TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL (Friday 2ND July 2021)
“How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes.” Psalm 119:9-12 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 183RD DAY OF OUR YEAR OF HIGHER HEIGHTS!
For 183 days the LORD have been keeping and protecting us from evil. He has not just been protecting our physical lives, He has also been protecting our spiritual lives. Sometimes we forget that the most important aspect of our lives to be protected, especially these end times is our spiritual life.
There are so many things the enemy has thrown upon the earth and so many souls are being stolen from the ways of truth and morality to the ways of errors and immorality.
The spirit of wickedness has seduced and hoodwinked so many into the Broadway that leads to eternal damnation. If not for the strategic interventions from the LORD that we are witnessing right now, it would have been terrible.
You may not understand what I just stated because spiritual battles are unseen and the ongoing warfare on the souls of men is unknown to so many.
The ultimate weapon the enemy is using is not poverty, strive, death, destruction, or curses. His ultimate weapon is the mystery of iniquity. A force that so many of us even in ministry know nothing about in detail. If we do, we will never be running ministry or our churches as money making machines, metaphysical cults, social club, places of theatrical performance, or political parties.
This hidden force is known by none of our renown spiritual leaders. I speak thus based on the evidence we see in their ministries and how they have led or misled us in matters of the Christian faith.
There was something that was not known to the Church that was patterned after what Peter knew until Paul came. It is called apostolic Christianity. It was when Paul came that apostolic Christianity started. Before he came they were running a Christianity mixed with Judaism. Using oil and all that.
It was Paul Christ used to bring the Heavenly version of Christianity. Paul described it as workmanship created in Christ Jesus, prepared beforehand by God Himself that we should walk in them. That workmanship was not known by the Church until he came.
HERE IS WHAT HE SAID;
“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 NKJV
James who was the first leader of the Church at Jerusalem never knew of this workmanship, hence asking the Jews who were dispatched to use oil in prayer even after Christ has released the replacement for the oil, the anointing of the Holy Spirit.
Peter, who later took over from James after he was stoned to death shortly after Christ resurrected, did not know of this workmanship. He did not know until Paul emerged from deep encounters with the LORD. He said in his words;
“But I make known to you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached by me is not according to man. For I neither received it from man, nor was I taught it, but it came through the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Galatians 1:11-12 NKJV
If He had received it by the hand of James, Peter or John, it would have been mixed with Judaism and the he would have, for example, written to the churches he planted to be using oil in prayer like James did to the ones he knew. He rather made sure whoever he met got the replacement of the anointing oil because authentic Christianity begins after getting the replacement.
By the way, why did God allow James to go so soon while he was needed here? The answer is simple. He still had a stronghold of Judaism and it would have impeded on what the LORD was doing. So He allowed him to go home early and rest with Him.
Sometimes, the longevity of our lives depends on the impact we are creating in God’s kingdom; the purity of what Christ may be doing through us. When it becomes desecrated, we may be called home abruptly. It is actually an act of mercy so that we would not be lost.
The Church in Antioch became the breakthrough church because it was established to birth that workmanship created in Christ Jesus, prepared beforehand by God Himself that we should walk in them. It grew strong to become an apostolic hub where warriors were raised and sent even to Africa. There is so much about this.
But I needed to go that direction to let us know that there is a difference between what our renown spiritual fathers are doing today, what their sons are doing, and what the Antioch Church did in the days of the early Church.
You cannot see that version of Christianity created in Christ Jesus beforehand in their messages, ministries or mandates. That is why we see sorcery, worldliness, the love of money camouflaged as love for God, and all kinds of unclean lifestyles presented as Christianity.
FRIEND, IF THERE IS ANYTIME WE NEED OUR SPIRITUAL LIVES TO BE PROTECTED, IT IS NOW.
God protects our physical lives with angels, and other kingdom weapons. But He protects our spiritual lives with His word; sound doctrine poured into our hearts by the Spirit of truth. A major highlight in our devotional text says;
“Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You. Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes.”
Our hearts are the seats of our moral lives. If they are not protected, we will be exposed to all kinds of unclean spirits that will pollute us and make us immoral and wicked in God’s sight. Heavenly Protection of our spiritual lives is what keeps us Heaven worthy. It is what keeps us away from defilement.
And from this line of our devotional text, it’s clear that God protects our spiritual lives, not by prayers but by His word that is hidden in our hearts.
We may pray all the prayers that we can but if there is not sound doctrine hidden in our hearts, there will be no protection for our spiritual lives. Our spiritual lives will be exposed to defilement bringing us to the valley of a life of sin.
The ministry of James, Peter and the early Church before Paul came, never centered on birthing Christ in men and women but introducing Him to them. That is what our renown spiritual fathers built their ministries upon. Which was very great. If you have eyes you will see it clearly in the type of churches they have planted all over the world.
But introducing Christ to people do not make them Heaven worthy. When Philip introduced Christ to Simon the sorcery who was known as the great power of God, he joined the church but was not heaven worthy.
IT WAS NOT JUST HIM BUT EVERYONE PHILIP PREACHED TO.
Peter would later come to put the Holy Spirit into their lives, identify the sorcerer but leave them afterwards. The sorcerer would later start his ministry with some of them and return back in full force to confront the ministry of Peter until his death.
Introducing people to Christ has not fully helped any generation. What has helped every generation is putting Christ in them through a systematic delivery of apostolic doctrine. That was why the coming of Paul changed the spiritual landscape of the Church. He stood on the passion to make Christ known, and brought the Church to the passion to have Him formed in the hearts of men. He wrote in his letter to the Church and Galatia saying;
“My little children, for whom I labor in birth again until Christ is formed in you, I would like to be present with you now and to change my tone; for I have doubts about you.” Galatians 4:19-20 NKJV
He did not say, “my little children, for whom I labor preaching until Christ is introduced to you.” He knew men will only be Heaven worthy when they are moved from having Christ introduced to them, to having Him formed in them.
The Church must understand the difference between what is happening now in what we call Church and what happened in the days of our fathers.
So many in our days are no Heaven worthy. Christ have been introduced to them, and they are walking with that revelation, calling Him “LORD, LORD,” but not doing what He said in His word.
If your Christian life is still at the level where Christ was introduced to you, you may even develop yourself to become faithful in Church, walking in miracles, signs and wonders, and be preaching the gospel but you will not be able to recognize or deal with the mystery of iniquity.
Consequently, you will be practicing lawlessness without even knowing it. And that is dangerous to your eternal life.
It is NOT God’s will that we lead Christian lives that are not Heaven worthy. My prayer today is that the LORD will use this word to build us up and lead us through paths that our apostolic fathers walked in their days!
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR THE DAY!
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.
Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’
And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!” Matthew 7:21-23 NKJV