Showing posts with label Faithfulness. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Faithfulness. Show all posts

Monday, 25 June 2012

Anointed in the midst of his brethren

“So Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the presence of his brothers,…” 1 Sam 16:13 NIV

It is amazing how the Lord makes His choice!

God asked Samuel to go to Bethlehem and anoint one of the sons of Jesse as king to replace Saul. As usual with God, He did not tell Samuel who to anoint specifically. When God calls a man to follow Him, He does not give him all the details. If you are waiting to see everything, hear everything, know everything and have everything before you go on to obey God, you may never obey Him at all. It takes faith to walk with God. No wonder “without faith, it is impossible to please God”.

Samuel went and began to look at the sons of Jesse like every one of us would do. He thought it was Eliab, and then Abinadab and then Shammah but the Lord told him that none of them was His choice. What is worthy of note here is the strong word the Lord used when the first son, Eliab came forward, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him…” Vs 7. What will label a man, “rejected” in God’s programme even though he may have all the qualifications that can appeal to us as humans? The same verse gives us a hint, “…The LORD does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart."

Now let’s look at God’s choice, David. The first description in verse 12 referred to his physical appearance, “He was ruddy, with a fine appearance and handsome features.” However, the Lord had found a different heart in him compared to what He saw in Eliab. His spiritual disposition to the Lord was different from that of his elder brothers. Apart from that, look at the six other qualities the servants of Saul mentioned when they were recommending David to King Saul, “…(He) knows how to play the harp (The instrument he was using to praise God in the forest). He is a brave man and a warrior. He speaks well and is a fine-looking man. And the LORD is with him." 1 Sam 16:18.

But the time Samuel came, as far as their father, Jesse was concerned, David’s name did not qualify to be even mentioned. He was remembered only when every other person had been brought forward and could not make God’s choice. Circumstances turned out to request for him. It is amazing how God’s favour can distinguish a man in spite of the opinions of men. It is amazing how protocols can be overridden when God wants to lift a man. David was not anointed in the forest where he had been working and walking faithfully with the Lord; he was anointed right there in the midst of his brethren. The same place where others felt he was not qualified to be mentioned with the others, he was anointed, lifted and set apart. God’s choice has no query.

Does God still do the same thing today? The answer is “YES”. Our faithful work and walk with the Lord prepares us for His lifting. May God single you out for blessing today! Amen.

God bless!

Thursday, 5 April 2012

Faithfulness Part 3: Be faithful with other people's 'riches'.


This is the last in this series on how faithfulness affects our Christian life.

Remember we are learning kingdom principles taught by the Lord Jesus Christ. They are as valid today as they were the very first day He taught them. "If you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own?" Luke 16:12.

Many of us are working for companies and corporations. Every person prays for promotion. Every person looks up to better condition of service and pay raise. As I noted in the previous write up, many have been deceived into believing that serving God is like a magic - It does not matter how you live. It does not matter the choices you make. Once one man of God or the other prays for you, prosperity comes upon you like rain. Once you attend one open door crusade, the sky is your limit. Once you pay your tithe or give a special offering, favour becomes your portion irrespective of your life. These are the lies from the pit of hell to make you miss all that God has prepared for you and cage your soul eternally.

It is actually a fundamental problem with much of today’s preaching. We tend to make the people believe that they will become somebody else once we lay hands on them. We make them believe that once they attend one program or the other, suddenly, their condition will change. It is a half-baked truth. What God does in our lives is all interconnected. What He is currently doing today is connected to what He did yesterday and is connected to what He will do in our lives tomorrow. That is why God brings people back to certain schools of experience. For them to progress, they must pass the test. The circumstances of the experiences may not be exactly the same, but if you look very carefully, you will see that God is asking for the same thing. Let’s encourage God’s people to be patient and live right. Let’s encourage faithful living among our church members.

The Lord is saying that if you desire to have your own, be faithful where you are working right now no matter how menial it may look to you. Many people do eye service. Unfortunately, believers join them to do the same thing. They forget that it is the Lord who sees in the secret that blesses openly.

It is God that will plant you in the heart of your boss to favour you even against his own will. It is God that will open your file where you will be remembered because you have been faithful. Mordecai was faithful serving as a Gateman in the king’s house. His reward was kept by God for an appointed time. It was not forgotten but it waited for the due season. At a very critical time in his life and that of the Jews in Susan, God caused his file to be opened. His faithfulness paid off. Not only was he lifted, his life and that of the other Jews were spared, while Herman was hanged on the same gallows he prepared for Mordecai.

Faithfulness has no alternative. If you want God to bless you, be faithful where you are now. Your boss may be bad, be patient. Others may be giving eye service, even using you to promote themselves, be faithful. Pray for them. One beautiful thing is that no man can limit God. It is not a must that God will reward you exactly in the place where you are right now. Where you are now may be a stepping stone. It is possible for storms and divine shaking to come like in the case of Mordecai that will pave your way to where God wants you to be. Like I said before, God cannot be limited. There are thousand and one ways He can do one thing. The economy of God controls the economy of the nations, even where you are right now. If your boss does not want to promote you, God will. Only remain faithful.

What I have shared with you are biblical principles that have worked for our faith-fathers. They are eternal principles that have stood the test of time. They are truths of the kingdom. The Lord asked it as a question, “If you are not faithful with that which is not yours, how can you get your own?” Make no mistakes, there are no short cuts in God’s kingdom.

God bless you!

See Part 1 here and Part 2 here.

Friday, 30 March 2012

Faithfulness Part 2: Faithful with unrighteous money the key to being entrusted with true riches

This is the second in this series on faithfulness as the Lord Jesus taught in Luke 16: 10-13. See Part 1 here.

Many of us may not believe that the way we handle money has a connection to what our spiritual life looks like. The way we see money and the way we handle it tells a lot about our Christian life regardless of what we say or claim.

The Lord taught a lot about money both in His expositions and parables. Almost in all of them, He emphasized faithfulness.

Many people are on God’s waiting list for empowerment because of their attitude to money. Truly, many have stayed on the list for a long time. Why? The answer is because their attitude has not changed. Many want to be great in God’s hand but He has postponed His plans because of what they have done with the little money that He allowed to enter their hands. They never knew that the little mammon God allowed them to handle was part of their test for a higher opportunity, an exam for bigger stewardship. They never knew, so they blew it. They wonder why God has kept them one place for a long time.

Money has the capacity to become an idol.
Money has a powerful influence. Money is capable to change the message of a preacher. Money is able to change the commitment of a child of God. Money is able to remove our trust from God. Money has a false security. Many people’s character change once they see money. The Lord Jesus said, “You cannot serve God and mammon”. Money is capable of being a master to the extent that it can compete with God in our lives. Remember, the Semitic word, mammon, can refer not only to money but also to riches and wealth generally. Now note that the issue is not necessarily the quantity or amount of riches you have but your attitude to it. Are you ruling over what you have or is what you have ruling over you? What is the position of money in your life? Is it your master or your slave? Does money determine how you live? Does it determine your values and your view about life? Does it determine how you relate to the next person? Does the desire for money drive you? Money is good. It is not an evil in itself. It is a tool for living. It is used for solving problems. But anytime money becomes anything more than a tool, it creates problems for us, especially in our relationship with God.

He wants us to be faithful to Him in money matters. Instead of money using us, we are to use money to serve and glorify Him. He wants us to surrender our lives and possessions to Him and allow Him to direct us. God wants us to see our money as His gift to us and our attitude should be that of a grateful and faithful steward; that guarantees that we will be relevant to the kingdom agenda.

love of money has already killed many people. It has changed the character of many. Many churches have changed their doctrine because of love of money and consequently lost their true riches. Many preachers are already captives to money. Many are in the battle as we speak. One thing is clear in all of these, the battle with money for control is a battle of your life. You must win it if you are to be a container for eternal riches. Your heart does not have the capacity to hold the love for God and love of money together at the same time. One must give way for the other.

Remember, the Lord is not saying that it is wrong to have or acquire riches. He is saying that we have to be faithful stewards as it concerns money and being faithful qualifies us to handle true riches. It is a lie for somebody to be unfaithful in money matters and still claim to be a carrier of spiritual wealth. The two do not go together. It is a deception for a Christian to refuse to be accountable in money matters and still think he is as spiritual as ever.

Please, in your offices, in your market places, in all the areas of your life that concerns money, do not separate them as being secular. The life you live daily both in and outside the Church walls put together make up your worship life. Your attitude to money determines whether God will entrust you with true riches. Be faithful in money matters if you want God to use you.

God bless you!

See part 1 here.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Faithfulness Part 1: Faithfulness in very little things


"He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much. "Therefore if you have not been faithful in the use of unrighteous wealth, who will entrust the true riches to you? "And if you have not been faithful in the use of that which is another's, who will give you that which is your own? "No servant can serve two masters; ... You cannot serve God and wealth." Luke 16:10-13 NASU

“He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and he who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.” Luke 16:10 NASU

"Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.” Luke 16:10-11 NIV

There are three critical issues the Lord raised concerning faithfulness which we will be sharing in three parts starting from this part 1.

The first point is that if a man is faithful when he is entrusted with a little responsibility, he will equally be faithful when he is entrusted with a bigger responsibility. In the same vein, if someone is not faithful with little responsibility, he will not be faithful in a bigger responsibility. Faithfulness is a virtue of keeping trust and staying true to what you believe. It means being reliable, loyal and trustworthy.

There are a lot of young people who desire to do “big things” for God. They want to suddenly become ‘great men of God’ but do not want to be under anybody’s instructions. They do not see any link between what they are doing today and what they believe God has called them to do tomorrow. They do not see what is presently in their hands as having anything to do with what God wants to place in their hands tomorrow. Hence, they handle what is in their hands now with levity. They behave anyhow now because they have the mindset, “this is not what I am cut out for. This is not where I am going to be anyway”. This makes them to be careless in what they are doing today.

They are waiting for when God will announce them. They are looking up to when God will make them great and lift them above their fellows. They believe that God has promised them a worldwide ministry though right now, they are in one obscure environment under an administrator they even feel they are better than. Because of the vision they have, they tend to be rebellious and despiteful toward their superiors. The truth is that they have failed to understand the principles of the kingdom the Lord Jesus is teaching us in the passage above. Many of us today wish that these principles sank into our hearts when we were very much younger.

In the kingdom, there are no short cuts, except you choose to remove yourself away from the covenant. As long as you are in the kingdom, these principles stand. When God begins to look for people to be saddled with greater responsibilities, He looks for those who have been faithful in the little things. This is because the kingdom believes that he who is faithful in very little things is faithful in much. Please note that He did not say that the person WILL BE. Instead HE IS faithful in much.

The little choices you make today impacts your destiny. What you are doing today defines what you will ultimately become. What you are doing today defines where you are going. Where you will be tomorrow is determined by the direction you are headed today. Never you think that circumstances will interrupt your life and suddenly you are lifted to be in charge of much when you are not faithful in the very little that is in your hand today. You are the one to interrupt yourself and begin to be faithful now.

What is in your hands today?
It may be much or little in your own eyes but what you do with it is what matters. What happens is that many a times people do not value what is already in their hands. They despise it and refuse to commit themselves to it. Greed, envy, jealousy and pride are the killers in this area. Why is it that you cannot concentrate and finish well what you are doing now? Why is it that you are neglecting what you are doing now meanwhile you want a higher place? What is that in your hands? It may be a position, a ministry or a job. Do not misbehave in it.

Now, it does not matter what people think about where you are right now. It does not matter their opinion about how lowly what you are doing now is. What matters is what you do with it. There are people who are running some businesses who are not eligible for promotion no matter how hard they pray or fast. God cannot give you a promotion that is bigger than your character. Each time God wants to lift their business and wants to start with moulding their character, they resist Him or bolt out of training half way. They want to remain the way they are. You cannot remain the way you are and walk with God at the same time. God cannot give a kingdom to a child to run. The few times He did it in the Old Testament, He placed them under some tutelage and guidance.

God orders the steps of the righteous.
This is a biblical truth every child of God has to believe. In most cases it is a bitter pill to swallow. Firstly, if you have been in a position whereby it is as if your mates have left you behind and moved on with life and you are faced with the challenge of either following the short cuts of unrighteousness and meeting up with them or obeying God and remaining where you are, you will understand how bitter the pills can be. The truth is that you cannot do righteousness and remain where you are. But already there is a big problem here. We are never encouraged to compare ourselves with ourselves. Secondly, if you are in an employment where obviously you are being paid lower than you think you are supposed to earn and you believe you should be somewhere else better, you may understand what I am sharing. However, the truth is that that seemingly lowly place is a stepping stone. God brought you there.

All I am doing is to make you see the connection between where you are now and where you are going. Even if you cannot see it with your physical eyes, see it with your spiritual eyes. Faith has eyes and can see. In fact, what faith sees is more of a reality than what the physical eyes see.

One who compromises in one area will most likely compromise in other areas. It will be very much easier for one who is firm against sin in one area of his life to have victory against sin in other areas of his life. Please never you play or despise what you are doing today. Humble yourself. Be faithful and committed to it. God will lift you up in due time.

Watch out for part 2.