Have you ever been offered a position or something that you knew was not the Lords will for your life? Very tempting, however you knew that it was a distraction from His purpose for you. What did you do?
Many times men see potential and skill in us and try to channel it in the way they think is best. But what is the Lord saying?
Lets have a look at this scripture:
John 6: 14 - 15
14 Then those men, when they had seen the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the
15 When Jesus therefore perceived that they would come and take him by force, to make him a king, he departed again into a mountain himself alone.
The world tried this with Jesus. What did Jesus do? The Lord did not wait for them to come, He took Himself out of the situation
before He was even approached.
How many people have aborted destinies for titles and temporary positions? How many people have detoured from the path of life to that which seems to be good? Very dangerous and not worth it.
The wise resist any form of detour from the Lords plan for their lives. Not worth it, for temporary pleasure which can end up being very costly. What matters most is 'well done good and faithful servant'. Are you faithful and committed to what you know you need to do?
The Lord is counting on you. Refuse and resist all the distractions. Stay on the path you know is right, The path to destiny and purpose.
Have you ever asked yourself this question before ‘why do Christians go through hard times’?
As we go through the journey of life, tough times will come. Sometimes we ask, why Lord?. Lets look at a few scriptures to see reasons why difficult times come our way.
Persecution for the Words Sake!
Mark 4 verses 14 to 17 The sower soweth the word. And these are they by the way side, where the word is sown; but when they have heard, Satan cometh immediately, and taketh away the word that was sown in their hearts. And these are they likewise which are sown on stony ground; who, when they have heard the word, immediately receive it with gladness; And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth for the word’s sake, immediately they are offended.
The reason why affliction or persecution came was for the Words sake. It came to try the Word. Thank God that we know the Word always prevails. So next time sickness comes, or lack or cirumstances contrary to what the Lord had told you, stand on what He has already told you and do whatever the Lord tells us to do.
Hebrews 4:12 (a) For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword.
Isaiah 55:11 So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.
For committing your life fully to the Lord and becoming His disciples.
Mark 10: 29And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s, 30But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
Persecution is part of the package.
For living Godly.
2 Timothy 3 12: Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.
This scripture speaks for itself.
Attack from our enemy:
1 Thessalonians 2:18 Wherefore we would have come unto you, even I Paul, once and again; but Satan hindered us.
Satan may hinder you but he cannot stop you.
Luke 22: 31 to 32 And the Lord said, Simon, Simon, behold, Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat: But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not: and when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.
I know we talk about Peter denying the Lord, yes he did, but according to this, the attack came from the devil. Peter was probably not strong enough to resist the attack but thank God the Lord had already prayed for him. We need to pray for one another as the Lord leads us and especially when others are going through tough times.
Living in disobedience to Gods will, voice or purpose:
Proverbs 13: 15 Good understanding giveth favour: but the way of transgressors is hard. Lets look at this verse in other translations:
Good understanding wins favor, but the way of the transgressor is hard [like the barren, dry soil or the
impassable swamp]. (Amplified Bible)
Has the Lord told you to do something and you are doing something else? Or has He directed you to do something but you are delaying. The wise obey.
Lack of knowledge.
Hosea 4 verse 6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge:
The study of the Word and church attendance or house church attendance is very important. Sometimes the Lord is trying to prepare us ahead of a difficult time but we don’t yield. Instead of studying what we has been laid on our hearts to study we get too busy. What we fail to realise is that the Lord is trying to teach us something that we will need, if only we attended those meetings or studied our bibles as He has been trying to get us too. It could also be books lying on the shelves or CDs that we should have listened too. When we get too busy and go a different way, not yielding to the Lords preparation, it makes the situation more difficult and sometimes more prolonged because we were not prepared for it.
Have you ever said this to yourself before? I wish l had known this 2 years ago.
Proverbs 10:14a Wise men lay up knowledge: (Even when you think you don’t need it now).
Whatever the source of the difficult time is, we will always have the victory as long as we stay close to the Lord.
1 Corinthians 15 : 57 But thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 2 :14Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
Tough times may come, but the Lord is faithful and ever ready to help us. He is our ever present help. If you are going through a difficult time please be assured that there is hope.
Have you ever gone through a difficult time and wondered to happened to some people that you called your friends? Let have a
close look at this scripture:
Proverbs 18: 24
A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.
Note the phrase ' and there is a friend' which means this does not apply to all friends.
This is why we get disappointed sometimes when we go through difficult times. We think some people will be there for us and suddenly we find out that they are not there.
Proverbs 18 :24 says that you can have many friends as long as you are friendly, but only few of them will stick closer than a brother. Its only a friend closer than a brother that will go the extra mile for you and hang in there during difficult times.
The above scripture differentiates levels of friendship, not all friends will stick closer than a brother!
We need to be discerning when dealing with people so we don't expose ourselves to the wrong people and get hurt. Its not everyone you can expose yourself too during trials. Simply because not everyone has want it takes to help. Some people are simply not matured enough to offer any assistance while others may not have the commitment it takes.
While is good to have physical support and encouragement, sometimes it can be difficult to find it. But remember that whatever you are going through, our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ will always be there. For He will never leave us nor forsake us! (Hebrews 13:5).
Have you ever been in a situation where you thought that there is no way out? Our little minds sometimes play tricks on us. We get into a situation and we think, ‘ there is no way out’, but that is a lie as with God nothing shall be impossible and all things are possible to him that believes.
Now just picture this. You are kept in a cell and bound with two chains. You are made to sleep in-between two soldiers. The prison door is locked. Could you ever think that there would be a way of escape?
Lets look at this account:
Acts 12: 1- 11
Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth his hands to vex certain of the church. 2 And he killed James the brother
of John with the sword. 3 And because he saw it pleased the Jews, he proceeded further to take Peter also. (Then were the days of
unleavened bread.) 4 And when he had apprehended him, he put him in prison, and delivered him to four quaternions of soldiers to keep him; intending after Easter to bring him forth to the people. 5 Peter therefore was kept in prison: but prayer was made without ceasing of the church unto God for him. 6 And when Herod would have brought him forth, the same night Peter was sleeping between two soldiers, bound with two chains: and the keepers before the door kept the prison. 7 And, behold, the angel of the Lord came upon him, and a light shined in the prison: and he smote Peter on the side, and raised him up, saying, Arise up quickly. And his chains fell off from his hands. 8 And the angel said unto him, Gird thyself, and bind on thy sandals. And so he did. And he saith unto him, Cast thy garment about thee, and follow me. 9 And he went out, and followed him; and wist not that it was true which was done by the angel; but thought he saw a vision. 10 When they were past the first and the second ward, they came unto the iron gate that leadeth unto the city; which opened to them of his own accord: and they went out, and passed on through one street; and forthwith the angel departed from him. 11 And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent
his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews.
See verse 5 prayer was made without ceasing unto God for Peter, and see what the Lord did? When God is on the case, anything can happen.
Are you in a very difficult position or situation? Don’t give up and don’t believe a lie. With God all things are possible and all things are possible to him that believes. Do you believe that the Lord is able and willing to deliver you? He is more than able to do it.
What l find interesting in this account is that, the keepers were keeping the prison doors, and they did not even know when the gates opened. They must have been standing right outside the same gates when Peter walked by. That is why God is God.
Can you also recall when Daniels friends (Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego ) were cast into the lake of fire and came out unhurt? Please read the full account n Daniel chapter 3. That is God at work.
So wipe away your tears, don’t believe a lie, believe that God is willing and more than able to deliver you, and see your deliverance come.
Have you ever come across someone before and found out that they no longer attend church? They tell you that they now read
their bible at home. Or have you ever come across someone who was so always present at church suddenly now attends on occasions. You ask why? They tell you, Pastor so so did this, Elder so so did that, did you not hear what happened at the church the list goes on and on.
The hard truth about this is that, its a sign of the end times. As a Christian, our first priority is to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind
Matthew 22: 37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind and to know the Lord.
Philippians 3: 10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Loving and knowing the Lord should be our first priority. It comes before anything else. When we love the Lord and know Him, a
gracious and beautiful Lord, nothing will separate us from His love.
We must make first things first.
The scriptures are very clear, some people's love waxing cold is a sign of the end times.
Matthew 24: 12- 13 And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.
But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.
It is save to say that the root cause of some peoples love waxing cold is misplaced focus. Heaven is real, Hell is real, Jesus
loves you so much and laid down His life for you. He laid aside His majesty, just for you. An awesome saviour, the one who owns our breath, a gracious Lord. That is what is true and that is what we should focus on. Brother B did this to me, Pastor K, did these etc is all irrelevant. Hold unto what matters most, your salvation!.
Romans 8: 38 - 39
For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,
Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Make loving the Lord and knowing our gracious Lord your first priority. Everything else will disintegrate and become nothing!
Most people know the Lords prayer found in the gospels in the book of Matthew and Luke 11.
Matthew 6: 9-13
After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil:
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Luke 11: 1-4
And it came to pass, that, as he was praying in a certain place, when he ceased, one of his disciples said unto him, Lord, teach us to
pray, as John also taught his disciples. And he said unto them, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven,
Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth. Give us day by day our daily bread.
And forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
The emphasis of this article is the phrase ‘ Give us this day our daily bread’ or give us day by day our daily bread’.
From scripture, we know that the word ‘bread’ can signify other things such as doctrine (Matthew 16;12) , healing (Matthew 15:26) etc so we need to be specific about what ‘daily bread ‘ means. In other words, it has to be what we require on a daily basis.
Our physical food required for our bodies is the first thing that springs to mind for it strengthens us:
Psalm 104: 14- 15 confirms this, He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.
To have a daily supply of food, most of us will agree that one needs a job or a business that will generate an income. This is how in a practical way we all get food to eat. There is some form of labour required for us to have our daily bread.
Proverbs 12: 11 He that tilleth his land shall be satisfied with bread: but he that followeth vain persons is void of understanding.
Proverbs 20: 13 Love not sleep, lest thou come to poverty; open thine eyes, and thou shalt be satisfied with bread.
Therefore when we pray: ‘give us this day or day by day our daily bread’, we are asking for:
All these are a requirement for daily physical food/ bread.
The second daily bread requirement is our spiritual food.
The Word of God:
Matthew 4: 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
Spending time in His presence:
Just as our physical food strengthens our bodies, spending time in His presence renews our inner man:
Isaiah 40: 29-31
29 He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength.
30 Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
Jesus is the bread of life (John 6:48). The true bread (John 6: 32)
To live a vibrant life we must eat our physical food, hear from the Lord through His Word daily, and linger and spend time in His presence.
This gives the phrase ‘Give us this day our daily bread’ a deeper meaning.
Just as we don’t pray for our physical daily bread and just wait at the bed for food to be sent, but go out to work to earn a living, so should we not be passive about getting our spiritual daily bread. We must feed on His Word and spend time in his presence. This is how we will get our daily bread.
It can be very difficult when a church leader falls. What l mean is when they have made a mistake and it becomes public.
We all sin and make mistakes and this is why we have the provision of 1 John 1: 9, which says: If we confess our sins, he is
faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
This scripture is evidence that the Lord is aware that we may make mistakes and sin and hence this provision.
But he/she is a leader? They should know better?
Unfortunately good men and women do wrong things sometimes as they are also flesh and blood just like everyone else however the impact of what they do can have more significance because of their position.
So what do l tell my child?
The amount of information you tell your child depends on their age and level of maturity in the Lord. But in summary, you want to make sure of the following:
They continue to Love the Lord passionately and serve Him
They don’t think this is a licence to do the same thing.
Thank God that there is nothing new under the sun. Tell them how David loved the Lord, a man after Gods own heart but sinned against the Lord. Can you imagine if David was alive today and did what he did then?
Tell them that David was forgiven, but he paid a very heavy price for what he did. This is a brief account.
2 Samuel 12:9
Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the
Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.
10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the
wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.
11Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
12For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
13And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
14Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
Part of the fulfilment and the heavy price that David paid can be found in the following scriptures: 2 Samuel 13, (Absalom plotted and killed his brother Amnon, 15, 2 Samuel 16: (Absalom went in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel.)
David was forgiven, but he did pay a very heavy price for what he did. Tell your child, depending on how old they are that what happened to Leader D, is not a licence to do they same or else they may pay the same price for what they have
done. This should instil the fear of the Lord in them. Tell them that there is no respect of persons with God (Romans 2: 11, For there is no respect of persons with God.)
Secondly tell them, that the only person that laid down His life for them is our Lord and saviour Jesus Christ and He should be their example. Let them know that Jesus Christ should be their example and it is unto Him we all live too. Tell them that in spite of whatever goes on, they can always live above reproach and honour the Lord in all things. And also let them know that heaven and hell are very real places.
Its is also good to tell them that they need to forgive the person as the Lord forgives when we repent and so should we. Explain to them that he who gives mercy will reap mercy (Galatians 6: 7).
Above all pray that the Lord will protect your Childs heart and the Lord give you wisdom to train them up in His ways.
The bible makes it clear that we should not judge, yet many people find themselves judging situations and people. Only the Lord knows the exact details to judge.
Have a read of this account:
I once attended a conference with a brother whom I have known for years would be a significant prophet in the last-day church. This man had been rejected by much of the church because of the status of his marriage, which at that time was in a state of separation and had been one of many difficulties.
One night the Lord spoke to me in a dream about my own marriage, which l consider to be in compliance with biblical standards. He said that this other man was more righteous in complying with His standards for marriage than l was.
I had been given a godly wife who loved the Lord and sought Him, and the condition of my marriage was purely the result of grace. I
had been given little effort to comply with His mandate in this and had been hard, unyielding, and resistant to things He would have me to do to improve my marriage.
Against the most humiliating circumstances, and resistance, this other man for years had devoted himself to complying with the
biblical mandate to make his marriage work, even when he had every right, both biblically and morally, to walk away from it. Yet the church has judged him as a failure and me as acceptable in this area. God had a very different opinion.
(From The Harvest, page 203 by Rick Joyner)
The above account speaks for itself and brings this scripture into reality:
1 Corinthians 4: 5
Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things
of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.
The Lord has His ways and the wise agree with the ways of the Lord. Its amazing, but in certain ways we can limit what the Lord wants to do in our lives if care is not taken. I recently heard a testimony and l was eye witness to the account.
A lady was about to board a plane in June 2012. She said that she heard very clearly three times ‘ do not board that flight’. She went to the airport and told the airline that she does not want to board the flight. The airline told her, that they cannot refund her money, she either boards the flight or loss the money. She choose to loose the money and thank God she did. The flight crashed with NO survivors. When she was giving the testimony, she held the ticket for the flight and waved it standing on the pulpit.
Thank God she obeyed and listened to the warning of the Lord. The Lord wanted to deliver her, and her obedience to the Lord did not limit Gods delivering power which was manifested on her behalf. A very sobering lesson, disobedience to the voice of the Lord can limit God.
In the book of Numbers 20, Moses disobeyed the Lord. This was the consequence:
Numbers 20: 12
And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.
Lets look at another scripture:
Deuteronomy 31 : 1- 3
1 And Moses went and spake these words unto all Israel.
2 And he said unto them, I am an hundred and twenty years old this day; I can no more go out and come in: also the Lord hath said unto me, Thou shalt not go over this Jordan.
3 The Lord thy God, he will go over before thee, and he will destroy these nations from before thee, and thou shalt possess them: and Joshua, he shall go over before thee, as the Lord hath said.
If you note from verse 3, Moses said that he is 120 years old and can go no more out and come in and also (which means in addition to this), the Lord had told him (Moses) that he cannot go over Jordan.
Moses would have taken the children of Israel across the Jordan had he not disobeyed the Lord. Which means that Moses would have been given strength and everything required to complete the job. There would have been no need for Moses to say ‘ l cannot go in and out’ in verse 3. We properly would have had an account of a 120 year old still leading the children of Israel. He would have
been strong enough to do it, but he limited God.
The children of Israel also limited God.
Psalm 78: 40 – 43
How oft did they provoke him in the wilderness, and grieve him in the desert!
Yea, they turned back and tempted God, and limited the Holy One of Israel.
They remembered not his hand, nor the day when he delivered them from the enemy.
How he had wrought his signs in Egypt, and his wonders in the field of Zoan.
Please read the full account in Psalm 78.
So can we limit God? Sometimes, yes we can, in many ways. We must be careful not to limit God in what He wants to do in our lives. Many today are refusing to yield to Him and come to the Lord. The Lord wants to reveal His saving power to many. The Lord is faithful and able to do exceeding, abundantly, above all we can ask or think. Refuse to limit the One who wants to do great things through you and for you. An ever great, awesome and faithful God!
Abraham is a good example of one who did not limit God. Quick to believe and obey. The Lord wants to do great things and He will as long as we let Him. He is ever ready to do good!
Sacrifice is a step beyond convenience. Bill Johnson