Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Path of Life

Psalm 81: 1-5 says,’ Sing aloud unto God our strength: make a joyful noise unto the God of Jacob. Take a psalm, and bring hither the timbrel, the pleasant harp with the psaltery. Blow up the trumpet in the new moon, in the time appointed, on our solemn feast day. For this was a statute for Israel, and a law of the God of Jacob. This He ordained in Joseph for a testimony, when He went out through the land of Egypt: where I heard a language that I understood not. The type of journey that Joseph embarked upon in this passage can be likened to those of the early sailors and explorers in their bid to discover and explore new territories. These men all stepped out without knowing the specific details of their destination. They probably kept on looking out for emerging facts as their journey progressed. In the same vein, the Scriptures admonishes us to be both watchful and prayerful (Mark 13:33). This means that we are to stay alert for emerging details as we progress in our walk with God even as we constantly consult Him for continuous direction on how to live victorious lives.

As mentioned earlier, the early explorers were continually on the alert. This trait of alertness was visible in the lives of patriarchs like Abraham, Jacob and Joseph who were all on the look out for the territory that God had prepared for them. They were on the look-out for a city which had foundations whose Builder and Maker is God (Heb 11:10). When they stepped out in faith, God gave them a statute this was supposed to guide them as they sojourned in these foreign lands. This ordinance was meant to keep them on track as they faced challenges. Through these situations they had no known human support structure per se. However, these situations that they faced prompted them to rely solely on God’s leading. With total reliance on Him they stepped into adoption…’those who are led by the Spirit of God are called the sons of God (Romans 8:14) thus preventing them from receiving the spirit of bondage unto fear (verse 15). It also preserved them from inordinate attachment to men which is noted to be the greatest undoing of individuals with great destinies.

Once individuals have not conquered the fear of death, failure and the unknown, they are bound to get off the track of destiny. This happens because the threat of the fear of death is usually an impediment on the path of life. This threat of death was what David made reference to in Psalm 23:4 as ‘the valley of the shadow of death’. The only factor that will enable an individual to successfully walk through this valley (to the table set thereafter) is absolute reliance on God. It is important to note that God does not take individuals through this path to reveal faults in them. He takes them through this particular path to prove the work that He has done in them. He will not take us through tests that we lack the abilities to handle.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

The Path to Dominion

Genesis 1:28 says, ‘And God blessed them and said to them, Be fruitful, multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it [using all its vast resources in the service of God and man] and have dominion over the fish of the sea, the birds of the air, and over every living creature that moves upon the earth.’ (Amplified) This was the very first instruction that God gave to man, to be fruitful and then that he should multiply. The first part of the mandate was for increase and multiplication.

With this God illustrated the sequential pattern of growth. First, the gradual or arithmetic growth i.e. where one measure is increased to two then three etc. The next stage is multiplication this is the growth phase where you begin to take quantum leaps in life endeavours (i.e. geometric or exponential growth) this type of growth fills your life, family and environment until its impact is felt all over the earth i.e. you can be said to be replenishing the earth.

The transforming effect of your activities fills your environment. Here you begin to use the vast resources of the earth (which you have hitherto accessed in the preceding stages of growth) in the service of God and man.
All these stages are a build up to the stage of dominion where we really come into the fullness of the stature of Christ.

At this stage, we enter into the fullness of the government of Christ as stated in Isaiah 9:6-7 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

The process, as outlined by God, starts from increase through multiplication to dominion because it is impossible to have dominion with a minority mentality. This is because there is a certain level of capacity that an individual or organisation must have before they can attain dominion in their environment. Without the attainment of this level of capacity, all the activities within such an organisation or in such an individual’s life will be largely theoretical. There will be no practical results achieved.

This principle could be seen at work in Noah’s life (Gen 6:14-16). He had to build an ark of appropriate dimensions and capacity before a remnant of all creatures in the earth could be saved. Joseph also had to devise a plan on how to increase capacity ahead of the famine. This capacity enabled him to be used by God in saving the world from being wiped out.

As seen by both patriarchs (who built capacity before either the flood or famine began and ended up having dominion in their different dispensation), there is the need for us to ensure that we stay committed to our personal growth. This is because it will be too late to build our ark after the rains have begun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Pray think

Jesus taught, to watch as we pray lest we fall into temptation to open our eyes and ponder the path of our feet. To intelligently assess the situations before us and use the thoughts we have gathered in prayer. Sometimes, as we look at the issues and re-examine the situations we are faced with, disturbing thoughts arise indicating problem areas that must be covered with prayer. These things must not be taken for granted. Without thinking over the situations you are praying about you might not get the full results of your prayers.

Hastiness in action destroys the results of your prayers. There is more in the future of a fool than he that is hasty in judgement. Hastiness in making decisions has aborted many a season prepared by God for individuals. God hides light in pain. The scriptures says every affliction will work out an eternal weight in glory in our lives if we focus not on the things that are seen but focus on the things that are not seen. There is definitely more to life than meets the eye. We need to learn to see with our mind what others miss with their eyes.

John Rockefeller says, ’governments don’t create a living for the people, opportunities that they see do.’ Joseph, the ‘father’ of Jesus was going to put away Mary when he learnt of her pregnancy, but the Bible records as he thought on these things he saw that it was of God. His moral disposition was offended but he allowed his thoughts to run deep whilst praying before he acted. Imagine it: a man’s fiancĂ©e goes on a three-month holiday to her cousin’s place (Elizabeth was pregnant with John and Mary went to see her) and comes back pregnant. The first instinct would be to kick her out.

This might be an extreme case, but seasonally we are faced with situations that have an outward appearance which differs from its internal content and we must not be hasty in action. (For in pain there is light and not all that glitters is gold). Jesus taught that many through overeating, the use of alcohol and getting distracted by the elemental things of life cannot develop the concentration needed to have really deep thought about situations around them, so they miss the opportunities in them and end up trapped.

We need more people who understand that what prayer does is to first increase the intelligence of the one praying. It raises the levels of their thinking such that the stronger the mind gets the more successful the life would be.