You are truly blessed if your perspective of life and reality transcends content into context. Content deals with the what of an issue – the events and the circumstances that surround your life. On the other hand, Context deals with the why of an issue – the different parts of a matter that throw light or understanding on its meaning. Most people would ask, “What is happening to me?” However, a wise person will rather ask, “”Why is this happening”
Context unravels the deeper meaning of reality and excavates truth beyond the surface level. Circumstances always come with a heightened sense of things that overshadows the real issues of life and most people approach answers to life’s difficult questions from that shallow place of surface level superficiality. Decades may pass over you, but if you do not break your thought process from content into context you may get stuck in a gravitational pull of redundancy and limitation.
In Proverbs 20:5, the Bible reinforces this truth, “The intentions of a man’s heart are deep waters, but a man of understanding draws them out”
I have observed that the biggest difference between exceptional leaders and everyday people is that capacity to ask why instead of what. Take a deeper look at the following questions:
- What is happening?
- Why is it happening?
(The first question is an enquiry. The second question is an analysis.)
- What do you want me to do?
- Why do you want me to do it?
(The first question suggests activity. The second question ignites purpose)
The missing link to the biggest breakthrough you will encounter in your life might be the paradigm shift from a content based pattern of thought to a context based pattern of thought. Years ago, the Holy Spirit – my greatest Teacher challenged me to always seek to understand the bigger picture of things. This shifted my consciousness from asking what to asking why – this one single shift pulled me from reacting to life to becoming proactive and living for a more grand, deliberate, intentional and strategic purpose.
Do you desire to live a life by design and not get drifted by the shifting circumstances that life brings? Then you need to be cultivated to engage life and reality from that place of context and alignment. Life in general is like the weather. It fluctuates. From winter to summer, to autumn and spring, one season paves the path for the next – but they are all serving a bigger purpose – which is to create balance in nature and make the world habitable. If the world was all winter, we would soon decline into the ice age and if it was all summer, it would become too hot – even certain regions of the world where there is no winter, still has very dry, dusty easterly or northeasterly wind of harmattan which cools off the heat. If you perceive reality by focusing only on the temporary shifting weather, you will miss out on the context – the bigger purpose they serve; that delicate balance and alignment to nature.
The wise discerns reality differently. He knows that the weather is an inevitable process so he is not affected by it. He sets his goals and purposes higher than the shifting factors of nature and takes advantage of each season to maximize that bigger purpose. The seasons are working to his advantage and he is not under the influence of the seasons. When your concept of reality moves from content to context, you will navigate on a frequency that is higher than overwhelming temporary factors. You will demonstrate unlimited purpose and power. You will no longer be controlled by things, but you will be in control of everything around you.
Nobody in history has demonstrated this powerful principle more than Jesus Christ. He did everything in context. He did not care too much for the little petty things. His priority was more on the bigger picture and higher purpose of things. The writer of Hebrews in Chapter 12 and verse 2 encapsulates this truth in the following lines:
“[looking away from all that will distract us and] focusing our eyes on Jesus, who is the Author and Perfecter of faith [the first incentive for our belief and the One who brings our faith to maturity], who for the joy [of accomplishing the goal] set before Him endured the cross, disregarding the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God [revealing His deity, His authority, and the completion of His work].”
Jesus fixated his eyes on the joy of bringing eternal salvation to the human race; that was the context that gave meaning to what followed; the cross and the shame. Yes, He would suffer. Yes, He would be beaten. Yes, He would be crucified. Yes, He would be buried. But He also knew that certainly, the grave will not be the last chapter of His story. There would be a resurrection and ascension and through him, billions would become sons of God. Then he knew it was all worth it.
My first mentor was my late mother, Beatrice. After my unusual encounter with Jesus Christ in 1989 which instantly launched me into ministry, before anybody else, she possessed a deep understanding of my context. In those early days, she was grateful for the miracles and the extraordinary impact that my ministry was having as I found the word. However, beyond the hubbub of the crowd and the overwhelming preaching schedule that I had as a child preacher, she wanted me to tap into the context of my calling and unravel the bigger purpose of my assignment. My mother and I spent many hours together talking and praying. She told me to always remember Who I am. As simple as that sounds, it created a consciousness of identity in me. She would tell me, “you are not like everybody else, you are different, you are a man on assignment”. This shaped me a lot to the man that I am today. Being a single mum with meager income, she didn’t have much. But she spoke to me about wealth and abundance and reassured me that if I stay faithful to the call, the world will come to me. My mama filled my head with dreams of possibilities.
I sure didn’t find my life’s context all at once. However having the mindset to seek for the bigger purpose has helped me to always stay focused on the endgame, to never shift with changing times and people and to endure the temporary process that is necessary to bring me to that place of establishment and alignment. What defines you and how do you perceive reality? Do you base your focus on what is happening or why it’s happening? Are you one that’s all about quick gratification or are you a man or a woman on a mission that would give everything possible to achieve their purpose?
The postmodern culture with its social media obsession is very superficial and competitive. With a compulsive drive to impress others, people are losing sight of their authentic self and becoming a robotic version of a filtered life. Amidst the chagrin of this bubble existence, God is raising a new army of authentic leaders whose lives are above the shifting culture or the mundane instinct to impress others, whose level of success is not just an occurrence but a system and whose impact is not a smokescreen but an institution. When times have changed and seasons have come and gone, when what is invogue now has become a relic; only those who have found their context – the deeper meaning and purpose of their lives and lived it to its maximum will engrave their impact on the immovable rock of value. I am not called to build on sand, I am empowered and cultivated to build on the rock. It might be painstaking, it might require a little more time and work, but by God, it will stand and be strong. This too, must be your testimony.