Tag Archive | Lord

Let Me Run! – The Man On A Mission

English: The Death of Absalom (2Sam. 18:1-15) ...

English: The Death of Absalom (2Sam. 18:1-15) Русский: Смерть Авессалома (2Цар. 18:1-15) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Sometimes you may be tempted to think that you can do other people’s jobs better than them. If you have the privilege of leading a team of workers you might have caught some members of the team wishing they were given “that other assignment” because “they feel they can do it better” than the person doing it. You can have situations where someone becomes bold enough to confront you, to know why he is not given the other person’s assignment. This article deals with issues of such nature and how to handle it. It is a great lesson for everyone who wants to make a mark in life.

The scripture says, “Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said, “Let me run now and take the news to the king, how the Lord has avenged him of his enemies.” And Joab said to him, “You shall not take the news this day, for you shall take the news another day. But today you shall take no news, because the king’s son is dead.” Then Joab said to the Cushite, “Go, tell the king what you have seen.” So the Cushite bowed himself to Joab and ran. And Ahimaaz the son of Zadok said again to Joab, “But whatever happens, please let me also run after the Cushite.” So Joab said, “Why will you run, my son, since you have no news ready?”  “But whatever happens,” he said, “let me run.” So he said to him, “Run.” Then Ahimaaz ran by way of the plain, and outran the Cushite.” 2 Sam 18:19-23 (NKJV)

There was war in Israel after Absalom deposed David as king. When Absalom gained control of considerable followers in his scheme to become the king of Israel, David fled but the followers of Absalom advised him to confront him in a battle and there was war. It turned out that that the army of Absalom was defeated and he was killed on the battle field. Joab, the commander of David’s forces wanted to inform David of the events of the day and the outcome. Joab had men who were trained to run errands about warfare that Israel was engaged in.

Joab decided to send the Cushite who was trained for such an errand; however, Ahimaaz felt he can do a better job than the Cushite. Joab reminded him that he was not the right person for this assignment but Ahimaaz insisted he must do the job. After what seemed like a long argument over this, Joab gave him the permission to go. The following was the outcome

“Now David was sitting between the two gates. And the watchman went up to the roof over the gate, to the wall, lifted his eyes and looked, and there was a man, running alone. Then the watchman cried out and told the king. And the king said, “If he is alone, there is news in his mouth.” And he came rapidly and drew near.

Then the watchman saw another man running, and the watchman called to the gatekeeper and said, “There is another man, running alone!”

And the king said, “He also brings news.”

So the watchman said, “I think the running of the first is like the running of Ahimaaz the son of Zadok.”

And the king said, “He is a good man, and comes with good news.”

So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!”

The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.

And the king said, “Turn aside and stand here.” So he turned aside and stood still.” 2 Sam. 18:24 -30. (NKJV)

Ahimaaz had a good run. He out-ran the Cushite and got to David first; David was glad to receive him and wanted to know what the News was.

Ahimaaz said “So Ahimaaz called out and said to the king, “All is well!” Then he bowed down with his face to the earth before the king, and said, “Blessed be the Lord your God, who has delivered up the men who raised their hand against my lord the king!” The king said, “Is the young man Absalom safe?” Ahimaaz answered, “When Joab sent the king’s servant and me your servant, I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.”

That was a disaster! Ahimaaz failed in his mission to deliver the total News; he said “I saw a great tumult, but I did not know what it was about.” It was the moment of truth for him; he was in another man’s race. Ahimaaz was not the right messenger when it comes to details. The words of Joab must have play back in his mind to his dismay but it was too late. You might be familiar with a scene like this. It is common in our competitive world; in politics, at home, in the office, to name a few; where some people run other people down for all kinds of reasons. There are many people who are more interested in getting attention; getting a job or being the “leader”; more than doing the job.

When people run the race that is not meant for them (by training or destiny), they end up in shame. They frustrate everyone and get turned away.  You can imagine the embarrassment it could have been if Joab had committed the whole assignment to him.  A leader must not commit his important projects to “loud talkers”. He must be careful to discern schemers. They talk about cost saving but end up pilling up more bills for the organisation. They build up division and cracks and spend their time developing cover-up.

The end of the story is like this:

“Just then the Cushite came, and the Cushite said, “There is good news, my lord the king! For the Lord has avenged you this day of all those who rose against you.”

And the king said to the Cushite, “Is the young man Absalom safe?”

So the Cushite answered, “May the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise against you to do harm, be like that young man!”

Then the king was deeply moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept. And as he went, he said thus: “O my son Absalom—my son, my son Absalom—if only I had died in your place! O Absalom my son, my son!” 2 Kings18:31-33 (NKJV)

The Cushite delivered as expected and the job was done. The scripture said “Then the King was moved”. In spiritual things you can only make an eternal impact in a Holy Spirit commissioned assignment. God has assignment for every one of us. We must not despise the “little job” for the “big” ones. God knows what he can use us for. We don’t have the right to question God about what he has asked other people to do. Nebuchadnezzar learnt some lessons about this during his crisis.

And at the end of the time I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my understanding returned to me; and I blessed the Most High and praised and honored Him who lives forever:

For His dominion is an everlasting dominion, And His kingdom is from generation to generation. All the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing; He does according to His will in the army of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth. No one can restrain His hand or say to Him, “What have You done?” Daniel 4:34-35 (NKJV)

This is the time to turn to God in humility and ask him for his will for our lives. Paul did this in Acts 9:6. So he, trembling and astonished, said, “Lord, what do You want me to do?” Then the Lord said to him, “Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.”

It is not in our power to decide who God uses for what. Acts 13:1-3, says, “Now in the church that was at Antioch there were certain prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon who was called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord and fasted, the Holy Spirit said, “Now separate to Me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” Then, having fasted and prayed, and laid hands on them, they sent them away.” (NKJV) It was a divine choice and the Lord did not give any reason for choosing them. They were the right men for that assignment. It was not because they were better Christians than the others.

We should obey the Lord and commit ourselves to our duties; whatever it is God has asked us to do. 2 Cor.10:12, says, For we dare not class ourselves or compare ourselves with those who commend themselves. But they, measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.” (NKJV)

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Let God Speak to Your Situation

Life challenges are like a second nature to many of us. We are always looking for people who will help us out of troubles. That is natural and normal. However help from fellow men no matter how useful it can be, is limited. The psalmist says, “I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth.” (NIV) Those Mountains used to be places where people had their idols. It can infer looking up to people in “high places” for help. Real help comes from God. He knows who to connect you with and when.

Psalm 46:1 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

God’s help comes at the right moment for those who trust him. John 5:1-8 tells us of a man who waited 38 years at a pool’s yard for the help of a man but never found it.

Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed.  One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am tryin

English: A collection of project designed by N...

English: A collection of project designed by Niv and associates. עברית: אוסף פרויקטים שתוכננו על ידי אמנון ניב ושותפיו. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

g to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.”

Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.” At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” (NIV)

Many of us live in such frustration and confusion daily, year after year. You can experience a change today. Let God speak to that situation and you will be fine. That was what happened in the beginning and it has always been so as we read in John 5:2-8. Jesus spoke to the situation of the man who was invalid for 38 years.

Gen. 1:1-4, says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.  Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters. And God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. God saw that the light was good, and he separated the light from the darkness.” (NIV)

The word of God changed horrible situations and health the sick. The word of God brought into existence the things that did not exist. It can do the same for you. You can only experience it when you decide to give God a chance in your life. Give him the opportunity to help you. This is the right time to you it.

God says in Jeremiah 33:3 “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you do not know.” (NIV). Do it now.

How to Experience God’s Goodness

English: Scroll of the Psalms

English: Scroll of the Psalms (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You can’t experience God’s goodness living in doubt and unbelief. The scripture says in Psalm 34:8, “O taste and see that the Lord [our God] is good! Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who trusts and takes refuge in Him.” (AMP).  If you must taste anything, you must get a real contact with it and touch it with your tongue (a very vital part of your body). In this case, this scripture means we must believe and trust God to experience his goodness.

Psalm34:4-6 says “I went to the Lord for help. He answered me and rescued me from all my fears. All who look to him will be radiant.Their faces will never be covered with shame. Here is a poor man who called out. The Lord heard him and saved him from all his troubles. (NIV) Those who want to experience God’s goodness must learn to go to God for help. You do this by praying and telling God about what you need. You must look unto him with faith and trust, all the way. When you do, like this scripture says, you will never be put to shame. I have had many occasions where I had very serious issues to tackle and very serious decisions needed to be made; all I could really do was call on the Lord. One of such occasion was about a business issue; I prayed and trusted the Lord and he sent someone to me. The person did not know what I was going through and I never told him anything even till now but as we discussed he said things that helped me figure out what to do.

Matthew 11:28 says “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” (KJV).  You don’t need to suffer alone; let God help you. Take your trouble to him.  Psalm 37:4 says “Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you.” (NLT)

Act in obedience. Naaman was in such a situation where he nearly missed God’s goodness but for his servant’s intervention.  Naaman’s servants went to him and said, “My father, if the prophet had told you to do some great thing, would you not have done it? How much more, then, when he tells you, ‘Wash and be cleansed’!” So he went down and dipped himself in the Jordan seven times, as the man of God had told him, and his flesh was restored and became clean like that of a young boy.” 2 Kings 5:13-14 (NIV)

Keep this in mind always; Those who trust in the Lord are as secure as Mount Zion; they will not be defeated but will endure forever. Just as the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the Lord surrounds his people, both now and forever. The wicked will not rule the land of the godly, for then the godly might be tempted to do wrong.” Psalm 125:1-3.

 

Ref:

Bible quotes: http://www.biblegateway.com

Power for productivity and prosperity

A collection of project designed by Niv and as...

A collection of project designed by Niv and associates. עברית: אוסף פרויקטים שתוכננו על ידי אמנון ניב ושותפיו. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am sure you want to know what this power is and I am very sure it works wonders. It will work for anyone who is willing to try it. It does not cost much and I am handing it over to you for free. Enjoy it.

Who we are is a combination of things that are not actually far from us. We are products of our choices, the information available to us, the actions and risks we are willing to take. It is very important that we pay very close attention to these things.

It is very vital that we take the pains to process the information available to us. Today, we have unlimited access to a lot of information. You can get information directly from people; these include teachers, mentors, lectures and seminars. You can also get your information through books (this is hard for many people), internet, reports, TV, Radio etc. I know that getting information might be easier in some parts of the world than others but please be diligent in getting information.

It is not enough to get information, it is extremely important that you process the information with diligence and “pains”. The book of Joshua 1:8 tells us how we can do this, it says, “This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” (ESV)

This is article suggests that you see the word “law” used in this quote as “vital information”.

Keep the information you gathered where you can reach them easily. You should analyse them very carefully and constantly.

Processing information cannot be over emphasised; do it thoroughly and positively consider all options and possibilities; write down the action points. You may need to research for additional information if need be.

Many people don’t process information well; often they want someone to hand them “blue prints” of success from the blues. Often times “blue prints” are written in black and white. There seems to be little alternatives to studying. You have to study (learn) one way or the other. Don’t wait to learn from a disastrous failure if you have opportunity to learn ahead.

The next thing after processing your information is action. The scriptures say in James 1:22-25, “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.”

Put what you learnt to work. No matter what information you have, you cannot make any profit from them until you take concrete actions on them. You don’t have to wait to know everything before you set out to work. You can learn as you work. Many people are forever procrastinating. Some encourage this weakness by claiming to be perfectionist. Please, I have heard so much of this that it makes me sick. (The first cars were not the way we have them today and that goes with a lot of things). Do something about your dream.

Repeat and practise. You must be willing to practise and repeat the process until you get things running. The more you do a thing the more you improve on how to do it excellently; (Learn from footballers, sports people and musicians).  Don’t give up, even the best footballers miss passes and goal opportunities.

You must stay focussed. You must be focussed on your line of action. We are not called to do everything. Settle on the things you can do best and put in your best on doing them. It is not wisdom to drift from one thing to another. You might have observed that there are people who have made a lot of money making jokes. I read of one person who made millions making pants. The scriptures say,

“Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like someone running aimlessly; I do not fight like a boxer beating the air.” I Cor. 9:25-26(NIV)

Stay positive. You must have confidence in yourself. You must trust God to help you. Someone once said that it is “only grave diggers that start from the top” and of course go down. Dr. Robert Schuller, an American televangelist, pastor and motivational speaker, titled one of his books “Tough Times Never Lasts but Tough People Do”

Learn to sell yourself. Let other people know what you are doing. Do what you have chosen to do and let people buy into it. You can get the book “How Much is Your Business Worth? You may find it useful. What is your effort worth, if people are to pay for it? People will pay for things that are of value to them even if it is just to make them laugh. Be delighted with what you do.

You must learn to persevere. Sometimes it takes a bit of time to get a breakthrough. It takes time to build trust. Be patient some of the businesses you compare yourself with have been there for long; those that are not are running their course in life, run yours.

Learn to tolerate opposition. You will encounter opposition but learn how to handle those who oppose you. Sometimes you are better off if you ignore them.

Learn to acknowledge God in all your plans. James 4:13-16 days, “ Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” As it is, you boast in your arrogant schemes. All such boasting is evil.” (NIV)

Proverbs 3:5-8, says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; fear the Lord and shun evil. This will bring health to your body and nourishment to your bones. (NIV)

Deuteronomy 8:18 says, ““And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day.” (NKJV)

Don’t forget that “The blessing of the Lord brings wealth, without painful toil for it.” Prov.10:22 (NIV)

Seek for the right tools for your work. “Where there are no oxen, the manger is empty, but from the strength of an ox come abundant harvests.” Prov. 14:4” (NIV). Where and when possible consult experts. This includes reading and getting useful information all the way.

You must treat your customers well and do your business with integrity. The scripture says, “The Lord hates people who use dishonest scales. He is happy with honest weights.” Prov. 11:1 (GNT)

Prayer is a vital key to productivity and prosperity. Psalm 34:10 says, “The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the Lord shall not lack any good thing(NKJV). Also, we are told in Psalm 37:4-5, “Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this” (NIV)

And lastly, this is important and you will do well if you put it to work.

“Honor the Lord with your possessions, And with the firstfruits of all your increase; So your barns will be filled with plenty, And your vats will overflow with new wine.” Proverbs 3:9-10 (NKJV)

Stay blessed.

Reference:

All Bible quotes are from www.biblegateway.com

Dr. Robert H. Schuller

God wants you to be well

Our Lord Jesus Christ

Our Lord Jesus Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Good health is a very passionate topic to deal with. Delving into divine healing is quite complex, with a lot of questions to answer. I don’t intend to go into any argument or complexities about this, as I have learnt to keep spiritual things as simple as possible bearing in mind Deut. 29:29. It states,

“The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may follow all the words of this law.” (NIV)

It is the will of God that you live in good health and that all will go well with you.   Jesus proved this in Mark 1: 40 – 41;

“A man with leprosycame to him and begged him on his knees, “If you are willing, you can make me clean.”

Jesus was indignant.He reached out his hand and touched the man. “I am willing,” he said. “Be clean!”Immediately the leprosy left him and he was cleansed.” (NIV)

The book of 3 John verse 2, says, “Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” (NIV)

Jesus spent a lot of time healing those that were sick and his response to a man who was not sure what his will was about his poor health was “I will” and then he healed him immediately. When he met another man who was invalid for 35 years, he healed him. The scriptures says,

“Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesdaand which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, “Do you want to get well?”

 “Sir,” the invalid replied, “I have no one to help me into the pool when the water is stirred. While I am trying to get in, someone else goes down ahead of me.” Then Jesus said to him, “Get up! Pick up your mat and walk.”At once the man was cured; he picked up his mat and walked.” (NIV)

The scriptures did not tell us why the Lord asked him if he wanted to be well but despite the man’s confusion, Jesus healed him. Managing ill health for a long time could be devastating for the sufferer and their relations or friends; a lot of money and time are spent, hope wanes and faith is stretched. There was another example in the scripture that I want us to read;

“And a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for twelve years. She had suffered a great deal under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had, yet instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus, she came up behind him in the crowd and touched his cloak,because she thought, “If I just touch his clothes, I will be healed.” Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering. Mark 5:25-29 (NIV)

God’s will for those who are suffering from ill health is that they get well. The power of God is available to heal people and we should trust God for our healing.

We must keep faith alive and never give up the fight against sickness and infirmities.

God can use various means to meet our health needs; we must open up to his grace at all times.

We must not have any negative attitude towards medical sciences and the numerous efforts being made to provide help and support for the sick.

Every time we have the opportunity to provide support in any way to those who are sick, we should do it. It is the will of God for us to do so. We can visit, call or share good thoughts with them.

We must make effort to see that we stay off things that can bring ill health. Jesus rebuked the man I mentioned earlier in John 5: 2- 5. This was what the scriptures said about it:

“Later Jesus found him at the temple and said to him, “See, you are well again. Stop sinning or something worse may happen to you.” John 5:14 (NIV)

The man’s lifestyle must have contributed to his situation. Please, there are a lot of things that contribute to people being sick; we must be very careful about judging people who are sick.

We should be compassionate and willing to pray for those who are sick. Mark 16:17 says “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”(NIV)

We should play our part and leave the rest to God. “And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.” James 5:15-16 (NIV)

Most of us get bothered about what will happen when we pray for the sick; they ask “what if the person didn’t get well?” Like I said at the beginning, do it by faith; I pray for the sick and trust God to do his part. I have seen many people healed, some immediately, some later and unfortunately, some didn’t get healed. In all cases I give God the glory and move on. (I don’t understand why some people don’t get healed; however I believe God loves all of them.)

We must not conceal ill health. There are many people who do this; it is not faith and it is not common sense. You must open up and know what you are passing through and seek for help.

Please be very careful about attributing everything to demons. Sin brought all bad things into the world but it is not everything that is caused by demons. I have given an example where a man’s ill health was his making. There are a lot of things that lead to poor health.

Don’t get involved in afflicting people in any way to expel demons. Demons are spirit beings and you can’t cast them out by afflicting their victims. Please don’t do it. I will not be dealing in details about that now.

You can be made whole; it is the will of God. If you are not a believer in Christ Jesus, you can be today. You can invite Jesus into your life now.

Reference:

All Bible quotes are from www.biblegateway.com

How you can do a great work for God

The Lord Jesus Christ in the image of Good She...

The Lord Jesus Christ in the image of Good Shepherd. Early Christian trsdition of symbolism. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all want to do “great work” for God. Some see it as fulfilling “purpose”. That is how some people express the longing to be up the ladder in church or gospel work. There is nothing wrong with a desire to serve God in outstanding way; I believe a little understanding will help someone to do it right and reap the reward from God.

Nicodemus once went to Jesus to find out this secret in John 3:1-10, the scriptures says, “Now there was a Pharisee, a man named Nicodemus who was a member of the Jewish ruling council. He came to Jesus at night and said, “Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher who has come from God. For no one could perform the signs you are doing if God were not with him.” Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.”  “How can someone be born when they are old?” Nicodemus asked. “Surely they cannot enter a second time into their mother’s womb to be born!” Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spiritgives birth to spirit. You should not be surprised at my saying, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit.” “How can this be?” Nicodemus asked. “You are Israel’s teacher,” said Jesus, “and do you not understand these things?” (NIV)

Jesus simply told him, it is not what you do but who you are that makes the difference. Your nature produces your abilities effortlessly. I am sure that I will struggle to live in water than a fish would do.

Jesus answered those who asked the question more directly than Nicodemus the same thing. This is stated in John 6:28-29.

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (KJV)

You need to be called and commissioned. This is what determines what you do, where you do it and how. You can see this in the Bible “In Damascus there was a disciple named Ananias. The Lord called to him in a vision, “Ananias!” “Yes, Lord,” he answered. The Lord told him, “Go to the house of Judas on Straight Street and ask for a man from Tarsus named Saul, for he is praying. In a vision he has seen a man named Ananias come and place his hands on him to restore his sight.” “Lord,” Ananias answered, “I have heard many reports about this man and all the harm he has done to your holy people in Jerusalem. And he has come here with authority from the chief priests to arrest all who call on your name.” But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. I will show him how much he must suffer for my name. ”Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord—Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here—has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit.” Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul’s eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized.” Acts 9:10-18 (NIV)

Ananias was called to go and do the work he did.

The scriptures in Acts 13:1-3 says “Now in the church at Antioch there were prophets and teachers: Barnabas, Simeon called Niger, Lucius of Cyrene, Manaen (who had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch) and Saul. While they were worshiping the Lord and fasting, the Holy Spirit said, “Set apart for me Barnabas and Saul for the work to which I have called them.” So after they had fasted and prayed, they placed their hands on them and sent them off.” (NIV)

Paul and Barnabas were called and sent by the Holy Spirit.

Some years ago at a Youth for Christ camp, some brethren asked me why there were many church denominations. (Then we don’t have them this much) Mine mind went blank for a split second, and then the Lord spoke to me. He told me there are basically three divisions.

1. Those that he called

2. Those that called themselves (these are more numerous)

3. Those that the devil called. (These are deceivers and very cunning)

There are equally a lot of divisions among those the Lord called; this gives people the opportunities to hear the gospel in their own “language”.

Paul says “Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible. To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law. To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law. To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some. I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.” 1 Cor. 9:19-23 (NIV).

God provides variety of ways to reach people and uses different people as he wishes.

It is not my intention here to condemn denominations; I have just told you what the Lord told me. We must be discerning; we do this as we pray and ask God direction as to where to worship and have fellowship. Whatever we do, the responsibility is ours.  You can see more examples in Acts 19:13-17 “Some Jews who went around driving out evil spirits tried to invoke the name of the Lord Jesus over those who were demon-possessed. They would say, “In the name of the Jesus whom Paul preaches, I command you to come out.” Seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, were doing this.One day the evil spirit answered them, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know about, but who are you?” Then the man who had the evil spirit jumped on them and overpowered them all. He gave them such a beating that they ran out of the house naked and bleeding. When this became known to the Jews and Greeks living in Ephesus, they were all seized with fear, and the name of the Lord Jesus was held in high honor.” (NIV)

You must have compassion. The work of God is great when done in love. The Scripture says“If I speak in the tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,but do not have love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Cor. 13:1-8 (NIV)

 Obedience: There is nothing that is too small when it is a command or an instruction from God. When we concentrate only on doing “great things” and being great men or women of God, the motive could be wrong. Ananias is a good example of this.

 You must be prayerful. You do the work of God as you pray. Most times people may not know you prayed for them but you don’t have to bother about it. God can lead you to do more things as you pray. (Acts13)

 Every Child of God has something to do. We should prayerfully seek God’s face on the things he wants us to do. It is not what we want but what he wants that really matters. The case of  Mary and Martha provides a good example of this.

How you can receive and use the power of God

Holy Spirit painting

Holy Spirit painting (Photo credit: hickory hardscrabble)

You can receive and use the power of God if you want to. This may sound over simplistic judging from the exclusiveness to which this subject has been subjected to. Jesus came to save all mankind and whosoever believes in his name is saved; this is about the most important thing that God has made available to mankind and if anyone who believes can get it, other things come second, including power. Jesus told his follower “But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” (NIV)

Many Christians suffer self-confidence problems and as a result never rise to their full potentials all through life. People have been made to be over dependent on “the big brothers and sisters”; a rare group who monopolise God as it were. This is not what God wants. The scripture made this clear in Mark 16:17-18 “And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”(NIV)

There is nowhere in the New Testament that the power of God is said to be for the privileged few. Ignorance, lack of courage and timidity has been the bane that has limited many people in this area of their lives. That can change today if you want it to. The Bible says,

…ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.” Acts 1:8 (NIV)

What you need to receive the power of God is the Holy Spirit. Jesus told his follows that it is after they have received the Holy Spirit that the power will come upon them to do the work assigned to them and to live the lives expected of them. Jesus himself was subjected to this same condition and no person is expected to do otherwise. Acts 10:38 says “how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, and how he went around doing good and healing all who were under the power of the devil, because God was with him.” (NIV)

Jesus underscored the importance of this matter before his public ministry; in the gospel according to Luke, Chapter4:18-21, he said, “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. And he began to say unto them, To-day hath this scripture been fulfilled in your ears.” (ASV)  Jesus quoted Prophet Isaiah’s prophecy about this (see Isaiah 61:1- 4).

Apostle Peter told his audience how to receive the Holy Spirit in Acts 2:37-39; the scripture reads:

“Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and the rest of the apostles, Brethren, what shall we do?

And Peter said unto them, Repent ye, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ unto the remission of your sins; and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

For to you is the promise, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call unto him.” (ASV)

It is important that anyone who desires the power of God acknowledges the Lordship of Jesus Christ, by repenting of his or her sin and accepting Jesus as their saviour. This is the first step into any meaningful relationship with God. The Holy Spirit according to Peter is a gift to all who believes and the above scripture makes it clear that the experience did not end with those people and that generation. You can receive the Holy Spirit today.

The Holy Spirit is given to help us in every area of our lives, in our walk with God, family, academics, jobs, vocation and so on. Recently, there was a Christian youth leader who was very engrossed with planning a young people’s event; I met her expressing her concern that she had an examination coming up; I told her that the Holy Spirit is able to help her with it; I told her it happened to me before and then left her. Few weeks later, I saw her literally elated and she told me how the Lord helped her in that examination. I have had several personal experiences which demonstrated the fact that God is at work in every area of our lives.

When Jesus talked about being witnesses, he was talking about evidence of his person; he was not just talking about preaching. The evidence of Jesus can come in demonstration of the power of God. That is what Mark 11:17-18 is talking about. It reads “And these signs shall accompany them that believe: in my name shall they cast out demons; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall in no wise hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

You can only receive the power of God when you are willing to use it for his glory. The power of God is not for “show”; God is not a magician.

Using the power of God for trading is ridiculous and people who do it are in danger. They run the risk of falling into trouble sometime, both here on earth and later when Christ appears.

The power of God is available at the name of Jesus Christ. You will experience this when you pray in his name and act by faith in time of difficulties.

The power of God comes when you are committed to prayers. You must pray at all times and in accordance with the will of God. Selfish tendencies rob people of the power of God.

There is power in the blood of Jesus. Learn to plead the blood of Jesus.

You must work on living right. Living right might be a constant battle but you must never give up.