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!
Coming out of Egypt, Israel encountered peoples and situations that were hostile; like Balak who hired Balaam to curse them.
Unknown to the Israelites, these men and the officials of Moab, were on the hill overlooking the great hoard in the valley and pronouncing curses at them. At seven different locations they raised altars, made sacrifices and Balaam made the curse.
But whom God has blessed, no man can curse!! Every opening of the mouth to curse turned into blessings to the chagrin of the Moabit King!
Indeed God makes diviners mad and frustrates the token of liars!!!
All these were unknown to the Israelites!!!
I wish Christians will focus on following God with undivided heart and stop prying into who is cursing or making enchantments against them! God knows HOW to deliver the righteous.
The bible says God did not allow any man to hurt them. Instead He rebuked Kings for their sake!
“He suffered no man to do them wrong: yea, he reproved kings for their sakes;” (Psalm 105:14).
Evil people, like their master, do not rest. Seeing they couldn’t curse Israel, Balaam advised Balak to introduce strange women into their camp as this would make God angry, remove the protection and turn against them.
And truly, God turned against them! A plague was released; 24,000 men, outside women and children died.
To stop the plague God asked Moses to hang publicly, facing the Sun all the ring leaders who frolicked with the women of Moab and joined in the worship of Baal-peor, that it may be a deterrent to others.
While that was being carried out, Moses, Aaron and the leaders sat mourning in repentance, at the entry of the Tabernacle, and behold an Israeli prince, Zimri, came into the camp with a Midianitish princess named Cozby.
Also seated with them was a young man called Phinehas the son of Eleazar and grandson of Aaron the Priest.
Like others he saw the abomination brought into the camp but couldn’t keep still. Though his father was there, his grandfather was there, even his uncle, Moses was there! They knew this was the cause of the calamity yet they sat still crying, nobody moved!!
When he couldn’t contain it any more, he rose, picked a spear and traced the couple to the man’s tent where he killed both.
Instantly the plague stopped and God reacted: He made a covenant of peace with him, and pronounced that he and his descendants would be priests forever.
God had found a servant of honour. How did he become one?
(1) He was in the camp.
Young men are always adventurous, seeking to conquer their environment. Unlike Zimri, Phinehas stayed in the camp, not venturing away and consequently, remained in the will of God. He did not join himself to strangers.
What has Christ with Beliel or the temple of God with idols. What has light with darkness.
“Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.” (2 Corinthians 6:14-18).
Every sheep that leaves the flock and wanders off, breaks the rule and makes itself an easy target for the wolves. Christians who wander off the fold disobey God!!!
“Be separate, come out from their midst”, He says!
(2) He saw.
There is nothing as hindering as spiritual blindness!!!
Having killed the ringleaders as instructed by God, the plague did not stop! While they all sat crying, it took one young man, possibly not yet of Levitical age (30), to discern why the plague was not stopped!
Obedience to the Word of God should bring good (Isaiah 1: 19). Where and when obedience didn’t bring good, the obedience is not complete.
Phinehas saw what others could not see.
Just as in Exodus 32, when the entire camp of Israel did not see the consequence of making the molten calf and worshipping it, the tribe of Levi saw and abstained. That was how God chose them to be His vessels and representatives in place of the first born, making them a special people of God, an Old covenant “Church of the first born sons”.
Oh that our eyes may be opened that we might see through the eyes of heaven!!! What peace shall be ours!!!
No wonder Paul prayed our eyes be opened!
“The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,” (Ephesians 1:18).
(3) He picked the spear.
The spear was a weapon of war, a rod that kills – the Word of God. Paul tells us to pick up the sword of the Spirit (Eph. 6) which is the Word of God, Phinehas armed himself with the spear and with it quenched the abomination.
The work of God can only be done right and well when done according to the Word of God. Doing God’s work without His word is not only demonic, it is devilish and deathly.
Some works may be awesomely big and we allude it to the glory of God. But no. The sons of Levi were only a remnant compared to the multitude. Whereas they had the glory, the multitude were “naked to their shame”, stripped of the glory of God. Why? They did not follow God’s will and Way. They did theirs; there is a way that seemeth right unto a man….
“There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” (Proverbs 16:25).
God has specifications, even where a tiny nail should be, was instructed Noah in the building of the Ark.
Let’s not just do things, let’s do them according to His specification, and we shall be SERVANTS OF HONOUR.
(1) DO NOT LISTEN TO NEGATIVE INDIVIDUALS
Don’t listen to negative minded individuals who tell stories of woe and defeat. Some people delight in telling stories of woe, of failure, of fear and discouragement.
Don’t listen to them! Run from them! Remember the saying, “show me your friends, or people you listen to, and I will tell you who you are.”
God confounded the children of Israel in the desert who after seeing the giants in Jericho, lived in fear.
“But the men that went up with him said, We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we.” (Numbers 13:31).
“But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the LORD. Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice; Surely they shall not see the land which I sware unto their fathers, neither shall any of them that provoked me see it: But my servant Caleb, because he had another spirit with him, and hath followed me fully, him will I bring into the land whereinto he went; and his seed shall possess it.” (Numbers 14:21-24).
God will confound you in the presence of your enemies if you dwell in fear, for then He will see you as a rebel!
“Only rebel not ye against the LORD, neither fear ye the people of the land; for they are bread for us: their defence is departed from them, and the LORD is with us: fear them not.” (Numbers 14:9).
He never said demonic forces will not rise against you, but that we pay no attention to them.
(2) FILTER WHAT YOU SEE AND HEAR.
What you see and hear are suggestions! They affect your heart!
“Mine eye affecteth mine heart because of all the daughters of my city.” – (Lamentations 3:51)
If they are not pulled down ( 2Cor. 10:5), but allowed to grow, saturate the mind and take control of it. And when the mind is full, like a cloud full of vapour, it releases its content.
(3) READ BOOKS OF INSPIRATION
Read books of encouragement; books that tell you mighty acts of God.
”Only take heed to thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen, and lest they depart from thy heart all the days of thy life: but teach them thy sons, and thy sons’ sons.” (Deuteronomy 4:9).
Listen to messages of hope. Messages that give life, and play music that will edify your spirit. Video is good, but watch only those films that inspire you towards righteousness. Don’t watch just any “wolvish” video in “lamb clothing” by the title “Christian film”.
(4) CONFESS POSITIVE WORDS.
As you speak godly words aloud to yourself, faith will grow in your heart to counter any influence of evil that may have been deposited there.
Finally, no matter the situation, confess positive words. What you programme or sow into your heart is most certainly what you will reap!
“A man shall eat good by the fruit of his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall eat violence.” (Proverbs 13:2a)
The fear was incredibly thick that it became an open door for satan to come into our lives. Did God not say He will confound us in the presence of the enemy if we feared?
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.” – Jer 1:17
We had various forms of attacks; of roaches: big, black, hairy roaches, swarming in hordes, through windows that had mosquito nets, while the multi-tenement kitchen, just next door had no net on the window, yet no invasion of roach!! Scorpions were discovered in the house, a small wall-gecko that though it could not come in because of the net, stayed upside down on it for one week and released a vibration that affected my man-hood.
I felt embarrassed and frustrated, especially as we were only a few weeks into marriage!
Even after a cup of boiling water was poured on the gecko, it came back some minutes later to the same spot, and in the same position: upside down!!!
Indeed we should not war with the weapons of the flesh!
One night my wife found a live gecko under my pillow!!!
All these and more, are true-life experiences God used to groom us!
Having given room to satan through fear, we sold our precious sleep. Every night, either birds or pussycats will come in our window and cry like new born babies!
Like a barrage of machine guns we would rain curses at them, calling down fire and brimstone thinking that we were engaged in a warfare being “spiritual giants”. Whereas it was God who had confounded us in the presence of the enemy due to the fear in our hearts. God did not give us the spirit of fear, but of boldness.
“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
The mind is a dynamic force that does not sleep. Solomon said,
“I sleep, but my heart waketh.” – S.O.S 5:2
The heart continues in the night with the thought that the individual dwelt on during the day.
If you sow your thought into negative news, you will reap a harvest of nightmares and masquerades. Sow your thoughts into positive news and you will reap a harvest of sound mind and sweet dreams.
That is why we are warned to guard our hearts with all diligence.
“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life .” – Prov. 4:23
WATCH YOUR THOUGHTS
What thoughts have you been dwelling upon? They would either make you or mar you. You are a product of your thought.
“As a man thinks in his heart so is he.” – Luke 6:45
You need to review your thoughts. Until the meditation (thought) of your heart is acceptable (pure) before God, demons will continue to oppress you.
“Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.” – Psalm 19:14
Think only of things that are lovely, that are positive.
“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
She was in bondage to fear as a result of negative thoughts and imaginations. And so are many today.
She had heard frightful and bizarre stories in the past and held on to them in her mind to the point that wherever she was, those thoughts loom out larger than life. She had filled her consciousness with so much fear that in the night, her subconscious mind, an extension of her conscious mind, continued in the fear recorded in her mind.
The mind has an awesome recording power that captures all it is engaged in. It has the ability to play back what it has recorded and that is the source of most dreams.
Imagination is a very powerful thing! Even God attested to its power.
“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Gen 11:6 (KJV)
He was referring to the children of men. (verse 5)
Imagination cannot be restrained! It can see things that are not really there! When you meditate so much on a thing, you give life to that thing.
“For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me.” – Job 3:25 (KJV)
Meditating on the Word of God brings out the power in that Word.
“This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.” – Josh 1:8 (KJV)
Equally too, meditating or dwelling on messages centered around activities of demonic forces brings out the power in their activities.
At one time, my wife and I were sitting under teachings of, and counsels that centered on activities of witchcraft and demonic forces. Our minds became full of negative thoughts that we did not only dream of masquerades and pursuits by demonic forces, we became afraid of nightfall!
At 10:30pm on vigil nights, I would only muster courage as a man to walk to the Church with my wife. We would be looking over our shoulders; and on two different occasions, I thought I saw a figure rounding a corner!
The fear was incredibly thick that it became an open door for satan to come into our lives. Did God not say He will confound us in the presence of the enemy if we feared?
“Thou therefore gird up thy loins, and arise, and speak unto them all that I command thee: be not dismayed at their faces, lest I confound thee before them.” – Jer 1:17 (KJV)
….. to be continued.
A young man took a lady out to an ice-cream bar, settled at a table, before going to get their order. He returned with two cups of ice-cream, placed one in front of her before sitting opposite, across the table.
They talked a while, eating from their cups of ice-cream, when suddenly, she jumped to her feet, almost throwing out a mouth-full of the cream, in her struggle to bring out whatever she ate with the cream.
That was his cue. The young man was on his knee as she brought a ring out of her mouth.
“Would you marry me?” He asked.
He had asked the bar attendant to bury the ring in the ice-cream.
It was indeed a surprise for her.
That is the kind of surprise God has for us as we pass through trials.
“We then, as workers together with him, beseech you also that ye receive not the grace of God in vain.” – 2 Cor 6:1 (KJV)
The third thing to know is that with every package of trial, there is an attachment: grace!
In 2 Corinthians 6, Paul asks us not to receive grace in vain, and encourages that we stand through storms and trials.
There is certainly a connection between grace and trials.
I do not dispute that grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense, but I believe it is more than that.
Grace is power; the power and ability of God manifested to help us stand and overcome. Like the Holy Spirit raising a standard against the flood of the enemy, grace is stirred up when we go through trials; when we KNOW it exists!!!
However most do no know that grace is available with every trials and persecution. We see and feel only the pain and discomfort. Not knowing grace abounds therein. Satan blinds us from this to make us think God has abandoned us!!!
Paul learned in 2 Corinthians 12, when faced with an infirmity which he prayed thrice to be removed, and thrice too, the Lord Jesus asked him to hold on to the grace which was abundantly available.
“And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Cor 12:7-9 (KJV)
Knowing grace was available, he would then “most gladly rejoice in infirmities”, knowing that in his weakness, God’s power (grace) takes over!!!
Tapping into Grace.
Finally, we need to know how to tap into grace, as it would be available, yet in vain.
In vain because we do not know how to draw from it!
Peter and James agree with Paul that only by humility can we tap into God’s grace.
“But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.” – James 4:6 (KJV)
“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.” – Peter 5:5 (KJV)
Let us learn not to think too highly of ourselves, so that the power of God would sustain us through trials.
What you see is what you get!
Imagination supplies you the mental pictures that you alone can see – in your thought Chamber! It is the “evidence” of what you desire; the “evidence” of your faith. If you cannot see it or “imagine” it, you cannot have it!
Faith cannot operate without spiritual sight. That is where imagination comes in.
Everyone has imagination. When properly used or directed, it can carry you from the visible, physical realm to the invisible spirit realm. It can also transport things from the invisible spirit realm to the visible physical or natural realm. Everything in the physical realm first existed in and came from the spirit realm.
“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.” – Heb 11:3 (KJV)
Imagination is a visible picture seen only by the creator, the “visioneer”. The more the picture or image is “retained” (Rom. 1:28) and nurtured, the more life it is given.
That is why Jesus said, if any man look lustfully at a woman, he has done it!
“But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.” – Matt 5:28 (KJV)
It is not just that one looked; but HOW the person looked: LUSTFULLY! In other words, creating, or raising a mental picture of the woman without her clothes. This employs the imagination.
Physically, visibly, people see the person as innocent; not committed adultery. But in the invisible realm, the spirit realm, such a person is guilty, and has committed adultery!
There may be no “evidence” of what has been done. But spiritually, there is “evidence”!
“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” – Heb 11:1 (KJV)
“.. evidence of things not seen”!
Faith is thought that is hopeful, anchored on the Word of God and backed up with love.
With the “evidence”, your thought, you can be convicted; “accused” by the accuser of brethren. Your thought can convict you in the spirit realm!
Hate or hatred is a negative emotional thought toward someone or something.
“Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.” – 1 John 3:15 (KJV)
The person is called and judged a murderer; though has not physically killed anyone! Negative thought or imagination, not pulled down or destroyed can convict you in the spirit realm!
Here the Holy Spirit reaffirms that our thought can act in “evidence” against us. Physically, you can be smiling with a person, but spiritually there is “evidence” that you have killed the person!
“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten son.” – Heb 11:17 (KJV)
Was Isaac really, naturally “offered up”? No!
The concluded thought in Abraham, and the sweet surrender of Isaac rose to God as a sweet smelling savour; it is as good as done!
Your thought goes beyond what you do in the natural realm. It enters into the spirit realm and opens you to either Faith or fear. It tells God continually who you are.
“The LORD knoweth the thoughts of man, that they are vanity.” – Psalms 94:11 (KJV)
Demonic forces also see your thought!
“….. he that seeketh mischief, it shall come unto him.” – Prov 11:27b (KJV)
They see your thought, else they will not have “evidence” with which to accuse you.
What you think will come to you: good or bad. So:
(1) Cast down imaginations and put thoughts into captivity.
“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)
(2) Entertain only good and pure thoughts.
“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.” – Phil 4:8 (KJV)
May God help us keep our thoughts pure. Amen.