Topic: THE PUZZLE OF LIFE
Text: ECCLESIASTES 9:11
Teacher: AMBASSADOR DAVID SHOLOTAN
What is a Puzzle?
A person or thing that is difficult to understand or explain; an enigma.
Cause (someone) to feel confused because they cannot understand something.
To offer or represent to (someone) a problem difficult to solve or a situation difficult to resolve: challenge mentally
also: to exert (oneself, one’s mind, etc.) over such a problem or situation.
Life is like a game of maze/puzzle. In which you need a set and reset to get the desired result. Everyone’s life start like a puzzle that was not arranged and we are expected to arrange it to give it a meaningful life. A puzzle speaks of just one thing. Same as our life speaks about one single thing. When people look into the puzzle of your life, they find it hard to decode the message nor understand the full meaning of the puzzle, simply because it wasn’t designed for them but for you!
Mere looking at an unarranged/unset puzzle, we can get a wrong perspective or impression simply because thee end result can’t be seen at the beginning but until the person to whom the puzzle was set for, can discover what the puzzle is all about, analyze the puzzle, then seek knowledge about the puzzle, then can we have the right knowledge (understanding) on where to go and where not to go, and proper application or approach to it.
When playing a puzzle. At first, you begin to guess what the puzzle might be and might not easily decode it until you look at the manual written by the author of the puzzle, then you know what you are asked to do and do it effectively till you get the right result and what it is meant for.
Our life is a pieces of puzzle merged together to give meaning to creation. Your life won’t make sense when the puzzle of your life is hidden to you. Our actions, traits, behavior etc. are pieces of puzzle fitted together to get a perfect picture of whom we are created to be. The friends you make, your environment, your ideas, your goals, your vision, and your family are part and parcel of the puzzle of your life, they all make up the puzzle merged for your life to bring you to your expected end. The puzzle of life can be liken to our destiny in life. Many has been playing the game of luck and chances without knowing there is a specific puzzle for their life that they need to unlocked for the perfect picture of their life to come to pass(into reality). Many seek friends, love, money etc. while all this are part of the puzzle of life. Your ability to decode your journey (destiny) will be able to open you up to the right resources (steps) you need to take to get there (destination).The puzzle of life can start at anywhere and at any point in time but the quicker you find it, work it and solve it, the faster it is to succeed in life.
Moses found his own puzzle at age 80 with the burning bush, Joseph found his own at 17, vice versa. Discovery of your puzzle, gives you the sense of purpose and what you are birthed to become in life.
Some have wasted 30, 40, and 50 years of their lives pushing through life and neglecting the puzzle set for their own life. Mark Zuckerberg found his own puzzle in life, battled it and he became world renowned man of destiny, Bill gate found his own, Dangote found his own. What is your own puzzle?
The puzzle of life also comes with relationships. Many are bothered and thinking about their relationship, they don’t want to miss it in life and many do have this thinking that if a person is meant for them, they will surely be. But tonight I was able to decode based on knowledge that a person fixed and knitted for you might come your way and you will still not accept them. At the point of not accepting them and thinking none can take them, don’t forget, puzzle has a two way side. It either go up or down, right or left. So if the right person comes, you can either go right or go left depending on what you choose.
When you are playing a puzzle, you pick the players by yourself. The players are already made available in the pad, it is meant for you to choose them or not or have other alternative. Also I learnt that for everything real, there is an alternative. Like the game of puzzle, you choose by yourself to either go right or go wrong. Same as the reality of life. Same as God placed the puzzle of our life into our hand, to battle them or play with them with the end of our life or they remain unsolved and go with us to the grave.
Look at Genesis 1:3, the earth was without form and void. This is a puzzle God set ahead and God complete this puzzle and gave it life. And gave it a meaning. Your life will never be meaningful if you don’t found the puzzle of your life.
Enough of Africa magic, movies, music etc. Everyone are fulfilling their destiny whereas you are being a viewer of the destiny of others. Some can sit for 12 hours watching movies. The person you are watching is fulfilling his purpose while you are there sitting with purpose and wasting your life till death comes.
Sometimes I do wonder what Moses was doing for 80 years before he was called and used by God. Why didn’t he start from his youth? He would have done mighty act. But some are so naive and interestingly wasting out their life and seeing other people succeed while they are the viewers, clapping for them.
Some can argue on sport and even beat themselves all because of one player which is being busy with his own puzzle while your own puzzle isn’t solve and you remain poor. The difference between the poor and the rich is the puzzle they solve in life and how relevant and reliable it is to humanity.
You keep clapping for others. When will they clap for you and when will you solve a problem? Life is filled with problems and ready to reward anyone. I mean anyone ready to solve them.
You keep shouting and soaring for others. When will they do the same for you? Rather than wasting your glory on irrelevant aspects in life.
The friends in your life, they are part of the team player in the puzzle, you either choose them or choose someone else. One thing I found out is this, if you notice in the puzzle, you keep making decisions every step you take. Same way as God has put control of your life within you and the players you need. You pick them by yourself. If you pick the right person, it leads you to the right destination and if you pick the wrong person, it leads you nowhere but rather on a game of circles, repeating the same mistakes and error. Running the same race again and again but when you have the right key players as your team pad, it makes the journey faster and easier.
Don’t be discouraged in life. See at the top of the puzzle, after the revelation has been revealed to you by drawing it out. The author of the puzzle has given you a destination that he want you to arrive and until you arrive completely before you can be called a winner. Until you ask God before your purpose (puzzle) is released unto you.
You are not better than what you envisioned and what you don’t gain mastery of, you can never become a leader on it.
See not everyone who run with purpose actually fulfill it and not everyone who fulfilled it actually get the full reward and not everyone who get the full reward actually deserves it all. It is part of life.
We can see the practical approach of the puzzle in the life of Joseph. God told him, that he will become someone great and of value, and many will bow to him. This is exactly the puzzle owner sharing the exact image or desire of his puzzle for each individual. Now for the puzzle player to get to the destination, it takes the puzzle player to connect and work with the laid down plan of the owner /author to get to the desired destination on time. If he does it on his own way, he won’t get it and he will get to a stage of being confused, depressed and sad and won’t know the next step to take again. But the vision given to him will keep him going and be intact while he is wasting his life away.
And for the puzzle player to fulfill the task, the puzzle player need to keep looking unto the vision given ahead for him to succeed. If the puzzle player, mistakenly lose focus or forget the vision, the puzzle becomes more difficult and unachievable. Ask yourself, there are some times you run the race alone and you get tired. You even tried all your best and yet you felt all isn’t working. It won’t work because you have lost the vision. Imagine a house builder who has a complete plan of the house and who lost it in the middle, how will he or she be able to finish the building, it is difficult, such person begins to rack his or her brain and try luck or brain game to achieve it and yet they won’t be able to achieve it.
Many accept the vision of Christ and willing to follow Him till the end, the vision becomes a sense of purpose, a sense of pursue for this person but the period the person lost the vision, the person begins to run the vision of men instead of the vision that was made ahead for him. Many follow crowd because they have lost the vision of their own life and are not willing to pay a price for it.
What you don’t pay for, you don’t enjoy the full benefits and the full sense of worth isn’t known to you. Had it been some of us paid hugely for salvation, we will cherish it greatly with all our life. Had it been you have 900 million and you spent it to purchase Salvation, you will never take salvation for granted because you bought it with a huge price.
Many follow crowd because they have lost the vision of their own life. You lost it when you begin to act like someone else, talk like someone else, behave like someone else etc. and you lose the originality within you. But when the vision is set and fix on the heart, it becomes difficult for the runner of the vision to forget or be carried away. We run the race of life by sight and by what we look unto. Bible says, “Looking unto Jesus the author and the finisher of our faith.” You look towards Jesus simply because you have high expectations and desired to get to where He is. But at the point of looking, you need to be watchful of sight. As you are looking, different image, scenarios will be played into your life which might make you lose focus and once focus is lost, the mission is impossible to be accomplished.
When the Israelite were building the wall to reach heaven. GOD said they are one and have one purpose, meaning they have one vision, and there is nothing impossible for them. Devil knows when he get the vision out of you, you are as powerless as anything and you are harmless to yourself. The most dangerous person on earth, are those with vision and are running it with their life. Because such person who set their heart to it will surely achieve it and they are terror to the kingdom of darkness.
The only way they can be defeated is by them losing their vision. Let us Study the life of Christ in the verse below
1 Then was Jesus led up of the spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the devil. xref-2 [xref-1] (Compare) 2 And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. [xref-1] 3 And when the tempter came to him, he said, If you be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God. xref-1 [xref-1] 5 Then the devil takes him up into the holy city, and sets him on a pinnacle of the temple, 6 And said to him, If you be the Son of God, cast yourself down: for it is written, He shall give his angels charge concerning you: and in their hands they shall bear you up, lest at any time you dash your foot against a stone. xref-1 [xref-1] 7 Jesus said to him, It is written again, You shall not tempt the Lord your God. xref-1 8 Again, the devil takes him up into an exceeding high mountain, and shows him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them; 9 And said to him, All these things will I give you, if you will fall down and worship me. 10 Then said Jesus to him, Get you hence, Satan: for it is written, You shall worship the Lord your God, and him only shall you serve. xref-2 [xref-1] 11 Then the devil leaves him, and, behold, angels came and ministered to him.
Study this verse very well. You will see the puzzle in action. Christ had a vision and assignment of fulfilling the purpose of God by dying for man on earth and He already knew His puzzle and how to crack it but when the devil came to meet Him, he came with one purpose, to side track His vision and implant his own vision on Christ and that is impossible. He begin to tempt him (place a scenario) for Him to persuade Him from His vision. He did all manner of things and yet Christ stood still with His vision.
Study these verses as well
Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
Many at times people who don’t know our calling, gift, talent push us into what we aren’t. It is part of the puzzle of life. What you aren’t capable or fixed for and yet they pushed you into it and you miss the plan of God for your life. Not all advice is applicable to your life and not all suggestions should be lived by you. Everyone has their own standards and their standards might not be God’s standard for your life.
Just imagine, someone meeting Joseph on his way to Egypt and giving him suggestions on how to escape and go back to his father’s land without allowing him endure for his calling. Joseph would never have become the prime minister of Egypt. The same way some advice are good but detrimental to fulfilling purpose in life. They can say all manner of things which do not correlate with your destination and yet if you aren’t sensitive, you lose the vision set before you and begin to seek forth towards the vision they set for you which isn’t in line with your destiny.
To some, their parent want them to become whom they aren’t wired to be (destined), to some they want them to study the course they aren’t wired or not in line with their destiny and such a child miss the plan of God in the agenda of their life. Such students are known as an ‘F’ student who has failed in life and yet they forget that none is a failure. Calling someone a failure is also calling the Maker a failure. If I say my infinix phone failed me, it means the maker is a failure. And if the Bible says everything God made is good and perfect, then how comes we begin to see imperfections within them?
See, either you accept this or not. Not everyone is wired to become a banker, not all as teacher, not all as a tailor, not all as a politician, all has different grace and different capabilities and capacity. A student wired to become a Civil Engineer may become a failure in a music class because he isn’t wired to be that way. The puzzle of his life was not set to be the journey he was running with.
Just imagine, a puzzle made of lion, meant for the puzzle player to execute and who someone else advised or cajoled him into running the puzzle of a cheetah, that person will definitely miss that puzzle. Irrespective of how fast the cheetah puzzle might be, cheetah is not the same as lion and the race for each puzzle differs and it takes understanding of the puzzle given by the owner (God) for such puzzle to be executed. Many had fallen into this trap of deception through lust, lie, cunning, fake stories, fantasies, etc. Look into your life, are you still running with the puzzle of your life.
Jeremiah 1:5 AKJV Before I formed you in the belly I knew you; and before you came forth out of the womb I sanctified you, and I ordained you a prophet to the nations.
That Jeremiah was a prophet doesn’t mean you have to be a prophet. Everyone has their own calling and everyone’s calling is where they are called as an heir unto them. You are not better than the puzzle you run with and the puzzle you run with will determine the destination (result) you get.
If you run earthly puzzle, you will get the destination of the puzzle on earth (which is why many are seeking earthy things simply because of what they set their heart upon). While those who seek after heavenly puzzle, will get the destination of the heavenly puzzle. Now ask yourself, what puzzle am I running with in life, earthly or heavenly, mortal or immortal?
Who are you looking up to? Whom you look up to is whom you become. You cannot look up to God and not become like God. Bible says the look upon the serpent and they are saved while some look upon the earth and the felt secured on earth and forgetting that it is temporarily. Pray to God, that you will not lose focus of eternal in exchange for earthly. Adam lose focus of eternal and lose focus into mortal life.
1Corinthians 9:24 Know you not that they which run in a race run all, but one receives the prize? So run, that you may obtain.
Run to obtain, ask yourself, what is the benefits of winning all and losing all at the end? It is just like a man who earn a salary of 30k, spend all within a week and is left with nothing, it is like acquiring all houses in the whole Africa and all collapse in a single day. Such a loss and tragedy for such person, same as a man who run the race of earth.
Hebrews 12:1 Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which does so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,
Ask yourself once again, what is my focus in life? Heaven or earth?
How faithful have you been running the race? Some are given money along the line of the race to help them finish well, but rather some uses such to finance sin and lose the senses of purpose of why the money was given to them, some people are sent into your life as a block ahead for your puzzle while some are sent to distract you and change your course, making you forget the course totally. Saul was led by his follower and he lost all about God. It is time to wake up! Enough of they said and said, they dreamt and dreamt, they visionize and visionize, start following the race with God. Start pushing further. Many are sent to mislead you, some are sent to block you, some are sent to demean you as a result of changing your focus in life.
Some because they don’t have cloth they are faithful follower, but someone who wear better cloth are sent to distract them and they begin to see themselves as inferior and they lose the vision of faith and begin to seek after clothing to meet up other people’s demand. To some it is beauty, to some it is love, to some it is relationship, because you are on fire for God, those whose relationship are working well will be sent to discourage your journey and you begin to see yourself as failure, as a fanatical Christian and you begin to fantasies the love they had and forget the relationship you once agreed and signed with Christ and your journey begins to shake and as times goes on, you begin to seek advice and begin to walk like them, talk like them just to have a wonderful relationship like them, not forgetting that no relationship supersedes the relationship with God.
I remember during my university days, sometimes I felt inferior, felt I had nothing but sincerely, I had nothing those period, but yet before I joined the workforce, I told God something, I said, if you want me to work for you, provide for all my needs. And I can remember vividly that before joining the choir, RCCG choir changes cloths a lot and me not having none, how will I be able to minister, but the word I told God, I held strongly unto it. I didn’t go and meet anyone even though some looked down on me, yet I looked upon God. I believed and trusted in the word of God that He will perform what He said He will do. And God made it come into reality, in fact it amazed me too.
One thing I want you to learn is this. Never put the trust you ought to have on God on any Man, if you do, God will not commit Himself to you because you don’t trust Him. Rather commit your trust in God and He will change the heart of people towards you. God is the only one who can do and undo. Human can help you, but they have a limit, that is part of the puzzle of your life. Some are sent to help you but they are still limited to the capacity that was given unto them but God has no limitations, trust in Him to live beyond all limitations. Dream big. Just imagine how big the earth is. Yet it is small to God but big to us humans. Your vision might look small to others now but make it big to yourself, keep dreaming and working on it. It will be achieved in near future.
One of the reason people keep changing job, relationships, marriage etc. is because they never involve God in it. And the live in puzzle of life by themselves, doing all business won’t make you successful, doing all trade won’t make you rich but focusing on your assignment in life is the key to success. You can never be successful beyond the level of your imagination, the extent at which you can see is the extent at which you can see the work of God in manifestation. The extent at which you see is the extent at which you can see God. The more you see, the more of God you see.
For every puzzle, there is always a displacement before placement, your displacement is your starting point to the point of placement. Abraham was called out, displaced and placed by God. Joseph was never made prime minister at the point of his displacement, rather he was built and studied the pattern of his life to lead his to his placement (fulfillment). At times you might not start at where you’d wish or desired to. Yet, anywhere the start button meets you, you begin the race from there. Some start the place of placement in the wilderness, some in the sea, some in foreign land, some people need to be displaced for them to be placed at the point destined for them. Abraham was so comfortable at his father’s house that he never thought of something better than that, some needs to be displace from their home, some depends on property of their parents, wealth of their parents, achievement, connections, links, opportunities etc… But all this won’t make us to be placed except we become uncomfortable with it to seek a better placement. Joseph would have thought being in his father’s house is the best placement he can get in life, he would have thought he has gotten the best of the father, having cloths of many colors, the fathers love etc. But all this are good but will not help us to be placed in life. They tend to make us too comfortable within our jurisdiction.
If you have never rule beyond your jurisdiction, you will think your local jurisdiction is the best and none compare to it but until you taste another life which will wipe out all the life you have ever had before and implant a new life unto you.
For placement to be done, some need to leave their current relationship, leave their family and friends, leave social media, leave different things in life for them to achieve the esteemed heights meant and mended for them. And if you can’t see beyond, you cannot do beyond, your do ability is limited to your vision, what you seek is a determinant of what you see and what you see is what you get. The reason why some are not asking much from God is because they don’t see and if they don’t see, they won’t ask. And your power to choose the puzzle of life lies within your daily decisions every day, month, minutes and seconds of your life.
You become what you want to become not in the future reference alone but by what the decisions you made every seconds. One thing I also note is this. Every puzzle has a stage. You might be surprised what I meant by stage. There is a starting point and a finishing point. Because you start doesn’t mean you can finish. Many start out in life as the best but didn’t finish well. Many start out well in academics but lost their vision within the four walls of the university because of the challenges posed at them.
Many knows how to run but not how to finish. Many knows how to finish but not how to start, while many knows how to run and finish but doesn’t know the tool to get them (actions) into making it a reality. Some had fantastic plans in life, plans to be this and that. But yet they forget that every plans is in accordance to the giver of the plan and the extent at which you give the giver permission in your life is the extent at which you see His will in your life.
Many are in bondage of a circle, roaming up and down and achieving nothing, some are in the mouse race, running from one pillar to the other without a cause or purpose, yet they seek more, to be more and yet they achieve little and some die of hunger, hunger of passion, they died without making it comes into reality because they are running the race of a mouse. A race within the four walls of the world. The world has shocked many in a way they never expected and have brought many up and many down in a way they never imagined, yet they are committed but not according to purpose. They have zeal and passion, not according to the will and desire of God. They can go extra length or height to achieve anything yet, they lack directions on the journey of their own life.
One thing I also notice is this. It is very easy for us to imitate others at the expense of forgetting whom you ought to be. You imitate them to the expense of ridiculing your own dreams and vision. All this are part of the puzzle of life. Many will trust you, while many won’t trust you, it is part of the puzzle of life. Sometimes you will trust yourself, your decision and actions and yet you will still failed in such attempts.
I have learnt to manage failure and also manage faith to overcome such failure, some are tied down in the middle of going forward or backwards. I can vividly remember the word of my Dad, he said he got to a point in his life, where opportunities were opened up to him, to join one force or another overseas. Same opportunities are always opened to every decision we made, for every yes, there is a no. Because you have yes today, doesn’t mean you cannot have no today and because today means no for you doesn’t mean tomorrow won’t mean yes for you.
Being the best fighter doesn’t mean you will defeat all by yourself, David was great but doesn’t mean he has to fight all battles of life by himself, there is a stage of companionship in life which is the stage we need Holy Spirit. No matter how much you think you know, you will still find a gap within your life that needs to be filled and such gap is meant to be filled by God alone.
Play your puzzle (life) well. Strategize a win/win attitude towards the puzzle. Don’t let someone else takes the course of the journey of your life for you. Plan, plan, plan. As you are planning, you are also thinking. At the point of thinking, you are getting informed about the circumstances staged around you. And when you are able to sit down and count the cost to get there. No Amount of time you waste on it is useless rather it increases your capacity.
Don’t be limited to where you are. You are not knitted alone into the four walls of the earth. You are a spirit and spirit lives beyond the physical realm. Let your life shine. Shining comes from within, and within is as a result of personal encounter and fulfillment. What you do, do it at your best, because your best will speak best for you. What you do at your worst will speak the worst for you. Put in every effort, time, action, and steer the course of your life.
You are not born to achieve all in life or do all in life. Your assignment is specific and special to you alone and the rules and regulations that governs Mr. A, might not be applicable to you. Stop following men’s methods and follow God’s methods. If you follow men’s methods, you will only get men’s reward while if you follow God’s methods, you will only get God’s kind of results.
Do you want to be great in life and do exploit, forget what men says about you, men are full of deception. How will he or she who is yet to discern themselves, be able to discern you? How will he or she who hasn’t gotten the fair taste of life be able to encourage you or give the life they never experienced rather they term you down and make you feel you don’t belong anywhere. If someone makes you feel like you don’t belong, remind them that you belong to the God’s kind of kindred. God’s special people, God’s ordained people and tell them you are in god class and you reign abov, .
See some are in the attitude of rendering your vision useless and seeing nothing good in it. How will he who never see Good in themselves, be able to see the good in you. They don’t have it, so don’t expect it from you. Sometimes people need to criticize you to do more, while some critics are just a feedback to show the heart of men towards you.
I once had someone in my life whom I was close to. I mean very close, although the person is a bit older than me but the critics I got from this person made me realize what he think of me and how they see me and I don’t negotiate to be whom they want me to be which isn’t in line with God. But rather, I look beyond what isn’t yet there with what will be gotten soonest. A pawpaw seed doesn’t become a pawpaw immediately, despite having the capacity and capability of being a pawpaw at the end, yet the pawpaw seed needs time and season to grow his own strength, draw his own energy and give itself the best shot to be whom it was destined and designed to be.
The long term miracle you are looking for might be near your reach but your failure to identify your environment and see beyond limit you. Some are living with millions of money every day but because their attention, attitude and focus isn’t opened up to their environment to discover the treasure lying await for their manifestation, they cannot judiciously use it.
How far you want to go in life is a determinant of how deep you want to dig. You don’t get gold by just digging all for the name of digging, you dig for a purposeful course in life. You don’t read book all in the name of reading or peer pressure, you read to dig for treasures. You don’t seek God all because of just seeking, we seek God for a purpose, an assignment, and hunger embedded within our heart.
We will stop here for today and continue some other time.
God bless you.