GOD NEEDS YOU!
“For I would that all men were even as I myself. But every man hath his proper gift of God, one after this manner, and another after that.” – 1 Cor 7:7 (KJV)
Paul was admonishing the Corinthians about marriage; what it entails and the responsibilities that go with it. He wished all men would be like him. But of course this is not possible, for as he said, God created all men different and with differing gifts.
Desiring all men to be like him must have been borne by his zeal for the Kingdom which made him sacrifice a would be family; a zeal he desires all men to have. But God has His plans which no desire of man can change.
In God’s plan or purpose, He gave each person a different ability or gift. We are not all the same and can never be the same. God knows what He created us to do as instruments in His hands. Like manufacturers of goods who produce to meet purpose or reason, God created you for His pleasure not yours!
“Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” – Rev 4:11 (KJV)
The reason or purpose God created you is for you to give Him glory by doing His Will, not yours! To present yourself for His use!
“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” – Romans 12:1 (KJV)
Presenting your body to Him is your reasonable (REASON ABLE) service! This is the first thing; every other thing takes root from this! Outside it your service to God is NOT REASONABLE!
You are an offering; to be willingly given!
“Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give; not grudgingly, or of necessity: for God loveth a cheerful giver.” – 2 Cor 9:7 (KJV)
God starts the acceptance of your offering by checking the state of your heart!
“God loveth a cheerful giver.” – 2 Cor 9:7 (KJV)
“Cheerful!” You have to be cheerful when presenting your worship!
Worship or service to God is not to be done grudgingly or by compulsion; no! That is why it is wrong to “woo” or “cajole” anyone into worship or into Church!
When sending your child on errand the first thing the child does is to heed your call, your beckoning; the child comes to you. There is a reason you beckoned on or called that child; certainly what you desire is what that child would do; not his.
Next, you empower him with the information and tools necessary to accomplish what you sent him to do. The information and tools you give are “proper” for him, for the assignment.
In the same manner, every man’s gift is proper for him.
“But every man hath his proper gift of God.” – 1 Cor 7:7 (KJV)
Not for himself, but for the assignment; the purpose.
The gifts we have from God, be they spiritual, financial or material are not for us to enrich ourselves with and build personal “empires”, rather they are to serve the purpose of God. They are given to us for the purpose of God: the building and edification of the Church, the body of Christ!
“And he gave …….for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.” – Eph 4:11-12 (KJV)
Every gift is to be used FOR the Body! No hording or merchandizing! No feeling, “I am better than you are”! No! If we understand this, that nothing is for us individually, it would keep us humble, for what do you have that is not given you by God?
“For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” – 1 Cor 4:7 (KJV)
USE YOUR GIFT!
Whatever your gift may be, use it for the edification of the Church, do not merchandize the gift of God.
“So, brothers and sisters, what should you do? When you meet together, one person has a song, another has a teaching, and another has a new truth from God. One person speaks in a different language, and another interprets that language. The purpose of whatever you do should be to help everyone grow stronger in faith.” – 1Co 14:26 ERV
You are important to God and His Church! You are not small or insignificant! You are so valuable to God, He needs you!
“And when THE PEOPLE SAW that Moses delayed to come down out of the mount, the people gathered themselves together unto Aaron, and said unto him, Up, make us gods, which shall go before us; for as for this Moses, the man that brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we wot not what is become of him.” – Ex 32:1 (KJV)
God brought them out of Egypt that they would be His and no others; that they would serve Him as a nation of priests.
For as long as they did this, they were special to Him; pure, lacking nothing and impregnable to any power. However they corrupted themselves.
“And the LORD said unto Moses, Go, get thee down; for thy people, which thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have corrupted themselves.” – Ex 32:7 (KJV)
Having corrupted themselves, they were not fit anymore to enter the promise land. They had stepped aside from God’s way, fashioning their own way, a product of their reasoning.
The New Covenant Deliverer, the Lord Jesus, is in heaven (as Moses was on the mountain) interceding for us. There seem to be a delay, so the Church like the wilderness church has grown impatient and have fashioned out their own way.
(1) The people saw.
They realized how long it was that Moses had gone, or delayed to come down. Their eyes were suddenly open to situations they ought not to see, like Eve in Genesis 3. Seeing what they shouldn’t see moved them from the way of the Lord.
“And Samuel said, What hast thou done? And Saul said, Because I SAW that the people were scattered from me, and that thou camest not within the days appointed, and that the Philistines gathered themselves together at Michmash therefore said I, The Philistines will come down now upon me to Gilgal, and I have not made supplication unto the LORD: I forced myself therefore, and offered a burnt offering. And Samuel said to Saul, Thou hast done foolishly: thou hast not kept the commandment of the LORD thy God, which he commanded thee: for now would the LORD have established thy kingdom upon Israel for ever.” – 1 Sam 13:11-13 (KJV)
King Saul lost the kingdom forever because he saw a situation he shouldn’t have seen. “Open eyes” IS the characteristic of the end-time, the ONLY proof of Man’s fall. This was when Man began to see the nakedness of his fellow; outward judgment. We judge outwardly!
(2) They became impatient!
They were not able to judge Moses’ delay. They lacked the ability or power to endure delay, provocation or hardship. Today, as Christ tarries to come, Christians have grown impatient; both toward God and man.
(3) Making Men of God too powerful.
The people went to Aaron and said to him, “up…….!” Today we also see this trend; Men of God have been made too powerful that their words are almost being substitutes to the word of God! They have been made “alternatives” to God; saviours and messiahs of some sort.
(4) Making Men of God too important.
The people gathered themselves unto Aaron, He became the central figure. God was not at the centre anymore. Today Servants of God have taken centre stage. They are larger than the God they preach.
“And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out and saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein.” – Acts 14:11-15 (KJV)
(4) Imposition on Men of God
In Moses’ absence they imposed their will on Aaron, “make us gods!” There is today, an imposition on men of God! “This is what we want, give it to us or we’ll leave you!”
“A time will come when people will not listen to accurate teachings. Instead, they will follow their own desires and surround themselves with teachers who tell them what they want to hear. People will refuse to listen to the truth and turn to myths.” – 2 Tim 4:3-4 (GW)
“For a time is coming when they will not tolerate wholesome instruction, but, wanting to have their ears tickled, they will find a multitude of teachers to satisfy their own fancies; and will turn away from listening to the truth and will turn aside to fables.” – 2 Tim 4:3-4 (WEY)
You must “see” something for them when you pray else they will dub you “not a man of God!” and leave the Assembly!
To remain relevant to them (as though they called men of God to the ministry), lies are told them; with further lies to maintain the lie! And the lie continues to grow making for the people what Jeremiah would call, “a yoke of iron”. It should not be so!
In asking Aaron to make them gods, they were saying indirectly, “Give us something to believe in; something we can see and touch”. They were no more a people of faith! Again, we see the trend in today’s Church. Until people see “signs and wonder”, they will not believe! For this Jesus rebuked Thomas.
“But Thomas, one of the twelve, called Didymus, was not with them when Jesus came. The other disciples therefore said unto him, we have seen the Lord. But he said unto them, except I shall see in his hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, Peace be unto you. Then saith he to Thomas, Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands; and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side: and be not faithless, but believing. And Thomas answered and said unto him, My Lord and my God. Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.” – John 20:24-29 (KJV)
Faith is gradually dying as Christians are given things to believe in; things they can see and touch: mantles, oil, water, candles, incense, soap, etc.
These ought not to be so!!!
Faith does not need a material, tangible thing to be potent!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN.” – Heb 11:1 (KJV)
“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.” (Hebrews 11:3).
(6) Satanic Direction.
As against divine direction, the people asked for something “which shall go before us.” Ex 32:1 (KJV)
As they could not endure his absence they asked for something that will lead them and give them direction, to keep them busy. Something to pursue, even if they are not able to catch it or attain it!
“He that loveth silver shall not be satisfied with silver; nor he that loveth abundance with increase: this is also vanity.” – Eccl 5:10 (KJV)
This is the bane of the Church today! We are running after worldly wealth that Jesus turned down in Matthew 4, though we know we can never get enough of it or carry any of it to heaven!
This is a satanic direction we are taking, the way of mammon; a way Jesus warned us against!
“No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.” – Matt 6:24 (KJV)
This is a dangerous trend, let’s retrace our steps!
……to be continued.
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.
Judith was at work! This time she and her group suspecting that a teacher has entered our premises, would go wait for them at the entry of the community (the community has only one entry point as it is hedged by water, and the teachers came from outside the community). Their minds would be poisoned causing them to not come back! What were they up to? What have we done to them that they act this way? Apart from Judith that we sacked, we have no negative dealings with anyone; even others in her group. In fact as the bible enjoins we live peaceably with everyone in the community; young and old. So why did they do what they did? Why did they set themselves up against us? Just wickedness! The heart of man is deceitful above all things and indeed, desperately wicked!
“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).
God made us know what was going on through a teacher whom we would call Meg. Meg was the very first to join us; she laboured with us under the rain and under the sun, even when still breastfeeding her baby!
She would strap the baby at her back while obediently carrying out her work in helping to set up the school; she was appointed the head teacher. Judith hadn’t joined us then.
When she did, she refused to acknowledge Meg’s position. Rather, she went telling parents she would not allow Meg be her head. All these came out after she was asked to go.
Meg was her first victim. Believing they were friends, they had an agreement to have carried out together but Judith betrayed her making us terminate her appointment with us. Consequently the position of head teacher became vacant.
Judith, an ambitious woman with the spirit of “Diotrephes”, who loves to be first (3rd John1:9-10), continued to claim head teacher! Several times my wife warned her to stop, especially as she was not a qualified teacher.
Judith, unknown to us, went to the parents, lied to them that children were not being taught in the school, but rather play! She claimed that was the reason she withdrew her children! She encouraged them to do the same! Till now, it beats my imagination how she was able to sway the parents that gave heed to her suggestion. Couldn’t they think? Children are not taught, they only play? And her children were there for about three years, the senior daughter who struggled with reading got polished and learnt to read? The younger daughter also improved tremendously, and all unnoticed by those parents? Perhaps I concluded, she uses some means – “African-jazz”?
Anyhow, only her kind would believe her.
Her activities nevertheless, made most parents hold back school fees. It was tough going! But God is ever faithful!
Judith covered her activities so well it took the Lord to expose her! After Meg came to know Judith as a back-stabbing liar, she regretted her action and renewed friendship with us. Through her, many would discover the scheming nature of Judith. Though she had taken up employment as the head teacher in another school, she sent us a teacher: a female teacher. Judith happened to her and like others before her, did not resume. She sent another, a male teacher, who like others did not resume.. Living close to this male teacher, she visited him to know how it all went; if he has 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 tell her that both teachers did not resume. She opened up and told my wife what happened. That was how we knew!
…….to be continued.
.….. continued from “A JOURNEY THROUGH HELL 2”
She claimed to have heard. On the children’s education, she admitted her husband asked her to bring them back to school. Yet she kept them away through out the term.
The women of the Church had their programme. Prior to that they met, planned and rehearsed as all activities of the day would be handled by them. But, here came Judith’s daughter wanting to lead praise and worship! My wife stopped her, she was just a girl of twelve, meanwhile three women were scheduled to take it.
Because of this the girl refused to lead praise on the next service day when called; even when the brother told her I called her to lead; she shook her head. This happened in Church, just after the opening prayer! We later found out it was her mother’s advice she acted upon.
I felt a churning in my stomach; God was grieved.
“And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” – Rev. 10:10.
Rebellion is one spirit I know God does not tolerate. Before going into the Word I told her that God was grieved by her action, which was an open and glaring rebellion. She has been barred for a while from coming up the altar.
Meanwhile, her brother who also had been cautioned severally before, kept walking up and down, from the drums at the altar to the pew, out of the hall of service, and back again. What was he doing? He was attending his phone!
I could be very patient: even to a fault. But I could not contain it anymore. I barred him from the drums after reminding him of previous warnings. There has to be orderliness in the house of God. Though we trust God for souls into His house, certain practices should not be encouraged. Moreover, warnings had been given.
God is no respecter of persons. The same God that sent Moses ambushed him to kill him.
“And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.” – Exodus 4:24
His standards must not be compromised.
Judith and her family stopped coming to Church . This was when her real nature surfaced!
She gathered a little group of people in the small community and they went round sowing seeds of hatred in the hearts of the members of the community; all based on lies!
Those that made up her little group were parents that had brought her report to us earlier. She went to them claiming we were responsible for what she did! They went further to teachers, said some untrue and unkind things about us, making some disrespectful to my wife and leaving eventually!
We began to understand how an Angel could sow evil seed, and pollute one-third of Angels in heaven!
Sowing seeds of discord is another thing that God hates; it is even an abomination!
“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” – Proverbs 6:16-19
We became short of teachers, and consequently forced to combine classes. We made contacts for teachers. They will come, attend interview, given appointment but will fail to resume! Judith was at work!
“ For the wicked have strung their bows, drawn their arrows tight against the bowstrings, and aimed from ambush at the people of God” – Psalm 11:2 TLB
This time she and her group suspecting anyone entering our premises to be a teacher, would go wait for them at the entry of the community (the teachers came from outside the community). Their minds would be poisoned making them not to come back!
….. continued from A JOURNEY THROUGH HELL
We were thrilled when he had a job prospect with a motor company (whose name I will not give for discretion). However he needed a surety! Due to the relationship, he came to me when no one was willing to help.
Sometimes missionaries get blinded to the voice of reason, just because they believe God for a soul. I stuck my head out for Benjamin and signed a surety with the motor company to the tune of two million Naira! My wife was like, “what have you done?”
Though he used to send his tithe to Church, he seldom came to service despite all we tried, so I sent a message through the wife that he should stop sending the tithe; that the Lord is more interested in him than the money.
We continued to believe God to touch the heart of the couple when the instruction came, to relieve her of her school work!
Ah me! How can I do that? It is a hard decision for me!
This was someone who though I discourage it, called me “daddy!” I began to imagine the anger against Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s “Things fall apart”, who beheaded Ikemefuna, a boy that called him “nna” (father).
How would I tell people in that community that God is love? Would they not ask me “which God? That God that asked you to sack a woman from her job thereby taking away her meal ticket?” How do I defend the gospel?
But the Master of masters has given His instruction. Obey or disobey!
I know if Brother Isaiah was here he would say “don’t be lead by your emotions. Let the Spirit lead you”.
“And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” – Isaiah 11:3-4
I wondered what I would have done if I was with them in the wilderness, and as member of the tribe of Levi, when Moses gave the instruction to go into the camp and slay everyone his brethren! Sometimes God pokes at our emotion to test our maturity and obedience.
Undoubtedly, God loves her more than anyone could ever do. There has to be a reason! Of course, God is not One to always give you reasons why He does what He does. He answers to no man, rather we all answer to Him.
“Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?” (Job 9:12).
Experience has taught me however that God does not go into a debate. Promptly, I called my wife, asked her to call Judith and to come with her to the office. Calmly as I could, I broke the news to her. It was not an easy thing to do! If asked I would say this so far, is the most difficult message I had ever delivered!
She pleaded and even sent people to plead on her behalf. I was torn between obedience to God and compassionate care for Judith, a sister in the Lord!
We tried encouraging her with the word of God. But how do you encourage someone you just fired? The only encouragement she expected was that we give her back her job!
Like Shakespeare said, “there is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.” (Macbeth – the book)
Indeed only God knows the thoughts and intents of every heart.
“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jer 17:10 (KJV)
While thinking good of others, only God knows what thoughts they have for you. That was what distressed David more than the rebellion of Absalom.
While she continued to come to Church, as usual, her attitude began to change. She had withdrawn her children from school, and now began a campaign against my wife and the school!
Believing to be her pastor, I went to her and counseled her not to involve her children, by turning them against her perceived enemy. I cited instances from both the bible and in this modern days, how God reinstated people who humbled themselves: that God alone knew why He asked me to relieve her of the job. That rather than go to people and discredit my wife and school, she should go to God in prayer. I believed God wanted to do something in her life, she should go to Him.
She claimed to have heard. On the children’s school, she admitted her husband asked her to bring them back to school. Yet she kept them away through out the term.
….. to be continued in https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/a-journey-through-hell-3/