Luke 15: 11-27
No one ever desires to be lost in any way; may it be we are traveling, doing anything, we all strive to have the right information about what we are doing and where we are headed. God created man in his own image and likeness, but at some point, man was separated from the fellowship he had with God by sin. A rift was created between man and God by sin. Nevertheless, God has always tried to bring back the fellowship that He used to have with man but unfortunately, the heart of man is still deviant and cannot see God’s plan. It is because of this that God allowed his son Jesus Christ to come down to the world, (John 3:16) take the human body, suffer like you and me, be crucified on the cross, die and then we get reconciled with God.
Jesus gives three parables that explain why he had to come to the earth in the form of a human being. He tries to show that human beings are lost in sin and God has a plan for them. In these parables, he speaks of the lost coin, the sheep and then the prodigal son. In the coin and sheep parables, there was no much rejoicing because what was lost was found but when the prodigal son comes back home, there is feasting and celebration and above all, the son is honoured and reinstated back to the family. Jesus said that when one soul comes to the Lord, there is celebration in heaven.
Now that you and I have been reconciled to God, we need to go out there and tell others the reason why Jesus came. It is said that when you find the way, go tell your brother bout the same, don’t be so selfish. Now that Adam sinned and we were separated form God our creator, we are like the prodigal sons, we are living in foreign lands, we are squandering the wealth that our father (God) has given us. You may be asking, what do you mean and I am saved? This is what I mean; being saved/born again is one thing and living as per your calling is another thing altogether. The prodigal son was blessed and given what was his inheritance by the father but instead of doing what is right with the inheritance, he went to the foreign land and lived lavishly squandering everything.
God has given you and me gifts and talents; that is your inheritance and he expects you to maximize it and use it for the glory and honour of his name. Whenever you are living out of the will of God, you are living in a foreign land and you are not in your senses. The prodigal son experienced a lot of hardships while he was living in the foreign land simply because he was living out of the will of his father. If he was at home with his father, he could not have been so angry to an extent of completing for food with the pigs. This is what happens to us when we stray and follow our own ways rather that follow God’s leading. God allows us to go through touch times that will make us come back to see our wrong and rethink again and help us trace back our steps to where we belong.
Nevertheless, when come back to our senses like the prodigal son did (Luke 15:17) he realized and remembered that in his fathers house, servants had enough food to eat and also spare. This tells you that our God never lacks, but you lack because you are not in his divine will for your life. When the son decided to go back and be a servant, his father (God) was ready to accept him back. We see the father seeing him from a far and running to receive him. This is how God is. He has his arms wide open to receive us back. The actions of the prodigal son’s father depict our father in heaven who is God. Let’s take a look at what the father did: (Luke 15:20-23)
1) Kissed him – A kiss is always a sign of love. The father ran and embraced the son and kissed him. This showed that no matter what the son had done, he remained his son and he loved him and was ready to welcome him back home. The same case with our God. It doesn’t matter to what extent we have soiled ourselves in sin, God is always ready to accept us back into his kingdom when we ask for forgiveness. (1 John 1:9) The first thing that the son was keen to do was to ask for forgiveness. He saw himself not worthy to be called his son; and this is where many of us miss the point. Instead of realizing your sins and repenting, you justify yourself. Let’s learn to be honest so that we can enjoy God’s forgiveness and love.
2) He was given the best robe – He had no good clothes and he was partly naked. Clothing him was a way of the father showing him his forgiveness and protection too. This meant that the father was covering his nakedness and didn’t want to remember what had happened again. That’s the same thing God did. He sent Jesus to die on the cross so that his blood could cleanse all our sins that He could see them no more. Clothing’s also protect us from attacks from insects and other things like the cold etc. The father was showing the son the care that he was ready to give him. God is always promising to take care of us, protect us and guide us, but a time we are adamant of following our own paths that lead to the wrong direction away from the will of God.
3) He was given a ring – A ring always signifies attachment. The son had wandered away from his home and wasn’t attached to his family. When he comes back home, his father gives him a ring to signify reconciliation. The ring also signifies royalty. We are children of the king and we belong to the royal family, and when we come back, we are treated with the respect that we deserve. God is always happy to reinstate us back to our respective positions in the kingdom; all we need is to return back home.
4) Slaughter a fattened calf – Every time a new soul comes to Christ, there is celebration. The father had to celebrate the return of his son. God is also looking forward to celebrate the return of his sons into the kingdom, and when you return, be ready to celebrate also being welcomed back home.
You may not be a lost son in the kingdom, i.e. lost in the world, but you are evading what God is calling you to do, that‘s also living prodigally. Do not be like Balaam whom God had to use a donkey to speak to him. Don’t live like a prodigal son in the kingdom, COME BACK home and God is willing and ready to have you back to his family and reinstate you.
Monday, 26th, January 2009
1. This is the adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic or discipline values (Incorruptibility).
2. The quality of being Complete or undivided.
Friends, when I look at the world today, there is a lot of untrustworthy-ness. You don’t know who is next to you or even what your enemy is planning against you. The Spirit of the Lord has impressed in my heart for the last 2 days that the church or the Christians should stand and not standing alone, they should have Integrity. I jus want to share what the Lord spoke with me to you.
When you look at the 2 definitions that I have given above, you will come to notice that the first definition does not apply so much in the world we are living today. Friends, Remember God always wants us to live lives that are Holy, Pure and Righteous in his eyes but many a times as Human beings we sway and we are swept from the will and the ways of God and we indulge ourselves in civilian affairs that do not please God. We fail to put our priorities well and that’s the time that we find ourselves we have not accomplished our goals leave alone the will of God in our lives. We need to set our priorities right and we will not find ourselves in conflict with our hearts, peers, bosses and God. But when we have set our priorities well, we are principled, everything is well with us. The bible says that, Where the Spirit of God is, there is order, thus the other important thing we need is the spirit of God to guide us and help us live with integrity.
I want to consider some four young men who stood with Integrity and god saw them through. Daniel, Shadrack, Misheck & Abednego were young men who knew who their God was and they said that no matter what they would be subjected to, they will not compromise in anything or with anybody.
Daniel 1:1-21is a story many of us know and I believe we have read it many times. Daniel and his three friends are captured and taken into captivity by king Nebuchadnezzar after he invaded Judah.
The King desires to have some young men to serve in his court and he gives out the qualities he wants to have. This brings me to this point: When you look at (vs. 5,) the King description is so clear that he wants the best for himself. Brethren, remember that the devil also wants the best things for himself. There is not a time when the devil will accept rejects. Sometimes I look at the bar attendants especially the ladies; they are always beautiful ladies whom everybody can admire but remember that the bar owner has sought them for a purpose, i.e. to attract more men customers to his pub. With this I just want o emphasis that the devil is always after our lives to woo us to himself, but out Integrity is what will save us.
In (vs. 8,) Daniel decides that he won’t compromise and eat the royal food but instead he and his friends decide to have vegetable and water and they tell the supervisor to examine them after 10 day and compare them with the others who were eating the royal delicacies. As we find out in the word of God, they were found 10 times better than the others. This means that in the ten days that they took, they were improving each single day.
Let me look at Three P’s to Integrity:
1.Being Principled: (vs.8,) – We see that Daniel purposed with his heart that he would not defile himself. The world today has got many things that defile us in diverse ways and it is unless we purpose not to indulge ourselves in these things, we will remain defiled and unclean before God and integrity won’t be part of us. Job 31:1 – Job made a covenant with his eyes not to see things that don’t please God. Let’s also learn to make covenants not to hear, see, do or even walk/be found in places where we ought not to be.
2.Setting our Priorities right – For anyone to achieve anything in life, he/she has to be doing the right things and highly disciplined. You ought to set your priorities right. Somebody said: Do the right thing at the right time and in the right place and in the right manner. This way, you are disciplined.As Christians we also aught to be disciplined in our Christian walk. Dan 6: Daniel set his priorities right and people couldn’t find any fault in him thus when they started to accuse him using his priorities. Daniel prayed three times a day and this landed him in troubles but God was there to help him because he knew he was a man of integrity.
3.Prayer: – Proverbs 3:5-8, – When we pray, we acknowledge to God that we cannot do on our own thus why we need him to help us. When you have set your priorities right, you are principled and disciplined in your Christian walk of faith, the devil will try to convince you that that is enough but remember to put God first. Phil 4:6-8; God is always ready to listen to our requests if only we make them known to him through PRAYER. This is the only way that we can be able to know God’s will and purpose for our lives.
After all this, what do you expect to get or the outcome of living an integral and upright life? Let me share a few benefits of this.
a) Favour - Dan 1:10 – Daniel and his three friends found favour before the prince who was in charge of their daily meals and he consented to their request. God’s grace which is the unmerited favour of God will be upon you once you purpose to be a person of integrity.
b) Good health shall be thy portion: Dan 1:15 – the 4 young men were better ten times than those who ate the royal food. For you to be a healthy Christian spiritually your food ought to be the Word of God and prayers and from the abundance of these shall thy soul feed from and be healthy.
c) You shall have Supernatural Wisdom, knowledge and skills (vs. 17) – Daniel and his friends were the wisest men in the land of Babylon and God gave Daniel the ability to interpret dreams. Trust in God and honour and fear him, thus you shall prosper. Remember the fear of the lord is the beginning of Wisdom.
d) You shall rise from one glory to another: Daniel and his friends rose from one rank to another and they became rulers in a land that wasn’t their homeland. You want promotion? Elevation? The answer is simple, do you have integrity? Do you fear the Lord no matter what or where you are?
As I finish off, it’s my sincere prayer that we shall be faithful to the calling that we have been called with. As Peter says, “we have been called by a Holy calling and he who called us is Holy, So let us also be Holy”and without which (Holiness),we will not be able to see God. Moses prayed in Psalms 90:12 - Teach me to number my days O God, that I may apply wisdom in them; Psalms 86:11 – Teach me your ways O lord, that I may live in your truth and unite my heart to fear your name.
Wednesday, 7th January 2009
After Anointing ……..
2 Kings 2:1-16; 1 Kings 19:19-2
Contemplating on yesterday’s devotion, I went into prayer telling God that this is my year and I want to be one of the partakers of the outpouring of his Spirit and blessings that he has for us this year. It was so strange that I started seeing some other things in the same scriptures that’s we ought to do so as for the whole process to be complete…
It is true that we are saved and we love God, but his divine plan and wish is that we all walk under his annointing. After He has called us, he anoints us for the work ahead of us. He knows what lies ahead of us thus He has to prepare us for the same. Elisha is called to join Elijah in the ministry but after a while, Elijah had to go so that God would accomplish his purpose with Elisha. Take a look at Paul; God calls him and then takes to the desert so that he could deal with him and prepare him for the ministry.
Yesterday, I mentioned four things that we need to do. They were: Put aside what entangles you, be persistent; Choose what to believe in and know/be precise on what you need. Today I want to add two more points that were so strong as I was meditating on the same word:
a) Be attentive to Listen to the voice of God: In other words here, I mean be sensitive. Elisha was sensitive to understand God’s language. When Elijah threw the cloak around him, he was quick to know it was God calling him and thus we see him responding. Samuel (1 Samuel 3:4-11) was also quick to hear the voice of God calling him and he responded. Saul (Acts 9:3-8,) didn’t need anyone to explain to him that it was the voice of God calling him from heaven. Are you sensitive to hear and distinguish God’s voice and others voices? How I pray that this year our ears will be open to hear and distinguish God’s voice calling out for us.
b) Obedience: This is what messed most of us… Elisha was very obedient to follow Elijah into the ministry and he had no doubts whether it was the right thing to do or not. He didn’t even ask whether it was God speaking or not, he just obeyed. Samuel told Saul (1 Samuel 15:22-23) that obedience is better than sacrifice but most of us want to offer the sacrifice first then obey later. The latter should come after the first thus we fulfill God’s will in our lives.
Great, after doing all the above, you have been obedient, attentive to God’s voice, been persistent, you are precise on what you want from God, chose what to believe in and nothing is entangling you, what do you expect from God? These are what am calling the results of anointing.
(i) People will honour you: When the sons of the prophets saw Elisha crossing river Jordan, they noticed and said that the spirit of Elijah was resting upon Elisha and they bowed down before him as a sign of honour. (1 kings 9:11-13) When Jehu was anointed the king of Israel, the men who were with him took their garments and spread them on the ground for him. This is the same case that happened to Jesus during his triumphal entry into Jerusalem. Be ready for honour this year.
(ii) The spirit of the Lord will rest upon you: Elisha reaches the bank of river Jordan and he took Elijah’s mantle and he struck the water after he called upon God. The sons of the prophets were also quick to notice that the Spirit of the Lord was upon him. After Jesus was baptized, the spirit of God came upon him.
(iii) Miracles will follow you: The land was barren and the water was salty. See what Elisha does… using salt and water in a bowl, he purifies the water and the soil of the land. Again, long after he was dead, with the anointing that was resting upon him, a dead man is thrown into his tomb during war and immediately he fell on the bones of Elisha, he resurrected.
What else would I ask for this year than God’s presence in my life… if I can all want in life without God’s presence; Solomon said, it is all vanity. Just as Moses prayed… Lord, let us not leave this place without your presence, this is what I want to make my prayer this year… walking with God’s presence makes all the difference… I don’t have to struggle, no; God will be there to order my steps. May you join me as we make this prayer to God together this year.
Receiving the Double portion
2 Kings 2:1-16; 1 Kings 19:19-21
Receiving and longing for something good is a normal trait of a human being. It is not bad until it grows up to be covetion or something similar to coveting close to it. In this particular text, Elijah is about to be taken to heaven and Elisha God did not hide it from Elijah’s servant Elisha and even the sons of the prophet knew it. This is a story of utmost desire, determination and persistence. I believe Elijah knew what Elisha wanted and thus he wanted to see how persistent he would be. Elijah tries to convince Elisha to be left behind in four different towns while Elijah went ahead but Elisha was adamant. From Gilgal to Bethel, Bethel to Jericho and Jericho to Jordan. The most amazing thing is that in every town, the sons of the prophets there knew that Elijah was about to be taken and they made sure they reminded Elisha what was about to happen.
Most of us in this quest of life and Christian walk of faith are like Elisha. We are running after something that we really long for; we are all yearning to see heaven and receive the crown of life after our time on earth is over but we are distracted by small foxes that come across our paths every time. Elisha really wanted to have a double portion of the spirit that was in Elijah because he had stayed and served him and he had seen what God had done through him. A man who would just make a prayer and rain would cease for three and half years; a man who could single handedly confront 400 prophets of ball and have them killed and many other miracles that God had done through him.
We have all been called by God to his kingdom to serve in various capacities, but for us to be able to accomplish the calling in us and the purpose to which we have been called; we need divine enablement and power. Elisha knew that once his master is gone, he will take up his mantle to be a prophet and he realized it was until he inherited what was in Elijah, that was the only time that he could be effective in his ministry after Elijah is gone. Jesus told his disciples “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about… For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:4b-5, 8,) This is the solution for you and me to live a victorious Christian life. Jesus said, the Holy Spirit is our Power. It is said that a person without the Holy Spirit is like a zombie, there is no life in you…
Looking at the scripture that I am featuring today, I see several things that Elisha had to do so that he could inherit the double portion of Elijah’s spirit…
a) Put aside what entangles you: When Elijah threw his cloak around Elisha, he immediately left whatever he was doing and followed Elijah. We see him asking Elijah for a moment so that he could bid his parents farewell and then follow him. Further to that, he slaughters his oxen and used the yoke as firewood to boil and roast the meat. What does this signify… once you have decide that you are going to follow after Christ, you not only need to leave whatever entangles you but you also need to destroy anything that may try to entice you to go back. I believe if Elisha’s oxen was still there, a times when the ministry would be tough, he would have contemplated going back to plough the land but with his action, he was determined that no matter what came by his way, he was never going to turn back.
b) He was persistent: Elijah tells Elisha on four occasions to be left behind while he went ahead where the Lord has sent him but Elisha was not ready to be left behind at all. How persistent are you? Do you pray for a 3 days, one week or one month and when you see that God is not answering your prayers you quit? This should not be the case. Remember yesterday we were talking about holding on to your dream or vision. Elisha had this desire to receive the double portion of Elijah’s spirit, but this was to happen if he stayed on and saw Elijah being taken up to heaven, thus when his desire would be fulfilled. If he was left at Gilgal, Bethel, Jericho or Jordan, would his desire be fulfilled? Why do you get comfortable where you are when you are about to reach your blessing? Don’t settle for less.
c) Refused to listen to every report: listening too much from other sources is what kills us. Isaiah asked the children of Israel, “Whose report will you believe?” Isaiah 53:1 Every town that Elisha went with Elijah, the sons of the prophets reminded him that his master was to be taken away from him, but he always responded “yes I know, but don’t speak of it”. There are certain things that you clearly know but the devil keeps on reminding you of it. You are aiming at something and the enemy, people, friends always keep reminding you of the negative side or the impossibility that there is concerning achieving what you want to achieve. Always remind them that greater is he that is in you than he that is in them.
d) Know what you are following after: When Elisha was asked by his master what he wanted he did not beat about the bush, he was straight with what he wanted. Look at these two men on how précis they were with their words: Elisha “Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me, what can I do for you before I am taken from you?” Elisha replied “Let me inherit a double portion of your spirit” (2 Kings 2:9) see this response from Bartimaeus: “What do you want me to do for you?” Jesus asked him. The blind man said, “Rabbi, I want to see.” (Mark 10:51) Looking at these two men, they have one thing in common; they were both straight and precise to the point. Learn to be precise in our prayers. James says that we ask and we do not receive because we ask amiss… lets learn to be precise with what we want.
May the good Lord open your eyes so that you see what lays ahead of you; open your ears so that they are attentive to him and him alone thus you won’t be able to succumb to the plots, discouragements and reports of the enemy this year and ultimately you will be able to receive the double portion of everything that you are trusting God for this year. Remember, this is your Season, the year of your breakthrough.
2008 is gone and I believe that you had some things that you wanted to accomplish. Some may be already accomplished and others not yet accomplished. It happens so. Even me, I didn’t accomplish everything that I had thought that I would. Nevertheless, you don’t have to lose hope on accomplishing what you had in mind, it might have taken a long time than you thought that it would but know one thing is sure… it will certainly come to pass. Habakkuk 2:2-3 says “Write down the vision… for it is for an appointed time, at the end, it will speak and it will not lie; though it tarries, wait for it, it will surely come to pass…” The things that you wanted to accomplish in your life are visions. You may see them tarrying and think that they will not come to pass.
Habakkuk was told by God to write down things that would happen many years to come and God assured him that He will certainly make them come to pass. Remember that God is not a man that he should lie; nor is He a son of man that he should change his Mind… Numbers 23:19… Take a look at Joseph… he was a young man but God revealed his destiny to him through a dream. I believe in those days they were not civilized as we are now and the only option for him to remember what he had dreamt was through sharing it out to his brethren and father. Unfortunately, they were not responsive as Joseph had though they would and they ended up rebuking him including his own father but God went ahead and gave him another dream. The only solace is that though the father reprimanded him, he kept it in his heart.
Whom do you share your dreams, plans and visions with? Do you share them with people who are there to reprimand you and discourage you? In yesterdays devotion, I talked about sharing with people whom you have the same kind of pregnancy or the people whom you have the same thing in common. At some point, I tend to believe that Jacob knew that the dreams were from God and thus he kept them in his heart and waiting to see the accomplishment. At times you share something with someone and you get no response immediately, don’t think that the person may not be feeling you or seeing what you are seeing, just old on… maybe the person is taking it into though for prayers like Jacob did.
Habakkuk says that a vision is for an appointed time… while you are holding onto your dream and waiting for it to be fulfilled; God may decide to take you through life’s lessons just as He did to Joseph. Don’t think that God has forgotten of your vision or dream. When Joseph’s brothers conspired against him and sold him out to the Midianites, he could have thought that God had forgotten him but in the real sense, God was taking him to his destiny. Some of the visions and dreams that you have may be they are not meant for the place, stage or even the time that you are now, but as God walks with you, be sure that He will take you to the right place destined for what you are pregnant of… Joseph could not be a king in his father’s house when his father was yet alive… and yet he was the second last born.
Holding on has several advantages/means:
a) You are able to know God’s perfect will and timing and fulfill the purpose that you were called to: Joseph’s enthronement to be the prime minister of Egypt was at God’s appointed time so that he could salvage what the land was producing the first seven years of plenty before the other seven years of famine. The vision or dream you have is a solution to some need somewhere. Seek God to know the exact time and place where he wants you to be of use.
b) Patience and dependence on God develops in you: When Joseph was thrown into the pit by his brothers, he thought that he had hit his rock bottom. For sure he had because he didn’t know what to do next yet he didn’t even comprehend what his brothers had in mind after throwing him into the pit. While there in the pit, the only place that he could look to so as to get help was looking above… when you have hit your rock bottom in a situation, the only place that you can seek help from is looking up to God. You can’t look to the right to the left or even beneath you because the only way of escape is climbing up the pit. Down there, you are patient waiting on God and listening from him. It is in this time of patience that God directs you in which direction to take. Look here, when Joseph is called upon to interpret the dream of pharaoh, he goes to seek the right interpretation from God. This shows clearly how dependent on God he was in everything he did and god always favored him.
c) You are persistent: Take an example of Daniel, Daniel 10:12-13 he has been fasting and praying to get a certain answer from God; but on the first day when he set his mouth to pray, God answered his prayers but the prince of Persia held the answer for 21 days. Look at Daniel’s resolve… he vowed to continue praying till he got the answer. Joseph was also persistent as he held onto his dream and when it was fully accomplished, he reminded his brothers that it was God who had sent him ahead of them.
Joseph serves as a good example of holding on to what God has input in your spirit till you see its fulfillment. Elisha is another man who held on till God honoured his desire. Are you going to give up this year because god didn’t fulfill your dreams/prayers or desires last year? Jacob wrestled with the angel of the Lord the whole night and he couldn’t let the angel go till he blessed him. This is the high time that you told God, I won’t let you go till you bless me just as Jacob did. Follow on like Elisha and Hold on like Jacob this year and your life will not remain the same.
Friday 2nd January 2009
|“1BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. 2But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. 3And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity]. 4Not so the wicked [those disobedient and living without God are not so]. But they are like the chaff [worthless, dead, without substance] which the wind drives away.”| Psalms 1: 1-4
Year 2009 is here!!! Yes, it is here… what an incredible year 2008 that was… I stand to bless the Lord for what He has done in my life and also through me in the last year. My testimony for last year is that it has been a training ground for what the Lord is about to do in my life… it has been more of a preparatory school for me. I don’t know about you, but I know that you bear a testimony of 2008 about what God has done in your life and through you as you are His ambassador here on earth.
At the start of 2007, my word for the year was from Deuteronomy10:11-12 The Lord was promising his protection, provision guidance, watch over me and above all the promise of being my God from the first day of the year to the last day of the same which I have seen it come to pass. Year 2007 was a year of completion of laying of foundation of the plans and purposes of God in my life and 2008 was the year of a new beginning. I have seen the Lord Start new things in my life and the biggest of them all is this… The Daily devotions. If I testify of everything, I won’t finish but all in all, God has been faithful to his word.
This is the word of the Lord this year… I believe that the year 2008 has brought so many challenges and we are not in the same level as we were last year. Remember after every test, comes a promotion. Through what you have passed through last year, God is going to elevate you to a new level this year. In simple words, THIS IS YOUR SEASON. David talks of a tree in psalms 1:3 that is planted by the streams of waters which yields its fruits in season and its leaves does not wither… Looking at a tree, when the season come for it to bear fruits, you will see it becoming greener and flower buds start to appear. In simple, the tree starts to prepare itself for yielding fruits because the season has come. The same case applies to us. There comes a time when you need absolute soberness when you are about to reach your breakthrough. There are a times that you can’t afford to make any foolish mistake when you are about to hit your greatest. Sometimes during this season or period when you are about to have your breakthrough in any way, that’s the time the devil hits you.
Have you ever wondered why every time you are about to receive a blessing it becomes the hardest time in your life and you have to jump many handles? This is simply because the devil knows the impact you are going to have against him when you receive your breakthrough or whatever lies ahead of you. This is the time that the devil brings about petty issues that can sway you away from the will of God so that you miss what God has in store for you. What are you supposed to do such a time? This is the time that you should watch out men especially those who are of the household of faith. These are the people who at some point are a stumbling block to your miracle. What do I mean, if you see an expectant mother, you won’t find her in the company of single ladies; she will be in the company of other expectant mothers or elder women. By this I mean, be careful with whom you share your destiny with. Share your destiny, visions and plans with someone whom you know you have something in common. Luke 1:39-45, Mary went to share the good news from the angle with her cousin Elizabeth who was also expectant at the same time and both of their pregnancy news were brought by the same angel. If you don’t have a similar pregnancy with somebody spiritually, KEEP OFF!!!
The people around you will determine your kind of delivery and what you deliver after your pregnancy. David outlines the people that we are not supposed to be found in company with. They may not be necessarily unbelievers. Here are some of the characteristics of them
- The UNGODLY: These are the people who are religious. They do not have a personal relationship with God but they are your friends. They claim to know God but in the real sense, they don’t. They may not be necessarily unbelievers but they are part of your circle of friends.
- The SCORNFUL: These are people who talk so much and mainly about others. When you meet them, they will never lack something to tell you. Their work is to mind about the business of other people. In their fellowship, they do nothing but talk in mockery and backbiting.
- The SINNERS: They become a temptation to you. They make your mind go back to the flesh and think of the earthly pleasures. They mock your faith and monitor your Christian walk and steps and they are always there to laugh at you whenever you stray.
The end of one thing is the beginning of the other. The end of one season marks the start of another one. The devil is always a liar. When your season draws near, you don’t need a prophet to tell you to prepare yourself; you need your God because it is your season. You and I are coming to a new season and a new level. In whatever you do, know that you are now in a new level and season. Even the devil can’t stop you. What is coming your way, you cannot figure it out. There is no obstacle that lies ahead of you that will not give you way in your season. Look at the children of Israel, their Breakthrough was deliverance from slavery and here when they have traveled half the road to the promise land, they were trapped between the Egyptians and the Red Sea. When your season has come (and it is here) the Red sea will part to give way for you.
This year, whatever you lay your hands to do shall prosper. The storm is over now. It is a new day and the devil can do nothing about it. Weeping is over. It is my time!! It is your time!! It is my SEASON! My life is changing and when I enter, the devil has no option but to leave. Even though people fight you, they know who you are - you are an EAGLE – The more they fight you, the Higher you soar. Nevertheless, you ought to be careful in what you do now. There is something that will bring you to stand before Kings but always remember: Whatever it takes to get your breakthrough, it takes more than that to keep the break through.
Happy NEW YEAR to you all and I pray that you will find your breakthrough in this year.
Thursday 1st January 2009 Devotion
After Tribulation, What next?
Romans 8:18-39; Isaiah 40:31
The year is quickly coming to an end and I know that everyone of us can give a testimony of how the Lord has been faithful to us in diverse ways. Personally, as I remember the word that God gave me at the beginning of the year, I reflect back and I can surely say that God is my Ebenezer. Some things that have happened, I couldn’t have done them on my own, but God has remained faithful even in times when we have been unfaithful to him.
I know you can bear me witness that the sail hasn’t been smooth and sweet all along the way. There have been tribulations, tests and trials here and there till to some point you may have asked a question just as I did one time; I asked God, Are you really involved in all this?? I don’t know how it has been for you whether you reached such a point in your life. The good and encouraging thing is that despite all that, God has been there for us and we still remain in his love.
Paul the servant of God speaking to the Romans asks them; what or who shall separate us from the love of God? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? All of us at one point or another have gone through these challenges and we were/are on the verge of almost giving up in life and we think that God is nowhere near us. This is actually the time that he is near us the most. These things, i.e. trials, temptations name them; they all come with a purpose. James says that “God will never allow you to be tested beyond what you can bear” 1 Corinthians 10:13 some come to rebuke us, encourage and strengthen us, teach us and enlighten us in the walk of faith.
If we look at the apostles, none of them didn’t pass through a hard time but they all kept their faith. None of them except John died a normal death; some were crucified on X crosses, sawn into two, beheaded and even the martyrs of the early church all faced these challenges yet they were steady in their faith. Sometimes we pass through trying times and we are easily overcome by the situation. Paul says that “I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. The creation waits in eager expectation for the sons of God to be revealed. Romans 8:18-19. Through these trials, God manifests himself and when we are through, we come out refined and we are revealed as the sons of God thus he receives all the Glory.
There are benefits in trials. You may wonder what do I gain when I am passing through hard and tough times in my life; but there are several things that God develops in us when we are passing through these trials, hardships and sufferings: Looking at James 1:2-16, we see the following:
a) Patience/Endurance/perseverance – vs. 2-4 when we pass through trial and temptations, James tells us that the testing of our faith produces patience. Patience is very vital in our Christian walk since we have to bear much through this walk of faith. Jesus when praying for the disciples said that he knew that the world would not love us but He prayed that God would give us grace and patience to endure all. When patience has fully grown in us, it completes the work thus nothing is left. Patience is the mother of all virtues. You can’t love if you are not patient. When someone hurts you again and again, it is hard to love that person but you need to bear the hurt and in the long run due to the patience you have with the person, love grows ups for the same person.
b) Dependence on God – vs. 5-6 During this time that we are undergoing hard times, many of us tend to think that God has deserted us. I tend to differ with that in some way… I might be wrong but I stand to be corrected, James says that it is our faith being tested and our dependence on God is one of the aspects that entail our faith in God. Many are the times when we think God has deserted us and we run to seek help in other sources… this is lack of wisdom and as James says, we should ask God for wisdom. When we turn to God to ask of his wisdom, it shows that on our own we can’t do anything and thus we wholly depend on him for guidance and help.
c) We develop stable and focused faith/mind – vs. 7-8 James says that for us to receive anything from God, we should not have double minds. This implies that when in our trials we turn to God, we should not have alternatives incase God doesn’t answer our prayers in our favour; but many of us have second alternatives incase it doesn’t work out the way we thought it would be. God demands full dependence, faith and trust in Him alone and not divided attention. As much as a human being would hate to have somebody give him divided attention, that’s the same feeling God has when we are double minded.
d) Humility – vs. 9-10 Trials sometimes come to show us our flaws and point them out for us to deal with ourselves. Sometimes God will use a situation in your life to show you something that you may need to deal with in your life. God reminds us that we are like a flower; so bright in the morning but as the sun rises up, the flower withers. So does our lives… we exalt ourselves at some point in life but when passing through a certain season in our lives, God humbles us until the vice of pride in us withers down.
e) Elevation/reward/Approval – vs. 12 blessed is the man who endures the trials because there is a reward for him. In schools, after every term, there comes an assessment test to check whether you understood whatever you were taught and when you pass the test, you are approved to advance because you have qualified in the previous lesson or term. The same case to God, before He blesses you, he prepares you for what He has in store for you and when He is almost blessing you, He might decide to test you and see whether you are ready for his blessing. Remember Jacob wrestling with the angel? When the angle saw that Jacob would not let him go, he had to bless him… same to us, we have to hold on with God and prove to him that we are ready for his blessings in lives. The crown of glory is the promise that every one of us yearns to have when Christ comes back.
In the light of this, let us not complain when we pass though trials but instead, let us get to see beyond the trials and ask God to let us know what He intends of us through what we are passing and I know that when we know God’s mind in our trials, we will be able to hold on, persevere and receive the crown of life which is our promised rewards.