This Is It – Pay The Price

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Have you ever needed to radically align your life to achieve a certain goal? Getting fit, learning to cook, moving house nearer to where you work so as to spend more time with a young child. I have a friend who had an opportunity to go abroad on attachment. Some of you have used your savings to achieve a professional goal, you have even had the experience of surviving on basic food because you are living in a foreign country and cannot afford to sustain your lifestyle previously.

We understand what it means to align our lives in other areas of our lives. What does it take for us to occupy spiritually?

Luke 14:25-35 (The Message)

If it’s important to you, it will cost you!! 

In many of our workplaces, the message would be go hard or go home.  People around Jesus were mostly casual Christians pursuing their own stuff, their own career, their own dream. The reason is because the world offers so many categories of products, that it is possible for our relationship with Jesus to be just one more product. I have really enjoyed the bonyeza ushinde campaign. The different variations have stuck in my mind and I know I am not the only one. One day I saw a tweet: ‘you know things are bad, when bonyeza ushinde is the last thing on your mind before you sleep’. Anyway one day I came home saying to myself SMS 29555. My husband kept asking me, what are you saying. I kind of feel that our relationship with Christ is like that one more product to Bonyeza [Shinda gari, shinda pesa, shinda yesu!]. We fit him in along with everything else in our lives but we don’t really align our lives to his agenda.

This passage makes it clear that Jesus mission is turning ordinary people into intentional followers of Christ. His invitation: Would you be my disciple; would you intentionally engage in this relationship, would you follow me?

Where else in the world do we see people radically rearranging their lives to succeed at something?

1. Patriotism:

Niko njaaa hata siezi karanga             
hohehahe shaghala bhaghala niko tayari kulipa gharama             
sitasimamaa maovu yakitawala sitasimama maovu yakitawala             
Ufisadi, ibinafsi ukabila             
kuuza sura wataki kuuza sera             
Undugu nikufaana              
sitasimama maovu yakitawala siatasimama maovu yakitawala **

2.    Financial Goals:

Sometime last year, we visited some friends of our who are building a house in Rongai. They have bought a quarter acre and put up a house on it, but to my surprise when we entered the house, there are only two rooms that are complete. The rest of the house is being built as they are already living in it. they have had to put up with all manner of inconveniences, but the point is that they have radically altered the way they are living because they have a goal they are working towards. Many of us behave the same way to put up a building or buy a plot or buy a house; you put everything on the line so that you can make the payments.

 
3. Professional advancement:

This year I thought I was being radical when I took a study leave for 3 months, pulled my child out of school for one month, my husband took leave for a month, we relocated our lives for one month accepting to live in other people’s houses for that time. At one point I ended up sharing a room with a friend in the US and sleeping on a mattress. Closer to the time I was meant to travel I realized that I had spent everything on the cost of travel and had no provision for accommodation. I called an acquaintance of mine who called an acquaintance of his who offered to host me. I basically begged for a place to stay. Many of us would have said ” si lazima” (it’s not a must)

The reason why this call to occupy spiritually may be so hard for us is because it is completely contrary to the spirit of the age in which we live. There is a billboard for Sprite near the Nyayo Stadium roundabout that says “Obey You” In other words do what you feel like. Convenience, comfort and image are such a big deal for us. Many of us don’t struggle/ ng’ang’ana to stay in things. Mostly we have to feel things to be part of them. Even in our relationships with one another, we remain at very shallow levels. “We really need to get together, it’s been so long. I’ll call you.”

If it’s important to you, it will cost you!!

Myles Munroe tells of a meeting in Malaysia where he spoke to a group of executives. One of them told the story of how he made his fortune. He was a Chinese gentleman in Malaysia as a consultant with Sony. After sharing his story with Dr. Munroe he asked,” Can you tell me why it is that people of your particular pigmentation no matter what country they reside in generally do not quite break through to true financial success? We Chinese usually make money wherever we go.” He was not at all vain or arrogant with his question, but was simply inquiring about an observation he had made in his travels. “I really don’t know,” Dr. Munroe replied. “Can you tell me?” He answered by saying, During a trip to America, I noticed that in every city I visited that when an Asian comes to town, even if he has nothing when he starts, he owns a business in just a few months. People of your pigmentation, on the other hand, even though most of them are very hard working, have been there for decades, yet most often do not own anything. After studying this for a while and talking to many of your people, I finally figured out that the difference lies not in our abilities, but in our mentalities. More often than not when your people go into a city, they go looking for a job. It is different with Asians. We Chinese never look for jobs. when we go into a city, we are looking for a business. We may need to hold a job for a while, but that is only until we can buy or start a business of our own.

If I were to tease out this illustration a little bit, perhaps when these Chinese business people first go to a foreign country, they live a life of discomfort, alienation from home, living on a shoestring budget, but over time, as they find their footing they begin to come out head and shoulders above the locals and are able to provide not just for themselves but presumably for their families back home.

Some of you may be thinking, what does it look like to occupy spiritually? What does commitment look like? I am saved and I tithe? What more do you want? I am already following Christ. What else do you want me to radically rearrange? Am I not on the right track already? The point I am trying to make is that God wants to give us ownership over significant responsibilities in his kingdom. He wants to give us influence over our families, over people, sectors of society with the attendant privileges. The challenge though is that most of us expect to grow and multiply without giving up anything and that is impossible.

I want to suggest that some of us don’t break through to occupy spiritually [we don’t break through in prayer, we don’t break through in faith, we don’t break through into victory, we don’t break through into influence] is not so much about  our ability but our mentality or mindset. It will definitely cost you to come here earlier to serve. It will definitely put demands on your time on energy, but it will definitely help you to grow.

As you serve your faith is built. Serving makes you grow because you have to depend on God. You grow in experiences with God. As you see answers to prayer because If it’s important to you, it will cost you!!

** Juliani – Utawala

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5 Responses to “This Is It – Pay The Price”

  1. Indeed blessed.

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  2. The challenge though is that most of us expect to grow and multiply without giving up anything and that is impossible.Thanks and be blessed for the message.I have made a choice to serve.

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  3. Wawawawawa THIS IS IT!!! I was at church on Sunday and as we were praying, signing the pledge cards and asking God how much I realized am an investor from heaven to bring a taste of heaven here on earth for the souls to be saved. After writing my figure which I thought it was the best I can give I audibly heard a voice ask me “son that’s little… hiyo tu?” Our God is gracious and His love is everlasting my declaration is “I am an investor shaping the future to establish a gate for God to come in our cities” God bless Kenya God bless Hill City

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  4. If it’s important to you, it will cost you indeed. For some reason, my spirit is restless tonight. I just woke up at 1am and sat in bed. For some reason I cannot shake the view of Hill City.

    It was very clear to me that we need a lot of resources to occupy Hill City. God is going to multiply the little we give. As I filled my pledge card for the next 3 months at the Sunday service, I entered a figure of 40,000 kes for each month.

    I couldn’t help feeling dismayed and discouraged at what 40,000 shs would do when we need more than 100m to occupy.
    when I did some simple math, I realised it can add up. Imagine if 2000 Mavunites gave 40,000 shs in October and November. That will be a total of 160m shillings or 80m for each month. We have occupied!

    I believe there are more than 2000 Mavunites with smart phones valued at more than 40,000 shs who can sacrificially give 40,000 shs monthly at least for the next two months to help the Church reach the target.

    Another spin off is maybe someone else is able to do 20,000shs. If 3000 Mavunites can pledge this for the next 2 months and actualize the pledges that is 120m.

    I believe God is able in all circumstances. He has sanctioned Hill city so here we come. OCCUPY!!

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