“40Now when Jesus came back [to Galilee], the crowd received and welcomed Him gladly, for they were all waiting and looking for Him. 41And there came a man named Jairus, who had [for a long time] been a director of the synagogue; and falling at the feet of Jesus, he begged Him to come to his house, 42For he had an only daughter, about twelve years of age, and she was dying. As [Jesus] went, the people pressed together around Him [almost suffocating Him]. 43And a woman who had suffered from a flow of blood for twelve years and had spent all her living upon physicians, and could not be healed by anyone, 44Came up behind Him and touched the fringe of His garment, and immediately her flow of blood ceased. 45And Jesus said, Who is it who touched Me? When all were denying it, Peter and those who were with him said, Master, the multitudes surround You and press You on every side! 46But Jesus said, Someone did touch Me; for I perceived that [healing] power has gone forth from Me. 47And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came up trembling, and, falling down before Him, she declared in the presence of all the people for what reason she had touched Him and how she had been instantly cured. 48 And He said to her, Daughter, your faith (your confidence and trust in Me) has made you well! Go (enter) into peace (untroubled, undisturbed well-being).” Luke 8:40-48 (AMP)
When I was growing up, it was known to me and my siblings (and even today) that Daddy’s room was out of bounce for anyone unless for instances where you were going to be disciplined. That was the HQ for discipline and if you were sent there, you knew that your fate is sealed. No one dared to enter the room unless you were sent to get or take something there. I grew up knowing that but one day, I was in sever pain at dawn and I couldn’t bear it anymore but I had to break the rule and I plunged myself into the room. Thank God I wasn’t scolded for that. I was attended and my needs met.
Did you know that many of us as Christians we still live as if we have rules and protocol to observe whenever we are coming in the presence of God? When Jesus died on the Cross, the old testament temple that was divided into three, the curtain was torn in the middle thus giving us direct access to God. We can now reach out to him anytime we want and directly without a mediator. Paul reminds us “to fearlessly and confidently and boldly draw near to the throne of grace (the throne of God’s unmerited favor to us sinners), that we may receive mercy [for our failures] and find grace to help in good time for every need [appropriate help and well-timed help, coming just when we need it].” (Hebrews 4;16 AMP). I do believe that the moment I plunged into my daddy’s room, there would be some scolding and caning in the house if it was someone else who came in but because I was a son in the house, I had to be attended to.
I want to remind you my brother my sister; as a child of God, you have the liberty to come to God our father any time. One thing that we can be assured of is that we will be listened to and sorted out. You can not compare the attention a father gives to his child to the attention that he will give to another child. I am sure that if I came/appeared before my biological dad when I am all wounded and hurt, it doesn’t matter who or what my father was attending to, he will leave everything and attend to me first. Jesus reminds us of the same and asks as question. He said… “If you then (Earthly fathers), being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask Him!” (Matthew 7:11 NKJV)
Friend, you have unlimited access to God. But so sad for some of us that we remain in our current situation simply because we live in fear. We do not know that our heavenly father is ready and willing to hear us anytime that we call on Him. You need to know that this principle applies across the board. When you know what God can do to you, for you, in you and with you and you go to Him, He will for sure do it and He won’t withhold anything. God is not a respecter of persons – He treats and reward everyone justly.(Acts 10:34) There are people who realized that and they broke the protocol, the rules and the norms of the time and they got what they wanted. Jesus once asked “Can you take bread for the children and give it to the dogs? “(Matthew 15:26-27)
Did you know that circumstances and situations that we are in are the biggest hindrances and deterrents for us to get our access to God? But as you read this, I want to remind you that you can get over them and get access to God. I want to look at a few people who went beyond what their circumstances and situations were saying about them; others broke protocol and others did sacrifice and risk their lives just for them to get what they were in need of:
In the scripture above, we see the woman with the issue of blood. The bible tells us that she had this problem for 12 years. She had used all she had. 12 years is not yesterday… but a long time. By this time I bet she was thin and drained. To make it worse… she was regarded as an outcast and unclean in the nation of Israel according to the law of Moses. I do believe that she was Lonely… but when she heard about Jesus, she didn’t mind about her leanness, how weak she was, the fact that she was an outcast and unclean, but she pushed through just to touch the hem of the garment on Jesus for her healing. My Friend, you need to overcome the circumstances, issues, problems that surround you and all that the people around you have labeled you, get up from where you are and press on for your miracle. She didn’t bother herself that she was an outcast… all that she wanted was her healing and restoration.
Zacchaeus never minded who was looking at him… all he wanted was to see the master. Luke 19:1-6 tells us that he was short but he hurried up and climbed a sycamore tree just to see the master. Little did he know that Jesus would dine with him in his house. Zacchaeus knew that getting past the crowd to be on the front line so as to see Jesus would be a tussle and furthermore, he was short… but he thought quickly and he knew if he climbed a tree, he would have a good view of the Saviour. Is your personality, your complexion, your physic hindering you from getting what you want or getting to where God has purposed you to be? You can overcome them and receive your miracle. May God give you ideas on how you can overcome personality issues. Paul advises Timothy and says “Don’t let anyone think less of you because you are young. Be an example to all believers in what you say, in the way you live, in your love, your faith, and your purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12 NLT). Do not allow anything to bring you down!
Blind Bartimaeus was blind and he had heard of the miracles that Jesus had done. When he heard that He (Jesus) was passing through Jericho, he called loudly unto him for mercy! The bible tells us that people told him to keep quiet as he was bothering the master.. but the more they told him to shut up the more and louder he called out to Jesus (Mark 10:46-49). Which voices are you hearing that are telling you shut up or stop calling out to God? It doesn’t matter who is around you. There will always be people around us to discourage us.. but it is up to us to choose to get above the discouragements and push for our Miracle. Silence the voices, breakout and break-forth to your destiny!
Talk of Esther; a queen in a foreign land but for a purpose in that season. She broke the protocol that was supposed to be observed in the kings palace. She decided to go and see the king against the law. You were only supposed to go before the king whenever you were summoned; but she said.. “I will go and see the king; if I die, I die” (Esther 4:16). Sometimes, the circumstances and the things that we have to go through are life threatening for us to achieve what we want but until we take the risk; we will remain where we are and risk losing everything. What would you prefer? You never know; the distance between you and your breakthrough is that single risky step of faith that you just need to take. Go ahead and trust that God will be with you and be there for you.
I could talk of Peter walking on water; I could talk of Caleb and Joshua – Spoke up to Moses and gave a different report of spying the land against 11 others without fearing to be apprehended; I can talk of Caleb facing the Anakites to inherit Mt. Hebron; talk of David facing Goliath and many others. They were all ordinary men just like you and me but the difference is that the chose to break the Norm and go beyond what protocol defined them to. the question is… what is that that is holding you back today? Why cant you break the protocol and get to your destiny! Overcome the challenges around you; get past people who discourage you; be proud of who you are (Complexion, height etc.) and take the necessary risk! Always remember… “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined what God has prepared for those who love him.” (1 Corinthians 2:9).
Grace Today Magazine – House of Grace Church (November 2011)
I was Seated; listening to Bishop Muriithi speak about Divine Connections just thrilled me on how many of us forfeit our destiny. The book of Jonah 2:8 reminds us that "Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.” and this is where many of us miss the point; we cling to things/people/Job positions that hinder us from going to the next level God has prepared for us.
Naomi moves from Bethlehem and goes to Moab when the famine was severe (Ruth 1:1-5) and while there, she lost both her husband and two sons and she was left with two daughters-in-law. Whilst there, she heard that God had visited the people and there was food in Bethlehem and she decided to go back. At times, we leave our divine place of placement and go to settle elsewhere thinking that things will be better only for us to go and lose everything that we had rather than gaining more. If only Naomi had been patient enough to hold on and stay in Bethlehem, she wouldn’t have lost her husband and her husband.
Naomi decides to leave Moab and so she urges her daughters-in-law to go back to their parents and hopefully get married again; but Ruth was adamant and refused to be left. Bishop Muriithi emphasized that “One major key to attaining success is the ability to spot and sustain divine connections” and Ruth had spotted her divine connection and wasn’t ready to let go off it. She discovered that her destiny was tied to her sticking with her mother-in-law despite the fact that she wouldn’t be able to give birth to another son to become her husband. Orphah left Naomi and Ruth and she went back. We see that the destiny and the story of Ruth changed from a Moabite window to be part of the Royal family in the lineage of Jesus.
If you looked at the background of Ruth, she was from Moab which was an adulterous nation and was cursed by God. The nation was born from an incest relationship between Lot and his elder daughter (Genesis 19:30-36). Moab used its women who were beautiful to seduce the armies of other nations and have them killed in battles (Numbers 25-26) and if you look at this background, you can’t believe that God would bless and change the story of such a person from a cursed background to royalty.
Two important lessons I learn from Ruth. For her story to change:
- She changed her location: If she went back to her parent like her sister, she could have been in the same locale and thus, no blessings for her. There are places that you are stuck to and they have become a comfort zone for you and you are not willing to change. It’s the high time you relocated and moved on to your next level. The children of Israel were used to Egypt and when they were faced by the challenge of the Red sea and the Egyptian army behind them, they wanted to go back to Egypt. The minute you familiarize yourself with something and get used to it, it deters you from advancing to new levels that you are not used to… you are afraid of taking the risk but Ruth dared to follow Naomi to a land she didn’t know.
- She changed her faith: Moab was a land that had many idol gods and Ruth knew that very well. It was her choice to leave Moab and follow her mother-in-law. She told Naomi “Don’t urge me to leave you or turn back. Where you go I will go; your people will be my people and your GOD will be my GOD” (Ruth 1:16). Changing location alone is not enough; you need to change the way you do some things; some things that you value; some habits you were used to have to die. What are the altars that have been raised up in your life, family and even your workplace? Remember, altars speak so much into one’s life and unless you destroy them like Gideon did, they will hold you ransom.
Ruth started to gather grain behind the harvesters in Boaz’s field and God gave her favour before Boaz and she was later married to him. You will notice that she was trailing behind the harvesters picking up the left overs but here now, she is the recipient of what the harvesters were gathering and her story changed. She bore Obed who was the father of Jesse who was in turn the father of King David; from a window into the royalty family line.
Your story too can change… if and only if you connect with the right people.
PS! This is an article I contributed to the Grace Today Magazine of House of Grace Church (www.houseofgrace.or.ke). Visit the church and get your free copy of the November Magazine.
1The word of the LORD came to me: 2“Go and proclaim in the hearing of Jerusalem: “This is what the LORD says: “I remember the devotion of your youth, how as a bride you loved me and followed me through the wilderness, through a land not sown. 3Israel was holy to the LORD, the first fruits of his harvest; all who devoured her were held guilty, and disaster overtook them,” declares the LORD… 11Has a nation ever changed its gods? (Yet they are not gods at all.) But my people have exchanged their glorious God for worthless idols. … 13“My people have committed two sins: They have forsaken me, the spring of living water, and have dug their own cisterns, broken cisterns that cannot hold water… Jeremiah 2:1-3; 11-13
Many times, we are engulfed into the many things that we want to do and what we think is necessary and important whereas it is not. We forget about what is more important and what is needed. I am reminded of a devotion I shared on Hope FM on Saturday… Are you too busy to Know God? (Click Here to read more) and there is one thing that Jesus told Martha that has caught my eye and Spirit. Jesus asked Martha: “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:41-42. Many of us are like Martha… We want to fulfill so much of what we feel is the ideal thing for us to do whereas it is not.
The word of the Lord comes to Jeremiah to the children of Israel and God tells him to REMIND the children of Israel of their devotion and faithfulness to him. While they were in the wilderness, they followed God whole heartedly and when they got to the Promised Land; it is like they forsook God and they found something else – idols which they embraced and forgot about God. The children of Israel were so forgetful and every time, they forgot from where the Lord had delivered them and all they could was to complain to their leaders and God. Take a look at Exodus 14:10-12… after 400 years of slavery in Egypt, the Israelites have gotten their deliverance from Egypt but when they come to the Red sea and they see the army of Pharaoh behind them, they started complaining to Moses saying “Was it because there were no graves in Egypt that you brought us to the desert to die? What have you done to us by bringing us out of Egypt? Didn’t we say to you in Egypt, ‘Leave us alone; let us serve the Egyptians’? It would have been better for us to serve the Egyptians than to die in the desert!”
Do you know that many of us we are like that? we easily forget where we have come from. We are always finding reasons and things to cling on to and to place blames on when our expectations are not met. And this is the reason why the Israelites were crying out to Moses when they reached the Red Sea and they couldn’t see a way though. Note that this was not the end of their complaints… after God made a way and they crossed the Red Sea, they get to the desert of Sin and there they are faced with hunger and they start complaining to Moses again… and God rains Manna and sends them quails to provide food for them (Exodus 16:2-5).
Many times, we are so careful to see what God hasn’t provided and grumble against him but when He does it for us, we forget where we were and go on our way. What we do not realize is that our Joy is always short-lived once we go this way because when we reach our end, we will be back to God crying to him again. This was the story of the children of Israel… and I believe God reached a point and got fed up of their routine behaviour and He had to speak through his prophet Jeremiah. You need to know that at times, our actions grieve the Lord and that is why Paul wrote to the Romans and asked the “WHAT SHALL we say [to all this]? Are we to remain in sin in order that God’s grace (favor and mercy) may multiply and overflow? Certainly not! How can we who died to sin live in it any longer? Romans 6:1-2 This is where we get and God gets upset with us! Thanks that his anger is but for a moment.
Solomon writes in Proverbs 3:5-6 and says “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil” (MSG). Whenever you turn away from your dependence on God, you miss the mark and you are walking on your own. This is where God allows us to walk on our own and when we reach to our end, He looks at us and reminds us of his undying love. But why can’t we stick to God and wait on Him?
God speaks to Jeremiah and tells him to remind the children of Israel of their devotion to Him when they were young. With this, I believe God meant the days when we are in dire need of Him and a breakthrough but when we get what we wanted… we let go and forgot all about him; but ideally, this shouldn’t be! we are supposed to stick to him and maintain our relationship with him when in need and not in need. This is the reason why God was telling them that “they had forsaken him the spring of Living water and dug cisterns that do not hold water.” God was lamenting that the Israelites were following their own ways and fulfilling their desires which was contrary to God’s will and purpose for them. And this is how many of us me inclusive.
How many times have you tried to do something away from God’s will and when you fail you are so quick to run back to God? This is what God meant when He was saying that we have dug our own cisterns that do not hold water. God wants us to fully rely on him from the bottom of our hearts (Proverbs 3:5). This is what happens to us when we do not follow God whole heartedly. God speaking to the children of Israel in Numbers 32:11; He said “because they have not followed me wholeheartedly, not one of the men twenty years old or more who came up out of Egypt will see the land I promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob…” God cuts us off from the blessings that we were to receive simply because of our disobedience to Him.
Brothers and sisters, as you read this; I want you to know that God is calling us back to himself and all he wants of us is for us to come back unto him Wholeheartedly and not half-Heartedly. You will realize that God has always reached out to us and restored us back to himself. He sent his one and only Son Jesus Christ to die on the cross for you and me; this was one of his many ways of calling us back to Him. He created a bridge that would help us cross and reach out to Him amid the vast rift between us that was created by sin. This is what the Lord calls out unto us says “Therefore, says the Lord, turn and keep on coming to Me with all your heart, with fasting, with weeping, and with mourning [until every hindrance is removed and the broken fellowship is restored]. Rend your hearts and not your garments and return to the Lord, your God, for He is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in loving-kindness; and He revokes His sentence of evil [when His conditions are met].” Joel 2:12-13
The problem with us human beings is that we are hard headed and stiff necked! We always want to have our way. You need to realize that there are consequences of every action and decision that we make. The children of Israel were such people and God was upset with them and He spoke through his prophet Isaiah and said to them in Isaiah 1:11-20: From this portion of scripture, I can several things that I see the Lord not happy about and He speaks them out.
- God wants sacrifices of our hearts: ~> “To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to Me [unless they are the offering of the heart]? says the Lord. I have had enough of the burnt offerings of rams and the fat of fed beasts [without obedience]; and I do not delight in the blood of bulls or of lambs or of he-goats [without righteousness]. (vs. 11). God was tired of the Children of Israel bringing unto him animals as sacrifices whereas their hearts were not into the sacrifices that they were offering. You will realize that God was saying that He was tired of fat offerings of animals without Obedience. These are the same words God had told Saul after he didn’t follow the instructions that he was given by god to finish the Amalekites. God speaks to him through Samuel and says “Is the Lord as delighted with burnt offerings and sacrifices as he would be with your obedience? To follow instructions is better than to sacrifice. To obey is better than sacrificing the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22. Obedience always stems from the heart. Once your heart is subjected to obey God, you wont struggle to render your heart to him as a sacrifice.
- God demands us to be Holy when we come to offer our sacrifices to him: ~> “When you come to appear before Me, who requires of you that your [unholy feet] trample My courts?… Bring no more offerings of vanity (emptiness, falsity, vainglory, and futility); [your hollow offering of] incense is an abomination to Me; They are an oppressive burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them.” (vs. 12-14) At times, we tend to think that our appearance, commitment to service and doing other things in the house of the Lord will be a substitute to our Heart’s devotion to God… but God says it clearly… our sacrifices offered when we are not right with Him are just but offerings that are of vanity to Him and He is weary of bearing with them. Let us strive to be Holy before God and make sure that our hearts are right with Him. Paul reminds us and says “I APPEAL to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship.” (Romans 12:1) Do not have your sacrifice rejected as God did for Cain (Genesis 4:4-7).
- God wants us to cleanse ourselves from injustice and bloodshed!: ~> “when you spread forth your hands [in prayer, imploring help], I will hide My eyes from you; even though you make many prayers, I will not hear. Your hands are full of blood! Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes! Cease to do evil, Learn to do right! Seek justice, relieve the oppressed, and correct the oppressor. Defend the fatherless, plead for the widow.” (Vs. 16-17) God reminds the children of Israel that their hands are full of blood and they have been involved in injustice and bloodshed and thus He (God) will hide his face from them and He wont hear their prayers. How many time have we had our prayers not answered and it is simple because our hearts are not right with God? Jesus reminds us in Matthew 5:23-24 that when we come to the altar and we remember that we aren’t right with a brother, leave the sacrifice at the altar and go and reconcile. Same thing that we ought to do with God! We first reconcile with Him then we can offer our sacrifice and it will be acceptable.
God is always willing to take us back no matter how far we have messed. He calls out to us in Isaiah 1:18 and says: “Come now, and let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be like wool.” The question is are you ready to come and reason with God? by reasoning with God, it means that you are letting go all the cares of the world and the mess that you have been in and rendering your heart back to God. We ought to be like the prodigal son; the Bible says that he came to his senses and went back to his fathers house; and while he was afar off, the father ran and embraced him… (Luke 15:17-22). God is waiting for us to come back to Him and He has his arms wide open to receive us back home. Why tarry there while daddy is waiting for you?
Come back home.. allow God to heal your wounded and broken heart from the cares and worries of this world just as the prodigal son was and He will restore you… God is calling us back to himself… He has the best at heart for us; but we can only realize this when we return to him whole Heartedly. There is a reward and a blessing tagged to following God whole Heartedly…
Coming up: Your Blessings When you Render God your Heart!!