Provocations

I read in Rosamund and Benjamin Zander’s “Art of Possibility”, a book we used in Leadership class during my MBA at McGill and which I still refer to 10 years after, that “Art, after all is about rearranging us, creating surprising juxtapositions, emotional openings, startling presences, flight paths to the eternal.” I consider these provocations art. At least one of them may get me in trouble but what is the point of safety? But before you attack, allow them to unpack.

God is patient, He is kind, He does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. He does not dishonor others, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. He always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails…

Your number one neighbor as a husband is your wife. My active Christ-like love for my wife and children whether I like it or not is the true test of my Love for God and for humanity. Ouch.

Between you and I, I am not seeking human approval, not even yours. I do not need it. But I am living and dieing for the approval of one man, Jesus Christ.

Many of our problems are due largely to our insistence on living as though the invisible is non-existent when in reality, Existence is Invisible.

All things are possible when you develop the habit of going into the presence of the invisible God and asking, “Lord what do you think about this” and then acting on whatever is revealed to you.

There is no knowledge outside God. To know anything on any matter, no matter how lofty or how mundane, just ask the Creator. He exists, He can hear you and He wants to help you, seriously.

God reveals secrets. You can know what is known only to God.

Who am I? I do not know, I did not make myself. But my life is a process of finding out and unfolding who I am.

You do not know me. I do not fully know me. I am a process, being transformed daily. I know who I have been up till today but I have no clue who is emerging from the Invisible. One thing I know, the person emerging from the invisible is more glorious than the person I have been, whom you or I knew hitherto.

Sex, whether illicit or lawful, is pleasurable and to deny that is to deceive oneself. Sexual pleasure, though fleeting, is a gift from the Creator.

If Jesus Christ does not return in your lifetime, your funeral will happen on a certain day. You will not exist in this world forever. You will pass away. Meditate on that for a few seconds.

There is fleeting pleasure but there is also everlasting pleasure.

I agree with C.S. Lewis that when a man comes on the scene and calls himself “The alpha and the omega, the Almighty,” he should either be locked up or should be taken seriously. He is a phenomenon that demands a definite response but should not be patronized. I have chosen to take Jesus Christ seriously and honestly, I do not care what you think about my choice. After all, I have a right to be wrong.

Jesus Christ did not found a religion, he brought new life to the world. He is not just the savior of Christians but of the world. He is as much savior of Buddhists as of Christians. No one is exempt.

Husbands are the heads of their wives, not to be Lord and Master over them, but to serve them, to love them as Christ loved the church, with his own life.

As a husband, you are responsible in your home. You are responsible for whatever goes wrong, even if it was your wife’s or children’s or the devil’s fault. You are responsible.

Don’t help your wife do the dishes, let your wife help you do the dishes. Don’t help your wife change diapers, let your wife help you change diapers. She is your helper, you are not her helper.

Your spouse has no freedom to be faithful to you if they have no freedom to be unfaithful to you. We have no freedom to obey God if we have no freedom to disobey him. To be truly free to do anything, we must be free to not do it. True love is doing something because you choose to not because you have to.

Leadership is not only about leading when you have followers. True leadership continues to lead when there are no followers and you have to travel the road alone.

When you are the leader, you are responsible. You may not be the cause of whatever is wrong, but you are responsible for the present and the future, do not put the blame on anyone or anything.

Significance is open source. No one has a copyright over it.

When it comes down to it, you do not have a problem, outside of you. Believe it or not.

We need to stop picking and choosing what to follow in Christ. It is either we are following all the way, or we are not following. The Christ who preached the sermon on the mount, loved sinners and spoke deep parables is the same Christ who raised the dead, cast out evil spirits, walked on water and drove out the money changers from the temple. If you truly follow Christ, you will be hard to profile.

Spend time with yourself. Alone. Regularly.

Your lifetime just got shorter. Again. Ha!!

You do not believe God exists? Wait until you die.

When will we ever realize that business is not about busyness and transactions, but about people, about relationships? You do not need to go to school to know how to deal with people, treat people well, build healthy relationships. Really, it is very simple.

When will we ever realize that the popular way is the way of destruction? When will we ever realize that the way to go is precisely not the way the crowd is going? When will we ever realize that the way that leads to fulfillment is not broad and popular, but crooked and narrow and few there be that find it? There is nothing wrong in being one of the few

You can follow the crowd all you want, but you are an individual, responsible for your own actions.

You can do what you want, when you want, how you want, why you want, where you want. Really, you are answerable to no one. Until you die.

Exercise your right to think, exercise your right to thought. Exercise your right to think what no one has ever thought, to say what no one has ever said and to do what no one has ever done. It is an inalienable right.

The Creator has a solution to every problem in creation and He has given us an open invitation to come to Him. So, what is the problem?

I know myself better when I put the Creator in whose image I am, in his rightful place.

Honestly, no one will end up in heaven by accident, or in hell for that matter.

Let God be God.

It is an irony. Some of the most unbelieving people are church-going believers.

You may think I am crazy, but I honestly believe that Jesus Christ is the solution to the woes of this world, whether spiritual, economic, social or environmental. I have contemplated it and I am convinced that if any person or group of persons, no matter how small or large open their hearts to Him, not in church attendance but in spirit and in truth, they will experience freedom.

I am not doing the Creator a disservice when I ignore Him. I am doing myself, a mere creature, a disservice.

I believe in Jesus Christ. I do not owe you an apology for it.

I do not have to agree with the Creator when he says, “Whosoever says unto this mountain, be removed and be cast into the sea…he shall have whatsoever he says in faith”. His being Creator makes His word law.

The Creator’s words and promises are the reality. If they seem not to make sense, guess whose thinking needs adjustment?

You may have an opinion but what is an opinion in the face of truth?

The scriptures say “By the stripes Jesus Christ received on the cross you were healed.” But you have cancer in your body. Something or someone is a lie: the cancer or the scriptures. You decide.

Why must I be a Pastor for goodness sake? Is it only Pastors that should love God? Why can’t a man just love God and remain a cleaner or an entrepreneur or whatever he is right now?

Think what you may, what the Creator says is law. Ignore it at your peril.

“Through faith we understand” is not the same as “Through understanding we believe.”

Doesn’t God’s patience stagger reason? You created creatures who ignore you, spit on you, curse you, insult you by saying you do not exist and you still give them air to breathe, when you can stop air from flowing for them in less than a second.

You created humans in your image, they disobey you and bring the curse upon themselves which you had warned them about beforehand. Yet, you become one of them and died for them so that you could redeem them from the curse and restore them to union with you. Still, they ignore you. Thank God He is Love.

We do not need more Pastors, we need more laymen who are true followers of Jesus Christ and probably more Pastors who live what they preach, who know that what was written about Jesus Christ was not just what he said but the things which he “began to do and to teach”. Do, before teach.

Christianity is a bad religion. There was never meant to be a religion called Christianity but there is new life in Christ, for all people whether they are worshipers of Satan or Church goers.

Christ recreates us while we are yet sinners. He does not ask us to become righteous before recreating us. What part of that don’t Christians understand?

When will believers in Christ ever realize that who they are in Christ is who they really are and not just some religious statement we utter when we are feeling “spiritual” with each other?

Is Christ relevant in the banking industry or in oil and gas? If “in union with him all things consist”, then things fall apart when you ignore him whether you are a hairdresser or the Secretary General of the United Nations.

If it has not caused heaven to fall out of the sky, it is probably not worth killing yourself over.

Calling Christianity a religion gives those who ignore Christ an excuse to ignore him because really, religion is to be ignored. But, life is to be embraced and lived to the full and that is what Christ came for – that every human being in the world may have life and have it more abundantly.

Christ never told us about religion. He was against the religious establishment and still is. He simply said, “I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me.” Take it or leave it and let everyone have it. Don’t form a religion around it.

One of the saddest facts is that most people live and die without any significant amount of thought. They think what “others” think when the “others” hardly think.

This is a potentially “blasphemous” thought. You do not need the Bible to know that Jesus Christ is the way, the truth and the life. What Bible did Cornelius have? Our denseness since we lost our spiritual connectivity at the fall of humanity is the reason we need truth written down so we can read it and read it and meditate and meditate on it, especially in this day and age, where we are surrounded and bombarded with influences that make us denser by the minute. If our capacity to apprehend truth was functioning as it should, we would know the truth of Jesus Christ being God, just as we know any other truth. End of “blasphemy”

It is a free world. God made it so from the beginning. You do not have to accept Jesus, no, not at all. You do not have to acknowledge God. If you had to, you would not be human. If you had to, there would be no evil and no damnation.

The Bible is not literature. Plato’s Republic or Shakespeare’s Macbeth are literature. The Bible contains God’s thoughts, God’s words, God’s revelation to mankind. It is not designed to be an intellectual or emotional stimulant but is food for the spirit, which restructures body, soul, spirit and society.

Darwin’s theory of evolution is right. It is just that, a theory. Take it for what it claims to be. Every man is free to theorize. Why should he be crucified or believed for propounding a theory?

True faith is not disconnected from reality. True faith creates reality.

True faith seeketh not her own. True faith is not seeking to buy a car or a house, for himself and his household. True faith works by love. In other words, love is the proof of faith, not material prosperity.

What is blind faith! True faith is not blind. True faith is seeing the invisible.

True faith is not “not knowing”, but knowing on a higher level, far above the visible realm, where your reason takes a backseat, not in dormancy but in service of faith.

Your salvation, your deliverance, your fulfillment, even your success, whether you agree or not, is not in running around in ceaseless activity but in frequent stillness. “In returning and in rest shall you be saved, in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength”

Contrary to science, the fundamental building block of all spirit, mind and matter is words, the Creator’s words. Even your lungs are made of words. Words will repair or damage them more effectively than drugs or disease. Call me crazy if you want, I believe it.

It is impossible to truly know God and not be totally devoted to Him.

There is enough head knowledge of God – even the deceiver knows God – but there is very little heart knowledge of God.

If you are able to process Christ’s death and resurrection as “one of those things”, then you do not have a clue what it is.

It is impossible to know God and not have an intense love for him that consumes your whole being. So do not pursue God if you are not prepared to be totally sold out to him.

Your Creator became human, introduced into the world as a baby in a manger, lived under parents who are his creatures, killed in his prime by his creatures all so that he could redeem us all and you are able to take it lying down?

God called humankind dead after the fall. Imagine life!

There are spiritual laws more real than physical ones. We ignore them at our own peril just as physical laws should not be ignored. Our ignorance of them does not render them impotent or inactive. Our ignorance of them exposes them as much as our knowledge does.

The Bible is a book of spiritual laws or truths that function independent of your or my assent.

The human function for apprehending spiritual laws is spirit, not mind. The reason is unable to comprehend spiritual laws. The reason comprehends physical laws, not spiritual ones. When the spirit is dormant (or dead), the whole world of spirit, of ultimate reality seems non existent, so we “walk on in darkness and all the foundations of the earth are out of course”

When you talk of the heart, most people think you are talking of emotion or the physical heart when in fact the heart is our only connection with reality.

Your mental development is not what makes you wise. Your heart connection to the source of intelligence is what makes you wise.

You do not need formal education to succeed in life. You need a connection to the source of knowledge and wisdom. Many times, lack of formal education grants you easier access.

Your formal education can be an asset but it can very easily be a liability

Truth is not truth because it is written in the Bible. Truth is truth because it is truth. After all, even the scriptures record that there are things regarding God’s dealings with humanity, which are not written in the scriptures. You limit yourself and you limit God if you do not go beyond the letter of scriptures to the spirit. Where in the scriptures does it say what your specific purpose on earth is? Where does it say who your future spouse is or where you are to live or work, or what business to start?

Jesus Christ, the mighty God, the Prince of Peace, the everlasting father, the alpha and the omega, the Creator, was born into this world among animals, in a manger, not by accident, but by divine design. It is a metaphor and there is a message there, a quiet truth that we may be missing.

You do not need to be “smart”, just find out how to be connected and stay connected to the Source. Try it out and see. However, people will think you are smart. If only they knew…

Whatever you cannot do in God’s presence is either not worth doing or should not be done. If you bring whatever you do into God’s presence, His blessing will come on it and you will experience inspiration on the job. You can discuss your feasibility study with the Creator. He knows better than you and is more capable than you. He wants to help and will, if you consult Him.

Can you imagine committing adultery in the presence of God? When you sin anywhere in the universe, even if no one sees, you are doing it in God’s presence. Because, “Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence. If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; Even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee.”

Imagine a husband committing adultery in full view of his wife. That is what we do every time we sin. Yet, he forgives us, every time. Amazing grace.

By Christ’s definition of adultery you have probably committed adultery if you are married. I have. I need God every day. I do not qualify to judge you if your adultery is exposed on CNN, if you committed fraud or are a pedophile. My need for grace is no less than yours.

God is not a religious figure or an invention of man. God is Creator, in whom we live, move and have our being. What is religious about living, moving and being?

If it has to do with life and existence, it is the Creator’s business and he should be consulted about it.

When you are surrounded by problems, you are surrounded by problems. But the truth is, you are surrounded by an infinite number of solutions. Your real problem is not your problems but your blindness.

Lord, is not a mere religious word. It means Master, Owner and that is exactly how it should be used. The Lord is Master of the Universe, Owner of this planet and all others.

It is politically incorrect, politically volatile, politically unacceptable and despite what Christianity as a religion has done with Christ to make Him appear as a religious figure, Christ is the Almighty God, the Creator. Whenever you talk about God, you can substitute Christ and the equation will still balance.

The closer you are to God, the more down to earth you will be. Jesus Christ was not a philosopher or a religious figure or a mere poet disconnected from daily existence but a man who effectively straddled two worlds while he was here. When he dwelt among us, he lived as much on earth as in heaven, probably more on earth.

I think that if Jesus Christ were physically present here now, he would be on social media, not necessarily showing off his latest car, house, job, friends or family but exposing the realities and mysteries of the kingdom of God. And there will be many who will find him rather nauseating.

Faith that is devoid of tangible results is not faith but mere mental assent.

Faith in God does not replace your mind, hands and legs. After all, He created them. Faith only makes them function at a much higher level, like taking two loaves and five fishes in your hand and feeding (not spiritually, but physically) 5,000 men excluding women and children or using a God-given idea to preserve a whole civilization.

You do not need to believe in God to be “successful” any more than you need to believe in God for the organs in your body to function well. Obviously.

Sadly, it is at times easier for people of “no faith” to believe God than people of the Christian faith. We have the way, the truth and the life but we have mostly become Pharisees and there will be many who are presently last (yes, they may even be homosexuals today or prostitutes, adulterers, idol worshippers) who shall be first and many who think they are first, who are really last.

Seriously, I do not get how a man can claim to be a follower of Christ and want to stone someone to death because they are homosexuals. What in Christ remotely resembles stoning sinners to death? You should submit yourself to death by stoning first because you have a “lesser” sin in your life, which, before a Holy Holy Holy God, is still sin. If you need grace, why not a lesbian?

The only way to sustainable significance is a heart for God. You cannot bypass it.

My future humbles and purifies me much more than my past. Where I am going is much more humbling and keeps me in check than where I am coming from.

I am a man but I cry. I cry. I cry. I am a man but I cannot help but cry when I am in the presence of the Ancient of days, the Almighty, the most High God, the Alpha and Omega, who spoke the galaxies and the everlasting hills into being and I realize I am too small to stand in His presence. I cry more, when I realize that in spite of it all, He holds me.

You are not that important. You have something in common with birds and with flowers of the field – you have the same Creator. He wants to provide for you as He provides for them.

You are God’s heartbeat. And that guy you detest.

There is only one Messiah, and it’s not you.

You may not believe me but you do not own your life or your money. The Person who owns the earth and everything in it, who owns the world and everyone in it, also owns your life and your money.

The Creator is not the Universe, He created it. The Almighty is not an energy. He is a person who laughs, loves, dislikes, wills, speaks, and can be loved, despised and related with just like any other person.

God is Spirit, you are spirit. God is invisible, you are invisible. Your body is simply the house in which you live, which becomes lifeless when the real you departs and goes to where you belong!

I have never met a black, brown, red or white human being. But I know people whose skin colors are close to black, brown, red or white.

Daily, we choose between investing in things relating to our spirits, which are eternal, and things relating to our bodies, which are transient. Most times, we invest in those things that pass away. And we claim to be wise.

It takes a higher level of intelligence to detect the existence of God and to have a relationship with Him when most people are convinced their Creator is non-existent.

2 thoughts on “Provocations

  1. I am in awe at how beautifully you write.. Thought provoking “provocations”.. Words worth ruminating upon.
    I was divinely led to your blog only last week and I couldn’t resist the urge to read the entire blog. Might I add that I have been thoroughly blessed?
    May the almighty God continually ignite the passion you have for Him and stir up your spirit to even greater works.
    You have touched a life.. Mine!

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