** All scripture is in the AMP version except otherwise stated.
I’m happy for the opportunity to bring God’s word to you once again. I’m even more excited to be sharing on this topic because it is one particular lesson I have seen work testimonies in my life. The lesson is this: the connecting line between requests and answered prayers is often receiving instructions.
“The Lord said to Moses, Why do you cry to me? Tell the people of Israel to go forward!”
“Lift up your rod and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it, and the Israelites shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea” (Ex. 14: 15 – 16)
“Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and the Lord caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night and made the sea dry land; and the waters were divided” (Ex. 14:21)
The instruction, “stretch out your hand over the sea”, was what transformed Moses to a victorious man singing sons of deliverance from his enemies, in Exodus 15. Prior to the instruction Moses had been a man crying for help for fear of being overtaken by the Egyptians and as a result returning to captivity.
At various junctions in our lives, we seek God’s intervention about a particular matter needing a miracle. We pray hard, talking and crying to God without being patient to listen to Him for instructions that will take us out of the situation. Sometimes we listen, but when these instructions that are supposed to bring our needed solutions come our way we disobey because, to us, these instructions seem so inconsequential and illogical to the solutions we seek. We do not realize that our victory lies in our obedience. See this:
“So Naaman came with his horses and chariots and stopped at Elisha’s door”
“Elisha sent a messenger to him, saying, Go and wash in the Jordan seven times, and your flesh shall be restored and you shall be clean”
“But Naaman was angry and went away and said, Behold, I thought he would surely come out to me and stand and call on the name of the Lord his God, and wave his hand over the place and heal the leper.” (2 kings 5:9 – 11)
“Then he went down and dipped himself seven times in the Jordan, as the man of God had said, and his flesh was restored like that of a little child, and he was clean”. (2 kings 5:14)
Many of us are like Naaman, we want to dictate how God performs miracles in our lives. No! He is sovereign over all. The best posture is to be careful to listen to what He has to say, and be diligent to obey. Yes! Whatever He says to you, do it! That was the same advice Jesus’ mother gave the servants at the wedding at Cana of Galilee (and in extension to us, today).
“His mother said to the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it” (John 2:5)
“Jesus said to them, Fill the waterpots with water. So they filled them up to the brim”
“Then He said to them, Draw some out now and take it to the manager of the feast [to the one presiding, the superintendent of the banquet]. So they took him some.”
“And when the manager tasted the water just now turned into wine, not knowing where it came from–though the servants who had drawn the water knew–he called the bridegroom…”
The servants at this wedding went from having no wine at all to serving the best wine at the wedding, by doing what He said.
Two Important things that need to be emphasized is the need for every Christian to learn to listen to God for directions and obey them. Prayer ought to be two-way communication. We talk to God, and God talks to us. Each part is very important, one part should not be emphasized over the other. We need to be able to receive the instructions that will bring the solutions we seek. As believers, we must learn to train our senses to hear Him for ourselves. Do not worry, He is committed to lead us:
“I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you” (Ps. 32:8)
So when you receive an instruction, receive it and obey it.
“Hear instruction, and be wise, and refuse it not” (Prov. 8:33 KJV)
“Poverty and shame shall be to him that refuseth instruction: but he that regardeth reproof shall be honoured” (Prov. 13:18 KJV)
If you are a believer say this:
I am a child of God,
I have light and directions from above,
I receive the instructions providing solutions to my challenges,
When I receive them, I obey them,
I have a sound mind and I am blessed from above. Amen
I call you blessed
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.” Psalms 23:5 (NIV)
Welcome to a New Year, a New Decade. I pray it marks the beginning of great things in your life. This new year, I want us to be deliberate in deciding to live from within our spirit; making sure that life flows from within our spirit, into every area of our lives. This article aims to explain this.
The word ‘anoint’ is nothing new to any Christian. Throughout scripture we see people being anointed for new positions, mostly as leaders. Examples are Moses anointing Aaron and his sons as priests (Leviticus 8: 12 – 13), Samuel anointing Saul as king (1 Sam. 10:1), and also anointing David right in the midst of his brethren (1 Sam. 16:13). Of importance, in this article is what happened after these people were anointed.
After Saul was anointed the Spirit of the Lord came upon him and he prophesied. (1 Samuel 10: 1 – 11). The same happened to David; the Spirit of the Lord came upon David.
“Then Samuel took the horn of oil, and anointed him in the midst of his brethren: and the Spirit of the Lord came upon David from that day forward.” (1 Sam. 16:13 KJV)
The Holy Spirit through David, in Psalms 23, tells us what the anointing does:
‘You anoint my head with oil; causing my cup to overflow’ Ps. 23 : 5
You see brethren, everything is spiritual. Everything manifested in the physical is as a result of something affected in the spiritual. The Spirit comes over me, causing my cup to overflow (making me to abound in abundance). The Spirit comes over me, causing my career, my academics, my finances to succeed. This should not be surprising, since scripture says, everything comes out of the spiritual:
“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)
This is actually very serious. This scripture warns us to guard our spirit, because from our spirit flows the issues of our lives. The spirit of the believer is in the class of God, because He that is born of the Spirit is Spirit(he is not less John 3:6). So out of this Spirit flows life (John 7:38).There is always a flow from our Spirit. As believers we have to be intentional about channeling this flow into every area of our life.
‘Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.’ (Prov. 4:23 MSG)
Yes, out of your belly (spirit) flows life. If there is any new year resolution you should make, I will advise that it be to have a sound spirit. Be careful to nurture your spirit to the point that your spirit is able to transfer Life to every area of your life. This new year, we should be intentional in spending time in fellowship with the Holy Spirit. This new year, we should consciously learn of the anointing that dwells within us.
“As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit — just as it has taught you, remain in him”. (1 John 2:27 NIV)
Despite what may be happening around us, the Holy-Spirit is able to perform a contrary work in us so that we are not affected. There may be sadness, confusion, darkness, despair through the circumstances and situations we face, but in spite of this the Holy-spirit is able to work peace, comfort, joy within us. Brethren we need to deliberately nurture a robust spirit this new year.
“You became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you welcomed the message in the midst of severe suffering with the joy given by the Holy Spirit” (1 Thess. 1:6)
The anointing of the Spirit is able to flow into every area of our lives, to bring about the change we desire.This new year, my prayer for you my dear reader, is that you will be strong in faith, energized through your spirit-man and continue to grow in love. Welcome into your season of a better walk with God.
I Call You Blessed
‘For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek’ (Rom. 1:16)
As believers we have been called to preach the gospel. Reaching out to the lost and unsaved. This message in our hands contains a massive load of reformative power. It is able to cause unimaginable changes in people’s lives. In this article, I desire to show us, from scriptures, instances of how the gospel completely changed people’s lives and I hope that this would in turn spur you, my readers, to be more bold in preaching this message knowing the power contained therein.
The Gospel Quickens (Brings back to life)
It is interesting to note that, when we go out to preach the gospel to the unsaved, we are actually trying to ‘raise people from the dead’. Scripture says;
‘And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;’ (Eph. 2:1)
‘Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed (1 Pet. 2:24)’
Scripture describes the man who is not “in Christ” as being dead! Dead in sin. He is living but doesn’t have life! He/She doesn’t have eternal life. What a miracle it is to raise the dead back to life! And that’s exactly what happens when we save a soul. No wonder, there is much rejoicing when one soul is saved. Brethren, The Gospel contains life-giving power.
A Change of Life and Life Situations
‘The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; (Isaiah 61:1)’
‘To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified. (Isaiah 61:3)’
The scriptures above show us the ability of the gospel. It can change a man’s life and circumstances. From darkness to light. From being broken-hearted to joy. From captivity to liberty, prison doors opened. From ashes to beauty. From mourning to joy. From heaviness and tears to praise. The gospel can do this! I believe this was the experience of Paul and his ministry team as they went from place to place preaching the gospel.
A testimony of a radical change as a result of receiving the gospel is recorded in the book of 1 Thessalonians;
8 For from you sounded out the word of the Lord not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place your faith to God-ward is spread abroad; so that we need not to speak any thing.
9 For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;
10 And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come. (1 Thess. 1: 8 -10).
This change came as a result of …
..we preached unto you the gospel of God (1 Thess. 2:9)
The interesting thing we see is that, God is committed to the scriptures. When we go out preaching, He backs us up with His authority:
‘Long time therefore abode they speaking boldly in the Lord, which gave testimony unto the word of his grace, and granted signs and wonders to be done by their hands’ (Acts 14:3)
That’s exactly what we should also do today, speak boldly in the Lord. Preaching the gospel, knowing that it contains the power of God that is able to save, deliver and rescue. And if you are reading this and you are not saved, today know that receiving the gospel gives you eternal life and it can turn your circumstances around. Believe in your heart for salvation and confess unto righteousness.
Say this with me:
I choose to preach the Gospel,
I choose to believe it,
I allow God’s words have free course in my life and in return it changes my life and circumstances,
I welcome the Involvement of the Gospel in my life and as a result I see the power of God flow in my situation, In Jesus name. Amen
I Call You Blessed.
I am excited to be back here to share another article with you. I believe as we behold the word as in a mirror, we are changed to the same level of glory through God’s Spirit.
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6)
Jesus during His time on earth made some daring statements. I find the one above to be one of them. He said with so much conviction and assurance, that it leaves one to ask, what kind of Man was Christ? I believe an understanding of this statement will give us a good understanding of who Christ is and of who we are.
The use of the definite article behind the words – way, truth, life, makes the statement assertive. This implies there is only one way. I believe there is a message in John 14:6 above and it is “Jesus is the way to the Father”. This statement tells us that salvation comes only through Jesus.
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is no other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12)
No Man comes to the Father except through Jesus. He is the doorway (John 10:9). The other access into the house, other than the door, is the window and only a thief comes in that way. Jesus is the ONLY way to the Father. He is the only chosen way. God is a God of order. Every other religion does not lead us to the Father.
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph. 2:18)”
The destination for every believer is not just Heaven, but the Father. Even though Heaven is glorious, the Father is The Glory. It is the Father who makes Heaven glorious.
‘But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord’ (2 Cor. 3:18)
We are going to become the image of God. We are changing. We are journeying to God through Christ.
“For the Law was given by Moses, but grace and truth came by Jesus Christ” (John 1:17)
I often like to say that Jesus is the truth with grace. I believe that the truth is not the truth without grace. The truth is not completely explained without teaching grace. When one knows the truth, he knows grace alongside.
Jesus being the truth simply implies that every ideology or belief that does not agree with Him (His person, His word) is a lie. He is the standard of Truth. If it agrees with His person and His word then it is true. Check your ideas, business, relationship does it agree with Jesus? Or are you living a lie?
The devil has filled our society with his lies, and now it seems difficult to identify what the truth is. Jesus is saying to believers, x-ray everything through me. Does it agree with Jesus, then it is the truth and if it doesn’t then it’s a lie!
My Life Application Study Bible explains this phrase (Jesus being the Truth) to mean ‘He is the reality of God’s promises’. That is in Christ the promises of God to us are fulfilled.
‘For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us’ (2 Cor. 1:20)
As the life, He joins His divine life to ours, both now and eternally.
‘In him was life; and the life was the light of men’ (John 1:4)
‘And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins’ (Eph. 2:1)
‘For in him we live, and move, and have our being…’ (Acts 17:28)
As believers, Christ is our Life (Col. 3:4), knowing Him and knowing the Father through Him is our eternal life (John17:3). We can rejoice because we have eternal life in Him. Christ being THE LIFE means anyone not having Him though living is dead. He/She is a living dead. So, when we go on evangelism, we are giving life to people. It’s a great miracle.
As believers, the life we now live is to the Father not to ourselves. We were dead, Christ now lives in us. Through Him only does the world receive the life of the Father. Jesus is in truth, the only living way to the Father.
I Call You Blessed.
I had the privilege of visiting a senior residence a few weeks ago. I was there with a friend, my friend is a close pal of the old folks there, so they invited us to have coffee and cake with them. In all the time we spent with them, which they enjoyed, I couldn’t help but notice how slow they moved and how their hands would tremble as they tried to grip the coffee cups and eat the small pieces of cake we shared. I kept looking at how much strength was available in me and how little strength and coordination they had in their bones.
Even long after I left the residence, I kept thinking about this. Then I remembered;
“I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night comes, when no man can work” (John 9:4)
Yes. There is a “night season”. After the glorious/beautiful day comes the dark night. There’s a time of having full strength, and there is a time when the strength will fade. The night season doesn’t have to be a difficult time or a time full of problems/troubles. But it means, a time when those opportunities that come our way are no longer there. A time when those things that we are proficient in and able to do, we will not be able to do any longer.
When I was a student at the University of Ibadan, in my little capacity then I tried being a blessing to those around me and served in my student fellowship. You will agree with me that now it is more difficult to reach those same classmates to bless them. It’s because there is a night season over that phase of my life and the relationships I had.
Brethren, the night comes, and because of that, we need to know how to discern the times and maximize the opportunities God brings our way by knowing what God’s will is in every season.
“Redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is” (Eph. 5:16 – 17)
Notice this phrase from the scripture above “Understanding what the will of the Lord is”.I believe this is very key. 1 Kings 5, gives an account of how Solomon started building a temple for God. David, his father, had fought a lot of wars during his time as king. When Solomon became king, God gave him peace with all his neighbours. He didn’t make light of that opportunity, he discerned that the season was a time to build and he set out to do it immediately. He didn’t use that period to play around because he knew the night season would come.
The bible also tells us about the story of Joseph; he was able to discern that there was going to be seven years of plenty and abundance, followed by another seven years of lack and famine. Because he could discern the times and know God’s will, he was able to save the whole Egypt and was promoted to second in command in Egypt. Imagine, if the initial season of plenty was squandered and spent with a lackadaisical attitude, what would have been done in the night season (the next seven years) that followed.
The Bible also talks about the children of Issachar; because they could understand the times and Season, they had their brethren under their control. They were in charge. When we can learn to discern the times and seasons, we can distinguish ourselves for positions of responsibility.
“And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding of the times, to know what Israel ought to do; the heads of them were two hundred; and all their brethren were at their commandment” (1 Chron. 12:32)
I have a habit of seeking to know God’s will for the year on my birthday. My last 2 birthdays, the Lord told me, “I am putting you strategically in positions so as for you to be able to help and bless people”. When resources and special opportunities started coming my way, I knew exactly what God’s intention about them was and made sure to be a blessing to people. My knowledge of God’s will for that season, helped me to make use of the opportunities according to God’s will.
As believers, God has given us His spirit by which we can be led and discern His next move. We are His children and qualify to hear His voice and be led by Him. Today, I encourage you to learn to make maximum use of the opportunities that God brings your way by discerning properly God’s will per time.
I Call You Blessed
As we learnt in “The Man Christ Jesus; The Message”, the whole message of the scriptures points back to Christ. And so that must mean every promise given is a picture of Christ.
We see God make promises to people in the old testament. Each promise in the old testament speaks of the promise to send the Messiah; Jesus Christ. And in turn, the fulfilment of every promise spoke of the fulfilment of even the prophecies concerning the Messiah. For example, Genesis 21:1 says:
“The Lord visited Sarah as he had said, and the Lord did to Sarah as he had promised.”
The fulfilment of God’s promise to Abraham and Sarah to give them a child, even in their old age, was a picture of the faithfulness of God to keep His word regardless of the hopelessness of the natural situation. (Genesis 17; 16 -21 and 18:9-15).
In the old testament, we see numerous examples of God keeping His promises to His people – and because of this they could have faith for the Messiah – even though they did not physically see Him. The whole of Hebrews 11 gives us numerous examples of faith actions in the old testament that were counted as righteousness and belief for the Messiah. And it shows that the faith which we act out – in obedience to God’s word and instructions, speaks of the faith which we have for His promises of salvation and redemption – That Christ is indeed all He promises to be.
In the new testament, Christ has come. The promise of a Saviour is fulfilled. The man Christ Jesus is THE promise of God fulfilled as well as the fulfilment of every promise. In Christ – in the fulfilment of the promise of a saviour, there are manifold promises which cascade unto all those who believe.
Ephesians 1:3 says;
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,”
These promises are all fulfilled IN CHRIST. God has blessed us IN CHRIST. In our belief that Jesus is indeed our saviour, we have access to a host of spiritual blessings which we did not previously have access to. In Christ our spirit is saved and we have access once again to the blessings God intended for us to have – the Holy Spirit, promises of peace, healing, grace upon grace, favour, righteousness before the Father, redemption from our fallen state, and so much more.
Perhaps the most important is the promise of forgiveness of sins. Jeremiah prophesied saying:
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother saying, Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, says the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more” (Jer. 31:34)
God was saying their sins He will remember no more! But we know that this was only a promise fulfilled in Christ Jesus. The book of Hebrews explains that before Christ’s sacrifice, there was still a remembrance of sin despite the sacrifice of bulls and goats being offered.
“But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.” (Heb. 10: 2-3)
But talking about the sacrifice of Christ, He says:
“But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God; from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool. For by one offering he has perfected forever them that are sanctified.” (Heb. 10: 12 – 14)
Hallelujah! He offered one sacrifice for sins for ever! Now, God doesn’t remember our sins because of the man Christ Jesus. Because of His sacrifice for sins.
Every promise of God is redemptive. Redeeming us to what He initially planned and predestined us to be (Ephesians 2:10).This is why Christ is the fulfilment of every promise because He is our Redeemer – the same way Boaz was a kinsman redeemer to Ruth – restoring to her what she had lost, Christ is our redeemer, restoring to us all that the devil aimed to kill, steal and destroy in our lives. Jesus Christ was the perfect sacrifice, paying fully for our sin which separated us from God, and allowed us to be righteous once again in the eyes of the Father. He makes us new creatures.
2 Corinthians 5:17 says;
“Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new”
So everything that would be Christs’ – as the son of God, would be ours IN CHRIST. Every promise to the people of God would be ours IN CHRIST. Because in Him we are once again God’s people.
Jeremiah also prophesied:
“For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” (Jer. 31:33 ESV)
Peter, writing to the gentiles (to us), informs us that this promise has been fulfilled in Christ:
“But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a consecrated nation, a[special] people for God’s own possession, so that you may proclaim the excellencies [the wonderful deeds and virtues and perfections] of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvellous light.”(1 Pet. 2:9 AMP)
“Once you were not a people [at all], but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.” (1 Pet. 2:10 AMP)
In fact, we are not just His people, we are Sons of God. Glory!
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God…”(1 John 3:2 KJV)
Scripture goes further to state something that is mind-blowing;
“For all the promises of God in him are yes, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us” (2 Cor. 1: 20 KJV)
The message translation of the bible states it like this:
“Whatever God has promised gets stamped with the Yes of Jesus. In him, this is what we preach and pray, the great Amen, God’s Yes and our Yes together, gloriously evident” (2 Cor. 1: 20 – 21)
The version above calls Christ Jesus, the great Amen. Amen means so shall it be or let it be so or I strongly agree. We can look into Christ and find God saying “yes” to us who believe for all His promises. All of God’s promises are fulfilled in Christ. This should be a joy and rejoicing of heart for us! He is the Yes and Amen to all of God’s promises to us who believe. Have you looked through the Old Covenant, and seen any of God’s promise to us His people? 1 Cor. 1: 20 says we should rejoice, it is fulfilled in the Man Christ Jesus.
***Special thanks to Wuraola Fanimokun for helping out to co-write and edit this article***