Showing posts with label christian life. Show all posts
Showing posts with label christian life. Show all posts

Monday, 15 March 2021

The Danger of Self-Conceit

"Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers." But he replied, "Lord, I am ready to go with you to prison and to death." Jesus answered, "I tell you, Peter, before the rooster crows today, you will deny three times that you know me."  Luke 22:31-34.

“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.” Phil 2:3 NIV

Self-conceit is an exaggerated opinion of one’s own qualities or abilities. It is an over-rated or inflated pride in oneself or one’s appearance. Self-conceit is when you have over-confidence in yourself, what you can do or what you have done. You do not put into consideration your fallibility and vulnerabilities; you just feel you can and there is no reason for fear or caution. It is a manifestation of complex and a deception someone may feel secure in. Gal. 6:3-4 warns that “If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself.” NIV. Self-conceit is a feeling, a thinking and an opinion that is exaggerated, it may not be the reality but the person bases his behavior on it. The passages we quoted above are filled with lessons and instructions.  Peter missed an opportunity to ask for mercy and grace because he was self-conceited. What has his answer in verse 33, expressing strength, got to do with the warning the Lord gave to him in verses 31-32? It is only self-conceit that will make a man to hear warnings from the Lord of all the earth, but only to ignore it believing that he has strength and can do “mighty things” for God.

What makes us self-conceited?

1.       The strength we think we have, whether perceived or real can make us to be self-conceited. What we can do or what we have done. Peter in our text above trusts in what he can do. It blinds us and hinders us from depending and seeking for the help we need either from others or from the Lord.

2.       The knowledge we think we have. Self-conceit makes us unteachable because we think we know and have no need of learning. There is this “I have arrived mentality” when we are self-conceited.

3.       Our gifting, talents, special abilities, possessions, and achievements can make us to be self-conceited. We may be tempted to overrate ourselves, which makes us to foolishly cross some common-sense boundaries which definitely will land us into trouble. As gifted men and women, we need to continually submit our gifting to the Lord. When we can pray, teach, or prophesy, the temptation is that after a long time of practice, it is possible to leave the Lord behind while we continue the use of the gifting. It just dawned on me that God has not asked me to trust on my prayer life or the quantity of scriptures in my head, He has asked me to trust Him. Prayer becomes empty and ritualistic when the Lord is absent and scriptural passages without the Spirit only become letters that kill.

4.       Good compliments and praises from people around us can be deceptive and can make us to become self-conceited. Men’s praise can make us forget from where God picked us up and our estimation of ourselves becomes bogus, knowingly or unknowingly. Fame and popularity fade, time renders both hollow.

5.       Lastly, position of power and the privileges of an office can make us to become self-conceited. We are often tempted to equate an office to the person occupying the office, which is a lie. Positions of power are transient. You can be in power today and out of power tomorrow. Every position of power expires. King Saul overrated himself and got destroyed. In 1 Sam.13, Prophet Samuel delayed from coming to the camp in Gilgal. Saul felt he could perform the same sacrifice like Samuel and asked them to bring him the animals for offerings even when it was not in his office to do. Again, he came back from a battle where obviously he didn’t do what God had asked him to do and the first thing he did was to go and erect a monument for himself at Carmel and moved on (Sam.15:12).

What is instructive is that the points listed above are not bad in themselves but can get us corrupted except if we don’t walk wisely.

Why is self-conceit dangerous?

I will summarize the dangers of self-conceit with five points:

1.       When we have an exaggerated opinion of ourselves, it makes us to put up a “bold face”. We can cover things up because we do not want others to know how weak we are. We can either give ourselves some reasons why we ought to live the way we do or assume some level of familiarity and favour with God.

2.       Self-conceit means that we are egoistic. We are loud and want to always be heard and want to have our way. We always have something to prove and show though we may be empty. It is all about impression. Because the opinion is exaggerated, the image of the person so produced is like a balloon which can easily be busted anytime.

3.       Self-conceit is a complex, a lie and a deception which makes it very dangerous. You cannot underestimate the level of low one can descend when you are self-conceited. Someone who is vain and egoistic can do terrible things. Because self-conceit is about false pride and bloated self-importance and worth, the person will have this sense of importance and indispensability which breeds impunity. It has produced tyrants, self-righteous men, traitors and men you cannot trust when the chips are down. Haman in Esther is a case in point here.

4.       When we are self-conceited, we hurt people around us and often find reasons for that. We may not care because we may feel it is inevitable for us to hurt them. The world must revolve around us and we must be the “celebrity” at the center of every conversation.

5.       Finally, when we are self-conceited, sooner or later, we will have a big fall. It can be a fall into sin or into some other serious life’s troubles. Why? Because, the person will not listen or give heed to warnings and warning signs; a near-miss is not a reason to reflect instead is an opportunity to boast; the person will depend on exaggerated abilities and his or her strength instead of depending on the Lord; there is this sense of false security, “I can handle it”, which will ensure the person continues to live dangerously until destruction comes.

The poem "Ozymandias" by Percy Bysshe Shelley tells it all on the outcome of vain glory:

"My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;

Look on my works, ye mighty and despair.

Nothing beside remains. Round the decay

Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare

The lone and level sands stretch far away.”

The poem is believed to be about Pharaoh Ramesses II who was once considered very powerful and even divine, however, his once intimidating monument lies in ruins in an unoccupied and abandoned desert sand. How time renders the glories of yesterday's men to nothing. Our glories today will become tomorrow's abandoned relics and nothing.

In this time of Lent, may we all seek the Lord in humility. May we inculcate His mind and be clothed with His life. When we humble ourselves, it is possible to avoid Peter’s fall.

Monday, 10 October 2016

Integrity in our relationships

 "Make room for us in your hearts. We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one." 2 Cor 7:2-3. NIV

We read this passage this morning during our Morning Devotion. Everybody felt very challenged.

Paul was really a servant of God. At every point in time, he reviewed his attitude, his character and his relationships with other people as he walked his pilgrim journey. We saw him in the previous passages giving explanations to his actions, invoking his sincerity and genuineness of intentions in his relationship with the Corinthian Church. Some false teachers were really on ground to cause problems, distract the church members and set them up against Paul, but he said "Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God." 2 Cor 2:17.

We ask ourselves, can I look back at my relationships; that girl, that young man, my wife or my husband, my Dad, my Mum, my son or my daughter and confidently say "we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one"?. If I continue the way I am doing now, can I boldly look back at retirement and say with Paul "we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one"? Can we look back after we are posted out of a church station as a pastor, evangelist or church worker and say that "...we have exploited no one"? Can we look back at the last work place from where we changed to our current job and say "...we have corrupted no one. We have exploited no one"? Can we as a Bishop, General overseer, Senior Pastor look the younger pastors who worked under us in the eye and say, "We have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have exploited no one."? The question can go on and on.

In the Christian circles today, we rarely teach people to reflect and consider their ways. We seem not to care anymore about integrity and sincerity of our actions. Let us reflect today on the issues raised before us from the passage above and make amends where necessary. If we reflect now and make amends, we may save ourselves from many regrets at the end when it will be too late to make amends.
I am reflecting already. God bless you.

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Bishop Isaac Orama – Never deceived by titles and regalia.

Bishop Isaac Orama – Never deceived by titles and regalia.
It was Thomas Carlyle in On Heroes, Hero-worship and the Heroic in History, who said that the “society is founded on Hero-worship”. He argues that “society everywhere is some representation … of a graduated worship of Heroes – reverence and obedience done to men really great and wise”. This has led many generations into paganism and idolatry of all sorts. However it is not just that man has that innate sense of “loyalty, submissive admiration” for whatever he considers truly great, he equally revels in the glory when he has the opportunity to be adored in such a manner.

The latter is the reason why every leader, whether spiritual or secular, is always faced with this great temptation – do I accept this submissive admiration of worship from men who follow me or do I point them to my Savior, who is greater than myself, and sincerely bend down so that they can see Him alone? Broken men, humble servants of God have found out that that is the only way to escape the trap of hero-worship. Not that they can eliminate that which is innate in man – the desire to worship, but they save themselves from the consequent deception by adopting the attitude of the Lord Jesus Christ who “took upon himself the form of a servant”.

This attitude is what I saw in Bishop Isaac Orama, the late Bishop of the Diocese of Uyo, while he was alive. The last time I physically listened to him was about two years ago when he preached on “Arise and Shine”. One of the things he said in that meeting that has never left me is, I will paraphrase it, “I jealous some of you who are volunteer workers in the church, who though you have your own professions, yet you are committed to God in His service. It makes me to work harder than just being a pastor. You know what, many of us ordained ministers will get to heaven only to discover to our shock that we arrived empty-handed. Why? Because we did just what we were employed to do as pastors and got paid by the church for it, hence there will be nothing else to reward us for in heaven. I work harder so as to get reward in heaven”. That struck me and left a very big impression on my life and ministry since then. It stuck. Watching his life, I can say that that was exactly how he lived his life.

Climbing up the ladder in his denomination, from one title to another, his regalia changed several times. However, those changes did not change Bishop Isaac Orama. He remained just a brother. He did not put up the kind of cult-leader attitude we see most Christian leaders carry today. He continued to be jovial, smiling and will always call you his brother each time you meet. Most leaders claim that they are approachable but they allow those around them to create this deceptive atmosphere of awe around them and their office. They bask in the resultant reverence and yet claim that their office and position has not changed them. But Isaac Orama did not allow those things to influence him. He never became a stranger to his old friends. They remained his brethren. When he came to speak on that “Arise and Shine” programme, he opted to stay in a Guest House of an old friend so as to reduce the financial burden of accommodation on the host church.

He accomplished a lot and imparted many lives during his life time, from the Scripture Union leadership period to his death as the Bishop of Uyo Diocese. He was involved in the revival that swept through the former Niger Delta Diocese and now Diocese of Niger Delta North, many years ago. He led a church in the heart of Port Harcourt, St. Matthews Anglican Church, started by the Venerable Isaac Tejevo, into one of the rare missionary exploits of modern history - the same church that some self-serving pastors today have demonized and made several attempts to scatter. He took over the church from Canon Somiari who himself is a called missionary. This church planted many other churches, helped to revive many dead ones in several remote villages scattered in Niger Delta and sent out missionaries. He assisted the church to develop a global missionary vision which has led to the opening of mission fields in Cameroun, Sierra Leone, Ghana etc. He was a prayer man and encouraged many people to pursue their God-given ministries and helped to raise many young men as ministers. His influence crossed denominational boundaries. Those who have heard him lead in prayer sessions will sense his burden for the church; easily broken before the Lord in tears.

A friend of mine once told me an incident that happened in St. Matthews in one of those days – He just finished rebuking the church rashly over some matters and went and sat down, only to come up again to apologize to the church for the way he talked to them. He said that God just rebuked him and warned him not to talk rashly to His children the way he did and asked him to go back to the podium and apologize. It turned out to become another solemn moment for everybody as they all began to repent and confess their sins. What a scene and what an experience for all the worshippers that Sunday. During church love feasts, he would almost eat from every person’s plate, unlike many pastors who are full of complex and pretense, who do not want to eat with their brethren because they are wearing white collar.

When we received the SMS to pray for him when he travelled to India for a medical condition, we all prayed. But it has pleased our Father to call him home in a time like this. I can only say, “My big brother, you fought well. We learnt a lot from you what you also learnt from Christ. Once again I say, “Good night””.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Watch out

"Watch out for false prophets. Matt 7:15 NIV

One of the things that will become common and rampant in these last days is the increase in deception and deceivers. The deception will be so strong that even the elect can be taken if he is not watchful. Praying alone is not enough to guard a man against falsehood, using our spiritual eyes to watch is very important.

In the passage above, the Lord asks us to watch out for false prophets. They will come in sheep’s clothing but inwardly, they are ferocious wolves. They may prophesy, drive out demons and perform miracles and yet, they work against God’s purpose and tear down God’s kingdom instead of building it. They are hirelings who do not really care for the sheep. All they care about is how to make money for themselves, and get returns from church members who have itching ears who are glad hearing what they want to hear. These church members can stay under a ‘prophet’ who prophesies lies but they will never ask questions because they are being driven by their lusts.

How can you be under a ‘prophet’ who says that God told him that something will happen within a period and it does not happen and you do not ask questions? Oftentimes people are so intimidated that they are even afraid to mention the lie their pastor has told. They think sub-consciously that their pastor can change the rules and God will accept it because he is a ‘servant of God’. How can a prophet always sees ‘pains in the lower abdomen’, ‘you dreamt and somebody was pursuing you in the dream’, ‘somebody is here who has pain on the upper part of his arm’ etc? Every time he opens his mouth, the same ‘prophecy’ all the time. Recently in a church, a visiting preacher was corrected two times because he was declaring something that was obvious to every church member that it was false. 
This is the beginning of the year and many people are having special programs in their churches and ministries. Unfortunately, this is when many leaders declare lies and claim that God has spoken to them. Many pastors deceive their members to enter into some spurious covenants which they are told they can procure with their offerings and pledges. I discussed this extensively here some years ago. What covenant can you procure with the money God gave to you that will be more efficacious and lasting than the covenant we have with Him in Christ Jesus which has granted us access to Him as our Father? We are covenant children with all the inheritance we have as sons. In the so called covenant services, they still quote from the Bible which on its own is a covenant book which contains all the terms and instructions that if a man harkens to, he will enjoy the fulfillment of God’s promises. Why are people deceiving others and why do followers allow themselves to be deceived?

I believe in prophecy but I judge every prophecy to make sure it is from God. I recently asked a couple, “how can you identify a false prophet?”, they could not answer anything. And I know that many people today are in that kind of situation. Please, do not be deceived. The Psalmist says, “Serve the LORD with fear and rejoice with trembling” psalm 2: 11. If you decide to sincerely fear God this year, eschew evil and pursue after Him, you will experience Him like never before. The Lord Jesus warns, ‘watch out for false prophets’. My dear watch! God bless you.

Friday, 18 October 2013

Faith when God seems to be very far away

Faith when God seems to be very far away
Some weeks ago, my family was praying for three children whose mother died about a month before. My wife shared with me what one of the girls said to their teachers. She said something like, “Before our mother died, I had a dream where she died. We prayed and God did not answer us, she still died. Now, I’ve had another dream where my elder sister died. Does God love us? Why does He not want to answer us?” she is about twelve years old.

Often times in the journey of life, especially when tragedy strikes, it seems as if God has failed. Hope is seriously wounded if not completely shattered. Understanding hits a hard wall because we cannot see any reason behind why God allowed the situation. Sometimes, it’s not a hard wall that our understanding hits, it just gets lost in what seems to be ad infinitum. It comes back with nothing and starts afresh and wander away again in that cycle. We wonder whether He loves us. It suddenly occurs to us that we are so small on this earth and wonders whether God notices ordinary people like us. In fact, we even ask questions that we know no human can give us answers to - difficult life questions that seek to redefine everything that we seem to have known before now. When God seems to be far away, we ask a lot of whys with exactly the same relative silence. What happens to faith in this kind of situation?

Daniel was taken captive along with other young men from Jerusalem. Apparently, he was from either the royal family or from one of the noble families in the land. The record in Dan.1: 3-4 shows that they were selected from these special and privileged classes of families from among the exiles and were intelligent and well-educated with good prospects for leadership positions. In fact, they were perfect specimens. He was a young man full of aspirations which were cut short by Nebuchadnezzar who invaded Judah and took them captive. In spite of these qualities of Daniel, what distinguishes him is that he has a relationship with God and is living a righteous life when all these things were happening. We normally just read through these passages without stopping awhile to think. We seldom put ourselves in Daniel’s shoes. Often, the very thing that distinguishes us can be the very source of our crises in life. How can you explain the fact that a young man who is serving the Lord with all his heart is carried captive, displaced because of the sins of their leaders and fathers? Daniel’s life changed forever and he never returned from this journey. Right before his eyes, the articles and utensils from the temple of God are packed into the sacred treasury in the temple of the god of Babylon and the God of heaven keeps quiet. (Dan.1:1-2). You know what that means? Where is God when His holy vessels are desecrated? What happened to Daniel’s faith? It is amazing to see in the eighth verse of that same chapter that Daniel’s faith is still intact in spite of the emotional wounds he must have suffered. He was making a commitment to God not to defile himself with the King’s meat.

What do you do when God seems to be very far away? What do you do when the enemy’s attitude is that of pride and arrogance, giving the impression that your God cannot save you, in fact, that He has failed you? If you were Daniel, can you wake up in that foreign land, in what seems like a defeated state and still make a costly commitment to this God?

There are three things we can do when God seems to be far away:

  1. Remain committed to God the best way you can. Keep doing the things that are clear to you are God’s will. It is true that you may not understand what is going on now however, you have to hold fast to the things you have known about God before now. Like Daniel, when there is the challenge to sacrifice, go ahead and do it. Leave the result to God. Many a times, what you do next may determine whether you will experience God where you are or not. Remember, life is a test.
  2. Trust the character of God. He is good and He is perfect love, hence you may not understand your current situation, but you know that whatever is happening now, God allowed it for your ultimate good. We must be able to distinguish between our emotion and our faith in the God that loves us with steadfast love. Faith forges ahead even in the midst of confused emotions and when our human understanding shows limitations. We must accept that we are human and finite but God is infinite. We do not have all the pictures but God does. Though I do not understand but God understands.  Trust His heart even when you cannot find what His hand is doing. Real faith does not struggle when understanding is limited. Faith just believes and does not question how.
  3. Finally hang your life tenaciously on the word of God that you know. At the back of Daniel’s mind, he knew what God had declared through the prophets, The Lord sent Babylonian,  Aramean, Moabite and Ammonite raiders against him. He sent them to destroy Judah, in accordance with the word of the Lord proclaimed by his servants the prophets.  Surely these things happened to Judah according to the Lord's command, in order to remove them from his presence because of the sins of Manasseh and all he had done, including the shedding of innocent blood. For he had filled Jerusalem with innocent blood and the Lord was not willing to forgive.” “Nebuchadnezzar removed all the treasures from the temple of the Lord and from the royal palace, and took away all the gold articles that Solomon king of Israel had made for the temple of the Lord.” “It was because of the Lord's anger that all this happened to Jerusalem and Judah, and in the end he thrust them from his presence.” 2 Kings 24:2-4, 13-14, 20. Their suffering and punishment have nothing to do with how powerful their enemies are. They have nothing to do with the ability of God to save. God just allowed them for a purpose, and in this case, to fulfill His words through His servants the prophets and to punish Judah because of their sins. God is still able to save even in the midst of what you are going through right now. He will come to you right at the appointed time. Daniel believed in the word of God spoken by the prophet Jeremiah and hanged his life on it, in fact that was even why they surrendered to King Nebuchadnezzar in the first place. 2 Kings 24:11. If you hang your life on God’s word, be sure that it cannot land crash.
Remember to hold fast the confession of your hope without wavering because faithful is He who has called, who will also do it. Do not throw away your confidence in the Lord, it has a great reward. God bless you.

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!

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.