There Is More

You have every failure, God, and You’ll have every victory

–  ‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle

So have you ever felt as though you’ve ticked off every box of ‘character development’ you saw yourself having? I mean I am well aware I am not perfect but in the process of chasing God with all my heart especially during my year spent in Rome, I began to shed off some old bad habits and suddenly began to truly adore who Tolu Karunwi is. However, I fear it has gotten to a place where I forget that there is more to deal with. There are more hidden scars and issues to uncover and discuss with the Holy Spirit. And moreover, even in the areas I feel have been mastered, a revisit needs to be made.

Simply put – I have become complacent. I have begun to trust in my own works and my own self rather than my Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I have forgotten that I asked Him to hold up a mirror to me and tell me who I am. I have forgotten that my identity is rooted in Him and therefore, when He is no longer in the picture – I am lost. But I didn’t even realise I was lost, that was the craziest part. I kept on feeling – don’t worry Tolz, you just need to do this or that and you’ll be back in shape. But it was never about me. It was always about Him and me being a reflection of Him because that is precisely how He intended for it to be.  Genesis 1:26 reads: ‘Then God said, “Let us make man

in our image, in our likeness’

Wow, it’s only now I’m even realising the personal pronoun used here is ‘our’ i.e. God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit intended for all three of them and their separate yet united qualities to be reflected through me – their greatest creation.

“God saw all that he had made, and it was very good.” – Genesis 1:31 NIV

My understanding of this verse expanded upon watching a sermon by Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church. He spoke about how this was the only instance that the God-head was wholly satisfied with their creation. Like if you read about the Creation, at no point but after creating man – ‘male & female he created them’; was God able to look and accept it was ‘good.’ We were what made him satisfied. We were the magnificent creation He was waiting for. We were where all His energy went into and still goes into. I mean God the Son had to come down and morph into a man to be our personal Superman and save us from ourselves essentially. There are too many instances that prove God’s excessive and endless LOVE for mankind.

My point is, if He loves me that much then there is something within me worth loving. And God’s love isn’t stagnant. It morphs into whatever will lead to the best outcome for our benefit. It is continuously chasing a better option, a better plan – it is PERFECTION. The Bible has referred to this ‘perfect love’ which has the ability to cast out fear – the root of what many of my problems have been. Therefore, if I am created in His image I must learn to love the way He loves. And this begins with myself. If I say ‘I love myself’ I too need to chase that perfect version of myself that God has already met and envisioned and set out the path for me to get to. I need to not remain complacent and to move when He tells me to move. To change certain things when He tells me to change. To let go of normalised habits and behaviours when He instructs me to.

It’s not as easy as it sounds though. It’s difficult shedding off old skin because that skin felt comfortable. I’ve just briefly read that for snakes, the process of shedding their skin must be uncomfortable because it was what they were accustomed to and suddenly they have to live in new skin. But the Bible – as it always does – has something to say about this transformative process we as humans also have to experience:

“And no one puts new wine into old wineskins. For the old skins would burst from the pressure, spilling the wine and ruining the skins. New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.” – Matthew 9:17 NLT

It is impossible to attain that heavenly perfection (which I believe we can attain) if we are still holding onto our old skin. Water and Oil cannot mix. The Spirit of God has frequently been personified as water:

Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. “He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, ‘From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'” But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified. – John 7:37 – 39 

‘For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants; – Isaiah 44:3

But whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life. – John 4:14 

Therefore if like water, the Spirit who gives us life: “…Because of what Christ Jesus has done, you are free. You are now controlled by the law of the Holy Spirit who gives you life.” (Romans 8:2) dwells in me and I prefer to be filled with oil which when dealt with in large doses is characterised by its greasy, fattening and unhealthy quality; the Spirit cannot move effectively. 

‘New wine is stored in new wineskins so that both are preserved.’ I can only grow fine like wine if I am being preserved in the best type of vessel and that’s a heart that is filled with the Holy Spirit. A heart that yearns for more of God and less of me. A heart that accepts that there will ALWAYS be more of God and my flesh cannot give me anything more. A heart that understands that the more I know Him, the more I want to know Him – the more there is a genuine desire to like the things He likes and enjoy His presence and not have it feel like a chore to open my Bible.  

I want more of God. I know there is more. And I am so grateful for the transformation I’ve experienced thus far but for the first time ever I’ve read Romans 12:2 (one of my faves) and I’ve noticed there is more to it than the beautiful, Spirit-inspired advice to not conform:

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is

good and acceptable and perfect.

I mean my newfound understanding of this verse is not only confirmation that there is so much more to know of God and His word but also that as children of God, because we belong to Him and have our being because of Him ‘For in him we live and move and have our being.’ As some of your own poets have said, ‘We are his offspring.’, we are invited and furthermore entitled to know His will for not just our lives but his will for mankind. And FURTHERMORE, this will is what ? GOOD AND ACCEPTABLE AND PERFECT.

GOOD.

ACCEPTABLE.

PERFECT.

It is possible to attain all three. To step into His will for your life and experience a level of goodness, acceptance and perfection that only He can provide. There is more. There is always more because I know even His will can be described as more than ‘good, acceptable and perfect.’ In fact the English language is incapable of quantifying it.

So friend, remind yourself of what you’re chasing. We chase Him. And in Him there is simply more. More than what we could ever imagine or dream of.

Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think. – Ephesians 3:20 NLT


 

 #SOUNDOFJERICHO 

‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle: Okay so as I typed this song, suddenly doubt creeped in  (a problem I thought I dealt with and hadn’t so i know there is DEFINITELY more to learn in that aspect.) I started thinking, does this song even relate to what I’ve said in this post? But truly I’m not entirely sure what I’ve spoken about exactly in this post because the Holy Spirit is the one who told me to write it and quite frankly, I’m not too sure what he be saying through my hands these days. I’m trying to simply obey and then read it afterwards and receive the message of why He told me to do what I did. Anyhoo, I was confident this was meant to be this post’s #SoundOfJericho because apart from being ecstatic that Lauren Daigle has a new album out – listen here, this song had me hooked. It was MY song on that album the one I needed to hear. And the line that simply brought tears to my eyes has been quoted at the beginning of this post:

 

Taking all I have and now I’m laying it at Your feet

You have every failure, God, and You’ll have every victory

I just feel there is something SO powerful about acknowledging that because we belong to God even our failures are His. Even when I fall sexually via masturbation or watching porn, that doesn’t suddenly mean I belong to the Devil. I am still His. He claims ALL of me – all my flaws, all my scars, everything. That’s  a different kind of love man. And just proves unlike the cowardly devil whose job is simply to drop issues and get some popcorn as he watches us self-destruct; God picks us up from that place of self-destruction. But we gotta let Him. We gotta believe in what He says about us. This song encourages me to and I know it will encourage you as well to allow Him to wrap His arms around you and remind you just why and how much He loves you. So without further ado, here’s ‘You Say’ by Lauren Daigle:

PS: This is one of the most beautiful, ethereal & peaceful music videos I’ve watched in a while! And I love that she’s wearing yellow because I strongly believe it’s the colour of my soul. Okay, bye now! 

Peace & Love,

Tolz ♡

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