Him.

Eventually, they crossed River Jordan, and reached Jericho, a great and affluent city on the eastern side of Canaan.  There they got stuck, because of the impediment caused by its huge, scary, and impregnable walls.  Available archaeological reports showed that its outer wall was 6 feet thick and 20 feet high, and its inner wall was 12 feet thick and 30 feet high.  In between the walls was a well-guarded walkway, about 15 feet wide.  You can now see that we are not talking about mundane walls here.  But God came to their rescue one day, and gave Joshua a fool-proof battle plan, which helped them to overcome the dreadful walls. The plan involved Joshua having the Israelites march around Jericho silently for six days, and loudly on the seventh day. Even though the plan appeared ridiculous, Joshua followed it to the end, till the walls collapsed and they entered/possessed the Promised Land with ease (Joshua 6:1-20).

Like the original walls of Jericho, there are figurative ”walls of Jericho” afflicting people these days as well. Sadly, there are very many of them all over, and they can equally be huge, scary, and impregnable. They also make life extremely difficult for those they afflict, and they can kill if care is not taken! But thank goodness that they can fall down with ease, with the help of God (Luke 1:37). Hallelujah!

Now, let us consider a few of them, and cite bible passages contradicting them, so as to prove that they are really not supposed to be a part of us. 

  1. Sicknesses: ”Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers” (3 John 1:2).
  2. Childlessness: ”Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward” (Psalm 127:3).
  3. Poverty: ”Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you” (Hebrews 6:14).
  4. Hunger: 25 ”…do not worry about … what you will eat or drink… 26 Look at the birds of the air… your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?” (Matthew 6:25-26).
  5. Failed Business, Ministry, etc.: ”The Lord will… bless all the work of your hand…” (Deuteronomy 28:12).
  6. Wayward Children: ”…I and the children whom the Lord has given me! We are for signs and wonders…” (Isaiah 8:18).
  7. Lack of a life partner: ”…a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31).
  8. Sin:  ”…your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit…” (1 Corinthians 6:19).

Having realized that ”Walls of Jericho” are mere aberrations in human lives, I believe you will be interested in knowing how you can overcome yours. Well, to start with, you must admit that you cannot do it on your own (John 15:5).  Next, you must not allow them to intimidate you, and you must trust God to fight them for you (2 Chronicles 20:15) through Jesus Christ (John 14:6). Finally, you must prayerfully cast them upon Jesus Christ without delay, since He cares for you (1 Peter 5:7).  Before long, He will come to your rescue, and you will see them falling down with ease, and your joy will be full in Jesus name (Matthew 11:28).  Amen.

Jesus is Lord!                                           

(c) Dr Adedayo Stoney Adegbulu, 2013

THE BENEFITS OF PRAISING GOD

Praising God connotes expressing gratitude and respect to Him and it is an act of worship on its own.  We can praise Him by singing (Judges 5:3), dancing (Psalm 149:3), and speaking (Psalm 145:21) etc.  No one is exempted from praising God (Psalm 67:5) and the Heavens and Earth (Psalm 69:34) along with His entire works (Psalm 145:10) does praise Him too.  We are free to praise Him with Trumpets, Harps, Flutes, Cymbals, etc. (Psalm 150).  We can also praise Him more and more (Psalm 71:14) and forever (Psalm 52:9).

King David praised God passionately throughout his lifetime.  In 2 Samuel 6:14, the bible says:  ‘’Then David danced before the Lord with all his might’’ and on one occasion, he spoke in praise of God as follows: ‘’…You are great O Lord God.  For there is none like You nor is there any God besides You…’’ (2 Samuel 7:22).  He was even unapologetic when Michal, daughter of Saul, despised him for praising God so lavishly (2 Samuel 6:16, 21-22).  No wonder he benefitted massively from Him.  We shall revisit this point in a while.

Praising God is full of benefits, some of which we shall now go into.  It enables people to:

1.  Be in His Presence.  The Psalmist referred to this fact in Psalm 100:4 thus: ‘’Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise…’’.  Meanwhile, in God’s presence lies fullness of joy (‘’You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore’’-Psalm 16:11), and liberty (‘’Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty’’-2 Corinthians 3:17).  And none of our enemies can survive in His presence (‘’When my enemies turn back, they shall fall and perish at Your presence’’-Psalm 9:3).  It sounds reasonable therefore that, if we truly want our lives to be full of joy, and if we really desire liberty from all encumbrances, then we must strive to be in the presence of God at all times, and we can achieve this, by praising Him.

2.  Perceive His Glory.  When you praise (worship) God, His Glory will come down.  In 1 Kings 8:1-11, King Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the chief fathers of the children of Israel, to witness the bringing of the ark of the covenant of the Lord from the City of David.  The King and his people were all before the ark, sacrificing sheep and oxen!  That is, they worshipped (praised) God with their sacrifices.  After a while, the priests brought in the ark into the inner sanctuary of the temple, i.e. the Most Holy Place. And when they came out, the glory of God, via a cloud, filled the house of the LORD, such that the priests could not continue to minister.  In essence, praising God facilitates the coming down of His glory, and His glory is profoundly beneficial to humankind in various ways.  For example, it brings down His mercy: ‘’And he (Moses) said, “Please, show me Your glory.”  19 Then He said, “I will make all My goodness pass before you, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before you.  I will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and I will have compassion (mercy) on whom I will have compassion’’ (Exodus 33:18-19).  The glory of God also protects (guards): ‘’Then your light shall break forth like the morning, your healing shall spring forth speedily, and your righteousness shall go before you; the glory of the Lord shall be your rear guard’’ (Isaiah 58:8).  In other circumstances however, the glory of God, could be detrimental to those who disobey Him (20 Then the Lord said: “…22 because all these men who have seen My glory and the signs which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have put Me to the test now these ten times, and have not heeded My voice, 23 they certainly shall not see the land of which I swore to their fathers, nor shall any of those who rejected Me see it’’ –Numbers 14:20-23).  As you can see, the benefits of the glory of God are great and we should covet it and we can have it, by praising God.

3.  Possess His Anointing. When you praise God devotedly, His anointing will come down upon you, and you will do exploit for God.  In 2 Kings 3:1-26, King Jehoram of Israel, King Jehoshaphat of Judah, and the King of Edom, went to war against King Mesha of Moab and His people, because King Mesha had earlier on, rebelled against the King of Israel.   And at seven days into their adventure, they ran short of water for their soldiers and animals and they decided to inquire of the Lord, through a prophet.  And they went to Elisha the prophet, who initially was not keen on seeing them.  He eventually did after requesting that a musician should play (worship, or praise) before him.  Then it happened that when the musician played, the hand (anointing) of the Lord came upon him, and he prophesied that they would have abundance of water.  And it was so the following day.  Not only that, he also prophesized that the Kings would win the war against the Moabites, and it was so as well.  You too can do exploits for God, but you need anointing from Him first, one of the surest way of possessing it, is by praising God.

4.  Win Battles.  Hannah won her extraordinary, but excruciating battle against childlessness after praising God (1 Samuel 1:1-20).  In verse 19, the bible says ‘they (Hannah and her family) rose up early in the morning and worshiped before the Lord’ (i.e. they praised Him) and He gave her a baby boy, Samuel, in return.  What battle are you fighting currently? Is it bareness or ill health, joblessness, debt, poverty, fear, uncertainty etc.? Please pray to God about it today, and do not forget to praise Him as well, and you’ll surmount it eventually in Jesus name.  Amen.

5.  Overcome limitations.  In Acts 16: 16-26, a certain slave girl harassed Paul and Silas on end.  They soon got fed up with her irritating antics, and Paul cast out the spirit controlling her and as a result, they crossed the path of some powerful people using the poor girl to amass wealth and they made sure that Paul and Silas were flogged and thrown into jail.  But at midnight, whilst praising God, via praying and singing hymns, a great earthquake, which shook the prison to its foundation took place, and immediately all its doors were flung open, and the prisoner’s chains were loosed.  That is, they overcame their limitations of closed doors and restrictive chains, by praising God.  What is it that is limiting you at the moment? Is it an evil force, an evil covenant, a curse, your background, paucity of funds, hostile government policies, your past actions/inactions etc.? Please pray to God about it without delay; praise Him as well and you’ll overcome it in Jesus name.  Amen.

6.  Defeat the Devil:  How does this happen? Well if we go to the basics, we will find out that the original sin of the Devil was jealous driven.  He was, and He is still jealous of God (Isaiah 14:13-14).  He is never happy when we worship God and he will do everything possible to make sure we are dispirited to continue doing so.  He will make our lives so difficult that we will question the value of following God.  We may even be tempted to abandon Him all together.  It is the goal of the Devil, to hinder us from worshiping God.  But if we stick to our guns, despite the sometimes harsh realities of our lives, and we keep on following and praising God regardless, then we are sending a clear message to him that as far as we are concerned, he is not valued by us, and that God is the main person in our lives.  This is a form of victory for us, the host of heavens, and God, and defeat for the Devil.

7.  Live fulfilled lives.  We mentioned earlier on that King David praised God all through his lifetime and God loved him for doing so (Acts 13:22) and He empowered him to live a fulfilled life (Acts 13:36).  He won all his battles (2 Samuel 22:40); he was rich and honourable, reigned over Israel successfully, died in a good old age and was buried in the city of David and his son, Solomon, succeeded him (1 Chronicles 29:26-28, 1 Kings 2:10).  So, from his example, we can safely conclude that praising God routinely, and living fulfilled life, goes hand in hand.

Friend, as you move on fearlessly with your life, please, praise God more than you’ve ever done before and He’ll reward you with loads of benefits in response in Jesus name.  Amen.  Be expectant!

Jesus is Lord!