March 5, 2017 by Kgalalelo
We have entered the third month of the year, March 2018, and you might have prayed in the beginning of the year declaring a good year for yourself and so far things might be going south because the enemy has been listening and watching. The Bible says that “be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour. Resist him, standing firm in the faith, because you know that the family of believers throughout the world is undergoing the same kind of suffering” (1Peter 5:9). The devil is prowling day and night and in Job 1: 7 when the Lord asked him where he was, he said “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it”.
Despite the devil’s devices, there’s nothing like dwelling in the house of the Lord. Everything can happen around you but if you remain in the house of the Lord, nothing can come upon you. You don’t even have to peep by the window. The Bible tells us that when Jesus had fasted for forty days and nights, He was hungry and the devil used the opportunity to tempt Him. He had been watching Jesus and He took a chance. In moments of weakness, that’s when he takes a chance to see how strong you are. He said to Jesus, if you say that you are the Son of God, command the stones to turn into bread and Jesus said to him, “it is written, man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God” (Luke 4:4).
The devil tried to manipulate Jesus; he tried to take advantage of His vulnerability and some of us in moments of feebleness, give in to the tactics of the devil. Jesus’ awareness was sharpened when He came down from the mountain, He didn’t relent and gave in to the devil but said to him, “get behind me satan!” (Luke 4:8). This is how we are supposed to approach things as well, day after day and say to satan, ‘I will not allow you to put dimness in my year that I have already declared to be good and the year of favour from the Lord’.
We have to speak with authority and keep on thanking the Lord for what He has already achieved in our lives because we have declared it. We read in 2 Corinthians 1:20 that “for no matter how many promises God has made, they are “Yes” in Christ. And so through Him the “Amen” is spoken by us to the glory of God”. These promises applies to all believers in Christ. For example, if you declared in the beginning of the year that you walk in perfect divine health whereas you have an ailment on your body, keep on standing by the promises of God that by His stripes you are healed (Isaiah 53:5), it’s past tense, healing has manifested and so get up and keep on walking. Go wash your eyes in the river if you were stroke by blindness of the spirit that your awareness may kick in just like it occurred with Jesus. Satan came back to him thinking that Jesus might concede if promised the material world but even then, He rebuked him. He said it is written “you shall worship the Lord your God, and Him only you shall serve” (Luke 4:8).
Jesus was driven by the agenda of heaven that He was given for He says further down in Luke 4:42 “I must preach the kingdom of God to the other cities also, because for this purpose I have been sent”. He was responding to the crowd who wanted Him for themselves only because He was performing miracles, healing the sick, rebuking evil spirits in people and speaking with great authority. His mission was completed even before He came to embodiment. Walking on earth and performing miracles was just a formality of what has already been accomplished victoriously. He knew every step of the way what was ahead of Him; He predicted His own death and knew that He would be raised from the dead in three days and that those who believed in Him would receive eternal life.
He anticipated all these things to happen even though from the mortal perspective, He wished not to experience the cross. It was a painful experience off course. He said in Luke 22:42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done”. He knew about the plot to kill Him, He knew the person who would give Him away, He knew that before the rooster crowed, Peter would have denied Him three times. He had visions of all that was awaiting Him but all of these had to play themselves out so that all of us may be saved. The end was key as it was not only about Him alone but the rest of us. He had to die to save all of us and nations are still talking about him even today.
When Jesus was walking the earth, He was mocked for showing leadership, preaching, reprimanding the wrongs that were done by the governments of those days. He went from city to city trying to show people a better way. A system that brought about peace and love for all but as it is everywhere, when you glory shines, there will be people who will try to dim your light, however, Jesus Himself encourages us that we are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. He says that “A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:14-16). God has given us different schedules of things to be fulfilled on His clock and it is Him who receives the glory always upon achievement.
There will always be opponents to the mission set forth by God but it is in times like those that we have to persist in praise and worship knowing that God has already defeated the enemy. The enemy doesn’t have power lest the power we give him. Satan was a non-issue to Jesus, he was a fly to be squashed but he tried to roar like a lion but is in fact, a kitten and is still trying to intimidate us that we may give up the mission. He rejoices when we fail and want to get as many people on His side as possible. When things happen to us children of God, filled with the Holy Spirit and walking with God, we have to know that the end is to glorify God. Sometimes God allows certain things to happen to save the others because just like Thomas, some of us believe when we see.
The Bible says that Thomas was not with the other disciples when Jesus appeared after rising from the dead and when he was told that Jesus had materialised, he said “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe”. The Bible says that it was only after eight days that Jesus reappeared to His disciples and this time Thomas was with them. When Jesus came, He shut the door behind Him and said “Peace be with you” (John 20:26) and said to the unbelieving Thomas “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing” (John 20:27). Jesus said to Thomas that blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed because Thomas believed only then. We all need to pray for ourselves that God should help us in our unbelief. We are given the Word everytime, hands laid on us and we are prayed for often but we receive temporarily and lose faith when we don’t see the manifestation.
Pastor Ray Macaulay once said that we often have ‘Sunday experiences’. Our excitement is short-lived. As soon as we walk out of the sanctuary, we go back to normal. It’s an indication that the Word of God never fell on fertile soil. Read the parable of the sower in Matthew 13. When the seed of the Word falls on rich soil, not rocky or thorny soil, it bears fruit. Ask Jesus to do the spade work and labour on the soil of your soul. He says in John 15 “I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit”. God is concerned about each child bearing fruit because He has already ordained goodness in our lives. He desires to see us grow and be the people that He has birthed us to be. There is so much inside of us that God wants to see come out because it is Him who has deposited all the skills, abilities, talents and our unique characters, traits and missions.
God has already realised the accomplishment of our missions, but because we get entangled in the affairs of life, we deviate from the path already set by God. We need to pray always that we may remain in the path that has been chosen when we were born, to avoid delays of the fulfilment of the mission. God however, is gracious in that even when we go astray, always leads us back into the right path but we can save ourselves a lot of trouble by sticking with God from the beginning. Whatever He allows is for His own glory and to save others as well and lead them back onto their right path. Jesus said “I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance”. For repentance to occur at times certain things have to transpire to prompt people to change their ways and sometimes things challenge us to the point of cracking and finally surrendering all to Jesus. Don’t waste time, yield today and keep on believing that all that God has ordained in your life, He has brought it to fruition already, therefore, thank Him for what He has already done for you. Amen.
Footnote: Scriptures taken from the The Holy Bible, New King James Version, 1982: Nashville, TN, Thomas Nelson, Inc. &
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Kgalalelo Saane Mphephuka
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