TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL (Saturday 19th December 2020)
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” Psalm 34:17-18 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 353RD DAY OF OUR YEAR OF REJOICING
We give God the glory for bringing us into another day. The Bible says daily He loads us with benefits. Obviously, being alive is one of the benefits of this day.
Sometimes we come under circumstances that make us feel tired of life, like Elijah and Paul did. Other times people do things to us that pushes us to question why did God allowed us to be born like Jeremiah and Job did. They all hated the days they were born when things went sour in their lives and ministries.
In such moments, God shows great understanding and comes to give us days full of insights that calms us down. David understood it better when He said,
“The heavens are telling of the glory of God; And the expanse [of heaven] is declaring the work of His hands.
Day after day pours forth speech, and night after night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there [spoken] words [from the stars]; Their voice is not heard.” (Psalm 19:1-3 Amplified Version)
When the Spirit of God fills our hearts with the telling of the glory of the LORD, the declaration of His handiwork, the speech that is poured forth by the days the LORD allow us to see, and the knowledge the night seasons of our lives reveal, it brings us to the place of light and understanding.
It becomes like a light commanded to shine out of the darkness of the unpleasant circumstances we may be going through.
Let me share some of my 2020 battles so that you may find something to help you in 2021. One of the major things that helped built me up in life and ministry was the stories of the personal battles of those who are ahead of me. They helped me a lot, because there are things you will never find in the Bible until you hear such stories.
If not for the things amazing things the LORD did side by side in my life this year, I would not have counted the year as my year of rejoicing. But it was my year of rejoicing, according to the word of the LORD.
HOWEVER, I BOTH REJOICED AND WEPT BITTERLY THIS YEAR LIKE NEVER BEFORE. IT WAS SWEET AND BITTER.
Shortly after the lockdown, I started having the worst moments of my life since I returned to ministry in 2006 (some of you know the story from what I had shared years back). It got heated up in July, August, September and October and almost brought me into ruin in November. But those are also the months we had the greatest teachings.
There are details I have decided to keep and tell the angels when I get to Heaven, by God’s grace.
Whenever I thought things were getting better, something else will happen. Majority of what I went through revolved around very close persons in my life, that is why things have been very painful and wearisome. There were times I wondered how I got there, in spite of my carefulness. But I knew how!
It all started when I decided to offer help to some people who needed it most.
Now am the one in need of help to come out of the things that sprang from them to me for offering them help! But I found out that no one can offer the help I needed except God. The season have been the garden of Gethsemane for me; a place of my pressing!
One thing to learn from this story is this; Servants of God, most times, minister to you when they need ministry most. But you mount more pressure on them and even make stupid statements about them without knowing what they are going through. That is why God judges those who touch them badly, very severely.
You can now understand why He warned in His word, “touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” You may be touching and doing them harm when they are going through the worst battles of their lives! Your own life will never end well as a result.
For Jesus, God had to send an angel to strengthen Him in the Garden of Gethsemane, because no man could do that. The garden was the place of pressing out olive oil.
PROPHETICALLY IT WAS THE PLACE OF PRESSING FOR CHRIST. HE NEEDED A HELP THAT NO ONE COULD OFFER.
Often, in the place of pressing, you will find no one to help you because most times the people that should have helped, are the ones the enemy is using to press you down. For Jesus, there was no one even among His blood relatives who could help. If He were married, from what we have seen in the lives of other Bible figures, apart from Isaiah, even His wife would not have been able to help him.
In fact, we would have been shocked to find out that she will even be the most difficult pain in His life like Job’s wife was during those moments. I don’t know why the wives of such people always join forces with the enemy to exact pressure on them during their trouble moments. This could be why Jesus never married, and Paul, Elijah, and Elisha never either.
One would say, “well the spiritual sons and daughters can be of help during those moments.” It is a lie; they won’t be able to offer any help! They will not be able to stand the details, come to talk of sharing in the pain. Don’t forget, the disciples Jesus took to the Garden of Gethsemane to see if they could give Him some spiritual warmth, fell asleep under the weight of the flesh.
For instance, the latest pain of standing to conduct my first funeral since 29 years in ministry, have been almost unbearable. Those who are used to conducting funerals will be amazed at me. They should pardon me for my weakness, please. The LORD has kept all He gave me over the years. I have not buried anyone. So, our souls cannot be the same.
I have been having sleepless nights and what seems to be nightmares since I returned, yet I did not tell anyone because I know none can offer the help I need. My soul has not seen that before, hence plugging itself into a psychological battle in its bid to recover. I never knew it affected me that bad.
Maybe because of what it faced; maybe because of the troubles that tore through it, especially between August and November. It dawned on me that I needed the restoration of the soul, and I can only get it from the LORD!
DAVID SAID, “THE LORD IS MY SHEPHERD; I SHALL NOT WANT…. HE RESTORES MY SOUL.”
Our devotional text says,
“The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears, and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to those who have a broken heart, and saves such as have a contrite spirit.” (Psalm 34:17-18 NKJV)
I have been spending my time crying out to the LORD who alone will understand my cry and reach me with what I need!
You see, any spiritual son or daughter will fall asleep spiritually and slip into the flesh, if you bring them into the details of what you go through in a season that is akin to the Gethsemane season of Christ. The only person that can help in such seasons is the Holy Spirit Himself; the one who put you into ministry. The one who alone knew you will go through such things even before calling you into ministry.
In as much as we need them to unleash our callings, I have been in circumstances of life that even my spiritual father could not help.
With all sense of humility and respect, I want to say, when you carry the mantle of a different dispensation than that of the one God used to birth you into ministry, it will always be difficult to be ministered to by him. You can see this pattern in so many Bible figures.
For instance, John the Baptist was a spiritual father, so to speak, to Christ. But could not minister to Him. In fact, he questioned His calling at a time of pain, when he expected Christ to come through for him as one he helped pointed to the harvest.
Remember, Jesus in the flesh went to him to be baptized by him; in simple terms, to be birth into ministry. He went there to be pointed out to the harvest. One of the major roles of a spiritual father is to point us out to the harvest. That was what John the Baptist did. But the dispensations they served were different.
Hence Jesus went His way shortly after that, depending on the Holy Spirit alone to help Him. But He spent His days honoring him whenever He had the opportunity. He spoke about John both as GOD to John and a spiritual son to him.
YOU CANNOT DIFFERENTIATE BETWEEN SUCH MOMENTS EXCEPT THE SPIRIT HELPS YOU.
There are things that our spiritual fathers may not be able to help us out! We must understand what those things are and not run to them when we face them. We may inform them but spend our days with the Holy Spirit to help us, because those are the things we will need the Heavenly Father alone to help us out.
If you meet spiritual fathers to offer help in things that are not in their jurisdiction to do, they will ruin you in their loving efforts to help you. They will ruin and say, “we are really sorry, we did not know this will ruin you. But we never meant harm” And you will see it that they really never meant harm. It is when you are functioning within their grace dispensation that they will always be helpful to you.
I remember going through things in 2008 and approaching a spiritual father figure in Nigeria for help; he gave me what every good spiritual father figure should give to a younger minister in ministry life me, but it did not help me.
He was loving and kind but the counsel that came our almost ruined my life. That was when I began to learn the difference between what a spiritual father should do for me and what my Heavenly Father should do for me as a servant of GOD with a different mantle.
No one ever told me there was a difference. I learned it in a very bad way! There are things you can only learn that way. Such things have a way of becoming some of the deepest revelations available to mankind.
This morning I want you to sit back and look at the coming year with a prophetic eye, and see how you can use all you have learned from the LORD through me to shape your life, even in many years to come. I know, I have been like a sponge squeezed by the good, the bad and the ugly this year. “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to completely finish His work” then step out of this world!
This devotional is not for dogs but for sons. Dogs will make stupid comments from it but sons will glean wisdom from it and lead their lives properly.
We have both shared so much from January till date; both through television and other platforms. Even in my days of trouble, I did not cease from talking to you. Will you allow this knowledge from the LORD to be a waste? Will you use it to preach so that you can be celebrated? Or will you use it to restructure your life so that all that the LORD has purposed for you will come to pass? I leave that to you.
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR TODAY!
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me and to completely finish His work.
Do you not say, ‘It is still four months until the harvest comes?’ Look, I say to you, raise your eyes and look at the fields and see, they are white for harvest.
Already the reaper is receiving his wages and he is gathering fruit for eternal life; so that he who plants and he who reaps may rejoice together. For in this case the saying is true, ‘One [person] sows and another reaps.’
I sent you to reap [a crop] for which you have not worked. Others have worked and you have been privileged to reap the results of their work.” John 4:34-38 (Amplified Version)