A lot of times we ask God to bless us. When we are at the lowest point of our lives, we pray to God for blessings to overtake us (see Deut. 28:1-2), but do we ever take time to prepare ourselves for the big blessings we need from Him? If a million hit your bank account, what would you do to multiply it?
Few months ago, we complained and prayed to God for rain. It earnestly pleaded with Him for his saving grace. Our dams were running out. Experts were suggesting that by 2021, we were going to have a high water shortage in the country. The department of water affairs created adverts on media platforms with efforts to make us save the little water we have.
There are a number of times in the Bible when the children of Israel were faced with serious droughts in their country. Having trust in God, they looked up to the heavens and prayed to God. God answered their prayers and sent rain. Things were restored to their normality.
Just like the Children of Israel, this past week something happened in the heavens. God opened up the heavens and poured out massive rain into various parts of the country. Unfortunately, some people lost their lives whilst others lost theirs houses and cars. What seemed to be a blessing, quickly turned into a curse in a matter of three days. The worst part is, when clouds gather, people are already fearful. Could it be God’s doing or we messed up?
A question we should be asking ourselves is, “do we have enough dams to carry the amount of water from the rain?”, “do we have systems in place to carry the floods to our dams?”. I watched as floods ruin buildings, cars and take lives in Gauteng. It was a painful experience as people shouted to God for help in the midst of their troubles. In my head was how we as a province failed to create drainage systems that can handle the floods and deposit water into the dams we have. The worse part is that the Vaal dam in Gauteng was not affected at all.
Most of the times we ask God to bless us, but we are not ready to receive blessings, as a result they become too heavy for us. We do not create or prepare environments for us to receive blessings from God. We ask for rain to fall, but we don’t have systems to carry the amount of rain that might fall upon us.
Are you one of those who still isn’t ready for God’s blessings? Prepare yourself, God is about the rain blessings in your home.
WOW WOW WOW!
That is what I have to say after what we have experienced over the weekend. What a moment prestigious moment in the history of South African music we had this past weekend. If you don’t know what happened, then you need to read your local papers.
A young man from Mafikeng, South Africa by the name of Refiloe Phoolo famously known as Cassper Nyovest has done it again. He has proved to South Africans and the rest of the world that nothing is impossible with God. In his famous thanks giving speech, he likes to say “Good is good, all the time. All the time, God is good.” Indeed that is what we should believe without any single doubt.
The past year (2015), a South Afrikan Hip Hop artist by the name of Refiloe Maele Phoolo famously known as Cassper Nyovest shared his big dream with millions of us. His dream was to fill up one of the biggest venues used by most international musicians called Ticket Pro – The Dome. The venue takes about 20 000 people to be filled up. Firstly, I have to admit that I am not a fan of Hip Hop, be it South Afrikan or international. I however am a number one fan of faith and dreams. His dream to #FillUpTheDome is moving and inspirational. Cassper’s leap of faith is not something we should ridicule as Afrikans. It is bigger and very possible if we all believe.
Cassper’s dream didn’t stop with filling up a 20 000 seater venue. He wanted to do more. He was hungry for more. This year, he aimed higher. He wanted to do double the size and went for Orlando Stadium. By God’s grace, planning, preparation, determination, focus and prayer, his dream came true on the 29th of October 2016 in Soweto, South Africa. He filled a stadium with not just thousands of people, but with a bundle of faith.
One of the most powerful words ever said by Jesus Christ are found in the book of Matthew 17:2 when He said “You don’t have enough faith,” Jesus told them. “I tell you the truth, if you had faith even as small as a mustard seed, you could say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,” and it would move. Nothing would be impossible.”
When Cassper sold us his dream about filling up the dome, millions of South Afrikans didn’t believe that it could come true. They thought he was being too ambitious or just crazy to even dream of doing such. They thought it was suicidal for his career. Honestly? Cassper transformed my faith into greater dimensions. His journey of faith towards filling up the dome has rekindled the fire in me. He inspired me to think and dream bigger than before. For that, I just want to thank everyone who bought tickets to prove to me and millions of other young people that indeed dreams come true and that nothing is impossible if you believe.
Today, I want you stand up and #FillUpYourFaith. There’s nothing stopping you from achieving your goals. There’s absolutely nothing standing in your way of success. Let go of those excuses. YES, it is possible. Keep telling yourself that all the time. Focus on your goal. Increase your faith. When you feel like it is drying out, get up and fill it up. Cassper has done it.
Join me on the 19th of November at the State Theatre as I launch a book that shares Cassper’s story on how he did it through social media. The book is called “A tweet from my bedroom” You don’t want to miss this great night of inspiration with other friends who are doing incredible work in empowering young people in Afrika. Hurry up and book your seat on www.abutirams.co.za/events/a-night-with-abuti-rams
See you soon!
Have you ever spent time to find out what is that one thing that you are good at? That one thing that when you have done, people are always raving about it. That one thing you can do without strive but people find very hard to do. In most cases, people wish they could do what you can. They keep asking you to teach them how to do it but they fail to bring it out the same way you can. You are considered the best at that one thing. It could be baking, cooking, cleaning, mathematics or driving. Whatever it is, do it with all might.
When you page through the Bible, you will notice a scripture that speaks to the ability to create wealth (Deuteronomy8:18), however what we always miss out on is the importance of working hard. We never give ourselves time to sharpen our skills, gifts or talents. Each of us has been blessed with one or more gifts which are special to others who don’t have them. Each one of us is born with incredible gifts that can help all of us at some point. To think that we you are not born with a talent or gift, is not only incorrect but also an insult to your creator because we are all born with special gifts that will help better our lives and other people’s lives as well.
“A gift opens the way and ushers the giver into the presence of the great.” – Proverbs 18:16
Most of the time you don’t work hard on your gift because you still have doubts about its power. You don’t know how powerful it is and as a result, you waste your great potential. Have you seen many great people not using their God-given talents and how frustrated you get thinking how you could make a huge difference if God had given you the same gift? I sometimes wish I knew how to sing. I know that I would go all out to make sure that people listen to my songs every chance they get.
The biggest problem is that we never work hard on our gifts. We either limit ourselves or do not know how powerful they are. The Bible in the book of Proverbs 14:23 says “All hard work brings a profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty.” If you work hard on your gifts, you will create success out of them. On the other side, if you don’t, you will become poor. Wouldn’t you want to become successful because of something you are passionate about? Wouldn’t you want to travel the world and touch millions of lives because of your special gift? Think long and hard about it.
My prayer for you this week is that you realise your gifts/talents and work hard for them. Make them greater. We deserve to experience your greatness.
There was a daughter who complained to her father that her life was miserable and that she didn’t know how she was going to make it. She was tired of fighting and struggling all the time. It seemed just as one problem was solved, another one soon followed. Her father, a chef, took her to the kitchen. He filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire.
Once the three pots began to boil, he placed potatoes in one pot, eggs in the second pot and ground coffee beans in the third pot. He then let them sit and boil, without saying a word to his daughter. The daughter, moaned and impatiently waited, wondering what he was doing. After twenty minutes he turned off the burners. He took the potatoes out of the pot and placed them in a bowl. He pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. He then ladled the coffee out and placed it in a cup.
Turning to her, he asked. “Daughter, what do you see?” “Potatoes, eggs and coffee,” she hastily replied.
“Look closer”, he said, “and touch the potatoes.” She did and noted that they were soft. He then asked her to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard-boiled egg. Finally, he asked her to sip the coffee. Its rich aroma brought a smile to her face. “Father, what does this mean?” she asked.
He then explained that the potatoes, the eggs and coffee beans had each faced the same adversity-the boiling water. However, each one reacted differently. The potato went in strong, hard and unrelenting, but in boiling water, it became soft and weak. The egg was fragile, with the thin outer shell protecting its liquid interior until it was put in the boiling water. Then the inside of the egg became hard. However, the ground coffee beans were unique. After they were exposed to the boiling water, they changed the water and created something new.
“Which one are you?” he asked his daughter. “When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a potato, an egg, or a coffee bean?”
Here’s something I want you to understand; in life we ALL go through hardships, struggles, pains, tortures and adversaries. It is how we view and take them that we become either stronger or weaker. Next time you encounter a challenge, do not be reactional rather be responsive. Don’t let the hardships or life take you down. You are stronger than that. You are powerful and can influence things to favour your way.
During pregnancy, a woman is forced to quit all bad habits which some include smoking, drinking and eating fast foods. There is a lot of pain that is experienced at times. There is a lot of sacrifice that needs to be done however you can draw a lot of lessons from pregnancy. Some lessons include patience, care, health and faith, just to name a few.
Another term we use to say that a woman is pregnant is pregnant is that “she is expecting”. This means she is expecting something – a gift – a baby. One important other lesson to draw from a pregnant women is that you need to learn is to be expectant.
“cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder.” – (Romans 12:12 MSG)
Often times we are not on the receiving end. We have faith that God will do miracles, however we are not expecting something to come our way. When a woman is expecting a baby, she makes sure that her health is up to scratch. She makes sure that nothing harms that which is coming her way (a gift from God).
Maybe one of the reasons why you haven’t received your blessing is because you are not expecting it. By expecting a blessing, there certain things you need to do. You do not sit there and expect something to happen when you are not preparing yourself for it. The bible say you must “wait on the Lord.” Whilst waiting, you need to gear up. Just like a pregnant woman, you need to get rid of the many things that might cause a blessing miscarriage.
Some of the things that may cause your “blessing miscarriage” include doubt, negative talks, impatience, shame, thanklessness, hopelessness and pride (we will dwell on this subject in detail).
Maybe one of the reasons why you haven’t received your blessing is that you are not at the receiving end. Yes, you might be waiting on the Lord, still standing firm, but your position might be incorrect. When God opens the windows of heaven and pour out His blessings to you, will the blessings find you in the right position with him? Do you have a right-standing with God? Are you righteous?
There are many “blocks” preventing your healing, health and blessings. A sober conclusion would be that you need to walk in “Love and Truth” with God, ourselves and our fellow man, there will be NO blocks! You need to make sure that at all times you are expectant.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” says the LORD. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:1 NLT)
God has great plans for you, plans not to harm you but to give you hope and future. As much as He wants you to wait upon Him, He also expects you to be expectant. Be ready to receive the blessings of God. Don’t wait without hope and the right standing with God.
We all have our pit moments and situations. We fall into pits that may seem like there’s no escape. We try everything in our strength to pull out but it becomes difficult for us to do.
“Praise the Lord , my soul, and forget not all his benefits— who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,” – Psalm 103:2, 4 NIV
The Psalm written by King David says that God redeems us from the pits we are in. He doesn’t only end there, but he continues to say that He crowns us with love and compassion. This means that, even after we go through our traumatic pit experiences, God further provides us with counselling for our souls. He doesn’t leave us in despair.
I may not know what kind of a pit you have been thrown into, however I know that there you can be pulled out of it. The Bible in the book of Genesis 18:14 asks “Is anything too difficult for the LORD?” and then affirms to us that indeed there is nothing too hard for Him. Even if you feel like you are down and have no hope of rising up again, I am here to let you know that God is going to give you a helping hand to get out of that pit of misery. You will no longer be in despair and feel hopeless. You will restore your confidence. You will recover from every tragedy you’ve been through. The pit you find yourself in today, will never be no more.
Trust, believe and have faith that you will get out of your pit situation. Soon enough, favour will find you.
On Saturday, I traveled with my team from AYM and spent 6 hours with a couple of youth in North West. The purpose was to inspire them to do greater things and not allow their surroundings distract them from achieving their goals.
One of the exercises I did with them was that of building a box using a blank A4 paper. They were not given any scissor and glue to work with. They had to innovatively come up with ways to create a box. They were given 5mins to do the box.
Out of all them, only one young man did a very neat and properly square box. Others attempted but their boxes would be crushed when touched. Others just failed to do boxes, left pages on the floor and watched others finish their boxes. From the exercise, there were many lessons we came out with, each lesson was important for their development as individuals.
One lesson I want you to capture is that in life, you might be given only one opportunity to do something without having all the resources around you. You have to do everything in your power to make it work. Time will run out if you don’t use it wisely. It is important to come up with best ways to make something out of that which you have been given.
Sometimes you won’t be given a glue and a ✂ to create a box, but you need to be grateful that you have a paper. Life might present you with only one opportunity to change your situation. Some will find it easy to crack the code, you might take longer to get it right, but what matters is for you to give it your best. Do it with all might. Don’t be like those who gave up when they heard that they are only left with 1 minute to do the box. Be that person who will try everything in your power to do something with the page.
Someone got a job after varsity, it might be a totally different case with you. You might be sitting at home with 5 years sending CVs with no luck. Whatever happens, DO NO THROW IN THE TOWEL. It is only a matter of time for you to get it right. Don’t give up. Build your box and focus on it.
Do you believe that you have BIG dreams to achieve in your life? Of course you do. Everyone does. But what happens when you have BIG dreams but afraid to take bold steps?
It was 2012 when I took a bold decision that not every young man in his early 20s would. I had just completed my national diploma in IT and everything looked great for me. Finished my internship programme with a fresh and growing company in Pretoria. There was room for growth and a big fat salary in just few months to show for the years of studying. It was easy for me to continue with the work I was doing and focus on it for 5 years at least and then move on to another company, but my heart was telling me to do the unfavourable. It was telling me to take a bold step and a great leap of faith. I made a decision to quit the job and focus on doing work for an NGO whilst running a small company that didn’t have offices, let alone a telephone line. Family and friends thought I was crazy. To them, I totally wasted the three years of my life studying IT and only to do work that was not related to the course.
What a BIG risk I took. Was it worth it?
Fast forward, 4 years from then, the decision I took has totally transformed my life and lives of thousands of people in Southern Africa. That NGO I focused on, is the same organisation you now know as Agape Youth Movement. That small company I worked on, is now competing with larger communication firms in Gauteng and growing to greater heights each day. Was it scary to take that bold decision? Hell yeah! Was it worth it? Without any benefit of the doubt.
See, in life, you’ll always be presented with pleasurable and the not-so-pleasurable choices which you must choose from. Most, if not all times, the pleasurable choices you take, don’t enable you to explore greater success and fulfillment of our life goals. It takes a person who is willing to take BOLD decisions, in order to have breakthroughs in many aspects of his/her life. All the BIG dreams you have about your life, require you to take BOLD decisions. Bold decisions are always uncomfortable. They want you to give your best.
Today, I want you to take a BOLD decision and do that which you’ve always been afraid to. It might not be quitting your job, but whatever it is, remember that every BIG dream you have, requires you to take BOLD decisions. Don’t compromise.
People that crave for power. People will go out of their way just to obtain power. Miseries have been caused, widows came and orphans have been crafted because people are chasing for power. A number of families were destroyed, friendships, relationships were destroyed in the process because people were craving for power. Don’t let power get to your head. You will crash!
People will go all out to prosper. People are told to do extreme things for prosperity. They will tell you that if you can sacrifice a child, your business will grow. If you can just bring your cousin’s eye just so that you can prosper. A number of people died because they want to prosper. Don’t be too anxious for success that you even lose yourself in the process.
That’s another P. There are so many families that would go all the way just to strengthen their families. People spend thousands of rands just to protect themselves from evil spirits and guard their houses. Knowing that you have a God who is a protector, you shouldn’t be worried about spiritual battles for He will prepare you and strengthen you for war.
Others just want to be popular. Just to be seen on TV, Magazines, and Newspapers and they will do whatever it takes to see themselves being popular and people always talking about them. People go to the extreme just wanting to be famous. Ladies would even go out to be naked just to get some attention on social platforms. We need to run away from the obsession of being famous.
Others for presence. “When I come, people must sense me that I’ve arrived.” People would do anything in their power to make sure that people feel his/her presence. Stop over entertaining people. Be your best and people will love you still. Don’t go out seeking attention. If you are doing something good, people will give you attention.
They would sacrifice a number of things just for pleasure. People would sacrifice their dignity just to have pleasure. I was shocked to hear young people claiming not to have money to register for the next semester but they stiff have money to go see DJ so and so play and get drunk on that weekend. Priorities are not set right when pleasure is in the lead.
We need to learn not to let these 6 Ps control our lives. We need to learn how to draw a balance between all of them. Failure to do so, you will temper with your future and the happiness of people around you.
I want you to look at yourself today and introspect. Do you have any of the Ps? If the answer is YES, then you need to go on your knees and ask God to help you conquer that P.