Last week was a pretty week in writing deals for me… and I use “pretty” for lack of a better word.
I had three articles written that specifically referred to my past – the dregs that God brought me out of.
We had the “What’s Your Salvation Story” on the blog…
And then “The Consequences Of Revealing That I Committed An Abortion” on Bella Naija…
And also my speaking engagement on “Purpose and Visions”.
In all three, what I was led to do was to first of all speak about where God had brought me from.
And so my Dad reached out to me.
I had known that my mom was saying stuff that were hurtful even to my ears from miles away, but my Dad’s words were even more hurtful to hear.
Typing this right now still almost tears a rip in my heart because the both of them have it all wrong and I cannot even set things straight because this isn’t between me and them, it’s between me and God.
And so as I stayed up talking to God about it, I suddenly started hearing “Well, Judge For Yourselves…”
And I knew that it was referring to the passage on Peter and John.
So I went there…
Berean Study Bible
“But Peter and John replied, “Judge for yourselves whether it is right in God’s sight to listen to you rather than God.
For we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.”
And then I smiled, God was essentially asking me “Frances, Judge for yourself, would you rather accept what men say, or what God has told you to say?”.
This probably happened last week, but still those words “Judge for yourself…” continued ringing in my head right unto this present moment.
I haven’t been able to shake it off.
What’s God trying to get across to me?
That even if instructions come from a highly respected person and it’s not Him/it is clashing with His instruction, I have to take a stand?
Frances Judge for yourself..
Peter and John took a stand.
They said, you guys are asking us to keep quiet about Jesus and all He is, check it out if that is right. Should we obey you or obey God?
Well, as for us, they concluded, we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.
So I ask myself, Frances, what is it that you have seen and heard?
What is it that you have seen Jesus do?
Has He said that you should speak it?
So what do you wanna do?
Obey men or obey God?
It was almost like God left it open to me.
Frances Judge for yourself.
I do know that obedience is a big issue to God and it’s actually a proof of our love to Him.
“If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Fatherâs commandments and abide in his love.”
John 15:10 ESV
So when the Lord says “do this” and you do not do it but sing that you love Him, something’s not right.
Your words maybe with Him but your heart isn’t yet with Him.
I learnt this last year and I wrote on lessons learnt from sharing your story series.
When God asked me to share my story last year, I knew that lots of things were attached to it, an important part of it was a test of my love for God and commitment to obey Him no matter what maybe.
I passed the test then but it seems like it’s an ongoing test of love.
Right now, I can also chose to shut up my mouth like my parents want or be so broken enough to share when God says share.
So I have chosen to once again, obey God.
I have weighed the scale and decided like Peter and John that I cannot stop talking about the things I have seen Jesus do.
How can I?
When most persons God sends me are broken souls like I am?
And God has said that we overcome by the blood of the Lamb and the Word of our testimony?
My testimony is a big part of all God is doing, how can I hide it?
And asides that, how can I fail this test of love from my Father?
I can’t, I can’t.
And so, what is it that you are grappling with obeying God on?
A hard instruction He has given?
A word from Him clashing with words from men? Even from men who you love and respect?
Confused about what to do?
Well, Judge for yourself.
Son and daughter of the living God, judge for yourself.
Should we obey men rather than God?
Should we obey our rationalization that goes all “I cannot do this and that Lord?”
Or should we obey God in whatever He wants us to do or say?
Always and forever, I pray those words keeps pricking me and pricking you whenever we are faced with hard situations.
Frances (place your name here), Judge for yourself.
And I pray that God rules our conscience as we do so.
Father I ask for grace to pass the test of love every time you bring it my way.
Grace to obey you in whatever and through whatever maybe.
Grace to decide like Peter and John that I cannot stop speaking about what you have commanded me to speak about.
To be wholly submitted to you, Lord I pray.
Merge my heart in with yours in Jesus name I have prayed, amen.
Lord help us all in this walk and relationship of love with Him in Jesus name, amen.
Remember to dig into God’s word for yourself, so much so that every time you are faced with hard times, His word comes running to your rescue.
And also remember, today (and everyday) is a good day to become progressively like Jesus Christ.
Till our next online Bible study,
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AmakaJuly 6, 2016 at 4:44 pm
Hmmmm . . .Frances the first thing that came to my mind was to give you a sisterly hug. Then the second thing was to leave a comment. I did but I mistakenly wiped it off. I wanted to ‘copy and paste’ the comment elsewhere because I’d written something I never thought about until now. (e pain me sha!)
Anyways, I am now writing another one. The devil is a liar.
I know what it feels like to hear those “speeches” from our parents. Was it not two days ago my sweet mum chipped in “you shouldn’t have resigned” reminding of how broke I am and all. Lol. I looked up to God like: “When, Lord?! When? Can you speed up this preparatory stage?”
Today, He told me “I’m taking you into a place of rest” (Hebrew 3, 4:1-9) and I understood. He wants me to chill with Him in my nothingness. Hard thing! It’s hard o.
I’m an Igbo girl. I like money. As in ehn, I like money!. However, wouldn’t one rather be broke while being in a place of rest with God THAN having money without a rest of mind?
Frances, I dunno if what I’m writing is related to today’s Bible study. I just want to say it has blessed me. Thank you. Thank you so much.
(That reminds me, I actually failed one love test, but Daddy has forgiven me ?)
I cannot stop now. Gone too far from where I started!
Frances OkoroJuly 9, 2016 at 11:31 pm
These kind of comments we read over and over again..
Thank you for shaming satan and posting again..
Yes its related to today’s study… You are one person I think about and I am like okay, someone else is being trained like I am..lol.
Today I found myself praying for you (You pop in at the oddest times), was prying for God to give you the power to create wealth. He surely will but I guess like we know our Daddy, He always sets things right first in attitude, character etc.
And oh bringing us to a place of rest.
This lesson on not fretting ehn.
Let me just say, yes thanks babe.
i received that sisterly hug.
Highly FavoredJuly 6, 2016 at 6:06 pm
Francis, you and God are the only ones that know and understand the true intensions of your heart.
May the peace of God surround you and the comfort of the Holy Spirit uphold you.
Frances OkoroJuly 9, 2016 at 11:26 pm
Amen and amen Highly Favoured.
Prayers are my best gifts ever. Thank you