“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a dedicated nation, [God’s] own purchased, special people, that you may set forth the wonderful deeds and display the virtues and perfections of Him Who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you were unpitied, but now you are pitied and have received mercy.” (1 Peter 2:9-10 AMP)
Many times as the children of God, we tend to forget who we are and this causes us to lose our identity easily and be swayed away by every wind of change that comes our way. Why should this happen when we clearly know who we are? Isn’t our Identity found in Christ? John writes and says “Yet to all who received him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God- children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God.” |John 1:12-13| We are born of God. A people belonging to God. This is the same thing that Peter is reminding us in the scripture above. We are called of God and called for a specific purpose.
You need to realize that you are where you are today because you are on a mission. God doesn’t place you in places just for the sake, but He always has a specific assignment that he has for each and everyone of us wherever we are. Mordecai reminds his niece Esther and tells her “… and who knows but that you have come to the kingdom for such a time as this and for this very occasion?” |Esther 4:14 AMP|. Always know that God has placed you where you are strategically and for a specific PURPOSE and SEASON and thus you need to understand that very well before your time expires.
The last couple of months, God has really laid so much in my heart in regards to this nation – Kenya; and looking at what is happening, you can only know that it is the devil at work to thwart the destiny of this land but he is defeated. Kenya is a sovereign nation with an apostolic calling and mandate. There have been numerous prophesies regarding our nation that have been spoken and we are seeing them come to pass.
Kenya will be a lighthouse unto the world.
Kenya will be a springboard of the church revival
and many others that God has spoken of and they are coming to pass in due time and season.
Thus the reason why we should be vigilant and stand up as the watchmen (Ezekiel 33:7, Isaiah 62:6; Ezekiel 3:17) and call this nation back to its original place and positioning. It is the high time that we stood up as believers and "Reclaim Kenya back unto its position…" and this is a great mandate that we have as a ministry as well as individuals in this land. We need to realize that God has strategically and intentionally placed you and me in this nation for a reason. He knew you and he chose and purposed that you will be a Kenyan for a reason and for a time and season as this.
See this, the bible says: “Then the word of the Lord came to me [Jeremiah], saying, Before I formed you in the womb I knew [and] approved of you [as My chosen instrument], and before you were born I separated and set you apart, consecrating you; [and] I appointed you as a prophet to the nations… for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord. Then the Lord put forth His hand and touched my mouth. And the Lord said to me, Behold, I have put My words in your mouth. See, I have this day appointed you to the oversight of the nations and of the kingdoms to root out and pull down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:4-10 AMP)
God created you with a purpose and this purpose has to be fulfilled before you rest. The bible says this as it gives the account of David… “For this reason He says also in another psalm, You will not allow Your Holy One to see corruption [to undergo putrefaction and dissolution of the grave]. For David, after he had served God’s will and purpose and counsel in his own generation, fell asleep [in death] and was buried among his forefathers, and he did see corruption and undergo putrefaction and dissolution [of the grave]." (Acts 13:35-36 AMP) Never be happy when you rest without accomplishing your mission and purpose on earth.
God speaks through prophet Isaiah and says… “God also says: “When the time’s ripe, I answer you. When victory’s due, I help you. I form you and use you to reconnect the people with me, To put the land in order, to resettle families on the ruined properties. I tell prisoners, ‘Come on out. You’re free!’ and those huddled in fear, ‘It’s all right. It’s safe now.’ There’ll be foodstands along all the roads, picnics on all the hills— Nobody hungry, nobody thirsty, shade from the sun, shelter from the wind, For the Compassionate One guides them, takes them to the best springs. I’ll make all my mountains into roads, turn them into a superhighway. Look: These coming from far countries, and those, out of the north, These streaming in from the west, and those from all the way down the Nile!” |Isaiah 49:8-12 MSG|. God is PREPARING you, FORMING you and making sure that you are ready for the work unto which He has created and called you for in this land. Make sure that you are available for your assignment which is clearly cut out.
First God says; our mandate is to: Reconnect people with Him; then put the land in order and others. I want to major on these two because, unless man is reconnected and reconciles with God, the land wont be reconciled and settled. God has called us with a mission. What is our mission and purpose as believers and Christians that God has called us to? He has called us to be agents of RECONCILIATION and RESTORATION: In the year of jubilee, God speaks of the 7Rs of jubilee and two of the 7Rs are Repentance and Restoration.
Paul speaks to the church in Corinth and tells them.. "It was God [personally present] in Christ, reconciling and restoring the world to favor with Himself, not counting up and holding against [men] their trespasses [but cancelling them], and committing to us the message of reconciliation (of the restoration to favor). So we are Christ’s ambassadors, God making His appeal as it were through us. We [as Christ’s personal representatives] beg you for His sake to lay hold of the divine favor [now offered you] and be reconciled to God." (2 Corinthians 5:19, 20 AMP).
Jesus speaks and says “Blessed are the peace makers for they shall be called the sons of God…” (Matthew 5:6). God has called you and me to be part of his reconciliation and restoration team. Like He (God) told Jeremiah, He has chosen and approved you and me to be his chosen instruments unto the nations. It is the promise of his word that he will use us as He wills. The bible says: “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also [utensils] of wood and earthenware, and some for honorable and noble [use] and some for menial and ignoble [use]. So whoever cleanses himself [from what is ignoble and unclean, who separates himself from contact with contaminating and corrupting influences] will [then himself] be a vessel set apart and useful for honorable and noble purposes, consecrated and profitable to the Master, fit and ready for any good work.” (2 Timothy 2:20-21 AMP)
Having known that God has set us apart and called us for a specific mission and purpose, what then should we do and how? There are different ways in which God has cut us out for ministry according to our purpose and mission. Each assignment is unique but there are fundamental aspects that never change. I want to consider Gideon, a man God used to bring restoration in Israel:
There are things that Gideon did that were symbolic and we ought to do the same if we will be used of the Lord in our time. Judges 6 gives us an account of the call of Gideon and his response.
1) See yourself as God sees you:
The bible says "And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage. The Lord turned to him and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you? Gideon said to Him, Oh Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man." (Judges 6:12, 14-16 AMP)
How do you look at yourself? What do you see when you look at yourself? Do you see a failure or a victor? Remember, the way you see yourself is how you will portray yourself and that is the same way you will act and do your stuff. It is the same picture that will be your driving force and motivation to accomplish your purpose. The bible gives an account of the spies that went to spy the Land of Canaan and they saw themselves as “grasshoppers compared to the giants in the land and also in their own eyes” (Numbers 13:33). This contributed to the report they brought to Moses.
Change the way you see yourself and the world around you will also change.
2) Cleanse your life and your household
There are some things in our lives and family lineage that hold us back from being what God has called us to be. And the only way that we can get off this cage that we are in is to cleanse ourselves and family. Gideon was instructed by God to break down the altar of Ball and Asherah pole built by his father as a way of cleansing himself and the family. (Judges 6:25-27)
Things you should do:
Cut off any linkage with idolatry and idol worship
Destroy any foreign gods Enthroned and enthrone Christ.
Raise an altar for Yahweh.
“That night this happened. God said to him, "Take your father’s best seven-year-old bull, the prime one. Tear down your father’s Baal altar and chop down the Asherah fertility pole beside it. Then build an altar to God, your God, on the top of this hill. Take the prime bull and present it as a Whole-Burnt-Offering, using firewood from the Asherah pole that you cut down." Gideon selected ten men from his servants and did exactly what God had told him. But because of his family and the people in the neighborhood, he was afraid to do it openly, so he did it that night.” (Judges 6:25-27 MSG)
Obedience is a crucial aspect in a Christian’s life. You need to know that your blessings and prosperity are both tied to your obedience. Unless you obey, you will always mark-time where you are. Always know that Obedience at times will cost you the BEST. There is a price for Obedience. But when you allow nothing to stand in your way to obey God, you are destined for a breakthrough.
Your Obedience is better than sacrifice Remember the story of Saul and the Amalekites mission? (1 Samuel 15:19-23 MSG). Do not let disobedience give God a reason to doubt you as his choice vessel to accomplish His mission and purposes through you.
"Gideon said to Him, If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You Who talks with me. Do not leave here, I pray You, until I return to You and bring my offering and set it before You. And He said, I will wait until you return. Then Gideon went in and prepared a kid and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them to Him under the oak and presented them." (Judges 6:17-19 AMP)
Worship the Lord with a sacrifice. The bible commands us not to go before the Lord empty handed. Honour the Lord, with yourself, your substance and everything that you are. Sacrifice will make you go an extra mile. David said “I won’t sacrifice that which costs me nothing…” (2 Samuel 24:24; 1 Chronicles 21:24). Feel the pinch of that deserting that which is hindering you serve God wholeheartedly and fulfill your purpose unto which God called you to. Forsake some things and lifestyle. Samson was a Nazarite who compromised and that cost him his anointing. Make sure that you stand for who you are in Christ at all cost.
What am I saying? There is a task, purpose and mission unto which you were created for and thus, you need to fulfill the same. But how many of us are ready for the same? It is the high time that we arose to our task, calling and purpose for unto which we were created for.
Our beloved nation Kenya needs watchmen, people who will stand and be counted, people who will stand in the gap and wage warfare on their knees on behalf of this nation. Are you ready to be one of them?
My clarion call to everyone reading this:
Are you ready for the task ahead of you?
Are you ready to answer the call of The Lord?
Are you ready to be the Gideon..
The bible says “…also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.” (Isaiah 6:8 NKJV)
Will you answer the call??
“3For I am conscious of my transgressions and I acknowledge them; my sin is ever before me. 4 Against You, You only, have I sinned and done that which is evil in Your sight… 7Purify me from my sins, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow. 9Don‘t keep looking at my sins. Remove the stain of my guilt. 10 Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. 11 Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me. 12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and make me willing to obey you.” Psalm 51:3-4; 7, 9-12
It has been said again and again the season that we are in as a nation is the Year or Season of Jubilee. As I had shared in my earlier devotion titled “The 7R’s of Jubilee” you will realize that “Repentance” comes first before the rest. This is because, “There can never be a blessing where there is no fellowship.” and any broken fellowship can be restored through Repentance and Forgiveness.
Repentance is the ultimate goal of worship, which makes it the number one priority of our worship. This is the reason why God is always calling us back to Himself. Isaiah 1:18 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.”
This is the reason why we are calling back Kenya as a nation to God; thus the theme for this year “Re-establish Kenya back to God and decree a new dispensation for the next 50years”.
Metanoia is the Greek word commonly translated as “repentance,” but it literally means “changed thinking.” So, talk about truth that leads to change; talk about selecting a different option; talk about taking a divergent path—all these with the goal of leading people to repentance, which is a change of thinking and/or a turning from sin.
When we come before God in worship, one of the things we sometimes forget to do is repent. In the scripture above, David is confessing and acknowledging before God his sin of adultery, and that of having the husband of his partner in adultery killed. Not only is David acknowledging what he’s done, but he says, "My sin is ever before me." David knew what he had done and he wasn’t blaming anyone else for it.
When we come before God in worship (not "coming to church", but "worship"; the two are very different) we must see to it that we bring a clean heart before Him. David speaking in Psalm 24:3-4 said only those who have "clean hands and a pure heart" may stand in his holy place. You need to know that just about that anybody can praise God, not everyone can worship Him.
There are 4 things that worship requires:
a) Worship entirely requires TOTAL SURRENDER on our part.
b) Worship requires TOTAL FOCUS on God and His worth, majesty, and power.
c) Worship requires a TOTALLY CONNECTED heart with God.
d) Worship requires an ATTACHMENT to God, not just an ATTRACTION to Him.
Churches are filled every Sunday with people who are attracted to Jesus, but never become attached to Him through salvation and various available means of spiritual growth. A true worshiper not only understands what it means to worship God in spirit and in truth, but also understands that we cannot come to God any kind of way. True worship unto God requires from us a pure heart, and a humble spirit.
As a worship leader, never have the impression that weepy people falling on their faces at the altar is the only real evidence of repentance. While repentance does often take the form of a strong emotional response, it can also be seen in much smaller moments of realization. Repentance is any recognition of sin that leads to an alignment with God’s plan and purposes. Here’s my favorite definition of repentance from one of my favourite speakers: “Repentance is a willful, personal response to the continuing call to follow Christ that leads to a change in outlook, action, and obedience.”
We must remember that intellectual knowledge is just the beginning of transformation. Information plus inspiration plus action leads to transformation. God provides the inspiration; we provide the information and the call to action. Thus, there must also be a clear call to repentance and, most importantly, the congealing inspiration of God. None of us is in the business of creating transformation in people. God is the only one who can do that. Our job is to create an authentic environment and atmosphere through worship where the transformation can happen and intentionally invite others into God’s truth.
Repentance is not for God’s sake… it is not that He takes delight in watching us squirm; it is for our own sake. Sin becomes like a thick layer of calloused skin over our hearts that obstructs our spiritual sensitivity.
This is what sin does to you:
1) It reduces your pleasure in being in God’s presence;
2) It lessens your ability to feel it when you are getting even deeper into sin;
3) It keeps you from unimpeded closeness to the rest of God’s family;
4) Worst of all, it deafens the ears of your heart to the sound of God’s voice.
As a worshiper, you need to spend more and more time in God’s presence so that you can be able to know his mind and heart. This is the only way that you can be able to lead others into his presence -where you have been. But when you have sin harbored in your heart, thus, you cannot be able to get to Hid presence or even hear His voice when He is speaking to you.
This is the principle that David understood and he prayed in Psalms 51:10-12 and said: "cast me not away from your presence oh Lord; take not thy Holy Spirit from me, restore unto me, the joy of my salvation, and RENEW the right spirit within me."
If people aren’t seeing their lives transformed by the reality of Jesus Christ, we may not be doing our part to make sure the worship service is having the effect God wants it to have. People should be more like Jesus when they walk out of worship service than when they walked in, and every aspect of our services should be created with that goal in mind. When we come before a holy God in worship, He is not interested in our accomplishments, our status in the community, or how much money we put in the offering plate; instead, He wants to know we are coming clean before Him, confessing our sins and choosing to live life His way. God just wants us to get real with Him.
Of all the things we lay before God in worship, let us remember to make repentance one of them. Repentance is the deepest kind of worship.
6 1-3 “So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good? That is what happened in baptism. When we went under the water, we left the old country of sin behind; when we came up out of the water, we entered into the new country of grace—a new life in a new land!” (Romans 6:1-3 MSG)
Nobody likes death, but yet it is the gateway or passage to the other side of life (eternity or hell) and whether we like it or not, we will die. The bible says “And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment…” (Hebrews 9:27 AMP). But what counts is how we live here on earth and thus we do not have to fear death. Jesus said “most solemnly I tell you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains [just one grain; it never becomes more but lives] by itself alone. But if it dies, it produces many others and yields a rich harvest.” (John 12:24 AMP)
Similarly, we also need to die to SIN so that we can live in Christ. It is only through our DEATH to SIN that we can have LIFE in Christ Jesus through his death and resurrection. Paul speaks to the Roman church and asks them if they wanted to continue living in sin so that the grace of God could abound… But he goes ahead and gives them reasons why they need to quit living in sin and how their death to sin translates to life. Paul refers to our baptism as death to sin and resurrection in Christ and thus we ought not to go back to sin anymore.
Once someone is dead, they are dead and they aren’t active at all. Then the question is why are you actively living in sin if you are already dead to the same? That means that there is a part of you that aren’t dead. There are two things that death brings:
- End of life – once you breath your last and die, it means that your life has come to an end and thus, we do not expect to see you anymore. Thus, same applies to sin. Once you accept Christ and you die to sin, then, we do not expect to see traits if sin or even the fruits of the flesh manifesting in you in any way.
- Forgetting: Once you are dead, people tend to forget you after a while. All what people remain with is a memorial of you through photos posts and writings and more importantly your deeds. Thus, if we die to sin, we need to forget the pleasures that we enjoyed and ask the blood of Jesus to cleanse you.
Paul shares some insights of our death to sin resurrection in Christ into life and shows several key principles that I believe that are key for us to know and adhere to so as we can be victorious over sin and more so, die completely unto death.
1) Repent your sin, renounce it and leave the camp:
"So what do we do? Keep on sinning so God can keep on forgiving? I should hope not! If we’ve left the country where sin is sovereign, how can we still live in our old house there? Or didn’t you realize we packed up and left there for good?" (Romans 6:1-2 MSG)
Many of us renounce sin and we profess Christ as Lord and saviour of our lives, yet in the bottom of our hearts, we know that there is something that we haven’t let go from our past. Paul says, sin is sovereign and it rules over our lives, and when we renounce sin, it’s like we are moving houses and we pack all our belongings and leave for good since we aren’t going to live in the same house again… But some of us leave something’s in the "old house of sin" that keeps calling us back. If you choose to leave sin, Repent, renounce it and leave the camp completely.
Consider this: "For by the death He died, He died to sin [ending His relation to it] once for all; and the life that He lives, He is living to God [in unbroken fellowship with Him]. Even so consider yourselves also dead to sin and your relation to it broken, but alive to God [living in unbroken fellowship with Him] in Christ Jesus.” (Romans 6:10-11 AMP)
2) Do not yield to the desires of the flesh:
“Let not sin therefore rule as king in your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies, to make you yield to its cravings and be subject to its lusts and evil passions. Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.” (Romans 6:12-13 AMP)
Apostle James writes and says "But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions)." (James 1:14 AMP) Note that it is your desires that lead you to be DRAWN away from other brethren, ENTICED by sin and then BAITED into the same and then find yourself deep in sin. This comes with you yielding yourself to the desires and the lust of the flesh.
Paul exalts the Romans not to yield themselves cravings, lusts and evil passions of the flesh and thus offer themselves and their bodies to sin as instruments of wickedness. But instead, they should offer themselves unto God as implements of righteousness. This is what Paul writes to the Romans: "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 AMP)
3) Know and exercise your power over SIN:
“…you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life. Sin can’t tell you how to live. After all, you’re not living under that old tyranny any longer. You’re living in the freedom of God” (Romans 6:12, 14 MSG)
I love the words that Paul uses… “…you must not give sin a vote in the way you conduct your lives. Don’t give it the time of day. Don’t even run little errands that are connected with that old way of life.” That means that many times, it is us who joke around with sin and give it a foot hold and once Sin gets a loophole to penetrate into our lives, it starts ruling us… but you need to exercise your power and dominion over sin.
How do we exercise dominion over sin?
- Hide the word of God in your heart:
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” (Psalms 119:11 NIV)
- Flee from Sin… Do not entertain it.
“Shun youthful lusts and flee from them, and aim at and pursue righteousness (all that is virtuous and good, right living, conformity to the will of God in thought, word, and deed); [and aim at and pursue] faith, love, [and] peace (harmony and concord with others) in fellowship with all [Christians], who call upon the Lord out of a pure heart.” (2 Timothy 2:22 AMP)
- Tame/master your desires and lust of the flesh:
“Let no one say when he is tempted, I am tempted from God; for God is incapable of being tempted by [what is] evil and He Himself tempts no one. But every person is tempted when he is drawn away, enticed and baited by his own evil desire (lust, passions).” (James 1:13-14 AMP)
“God spoke to Cain: “Why this tantrum? Why the sulking? If you do well, won’t you be accepted? And if you don’t do well, sin is lying in wait for you, ready to pounce; it’s out to get you, you’ve got to master it.” (Genesis 4:6-7 MSG)
· Confess victory over the same
“And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony…” (Revelation 12:11 AMP)
· Be accountable to someone/Get accountability partners.
“Make this your common practice: Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you can live together whole and healed. The prayer of a person living right with God is something powerful to be reckoned with.” (James 5:16 MSG)
I love the amplified bible version, it says: “Confess to one another therefore your faults (your slips, your false steps, your offenses, your sins) and pray [also] for one another, that you may be healed and restored [to a spiritual tone of mind and heart]. The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].” (James 5:16 AMP)
Just like a seed, we all look to live a productive life and more so leave a legacy, but unroll we die to self, we will never be able to replicate ourselves to beget others who will carry on the work that we start to the finish. And I would echo Paul’s clarion call to the Hebrews saying "THEREFORE THEN, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]." (Hebrews 12:1, 2 AMP)
Brethren, the journey of faith to heaven isn’t easy but yet, we can make it. All that we need is to make sure that we master the sin that is crouching at the door before it masters us, and thus we can live a victorious Christian life.
Guard your Doctrine!!!
Paul said these words to his Spiritual son Timothy “Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity. Until I come, devote yourself to the public reading of Scripture, to preaching and to teaching. Do not neglect your gift, which was given you through a prophetic message when the body of elders laid their hands on you. Be diligent in these matters; give yourself wholly to them, so that everyone may see your progress. Watch your life and doctrine closely. Persevere in them, because if you do, you will save both yourself and your hearers.” He emphasizes to him the importance of taking care of hi life and doctrine and above all to give himself and continue in them because in doing so, he would not only save himself, but also the people that heard him and the ones he also led. Remember timothy was the youngest bishop of the church history.
Worship is our call and doctrine. This year’s theme clarifies it all. “Real Worship, Real Life” Your worship lifestyle is what will shape your mode of day to day living in this earth. And in this case, you and I are the Timothy’s of today. God has called you and has gifted you with the ability to praise and worship him and above all, lead his people into his presence through your gift. I don’t know how you realized your gifting in worship but for timothy, it was through laying of hands and also a word of prophesy. This is the reason why Paul urges him to guard that. This is the same way that we ought to guard ourselves.
Take a look at the Samaritan woman in John 4:1-42. She is a good example of someone who had taken heed to worship lifestyle though she did worship what she didn’t know. She knew where and how the Samaritans worship but she wasn’t sure of whom or what they worshiped. You and I know whom we worship, thus we should guard this with all diligence knowing that it has life in it. When Jesus shared the truth about real worship to her, she couldn’t hold onto it alone; she had to let her brethren know. This is how Paul was telling Timothy that his doctrine would affect others who hear him. Your lifestyle is an example and speaks load more than your words do. Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:3 “Your very lives are a letter that anyone can read by just looking at you. Christ himself wrote it – not with ink, but with God’s living Spirit; not chiseled into stone, but carved into human lives – and we publish it.” Again Jesus said that we are the salt and light of the world, a city on a hill that cannot be hidden – In this regard, your worship filled lifestyle should be emitting light unto the world.
Daniel is a perfect example to follow. (Daniel 6:10) He accustomed himself to a worship filled lifestyle and he was consistent to watch it and keep in it. He worshiped and prayed three times a day facing Jerusalem and this made the other scribes and leader in the Babylonian kingdom conspire against him. They searched for anything to accuse him of but they found his life was faultless and the only thing that they could use to accuse him was in line with his worship lifestyle and thus they made a decree but nevertheless, he wasn’t affected because he went ahead and worshiped as he always did. This made him get into problems that put his life at stake but god was there to deliver him.
Guard your heart with all diligence, for out of it, comes the issues of life. Proverbs 4:23 Your heart is the custodian of all the decisions that you make in life, thus why Solomon said, from the heart, springs forth the issues of life. When you take care of your heart, you will find it easy to watch over your doctrine and this comes with some benefits in it:
a) It brings life to you and others – through our worship, we are able to speak to the people around us the truth about God whom we worship and this transforms others. When Jesus shared the truth about worship, the Samaritan woman was transformed and thus she went and called others so that they could also hear and be transformed. Your lifestyle will attract people to Christ.
b) God fights your battles – There are things and issues in life that we struggle with in life, when we are ion tune with God, He will fight the battles for us. Daniel didn’t have to start begging for a pardon from the king, instead, he was thrown into the lion’s den but God fought for him. When the King comes in the morning, he asks Daniel, “Daniel, servant of the living God, has your God, whom you serve continually, been able to rescue you from the lions?” Daniel 6:20b and Daniel answers him and says he did. Make it a habbit to let everything to God and He will fight for you. Remember King Jehoshaphat? He faced the armies with praise and Worship and God fought for him.
c) Your day to day lifestyle is set - Some times we really struggle to get some time to speak to God. Daniel didn’t have to struggle. It was his lifestyle and thus he knew when the time came for him to go and pray. When the spirit is in tune with God, even the body follows suite and obeys. Once you develop this, you will be finding yourself doing what you are meant to be doing and when time for prayer comes, you won’t struggle. Remember Peter and John in Acts 3:1-3 it was their custom to go to the temple to pray.
d) It gives you identity – I totally love this. Rev. Tom spoke about fatherlesness and its relation to worship. The Samaritan woman didn’t have an identity when it came to the issue of her husband (Who is a father figure); but when Jesus spoke to her, she found her identity in Christ. She goes back to the village and tells the people “come and see the man who told me everything about my life” through their deep conversation with Jesus, she found identity in Jesus and true worship of the Father in heaven.
e) God is glorified in you and through you – Not only did the Samaritan woman know God alone, she also led the whole village to believe in God. Daniel too made God to be known and proclaimed through out Babylon that He was the only God worthy to be worshiped simply because Daniel chose not to compromise in any way.
It’s my prayer that we will choose to guard our ministry and the gifts that God has given us and make effective use of them and thus they will not only help us but also those who watch and hear us.
The Alabaster Box!!
Real Worship! Real Life! mmm… this is a theme that I have loved and I am striving day by day to live by it and make it my habit and lifestyle. I believe that so far, you have gained something from AFLEWO and your life has not been the same as it was when we started this season. There are two things that will shape your life and character day by day in this walk of faith: Prayer and fellowship with God trough worship. We can only reach the heart of God through worship, and that’s the only means and ways to get hold of him. A singer sang and said, I will seek you first Lord, you will my voice; early in the morning and late in the night… this means that it doesn’t matter what time of the day it was, he had purposed to offer himself to seek the Lord till he found him and had a fellowship with him. Worship should be part and parcel of our day to day life and every moment that we find for ourselves, we should strive to have time with God and fellowship with him. Worship is not a noun. It is not something that we go to. It is not something we attend. It is not something we observe. Worship is not an event and neither is it entertainment. Worship is a verb. It is something that you and I do. It is a lifestyle.
Talk about Real worship; Real life… This is a life of releasing and loosing yourself from what entangles you and giving yourself wholly unto God and allowing him to take control over your life. He alone knows you since he is the one who created you and the purpose for your creation was one – WORSHIP. Nothing else; All other things that we do to God are secondary. The primary purpose was for us to worship him and declare of his wonders and works. David knew this very well and in psalms 84:2 we hear him say that he longs for the day that he will find himself again in the temple of the Lord just to worship him and behold at his beauty. His flesh and soul/heart cry out unto him. This should be our daily longing; to be where his presence is and be found in him and him in us, saturated with his love and lost in his presence.
An alabaster box was a box that contained a costly perfume that was worth so much to Simon and the disciples of Jesus. When Mary came and broke the box and anointed the feet of Jesus, they were very unhappy that she could have sold the expensive perfume and use the money to help the needy among them. In the same manner, our bodies are alabaster boxes. They contain the Spirit and the soul which connect to God. They are meant to harbor and contain the presence of God. Paul reminds this to us by telling us that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit and we should also strive to offer our lives as living sacrifices to him, HOLY and ACCEPTABLE. Mary had a longing in her heart that could not be quenched by anything else, rather than coming and crying at the feet of Jesus. She came and broke the box that contained the perfume that she used and offered it as an ointment to Jesus’ feet.
It is until our physical bodies, status quo, pride and everything else that surround, entangle and easily beset us are broken; then we can easily and comfortably worship God. This can only happen when we come to a point and allow Jesus to take lead in our lives and work them out as he wishes. This is a step that is not easy. I believe it had taken Mary a bold step to come to Jesus feet and pour out her heart unto him. This is clearly reflected because after Jesus told her that her that her sins were forgiven; she dashed out of the house so fast before anyone else could say a word to her. A word from Jesus was enough for her soul.
When we worship, there are several things that happen to us:
a) We receive healing – Our hearts, souls and bodies are sick. Not only physically but also spiritually. It is only when we worship that’s when we receive our healing. Mary was healed of her spiritual sickness of her heart after she came and worshiped at Jesus feet. We have witnessed miracles of instant healing during sessions of worship. A good example is during Kaberia and the Klan recording a week ago.
b) We receive forgiveness of sins – After Mary had poured out her out at Jesus feet, Jesus tells her that her sins are forgiven. It is only through worship that we can only empty out our hearts wholly unto God and allow him to search our hearts and mend the missing links between us. When David had sinned with Bathsheba and God spoke to him through Prophet Nathan, he chose to go before God in worship and repent his sins and he was forgiven. Our brokenness and true repentance is clearly or well indicated when we worship and God honours it.
c) We are restored back to God – Mary was an outcast according to the Israel customs. She was an unclean woman and she was not worthy to be where Jesus was leave alone to touch him. That is why you see the disciples and Simon the Pharisee murmuring when Jesus allows her to touch him. We are also sinful and not worthy to appear before God before of our sinful nature. But God chose to allow Jesus to come and die so that we can be able to approach the throne of God with confidence knowing that he will accommodate us. It is through worship that our sins are forgiven and we are reconciled with God. We see in the Old Testament people used to go and offer a sacrifice for atonement and forgiveness of sins. Through the oil that she anointed Jesus with, it was a sweet smelling sacrifice to God and thus her sins were forgiven.
d) Our burdens are taken away – we carry so much load(s) and burdens that we shouldn’t be carrying at all. This is simply because we do not want to let down our ego or our self esteem. Mary wasn’t even worthy to come near Jesus and touch him at all. But she says in her heart that it doesn’t matter if people see me as a prostitute, all I need is the potters touch and I will have it when I pour out and release out what I treasure most. Most of us do not want the alabaster box that contains our ‘excuses’ why we don’t want to approach God in worship to be broken. As hard as it is, painful as it is. Shameful as it may be – you have a chance to take it unto Jesus through your worship and prayer to him. He is the only one who will never cast you away.
What else are we waiting for? Make worship your lifestyle and you can be sure that you will live a victorious life in Jesus name. Do not let this season pass without you cultivating this lifestyle in you. Remember “A Real worship lifestyle will be the determining facter of how real your life will be”