TODAY’S DEVOTION (Sunday 1st December 2019)
“He who has the bride is the bridegroom; but the friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice. Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” John 3:29-30 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 335TH DAY OF OUR YEAR OF GOING FORWARD.
It is the first day of the last month of the year according to the western calendar. We have just 30 days left for us the bid the year goodbye, never to see it again. Yes, moments are passing, time is coming that this life we live, this world we see, shall be no more.
But to us who are in the Kingdom of God, there is hope for us. If time become no more, we know where we will be. We will be right in His presence – yet not the kind of His presence that visits us when we assemble in corporate fellowship. We will be in a presence that eyes have not seen, ears heard, or hearts conceived.
As we begin this new month, we will continue with the flow of truth that ushered us into this month. But let me start by sharing a bit about selfishness.
You see, selfishness can be very dangerous. It was what led Judas to betray Jesus. Putting ourselves first before God is the reason why many of us are where we are in our relationship with Him. It has kept us in the outer court for too long.
Can you believe that many have been Christians for years yet have not seen or touched the glory? Others do not even know about the gifts and fruits of the Spirit. Some other knows about these things but have not walked in them.
THE DEFICIT SEEMS TO BE MIND BOGGLING BUT ONLY THE SPIRITUAL MINDED UNDERSTAND.
We have been talking about deep intimacy and the things hindering us from going deep with God. I want you to understand that the greatest wall separating us from having more of God is selfishness. If we can push this wall down, and completely eliminate it from our lives, we will be able to press into God and become all that God has predestined us to be.
That is why in our devotional today we will be considering the “I” factor – a major hindrance to going deep with God.
The “I” factor is the first Child of Selfishness. It is also a relative of pride and arrogance. It is a dangerous sign in the Spirit realm. It was the very factor that brought kings down and destroyed many glorious destinies in the days of the Bible.
I grew up to discover that everyone who ever went deep with God in the days of the Bible eliminated the “I” factor from their lives completely. Men like Joseph in Egypt, David before Goliath, Moses before the gods of Egypt, Paul before the beast of Ephesus, and Peter before the demonic and cruel religious men of his days – all made sure there was no “I” in their lives.
God so emptied them that when you look at them you will see the great God using very weak and insignificant men. You will never see them in them. You will see God in them. That is where God wants us to get to. The whole creation is waiting for the manifestation of such people.
The story of Joseph is one unique story in the Holy Scripture that has a lot to teach us in this respect. When he stood before Pharaoh, who saw him as a great dream interpreter, he said to the king of Egypt,
“It is not in me; God will give Pharaoh an answer of peace” (Genesis 41:16 NKJV).
In other words, I am not a dream interpreter, God is. I only say what He places in my heart to say. That was a major sign that the “I” factor was not existing in his walk with God. Unlike many of us today, we will beat our hands on our chest and say. “yes, I can interpret your dream oh king! How much seed will you sow or pay?
YOU CANNOT APPEAR BEFORE A PROPHET EMPTY HANDED. GIVE ME A BREAK!
I have always said, any preacher who say you cannot appear before a prophet empty handed is empty headed.
When Moses stood before the king of Egypt in all the days he demanded that he let Israel go, there was no day the word “I” appeared in his statements. He was a man in the deep – He was so deep that God could not to speak with him through dreams and visions but face to face.
There is a place you get to in God that you will not be hearing from Him in voices or dreams but face to face. But the “I” word must be eliminated for you to get there.
Consider David for a moment, a Deep Man of God. He never used the “I” word either when he stood before Goliath or when he reigned on the throne as King.
In the books of the New Testament you will read Paul saying “I” die daily. You read Peter speaking on the same tone. Their lives and ministries taught me that one of the traits of an apostle by “content not by title” is the absence of the “I” word from their hearts. That is why apostles are dying men – in other words, men who die daily, not titled men.
I am yet to see a Child of God who eliminated the “I” word from his or her life leading a powerless and ineffective Christian life on the face of the earth. I am yet to see anyone of such people worshiping’ God in shallow places of the Spirit.
YOU WILL ALWAYS FIND THEM IN THE DEEPER PLACES.
Our devotional text today was a statement one of the generals of God made in his days. He was blessed by the LORD to pioneer the first coming of Christ as a friend of the bridegroom.
He was known as John the Baptist. His prophetic identity was concealed until Jesus revealed it. Jesus said he was the Elijah who was to come. In other words, this terrific prophet operated in the Spirit and Power of Elijah not that Elijah reincarnated. There is no reincarnation in GOD! It is a doctrine of devils.
The glory God raised him to reveal on earth, was that of the friend of the bridegroom. The bride groom is Jesus, the bride then was Israel. God sent him ahead of Jesus to speak to Israel and prepare them for his first coming.
A major highlight in his statement says “Therefore this joy of mine is fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.” That brings us again to the need to eliminate the “I” factor from our walk with God.
The revelation of what John the Baptist said that faithful day must be caught for us to be able to get deep with God. We must decrease in all fronts for God to increase in all fronts in our lives. That is the essence of deep intimacy.
Deep intimacy is decreasing in all fronts for God to increase His presence, His glory, His power, His kingdom, His rule, His dominion, His authority, His manifestation in our lives. In simple terms, it involves going all the way with Him whenever and however He wants it. It involves not listening to our flesh, our ego, comfort, pride or whatever stands on the way God in our lives.
Deep intimacy is decreasing the hours you spend with your smart phone and television and increasing the hours you spend with God. It is being swift in the Spirit to fast whenever He puts it in your heart to fast. Simply put, it is an elimination of the “I” word for the GOD factor to rule and reign in your life.
Friend, the only way you can live a joyful Christian life is to eliminate the “I” factor and let God increase His presence in your life.
People commit suicide because of the “I” factor in their lives. When your life is full of the “I” factor, the spirit of hell will become active in it. When the spirit of hell becomes active in your life, it will help you eliminate reasons why you should live, leading to suicide.
As we embrace this new month, it is important that we make up our minds to spend the rest of our days in humility of spirit. We must spend our days decreasing for God to increase. If we do that, we will see ourselves living in unspeakable joy irrespective of what we may be going through.
Happy New Month in Jesus Precious Name. Amen!
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR TODAY;
[For that matter], why do I live [dangerously as I do, running such risks that I am] in peril every hour?
[I assure you] by the pride which I have in you in [your fellowship and union with] Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily [I face death every day and die to self].
What do I gain if, merely from the human point of view, I fought with [wild] beasts at Ephesus? ….. 1 Corinthians 15:30-32 AMP
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me.”
“Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14 NKJV