Obstacles to a life of impact.
In the past two or so weeks, God has been ministering to us in regards to living a life of impact and He has outlined some of the things that we ought to deal with so that we can live a life of impact. I do believe that you have been blessed as I have been blessed. Nevertheless, we still have to strive day by day so that whatever we strive to do may be of impact to those around us, we face obstacles in the process. These should nit deter us from moving ahead to our destiny; we shouldn’t lose focus on the target or the goal and the price ahead of us. As Paul said, that one thing I do is forgetting the past and pressing on to the mark of perfection; our mark of perfection here is leaving an impact in all we do.
One thing is sure in this world; when you are long gone, either you move from one place to another or you go to rest; you will be remembered for either of these two things; the problems you caused or the problems you solved; the good you did or the bad things that you did. This is very sure and you can’t change this. Even today, there are some people in your life you don’t wish to remember because of the things they did and there are others that you wish they would still be there. It is said that “it counts so much what you leave/add to the world more than what you gain from it”. One thing that is sure is that the devil is always on our back trying to pull us back, and every door that God opens our way attracts the devils attention (1 Corinthians 16:8-9)
The biggest battle ever fought on the surface of the earth by man is the battle of the mind. The devil always tries to use the mind of a man more than anything else. How does he do this? Paul tells the Corinthians that Therefore, since through God’s mercy we have this ministry, we do not lose heart. Rather, we have renounced secret and shameful ways; we do not use deception, nor do we distort the word of God. On the contrary, by setting forth the truth plainly we commend ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God. And even if our gospel is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing. The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. The devil, who is the god of this world fights to block the minds of the perishing that they won’t hear the gospel thus they perish without making an impact in their lives. (2 Corinthians 4:1-4)
In the lieu of this, there are six ways in which the devil uses to block our minds so that we are not of any impact in our generation.
a) Sin – Sin corrupts the mind. Ezekiel 18:4 “For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son—both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die” After sinning, there is something that dies in our lives. Sin kills the fellowship we have with god through the Holy Spirit. God is Holy and thus since He can’t dwell in a filthy place, His spirit leaves our lives and thus we end up being empty vessels walking. People who made and impact in the bible, were people who hated sin and we also have to hate sin and flee from its appearance for us to make an impact. Take a look at Joseph, Daniel – he purposed not to defile himself at all. Hebrews 6:12, Paul challenges the Hebrews not to be lazy but they strive to imitate people who persevered and received God’s promises in their lives.
b) Accepting the status quo: The devil tries to cheat you that you have reached your destiny and thus you become comfortable where you are and you don’t strive to move ahead. Proverbs 4:18 Solomon encourages us that the sun rises in the morning and continues to be brighter and brighter, that’s how our walk of faith should be. There is always a room for improvement in everything that we do. The best of you is yet to come.
c) The past - Never dwell in your past; always focus on your future. Guilt is the worst enemy of advancement. When we sin and ask God for forgiveness, the devil capitalizes on the guilt that we feel and reminds us of our past. God told the children of Israel this after they had strayed and God was reminding them of his promises to them; “This is what the LORD says— your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: ”I am the LORD your God, who teaches you what is best for you, who directs you in the way you should go. If only you had paid attention to my commands, your peace would have been like a river, your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” Isaiah 48:17-18 Nevertheless, he still loved them and cared for them. Isaiah 43:18-19, God reminds us of the new things that He is doing in our lives. The good thing with our God is that when we fall down, He is always more than willing to help us rise up again. Proverbs 24:16, Micah 7:8: Let me share these quotes with you: “The future holds more happier days more than the past you can remember”; “if you dwell on the colourful past, the greener future loses its colour”; “Those whose yesterday was big, they are doing nothing today” The question is, are you going to let your past deter you from reaching your destiny?
d) Pride of the past achievements: We have seen in the earlier point that we shouldn’t dwell in the colourful past since the future may lose its colour. What then should we do? Praise god because of your past whether good or bad and never dwell there. These scriptures really get me on toes when I tend to dwell on my past; Micah 2:10 “Get up, go away! For this is not your resting place, because it is defiled, it is ruined, beyond all remedy.” As good as your past is, it is not worth to dwell there. David said that even in his old age, he had never seen the righteous forsaken; so don’t think that when you bask in your current achievements, you will not be able to achieve more in the future, no Psalms 92:14 says “They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green.” Let your past achievements always be a stepping stone to your greater tomorrow.
e) The spirit of Comparison: The spirit of comparison controls you in two ways; (a) Those below you make you feel proud. (b) those above you make you feel discouraged to move on. Paul told the Corinthians “We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise. 13We, however, will not boast beyond proper limits, but will confine our boasting to the field God has assigned to us, a field that reaches even to you.” 2 Corinthians 10:12 There is always a lane that God has for you to follow so that you can succeed. Always remember that you have your own life to live and your own predestined purpose to accomplish on earth. The guiding principle is Learn to be faithful wherever you are and you will definitely prosper. Remember “God doesn’t need to look at your past so as to bless you; neither does he need a committee to inquire”.
f) Fear of curses: Most of our families have been affected by this simply because we fear that the curse that our great grandfather pronounced may fall on us. Colossians 2:13-14, Jesus died on the cross and took away the curse of the law and now you don’t have to walk in fear of being cursed, Jesus died and became a curse for your sake so that you can walk free. Now that you have known the truth and received the forgiveness and you are redeemed by the blood of Jesus, you can walk with your head high knowing that you are uncursable and Jesus took all your curses on the cross and declared them null and void.
When we deal with this six obstacles and we have cleared them form our paths, be sure you are destined for impact in your life provided you also walk in God’s will. Knowing God’s will and purpose is the most important and the foremost thing to be done before even yearning to be of impact in our Christian life even in the world that we live in.
Friday 12th December 2008
The lessons that the Lord is giving us are getting better and better and also hard for us but it is for our best to make us ready to make us ready for a mighty work ahead of us. Yesterday we were reminded to forget the former things that we did while we were yet sinners and should not live in guilt or condemnation. Many times when we are forgiven, we tend to go out bragging saying that the person involved didn’t do us anything or punish us and we forget that it is through God’s grace that we are forgiven. In simple words, our hearts become proud. But this is not the desire of our God; He himself was humble and He intends us to also be humble. Remember James says that “God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble” James 4:6. Many a times we tend to see other people who are proud but we do not see ourselves and when we are told of the same, we tend to defend ourselves.
God speaks to the nation of Judah and tells them to repent of their pride or else they will be destroyed. God gives Jeremiah an illustration with a linen waist belt. He is told go and hide it underground for some days and when he goes to take it back, it is marred and worth nothing. The same way, God sees our pride. We exalt ourselves do high regarding ourselves and yet our downfall will be greater than even the height that we had gone in our pride. Remember Jesus’ parable of the two builders? One never counted the cost and just built his house in the sand and when the winds and the rains came, great was the downfall of the house, but the other house was intact simply because it was built on a rock and the foundation was strong. Same to our lives with pride; we see as if we have a strong base when regarding ourselves high and boasting, but lol! Let’s remember to look ahead of what will happen because of our pride.
What are the simple causes of pride? God outlines a few of the things that had made the people of Judah to be proud. He lists them down and warns them that if, they shouldn’t change, and then God would bring punishment upon them. These included:
a) Disobedience – vs. 10a.God tells the people of Judah that they had refused to hearken to his commands and they had followed their own ways. Proverbs says that the way that seems good to man at the end leads to destruction. They walked in the ways that seemed right in their eyes and according to their imagination but little did they know that they were nor pleasing God at all. Their ways were detestable before the eyes of God. How are your ways? Do you follow your heart or you ask God for God’s guidance and direction in anything that you do.
b) Self-esteem or worth – vs. 10b God tells the people of Judah that the imaginations of their hearts had led them to stray away from Him. Self-worth is good but if not taken well into account and brought under control, it makes us be proud without our notice. We usually don’t intend to boast ourselves off but it comes out automatically. Pride is the same thing that made the devil and his angles be cast away from heaven. He was the worship leader in the heavens and when He saw that God was pleased with his, worship, he also decided to be like God.
c) Idolatry – vs. 10c The Israelites had forgotten about God and his commandment. God had warned them not to worship any other god apart from Him alone but they had forgotten Him and they were following after foreign gods and worshiping them. They had been carried away by the gods of the Amorites, Hittites and other nations that were surrounding them. You may not be having a carved image that you have placed somewhere and you worship it, but what are your priorities in life? Where have you placed God in your life? If he doesn’t come 1st in your life, thus know that whatever else comes first is your idol.
There are many causes of pride in a human being. I know you can analyze your life and see what else brings on pride and pray that God will help you deal with it. Reading through the book of proverbs, I realized that it talk so much about pride. I hope you won’t mind if I gave you a small bible study homework on the same. Here is the study:
Bible Study on Pride
Pride: An overly high opinion of oneself; exaggerated self-esteem; conceit; haughtiness; arrogance.
1. The first thing we need to consider is God’s view of pride.
a. According to Psalm 138:6 how does God look upon those who are Prideful?
b. According to Proverbs 3:34 what does God do to the proud mocker?
Can you think of how this might happen?
c. According to Proverbs 8:13 what does God say he thinks about pride and arrogance?
What does that mean for those who are prideful?
d. According to Ecclesiastes 7:8 what is better than pride?
Which one of these do you practice the most?
e. According to James 4:6 what is God’s disposition toward the Proud?
Can you identify some areas of your life where God may be opposing you because your pride?
2. Next we will look at what pride does to people and who they become through pride.
a) According to Psalm 10:1-3 what do the arrogant do to the weak?
How do arrogant people treat greedy people?
How do prideful people act toward God?
b) According to Proverbs 26:12 what does a prideful person tend to think about himself?
According to Romans 12:16 what attitude does prideful people develop toward other people?
c) Can you think of people you won’t associate with because you look down on them (be honest)?
d) According to 1 Corinthians 13:4 what is a very important characteristic of love that has to do with pride?
So if someone is very proud what does that show a lack of?
3. The next verses will consider what results occur when people live in prideful ways.
a) According to Proverbs 11:2 what comes along with pride?
Can you write down a time you acted in pride and it brought disgrace?
b) According to Proverbs 16:5 what does God promise will happen to people who are proud in their hearts
c) According to Proverbs 16:18 what comes after pride?
What comes when someone has a haughty spirit?
Can you write down a time when you fell because you were doing something in pride?
d) According to Proverbs 29:23 what does pride do to someone?
What is something a person should examine if they are low?
e) According to Isaiah 2:12 what will the Lord do to people that are proud, lofty, and exalted?
Can you think of some ways that God might humble someone?
f) According to Malachi 4:1 what will happen to the arrogant people on the day the Lord comes?
g) According to 1 Corinthians 8:1 what is one thing that causes people to be puffed up and prideful?
Can you think of anyone who thinks a lot of himself because of what he knows?
h) According to 1 Corinthians 8:2 what does the prideful man really know when he thinks he knows a lot?
What is it that such a person ought to know?
i) According to Revelation 3:17 some people become proud because of what they have and they think they do not need anything else. What does God say about such people?
- What is it that keeps people from seeing themselves for who they really are?
- Do you have any areas of your life where you may not be seeing yourself for who you really are because you are blinded by pride
4. Finally we must look at what we need to do in order to not be controlled by pride.
a) According to Acts 8:21-23 what is wrong in us if we have this pride?
- What are two things that we need to do to correct this condition?
- What are we captive to if we let this condition continue on?
b) According to James 4:10 what do people need to do in order to deal with pride in their lives?
- What will God do if we humble ourselves before him?
5. In what areas of your life do you have pride (your talents and gifts, your looks, your wealth, your friends, your family, your car, your house, your knowledge, your social status, etc.)?
Thursday, 11th December 2008
Great is the Lord and He is worth of praise. He has been speaking so audibly and revealing His mind to us since last week. This week started with a bang with God reminding us on Monday that we need to let the Uzziah’s in our lives die. Yesterday God dealt with our unrepentant heart and how we should do it. Today God was reminding me that He is a loving God and He cares for us. The fact that He gave Jesus, His only begotten Son to come and pay the pardon and bear the shame, pain and humiliation that me and you could have suffered is a clear indication of his everlasting and never ending love for us. I have come to realize that God is ready and willing to move with us, work with us and work through us but it is us who have closed the door on Him to do so. You may ask me how, our unbelief, lack of faith and trust in Him and the promises that He has given are clear indicators. It is until we learn and we are ready to trust God no matter what the circumstances dictate, thus the time we will see Him move mightily in us and through us and we will be of impact.
The Uzziah’s in our lives having died and we have repented our sins and shortcomings, we are now ready for what God has in store for us. God speaking to the children of Israel tells them; “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland” Isaiah 43:18-19. The Israelites had been unfaithful to God and forsaken him yet God still cared for them and was merciful to them. He tells them that He is their creator, King and Redeemer, a God who loved them, had mercy and compassion upon them and had them in mind all through despite their unfaithfulness.
Sometimes you and I find ourselves in the state the house of Jacob was; having forgotten all about God and what He has done for us, where He has saved and delivered us from, yet He is still in love with us and cares about us. His love for us is everlasting. Once we repent our sins, he blots our sin away and he remembers it no more. He says I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Isaiah 43:25. You know one thing that the devil likes to capitalize on and pin us down is guiltiness. He makes sure that whenever you go to God’s presence, he brings condemnation in your heart that you find yourself unworthy before God’s presence.
John reminds us that God is faithful and just to forgive us and not only to forgive us but also to cleanse us from our unrighteousness (1 John 1:9) After we have been forgiven and cleansed, we should walk with our heads high knowing that our sins have been written off. Paul says that “If any man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature; the past is gone and behold the new has come” 2 Corinthians 5:17. Again Romans 8:1 reminds us that there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, for we no longer walk in the flesh but in the Spirit. The devil has no authority or stand to come and accuse you of the sins that you did long time ago; if you repented, you just have to remind him that Jesus died on the cross and His blood blotted away all your sins.
Picture this: when I think of the underlined words above, I figure it out this way; maybe you have your own way; before Jesus came and died on the cross, I assume there was a scroll or a page with my name on top and whenever I sinned, it was recorded on that scroll, but with the death of Jesus on the cross and Him declaring that it is finished, His precious blood came and covered all the record that there was on the scroll with my sins. That’s how it used to be in the Old Testament, in the time of Moses. There was no atonement without blood. Thus why the children of Israel used to go with an animal for sacrifice so that when the blood of the animal was shed, it was a sign that the sins of the person were forgiven/washed away by the blood. And it is recorded that the death of Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice that supersedes that of animals.
What else would we have to worry for if Jesus blood blotted away our sins and now we can walk free. Isaiah says Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they as red as crimson, they shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 Forget the former thing and embrace the new thing that God is about to do in your life. Do not walk in humiliation simply because of what happened yesterday (past), look ahead and see a bright ray of hope and the new thing that is springing up in your life.
Wednesday, 10th December 2008.
I have been struggling in my heart and soul whether to share this or not but I wasn’t at peace when I decided not to. It was so clear to me that God wants you and me to know and understand this. This issue has been running in my mind since last week and I told God to deal with me individually but it wasn’t enough. I pray and believe that as you read through, God will speak and touch your spirit and soul just as He did to me.
Repentance: It has many definitions and I don’t know on which to pick on. In simple words, it is a feeling of regret/remorse/contrition for one’s past conduct, misdeeds or sins. I have tried to blend three definitions to fit into one; you can try and get another definition of the same. Again, repentance is the act or process of repenting. Jesus’ mission on earth wasn’t to come and perform miracles, heal the sick, revive the dead, die on the cross and ascend to the father again; NO!! His main mission on earth was to bring back the fellowship between man and God through repentance and forgiveness of sins but as it is recorded, “He came unto those who were his, but the rejected him” John 1:11 Nevertheless, as many as received Him through Repentance and believing in Him, they were given the power to be the Sons of God John 1:12 You can’t feel guilty for something wrong you did unless you believe in the object of focus in the misact or misdeed, and Jesus being God and the object of our Faith, we believe in Him and thus why when we sin, we have to repent.
Many are the times that we find ourselves in sin, not because we wished to be there; circumstances surround us and eventually we find ourselves on the wrong side with God. We shouldn’t let the guilty conscience break us down, 1 John 1:9 says that “if we confess our sins unto him, He is faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness” This is the hardest thing for a human being to do. To stand out and say, I sinned or I did this wrong, please forgive me, we find it so hard to say it; why? We fear what people will say about us. Sometimes could find myself in the same situation. God speaks out to me very clearly and I know verily that it is me that God is speaking to, I am afraid of what the crowd will say about me… Let’s stop worrying about people who will talk about you for a day or two and then keep quiet, let’s mind about God who sees us and at the end of the day, He will judge us. He is the one who holds our lives.
Now that we know that it is God whom we are supposed to reverence or fear rather than man, what are we supposed to do so as we mend and put our ways in order with God? There are 6 steps to repentance:
a) Feel Godly sorrow – “For I will declare my iniquity; I will be sorry for my sin” Psalms 38:18 As I had said earlier, repentance starts with acknowledgement of one’s sins then confession. You have to recognize and own up the sin you have done. Mainly, most sins fall under disobedience and this is not to human beings alone but to God’s commands. Your sins also touch people and some are hurt. Take for example you are entrusted with the position of a treasurer and you steal, the people who entrusted you that responsibility are hurt by your deeds and you ought also to feel sorry for hurting them too and ask for their forgiveness.
b) Confess to God – Confession should be the next step. 1 John 1:9 says that when we confess, we receive forgiveness and we are cleansed. Confession should be voluntary, it shouldn’t be because you fear to be discovered but it should come out of your heart if you truly feel the Godly sorrow inside of you in regards to the sin that you commit. Read these scriptures to see more: 2 Samuel 24:10, 17; Ezra 9:4-15; Nehemiah 1:6-9; Job 7:20; Psalms 32:5.
c) Ask for forgiveness – After owning up your sins and confessing them, you then ask for forgiveness from God. Our God is just yet He never leaves any sin unpunished even up to the 4th generation, but when we ask for his forgiveness, He relents his anger and wrath upon us and pardons us. Jesus is our forgiveness; by the virtue of His death on the cross, He declared that all is finished, so you can have confidence that when you ask him for forgiveness, He will forgive you.
d) Rectify what caused the sin – “And if it be stolen from him, he shall make restitution unto the owner thereof” Exodus 22:12 There is a cause for everything to happen on the face of the earth. The best way to deal with the situation is to follow up the traces and indentify the root cause of it and deal with it. Remember the sin affects not only the spiritual part of your life but affects you also physically, emotionally and mentally. When you rectify and you know the root of the sin, ask for forgiveness of those you wronged and try to find another way to show your change of heart.
e) Forsake the sin – “he that covers his sins shall not prosper; but whosever confesses and forsakes them shall prosper” Proverbs 28:13. You make a resolution to leave the sin and turn away from it completely. Make a promise to God and yourself not to; nevertheless, so not rely on your own ability to make yourself stay away from sinning, Ask God to give you grace and guide your steps.
f) Lastly but not the least, Receive the forgiveness. God is a faithful God and his promises are yea and Amen. When he promises to do, He will do. When you repent with a sincere heart, be assured of his forgiveness. “If a man is in Christ Jesus, he is a new creature, the past is gone and behold the new has come” 2 Corinthians 5:17 you also need to allow his forgiveness to come upon you. This is followed by a feeling of peace inside you and you feel and assurance of forgiveness. Do not hold onto your sin and sorrow you have felt; let it go by truly forgiving yourself, just as the Lord has forgiven you. Read through these scriptures, they give you God’s assurance of forgiveness: Ephesians 1:6-7; Psalms 85:2; Psalms 103:12; Hebrews 8:12; Isaiah 55:7; Psalms 32:1-2; Isaiah 1:18; Jeremiah 33:8; Colossians 2:13.
Through Christ’s Atonement we are able to repent and be cleansed from our sins. Jesus was our atonement sacrifice on the cross and we do not have to do it the Old Testament way. I know that each one of us can be forgiven and receive peace because when repentance is done with sincerity from the heart, there is the promise of peace in our lives. Let me finish with this, if you may feel that you don’t feel as if you have been forgiven, go and share out with your prayer partner or a close friend and ask him/her to pray with you.
“Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much”
Tuesday, 9th December 2008
Here comes another week. Last week was so awesome having God sorting us out and preparing us to make an impact in our generation and others to come. I believe that you are now set to leave a legacy to be reckoned when you are long gone into the grave. Still majoring on impact making in our lives and generation, I have been wrestling with God on a few issues and it has been so amazing how God has been responding. The last two days it has been more of a personal dealing. God has challenged me still in this area of making an impact and I want to share the same with you.
Uzziah has been the king of Israel when Isaiah was the prophet and Uzziah did some things which were detestable before the eyes of God and this made God’s glory to depart from Israel. Remember, God had said that He would make Israel his dwelling place, but the sins of the people made his glory depart the land. In this chapter, when Uzziah dies, that’s when the eyes of Isaiah were opened and he saw God in his glory. When this happens, Isaiah is able to see his uncleanliness before God and repented.
Sometimes we act in the same manner. It doesn’t necessarily have to be sin in our lives but also some habits, attitude, our talk, decisions, priorities, friends, relatives, business, jobs name them that make us not to see God in our lives. The question this morning is; who/what is your Uzziah? We ought to have/put these things on check so that they won’t be a stumbling block to our relationship with God. Many a times we find ourselves before God’s presence only to realize that we are unclean and we have dwelt in the tents of the unclean just as Isaiah said. The good thing is that God is always merciful and always ready to pardon and cleanse us once we ask for pardon. We see that when Isaiah realized that he was unclean, he said, “woe unto me for I am a man of unclean lips and I dwell in the midst of people with unclean lips”. We also need to realize that we dwell amidst a generation of people which is unclean and evil. When we do this, we will be able to live with caution of what to do and what not to, where to go and where not to, people to be intimate with and those not to etc.
After Isaiah’s lips were cleansed, thus the time that he was ready to be sent of the Lord. Many of us have been called and we know this but why haven’t we been effective? The answer is very simple; we have entangled ourselves with the civilian affairs of this world till they have blocked and veiled our eyes from seeing the Lord and made our ears deaf to hear God’s voice calling out for us. God tells Isaiah to go and tell the people that they hear yet they do not understand, they see but they do not know. Seems like God was pronouncing a curse on the house of Israel but Isaiah asks God until when will He do so and God said till all the unjust generation is wiped out and the Holy generation is left.
Just like Isaiah, we do not have to let God get annoyed and wipe out the unjust generation from the face of the earth so that he can relent his anger, we need to stand in the gap and pray for the Uzziah’s in our life, nation, families, and workplaces etc to die instead thus God can move in our midst. God has called you and me to be instruments of change wherever we are. How else will we make an impact in our generation if we won’t stand in the gap and pray for them? This is our call; just as Isaiah did, let’s all rise up to the occasion and call God on behalf of others and when we do this, I know God will hearken to our prayer and relent his anger.
1 Chronicles 7:14 “if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land” This is your call and mine too, to seek God’s face on behalf of our nation so that we can receive healing.
Monday, 8th December 2008
Deuteronomy 1:6-8; 2:1-3
Making an impact is our ultimate goal this week. The Lord has taken you and me through a journey to make/prepare us for impact in our generation and time. I believe when we apply what God has revealed to us this week and we follow them whole heartedly, we will be of impact and be reckoned in our time. It shall be said of us as it was said of David “that he served God’s purpose in his generation”
Moses and the children of Israel have come out of captivity in the land of Egypt and they are enroute to the promise land. In the wilderness, God has taught them several things and at some point, they rebelled against God and God decided to let them warder in the wilderness. They came and built their tents around Mt. Horeb and Sier. Here, they got contented and they were very happy with life around the mountain, but God wasn’t happy either, thus God speaks to Moses and tells him to break the camp and advance Northwards of the mountain.
God tells them “behold I have set the vast land of Canaan in front of you. Go ahead and possess it”. This is the word God is telling you this morning. He has set in front of you the whole world before you. Jesus said the “the fields are white with harvest. The harvest is plenty but the labourers are few”. The world is there ready and thirsty for you to go and impact. But the problem is that most of us know where God has called us to serve and make an impact but yet we are busking in the success of yesterday. The children of Israel forgot that they were heading to Canaan and yet they were contented staying in the mountainous parts of the wilderness where it was conducive for them.
Where have you dwelt so much in your life and you have gotten contented? What is that you are doing that you don feel like leaving it and advancing on to try on a new thing? Has the business that you have so successful that you don’t want to venture into a new line of business regardless the doors that you are seeing open? Are you contented with the education you have and the job that your certificates have given you till you do not want to further your education? You don’t have to not to stay where you are and wait for God to come and speak to you audibly. Teach yourself to move out of the comfort zone.
People who made an impact, used of God and did mighty things in their time were people who were not contented with where they were. Let me sample a few of them.
a) Abraham – Genesis 12:1-7 God calls Abram and asks him to leave his native land and go to a land that God would show him. God tells Abram that he would be blessed and his descendants would be like the sand of the sea. Abram obeyed and when he moved from Haran to Canaan, God blessed him and changed his name from Abram to Abraham. God demands obedience when it comes to blessings. If you are careful you will note that in all the blessings and promises that God has given in his word, they are all preceded by a condition to fulfil before you get the promise thereof. Abraham became the father of faith simply because he obeyed and followed what God commanded him to do. The question is; are you willing to obey? For some of us, this might be the price we have to pay to make an impact.
b) Moses – God had a purpose with the life of Moses and because God knew his weaknesses and the plan he had, he had to make him pass through the hand of Pharaoh so that first he co9uld learn how the government operates. Secondly to learn the wisdom and the knowledge of the Egyptians and be equipped for the task ahead of him. Do not be deceived, God also likes to use people who are learned. Nevertheless, Moses had to leave the comfort of the palace and go to the wilderness where God had to make him pass through the second part of the training that He wanted him to have; the wilderness experience simply because he knew that He would have him lead the Israelites through the wilderness thus why he had to learn the ways of the wilderness. In this, God knew that if he would speak to Moses and tell him to leave the palace, he wouldn’t have agreed to, thus why he had to bring up a situation that had to make him leave the palace. God will use some situations to make you leave your current comfort zone so that he can train you and make you ready for the next stage of the mission.
c) Joseph – Joseph had a dream and he knew that it was God who had called him. Nevertheless, his brethren were always discouraging him. This way, just as Moses, God created a way for him to get away from all the discouragements that were ahead of him and He sent him to where he would fulfil his calling. You know your calling but yet there are people who are there just to discourage you, scorn you, make you feel that you are doing the wrong thing, i.e. their best work to you is discourage you, you don’t need to be told, Move away from them and trust God for people to help you accomplish your purpose in life.
d) Jonah – We started with obedience and we end with disobedience. Jonah’s story is very familiar to all of us. He was sent but he decided to disobey and instead went to Tar shish. God had to cause a storm in the sea to awake him from the sound and peaceful sleep he had down at the deck of the ship. Will you disobey and allow god to make you fulfil the call that He has given you by force? NO!!! I would not. Let’s all strive to be faithful servants to the call that we have been called to.
God has called us and He doesn’t feel happy and contented when we die while we haven’t made an impact or accomplished our mission and purpose on earth. It’s my prayer and belief that this week God has revealed His mind to us and the things that might be hindering us from being of impact and how to deal with them. Let’s ask God for the grace and power to be victors over these stumbling blocks that we encounter on our way to imparting the world.
Friday, 5th December 2008
What a week. I mean, who is like God, no one can compare to him and He is so awesome and amazing. Today am actually amazed by Him. He speaks out his mind in a clear manner that you can hear audibly what He wants and what He wants of you. Today comes the best encouragement that I have ever had. After believing God’s report on Monday, Tuesday I started seeing through God’s eyes. Yesterday I changed my way of thinking and what I think about. Today, God says; it’s not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit. What do I mean? I have realized that the journey to making an impact isn’t that easy and simple. If you take it with your own knowledge and might, you won’t make it but with God by your side, you are destined to make an impact.
Zechariah was sent by God to encourage Zerubbabel who was rebuilding God’s temple and amidst the struggles that he had, God tells him to relax since it is not by his own strength that the rebuilding was to be accomplished. The same case to you and me. There are some things that we want to get rid of in our lives which are stumbling blocks to our growth and impact in our day to day Christian walk of Faith; nevertheless, God says that it is not by might nor our own strength, all he needs is us to trust him and depend on him.
Dependence on God makes us have victory no matter how strong our enemy is or the situation we are in is. Lets look at a few people who put their hope in God and they did exploits.
a) Gideon – In Judges 6:11-16, Gideon is met by the angel hiding in the caves from the Midianites that he is supposed to fight. At first, he is adamant to believe that God has called him to deliver the children of Israel but when he did, see what God used him to do. Judges 7:1-7, with only 300 men, God gave Gideon victory over the Midianites. Sometimes we lack faith in God just as Gideon did, he had to put God into test so as to get to know that truly he would give him victory. God doesn’t need too many people to accomplish his intended purpose; neither does he need too much of your ability, all He needs is your commitment and trust in him.
b) Jehoshaphat – 2 Chronicles 20, he is faced by an army force comprised of 5 nations and he doesn’t know what to do. Like many of us wouldn’t have done, he turns back to God and he declares a day of prayer to seek God’s intervention on this. Its there when God tells him to relax and see how he works. God tell him that he didn’t have to worry; all he has to do is stand still and see the deliverance of the Lord. Sometimes we are really worried because of petty thing in our lives that we struggle with when God is there to help us through. At times you just need to relax and watch him fight the battle for you. You don’t have to struggle. Trust him and He will sort you out.
c) David – 1 Samuel 17:40-51, David faces goliath and he defies and undermines David simply because he was small and he insults him asking whether he was a do that he came to fight him with a stick, but David having confidence in God, he tells him that despite the weapons that he had, he knew that God would give him victory over him. Sometimes the giants we are fighting in our lives pose a great challenge to us until we are drained and filled with fear just like that army of Israel was, but it just demands a little courage to face the enemy and the situation face off. When you do this, you have full trust in God and He is right behind you.
d) This is the woman who really makes me feel that I can do more than I have done. Esther. Faced by the challenge as the queen in a foreign country and her race is on the verge of being finished, she says, “I will defy the rules and go to see the king myself, if I die, let me die” This is regarded as one of the best sayings ever made in the Christian circle for a person who wanted to risk her life for the sake of others. She went ahead after having three days of prayer and fasting for her, her maidservants and even the other Jews in the land. God honoured her risk taking and the king favoured her. Some things in your life will demand you to risk. Other than risking for your own life and situations, you might also be required to stand in the gap for your fellow believers and friends.
Withstanding all what we are supposed to do and fulfil on our part, there is an assurance of God being on our side no matter what we are going through. All we have to do is trust in Him and have faith in Him and His promises and because He is not a man that He should lie; He will fulfil his word.
Thursday, 4th December 2008
What do you think about?
God has been so awesome and has been speaking so audibly since Monday. Let me start with sharing my experience with God since Sunday. The message during the Sunday service was becoming a man of impact and I prayed a simple prayer to God. I said, “God I want to leave an impact wherever I go and in whatever I do, so help me know what is hindering me to be of impact in my generation and help me deal with them”. In the evening, I attending an evening of hymns fellowship where God started speaking. He reminded me that many times I do forget that He loved me till He gave up his life for me on the cross and I ought to love Him back more that He did. On Monday, God was asking “who said….” and I believe you filled in the gap of whatever is said of you. Yesterday, God was challenging us to see the way he does see us. This morning God has challenged me in an area that is really critical in my life and I know it is also to you. The mind.
Your mind holds and controls what you want to do. It is the central processing unit of your life. God asked me a simple question: Yes! You want to make and leave an impact in your generation, but how do you think? Through this, He reminded me of the scripture above. Paul tells the Philippians that he was happy that they took care of him, but above all else, they should rejoice in the Lord always. Besides that, he urges them not to be worried of anything but in prayer and supplication to surrender everything to God. The core of the challenge came up in vs. 8. He says; “finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”
What do you think about? Paul said in Romans 12:1-2 “let us offer our bodies as living sacrifices unto God…. And let’s not conform to the world but let us be changed and transformed by the renewal of our minds” It is until our minds are transformed, it’s when we can discern the perfect and pleasing will of God. David in Psalms 1:2 said that a blessed man finds his delight in the law of the law of the Lord and it is on this law that he does meditate upon day and night. Many of us spend a lot of time thinking and meditating on things that just make us worried and stressed for nothing. If I may ask you, how many times has your worry changed the circumstance, issue or situation that you are worried about? Many times you get stressed and think of things that shouldn’t be of your concern. Jesus talking to his disciples in Matthew 6:25 told them that you don’t have to worry about anything. Check this link for more about worry (http://dennisdailyword.wordpress.com/2008/11/26/12th-september-2008-devotion/)
What do you see? What do you listen to? What do you read? Who are your friends? Remember from the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks. Whatever you feed yourself with is what will definitely come out. The media today has less of what we need to know and more of what is not needed. Paul gives us a good evaluation structure to weigh what we feed our lives with. For you to make that impact in your life, generation, community, home, Christian life, to your children, in your workplace, you have to apply Paul’s principle of thinking if I may call it so. Let’s evaluate whatever comes into our minds, heart, emails and even the company that we have and when you and I put this into check, I know we are destined for impact.
Judges 6: 11-16
“I can’t do it…. Mamie, please understand I can’t!! No, I said you can do it, why do you doubt?? You have what it take to do it” That’s a part of an argument I overheard yesterday evening as I was headed home form my office. I didn’t know who the parties arguing were, but it is evident that there was a tussle of one of the parties didn’t have the courage and motivation to carry out as task that he/she was given. That’s how Gideon behaved and bringing it more closely down to us, that’s how we behave.
Gideon’s story is familiar with us and when many people speak on this particular story, they talk about overcoming discouragement, trusting in God and many more that you have heard. Yesterday, I shared about “Who said that….. (I hope you filled in the dotted lines) and today I want to go ahead and encourage you to see the way God does. Many a times we diminish ourselves and look down up ourselves, yet when God looks at us in heaven, He sees that we are well able to accomplish the task or the mission that he has called us to. Take a look at verse 15; Gideon lists down the things that he thought disqualify him from being what God wanted him to be. The reasons were very genuine and if it was me, I would have acquainted him and go ahead and look for someone else, but that’s not the way our God works. When he calls us, He makes sure that he equips us to be perfect for that particular job and task He has called us to accomplish.
For us to be what he wants us to be, He takes us through a series of experiences, teachings and various things as He sees worth for us. (For more insight on this, check out this devotion: http://dennisdailyword.wordpress.com/2008/11/28/tuesday-7th-october-devotion/) These experiences are not sweet as you may think but when you come out of the God’s Wilderness University, you are qualified for the task ahead of you.
What are those reasons that you are giving God that you can’t be what he has called you to be? I remember a certain lady in our church when I was leading the praise team; I informed her that she was to lead worship in one of the Mid-week services and the response she gave was very amazing. This is what she told me: “ever since I was in school, I have never even lead prayers in the class meetings, secondly, I have never stood before more than three people to speak, for real, I cant make it, please ask saw and saw to do it” It took me a while before I could convince her that she could sing and when she believed it, she made it and now she is a powerful worship leader.
Take a look at Moses. When God appeared to him at the burning bush, (Exodus 3:2-14) he also had his own reasons. He tells God of how he doesn’t know how to speak well, will the people there accept and believe him? Furthermore God, I am a murderer. By human standards, Moses would not have been fit to be the leader of the children of Israel, but God looked and saw that he was the one who was fit. Take a look at Jeremiah too (Jeremiah 1: 4-8), he complains and tells God that he doesn’t know how to speak and yet he was a child; but look at God’s amazing answer… “..before you were formed in your mothers womb, I knew you and set you apart as my prophet…” This shows us clearly that God knows us even into the inner details that we think he doesn’t.
What’s my message today? Stop giving God excuses of why you can’t be what he wants you to be. He knows you have those weaknesses and He knows how he will compliment them to fit into the mission and ministry that He has called you to do. I want to charge you today just as God charged Gideon… you are well able and you can make it. Go forth and God will give you victory over whatever excuse you have for not being what God wants you to be.
Judges 6:14 “And the LORD looked upon him, and said, go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?
Today, henceforth, go out in the strength of the lord.
Who told you?
Genesis 3: 8-11
Fear! Fear! Fear!!! False Evidence Appearing Real – This is my simple definition of the word Fear. Many a times we find ourselves engulfed in fear just because of something small that has come our way. Sin is one of the major contributors of fear. We see Adam and Eve after they have eaten the fruit which they were told not to running away from God when they heard his footsteps coming for their evening fellowship and they say that they were afraid of him. But God asks them a simple question that I want you and me to ask ourselves today as we start the last month of the year. God asked them… “Who told you that you are…?”
Many of us have been living a discouraged life the better part of the year simply because somebody somewhere told you something that undermined you, hurt you or even discouraged you. Some may even be events or situations that you have passed through this year. These words, situations or events have made you hide yourself from God or live a life that is below your standard. God comes searching for you but you are nowhere to be found simply because you have hid yourself from Him because of this. Paul said that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus.
What is that thing that you did that makes you guilty to enter God’s presence with Joy? Every time you come into his presence you are jus repenting instead of having a good time to bond with God and get to know him more and more? Gideon was in the same situation. He had his reasons which were very valid of why he was hiding just as Adam and Eve had, but God had a different story all the same. Look at what Gideon was able to do after arising from his hideout? He did exploits and delivered the Israelites from the Midianites bondage.
Unrepented sins will always haunt you and keep you away from God, but who said that when you confess them and repent you won’t be forgiven? The mistake that Adam did was to throw the blame to Eve and eve threw the blame to Satan. They didn’t recognize that they could have obtained forgiveness from God if they confessed their sin and asked for his forgiveness. That’s how many of us act. You don’t remember that God is a just God who never leaves any sin unpunished yet He is a merciful God.
Discouragement is another great factor and tool that the devil uses to pull you down. I remember when I was in primary school; one of the teachers told me that Dennis you are to thick upstairs to ever make it in life. I went and shared this with my mother and she encouraged me telling that I was bright and I will make it no matter what people say. She encouraged me to shoe the teacher that I wasn’t thick as he thought and I can make it and after KCPE, I was the second best pupil in the school. The teacher was the first to call and congratulate me. What am I saying in this; the words that people talk about you are not the ones that determine your future or who you are. God hold your destiny. Jeremiah 29:11 “see… the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans not to harm you but to give you a hope and a future” You don’t have to be discouraged by what people think, talk or even perceive you to be, trust in God who is your creator, he who knew the purpose that made him bring you to this earth.
Failure or Fear to fail is another big animal that we wrestle with. Who said that when you fail the first time you won’t make it if you try again? David was in the battle and when he came back and he met his camp was ambushed and everything gone including his own wife. He trusted in God for victory and when he pursued the enemies, he caught up with them and he fought and defeated them. Try again and again when you fail. You don’t have to give up. If David gave up and said, God am tired from the war, he wouldn’t have rescued his wives and the property. In simple words; don’t give up easily, press on.
Whoever said anything or any situation or thing that you have done that is making you hide yourself in anyway, is not worth in any way. Just ask yourself this simple question: “who said I…” and fill in the dotted line with the situation that is making you hide yourself.
May you have a blessed week ahead and Stay strong Holding on.