Posted tagged ‘David Oke’

When the heat is on!

January 1, 2013

Language:    ENGLISH      FRENCH

I wish you readers a happy and prosperous new year.

However, history has taught that irrespective of our wishes every year comes with its own challenges and difficulties. Thus we know that this new year is not going to be without its heats.

Embedded in and tied to the challenges of each year are the happiness and prosperity we wish ourselves at the beginning of the year. It is only the few who are able to mine happiness and prosperity from the heart of these challenges that will have a great year.

Have you ever considered what happens if you put a frog in a water trough and turn on the heat? The only way out for the frog is through the mouth (top) of the trough, but there the water is hottest due to conventional current. In order to escape the heat, the frog sinks lower; away from the hotness but deeper into the grasps of death, only to realize its mistake too late.

How often in life do men behave like this frog, looking for the easy way out of difficult situations? How many times have you tried to escape the heat in your life by taking steps that only get you more entangled in the problem?

The truth is that the sure way out always appears the most difficult; apparently promising death when it actually leads to life.

Joseph did not only live, but was also able to preserve Israel because he did not take the easy way out in Potiphar’s house. The same goes for Daniel and his friends in captivity. What about Queen Esther? These heroes made hard choices because they were sure that was the only right choice.

Life is not about doing what’s comfortable or convenient; it’s about knowing what needs to be done and doing it. Though our Lord Jesus could have called in angelic Special Forces in the garden of Gethsemane, He chose the path of death in order to do the will of the Father.

We must do what we’ve got to do, we must take the narrow path; and more often than not, that’s the only true way out.

When the sun comes out this year for the sake of the seed, will you have enough courage to grow towards its rays?

What will you do when the heat is on in your life?

~ David Adebola Oke


Love and Forgiveness

June 19, 2012

Love and Forgiveness         (2)

We walk in love and forgiveness, doing good to all men, especially those of our kind” – the first line of our creed.

It is safe to conclude from the earlier post on love that: man can not truly love independent of God; man can not out love God; but he can by God’s power at work in him, love as God does.

In this post, we will quickly revisit God’s love; our love for God; love for self; and love for others, given particular attentions to loving our enemies and the role of forgiveness in all these. We will also attempt to show that the power to love comes through faith, and that it is exercised by knowledge.

True love is not mere emotions; it is expressed as an act of one’s will. An exercise of the will involves power and knowledge.

It is relatively easy for us to love God. When we realize how much God loves us and consider all the wonderful things He has done and still does for us, we’ll discover that it is not so difficult to love Him back.

We can not love in our own strength, not with God’s kind of love, as no man in the flesh can please God Rom.8:8. In our natural ability, we just lack the power and the motivation to love some people. In Christ, God gives both the motivation and the ability. This is where faith is required.

God’s love for us is perfect, never changes; it is constant. Rom.8:35-39. Such love is beyond what human mind can comprehend, but fortunately one doesn’t have to understand why he is loved in order to experience and enjoy that love. On the other hand, our love for God and for others grows as we experience more of God.

Our total love for God and complete trust in Him helps in our love of self. Truly believing that He has forgiven us just as He said helps us to forgive ourselves of past mistakes. The knowledge that He loves us; that He knows and does the best for us, helps in reconciling our selves to any real or perceived physical disabilities or inadequacies, removing all forms of inferiority complex.

It is not our love for God that makes us trust Him. Our faith in God is built on His love for us. The more we experience this love, the stronger our love for Him and our faith in Him grow. Love trusts, but trust must be earned. God has earned our trust in many ways, firstly and chiefly, by given His Son up for us while we were still sinners.

Likewise, whatever limited trust we will put in any man must have been earned. That we love a man and that we have forgiven him of his wrong does not mean we should go all out to trust him. The very fact that an arm is made of flesh is evidence that it is liable to fail. So, we should always leave room for mistakes (failures) in our relationships with men.

Jesus answering a lawyer quoted the following scriptures from Deut.6:5 and Lev.19:18

…, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets” Matt 22:37-40 KJV

Literally, Jesus said that by keeping these two commandments you would have kept all the others.

If you love God with everything in you, you would never want to do anything to wrong or annoy Him. Also, if you love your neighbour as yourself, you would not do to or think towards him anything you wouldn’t love done to or thought towards you.

The Master raised the stake, making love seem more unattainable, when He demanded that we love our enemies.

Ye have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” Matt 5:43-44 KJV

This way we are not allowed to screen the recipients of our love, all men are qualified.

In the same manner that we through faith appropriate grace for other things we have in Christ Jesus, we must appropriate grace for love. We confess the words of God about love and the ability He has given us to love. It will help to make a list of individuals for whom we have a definite lack of love; for whom we feel hatred, bitterness, offence, envy, etc and pray for them, pronouncing tangible blessings into their lives.

This is how love becomes a faith walk. This is how we receive power to love even the most difficult of men.

But how do you truly love a man, and still consider him an enemy? This calls for intelligence.

We must not be naïve as Christians, but as wise as serpents Matt.10:16, Prov.22:3; 27:12. A wise man sees evil from afar and hides.

With the love of God in us, we don’t consider men as enemies but we are quick to identify people who see us as enemies and come to terms with that. While we love them and pray for them, we never assume a shift in their stand against us, so we never let down our guards.


Jesus admonished that we forgive men that offend us if we expect God to forgive our offences Matt. 6:14-15, Mk. 11:25. Elsewhere, He said it is better to leave your offerings at the altar and go to settle issues with your brother before making your prayers.

This greatly underscores the spiritual importance of walking in love and forgiveness. If things are not right between you and your brother, forget it, things can not be right between you and God. Your Christian walk is virtually put on pause until you have released every man.

Forgiveness, not holding to offences seems difficult because it is our associates, friends and relatives that offend us most. These are people that we believe should know better and we could be so hurt that we wouldn’t even mention it to them. It becomes a grudge.

However, no matter how much we may try to justify our position, we should know that this shortchanges us in every way: spiritually, emotionally, medically, mentally etc. If only for genuine self interest, we must let men go.

Years ago, Pastor Poju taught a principle that has never failed me. He said you can always excuse people on any of the following premises:

  1. You can assume it was just a misunderstanding, the fellow meant no harm
  2. You can assume he did it out of ignorance, didn’t know it was wrong or that you’ll be hurt
  3. You can assume the fellow did it under influence; he was used by the devil against you. Then you can direct your anger at Satan and not at him

The idea here is that the devil knows something good is ahead for you and he is using men against you, bringing offences your way so as to create a stumbling block for you. Well, if you truly believe something great is coming your way, you will quickly release men. Or, which one is more important to you: your future or holding people down?

I didn’t say any of these will be easy, but as a song writer wrote: If you catch hell, don’t hold it; if you are going through hell, don’t stop. Just go ahead.

A couple of years ago, a lady, a chief executive was greatly hurt by her staff when she happened on a Facebook chat in which they maligned her, saying all sort of rubbish about her. I met them begging are. She told me how much she trusted these particular staff and had invested a lot in them.

My advice to her was simple and short: for her own peace, health, and relationship with God, she must forgive them and must not love them any less than ever before.

Does that mean they should not be punished? No! It doesn’t. They should be justly punished, more so because she loved them. Why? So that they will learn; and thus avoid a bigger pitfall in future. Love disciplines and is disciplined.

In the above explanations and examples, men were excused. We were able to arrive at some logical reasons to continue to love them and thus release them.

However, love will not always appear logical and self interest should not be a motivation for true love.

Also, even when man is careless enough to jettison self interest, the commandment still stands that he must love.

The Lord upgraded the second golden rule in Jn.13:34, and stressed the upgrade in Jn.15:12

A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.” Jn.13:34

Jesus knew some people will have difficulties loving even their own self and thus no qualms not loving their brother.

Now, this appears like a tall order. How did Jesus love us?

In man’s case before God, we were lawful captives of the enemy, and we were in enmity with God. Yet God loved us. There was no logical reason why He should; this is a love that surpasses knowledge. Eph.3:19.

We had no case for our release, no reason why He should set us free. Yet He loved us and wanted us released.

As a just God, He could not just release us out of love; for love is not a legal tool, but mercy is (lawyers can not ask for the love of the judge, but they do plead for leniency). Mercy had to be invoked, but on what ground? For the Judge to remain impartial, Jesus came and shed His blood for our justification.

Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” John 15:13 KJV

For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. … But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Rom 5:6-8 KJV

Anxieties, offences, and bitterness are known to have health implications. They have been linked to indigestions, constipations, heart problems etc.

For a scientific view on why you should always forgive, you may want to read Dr. Ellen Weber’s post, A Brain on Forgiveness.

The post talks about the mental benefits of forgiveness, how stress defaults to unforgiveness and shrinks the brain, and how holding a grudge slows down the brain. It states that feelings of anger, sadness, and resentment overtime can rub your contentment.

Just imagine that. Why on earth would I want my brain to slow down and shrink because of what somebody did to me, somebody that is probably enjoying his own life, oblivious of my anger?

Considering the fact that walking in love is a faith walk, considering the sacrifices we are called to make in loving our enemies and releasing men that bitterly hurt us, a recent tweet can not be more on point:

“You can’t walk in love for free…it costs something.” – a tweet from Joyce Meyer.

Yes, it sure does cost something, but walking in unforgiveness costs much more.

~ David Adebola Oke

All Things Are Yours!

June 9, 2012

All Things Are Yours (…the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours)

God is good and only good can come from Him.

There is no good in Satan; he is the source of all evil.

When we were with Satan, all evil had been given to us; both the ones we experienced and the ones we did not. We could explore evil to any extent, facing its attending consequences.

In Christ, we do not lack the abilities we had in the world; we loose the love, passion and taste for evil. We lack the willingness to do evil as we no longer derive pleasure from such. The sinful/evil nature does not rule over us again.

In God, every good thing has been given to us along with Christ Jesus Eph.1:3; the ones we have and the ones we don’t have. It is our responsibility to explore good as much as we can, enjoying the rewards. The limits have been taken off. If any seems to exist, it is only in our hearts. 2 Pet.1:3

That you do not have certain things does not change the fact that they have been given to you. All things are yours. You don’t have everything, and you don’t have to have everything for not all things are expedient for you. 1 Cor.10:23

Christianity is more exciting when for a higher purpose you choose not to have certain things even though all things are within your reach. However, the great lacks seen in the body of Christ today are mostly not by choice but due to lack of knowledge, not knowing how to take possession of what has been given.

There is a difference between been given something and having that thing, and there is a process moving from the former to the later.

There are many ways of having things in this world, but there is a Way of having things in the Kingdom. We can only walk in this Way through faith i.e. the process between the states of been given and having is faith.

We exchange faith for what God has given.

Faith is a process.

A process involves more than one step or stage; it is a systematic way of doing things; a series of events that produce change or development.

At times the process is sped up and all the stages look like an act; other times the stages are well defined, separated in time. However, a fundamental truth to accept in order to understand how faith works is that it is a process.

~ David Adebola Oke

Beholding His Face

May 29, 2012

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied when I awake, with thy likeness.” Ps.17:15 KJV

Beholding His face produces satisfaction in me.

This satisfaction is based on the fact that when I come out of meditation (when I awake), I find myself looking as I saw myself in Him when I beheld His face i.e. I find in me, in my life, those things I saw concerning me in Him as I looked into the perfect law of liberty.

Every time I behold Him I see something new; my satisfaction is that when I awake, I see that thing in me.

But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.” 1 Cor.3:18 KJV

“…from glory to glory” means this is not a one time thing, it is a continuous process. We are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory.

The more I look intently at the Word (Jesus Christ), the more I look like Him i.e. the more I become all He said about me.

~ David Adebola Oke

Love (…for the love of God has been shed abroad in our hearts)

May 19, 2012

Love and Forgiveness     (1)

We walk in love and forgiveness, doing good to all men, especially those of our kind” – the first line of our creed.


Aliens (… in this world but not of this world, from another system)

April 19, 2012

Our Creed

We walk in love and forgiveness, doing good to all men, especially those of our kind

We are faithful in what we do, and we are trustworthy

We walk by faith and not by sight

We are watchful and prayerful

We keep the peace as long as it depends on us

We put trust in no arm of flesh, not even in ourselves, but only in Him

Our loyalty is solely to the One who commissioned us, who keeps and maintains us on this side of heaven

We will look at all the above in details in subsequent writings.

In the parable of the ten minas, the Master said, “…, Occupy till I come.” Lk.19:13(b). We can understand that the Master doesn’t want us to just maintain what has been delivered to us, but to increase it.

To occupy, we have to forcefully contend for ‘space’.

While we keep the peace with all men, I think we should constantly remind ourselves that we are not here on a “peace keeping mission”, we are an occupational force.

“…, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.” Matt.11:12

How do we exercise this force…?

If it is going to be neither by power nor by might (Zech. 4:7), i.e. not by money, intellect, or human connections (these are some ways strength is exercised in this world)*, but by His Spirit, then you’ll need tools that are operational and effective in our kingdom.

You can run around with your legs and you may be able to do a lot of things with your hands, but you must realize that your muscles don’t function in the spirit and that our God takes no pleasure in the legs of a man (Ps. 147:10).

I know some of us still think that we live by the standards of this world (2 Cor.10:2).

I agree we can camouflage (it’s an accepted principle in warfare, and we are at war). We can mix with them, but we can’t play by their rules, we can’t accept their value system. It just won’t work for us (2 Cor.10:3).

Here is a question we should ask ourselves as Christians.

Are we not been fool hardy when in a world where we are certified aliens and rebels, we try to compete with the children of this world, depending on the tools of this world?

Little wonder the tools are never as effective in our hands as they are in the hands of the people of this world.

These people end up appearing smarter than us. Why? They are at home in their games; they know their ways around (Luke 16:8).

In the parable of the smart/shrewd manager, the unjust steward was commended (Luke. 16:1-15).

As a Christian, you can’t do what this man did (he literally cheated his master), else you’ll be moving from sin to sin, and this will make you loose fellowship with God. Then one day, (because God loves you) your acts will come into the open; you will be embarrassed, loose all the ground you thought you have gained and eventually loose fellowship with men.

If only we will always live by our creed, using those tools that are natural to us. Like us, they are not of this world; they are from our home country. If only we will look not around but above for help. Then will we quickly see that the children of this world are no match for us (Eph.1:19); then will we quickly fulfill prophecies, heralding the coming of our Lord.

Eph.6:10-18 talks about the armour that is available to us.

However we should note here that by just putting on the armour (protective covering), we will be playing defensive. At best we will be able to stand and keep the ground we already have (and this will only be for a season), but we will not be able to gain any new ground for our God. The sword in our hand should not just be used to defend but also to charge forward.

So how do we live in this world? How do we wage this war? (2 Cor.10:4-6)

We don’t use the world system, no, we use the WORD SYSTEM.

We use words to demolish strongholds, arguments, and pretensions (infiltrations).

Taking captives means that we don’t just hold the fort, we press into enemy grounds.

The word system is a Kingdom technology we will keep exploring deeper and deeper on this blog.

Stay tuned.

~ David Adebola Oke

*Christians must master all these without ever depending on any of them.

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