TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL (Saturday 8th May 2021)
“Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business; but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” Acts 6:3-4 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 128th DAY OF OUR YEAR OF HIGHER HEIGHTS!
Glory be to God almighty for His marvelous works and glorious deeds in our lives.
Like David I want to say this morning that we slept and woke up because the LORD kept us. People can die in their sleep you know. That is why it is very important to thank God for sleeping and waking up; even if your sleep was filled with night mares.
The whole of the Redeemed Christians Church of God Nigeria, and the world, was thrown into mourning on the 4th of May when one of their best and brightest stars, who was also the third son of their General Overseer, slept and did not wake up.
He was 42 years old. May the LORD comfort his family and the entire RCCG globally in Jesus precious name. It is a very sad development.
May the LORD help us all draw lessons out of what happened so that we may lead lives that are always ready for the next life. May everyone who is in deep mourning at the death of the young man be comforted.
Yesterday I was thinking about how a man will give birth to a child, and watch him or her grow into a star, only to burry that child with your own hands. It is saddening and very heart breaking.
The Bible says our children shall burry us. We are not the ones to bury them. That is why when it happens the other way round, it is very painful raising so many questions. It is the questions that make men grieve more. Again, may God comfort his parents!
As I sat to consider the shocking development, my mind wondered back and forth on so many issue.
The young man had all in life. As a pastor, the largest church on earth was his territory. His Dad, who served as both his biological and spiritual father, is considered by many as the most powerful man of God on earth. He is also the most respected. Presidents of Nations and captains of industries are at his beck and call.
Leading Nigerian preachers are his spiritual sons, including the leader of the winner’s chapel, David Oyedepo. But all that never counted at his personal moment of truth – a moment that will hit every one of us some day.
Friend, we must learn something from that.
Yesterday I said that it is very important that a believer focus his heart on the one thing that will follow us to eternity when we die, not things that will not follow us. Wherever the late Pastor Dare Adeboye is right now (his eternal destiny), it is his private relationship with God that determined it, not what many are saying about him on pages of national and international newspapers.
CHILD OF GOD, IT IS OUR PRIVATE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD THAT WILL DETERMINE OUR ETERNAL DESTINY, NOT OUR PUBLIC RELATIONSHIP.
One of the amazing lines I read was from a lady who said, “the GOD of Adeboye will raise the man back to life” that she believes.
Though there is nothing like the God of Adeboye in the Bible, it is the GOD of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob that we have in scriptures, and He Himself said that is His name forever, but the expression actually tells us how everyone wants him alive.
Of Course, it’s good to believe God for the unusual, but the point here is, our public relationship with God is usually full of what people say or want about us, and what they expect God to do in our lives when we run into problems. You need to read all that is being said about this young man.
I read all and was really impressed. But I know it is not what I was reading that will determine his eternal destiny, but what GOD read in his private life while he was living in his body.
The rule is applicable to all of us humans on the face of the earth.
We may have the best in life like he had! But it is not what we have or what we make people to see about us that will count on that day. It is who we are and what God sees that will count; sometimes this will involve things that no one else may have seen or known about us – the kind of relationship we had with Him in private places.
MANY OF US ARE ALWAYS CAUGHT OUT BY THE PROSPERITY OF THE MUNDANE AND THE GLORIES OF THE EARTHLY.
But none of these have the eternal capacity to count in our moments of truth. The young man who die was highly educated and also rich in his own little corner. He was the envy of many in terms of privileges. But those privileges never counted in his moment of truth.
About this man’s Dad, the G.O himself, apart from having many important personalities on earth at his beck and call, a pastor who walked closely with them some time ago, once said to me, “I believe, he is the richest preacher on earth, it’s just that he does not make noise like others.”
I remember questioning God many years ago in my stupidity saying, “why did you not make me one of the sons of this rich preachers in Nigeria.” I said to Him I would have had the opportunity to do great things in His kingdom.
That I was suffering too much and it was hindering my calling.
With all He had put in my spirit, I reasoned that if He had placed me in their loins and they gave birth to me, I would have blossomed better and do more in His kingdom. You know there is an insanity you plunge into when suffering is becoming unbearable, that was my own moment of insanity.
But today, each time I look back at those days and the things I said, I just laugh at myself and thank God for not putting me in their loins.
Friend, everyone has his own path in life. Some are placed in the loins of great privileges, while others in the loins of great poverty. But none of that determines our destinies. It is our private walk with the LORD that do.
Yes, some are born by great fathers, others are born by poor fathers, many others are born by no father at all. The man abandoned their mum and left, maybe as soon as she became pregnant or when their relationship died, but none of that has the power to determine our destinies. It is our attitudes towards God that counts.
My personal life taught me that it is our private walk and talk with God that determines our destinies.
Sadly, so many people who are less privileged do not put in much when seeking GOD. We are usually too casual to be lifted by Him. The Bible says the plans God has for us are all good and great, but we must invest in our private walk with Him to blossom in time and then eternity
THE BOOK OF JEREMIAH PUT IT THIS WAY;
“For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.
Then you will call upon Me and go and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
I will be found by you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back from your captivity; I will gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you to the place from which I cause you to be carried away captive.” Jeremiah 29:11-14 NKJV
If you look at this scripture, you will realize that the condition to seeing the glorious plans that God has for us come to pass is not by giving a sacrificial offering to a preacher, as good as that may be. It is simple by not being casual in our relationship with God. It is by being deep and sincere with God, especially in our private places.
He said we must pray, seek Him, and search for Him with the whole of our heart before we can find Him. That tells me my relationship with Him must not be casual if I must find Him. Don’t forget, it is when we find God that He breaks forth in our lives, making us to blossom in TIME AND ETERNITY.
So what is really keeping people in their miserable states in life, is the kind of relationship they cultivate with God. For many, it is too casual for them to be lifted. A casual relationship with God, may give you a good report among men but will never give you a good report in Heaven.
In fact, it can bring you into the prosperity of the wicked, and people will be calling it God. But when you die, you will realize how you spent your Christian life in delusion.
YOU WILL REALIZE HOW YOU CHEATED YOURSELF.
A casual relationship with God it is a kind of relationship that prevents us from seeking God and searching for Him with all our heart. It keeps us in realms where the true God cannot break forth in our lives. Yesterday we shared about the dangers.
We also shared how it turns us into carnal Christians. We saw that being a carnal Christian is not a blessing but a curse.
You see, present day Christians have become so carnal that hell has become very excited. Why is hell excited, you may ask? It is excited because when we die as carnal Christians we do not make Heaven. The Bible is clear on that in Romans chapter 8.
If you look at certain scriptures in the Bible, you will realize that many Christians who died and were labeled “gone to be with the LORD” are not really with Him at all. Most died completely lost, while others died in carnality without intimacy with Jesus Christ, hence entering the next life separated from God in this life.
If you leave this world separated from God, Heaven will not be your home. Sadly, hell will be.
But there is a remnant that has seen these things in the Spirit and are adjusting their lives and getting closer and closer to God. This remnant is separating form the mundane and responding to the call of God to go deep in their walk with Him.
Our devotional text today was a spiritual decision the leaders of the early Church took. When growth came and things that where great but not multiplying their chances to spend quality time with God emerged, the reacted against those things and applied divine wisdom to put them under control.
A major highlight in the devotional text said,
“But we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”
One of the major steps to take to stop being casual with God and become deep with Him lies in what you give yourself entirely to as a Christian. It lies in giving yourself continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.
I have come to realize that if you cultivate a consistent prayer life, and are continuously fed the word (life giving truths or sound doctrine), you will find yourself in the deeper places of the Spirit one day. When you get to the deep, you will find God and begin to touch His glory. When you begin to touch His glory, your ideal self will begin to come out, and you will begin to blossom.
Even your natural age will begin to give way and you will begin to look younger than your peers. You will begin to operate in the supernatural and see Heavenly things take place in your life in quick succession.
All we have been saying is, we must move from a casual relationship with God to relationship with Him in deeper places.
We must be truly intimate with Him because the days are dangerous. I have come to realize that if intimacy with God is the missing key in your life, no other key will bail you out of problems until you use it to navigate through the storms.
Many times we replace the key of intimacy with God with running after people. If you are too close to people, especially those who are far from God, you will not be close to God. That is the message of this devotional.
Let us cultivate the habit of going to the house of God on daily bases. The house of God is not a building but the place of His manifest presence. What I mean is let us develop the habit of seeking His manifest presence daily.
If we become people who seek His manifest presence daily, we will find God and lead lives that are animated by His glory.
LET THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR YOU TODAY!
“I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go into the house of the Lord.” Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem! Jerusalem is built as a city that is compact together,”
“Where the tribes go up, the tribes of the Lord, to the Testimony of Israel, to give thanks to the name of the Lord”
“For thrones are set there for judgment, the thrones of the house of David.” Psalms 122:1-5 NKJV