Tuesday 27 June 2017

The Thirst Trap

Welcome to another week! The weekend was exciting as I had another opportunity to attend my local Church service for an awesome time in God's presence. In the Hallelujah Challenge news, on the 28th of June, there will be a gathering of saints led by Nathaniel Bassey. Check his IG page for more details. If you can make it, please do. So many things are happening and it is necessary that we all key into them and not miss out on the move of God (Ps. 118:15). Also remember to check out our post from last week. As you all know, Sage is a fan of the Three Musketeers. I'm currently reading, twenty years later and our heroes: Athos, Aramis, Porthos and D’artagnan are about to make their escape from England. Paused that for now.

"Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again" John‬ 4:13‬ NKJV‬‬‬

Ever heard of a thirst trap? To be honest, I don't know if there's an official definition. I even googled it but the examples that were given won't make it past my editor so, there's no need to state them. Basically, it has to do with anything that is done with the purpose of getting the attention of the opposite sex. This is but one definition. For the purpose of this article, the thirst trap is anything that has been set with the intention of testing our Christianity and faith. This is the definition we will work with. How would you feel if I told you that Jesus set a thirst trap once upon a time? This is one of the earliest recording of a thirst trap in human history. Anyways I got the inspiration for this message from a message by Bishop TD Jakes in which he talked about the thirsty soul and an awesome podcast by Steven Furtick titled “The Thirst Trap”. Do check it out.

The Thirst

As human beings, it's in our nature to be thirsty from time to time, there's nothing wrong with it for God created us that way. Even Sprite had a slogan to take advantage of this natural feeling: Obey your Thirst. I mean, why won't I want to obey my thirst. Forget talk, when I'm thirsty, I look for any means possible to quench the thirst. Where is your mind going to? I'm referring to normal thirst oh! Hmm. To him that is pure, all things are pure (Titus 1:15). Just like Pst. Steven said in his message: "I'm just a thirsty man." Mine is so bad that my entire fridge is filled with bottled water. I remember a friend who once visited me opening my fridge and remarking "I've never seen a fridge filled with so much water." But that's me, Sage the Thirsty. Back to the point, there are other things we thirst for. The list is endless but I'll share a few: success, designer clothes, IG likes, Facebook friends, retweets, companionship, love etc. Quite an interesting list, right? Please feel free to add to it, we all drink somewhere to quench our thirst.
Now let's consider the Trap. There are different ways by which a trap is set. The most basic is someone posting a picture of themselves looking alluring on IG but then there are others. Remember earlier on I said that even Jesus set a thirst trap. Remember? If you ask me, I would consider Him the master trapper. Why? Because He knows what to do to get each and everyone of us. Alas, we're jumping ahead of ourselves. Let's examine some of the earliest thirst traps. Remember David? No not that David, I mean King David. Yeah, him, the great man, the man after God’s heart. He once found himself in a thirst trap. When? Remember that time his men went to battle? Sorry, there were many times his men went to battle. But there was this particular time his men went to battle and Oga D decided to stay back and enjoy his palace. Then one day, he opened his window and saw one fiiiiiine babe like that and…well let's see what the bible says: 

Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. 2Samuel‬ 11:2‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬

A classic thirst trap right? What did David do? 2 Sam. 11:3-25 will give you the gist. But we can see that, the thirst trap is not a new thing. 
Jesus, once upon a time set a thirst trap. This is the story of the Samaritan woman in John 4. This woman was so thirsty that she had been married five different times and was now living with a man that wasn't even her husband. Her thirst? Companionship, affection and more. So Jesus decided, alright, it's time to help this woman quench her thirst and set a trap for her at a well. Imagine that? A thirst trap at a well. Isn't that kind of cliché? So when Jesus asked her for a drink (John 4:7) she thought He was asking for water like any normal guy would do. Unknown to her, He was asking her the question she was to ask Him. It took her quite a while to realise that Jesus was the one offering her a drink to quench her thirst. This was a really thirsty woman. 

Avoiding the Thirst Trap

As human beings, there is nothing wrong in been thirsty. It is part of our genetic make-up. The issue on ground is where we go to quench that thirst. When you're thirsty, what well do you go to draw water from? 

Don't do like the Sprite slogan and blindly obey your thirst because it may lead you to sin. What are we supposed to do when faced with the thirst trap? Let's see what Jesus said to the woman of Samaria:

"Jesus answered and said to her, 'If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, 'Give Me a drink,' you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water." John‬ 4:10‬ NKJV‬

The expectation from God is that when we are faced with a thirst, we turn to Him who is described as the living water. God is the only one who can quench the thirst we feel. Everything else will give us a temporary satisfaction and nothing more (John 4:13) but when we draw from the well that contains living water, our thirst is forever quenched. This is the only way to overcome the thirst trap and not fall into sin or end up chasing worldly pleasures or desires. ‬‬

"but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life." John‬ 4:14‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬

The charge therefore going into this new week is to search for areas in our lives in which we are thirsty, ask God for forgiveness for drawing from the wrong wells and commit to God to forever draw from Him, the well of living waters. When he says the water will become a fountain, it simply means that not only will our thirst be quenched but we would become fruitful and flourish.


PS: I had the intention of writing on government for this week but it would seem like the time is not right as I got led to write on this instead. Our post next week will be titled: The valiant hand of the Lord (Ps 118:14-15 & 77:15). 

Monday 19 June 2017

Do You Have A Nom?

Hi guys, welcome to a new week. How was last week? Mine was great.
Great news upon great news upon great news (I would love to share the news but the owner would most likely not allow me to). If you haven't heard, there's this awesome session happening live on Instagram (IG) led by a minister of God that I describe as a national treasure. If you haven't heard about it, it's called the hallelujah challenge and starts at Midnight (Nigerian time) every day in the month of June on Nathaniel Bassey's IG. If you haven't been a part of it, please join ASAP, you will be blessed. Also take time out to read our post from last week, titled: an oasis in the desert). I'm also pleased to announce to you that your guy Sage is now a technologically advanced reporter. I'm typing my articles on my phone . . . just awesome. Anyways on to the next one. 

You know, one of the common mistakes people make when going through a tough time is making statements like these:
  • I just want to be left alone. 
  • I'm the only one going through this. 
  • I can handle it by myself. 
  • I alone can resolve this issue. 
  • I need to look inwards and sort myself out. 

I'm sure there are many more and please, feel free to add or remove based on your experience. I have definitely said a few of these statements and even when I don't say them, I think them. What? You thought I was perfect? Naa blood, in the words of the Matrix, I'm only human. Come along, let's see where this leads (to be honest I don't know how it'll end but you can be sure I won't end with ‘Watch out for Part 2’).

Who is A Nom?

I got this moniker from a wonderful friend who found a way to mutilate my name and produced Nom out of it. Don't try to guess my name, futile! Anyways, this friend of mine is called Puffy (like Puff Daddy, get it? No?) and Puffy went on and on about how I'm a dependable and helpful person. I never knew I was until Puffy mentioned it and even tweeted: we all need a Nom in our lives and it hit me in my heart; Sage, that's your next article. Thanks Puffy! 
Basically, a Nom is that person or group of people in your life that's there for you in your ups and downs. Willing to tell you the truth no matter what and willing to advise you in times of trouble. Someone who tries in their little way to encourage you, pray with you and share bible verses that can speak to the situation you're facing. Of course, Nom will also be a friend, a friend  that sticks closer than a brother (Pr. 18:24). But be careful, it is not every close friend that we have that can qualify as a Nom. Most times we only need one person, not a group to fill this role. For those that are married, your spouse should be your Nom. For single people, it could either be the person you're in a committed and God-filled relationship with or a childhood friend or anyone. What is important is that they're born-again Christians. Also, if at any point in time you graduate from single hood to marriage, please switch your Nom to your spouse. Why? Watch out for part 2 lol. 

Why Do We Need A Nom?

To answer the question why, let's turn to this famous quote from a poem by John Donne: no man is an island. Even before John Donne wrote the poem, Prov. 11:14 and 15:22 tell us that there is safety in counsel. So, even the bible recognises the need for no man to be left alone. Think about it, God in Gen. 2:18 realised that it wasn't good for man to be alone and so He put Adam to sleep and created Eve. The bible is littered with examples of people that had someone that went along on the journey God called them for. Notable examples: Adam and Eve, Moses and Aaron, Esther and her uncle Mordecai, King David and Jonathan, Elijah and Elisha, Paul and Timothy, Mary and Joseph and many more. Jesus had the 12 disciples. Even in modern society, there's the President and the Vice-president. I can go on and on but I'm sure you get the point. All these people needed someone that helped them on their journey towards fulfilling God’s purpose on earth. Imagine if David didn't have Jonathan? Who would have warned David when Saul tried to kill him (1Sam. 19:1-7). Imagine if Esther didn't have Mordecai? Who would have reminded her of her purpose on earth when obstacles came her way (Esther 4:13-14). Imagine if Jesus didn't have the 12 disciples? How would the gospel have been spread? That is why we all need a Nom.

So what does the devil try to do when times are tough or you're faced with an obstacle? He convinces you that you need to isolate yourself. Keep everyone away from your life. In doing so, what happens is that you have no one to counsel or encourage you. This is what the bible says about those that decide to isolate themselves:

A man who isolates himself seeks his own desire; He rages against all wise judgement. (Proverbs‬ 18:1‬ NKJV‬‬‬‬‬‬)

This tells us that it is very important that we have someone we can turn to for counsel (Pr. 11:14 & 15:22) on the issues we face in life. Isolation is not God’s plan for us as human beings. 
The charge therefore to each and everyone of us going into this week is to ensure that we do not allow the devil to convince us that isolation is the best. I pray the Holy Spirit directs us to find our Nom in Jesus name. 

P.S: The plan was to write next on the Thirsty Soul but while I was in church, I felt led to write on Government and Governance. So look out for next week. Whatever you see is what I've been led to write on first.
Also, I'm writing in the dark as there's no light. Saving my fuel for the hallelujah challenge for tonight. Au revoir mesdames et messieurs.


Photo Credit: https://www.slideshare.net/jeffmcneal92/no-man-is-an-island-56582225

Tuesday 13 June 2017

An Oasis in the Desert

After a long break, your boy (Sage) is back. It's been a long long time. Longer than I myself even planned. To be honest, I didn't 'hespperit' to last this long but as our Nollywood movies say at the end: to God be the glory. I'd honestly not planned to take longer than a few weeks. Next thing I know, it's been months. So what happened that made me go on a sabbatical?
Many things to be honest which I'll summarise thus: the feeling of emptiness and uncleanness. I had made a few terrible choices and the lifestyle it had led me into made me feel unworthy of been an instrument in the hands of God. Now that I'm writing this, I realise that I allowed the devil to convince me to hide my light under a bucket (God forgive me) but we are meant to be a city on a hill, a light of the world and as such the yearning to fulfil this kept tugging at my heart but I always had a ready-made excuse like our man Moses. Despite the miracle he was witnessing, Oga was still giving excuses. SMH for Moses and I.

I thank God, the time for excuses has ended and just as the prophet Isaiah wrote in Is. 6:1, I saw the Lord. Not literally oh! You get what I mean sha.

When I got the leading to write on this topic, I kept asking myself the angle I would approach it from. The angle of complaints (because it has been rough these last few months) or the angle of hope and faith. Suffice it to say that knowing God, the angle of hope and faith is the best option. Plus I love the idea of faith so much as a result of the Vacation Bible School I attended somewhere in Ikoyi when I was 12 or so.

David Jones Locker: The Desert

At some point in time, we (myself inclusive) all experience the Desert in different areas of our lives. Even the greatest man to never walk this Earth, Jack Sparrow. Sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow. His desert was called David Jones locker. When they showed Jack in the locker, he was a hopeless man with nothing but sand stretched out all around him and a curious white crab. That is what a desert represents in our lives (not sure about the crab though). Hopelessness and emptiness. Know who else wandered in the desert? The children of Israel (Numbers. 32:13). When we are in the wilderness, it is a point in life when nothing is bearing fruit. Let's see examples of deserts that we face:

  • Relationships that you've nurtured and invested in collapse without bearing fruit
  • Not getting promoted or appreciated at work despite all the effort and target achievements
  • Graduating from university just to sit at home because of the nature of the labour market
  • Starting a business that makes no profit. 

There are so many other example of deserts in our lives. You can add yours to the list. Once you do that, ask yourself, do I want to remain in the wilderness? I know I don't. Even Jack Sparrow kept strategising how to get out of the locker. He wanted it so bad, he attempted to pull the ship to the ocean by himself. What a man!

The Oasis

Imagine been in the middle of the Sahara desert, dying of hunger and thirst with just enough water to wet your tongue. Your tongue oh! Not your throat. Then suddenly, as you're about to taste not drink the last drop of water you see palm trees and as such there would also be a fresh spring there. That, ladies and gentlemen is what an oasis represents. This reminds me of the Shunamite woman (II Kings 4:8-37). Her desert? Barrenness. Her oasis? Elisha. She had been in the desert for so long that when her oasis appeared she begged it to disappear: “Then he said, “About this time next year you shall embrace a son.” And she said, “No, my lord. Man of God, do not lie to your maidservant!" ( II Kings 4:16 NKJV). 

Even our famous hero, Jack Sparrow, sorry, Captain Jack Sparrow chased away his oasis when it appeared. Remember that scene?  Until they convinced him that they were real, he believed deep down that his imagination was playing tricks on him.
The oasis represents hope. Hope in the middle of the desert that God has not forgotten or forsaken you. There are so many examples of people that found an oasis in the middle of the desert but space won't allow me list them all. Plus I want you to read your bible, so yeah. One thing that you may notice is that when a lot of people meet their oasis, they beg it to go away. Like literally tell it: shuu, go away, you're disturbing my desert. One guy's own was so bad that God had to make him mute (Luke 1:20).

I can hear your mind turning and asking itself: what do I do? I'm glad you asked.

What to Do When You Spot Your Oasis

  1. Believe the word: this is the foundation for the oasis to grow
  2. Become a prisoner of hope: Zechariah 9:12. Why? Hope is the foundation of faith (Heb. 11:1)
  3. Hold unto your faith: there will be numerous occasions when the oasis may not seem forthcoming but you must not let go of your faith. Hebrews 11, the hall of faith, is a good place to strengthen your faith when it feels low
  4. Speak the word: there is power in the tongue (Pr. 18:21)
  5. Pray without ceasing (IThess. 5:17)
  6. Give thanks to God continuously (IThess. 5:18). Don't wait for the oasis to grow before you give thanks.
The charge for this week is to therefore implement these six steps and if the Holy Spirit lays any additional into your heart, by all means make use of it.

P.S: I typed this on my phone with the MS. Word app! Tekinologi!! Also found the sequel to my favourite novel  the Three Musketeer (which I've read every year for the last 13/14 years) and guess what? All my heroes apart from Aramis had a tragic end. Not sure which hurt me most though. Their ending or the fact that for the 13/14 years, I never knew the book was the first in its series.


Sage is a graduate of human resource management and a 24/7 salesman. A clay in the hands of the Potter, he is on a journey to knowing God and becoming the man God has called him to be. He has a passion for football and society at large. In his quest for knowledge, he has recently restarted his passion for reading books. He lives in Lagos, Nigeria.