Of Israelites and us:)

Everytime I read or hear of the Israelites, I partly laugh, partly question myself, partly wonder what was wrong with them. I’ve never fully grasped what it is that goes on in my mind when I think of them. Oh yes, part of me just rolls my eyes at their utter lack of gratitude. But over the weeks, actually, months, I have been battling with a thought in my heart and mind. Allow me to take you back:

I have been going to a cell group (Regional Bible study or whatever you call it) for the past 5 years – This year we begun with a journey through the Bible and while doing Exodus, we came across the part where the Israelites had been released from Egypt and on their way, they reached the red sea. You know the story… They COMPLAINED to Moses, saying surely he brought them out there so that they could die!!! Hahaha… Like seriously??? And God performed His miracle, and they crossed the sea, the Egyptians, their enemies,  getting drowned. They were jubilant, understandably, given the circumstances. Then afterward, they complained about not having food, and God provided Manna, they complained about lack of water, they got water gushing out of a rock!!! Can you imagine the kind of things they experienced! But… But… But… The Israelites still complained when they got uncomfortable – slight discomfort if I may add.

Now, part of me understands – They had been slaves for over 400 Years and knew the Lord would deliver them and take them to the promised land and when their release came, they expected to go right into the promised Land. Their experiences since they left Egypt did not match their expectation of the Land flowing with milk and honey so maybe they had a ‘right’ to murmur against God. Unfortunately however, they took 40 Years…!!!! 40 entire years to get into this land, and faced a myriad of challenges on the way.

As understanding as I would like to be however, I also do not understand one thing – that they complained against God. In my limited vocabulary and limited understanding of this English Language, there is a difference between just complaining and complaining against God. I mean, it’s one thing to say that our politicians have literally fed us the wolves and complain at their lack of a moral compass; But, and this is where it hits me hard; it is quite another to say that we do not understand why God, in His infinite wisdom, allows us to have such leaders. And this is my crucial point right here. The Israelites did not just complain about their circumstances, they  complained AGAINST God.

So while discussing the text in BIble Study, I very quickly pointed out that Israelites were a special breed of people. I mean, they complained against God-after seeing His miracles with their own two eyes; and not just one miracle, but tonnes of them, one after the other. Yet they had the audacity to question why God released them from Egypt to suffer in the wilderness. And as I said, while I understand their lamentations, I do not understand why they were complaining against God. Being the blessed Nation and experiencing God first hand, I would actually expect that they at least pray before complaining. But nah, they just complained against God.

In the practical application bit, everyone, save myself, was of the opinion that we are just like the Israelites. I beg to differ. Yes I do complain about things and situations around me – but I do not in any occasion, question God or as the Bible says, murmur against God. Then I realised, maybe my approach is even worse than those who do complain against God. And I have been praying since to understand what God is saying to me, about me. I’ll try to break it down:

The fact that I do not argue ‘against’ God doesn’t mean my opinion of God is superior or that I have such a bridled tongue, or that I am more mature in Christianity (Haha! God knows I’m nowhere close to maturity)… In my heart and in my mind, God is sovereign – He does what He wants to do, when He wants to do it, whether we pray or we don’t. And that is the danger in my faith. I believe in the sovereignty of God, His decision making, even when it makes no sense, His ultimate answer to prayers. He doesn’t do what we ask of Him, He does what He wants to do (or how we would say it in Christian circles, His Will) – this may be in line with what we ask of him, or not…

We talked about grief too, and how it is impossible to not question God in times of grief and this part, I said I cannot comment on it. Because grief does something to people. So even here, don’t lecture me on the fact that it’s because I haven’t been grieved.

My argument is centered on the Israelites-they were not grieving someones lost life, they were complaining about food amongst other things!!! That they wanted meat and spices and were bored of the manna that fell from heaven-and they said it would have been better for them to stay where they were, than come to this place where they would ‘suffer’. And I genuinely haven’t met people who complain against God – enough to make them wish they had gone back to where or who they were before Christ. Or who have questioned why despite their righteous ways, their obedience to God, etc., they suffer. I haven’t – and when I do I’ll just be shocked. Because I won’t understand why they feel high and mighty enough to feel God has a debt to them that He hasn’t cleared.

This idea is so embedded in me, I do not have the ability to murmur against God  – because who am I? Who do I think I am in God’s grand schmeme? In my thinking, the very act of questioning God is saying that God owes you this, that or the other; and I am not there yet. I don’t think God owes it to me to answer yes to my prayers, I don’t think He owes it to me to rid me of my pain, I don’t think He owes it to me to answer prayers I have prayed my whole life and not seen His response. He doesn’t owe me anything, not even this life I live!

But perhaps this is indifference. Perhaps this is resigning to the knowledge that God’s sovereignty doesn’t serve me, must not serve me, will probably not serve me. And I don’t think my prayers are full of faith any more-they are crippled with the fact that He will do as He pleases. This is very confusing-It shakes the very foundations that I have so eagerly built. A faith in a God to whom I am indifferent…

Still soul searching – and asking God to make me see Him, and make me see the folly in my ways…

 

 

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The 8th Commandment

But it is said that it is a sin to murder… Thou shalt not Kill, it was put… Does that include yourself? I mean, it makes absolute sense to not kill someone else but myself, is that still wrong? It probably is…or maybe it isn’t… Maybe it is considered as a slip of the mind. Yeah, does that count? That if I am medically ill I will not be judged? Will I still be condemned in heaven’s gates?
It ought to happen that way, right? Because I mean, in the law of the land when one is mentally unstable they are acquitted of all their guilt, no matter how obvious it is that they did wrong. So maybe I won’t be charged in heaven’s gates. Maybe I will be… Do I want to take this risk?
If there is something I hate doing it’s throwing pity parties… So I cannot talk about this to anyone…they’ll just think I’m looking for attention. Hihihi…Maybe I am looking for it… who knows. Anyway, I can’t because I don’t have concrete grounds for this feeling-none at all. Not compared to people who’ve literally gone through hell in this life. Mine remains a normal life… a heart break that i could never get over. That’s a stupid thing right? It’s what they’ll say… “She was just being stupid and she got bitten in the bum” “Mwiba wa kujidunga huo…as if she didn’t know how it would end“…
So I’m better off dealing with this in silence… on my own, right? Right! Maybe it will end. What even brought it back? I thought I had pushed it away and learnt to live with it…with life as it were…

Of Grey Worlds

So today is one of those days I wake up with a text from my long lost… I have a lot of those actually. It’s frightening. I started this dating journey again in January this year. It has been amazing… But Pristine, Pristine, Pristine…
I love that I have been called to a certain life in God. I love that I am aware of the higher calling, I love that there is a standard to live by. I like rules – they give me direction and structure and strategy and God knows I need that to achieve anything in this my crazy life.
But over the months, I have been at a loss of things to do, to say, everything. I love God, hearts body and soul. I love my guy too… undoubtedly. I like to believe I am the faithful type. When I am dating I automatically shut guys out of my system. Always, well… not any more but there was a time when this was my life. And I am at a loss on how to get back there. I can’t even pep talk myself into being that person any more. I cannot begin to imagine what changed, when the rain started beating so hard, why I changed this very fundamental side.
So today I got this text and for a couple of minutes we chatted, all the while telling myself that this was wrong-it really was. I’m those people who don’t know what grace means. I don’t understand the meaning of mercy so I don’t know how to extend it to myself either. Plus I HATE character issues and I assure you there was a time I was free from character issues. I could hardly do wrong things. I was very conscious of things I said and did. I’m not saying I was super righteous, not at all. But you know how you just know you’re a good person, overall? Yep! That’s where I was!
Then my walls started crumbling once upon a time, and I lost trust in humans, but worst of all I lost trust in myself, value in myself. This morning I was listening to Pst. Furtick-my new Televangelist. He’s Awesome! And he was narrating the story of Saul getting to the point of wanting to Kill David, and drew his spear at him and it missed, piercing the wall instead. And at that point, he wasn’t fighting David, he was fighting himself. And that’s what many of us do. We look like we’re fighting those around us but in reality we’re only fighting ourselves, unable to bear our failures, our inabilities, our insecurities, our everything. So I looked at this text and asked myself why I was entertaining what was clearly against God, against morals (whichever divide of religion you stand from), against myself.
And sadly I couldn’t understand why…
It is said that we live in a grey world. There are no blacks or whites…. just greys. But that’s not my reality. That’s not what the Word of God, which informs my actions, says. There are blacks and whites… You do not flirt with others when you have a significant other, you don’t sleep with the enemy when you have a choice not to… You don’t allow small insignificant things to get in the way of greater, more significant things.
I chose to flirt through the morning ride to work and a little into the day. I said no by the way, but you know a firm no from a flimsy no. Men can see that too… And while I sat to myself and asked myself what on earth that was, I read my word for today… so Timely – so frighteningly timely – James 4:2-3

“You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:2-3)

This spoke to every dark corner of my heart… who am I kidding? This spoke to my very dark heart. I was simply being greedy, wanting to have my cake and eat it full; wanting to date and be faithful while at the same time not letting go of former terrible ties that add no value in my life. I covet what is not mine, what I genuinely do not want, do not need…. but I want just a slice…not the whole thing. Just what I need to satisfy a dark desire, what I want that adds zero value to my life.

This is where I draw lines. When the Word of God speaks to me in a clear resounding way. Above the many struggles I have with life is letting go of people I don’t hate. I literally have to hate you to cut ties with you. Until then, I want to be at peace with all and sundry. And to be at peace with some people means walking away from destiny paths, walking in the wide path rather than the long and narrow set out for me, being at peace with some people means living in total degradation of myself-because we all know some actions make us loathe ourselves, living at peace with some people means going against your values and morals, because they have a different perspective of life, a different world view.

So I choose the long and narrow. Hard as it may be. I choose to cut links, very unwillingly but it will save future souls. It will save my soul and keep me in God’s ways

INTEGRITY

I wrote this eons ago, 3rd Nov to be precise…

This has been a special week. Actually, since I Started this whole Rick Warren Devotional thing, my life has been special. Above everything else, I find it so amazing that God speaks to us in our situations. And that every day, or almost every day, my devotion has to do with something weighing in on my spirit and soul. At first it felt scary, but as I continue, I can only marvel at what God is doing!

This week has been on integrity. I am those people who beat themselves up so much that they are unable to move past their situations and stick there – oblivious of the marr they’re in and go back to that mud, because they don’t see the point of trying lest they fail again. And also because trying results in obviously denying yourself something that you’d otherwise not have denied yourself was your conscience not so severely pricked.

So for the past few days it has been a thorough burden, looking at my filth and being completely unaware of how to get myself out of this constant mess. And yes, integrity as a topic has been increasingly helpful to make me deal with it and not hate myself to a point of not fighting the integrity in my heart. I love the Word of God because it is a double edged sword.

 2nd Cor 4:2 But we have renounced the hidden things of shame, not walking in craftiness nor handling the word of God deceitfully, but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. 

Sometimes I look at what God’s word says, and how far away I am from achieving His standards of holiness above all other things. We get lost at times, trying to fathom God’s ways. But we have been called ot stand out and to live a certain way so as to get into His holy place eventually when Christ returns or when we die.

Integrity is all about right standing with God. The minute we decide in our hearts and minds that we shall not please people but God Himself, at that point, we make our walk in Christ easier. It is so amazing that we try so hard to please people. The sins we – no. Let me take that again, the sins I struggle with are not entirely a means to self-gratification, rather, they have a very strong factor dependent on people pleasing. You know how our sins are, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, the pride of life… We have a certain inclination to people whether we do or not. If you do not believe this, try, just try to walk away from your area of struggle and see the first thing that happens. Besides the personal withdrawal symptoms you will go through, those you were doing it with will be on your case and not in a good way. They will mock you until you go back to your ways.

This is why I say, most of the things we do are very people centred. I like writing about Pristine a lot. She is a very interesting character to me. She just fascinates me day after the other. Pristine has this guy she loves to bits. She has many other guys pursuing her. Side note – she’s not that hot by the way, I tend to think that these dudes are all over her because it is her area of falling. It’s just the devil’s way. Back to the story, Pristine has told herself time and again that she’ll wait till marriage for everything, the whole shebang! She barely makes it two weeks, literally, two weeks before she falls again, same thing, over and over again. I kid you not, every time she decides to take these bold steps like walking away from people, she thinks just how much they will hate her for it and jeer at her for making such a choice. So she usually waits for drama with someone then she walks away from them. And I know this is what most of us go through, we want to stop drinking but then we feel we can’t not drink with the kind of crowd we keep. Or we want to stop gossiping but the stories just get juicier. How do you even start saying you don’t want to be part of a group you probable led? And the secret sins are just the same. We struggle with letting go of the self-gratification and stick in our quagmire, utterly unable to live our lives out right.

May the Lord help us and be with us and guide us through. May He be Lord over our lives indeed and may He have actual Lordship over us!

God bless you as you purpose to live out a life of integrity. Take it a day at a time. Tell yourself today you shall not entertain that thing you all so often entertain. And see where that gets you. Your prayer life will get better I assure you. There’s a certain effect a righteous life has on our spiritual walk. We have more boldness to walk to God and the more we’re able to walk away from the sins that so easily entangle us, the easier it becomes with time to honour God and our bodies and our beings and ultimately those around us!

Jesus loves you so much. Allow Him to show you just how much.

He lives on…

Today is again one of those days that you know you left the past in the past until something triggers the memory and you crumble all over again, never knowing how or when you’ll rise back up.

The melancholic in me causes me to brood over small things, to let things get to me and eat me up and absolutely consume me. I try so hard to let go, to channel my emotions as I am ever so fond of saying and at times doing. Actually I did at some point in my life. There was this girl, Patricia, she let us call her Pat, which she considered trendy. She constantly used to make fun of people, and they, the people, used to find it hillarious, a kind of thing I would never find funny thanks to my mel self and my over thinking of stuff like what was meant behind the ‘joke’ and was the joke really the truth disguised as a joke and was I really the Person who she was making me to be. I was getting so hurt, but that was who she was so I made a mental block of her in my mind and that was it, everything she said bounced back, I stopped fighting it, I stopped defending myself, I just declared her null and void in my mind. But I digress.

I wondered many a time, why he couldn’t vacate my mind. Why he had so much power over me yet I sincerely declared him dead to me a long while ago. So this morning, as we were just having a casual chat, he came up, just like that! … and I felt the dread come over me, with such a force I couldn’t hold back my tears, never mind I had put on make-up – one of those once in a lifetime things I do for myself when I am feeling all sassy. So I now not only had to think of tears flowing in public, but also that my cheeks would have a string of uhhmmm… something… and then I’d mess up my eye liner which takes forever to make right again. Speaking of which, why is it sooooo hard to apply make up a second time? Like the first time you get it perfect, no double lines on your eyes, even darkness on both eyes and all; then mess it up a bit and try to do it afresh and it looks so horrible, it would have been better had you just left it a bit messed up! Anyway, that’s a topic for a another day.

Now I am just there, really genuinely wondering if I’ll ever get over him, like completely, or I have to physically kill him and have him drown in his pool of blood, and watch him go away and know that he shall never return, neither him, nor memories of him, nor anything he ever was… nothing will ever return. But then again, the universe will do this for me….so I shall sit this one out, continue to love my enemies because that’s what my Redeemer expects of me, and I shall wait…and wait for his demise, his actual death from the life in my head, the room in my heart, the view in my eyes…

Then shall my heart be free, my soul be glad, my tears safe in their ducts, my make up intact…

Faltering…

To leave or to stay… a matter of faith

Being primarily born and raised in a Christian home, a couple of things were sort of ingrained in her. Faith for instance came to her rather easy – she just believed that whatever you believe in comes to pass, like it or not. If you see your doom, be sure it shall come, if you see your prosperity, the same too.  She walked the talk so to speak, and the reverse as well. She was not exactly the goody-two-shoes but oh well…she fit the bill. Other than faith the other thing that came that came with absolutely no strain was NO ALCOHOL. That was the least of her temptations, I could bet if she was drowning in a pool of alcohol she wouldn’t as much as sip of that alcohol let alone choke on it. So ingrained was it in her she wasn’t sure whether this was a religious principle or a personal life preference.

Later in the years though she got exposed to more and more and her perfect little Christian walls begun to crumble around her. The ministers she trusted as fathers were the very same preying on their flock, the most pious of people were the very same who did not uphold the principles she relatively had no struggle maintaining, the women meant to be role models now abused their husbands, gossiped their church congregants, broke homes with their judgemental nature, everything just begun to poke at the bubble she had created for herself. The worst was when the media joined this attack against the church. Everything was just bashing the church, their beliefs, their lifestyles, everything. Although she knew that they (Christians) were not to follow fellow men but Christ, she couldn’t help but wonder, “were these people really men of God, did they appreciate God, did they really do everything in their power to ward off evil or did they simply rest in the knowledge that God is a forgiver and full of mercy and grace?”

As these things begun to pound into her every being, she got torn in pieces on the inside. She was battling fears and doubts, she could talk to no one about it. They wouldn’t understand anything, they wouldn’t even take it positively, and they would probably kick her out from church. Then to add salt to injury came along a Muslim man….

Her world transformed, will she convert, will she remain, will he stay, will he go… is religion just a belief – or did it hold some water??????? Does it matter where she is? Can her crushed world be made new again in this new faith? Will she be destroyed by the very world she created? Will it ruin her to convert? Will it make her lose everything?

After all, mtaka youte hukosa yote….

To be continued…