Wednesday, 30 December 2015

MAKING ROOM



One thing is common among Christian all over the world when it comes to resolutions for New Year: It is the desire to know the Lord better and deeper.
But not many have moved from the realms of wishes to the domain of strong desire. Many Christians don’t really mean it when they say, “I want to know God better next year.” After 2nd February, they come to their senses and realise that New Year was after all another day just like any other day. The fact that many wish the same things every New Year and yet remain at the same level with regards to their relationship with God means that their resolution to know God better was not their heart-desire. Why? This is because a heart desire has force and fire; a wish doesn’t! A desire will make you take those hard steps and decisions even if you have to lose a relationship, friend, relative or an attitude.
A wish is a feeling of wanting to do or have something: an act of thinking about something that you want and hoping that you will get it or that it will happen in some magical way. A desire on the other hand is a strong conscious impulse toward something (or someone) that promises enjoyment or satisfaction in its attainment.
It is our strong heart-desires (consistent with God’s Will) that God responds to and not our wishes. Many Christians want more of God but not many really want to let go of their evil desires, compulsions, fears, addictions and wrong companions. No wonder we remain where we’ve been for “ages”; even our challenges and troubles remain the same. This New Year we have to go deeper and higher in our quest for more of God’s power and presence; and we need new challenges and trials!
Once I was teaching a small class the topic “Planning for God”. After I had finished my message, a sister in Christ; an author and a trail blazer of that fellowship stepped out and opined, “No, you cannot plan for God.” She literally threw all my teachings to the gutters and said I was been to philosophical. It will surprise you to know that she joined the “class” at middle of the session and so I didn’t expect her to understand much. I couldn’t complain either. Moreover, I had picked the necessary signals from my audience as communicator and knew they were on the same plain with me.
People say you’re too philosophical when they don’t agree to or understand your words, when they do they don’t talk like that! May be the title of the lesson should have been, “Making Plans for God”, or “Having Plans with God in Mind”, or “Making Plans together with God”
That lovely sister believed that God is BIG and sovereign. You possibly can’t do stuffs or make plans to satisfy Him; or to make Him proofread. Many Christians believe same; that God is responsible for making Himself known to them. Yes, I believe that God is BIG and sovereign; and no one can twist His hands with his or her plans. But it is important to know that God is not always and directly running the “whole show”. The attitude of our hearts determines how He responds to us though He is that BIG!
What many also don’t know is that you can set goals and make plans through the Holy Ghost. Any Christian can set goals through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit instead of using emotions or human wisdom. You can even set goals and give it to the Holy Spirit to breathe upon it. It all depends on how much intimate you’ve gotten with the Spirit of the Lord! God is not afraid to leave certain things totally in our hands (see Gen 2: 19); He loves us with inexpressible intensity and great warmth.
The Scriptures on several occasions tell us how God is a remunerator of them whose hearts are diligently after Him (see Heb 11:6). He only prove Himself a rewarder of those who seriously and earnestly search or try to find Him.
As big as God is, the serious, earnest and diligent search has to be done by us with our hearts: the labour of seeking God is our responsibility and not God’s. Amazingly, God is on the urge and will meet us even less than half-way. He has promise that such move (i.e. the move of our heart going after Him) will not go unpaid.
Nobody ever sought God and lost (see Ps 69:6 & Job 5:8). If you seek God, inquiring for and requiring Him as your first need, your spirit will be revive (Ps 69:32).
The more reason you should set your heart to know God better this New Year. Prepare and determine in your heart to pursue God. God is not going to do that for you. No amount of prophecy or prayers will make that happen in your life if you are not ready through diligent effort to dedicate and prepare yourself to study God’s Word and do it (see Ezra 7:10).
If you strongly or really desire to know God better this coming New Year you’ve got to make the necessary plans thereby. You cannot rely on your feelings to pursue God. Feelings are deceptive and fluctuating most of the time. You cannot depend on your feelings to pray, study and meditate on the Scriptures consistently.
Anyone who wants more of God must and should make conscious efforts or decisions to pray, study and meditate on the Scriptures consistently. Sometimes you have to make unfriendly decisions and take the hard steps to go after God hard – to let go relationships that are unprofitable; trade your addictions, compulsions and wrong attitudes for God’s freedom, wisdom and victory. This may seem difficult, but God is more willing to help you succeed in such quest. He is crazy about your success. This New Year preserve time to spend more time with God.  Make the conscious effort to fix a time to pray, study and meditate on the Word. Don’t wait to do that when you feel like or when it is convenient. You can decide for instance to pray effectively 10 minutes twice a day – morning and evening. With time you can and should increase the minutes you spend as you go to God daily in prayer, Scriptural studies and meditation.
Your scheduled time for the things of God and God must be fixed and non-negotiable. It is only when you aren’t ready to trade your prayer time for TV time or indulge in unnecessary chatter with a friend that you’re in for business. Until you reach such levels you are not serious for more of God, neither are you ready to know Him better. Be importunate in your search after God until He shows up with His reward; and when He shows up don’t give up  searching because there is more to Him than you think; you can never have enough of Him!
God wants to visit you this incoming year but will He find you searching and emptied (to be filled) or will He find you full of all evil;  compulsions, addictions, fears and desires of the flesh; having no empty room for Him. Don’t be like those who don’t anticipates, hope, await or prepare for His arrival (see Luk 2:7).
Make room this New Year for the King. Prepare your heart He wants to meet you; He’s been longing for that day (Amos 4:12). Are you making room?


Copyright © 2015, Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.
All Rights Reserved. Any duplication, transfer or manipulation of the content of this article without prior permission is prohibited.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

PURPOSE: SOMETHING GREATER THAN MORE MONEY



There are giants in the garment industry oppressing thousands in Bangladesh whiles raking in billions of dollars on the European and US market. These giants don’t care whether the tailors of the Bangladeshi garment factories are even receiving the legal minimum wage or not. So far as they are hitting their financial targets, everything to them is okay.
Of course, these businessmen might emphasize the fact that they clothe millions worldwide and therefore make lives better. But you cannot destroy lives in one place using some business principle or strategy whiles you make lives better thousands of miles away and call it success. How and what we spend our money on give a clear reflection on who we really are and will become.
Likewise, many electronic giants do the same. Some of these multinational electronic companies are outsourcing and relocating certain portions of their business chain to part of the world where labour is cheap; human rights are not respected; there is no regard for occupational hazards; where you can flout the laws and go scot free. This kind of outsourcing and relocation helps profits to skyrocket. Taking advantage of the destitute and helpless to rake in cash is not success.
Too often than not, many see success as a reserve for a special breed of human beings. Millions wonder whether they will ever be successful one day. But when you understand what success truly is, you will understand why it is not necessarily a matter of trying harder or hoarding gargantuan cash. Success is about daily doing your agenda; an agenda that extend goodness to those who relate to you on a regular or face-to-face basis.
Some so-called successful people can make you feel and believe they have achieved what no one else could ever achieve. By the way they tell their stories you might think you can never do what they have done. Most of the time, they don’t tell the whole truth.  We only hear how determination, focus and discipline got them to the paradise of success. As a result, some accord these successful people so much importance than they are worth. This can lead to show of hubris (by some of these successful people) which might militate against their advancement.
It is important to note that, these successful people face challenges everyday people face. Some, most of the time never get to even surmount these challenges. They live a life of constant pretence.
Knowing the true meaning of success will help you realign your mindset and activities. Success is not the all-of-sudden change that happens in your life when you meet the right person or when you get a life time opportunity.
What you do daily determine whether you are successful or not, because true success is most of the time the good goals you achieve daily.
Colossians 4:1 says, “Masters, give your servants what is right and equal, conscious that you have a Master in heaven.” (BBE)
Philippians 2:3-5 further ingeminates, “Don't be jealous or proud, but be humble and consider others more important than yourselves.  Care about them as much as you care about yourselves and think the same way that Christ Jesus thought.” (CEV)

True success is bigger than much money, fame and luxury. Money, fame and luxury are not bad in themselves. But the sheer dint of hard work doesn’t even guarantee success. True success is daily practising disciplines that make good happen for those close to you in such a way that you gain the respect and love of those close to you. If there is a standard to measure yourself with, it should be this.
“For David, after he HAD SERVED GOD'S PURPOSE IN HIS OWN GENERATION, died and was laid to rest with his ancestors, and so he experienced decay.” -  [Act 13:36(ISV), emphasis mine].
Don’t just make money; make a memory, a good one of course.

Copyright © 2015, Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.

All Rights Reserved. Any duplication, transfer or manipulation of the content of this article without prior permission is prohibited.

Thursday, 10 September 2015

LEAVING LASTING LEGACY



There is one thing in common among legends like Madiba, Martin Luther King Jnr., Mother Teresa, Patrice Lumumba and the likes, it is illustriousness. Many a people spend their lifetime building diligently companies, organizations, ministries or lifestyles that become extinct with their demise.  This happens most of the time when leaders, owners or chiefs of organizations, ministries or companies build organizations, ministries or companies around themselves. They don’t get to transfer their core attributes or values to others. Their death means the sure plummeting of the fortunes and the spirit of their outfit.
Real successful people do not last just their lifetime but for ages.  Your success means nothing if it will in no way affect and be of relevance to posterity. To ensure a continuum of success there is the need for a prepared and readied people to take over from the incumbent leader.  Succession is a rare mark of true leaders whose legacies live on.  Any great leader that ‘never dies’ goes great length to train other people to continue the work they have already begun. What separates the fake leader (that last a while) from the one whose work lingers on is his/her ability to start a movement and make it spread like wildfire.
Training others to take over from you is not something leadership must start when they are preparing to leave the scene. It should start way ahead of such plans. It should start far earlier before any thought of an exit plan comes in mind.
 Training a successor is not any easy task. In fact, it is not so much full of fun. Incumbent leaders most of the time wants to forever remain the pilot so far as they are alive. Very few leaders are ready to take the risk of tolerating young leaders steer the wheel and make mistakes.  Though tolerating a potential successor’s mistake can be costly and frustrating, with time, skills needed to lead will be smoothly transferred.
Any incumbent leader can prepare successors by impacting them with his/her culture or lifestyle. Being a leader means being an example to others. It is your way of doing things that defines who you are; this is what you have to transfer to incoming ones. What make you choose what you choose and do the things you habitually do? The answer to such a question is what you have to explain to your successors as you transfer to them key core values, vision and attributes.
Investing in people through training, giving them books and opportunity to learn on the job diligently, always reap great results. Seeds of greatness sowed in others will with time lead them to greater works.
Everyone seeking to be a great leader must know that the impact of others always goes before legacies. John C. Maxwell put it this way: “A leader simply must…..look to invest in people rather than to wring out of them (success).


Copyright © 2015, Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.

All Rights Reserved. Any duplication, transfer or manipulation of the content of this article without prior permission is prohibited.

Thursday, 5 March 2015

EBOLA; WHICH PESTILENCE IS NEXT?



In 1918, a worldwide flu epidemic brought on by WW1 troop movements killed an estimated 50 million people. That was one-fifth of the world’s population. This influenza epidemic did kill more people than any other illness in record history. The devastation by the Ebola virus though deadlier, cannot be compared to ruin that was left by that deadly influenza virus.
Ebola is sweeping across some West African nations leaving in its trails fear and panic; and the lack of empathy. This disease has claimed more than 10,000 lives and the WHO indicates it might claim more. We are told the virus can and might mutate to be transmissible by air. That would have made the disease the deadliest so far in the world’s history. That we don’t pray for!
Where those pathogens came from before the entered their host, the bat, we don’t know and will never know! Isn’t it interesting that our forefathers who used to live near vegetation didn’t contract such disease?          
The above questions may never be answered explicitly. What are important are not the answers to those questions but the way out.
 It is also remarkable that the Bible first taught or talked about quarantine as a way of controlling infectious diseases before any scientist popped up with such idea (see Leviticus 13:4-5 and 13:31-33). We don’t have to wait for a vaccine and drugs to stop Ebola. We must take measures and coordinate all the necessary activities to stop Ebola.
This is not the first time we had to battle an epidemic of such proportion. We have beaten most of these diseases (HIV/AIDS, SARS, Bird flu, smallpox, polio etc.) by our human wisdom.
 No matter how deadly Ebola is, it cannot wipe out the entire population of the earth. I believe we can beat the Ebola virus. But it an overt fact that new diseases emerge every now and then; and they threaten the human race. We may beat Ebola but another pestilence will come from nowhere to threaten the population. What will we do when a deadlier pestilence arise after we’ve beaten Ebola?
Jesus, records indicates “promised” or prophesied the outbreak of pestilence which will threaten the population growth of the human race before He returns. Ebola reminds me of that prophecy (though a negative one). Jesus gave that prophecy over 2000 years ago (see Matthew 24:3-8 and Luke 21:7-11). These pestilences include the deadly Ebola.
 Interestingly, that same Jesus promised the intervention and deliverance of God to rescue the human race from extinction (see Matthew 24:22). Life in eternity is more important than life on earth or even death.


“Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:”   1 Corinthians 15:1-4

“For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them. – Luke 9:56


“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” – 1 John 3:8


“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” – Acts 4:12

“Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?” - John 11:25

What will be your fate if you find yourself to be one of those who succumb to this Ebola pestilence? There is only one way to human peace and salvation, Jesus Christ. Will you believe and confess today!

Copyright © 2015, Jacob Nana Kwesi Dapaah.

All Rights Reserved. Any duplication, transfer or manipulation of the content of this article without prior permission is prohibited.
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