I went through an article recently written by a friend. In it he said that the choices we make in life affect us whether good or bad.
Indeed it is true! The choices we make affect our lives.
However there is an angle to it that we most often overlook.
This may come hard and pungent (forgive me Edmond, if it doesn’t come soft). Sometimes Truth comes out hard.
Our choices are based on our human desires which ought not to be!
Our desires are driven by our emotions.
James says “drawn away of his own lust, and enticed.” – James 1:14
Human emotion does not work with the Word of God!
In the book of Genesis Eve was driven by desire which made her stretch her hand to the fruit.
How did this desire come about?
She felt inferior! She felt she was not making progress in life; that her “divine destiny” was being delayed, and perhaps truncated. She felt she was not getting the “good things of life”, and so needed a change!
She was made to feel inferior by the serpent who planted a word of insecurity in her head. Eve’s desire was driven by insecurity; an emotional feeling that “others” were better than she was: a feeling that suggested to her that she was empty and could “improve” on God’s work in her life.
Consequently she reached for the fruit, and acting in a manner “to help herself become wiser”, she plunged Mankind into spiritual death.
Her choice was based on her desire, driven by emotion! A thing she called “wisdom”! She wanted to change her situation, which she had come to hate, since coming into contact with an alternative.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and He did eat.” – Genesis 3:6
Today, many remain spiritually dead. Many more are dying from the presence of God because of choices made that were not based on His Word.
In wanting to be “wise”, they “engage EVERY PLATFORMS available (including Godless platforms), EVERY AGENCIES necessary (including agents of darkness), and follow EVERY PRINCIPLES required (even demonic principles), to ensure making the right choice in life.”
This was the same desperate emotion that drove Man from the presence of God!
Things may look beautiful, “good for food”,
but if emotion is its foundation, spiritual death takes effect.
Every platforms, every agencies, every principles may be convenient, yet NOT ALL are edifying and accepted by God!
That is why God asked us to choose life!
Life is not just having everything YOU want; so you might have the accolades of men, a large acceptance by the world and recognition; James would say to “consume it upon your lust”, your human desire!
That is not the life that God sees as successful!
And that is the reason Jesus asked what it shall profit a man after he has gained the entire world, the backing and support of people, only to lose the salvation of his soul.
Yes, indeed our choices affect our lives!
But what factors “drive” our choices?
Moreover, as Christians we should not make choices based on emotion; on the desires of the flesh; we should like Jesus, not judge after the sighting of our eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of our ears. (Isaiah 11:3)
We should rather make choices based on God’s Word; judge righteously: with the fear of the Lord!
If a man because of fame, wealth and affluence, acts contrary to the Word of God, by marrying another woman, when the Word of God says if you get separated from your wife, remain single and don’t remarry. And if you have to remarry, go back to that same woman! Such a man who marries another lives in adultery! In sin! Minister or Laity!
That is the word of God!
No human reasoning or philosophy can alter or change the Word! It remains immutable!
If for fame and affluence we throw away the Word of God, our action no matter how successful and appealing in the sight of men, becomes a lie!
The desire of man is evil! God testified to this, that the thought and imagination of man’s heart is continually evil, even from his youth!
Who are we deceiving, God?
The same Word we seek to philosophize and bend to justify our actions, will also be our judge! The standard of God’s Word does not change no matter how we try to change it!
Let us learn, no matter what it takes, no matter how hurtful or painful our situation may be, not to put our desires ahead of God’s Word! The moment you do, you put God in second place.
But, He must have the preeminence!
When you go His way, He knows your frailty, your weakness and your pain; and in His faithfulness, He will supply you the grace to carry on.
Even if it was a mistake that brought the unpleasant situation, He will help you!
Only, let it be on His terms.
A Sculptor went to the wood market to buy a log of wood. There, he saw different sizes and colours of wood, yet he stayed long wondering from wood to wood, stall to stall. The log dealers conducted him round the market as he scrutinized each log to the amazement of the dealers. Still, he would not make up his mind which to buy. One by one they left him, disappointed to have wasted so much time on him. They concluded that he was not a serious customer and was not worth paying attention to.
However the Sculptor had something in mind; he knew what he was looking for and of all the log in the market, he could see only one with the pattern.
The dealers noticed he kept returning to a particular log. They could not see what he saw in the wood because as far as they were concerned, the logs were the same.
Presently, the Sculptor returned to the log. He stared hard and long at it; going round it in deep study. The years of experience had trained his eyes toward recognizing at a glance, the pattern on wood that matches the design in his mind. He could actually see the image in his mind on the wood!
Uninterested, the owner of the log turned his face away, looking for a potential customer. Certainly, this man is not serious, he thought, until the Sculptor beckoned on him.
Back at his studio, he went to work chiselling over the contours of the wood, his trained eyes seeing the design on the wood come to life, depicting the picture in his mind. At last the work was completed. It was a breath-taking master-piece.
We are the Wood, the Holy Spirit is the Sculptor. He knows God’s mind for us individually: His gifts and callings; God’s plan and design put in us before the foundation of the world.
“But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:10-12
He alone knows where to chisel us. And He does, here and there, in the path we should go so that the beauty and aroma of God in us may be revealed.
“……but when thou shalt be old, thou shalt stretch forth thy hands, and another shall gird thee, and carry thee whither thou wouldest not.” – John 21:18b
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” – Rom. 8:14
He connects us to God.
“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, He is none of his.” – Rom. 8:9
He makes us know our heavenly inheritance.
“Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God.” -1 Cor. 2:12
He teaches us and comforts us.
“But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, He shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” – John 14:26
He prays in us according to the will of God.
“Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. And He that searcheth the hearts knoweth what is the mind of the Spirit, because He maketh intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” – Rom. 8:26-27
It takes the Holy Spirit to bring out or manifest the god in us as the Sculptor reveals the unseen beauty in the log.
Like the Wood, let’s learn to give Him the preeminence.
Often times in life we pray for open doors. Especially as Christians we want breakthroughs; we want doors to open up for us so that we can venture into new things; new jobs, new businesses, a new house, new relationships.
However in Revelations chapter 3, we see that the Lord Jesus Christ has set an open door for us. It is for those who have encountered the word and holding strongly to it.
He spoke to a particular group of believers, the group found to be on the right path or track.
In other words there is a depth of Christ that we get to and we don’t need to pray for open doors, because he has already set before us the open door. The door that the enemy shut against us.
He asked them to “behold”.
What Jesus is saying to everyone of us especially his children as Christians is that we should “behold”, “see”, “Look”, “stare at”. Behold means to look properly.
Jesus was pointing to something that he wants his believers to see. He was pointing to something that he wants his disciples to see, something that ordinarily they overlook; something that is there but not easily seen. He spoke to them in comparison to the synagogue of Satan, the congregation of the dead, who go by the name Christians. They go to Church, have the form but deny the power, by not holding onto the Word.
“The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” – Prov. 21:16
Jesus began to draw a distinction, a line between Christians and TRUE Christians.
There are people who go to church, believed to be Christians, they carry the Bible and even preach the Bible but they’re not disciples of Christ!
Jesus sets the distinction by saying, “look the door is open!”
Open door is only for those who are true disciples. They hold on to the Word of God, act like Jesus, talk like Jesus, think like Jesus. As a matter of fact it is Christ that is living in them.
But the other, the congregation of the dead? They do not hold to the word of God, they don’t act like Jesus or talk like Jesus, having wondered out of the way of understanding.
God has set an open door before those who hold firmly to His word, those who bought His Word and refused to sell it. But they couldn’t see the door because of the cares of this world, as Satan magnifies their want, making their God-given vision or dream look small and consequently, they despise the little beginning throwing the vision away. Instead of searching out divine judgement, they give up. It was so at the beginning when man bought the lie from the serpent throwing away what he thought was of no value: God’s vision and plan for him.
But, God hide treasures in trash!
They see themselves as failures, not capable of carrying the vision. They think they are the ones to carry the vision not God, so they write themselves off.
Whereas the door has been opened, it remains shut for these, making it impossible for them to enter through because of these two negative thoughts -fear and unbelief.
“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 Corinthians 10:5
We are told here that nothing should be allowed above the Word of God. We should not, like the ten spies, allow the devil steal the vision from us, consequently the crown of glory. We defeat ourselves whenever we write ourselves off.
As it is said and written that as a man thinketh in his heart so is he.
Stop crying, complaining and murmuring! God is saying “move on!” Don’t allow fear to paralyze you!
The key of David (praise) opens the door. You can only enter the door with the “heart-tittude” of David.
“Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.”- Psalm100:4
It has to come from your heart. Remember Steven who was being stoned, from his heart he looked up, saw heaven open and from the abundance of his heart, did what was right before God.
Praise is not only in singing but in our obedience to Him no matter what we go through.
Until you learn to give all the glory to God even in the deepest agony, you are not a candidate for growth and supplies: open door.
Most often however, people abandon a praiseful life to equate themselves with others.
Learn to praise God even in the toughest of times, only then will you “behold” the open door.
We are on a journey.
Passing towns and villages, hills and valleys. In the same way we move, constantly moving from days to weeks, to months and years; moving from age to age, changing even facially as we journey in life.
We carry luggage on our journey; some light, some heavy. Most of these slow us down spiritually.
Even oceanliners and aircrafts have weight limits, and are dutifully monitored for peak performance.
For a faster and secure ride in 2016, we need to shed some load; everything that constitute sin in our lives: lying, hatred, envy, jealousy, unforgiveness, stealing, formication and adultery, etc. These are great loads of hindrance in that slowed and impeded our progress in 2015.
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
Jesus calls us to give Him our load, and in turn He will give us much better days.
“The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, saith the LORD of hosts: and in this place will I give peace, saith the LORD of hosts. – Haggai 2:9
2016 shall be by far a much better year than 2015. It is a year of exploits for as many that will be totally committed to Him.
(1 ) Uproot fear – “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” -2 Timothy 1:7
You need to uproot, reject and cast out fear. Fear gives birth to failure.
(2) Learn to trust Him.
“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because He trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3
Whoever must travel with God in 2016 must, through thick and thin, believe that what He has promised, He is more than able to deliver.
This does not come easy! Trust is built, and this, by time and patience. The enemy, as in the garden of Eden, will come planting doubt and unbelief. He may create delay as with the angel sent to Daniel.
You just have to hold on to His word, for faithful is He that promised. He said through Habakkuk that no matter the delay it shall surely come!
“For the vision is yet for an appointed time, but at the end it shall speak, and not lie: though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry.” – Habakkuk 2:3
Believe, and not waver between two opinions. And the peace of God that passes all understanding shall guard your heart in Jesus mighty Name. Amen.
Welcome to 2016!
Lets make riches.
By the grace of God the world is a marketplace, we are sent in here to trade having been equipped with the resource of heaven. We have all been given different quantities of the same thing; depending on our ability, what we have to do. In other words what we have to do is responsible for the quantity of time that is given to us. It is said that to whom much is given, much is expected.
Some are given at birth 50 years, some 70 years, some 100 years and more. God gives everybody according to their abilities; according to the work they have to do for Him here on earth just as in the parables where the servants were given different quantities of the same thing. One was given five talents, the other two and the last, one according to their abilities, what they are capable of doing individually.
At birth we all received Time. Time is something that we all received when were coming to earth. Everyone of us big or small received the same thing in different measures.
If we have to check the average lifespan of a human being which is 70 years.
“The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.” -Psalms 90:10
Multiply 70 years by 365 days and you have 25,550 days. In other words every man came in with 25,550 days. Only? Multiplied further by 24 hours, we have 613,200 days. Only! However some received, just like in the parable, more and others less, according to the work we have to do for the Lord here on earth; according to the various responsibilities that God has sent us with here on earth.
No individual person, no one person came into the world with money or with cars or houses or clothes or gold or silver. No! We all came in naked with nothing at all whatsoever.
The only thing you brought into this world is TIME! And God expects you to exchange time for your basic need. Time is the money that followed you into this world, time is your greatest investment. When companies or institutions engage you what they take from you is part of your time. No company or individual is rich enough to engage ALL your time; they can only have part of your time and in exchange they give you some money: termed salary or payment.
How rich you are depends, not on how hard you work or how long you work, but on what you do with your time.
“I returned, and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.” – Ecclesiastes 9:11
For a lack of understanding many are wasting this resource, they are burying it! Just like the last man in the parable dug the ground and buried his talent, so many because of ignorance are literally digging the ground and burying the time that God gave to them to invest!
This is the basic difference between the rich and the poor. The ability to turn or translate Time to riches. Many are burying their Time.
But we are expected to manage our time.
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” – Ephesians 5:16
To redeem means to buy back, to exchange or put value on something that you need back earnestly. With various distractions, the enemy has stolen our money -Time! Today, we have the phones, internet, social media and all, eating up our time! We need to redeem it!
Like the servants in the parable who gave account of the talents received , we would give account of Time because this is Heaven’s resource given to us before we came to this world. Does what was done justify the time used? How relevant is that thing in relation to the time spent on it? Idle words eat up time! You will give account of idle words because you have wasted heaven’s resource!
What makes a word idle if not the non- justification of the Time spent on it!
There are only three ways to spend time. No matter who you are or what you do your time is spent on these three things.
(1) Thought. Watch your thought and its direction.
“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8
(2) Word. Watch what you say. Would it build or edify others?
“But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.” – Matthew 12:36
(3) Deed. Watch what you do and be careful not to walk in the counsel of the ungodly, or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of the scornful!
“Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.” – Psalms 1:1
And it shall be well with you in the Mighty Name of Jesus. Amen.
Religiously, Medically, Traditionally or otherwise, circumcision has come to stay!
Circumcision, the removing of the foreskin of the male reproductive organ, has been barbarically extended to the female folk in some traditions. Medically, this could be of advantage to the men but extremely very barbaric for women!
However our focus is not on the physical.
When Abram started his journey with God there was no covenant of circumcision. He only had faith and obedience. God for this, pronounced him righteous. But when he chose his wife’s advice over God’s leading, he walked out of faith. Though his business being born of God continued to blossom, God did not visit him for twelve years.
In the thirteenth year when God did it was with a rebuke!
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” – Genesis 17:1
God’s standard does not change. His Word is the same, eternal. His standard from which His Word comes says “the wages of sin is death” (Romans 6:23), and “the soul that sinneth shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:20).
These words are from the immutable standard of God. He is His standard, and His standard is Him. This standard cannot be lowered even for Abram. And so for what he did, he had to die!
Abram had broken God’s command, he had to die; and what better place to put the knife than on the tool that did the havoc!
How did Abram die?
The life of the creature is in the blood. (Gen. 9:4; Lev. 17:14) Abram’s blood (his life) had to be shed (run off). That half-believing old man that played with Haggar must die! Abram, put a knife on the “neck” of that creature that made you imperfect! If ABRAHAM must live and walk with me cut that old man of sin and let the poisnous blood (the life of ABRAM) run out. God’s Word cannot be broken! For Abraham, a new creature, to come to life, old things (Abram) must pass away; the old life must go, blood has to be shed!
And so, the circumcision of the flesh came into Man’s walk with God. It was not so at the beginning!
“This is my covenant, which ye shall keep, between me and you and thy seed after thee; Every man child among you shall be circumcised.” – Genesis 17:10
God demonstrated both His judgement and His mercy by giving Abram a second chance as Abraham. A second chance at life, a new life. (2 Cor. 5:17) God gave Abraham the gift of a renewed life, of being born-again; a divine youthfulness.
“…………but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” – Romans 6:23b
When a man dies he ceases to answer his name physically. Abraham, now you are a new creature. Abram is passed away, dead; with his old habit and nature. You are different both in habit and nature. When called Abram, you must not answer because the bearer of the former name is dead! Henceforth, you are Abraham! Behold I set before you a new beginning, new strength, new vigour and a new future. Walk before me in this new nature: blameless!
This new creature called Abraham cannot be married to the old woman called Sarai. So in you, I renew her youth! From today I remove that old barren woman full of sorrow and sadness. I replace her with the productive young woman who shall know no more sorrow or sadness. Her life shall be full of laughter! Her name shall be SARAH! For behold I do a new thing! I am Jehovah Elshaddai!
The same woman called barren, laughed at, rejected, despised, written off and regarded dead by reason of age was renewed in her youth. It had stopped to be with her after the manner of women but God, with Whom nothing shall be impossible, renewed her youth. The Almighty God made her the mother of Laughter at the YOUNG (?) age of 91! Hallellujah
Know Abraham, that walk with me is not what you can do for or by yourself but what I will do for you! I will be your exceeding great reward! My ageless strength will renew your strength like that of a young man. Stop looking at your age, look at what I am doing in your life! I am the Omnipotent God, with Me nothing shall be impossible!
What God did for Abraham, He did for everyone of us that believe in Him but we need to change the way we think.
That is the true circumcision. Circumcision is the proof of a new person, a renewed person who promises to be faithful. The higher dimension of circumcision is the proof that one is married to Jesus.
In our walk with God, physical circumcision is profitable IF we keep the Law.
“For circumcision verily profiteth, if thou keep the law: but if thou be a breaker of the law, thy circumcision is made uncircumcision.” – Romans 2:25
Nadab and Abihu did not profit from circumcision because they did not climb to the higher circumcision. Korah, Dathan and Abiram though circumcised died without inheriting God’s blessings. Eli a Priest, was rejected because he could not operate in the higher circumcision. The Pharisees and Sadducees were circumcised but Jesus called them “white-washed sepulcre”. The “devout” men in Acts 2, were circumcised but could not receive any inheritance in God.
It does not matter what work one does for God or what title one carries, inheritance in the Kingdom of God can only be attained through the higher dimension of circumcision. It does not matter today whether you are physically circumcised or not, if you attain this higher circumcision you will receive from the Lord.
What is this circumcision?
That of the heart!
Man looks at the outward circumcision. But God looks at the inner circumcision. Man looks at age, at height, facial beauty, at covering of HAIR, at clothing; the natural. God looks at the unseen, at the supernatural.
Saul was circumcised but God rejected him. If you like be circumcised in the flesh, if you are not circumcised in your heart you will not have an inheritance in the Lord.
“A person is not a Jew who is one only outwardly, nor is circumcision merely outward and physical. No, a person is a Jew who is one inwardly; and circumcision is circumcision of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the written code. Such a person’s praise is not from other people, but from God.” – Romans 2:28-29 (NIV)
Every message you hear is God’s knife peeling off your spiritual foreskin.
“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everyone. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.” – 2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (NIV)
His Word is the razor, sharper than any two edged sword, your heart is the foreskin. So in your heart think of yourself according to God’s thought for you. Any other thought should be pulled down; rejected. Take away from your heart whatever is not of God. That is the true circumcision.
Your heart should be a reflection of Christ: humble and contrite in spirit and sticks to the word of God. (Isaiah 66:2b)
Let’s renew our minds and think more on the things of God, His Kingdom and His Word, even above our comfort and His peace that passes understanding shall be ours. IJN. Amen.
“For from him and through him and for him are all things. To him be the glory forever! Amen.” – Romans 11:36 (NIV)
The Christian life is not an easy one especially with the enemy, the devil, telling us God has abandoned us. And that we cannot achieve whatsoever we have planned.
We need to realize that God has not abandoned us, and that yes, we cannot of our own do anything. He keeps His promises forever. One of which is that He would never leave us nor forsake us. (Hebrew 13:5)
By His presence, He gives us the power to do what He wants to do. The ability to do a good thing or achieve anything does not reside in us but in Him! He manifests this power in and through us. He gives strength to the weak; empowering us by His Spirit to do all things. We are His instruments, His weapons of war.
“Thou art my battle axe and weapons of war: for with thee will I break in pieces the nations, and with thee will I destroy kingdoms.” – Jeremiah 51:20
He is the one doing the work, we are only instruments! The plan of what to do, the power to do the work and the wisdom of how best to do the work are His! We should like weapons in our hands, respond to His leading and do all things HIS WAY! We should follow His leading, His method.
True, Adam named and defined all of creation, but God was there, interested and perhaps communicating!
Moses was asked to build to specification. Crazy, old King Saul did not and was rejected. Ezekiel made dry bones come to life! He followed God’s method. Barnabas and Paul went on missionary work. They followed God’s Way.
Success, in every endeavour, is doing things God’s way.