Wednesday, 19 March 2008

You've heard the word, so watcha gonna do about it??

I don't even know where that title came from, i was just spending some time reading the word and that statement dropped into my spirit. As believers in this age, we have access to the Word of God as it has never been before. We can listen to Christian radio, TV, podcast, we can watch a service live on the Internet. We have the Bible in so many translations, sizes and languages. This week my friend gave me the New Testament in Igbo sef ( o dikwa very wondrous..LOL!!) I think what the Holy Spirit was trying to say to me was that the issue was not necessarily the AVAILABILITY of the word but the USABILITY (sorry for poor grammar)of the word in my life.

We know so many things about the word of God. For example

It was there in the beginning (John 1:1)
It does not return empty but accomplishes His desire (Isaiah 55:11)
It is living and active (Hebrews 4:12)
It enables us to overcome (Revelation 12:11)
It has been exalted above all things (Psalm 138:2)
It is a lamp for our feet and a light for our path (Psalm 119:105)

We know what the Word of God is and what it can accomplish in our lives, my question was then, why isn't my life always a true reflection of the Word of God? The answer I received was.....

First, there is the issue of timing. Joeseph received a word from God concerning his destiny, that it would be very great but his life at some points seemed to be in direct contrast to what he had heard. Psalm 105:17-19 (KJV)says until the time that his word came; the word of the Lord tried Him. Be encouraged that even when your physical eyes see something different from what you know in your spirit to be true, that the Lord makes all things beautiful in its time (Ecc 3:11).

A very fundamental issue however, is how we receive the word of God. This is how it came to me,

'Believer, have you become so accustomed to the Scriptures that you can already anticipate what will be preached when it is quoted? Do you know it all, have heard it all and seen it all? Believer, allow the Word to be fresh and renewed in your life on a daily basis. Be hungry for the word of God. I know you enjoy it but be so hungry for it, like air, something that it is impossible to live without'.

For the word to become fruitful in our lives (to become flesh John 1:14), it must fall on good soil. Remember the parable of the sower (Mark 4:3-20), the issue was not with the word (seed) but where the word fell. So you've heard the word, watcha gonna do about it? Will you be the roadside, allowing Satan to take the Word away from you? Or will you be a rocky place, not allowing the word to take root in you, just jumping up and down when you hear it? Or will you be in the category, I usually find myself in; the thorns...I hear the word but allow worry, fear, desire for other things and anxiety to choke the life out of it and I wonder why it hasn't produced anything in my life.

For the word to bear fruit, I must be good soil,I love the way Luke explained it (Luke 8:15, NIV). The good soil stands for a noble and good heart. An unrenewed heart cannot be good soil because it is full of things that choke the word of God. We are purified in the trials of life's adversities, like silver where impurities rise to the surface and are skimmed off until the refiner can clearly see His reflection, God places us in the fire of trials until anger bubbles up, until unforgiveness bubbles up, what about envy and jealousy? He continues until He can see His full reflection in us.

So now we are good soil, the word has been sown in us, we have heard the Word, what next? We must RETAIN it. Ponder on it, meditate on it, ask and reflect on what it means to you personally and how you can apply it in your life and situation. Note, you retain what you hear so be careful what you hear. Don't go to where the word is comfortable, go where the word is strong. You will only harvest what has been sown!

When we retain the word, we must also persevere in and for it. The devil is a master strategist and will come to try you. Like Jesus, overcome Him with 'It is written'(Matt 4:1-11). Persevere until the word of God comes to pass, until the intagible becomes tangible.

Hold on
Change is coming
The day is breaking
The night is passing away
with it's darkness
and it's tears
with it's uncertainties
the morning is coming
with it's light
and it's joy
with it's hope

You are blessed and highly favoured. Thanks for taking the time to read. 2008 continues to be our year of UNCOMMON TESTIMONIES.

Saturday, 8 March 2008

Hold on

At least there is HOPE for a tree (Believer):if (she) is cut down (she) will SPROUT again, and (her) new shoots will not FAIL. (Her) roots may grow old in the ground and (her) stump die in the soil, YET at the scent of water, (she) will BUD and put forth shoots like a plant (Job 14:7-9, NIV)

He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with SONGS OF JOY, carrying sheaves with Him (Psalm 126:6, NIV)Capitals and brackets mine

I wonder what would have happened if....

Noah did not build the ark because people were laughing at him (Hebrews 11:7)
Sarah had considered her age (Genesis 21:1-3)
Job decided he'd had enough (Job 14:14)
Joeseph had chosen not to interpret the butler's dream (Genesis 40:6-14)
Ruth had linked arms with Orpah and gone back to Moab (Ruth 1:16-17)
Esther did not take her petition before the king (Esther 4:15-16)
Elisha had turned back at the Jordan (2nd Kings 2:1-10)
Naaman refused to dip in the river (2nd Kings 5:10-14)
The Hebrew boys bowed to the idol (Daniel 3:16-18)
The woman with the issue of blood had not pressed through the crowd (Luke 8:42-48)
Jesus had turned back at the sight of the cross (Matthew 26:42, 27:46)

I also wonder what would have happened if

Martin Luther King had kept his dream to himself
Rosa Parks had stood up when asked
William Wilberforce had stopped presenting his bill to Commons
Thomas Edison had given up after the hundreth attempt

Most importantly, I wonder what will happen
If I and you do not GIVE UP today?
even when the odds seemed to be stacked against us

All the names mentioned above had genuine reasons to give up on their dreams or throw away their faith and belief because of the issues and obstacles they faced. Yet at the decisive moments of their lives, they decided to HOLD on because they knew the ONE in whom they had believed was faithful. Laurie Beth Jones in her wonderful book, Jesus in Blue Jeans terms this as 'not flinching at the critical moment'. We will all face such critical moments, some of us are facing them right now, so what will we decide to do? give up and throw in the towel or hold on a little bit longer. I love the Scripture above from Job, the Bible says at the scent of water, a tree will bud. In the Bible, water is symbolic of the word of God. The only way we can get that scent is to keep our eyes fixed on the Word of God. I'm not for a moment saying this is easy, it isn't. The Word is a source of encouragement, a source of power, it isn't natural to just keep confessing God's word when it seems to be totally opposite to what your eyes can see concerning your circumstance but that's what faith is about. Hebrews 11:1 (NIV) says it's being SURE of what we HOPE for and CERTAIN of what we do not SEE. Do not be afraid for surely there will be an end to the issues that we face and our expectations shall never be cut off. All that we need is to hold on to God. His Word is true and if He has given you a word concerning something, He can never, never, never fail.

So please, keep holding on, sometimes it's that little extra that differentiates a 'breaking' from a breakthrough.

You are blessed and highly favoured. This continues to remain our year of UNCOMMON TESTIMONY.