An occupied heart.


As the new year fast approaches I want to touch on something.

Last week I touched on the importance of humbling ourselves.

If you missed that post you can read it here.

This week I want to touch on the heart. Does God have your

heart? Why am I asking such a seemingly “obvious” question?

Maybe it’s not really that obvious……

 

It all started when I was singing, “when I lost my heart to you

Hallelujah“from Hillsong United’s new album Empires.

There is a line I kept singing which says,

You have my heart

 

As I kept singing that over and over I thought to myself,

Does He really have my heart??

As I look back at the year I see how I have struggled in my

relationship with Him. My heart has not been entirely here.

I have ignored Him A LOT, got distracted, had times where

I didn’t talk to Him, worshipped other idols…..shucks!

It’s been a challenging year and I allowed the challenges

to come between me and Him!

So as I sang that line I realised my heart was very occupied but

not with Him. God doesn’t want a part of my heart…..

He wants my whole heart!

 

“I will punish her for the days of the Baals to which she burned

incense. She decked herself with her earrings and jewelery,

and went after her lovers; But Me she forgot, says the Lord.

Hosea 2:13

 

This passage depicts where I was at. I was the one who forgot

the Lord, I was the one who chased after other idols……

My heart was far from the Lord.

When I had a choice to seek the Lord I would

occupy myself with something else but Him. It breaks my

heart thinking about that. My heart is reserved for God and I

want Him to have it all!

In His mercy and great love He still chases after me! He

hasn’t given up on me. I don’t deserve His attention. I have done

nothing to warrant it yet He still pursues me!

 

Therefore, behold, I will allure her,

will bring her into the wilderness,

and speak comfort to her.

 

She shall sing there,

As in the days of her youth,

As in the day when she came up from the land of Egypt.

And it shall be, in that day,

says the Lord,

That you will call me, My Husband

And no longer call Me, My Master,

For I will take from her mouth the names of the baals,

And they shall be remembered by their name no more.

Hosea 2:14-17

 

Even though God’s people rejected Him and chased other idols,

He pursued them relentlessly. I am so grateful He chases

after me relentlessly! He is doing the same for you.

Don’t stop chasing after me Lord!

My heart is yours…..!!

 

Keep your heart with all diligence,

for out of it spring the issues of life.

Proverbs 4:23

 

I was supposed to guard my heart, I was not supposed

to let anything in but I failed, I gave my heart away!

When I think of this scripture

I think of a husband and wife.

A true wife will guard her heart from other men.

She will not allow other men in because she loves her

husband. She doesn’t have to be taught to do that but out

of a deep, unshakable, love for him she will protect her heart

with everything in her. Her heart is reserved for her husband

and him alone!

So it is with her husband. He will not flirt with other women,

he will not entertain the idea of being with another woman

because he loves his wife. He too will protect his heart because

of his love for his wife.

His heart and affection will be towards his wife alone, and

he will not compromise!

 

As it is with husband and wife it should be so with me. If my

heart is truly His I will do everything to protect my heart.

Yes, I am a sinner and yes I will fail at times but I will fight

to guard my heart because He loves me and I love Him!

I won’t entertain anything else. I won’t give my heart away

to anything else that would take me away from God because

my heart belongs to Him!

 

I should be complete at this moment and not looking for

something to complete me. He should be enough for me!

He should be all that I need….because HE IS all that I need!

Because of the price He paid I am complete, I am

whole!

 

Where are you at? Does your heart fully belong to God,

or is it occupied with other things?

Have other things crept in and taken His place?

In this coming year make a decision to consume yourself

with Him alone. He is our Savior and He wants all of us,

not part of us!

He pursues us because He loves us.

 

He has my heart! When I surrendered my life to Him all those

years ago I surrendered my heart to Him. What I need to do is

consistently check myself. I need to constantly check the state

of my heart because the truth is that the enemy wants my

heart as well. he will do everything in his power to have it but

it’s taken! My heart belongs to God and I must guard it. But

I am not alone because the Holy Spirit is with me. He will help me, ‘

and He will help you if that is your desire. And that is so

encouraging!

 

 

Prayer

I am so sorry Lord for occupying my heart with other things.

I am so sorry for chasing after idols.

My heart is Yours so I ask for Your help.

Help me to guard my heart.

help me to keep my heart set on You and You alone!

Take this occupied heart and fill it anew with You….

Just You Lord!

I love You.

Amen…..

 

Rolain

 

 

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She was barren but……


And there was a famine in the land, other than the former famine that was in the days of Abraham. And Isaac went to Gerar, to Abimelech king of the Philistines. 

And the Lord appeared to him and said, Do not go down to Egypt; live in the land of which I will tell you. 

Dwell temporarily in this land, and I will be with you and will favor you with blessings; for to you and to your descendants I will give all these lands, and I will perform the oath which I swore to Abraham your father. 

And I will make your descendants to multiply as the stars of the heavens, and will give to your posterity all these lands (kingdoms); and by your Offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, or by Him bless themselves,  Genesis 26:1-5  (Amplified)

As I write this post there are a few things I need to make clear.

It is clear from the scripture I just shared that Isaac had an amazing promise from God. The other thing I would like to make clear is Rebekah was the one God had for him. They were destined to be together. (Read the story of Abraham and the servant – Genesis 24)

But there is a problem. I saw it and was like what???

Isaac was forty years old when he married Rebekah, the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean of Padan-aram, the sister of Laban the Aramean.

And Isaac prayed much to the Lord for his wife because she was unable to bear children; and the Lord granted his prayer, and Rebekah his wife became pregnant. Genesis 25:20, 21

God had a great destiny for Isaac. His posterity was to possess the land and through his posterity the nations would be blessed but God gave him a wife that was barren….!!!!!

That stunned me. Why would God do that? He could of easily chosen another woman for him, a woman who was fertile, right. But no, He chose Rebekah who was barren!

At first I was stunned but I realised something. The promises of God must be attained by faith! It is only by faith we can obtain what God promised us. It is only by faith that we will accomplish what God has called us to!

Yes, Isaac could have married someone who was fertile but where would faith come in? God wanted Isaac and Rebekah to put their trust in Him. And as they did God answered their prayers!

You may be in the most contrary of situations but trust God.

– You may be poor and God has said you will feed nations. Don’t look at your present situation, trust God!

– You may be uneducated but God said you are going to get that job. Trust Him!

– You may have nothing in your hands right now but God has said you are going to do great things. It’s not about what is in your hands. It’s about what God has said and if you will trust Him!  So trust Him and watch what He will do in your life…..

God wants us to trust Him! No matter what we are going through we can depend on Him! Faith is the key……

Rolain

Oh no….I lost the ‘list’!!!


You don’t know what you want” were the words ringing in my ears after speaking to a friend this past week. The words were a bit harsh but he was right. We were talking about relationships and the challenges I was facing finding the One. Have you written your “list” he asked? Off course I did. I wrote the “list” a long time ago.

“The list, for those that don’t know is when a single man or woman writes about the attributes and character of the man or woman they want. It’s a very specific list of things you want.  (Is she tall, short, athletic, adventurous, is he funny, caring and so on?)”

But as I recited to him the things on my list something shocking happened……..There were things I wasn’t sure about anymore!! I was undecided…..! I began to panic, what was I going to do? Was I double minded because if I was the word says, “a double man is unstable in all his ways and he can expect nothing from God”!

But upon further thought I realized why I was unsure. As I have matured and grown in the Lord and met and interacted with a lot of women there are things I have come to appreciate that I never did when I was younger. Upon further thought I came to another conclusion:

If the woman I wrote about all those years ago has changed doesn’t that mean the woman I write about now is going to change as I continue maturing? To take it even further, does it mean its pointless even compiling a list when I don’t even know myself that well?? A list is important, this I understand. It is so important to have an idea of what you want. This is one area where you cannot be clueless! But this is my point; the “list” can’t be all we go by. The “list” is flawed because we as humans are flawed. Only God knows what you really need! It’s okay to have a guide line for what you want. That guide line is the “list” but don’t let it be your final measuring line!

So here I am with an idea of what I want. It is very detailed but at the same time it’s not. There are things I can’t come to a final conclusion about but I am trusting the God who knows me better than anyone else in this world. I don’t have to worry about an incomplete list because God the One who created my wife will bring her to me and she will be everything I expect and even more. I pray she is not exactly as I picture her because that means God has succumbed to my low and flawed view of the “one”! I pray that is not the case. I want the woman He has for me, not the one I have created for myself!

Rolain.

How to pray for your future wife!


This post is a response to a post I read a few days ago, a post that  challenged me to the core. If you are a single woman I urge you to read it. The title of the post is called, “Dear Future Husband” and it is written by Samantha Hardcastle. You can read it here.

Men, I urge you to read it as well. It is an excellently written post and I think as men we need to know the kind of women we want and Samantha does a great job of holding up a Proverbs 31 woman. Anyway, let’s start. After reading the post I realized how important it is for us as men to do our part. We too need to pray for our wives. Samantha says,

‘These women don’t know if he has brown hair or orange hair – if he enjoys his coffee black or sweet – or if he’s been through hell and back. But they all share a common thread that all too easily, could be a lost art in one’s love life – and that is the act of praying.”

Men, prayer is important. Prayer is powerful and not to be taken lightly. I say that to you and to myself as a reminder. But I would like to go further with this because as men our responsibility is so much greater not because God made men better than women, but because God has a plan. We are to be the head. We are called to lead our families. We are called to protect and take care of them. The responsibility we have been given is very serious. So the question stands, how are we as men to pray for our wives?

I mentioned the first point. The actually act of praying is very important and key.

For the second point I would like to share something else from Samantha’s post,

“As I go through my past letters, a common theme I have prayed over him is that He would be a bold man for the things of God, bold in loving others, bold in living selflessly, bold in risking his personal comfort for more of Jesus. A man who is bold is the kind of man I want to hold”.

Another way of praying for your future wife is by preparing yourself in your singleness.

What habits need to be changed now? We don’t start when we get married, no! We start now. Ask God to show you habits that are not honoring to Him and ask your closest friends about the things you do that annoy them. Maybe you talk with food in your mouth or people can hear you from the other side of the world when you eat. Maybe you like getting up late every day or maybe you can’t resist flirting with other women, I don’t know. Just change habits that need to be changed.

Have a vision. As a man you are going to lead your family but how will you lead if you don’t have a vision? Let me rephrase that. How can you lead your family if you don’t know what your purpose is? Everyone has a purpose from God. Ask God to show you His purpose for your life.

Seek God with all of your heart. I put this third but it’s actually the most important thing a man can do. Without God we are nothing. He must be first in your life. He must be your consuming passion. He must be the one who occupies your thoughts constantly. He must be the one that completes you. Please listen to me on this point. A woman will not complete you. God is the only one, I repeat , the only one who will complete you…..The media has lied to us through movies and music that a man or woman will complete us but that is so not true. GOD IS THE ONLY ONE WHO WILL COMPLETE YOU. Ladies, if you find yourself relying on a man for meaning and purpose then you have been deceived! God is the only one who can give you that.

I will stop there for today. I have lots to share but I will stop there. I hope you got the gist of what I am saying. As men we need to pray for our wives too. They need our prayers as we need their prayers……It’s a two way thing.  Be vigilant; don’t take the assignment you have been given by God lightly. Your future wife is depending on you, she is praying for you!

Rolain

So you want to date…..?


I had the amazing opportunity of being one of the best men at a friend’s wedding.I have been to weddings before but have never been this closely involved before. Being this close made me realise a few important things. As my friend and his wife exchanged their vows I realized a covenant was being made. A covenant is something we don’t take lightly at all. God is a God of covenant and marriage is a covenant.

The other thing I realized was how there is so much pressure to date. If I like someone I must date. If it doesn’t work out it doesn’t work out. But dating is so much more. The end goal of dating should be marriage. When we go into dating we should be thinking if this is the person we could marry. Dating with no goal in mind is not really dating. If you have no intention whatsoever to marry the girl or guy  you are dating and you are dating because it’s just the thing to do then please stop. You will save the both of you a lot of heartache.

Dating is great if you understand marriage could be the end result. The whole process of dating is very focused because you have an end in mind, a goal. It may not work out and I understand that but don’t just date for the sake of dating. The person you are dating might be your husband or wife. If that is not what you want then stop.  Dating for the sake of dating just causes unnecessary pain. Do your partner a favor and stop right there.

Saying “I DO” doesn’t start on your wedding day. The process of saying those words begins when you start dating. Let us not take it lightly. Allow God to lead you in your relationships. Guard your heart and your partners heart by not getting into something you know that you know has no future. God will bring the right person at the right time! (I say that by faith….. ).    😉

Rolain

Nine months later…….


When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she grieved for her husband. When the time

of mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. 

But God was not at all pleased with what David had done, 

1 Samuel 12:26, 27

We all know what happened here. David slept with Bathsheba, Uriah’s wife but to cover it up he got Uriah

who was a faithful solider to him killed! Bathsheba may not have known what David did but the point is she became the king’s wife. She may not have had a say in any of this either. A king was free to do whatever he wanted in those days.

When I read this story a thought came to me. Between Uriah being killed to Bathsheba giving birth to a son was

at least nine months. I don’t know how long the time of mourning was but all we know is it was at least nine months

when all this took place. David was in sin for nine months! He knew taking someone’s wife was sin. He knew murder

was a sin. David loved God. He had an intimate relationship with Him but David was blinded in this season. This post is

not about how bad David was. We are all sinners. David sinned but so do we.

What I want to show you though is how as sinners sin can destroy us. During this ‘nine months’ we hear nothing.

There is no Psalm that we read during that period! We don’t hear of David’s exploits during that time. Nothing was recorded during that time. David was in sin and he didn’t even know it!

If that could happen to David, a man after God’s heart then surely it could happen to us. And please note, David

didn’t snap out of it by himself. He didn’t realize what he was doing by himself. God intervened!!!! If God did not intervene who knows how long it would of gone on for?

And this is what this post is about……God intervened!

God did not leave David in his sin. He saved him. By God’s grace David was disciplined and forgiven! That is good news for us indeed.

We will do crazy things and left to our own we will not win, BUT……But God does not leave us to ourselves. He is watching over us.

He has extended His grace and mercy to us! We serve a really great God! He sent His son to die for us!

I was so encouraged when I got that revelation. God is for me and no matter how crazy it gets God will help me. I hope it’s an encouragement to you as well.

Generous in love – God, give grace! 

Huge in mercy – wipe out my bad record.

Scrub away my guilt, 

soak out my sins in Your laundry.

I know how bad I’ve been; 

my sins staring me down. 

Psalm 51:1-3

 

But that is not the end of the story. God turned this dark and terrible situation for good.

David went and comforted his wife Bathsheba. And when he slept with her, they conceived a son. When the son was born they

named him Solomon. God had a special love for him and sent word by Nathan the prophet that God wanted him named Jedidiah (God’s beloved).

2 Samuel 12:24, 25

Solomon would not have been born if David and Bathsheba never met. I am not saying what David did was right. He sinned! What I am trying to say though is God turned a bad thing into something wonderful. And He will do the same thing for us. We may think our sin is too much and God cannot use us but that is not true. God has forgiven you and will turn what the enemy meant for death into life…..

He has amazing things for you despite what you have done. Sin does not define who you are anymore, God’s grace does. He is a truly amazing God!!!

Rolain

 

 

The “Gifts” God gives us…..!


I don’t know where to start and I don’t know how to begin this post. All I can say is that the word “gift” has

taken a whole new meaning for me. A few months ago I found out my friend, was leaving the country for good! We were first friends, then he became my boss, then pastor, then mentor, then family!

My world turned upside down that day. I had people leave before and it was painful but this, this was a whole new level.

My pastor’s wife called me and sat me down as she told me the news. I was devastated and confused. Why God I asked?

This can’t be happening I thought. I had known my mentor’s family for over 10 years! I knew them when they

had their first son. They have four boys now and I love them to bits.  Anyway I remember going to God and

crying out to Him for answers to the question why. Nothing came. Instead revelation came……

 

God showed me how they were gifts from Him. I met my mentor when I had just met The Lord. I am a sinner

now but back then I was much worse. If there is a word worse than sinner I was it. I was truly lost. I had no

direction and no plan. I had crazy issues I was beginning to work out. I had just became a Christian and this new

life was still…..new! I was dealing with a lot of things. I had no confidence and I had no self esteem. When he

employed me a year after meeting him I stole money from him! It was that bad. I WAS that bad! But thank God he never fired me or called the police. He gave me a second chance…….

 

I didn’t trust anyone back then and when he tried to help me out I would think he had some evil intension! When he disciplined me at work I would take it personally. When he made a joke about me I would get extremely angry. My stuttering was so bad back then which didn’t really help things! So believe me when I say, things were bad back then, really bad!!!

But God used him and his wife to mold me into who God wanted me to be. They taught me so much. They stood by

me when I had family issues. They helped me out financially countless times. They sat down and taught me so much

about God and life. In one of the darkest times in my life they were there.

 

God showed me how that was not an accident.

He knew all the change that needed to happen in me. He saw all I was going through and because of that He sent them

into my life. They were gifts. We serve a God who is the giver of gifts but the mistake we make is thinking gifts come in the form of money only. That’s not true. God’s gifts are so much more than money. They are deeper than that. During that time I never thought of them as gifts. We had our good times together and we had hard and difficult times.

 

The fact of the matter is this. God sent me gifts in the form of my mentor and his family. I just didn’t know it at the time and I never gave them the honor they rightly deserved. I wish I never took them for granted. I wish I honored them more and thanked them more for all they had done for me. I can’t put into words all that they did for me. A lot of who I am is because of their input in my life.

They saw so much potential in me and stood by me patiently. They are my family. I am telling you all this because….

…….they left on Wednesday this week! It’s been a hard week I must admit. They had my back. But in the midst of the pain God showed me how He will bring other “gifts” into my life after all; those “gifts” came from Him. He is the giver of all gifts. My mentor and his family never willed or planned to do all they did for me. God was behind it all. My mentor never knew the kind of impact he would have in my life but God did because He planned it. God was behind it all……

Yes, I am sad and broken at them leaving but I am also at peace because God has some amazing “gifts” in store for me.

I pray I be a “gift” to someone else as well. Would God use me to be the kind of “gift” my mentor was to me……

 

Have you acknowledged the “gifts” God has put in your life? There is a reason He has placed them in your life.

Don’t take them for granted. Thank them for all they are doing for you. It is not easy for them. There is always a

sacrifice on their part. May we always appreciate the “gifts” God has given us, always!

 

 

* This post is dedicated to the Stewart family. *

The Stewart family!

The Stewart family!

 

Rolain.

Purity and dating….What really matters here???


 

I had a thought the other day about my blog. I have rarely written anything

about dating. I have written a few posts here and there but nothing really substantial

about this very important piece of my life. It’s what I pray about constantly and talk to

God about. It’s an area I struggle trusting God in. If there is one thing I have

realized when it comes to finding the one, it’s we as people have no control over who we are to be with.

What I mean is God is the one directing us and guiding us in our relationships. He is involved

In the choosing process, it’s not just us. If it was up to me only I would of being married by now,

I would of chosen someone and that would have been that. But that is not the case for me. God has

really used this area of my life to teach me to trust in Him wholeheartedly! That is what I believe and

that is what I have experienced. This won’t apply to everyone. We are all unique and God works

differently in all our lives.

 

What is your point you might be asking??? Please bear with me a little longer. I am getting there….

 

I had a great week last week. It was great because God spoke to me about grace. I have always

known what grace is but last week was different. I got a whole new perspective on grace. But with

that perspective certain areas of my life were highlighted. The area of dating and relationships

was one of the areas that were highlighted in my life.

Let me explain. I have always prided myself in the values I have been taught concerning dating.

 

–         I have never dated in my life ever!

–         I have never kissed anyone passionately (That honor will go to my wife)!

–         I signed a covenant of chastity even.

 

 

There are others but this post is not about what my values are and getting the praise but about

what God showed me. These are the things that made me proud and even conceited. Because of the

values I had I thought I could dictate who I wanted. God, I want this kind of woman and she must

be that and and and………

I am so ashamed writing this because I was seriously misguided. This is not how God works.

One of the things I prided myself in...... But what matters is God's grace!

One of the things I prided myself in……
But what matters is God’s grace!

 

Last week He showed me how getting a wife was not because of all the things I had done,

and the high standards I had and the values I believed in but because of His grace!

It is because of His grace that I will find the One. It won’t be because of my intelligence and

how holy I appear to be and how together I try to be but it will be because of His grace!!!!

This is one area He will get the glory! He wants the glory in every aspect of our lives.

When I realized this I was dumbfounded. How could I have not seen this?

 

Please understand me here, keeping yourself pure and all those other decisions about purity

you have made or should make are important. But those things need to be done to glorify God.

I had that intension when I first started out but it changed some where. It became about me

some where down the line.I will meet the woman God has for me because of His grace. I won’t

have anything to add on and say to God “but it’s because I did this or that…..no!”

That is how amazing God’s grace is. His grace extends to every other area of our lives and not just in

our relationships.

 

Will you lean fully on His grace? Don’t rely on what you have done or what you can do and and and….

Rely on His grace!

 

Rolain

God is to blame for my problems?????


I don’t know anyone in this life who has never had a bad thing happen to them. We live in a broken world where bad things happen and we as children of God are not exempt from it. In this lifetime there will be suffering and pain but where we err a lot of the time is we blame God or a friend, or a system or the government, or the wife, husband and the list carries on instead of looking at ourselves first.
As children of God we need to know in our heart that God has only the best for us. His plan for us is good! God does not have any evil plans for you. His plan for you is not to be sick or poor or lonely!!! He has a good plan for you.
Let us take a look at Joshua because he had to learn that God’s plan for him was good. In Joshua 7 we read the story of Ai. This was a small city compared to Jericho. Joshua had just defeated Jericho and now they had to face Ai. It was so small that Joshua sent 3000 men to fight! Ai was supposed to be a walk in the park but it wasn’t. Instead they got defeated and to make it worse other surrounding cities would attack them and defeat them because of what Ai did!!! This was a problem and look at how Joshua responds.

Joshua said, “Oh, oh, oh…Master, God. Why did You insist on bringing this people across the Jordon? To make us victims of the Amorites? To wipe us out? Why didn’t we just settle down on the east side of the Jordon? Oh, Master, what can I say after this, after Israel has been run off by it’s enemies?
When the Canaanites and all the others living here get wind of this, they will gang up on us and make short work of us – and then how will You keep up Your reputation?
Joshua 7:7-9

Can you believe him? “Make us victims”, “wipe us out”, “gang up on us”….! These were the words used and a lot more. Joshua totally missed it here. From trusting in God, he went to fear! He forgot that God’s plan is always good. As much as I would like to sit here and criticize him I know I have prayed the same prayer and thought the same thoughts!! Have you? When things go wrong we look to other people to blame. It must be that person, we tell ourselves but we can’t keep on thinking like that. We need to trust the fact that GOD is GOOD. He will never do anything to harm us. He loves us.
The reason the Israelite s failed to defeat Ai wasn’t because God did something wrong, it wasn’t because He liked to confuse them, or it wasn’t because God liked seeing them fail!!!!
They were defeated because some one man sinned! Achan failed to listen to God and disobeyed Him.
When things go wrong who do we look to? Is the first instinct to look outside of ourselves?? That needs to change. God is not to blame for your problems. God is not unfair and cruel and evil. He is good. God is not the problem, you are! It’s you and me!! God wants the best for you but how often do we mess it up. Before you blame God look inside you. Start with yourself.

Is God to blame for the evil in the world and the pain and the suffering? No He is not. Let us trust in His goodness. He is good. Do you believe that???

Rolain