A Grateful Heart :)

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“Me: I don’t really have much to celebrate to be honest

God: These things i have spoken unto you, that ye might have peace.

In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; i have overcome the world”  John 16:33

Hola!

I know it’s been a minute but i’m back for another blog post. Today i’m writing about a heart of gratitude! It’s just come up to a week since i celebrated my 23rd birthday and i remember in the few weeks leading up to it, everyone was asking “What are you doing for your birthday?”

If you know me welll enough, you’ll also know i looovvee celebrating my birthday lol. It’s one of the most important events of the year that i look forward to! There’s a significant reason why this is the case but i may write about that another time! Now before i digress, going back to my birthday i was feeling a little down in the weeks leading up to my big day. So when people asked what i was doing even though i had some ideas in mind the truth was this was the one birthday i was not looking forward to initially because i felt i didn’t have much to celebrate.

WHY?

Reason being that at the start of 2015 when everyone had big dreams and expectations for the year ahead, i was dealing was some things career wise and i tried to remain optimistic that things will work itself later. Now it was almost the end of the year and the situation has still not been resolved. What happens when you have prayed and fasted and you’ve tried to keep your faith on fleek but God hasn’t come through yet? I was unhappy about where i was in life.This was the biggest reason among other things as to why i felt i did not have much to celebrate.

Notice i said ‘i did not have much to celebrate’ not that ‘i did not have anything to celebrate’. There’s a difference lol. I am one of the most polite people you’ll ever meet, i never forget my ‘please and thank you’s’ lol and this mirrors the relationship i have with God. So this meant i was thankful to God for some things and occasionally not so grateful for the other things. As the time grew closer to my birthday i was thankful to God i was alive and grateful that my situation was not dire however at the same time there was also a part of me that was ungrateful. Instead of thanking God for all that i do have, as my Cousin dearly put it for me on my birthday “Don’t let the devil distract you from what you do have, be grateful for that”.

You see the other factor that added to my sour mood weeks leading up to my birthday was the fact that i had caught the flu twice in less than a month! So it was looking like even if i got myself together and decided to celebrate my birthday, how was i going to do that with a sore throat, etc. In my mind i was just like the way the devil keeps fighting me i don’t understand.

It was at this point i was reminded of John 16:33 “you will have trouble, but be of good cheer” and in that moment i made up my mind flu or not, problems or not, i was going to celebrate my birthday and be of ‘good cheer’. I was going be grateful to God whatever season i am in because i know the God i serve has overcome so the devil will surely be put to shame. I was not going to let the devil distract me from what i do have; such as my amazing family and friends that made my day so special as always! I mean i know i’m loved not to sound arrogant here but i honestly was overwhelmed by all the love, prayers, wishes and presents i received! Not to mention by the time my birthday arrived my flu had pretty much almost disappeared completely. It was the best birthday yet and it seems to get better every year.

A grateful heart

Just to finish off, my point is don’t let the devil distract you. He will do this by magnifying your problems to a degree bigger than what it actually is in reality. It is so easy for us focus on what we don’t have now or what we are expecting God to do, when really, during the process of waiting we should allow the peace of God to engulf us and give thanks to God in all circumstances as this is the will of God for us in Christ Jesus! 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Be Blessed!

With Love,

Lola xx

Blurred Lines..

Me: I respect the idea but i don’t agree with the implementation

God: So how far is too far?

Me: But sometimes it’s not that straightforward

God: With this one, there is no grey area. You can’t pick and choose

Me: Ok, Lord please give me discernment

Recently, God has been challenging me to do a rain-check in certain areas of my life because although i know what i believe and pretty well versed on the word, there are some issues i know for me that are in the ‘grey area’. What i mean by this, is that these issues hang in the balance and could almost go one direction right or one direction left however with that same measure if unchecked could be just outside God’s will hence i titled this blog blurred lines!

If i am still not making sense what i am writing about is ‘Godliness’. What does it mean to be godly?

“Godliness can be defined as devotion to God which results in a life that is pleasing to him”

It’s crazy because i was having a conversation with a friend of mine whose perception of me was that i was a ‘godly woman’. He’s not wrong lol however after our conversation, that awkward moment came and i was thinking to myself is that compliment because even though i knew what he meant (he could see that i was a Christian and practically had a relationship with God), the term itself made me somewhat feel uncomfortable all of a sudden. (He’ll probably kill me when he sees this lool) Unknown to my friend God had been challenging me on certain traits prior to that conversation. As we all know there are good traits and bad traits. The irony was that some of the traits/habits that God was challenging me about were not even necessarily bad, the issue was either exhibiting too much of those traits or in on other cases not exhibiting enough. These thoughts took me to 1 Corinthians 10:23 – “All things are permissible but not all things are beneficial”.

Let me explain..

If we go back to the definition of godliness it implies that through our relationship with God, our behavior or the way we live our lives should testify to the fact that we have a relationship with the Father. The reason i guess i was feeling uncomfortable when my friend said he felt i was godly was because i did not want him to think i had a perfect relationship with God. I mean i am doing my utmost best with this walk of faith and i guess that is evident in some of my behaviour but there are still a few ‘grey areas’ where i am still growing! That was the reason i asked God for discernment in the conversation above because some issues are not so clear cut in life even though we have the Word to help us. According to James 1:5 it states, “if anyone lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you”. So i asked God for wisdom and he answered.

The other reason i was uncomfortable with the term godly was because i knew there some issues in my life where my decisions still kind of hang in the balance from time to time and it was in this moment that i was reminded of 2 Timothy 3:5 which talks about “having a form of godliness”. Although the context from which i am applying this verse is slightly different to what was written in Timothy, the principle is still the same. For example, we all know how to do Church where outsiders can see and say “She’s a real Christian girl, she goes to Church 3times a week and never misses prayer meeting. You can really tell she was in the spirit last Sunday”, but the question is, on a Monday can you still be just as filled with the Holy Spirit in your house where no-one is watching? Are you putting in that same effort that you put on in Church when you’re at home doing your devotion? Are you able to tap into God’s presence without the instrumentals and your favorite Worship Leader or Pastor?

I’m afraid to say that some of us have an ‘act of godliness’, we know how to do Church so well, we have forgotten about the relationship and working out our salvation. We all have some things we are dealing with issues in the ‘grey area’ where sometimes we question what will God’s stance be on this issue if he was physically here right now?

So when i write about blurred lines and having a form of godliness, I am not even writing about those that go to Church ‘for show’ so to speak, I am speaking about those of us who genuinely worship God whole-heartedly on a Sunday and very much have the desire to live a life that is pleasing to him.

I read a post on instagram a few weeks back which pretty much summarises this particular post. It reads like this:

“In this Christian Walk, you get to a place where you must move from desiring to be godly….but actually become willing to be godly. The difference between the sluggard and achiever, is NOT desire, it’s being a DOER”.

This quote was so insightful and made me think that the reason some issues lie in the grey area for me is not because i don’t love God but because i have subconsciously fallen in love with ‘Desire’ and not so much practically carrying out the act. This is probably the same for some of you. So i would like to encourage anyone reading because i feel God saying we need to move beyond desiring to be godly, holy or even desiring the fruits of the spirit to actually actively doing these things. It’s the same in a relationship, no-one wants to be with someone who all he/she has to offer you is good intentions instead of good character etc.

So right now as you’re reading i pray that God will grant you wisdom and discernment for issues you have that are in the grey area, issues that may be hanging in the balance, issues where you are struggling with your moral standing. Lord i ask that you will release everyone reading this blog from the enemy’s trap of desire and strengthen them to do that which you have asked them to do. Lord i ask that we will not just desire you but we will be doers of your word. Amen!

With Love,

Lola xoxo.

Protecting Your Testimony.

Me: God why would you give me something and take it away so quickly?

God: If i gave it to you and took it away, i can either give it back, or replace it with something better?

Others: It’s an attack from the enemy but don’t worry God has got you covered. Remember the story of Job?

Me: hmmn yh, but even the devil still had to ask God for permission before he could attack Job which means God allowed it ?! *eyebrows are being raised at this point*

Others: Well that’s true, which means if God allowed it, there’s a reason for it. Take heart darling

Me: aaarrrgh why?

Me: But God why now? It’s kind of inopportune? You be doing the Most …(inexplicable things sometimes)

God: I just need you to trust me on this one. In due time, you will fully understand.

Me: *sigh* Ok.

Disclaimer: If you do not believe spiritual warfare is real, this post is not for you. However for those who know that “we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” – Ephesians 6:12, please bear with me and read on it will all make sense very soon!

A while ago, i presented two plans (Plan A and Plan B) to God and asked in prayer for God to make either of the plans happen. I was not fussed as to which one happened first or which way God was going to make it happen. My prayer was just asking God to make either plan A or plan B happen. Both plans were very important as i pretty much needed it to survive in the long scheme of things. It was not anything trivial in case you’re wondering. Long story short, God gave me plan B and not too long after it was taken away. I was literally elated when i first received plan B. I did all the usual things you are taught to do in church when God does a miracle, you know like give a thanksgiving seed and give a testimony to show God that you appreciate what he has given you and also to encourage others that “God is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” – Ephesians 3:20.

How did i know it was God that gave me plan B?

I knew it was God firstly because James 1:17 says “Every good and perfect gift comes from God” and plan B was a good gift. Secondly, the enemy will never send anything good your way. It may appear good initially. For example, when Satan tempted Jesus in Matthew 4, to idolatry with the offer of the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them. The fruit of this promise, would have led to destruction. Why? Because Jesus would have had to ‘bow down’ to the devil, thereby acknowledging Satan’s false sense of superiority and false power as ‘the prince of this world’ as referred to in the Bible; and would imply Jesus surrendering his Lordship! And we all know who the one and true God is. The devil has got a nerve and it makes me mad y’all but moving along swiftly…whenever you’re unsure if God sent something your way or if the adversary sent something your way, please make sure to remember Mathew 7:16 “by their fruits you shall know them” – a good tree cannot bear bad fruit and vice – versa.

Now when plan B was taken away from me, i was understandably angry. I mean i had a right to be lol but i mentally struggled with three things.

  1. Did God take it away?

Answer:

It is perfectly possible that God took it away. So this leads me to the next question.

2. If God was going to take it away, why would he give it to me in the first place?

Answer:

Well this one is much harder to figure out. If God took it away, maybe it’s because he has something better, or plan B has come to the end of its season, or plan B was for me to learn something for that time. I’m sure we’ve all heard these answers before and whilst they are perfectly plausible, i don’t like cliches! Even though they may have some truth to them. So a part of me accepted (partly lol) that the reason God took away plan B was because something else greater was in store for me. After all, the Bible does say in Jeremiah 29:11 that God’s thoughts and plans for us is not to harm us but rather his plans are to prosper us and give us a hope and a future. However what if God allowed the enemy to take it away?

3. If the enemy took it away? Why did God allow it?

Answer:

Now after plan B was taken away, a few things transpired that confirmed that it was indeed an attack from the enemy and God allowed it but why?

Very good question! Thanks for bearing with me so far, i’m about to put you out of your misery lol and tie all the knots together nicely so it all makes sense 🙂

To answer this question i first thought about the story of Job as you can see from the conversation above. The bible said that Job was a righteous man that feared the Lord and hated evil. If you follow the story in Job 1 particularly verse 8, God said to Satan “Have you considered my servant Job…”, then Satan replied in verse 10 “have you not put a hedge around him…” and verse 12 God gave Satan the permission to strike Job and start making his life a living nightmare.

At this point, i’m like God why would you allow the enemy to strike Job? Like i stated earlier the devil has a nerve and it makes me mad. Satan was challenging God about Job’s character but God had faith in Job that he would not turn against him. The devil said to God that the reason Job was not going to challenge him was because God had not only blessed Job but God had also put a hedge of protection around him therefore implying that if these privileges were removed Job’s relationship with God would change. For those who have read the story we know that this was not the case. So i was like “God clearly, this was a battle between you and Satan and Job happened to be caught in the crossfire. How is that fair?”.

Just in that moment, God dropped a word in my spirit. God said:

“Exposure, that’s the reason plan B’ was taken away. I have something better for you”

I was really confused at this point so i asked God how this was relevant to the story of Job and more importantly to me. The next few days after i received this word, God began to give me more insight to help me understand. God said sometimes when we are going through it, it’s to shut the enemy down because the enemy seems to have a selective memory sometimes as to the power and awesomeness of God. So every now and then he will challenge God like he did in the case of Job and God has to put him back in his place. Also Job was not collateral damage that got caught in a crossfire, his life was a testimony to remind us that the battle is not yours but the Lords – 2 Chronicles 20:15; as when you read Job’s story, he did not curse God or wrongfully accuse him instead Job gracefully accepted his fate and kept saying “blessed is the name of the Lord”. Following this i remembered a song by Matt Redman ‘Blessed be Your Name’ from which God revealed the first lesson from my struggle. I have attached the song with this post. I will urge to listen to the lyrics carefully. The first lesson from this was; what is our attitude like when we are going through it? Do we throw a fit, a tantrum, get slack with our relationship with God because we are having such a hard time? or do we bless God’s name in all seasons? – the good times and the bad?

The second thing God was showing me through this was that doing the right thing at the wrong time can really mess things up for you. Let me explain. Earlier i mentioned that i did the right things after God answered my prayer and gave me plan B by giving my seed of thanksgiving and giving a testimony; the problem with this was it brought me pre-mature exposure. See the thing is, the enemy knows that God has good things in store for you. What the enemy does not know is the details until YOU speak it into existence. God was teaching me that there some testimonies/victories you do not expose until it has reached it’s stage of maturity. This is because pre-mature exposure may cause you to lose that very thing but rather we need protect our testimony until the right time as the Bible says in John 10:10 “the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy”. If you think about it, the enemy cannot come to steal what he does not know exists! It’s like if you always put it out there; this is what you own, this is what you have, this is what is yours, through what you wear, say to people or put on social media, this can bring you the wrong kind of exposure and eventually attract theft! Even in Luke 9:20 -21 when Jesus asked his disciples who they thought he was and they said to him that he was was the Son of God, in verse 21 Jesus “strictly warned them not tell anyone”. Jesus’ life was his testimony, it was therefore imperative that he protected his identity, as the crowds finding out who he was pre-maturely, would have precipitated the workings of God’s foreordained plan of the crucifixion as there were still various things that Jesus needed to do before he could reach his destiny. Therefore we need to protect some testimonies to avoid self- sabotage for the things that God may have in store for our future.

Thirdly, sometimes God may take away what he has given you. To help me understand, God sent me a word through an Aunt of mine through the story of Hannah and Peninnah. In 1 Samuel 1:5, the Bible said that God closed Hannah’s womb. God gave this woman a womb when he created her and made her female. Then decided to close it and she could not have children! Her rival Peninnah kept provoking her and made fun of her bareness. Elkanah, Hannah’s husband still favored Hannah in spite of her bareness. When God opened Hannah’s womb and gave her Samuel, he later became one of the greatest prophets in Israel, not only that, God chose him as a priest for Israel and he was not from the family of Eli! Now my question is, does anyone know the name of Penninah’s children? or what they perhaps went on to do in later life?

Finally, God said to me that he had something else greater in store, when we look at the story of Job again, everything he lost was restored to him 7times over! Now that’s Kingdom Mathematics 🙂

The Moral of the Story:

  • I will bless the Lord at all times Psalm 34:1, in the good and bad times, through all seasons. Check your attitude when you are going through it.
  • If God allowed it to happen, he will bring you through it! His plans for you are not to harm you but trust him that in spite of the storm, something greater is waiting for you on the other side.
  • God will always restore whatever the enemy steals from you – Deuteronomy 30
  • God will prepare a table for you in the presence of your enemies – Psalm 23 (Hannah and Penninah) so learn to trust God with your trouble.
  • God can still favor you in your storm
  • God is an ever present help in time of need, that means you if you want to see God at work it will be in the midst of your trouble. If we did not have any problems, there would be nothing for him to fix. Therefore there is a purpose for everything that you go through!
  • Praise him in advance as he makes everything work together for the good of those who love him.

Blessed Be Your Name – Matt Redman

Link below:

With Love,

Lola xoxo.

Simply No!

“Me: God we need to talk

I have been praying and waiting for you to say something about this situation

I need to know if this path is for me or not

I am a little confused and i know you’re not a God of confusion

So i kind of need you to say something asap before it’s too late

I just need a sign, a confirmation, anything….

God: The answer to your question is No

Me: Ook, does that mean No as in ‘not now’ or just simply No ?

God: ….(No Response)………

Me: Ok God, thanks for answering my question, i am kind of happy that i heard from you because i have not heard your voice in a while but at the same time why is your answer No?”

Yes i can be that annoying person that does not like to take No for an answer which can be a good thing sometimes in a different context but definitely not a good idea when it comes to God.

Here is an example of a typical conversation between God and I. So i asked God a question regarding a situation i was dealing with and three days later i received a message out of nowhere from a friend answering my question in the middle of our conversation. This friend of mine had no idea by the way, that through our conversation, God had answered a question i had been praying to him about. How did i know it was God? Like i said the answer came out of nowhere and was not even in the context of the conversation i was having with my friend at the time. My friend also had no idea i had been praying about the situation. My friend literally uttered one sentence and it immediately resonated with my spirit.

You see the thing is God doesn’t always speak to you in a loud booming voice or through a supernatural experience like Moses and the burning bush! Sometimes God will use the people around you to send you a message and sometimes they are unaware themselves that they are being used by God in that very moment.

God simply said No!.

Was i happy about the response? NO!

Now i did not give a specific example of the thing i was asking God for because i want you to fill in the blanks with the things you may be asking God for at this time as you’re reading through this.

The point i am trying to make here is sometimes we go to God in prayer and ask him for something we want him to do or change in our lives when in actual fact we are not ready for his response. I mean i thought i was, but really i was not and here is why. Some of you might be able to relate to this because there is a default system that our brain adjusts to when we get ready to ask God for something. This default system is a result of bible verses that we’ve either read or heard such as:

  • Mark 11:24 -Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours
  • John 14:13-14 Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
  • Matthew 21:22 And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith
  • Matthew 7:7 Ask and you shall receive! (My favorite one ;))
  • Psalm 37:4 Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart! (My other favorite verse :))

Now i could go on and list a lot more but i am sure you get the drift. The slight problem now is whilst these verses are the absolute truth i am still thinking “God your word said i should ask which i have done but your response was No!” Someone should have really inserted a clause in one of those verses to let me know that just because i ask God for something does not mean the answer will be Yes! I joke…A clause is not needed because i know that even in our relationships with other people; parents for example, just because you ask your Mum for something does not mean her answer will be yes. So why do we get dissapointed, stressed, depressed and frustrated when God says No?

It is because our brain most likely has a default setting; the sub-conscious (i know mine does sometimes lol) that is not actually asking God to give us an answer to our request but rather the brain is asking God to say Yes to our requests and those are two different things! So when i was having my conversation with God although it seemed like i genuinely wanted an answer to my question, the reality is i didn’t and i only realized this when God said No. I wanted God to say Yes to my request so when his answer was No, it was disappointing.

Now you i can go on and talk about the ten million reasons why God can say No to your request but unfortunately that is not what i am trying to address today as i am sure some would suggest perhaps the reason God said No was because you were in sin or he has something greater in store for you – cliche to say the least. However it had nothing to do with any of that. I went on to ask God if the No meant not now or if it was just No and to be competely honest with you all, the answer to this question has not arrived from heaven yet! God simply said No! Although i was initially unhappy with the response, i am at peace because i trust that God always knows what he is doing.

Some of us have a slight streak of stubbornness (i know i do sometimes pray for me lol)  where there have been signs that should have prepared us for God’s No. However we go to God in prayer about the same thing 500times because we want him to change his mind or bow down to our will effectively when really the only time we should expect a different answer is if it’s in line with God’s purpose!

Now some of the things God was really trying to show me through this were:

  1. It is always a No with God until he tells you Yes, so adjust your default settings (the sub-conscious) not  to go into prayer expecting a Yes to your request rather than answer to your question which could be a Yes or No.
  2. When God simply says No, don’t stress over if the No meant not now or if it was just simply No but trust him enough to know that if what you’re asking him for is not for right now then he will bring it back to you at the right time.
  3. When you pray, ask God to make his desires your desires so that you are in alignment with his will because it is only then you will receive the answer you’re expecting.
  4. Don’t keep asking God the same question 500times when he has already given you an answer, walk in obedience. I assure you, he heard you the first time and if at any point his decision changes he will reveal to you why.
  5. Let your mind be at peace and thankfully accept what God tells you to do because he always knows best!

I pray that we all get to a place of maturity in our walk with Jesus where we can really mean it when we say Lord your will be done not mine. God bless!

With Love,

Lola xoxo

The BackStory….

Dear Readers,

For those who don’t know me, my name is Lola Pedro and welcome to my page. I’m a Christian and a recent graduate currently working in the Big Beautiful City of London and here’s the back story of why i decided to join many others in sharing my faith online.

The last three to four years has marked a significant change in my relationship with God – combining the traditional approach of how i viewed my relationship with God with a more ‘Keeping it Real’ approach which is what has led me to my blog title: ‘Conversations with God’.

When i say traditional approach, i mean the way we as Christians interact with God like praying, reading the word, going to Church etc. However after a few tests and trials in recent years, i found it difficult sometimes to just go to the Lord in prayer about some of the things that transpired in my life. I found myself in a place where i longed to have a conversation with God the way i would with another human being rather than just getting on my knees and doing the ‘In Jesus Name’ opening line at the beginning of every prayer.

I remember listening to a sermon and the man of God defined prayer simply as a conversation with God. He went on to explain that sometimes some of us Christians from a very traditional background often approach God perhaps the same way we would approach the Queen of England if we ever had the pleasure of being invited into her presence. Whilst not taking away from the fact that God is the King of all Kings and therefore he should be reverenced; in light of viewing God this way, it can be difficult sometimes to view our relationship with him as personal. As i am sure the majority of us do not have a personal relationship with the Queen and if we did, there are behavioral protocols that need to be adhered to if we were to be in her Majesty’s Presence.

I loved the definition so much that it inspired my prayer life and made it easier for me to pray because to be honest sometimes when life happens, prayer is not always the first thing that comes to mind. We often find ourselves calling up our friends, family members, counselors, pastors, etc to speak to them about what we are going through in the hope that they can help us gain a better understanding of our situation or just be the extra shoulder to cry on. Whilst there is nothing wrong with this, i wanted to be able to go into the presence of God and let him know how i was really feeling sometimes rather than always going into the scripted way some of us have been taught to pray. Hence, came the birth of conversations with God.

Now, instead of always starting with Father in the Name of Jesus, or Our Father as my opening line, sometimes i say to God we need to talk! Usually after i have had my talk with Jesus, i am now able to enter a place of prayer the conventional way so to speak and it makes life so much easier.

After being prompted many times to put my writing skills to use, i therefore decided that one of the things i would like to do is share my walk with Jesus online with all you beautiful people by keeping it all the way real or keeping it 100 as some would say lol with the hope that it would bless some, encourage some, and help some who may be finding it difficult to run this race.

I am by no means a preacher, i have not gone to bible school or anything like that, this blog is simply to share my walk with you guys and i am still growing and i can definitely learn a thing or two from you all! So feel free to comment, email me if you have any questions, a different perspective or even disagree with anything i post. God help us all! I’m really excited about this and hopefully ‘Conversations with God’ will make better sense once i write up the first one 🙂

SN: Just to let you all know, my blogs may come across a little informal at times and perhaps funny and the reason for this is because i will be giving you a snapshot of what really goes through my mind before i get to a place of prayer with God.

Hope you enjoy it 🙂 . First Conversation coming up soon…

With Love,

Lola xoxo