YOU CAN’T BE BARREN!
”There shall not be male or female barren among you.” – Deuteronomy 7:14
To him time was running out. He wasn’t getting any younger, nor was his wife. He looked around the massive office, pos, exquisite and tastefully furnished. He had grown so rich that whatsoever he desired on earth he could buy.
It saddens his heart that with his wealth, he could not have a child from his own loins, brought forth by his wife, to take over the business after he was retired. Friends had persuaded him to either go adopting a baby or have a test tube baby. Being traditional and old fashioned he declined both.
He reclined on the office chair only to see the gold-framed photograph of his wife which he hung on that side of the wall opposite his table. The image in the picture seemed to be smiling sarcastically at him. His anger burned anew, devouring all his patience and his eyes burned red.
For three years he waited patiently for a child and he would have been content with one. Just one!
“The useless woman.” He turned around. “She is just good for nothing, except how to spend my money. I will show her!” He added walking out of the office, shutting the door with a bang.
Back home it was a war of words.
“But honey, the doctor said I could still have babies! She defended, her ears tingling with the pain of the slap that almost deafened her.
“When I’m dead?” He fired back. “I never knew you are barren!” He blurted out. “I’m taking a new wife and that is final!” He concluded storming out of the house, with the temptation for alcohol high on his mind.
Many a home has been broken because of barrenness, even Christian homes; for lack of the knowledge of God.
But what is “barrenness” if not the ability to conceive children when desired? Some who conceived and miscarried also see themselves as barren. Why? They have been called barren by others!
The rippling effect of words, break into the consciousness of man and lodge in the deep recess of his mind. Like a shadow, it follows people everywhere they go. With the word of God high in their life as the noon day sun, this shadow becomes small and powerless. When the word of God becomes low in their life this shadow becomes horrendously big and domineering.
The one whose words you choose to listen to is your master.
“Know ye not, that to whom ye yield yourselves servants to obey, his servants ye are to whom ye obey; whether of sin unto death, or of obedience unto righteousness?” – Romans 6:16 (KJV)
Is it the word of God or the words of men? Is the light of the word of God ruling in your life or is it the dark shadow of the absence of the word of God?
It is a subtle form of hypnosis. Words are tools in the hand of demonic forces against the believer to prevent him from the Truth, the word of God, and consequently from being made free.
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” – John 8:32 (KJV)
Outside the word of God, all is darkness and gloom; sinking sand. Who has spoken when God did not decree it?
“Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?” – Lam 3:37 (KJV)
God said to Adam in Genesis 3:11, who told thee that thou wast naked?” It is like asking him “who told you that lie; who told you that preposterous nonsense?” If God never told him he was naked then there was a covering! If God never told you through His word that you are barren, then you can’t be! Adam was covered with the glory of God, clothed with the garment of righteousness. But choosing to believe the lie, the contrary, he became naked! Never believe you are barren!
This can be better understood from the angle of a man whose friends and office colleague agree secretly to meet him at different times and at different places in a given day. One asked him if he was sick. He answered negative. Nevertheless, that first man from his look seemed not to be convinced. Before parting, he told the friend to ease up, relax and take care of himself.
The man had not gotten over that thought when the second met him about two hours later and told him that the symptom of fever was in his eyes. He advised him to take some rest.
A third man, their boss, asked him an hour later why he looked dull, permitting him to go home early. His mind began to race. Could the illness be so serious to be written all over him?
Back home his neighbour, also in the plan sympathetically greeted him, “sorry”.
It would take a divine determination for the man to remain in good health the following morning after the concern of his friends, which would set him thinking in that direction.
“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.”
– Prov 23:7 (KJV)
As an individual is called barren, he or she begins to see himself or herself from the eyes of others. Such a person surrenders the spiritual control of his or her life to the imagination of others. He becomes a puppet in their thought, playing out their imagination. Words heard are suggestions received from outside the individual.
Being a subtle form of suggestion the words (thoughts from others) are seen to be harmless and so often neglected and not pulled down. Paul tells us to tear down fortresses of evil by casting down imaginations that threaten our knowledge of God.
“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.”
– 2 Cor 10:5 (KJV)
This imagination projected as suggestion from other people take root in the mind and as the person continues to listen to such words, they choke the word of God. Jesus shared a parable of the sower of seed (Matthew 13), how some fell among thorns. Thorns being plants from seeds (words) not from God, squeeze out the word and grow wildly to fill
such a mind with the thought that the individual is actually barren.
Such a mind becomes programmed to accept the inability to conceive and bring forth! It becomes an auto – suggestion as the person sees the imagination as his or her “own”. Consequently they hold on to it, and the subconscious mind (which controls over eighty percent of the body), brings the thought to be so. Until the mind is de-programmed of such thought, no amount of fasting, prayer or vigil can yield any result, as such a mind would be operating at zero faith level.
“And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.” – Luke 1:45 (KJV)
The performance comes where there is a belief in what was told or heard.
The problem is not really barrenness, but unbelief arising as a lack of the knowledge of the word of God. Jesus said that it is not what enters a person – suggestions, thoughts, words, poison, etc – that defile the person, but what he or she does with what has entered. Is it nurtured or destroyed; watered or pulled down? Unfortunately, the former is often the case. People hold on to what they have heard to their hurt.
If you are barren, it is because you are barren in the word of God. You know very little about what God has said concerning you. And you lack an understanding of the little you have heard from Him, if you have. Not retaining the word of God in your mind gives the forces of darkness the audacity to take away your miracles and actualize the barrenness you have come to accept. If you fail to retain God (and His word) in your mind He will leave you to a reprobate mind.
“And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient.” – Romans 1:28 (KJV)
A reprobate mind is one that is left open to Satan; to toy with, buffet and steal from at will. It is said that to him that has more shall be given, but to him that has not, even the little he has shall be taken away.
“For I say unto you, That unto every one which hath shall be given; and from him that hath not, even that he hath shall be taken away from him.” – Luke 19:26 (KJV)
Unfortunately, some have accepted that they were created to be barren; that that is their portion in life.
No! That is not your portion! Who told thee that thou wast barren? You can’t be barren! God created you perfectly beautiful; fearfully and wonderfully made!
God said “there shall not be male or female barren among you.” (Deut. 7:14), that is among His people. Are you born-again? If you are a born-again believer you can’t be barren!
I don’t care how long you may have been married and without children! I don’t care what reports the doctors have given you! I don’t care how old you are or what your family background is! I don’t care if gospel ministers have invited you for deliverance to break some certain curses in your life! If indeed you are a child of God, you can’t be barren! This is the word of God!
“Shall”, is emphatic and futuristic; from now, stating the mind of the speaker. It is an obligation, a compulsion, a must. “Not be”, means does not, cannot exist. So God is saying here that His intention, His will, an obligation or compulsion of His mind is that barrenness cannot exist in your life from now to eternity! God Himself is saying “you can’t be barren!”
As said earlier, you are barren because you are barren in the word of God. You nullify the potency of the word of God due to your unbelief and a lack of understanding.
God has good thoughts toward you; not thoughts of evil or barrenness. No.
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord , thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” – Jer 29:11 (KJV)
I know a woman who for the purpose of this writing I will call Gladys (not her normal name). She has been married for more than seven years without any child. She has a loving and God-fearing husband who gave all within his power to comfort her. He loved her the way she was; with or without children.
She began to see herself as barren in the second year of their marriage when people would come to her in sympathy and pray for the fruit of the womb. Some would tell her how in their Church they stood in the gap on her behalf when prayers were made for the barren.
Beware when people sympathize with you, and what patterns of prayers are made over you! They drive this negative suggestion deeper in you wearing out your faith or resistance.
The sympathy for Gladys became too sentimental that it got to a stage it became the major subject of discussions around her, at her local Assembly and at prayer meetings. Gradually, anxiety was aroused in her mind by the concern and sympathy of others that whenever there was an altar call at her local Assembly for those believing God for the fruit of the womb, she would be the first to go out. And in her absence, someone would stand in the gap on her behalf.
The thought of others about her being barren, so filled her conscious mind that it spilled into her subconscious; Satan began to use that door – that thought that she never pulled down, to haunt her with dreams of spirit children, making her believe that she cannot parent children on the surface of the earth. On some occasions she conceived and miscarried due to the state of her mind.
Medically, this has been proven; that the mind has a role to play in conception.
The effect of anxiety in her min opened up another horrible door into her life. Fear! Fear of loosing her husband to another woman, the fear that her in-laws would grow weary of her childlessness and throw her out. In her fear she began to make visible and noticeable mistakes. She became inhibited in the presence of her in-laws, keeping to herself and not contributing to discussions. The in-laws who were good natured, God fearing and understanding began to see her as queer. Some started to avoid her.
Gladys, a woman full of life and verve became dull as her health was affected. She refused to eat, having lost the appetite to eat. Her weight plummeted and she looked gaunt.
She began looking for help where help can not be found; going from one prayer house to another, from one deliverance meeting to another. She prayed all manner of prayers; prayed nude at midnight, destroyed evil links to the past and to spirit husband; she destroyed evil hands, all sorts! The situation persisted. She became a contractor, looking for what has already been given to her!
At her first counseling session with me, I made realize how Satan tricked mankind through Eve, into thinking the forbidden fruit must be eaten before man can become a god, whereas God had already made man god by giving him dominion over all things!
“I have said, Ye are gods; and all of you are children of the most High.” – Psalms 82:6 (KJV)
“Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet.” – Psalms 8:6 (KJV)
Outside God man was god over everything. Man lost his place due to unbelief of the word of God which gave birth to disobedience.
I made her understand that children have been given to her but Satan made her look away from the word of God and that is the reason the children are not manifest. She needed to de-programme her mind of every unbelieving thought by changing her mentality: changing her focus, renewing her mind!
“And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:2 (KJV)
This she did.
CHANGE YOUR FOCUS!
She filled her consciousness with the promises of God concerning the fruit of the womb. Every scripture she came across on the fruit of the womb, she devoured. God opened her understanding of His word and with that anxiety flew from her; she overcame her fears, dreams of spirit husband and children ceased, she became her lively, robust self again. She was so rooted in the word of God that no negative wind of demonic doctrine would convince her otherwise.
With her mind in God’s perfect will, peace came upon her like never before. Through this rest in her mind, God strengthened her feminine hormones and before long her tummy protruded with a set of twins, a boy and a girl, in perfect health!
You too can receive your miracle when you change your focus. Meditating on the word of God, especially the scriptures that have a direct bearing on the situation you are going through. God said to Joshua “…..this book…..” – this scripture (Joshua 1:8). There are specific scriptures for specific situations. Search them out, locate them and present them to God in prayers. His words are powerful, encoded with life which can only be revealed through meditation. The word of God is spirit, go beyond the written word. The letter killeth. It’s the spirit of the word that gives life.
“Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.” – 2 Cor 3:6 (KJV)
Not just the reading of the word but deep consideration of it that releases the spirit which gives life.
“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63 (KJV)
Apply them to where they are applicable in your life. If you put a square peg in a round hole, it won’t work! Imagine applying “by His stripes I am healed” when praying for safety! Search the scriptures daily!
ATTEND HIS WORD.
As you seek them out, eat them, drink them, sleep them and live them. Jesus said:
“If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you.” – John 15:7 (KJV)
“Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me.” – John 15:4 (KJV)
Meditate on them (on the word of God). Get an understanding of the scripture. Let it digest even to your marrow.
“For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.” – Heb 4:12 (KJV)
It is the understanding of a scripture that grants you access into the power inside that scripture. That is why God told Joshua to remain on “this” scripture till he finds the power (good) success in it.
MAKE A VOW
Make a vow to God. Gladys gave her substance to the work of God, separate from her tithe and offering. Look out for opportunities to serve God and do so with all gladness. Sow into Ministries and into the life of Ministers that are committed to the gospel, especially those who have no other work outside the service of the Lord.
Hannah gave unto God.
“And she vowed a vow, and said, O Lord of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the Lord all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” – 1 Sam 1:11 (KJV)
“For this child I prayed; and the Lord hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the Lord ; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the Lord . And he worshipped the Lord there.” – 1 Sam 1:27-28 (KJV)
It is not only in finance or in material things. You can vow to work in a department of the Church or set time aside to intercede privately for others; especially for those seeking the fruit of the womb.
God is a just and faithful employer. As you give from your heart unto His work, He will not withhold your due. But you must do it from your heart!
KEEP YOURSELF HEALTHY
Do not be reckless or careless with your health! Keep yourself healthy and observe every health precaution. Don’t take drugs without prescription! Don’t take what others are taking because it is working for them. Only when your obedient is complete would you eat the good of the land.
“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land.’ – Isaiah 1:19 (KJV)
LOVE, NOT HATE
Hold nothing against your spouse and be sure he or she has nothing against you either. Agreement must precede performance.
“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?” – Amos 3:3 (KJV)
No amount of prayers, fasting. Vigils, or tongue-talking can produce pregnancy if you do not sleep with your spouse! It is Love! The devil will try coming between you and your spouse. You will need to be sensitive and not give him any grounds to operate, All could be well and smooth going but when it approaches bed time, he will come lurking. Do not let him! Sacrifice your ego if need be: admit fault even if you are right and your partner wrong; just do not argue!
Encourage others who see themselves as barren. Give them the knowledge you now have acquired. As you do this, your faith is strengthened, for “he that watereth shall in turn be watered”.
Finally, there is the divine factor. God makes all things beautiful in his time (for the things).
“He hath made every thing beautiful in his time.” – Eccl 3:11 (KJV)
As a seed your time of germination is different from others. God has given time to every seed. Never compare yourself with others. Patiently wait for God to beautify your life. Even if it tarries (Habakkuk 2:3 ); never loose hope, for it will come. Never see yourself as barren, no matter how long it takes for you to take in. Hope is the bridge to your miracle. Never loose it.
“whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed; but he that feareth the commandment shall be rewarded.” – Proverbs 13:13
(1) Change your focus by filling your conscious with the word of God.
(2) Live the word.
(3) Make a vow to God.
(4) Watch your lifestyle.
(5) Be at peace with your spouse.
(6) Encourage others.
(7) Wait for God’s time.
“Barrenness thrives in a life barren of the word.” – J.C. Ike
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“Judge not, that ye be not judged.” (Matthew 7:1)
Have you ever disagreed with somebody? You have judged! Simply put judging others is saying “you’re wrong and I’m right!”.
Considering then that we disagree with people everyday and in various matters, we judge!
There is a HUGE misinterpretation and misrepresentation of what the Lord said. He was not saying you should not judge people or discriminate between their character, beliefs, and doings as against yours, because we can never be the same! You and I can never agree on every point. Even in a home or marriage, the husband and wife do not always agree, nor do the children agree with all their parents believe. This misunderstanding is the main instrument of “asunder”, separation and divorce.
No, that was not what the Lord meant!
When the Lord said “judge not”, HE simply meant we not using our personal or individual standard to judge others! Note that He was quick to add:
“For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and the measure which ye give, shall be measured to you again.” (Matthew 7:2).
When you disagree with people on the basis of your personal standard, they will also disagree with you! Imagine a man standing on the ceiling of a house – upside down. While people tell him he is upside down, he argues that everyone, not him, is upside down! Such arguments do not end because everyone sees from their personal standard!
In other words, the Lord is saying ”do not use your personal, or individual standard to judge or measure others!” Why? We are imperfect beings and our judgment would be wrong! The verse three of that scripture reminds me of my imperfection:
“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thy own eye?” (Matthew 7:3).
So does that mean we do not judge others? No. That would be deadly dangerous as we would accommodate and even emulate all kinds of evil. Because for me to be accepted by you even in my imperfection, I shut my eyes and applaud your evil deeds!?
And everyone would do what is right in their own eyes, giving birth to a lawless society as recorded in the book of Judges.
“In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” (Judges 21:25).
A lack or absence of a King made people do what they liked! I wouldn’t want you to judge me so I refrain from judging you!
That sounds so much as “don’t judge others”, which we hear of today!
But, thanks be to God, the King is on the throne! Haleluyah!! His Word, not mine, not yours, is our Standard of judgment! His Word, not mine, not yours, holds sway! His Standard, not mine, not yours, should be lifted and upheld! His standard is “righteousness”, which neither you nor I can produce. Husbands, wives, do not judge yourselves with your individual standard. Stick to yor individual standard and you create an “asunder”. Judge only by the Standard of the Lord. What has He said? Do not twist, bend, modify or modernize it! This is His Kingdom!
Yes, beloved, we are permitted to judge!
“And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and JUDGE RIGHTEOUSLY between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.” (Deuteronomy 1:16).
In Christ, we are Kings and the admonition to kings is to judge righteously!
“Open thy mouth, judge righteously, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.” (Proverbs 31:9).
In Christ, we are spiritual. We have the mind of the King! We know His Word and by His Word we judge!
“But he that is spiritual judgeth all things, yet he himself is judged by no man. For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But WE have the mind of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 2:15-16).
Our judgment, however is to be based on His Standard.
Love cover sins but does not accept them. My judgment of you is not based on my individual standard but on the standard of my King! I love you; but, I am forbidden to accept you! My King’s Standard will not permit me to accept you; I love you nonetheless. My King loves the everyone (John 3:16), but has not accepted them all. He has a condition:
“…..touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you;” (2 Corinthians 6:17).
The “unclean” thing is your standard that you have refused to drop! He loves you and wants to receive you. But you need to drop, deny your individual Will or standard, take up His standard and let His Will be done!
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Elimelech had left Bethlehem with his wife Naomi and their two sons, Mahlon and Chilion, to the land of Moab to escape the famine that had come upon the land.
There at Moab, where the economy was better, things suddenly took a new and ugly turn when Elimelech died. Not long afterwards, the two sons who had married also died and things became difficult for Naomi. To survive, with her two daughters- in law, she sold off most valuables, yet…
Going back to Bethlehem she said:
“I went out full, and the LORD hath brought me home again empty: why then call ye me Naomi, seeing the LORD hath testified against me, and the Almighty hath afflicted me?” – Ruth 1:21(KJV)
They had fared well in Bethlehem before the journey to Moab. The famine forced them to move. Had they looked back to what they were before God picked them and filled them with testimonies, perhaps the tragedy that befell them could have been averted.
Some lessons could be learnt here as we approach the end of the year. We need to look back from the beginning of the year till now to see the mighty hand of God at work in our lives. This will help us humble ourselves.
(1) They could not see the hand of God at work. They must have attributed their success to their own efforts. So when the famine came, “common sense” dictated to them to move.
Let’s remember that whatever we may have become is the doing of the Lord. And if He delights to bless us in any land, no famine can overtake us as the Lord will be there to deliver us.
(2) They did not see God where they were. Jacob said, “God is here and I knew it not.”
“And Jacob awaked out of his sleep, and he said, Surely the LORD is in this place; and I knew it not.” (Genesis 28:16).
They did not appreciate where God planted them.
We can be so busy we fail to see God in the place we are and consequently, not appreciate Him for the place He has placed us. Let’s learn not to think or talk evil or negative of the place we are. Neither should we agree with people who run down where we are.
It is only when we praise God that the land will open its treasure to us.
(3) The fact that God is there does not mean you cannot have a famine; headaches, and challenges.
Where God was Jacob slept on hardness; without comfort: on a pillow of stones!
“And he lighted upon a certain place, and tarried there all night, because the sun was set; and he took of the stones of that place, and put them for his pillows, and lay down in that place to sleep.” (Genesis 28:11).
Stick in there through thick and thin!!! God is there!!!
Your bones may be screaming and your joints shouting their protests, stick in there!!!
Your stay at the place proves your faith in Him. Naomi and her family proved faithless despite God’s blessings to them before their journey to Moab. And without faith, it is impossible to please God or receive from Him. No wonder they lost everything and she came back empty!
(4) Joy does not come because you have things you want! No! Joy comes when you thank God for the things you have now!
“But godliness with contentment is great gain.” – 1 Timothy 6:6
Great gain; joy!
As we look back to the outgoing year, let us be mindful of where we met with God and return there again and again; if possible like Peter would say, make the place our dwelling.
It started like every other Sunday service: same time, same sequence but with a different atmosphere. Expectations were high; it was our yearly thanksgiving.
After the opening prayer made by Brother Chuks, Sister Franca led in praise and worship, with Brothers Solomon and Victor backing up.
Pastor Yinka who was present all through the 3-day programme, took a brief exhortation based on Jesus finishing His course, and being our example, we are expected to finish; and finish strong!
“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse. When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment. For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague.” (Mark 5:25-29).
Pastor Ike spoke from the above text. He told how the woman heard about Jesus; how an idea was formed in her mind, which put her in a personal race. She defied the Law of Moses, left her separation and came into town despite her issue of blood!
In this personal race, neighbours, friends and even enemies could have seen her and advised her to go back into separation. But every word she heard sounded “touch His garment, touch His garment!”
Her mind was so saturated with this thought it made her radical in faith. No situation or circumstance, friend or enemy can stop her from touching Jesus; she must finish the race! For us, this means defying the odds by shutting out the voice of discouragement, doubt and any word even people that make us question the word of God.
Ultimately, the spiritual year is coming to an end. We should look beyond the natural year and remind ourselves that the spiritual year is rounding off.
How prepared are we? This calls for personal examination. His appearing is so close and can come any time!
Are you ready?
“Finishing strong is not only a matter of how you run, but IF you finish.” Pastor Mary said as she stood in the Name of the Lord.
This was after a steamy session of praise and worship led by Brother Adino, with Mrs Itachomi and Sister Favour on back up. A praise leader is indeed a praise leader! He was dripping with rivers of sweat at the end of the praise session which left everyone basking in the glory of the Lord.
“God is not looking for runners,” Pastor Mary continued, “neither is He looking for the fastest runners. He is looking for finishers!”
She told the story of the race between the hare and the tortoise, whom no one thought would win. But overconfidence made the hare loose the race. She encouraged that we should not be full of ourselves but to be filled with Christ; like Saul who fell from himself and rose filled with Christ.
As in the first day, she pointed three things from Philippians 3.
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.” – Phil 3:13-14 (KJV)
(1) Forgetting the past. We should not allow the situations of the past: what we suffered, achieved, lost etcetera, to stop us from finishing our race.
(2) Striving forward. With God the Holy Spirit in us, we should reach, strain, and strive to reach the end of the race, even if it takes all our strength. This, she said, is a mark of Christian maturity; that God wants for us to keep moving, growing up spiritually.
(3) Press on. We should know that the enemy is out to hinder our finishing the race. That he would throw many obstacles on our “lane” in his bid to stop us. We are not to be ignorant of this because many have made a shipwreck of their race due to ignorance. This she said, will help us keep our faith.
Further, she reminded us of King Joash (2 Chron. 24), who started his race well, raised up in the house of God but did not finish strong.
Being in a race, we should be unique, minding our race and not follow the crowd.
Day One. As the day slowly began to turn to evening, at 6:10pm a brother, Chuks, took the opening prayer. Sister Franca came up afterwards for the praise and worship, backed up by sisters Favour and Miracle. Wao! It was an awesome time as everyone danced to His glory! An exhortation was given, charging the atmosphere the more, as we were reminded of the power in the Word of God and how powerful a person is, that executes the Word. Pastor Yinka was then invited to the altar. He ministered from 1 Samuel 8:1-9. He told how man does not want to loose any material thing, yet would not seek or God. However, God is still in control and should He want someone to have a taste of something, it will come to pass no matter the prayer or prayer mountain one goes.He challenged that we might be finishing if not the will of God. And mentioned how much Jesus desired to finish the work God sent Him to finish.
He encouraged us to locate the will of God for our lives that we might finish same. He also reminded us from the book of Lamentations 3, how children of God could be afflicted, yet stand and not pull back. He finished by giving us 3 keys to finishing strong, taken from 2 Timothy 4:7-8 “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” (2 Timothy 4:7-8). (1) We should know that we are in a battle and though the enemy does not want us to, we should fight on the side of the Lord; the good fight of faith. (2) We should search out what lane of the spiritual race God has called us to run and believe Him for strength to finish our course. (3) Above all we should keep the faith. This is what the enemy wants; to steal, kill or destroy. Like Paul, we should hold firm to the end and not drop our confidence which has a recompense of a reward. Even after closing and sharing the grace at 8:35pm, no one wanted to go!!! We look forward to day 2. Join us; if you can. Remain in His love.
Lesson no 3
God chooses us whilst still in the fire of affliction.
“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10).
And not everything can pass through the fire and remain the same. Most things would change or be mangled, yet this is where we are chosen.
As in the case of Hezekiah when God pulled back to watch his reaction:
“Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.” (2 Chronicles 32:31).
God watches His children as they pass through the fire to see their reaction.
Would you change as you go through the fire? Would you be deformed or mangled when you come out at the other side of the fire?
This tells if you are matured or not for promotion.
God watched to see if we would allow the enemy take away our joy, our confession, the thought in our hearts.
Would we engage in character assassination, fight tooth for tooth and eye for an eye?
Or would we keep standing holding firmly to His word and praying for those who persecute us and despitefully use us?
“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; ” (Matthew 5:44)
Would we change? That is why it is a trial!
Walking with God can be demanding sometimes, especially when it has to do with relating to others; and most especially if they have hurt you so deeply you decide to “avoid” them; not necessarily malice but holding them at arms length, not to be hurt again by them.
After publishing post four of this serial, God spoke to me at five-thirty (5:30) am.
I do morning cry from 4:30am to 5:30am. This day, Thursday 16th of November I spoke from the gospel of Matthew,chapter 25, the Groom and the ten Virgins. I spoke particularly on the trimming of the lamp and the significance of the wick. Rounding up with a prayer at 5:30 the Lord broke forth with a command to go to Judith and pray for her and her house hold!
Ah! Why Lord? With all that she did? Not that I haven’t forgiven but to go there?
My wife and I have learnt over the years to forgive even in advance but not give room to be offended a second time.
But God rules in the affairs of men!
“But God”, I argued, “I have been there twice before and no good came out of it.”
“Go and pray with her.”
“Lord is this really you or is it my mind?”
God will not go into an argument..
Many Christians cast aspersion on the Prophet Jonah for running away to Joppa.
Honestly I felt like running away! What would people in that little community think of me? The flesh was speaking. Especially knowing Judith would announce I came to beg her!
Unknown to me, I was to put in motion that age -old principle that says the way of victory is the way of the cross; the way of shame!
The hurdle is always the flesh!
I told my wife and left to Judith’s. To the glory of God her husband was home but she was not.
He was shocked seeing me. Nevertheless I told him my purpose of coming. I thought he would not accept my prayer. But he did.
As I left their house and started for home, I saw Judith coming so I waited. After praying for her, we had a little discussion. She had gone to call a nurse for her most Junior daughter who was ill.
Asking if they would permit me pray for her, they ushered me into the room where she laid.
Afterwards I said goodbye to them and left.
Back home my joy knew no bounds. I sensed in the spirit that God was up to something!
It is in the darkest hour of the day, that light shines the brightest! God within this season, opened up a door of ministry that we never saw. Details will be given but not now; at the maturity of the testimony.
May we not change but keep doing good. For whatsoever we sow we shall reap.
Three months passed before i made up my mind that pearls should not be given to pigs.
“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” – Matthew 7:6 .
I called a lawyer to write a disclaimer and submit it on my behalf to the motor company as I could no longer trust Benjamin! Moreover, I do not know where he stays in the city! Just a phone call and his family would join him there leaving me to stew in his juice?
It was a mighty deliverance the Lord worked for me! After the disclaimer was delivered and acknowledged, Judith stopped greeting me. She had stopped greeting my wife but manages to greet me; but now she stopped altogether!
Her anger was that I delivered myself by Freeing myself from the “bondage” of the surety. The bible was explicit about this but, like I said, I thought I was doing it for a brother. But he proved to be a stranger!
“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” – Proverbs 6:5
We learnt some valuable but very bitter lessons at this time.
(1) Except God touches a soul no good done to such soul can transform them!
Man can only be willing in the day of God’s power.
“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” (Psalm 110:3).
(2) That men are more united in evil!
Empty vessels make a whole lot of noise just as evil is more appealing to natural man. People will readily believe a lie spoken against you than seek the truth! This shows indeed that what people are is what they believe others are! Even people you hold in high esteem as matured Christians!
“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. ” (John 3:19).
Living close to this male teacher, she visited him to know how it all went; if he had been given the job.. While there, Judith’s group member approached the young man again, called him aside to give him more lies, not knowing who Meg was. Coming back to Meg, he narrated what he was told to the chagrin of Meg who debunked the lie. Worried, my wife went to Meg to know why neither of the teachers resumed. Meg opened up and told her everything. That was how we knew! Meg promised to bring the teacher; which she did. Unknown to us when she came with him, this member of Judith’s group saw them and attacked them even while they were still atop an “okada” (motorcycle)! The member of Judith’s group, we learnt later, pulled Meg’s hair as they rode past her on the motorcycle.
“Okada” is a popular means of transportation
Fortunately there were eye-witnesses which included our former landlady! May God continue to plant witnesses for His children in Jesus Name.
Almost falling, Meg jumped off the bike and with that anger went into a fight with the member of Judith’s group.
Again, I wasn’t there, but eye-witnesses report that Judith was with her friend to whom she gave a plank with which to fight!
But to what end? Why the hatred? Why the animosity? Why? She did not try to separate them but meant to fuel the fight which took a greater dimension, becoming brutally fierce! Meanwhile my wife and I were at home not knowing a fight was on on our behalf!
Meg and the young man eventually got to our place, looking like people that fought a lion! We queried their look and were given the full gist. Before leaving our place, Meg carried a thick rod which she said she’ll use to defend herself! Why? The other party threatened to wait for them! But God raised people that ensured a safe passage for them! Amen.
God took up our battle. He raised people that fought for us; and with witnesses. That was our first victory over the evil that Judith imagined against us. May God raise men that will secure victories for you, “pressed down, shaken together and running over”, the robust kind of victory that will leave no one in doubt, in Jesus Name!
We kept watching the drama unfold. As children of God, we could not go from house to house, as that will make us the same as her. We could only trust God.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3.
She rented an uncompleted building in the community and started school. Going from house to house, parent to parent again, she asked that their children and ward be withdrawn from us, and registered with them.
People in the community watched with keen interest to see what we would do. But our trust is in the Name of the Lord!
“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” – Psalm 20:7.
The fight was brutally fierce!
Meanwhile, Benjamin her husband, would come on weekends and go back to his workstation on Monday mornings. He acted as though nothing happened. Close as we were, he did not come to find out what transpired. Two different Saturdays I went there to try and make peace, meeting only the wife and children. They told me he was not around.
I suspected he was around but was told that he did not come. My wife on one of those Saturdays saw him, confirming he was present. He supported his wife against us, not minding my #2m surety on his behalf. Three months passed before I made up my mind that pearls should not be given to pigs.
…….to be continued.