TODAY’S DEVOTION (Wednesday 2nd March 2022)
“He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 61ST DAY OF OUR YEAR OF AMAZING GRACE
Great are the mercies of the LORD towards us. Our lives testify of His great deeds and marvelous helps. The breath in our nostrils testifies of His power as one who holds the key of hell and of death. The health we have today tells those who care to listen that He is a great Healer.
To Him belong all the glory for another great day that He has made!
Today, we are continuing our journey of truth on becoming consecrated Christians, not just church goers.
The LORD sent this Cry of His Spirit for this month to call us to consecrate as never before. He wants us to build a stronghold of consecration in our minds and set our feet on high places. He wants His tabernacle and holy hill to become our dwelling place.
There is so much that a consecrated Christian life can achieve, so much! That was what made Elijah a prophet the earth is yet to forget after over 4000 years. Yes, it made our Bible fathers wonder men and mothers wonder women who could network with the glory.
For instance, it transformed the skin of Moses without him needing any luxury cream. Today, we use luxury creams and body lotions to make our skins look fresh and beautiful. But not Moses.
He consecrated until He could bathe in the glory, and came out with a skin that was more beautiful than any skin that luxury creams had ever transformed.
Child of God, eyes have not seen, ears heard, neither has it entered into the hearts of men what consecrated living will accomplish in a man’s life.
There is a depth of consecrated Christian living called the Crucified life. We may be visiting that as we journey along, God willing. Do not forget, our goal remains to achieve a life of consecration as end time saints.
There is no time that we need to achieve consecrated living other than now, because of the prophecy of the falling away that is upon our generation. This is the time to achieve consecrated living by journeying through the revelation of Righteousness, Purity and Holiness as taught by the Bible. It will build a stronghold within us.
Like I stated earlier, God wants a stronghold of consecration built in our souls. Today, the second day of the journey, we will be looking at the power of strongholds in helping us achieve a life of consecration.
To start, it important to note that Without stronghold within us, we cannot live lives that are consecrated to the LORD. In fact, there can be no true Christianity without righteous strongholds within a man that shapes his thoughts, decisions and lifestyle. To change a man, the thought systems that exist within that man must be changed.
STRONGHOLDS ARE THOUGHT SYSTEMS THAT EXIST WITHIN US.
The Bible Teaches that there are two classes of strongholds. We have righteous strongholds and sinful strongholds. When a man is caught up in sinful habits, it is a sinful stronghold that is responsible. That is why the warfare that believers seem not to know about is the warfare of pulling down strongholds and every high thing to exalts itself against the knowledge of God.
Very few realize that this warfare is internal; so many take it to be external, hence fighting perceived, imaginary and fictitious strongholds on trees and streets of cities. We do a lot of foolish things as believers, when it comes to spiritual warfare.
Stronghold are internal constructs that results from the multitude or intensity of information we have absorbed over time. The type of stronghold within a man is a creation of the type of information he has absorbed over time.
That is why, when God want to change a life, He will not deploy angels first, He will deploy truth by the hands of interpreters of divine will, basically to pull down the strongholds that are responsible for the kind of life the person may be living at that time; and established the ones that will allow the change God desires to come to the person’s life.
It was in the light of this that Paul wrote to the Church at Corinth (a church plagued by sexual Perversion) saying;
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.
For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds,
casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.” 2 Corinthians 10:3-6 NKJV
From this scripture, it is clear that righteous strongholds are thought systems that are submissive to Christ, His culture and tradition. Those where the stronghold Paul wanted them to construct so they escape the onslaught of the enemy.
SUCH STRONGHOLD MAKES A MAN INCORRUPTIBLE.
The dynamic working of righteous strongholds in helping us leave right must be recognized in our quest for consecrated Christian living.
I grew up in a Church that made Righteousness, Purity and Holiness a standard for members. We tried our best with our will and made some progress, but people kept falling bellow standard every now and then.
They were seen as wicked and rebellious, but I believed God Judged them differently because we all had no righteous strongholds that would have helped us keep the standard.
Yes, there was no righteous stronghold because there were no teachings to help construct the stronghold. We just had instructions, rules and regulations.
Instructions to live right cannot build a stronghold within anyone. Rules and regulations will not help anyone either. It is sound teachings and discipleship that will help. They will help us hide the word in our hearts.
The Bible says;
“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.” Psalm 119:9-11 NKJV
If you look at this scripture carefully, you will see the power of righteous strongholds (in a man’s heart) in helping one live a holy and righteous life before GOD.
You will see that If there are no sound teachings to implant into our hearts, we will keep sinning against the LORD despite our desires not to. There will be no word in our heart to become a righteous stronghold to helps us live right.
We are built to naturally go in the direction of a stronghold in our hearts. Fasting, prayer or whatever we do will not help us to live right if we have not sat down with sound doctrines on Righteousness, Purity and Holiness to internalize the truth in them through meditation and imagination until a righteous stronghold is formed in our hearts.
LET ME SHARE THIS WITH YOU. IT MIGHT BE OF HELP!
I started very well as a Christian and a preacher, living right before the LORD because of the righteous stronghold formed in my heart through hours with the word and the LORD. But between 26 and 28 years of age, after reading the biography of God’s servant Dr. Morris Cerullo of blessed memory, I began to think about marriage.
I wanted to pattern my life after him because of the results he got in ministry. So, when I saw the age that the book said he got married, I thought I was late and decided to catch up.
By the way, I would later discover when he died, that the date of his marriage that was written in that book was wrong. Sadly, it completely misled me. I never knew that desiring to be like him should have been in matters of impact not in the age he got married.
Anyway, it all started as a good thing, because there is nothing wrong with thinking about getting marriage, until the good thing began to produce a sinful thing. In the process, I ignorantly began to use meditation and imagination to form strongholds that were neutralizing the strongholds of righteousness, purity and holiness that were within me.
I imagined having my imaginary wife by my side, sleeping with her, and all that. Then the stronghold that made me desire sex was formed in me. That was my first step into hell the spirit, and I sank deeply until I was written off. It all began as a thought.
There had been other times, after that I lived in sexual sins as a Christian because of thoughts that were not Christian; because of seasons of unholy, impure and unrighteous meditation and imagination.
During those moments, I found out that you could even be preaching and teaching right but if you do not create time to sit and internalize the word of the LORD in your heart, from time to time, to form or re enforce the righteous, pure, and holy strongholds within you, you will be a preacher who preaches good but have no resistance against sin; especially sexual sins and the sins of the lips.
IT IS NOT STANDING TO PREACH THAT HELPS US OVERCOME SIN. STANDING TO PREACH WILL HELP OTHERS.
It is sitting down to form righteous, pure and holy strongholds in your heart, by meditating on sound doctrine and using your imagination in the process, that will help.
It is very important that we know where to begin if we want to live consecrated lives. We are to begin by looking at how to change what happens or lies within us; the stronghold within us.
The seasons I lived in secret sins as a preacher where really my own evil times; they were seasons that I did not sit with myself to preach to me and internalize what I preached to others. It was seasons I lost all righteous, pure and holy strongholds within me.
I can help people today because I had been there. It takes those who have sat with the captives to help the captives.
I found out that no matter your resolve to live a consecrated life, you will never be able to live right, if what is within you is wrong! If you do not spend time to check what may be developing within you. That’s why it’s stupid to blame people for the sexual sins you committed, maybe with them, and the sinful habit you are caught in.
In those evil times, I was too busy with ministry to check what was developing within me to pull it down. I found myself in one sin or the other until I realized my foolishness.
Let me reiterate again; you will lack resistance against sin if there are no righteous, pure and holy strongholds within you. It is very easy to take people to Heaven with your mouth while you are on your way to hell because of the strongholds within you.
This is to let all who are in God’s kingdom know that it is not what we do in church or preach to others that helps us personally, it is what we do with GOD in secret places, or preach to ourselves in the place of meditation and imagination that helps us personally. That is what will determine if we will be holy, pure and righteous people of God or not.
If we preach to others without preaching to ourselves in devotional seasons called quite time, we will be taking others to heaven while we will be on our way to hell. But God forbids!
WE MUST RESPOND TO THE WORD OF THE LORD THESE 31 DAYS AND BUILD RIGHTEOUS, PURE AND HOLY STRONGHOLDS WITHIN US
Meditation and imagination are the most effective ways to build a stronghold. We are what our imaginations are. We are what our meditation is. Sadly, few of us realize this truth.
We all meditate in things, either good or bad that is why we do them. For instance, you will never sleep with anyone you have not build the stronghold to do so with through meditation or vain imaginations of your heart. They may end up forcing or even raping you because it is not in your heart to have sex with them!
We are built to do only what we imagine to do. We are designed to live only our meditations.
Sadly, Satan knows that very well that is why he has filled the world with imageries that appeals to the carnal nature; making many perverse. He keeps many sinful and unholy by this spiritual technology.
We must understand that He may never stop us from being ‘born again’ but will make sure our born again has no stronghold to keep us living a born-again life. If we do not fight his antics, we will have ourselves to blame.
I shared my personal stories to help you. I have fought with sin, the way you may be fighting with it now. I still fight it even as I write this because the fight can only be over when I step out of this body. But from the victories the LORD has given me so far, I know you are coming out too.
You must understand that to move from being sinful to being holy, a change of what you imagine and what you meditate upon will be required. Therefore, make use of this 31 days that started yesterday, to build a holy stronghold within. Give yourself entirely to it; give it the word the attention required.
You may have vowed or set instructions and rules for yourself but Instructions or rules may not help you. Rules and instructions are only given to re enforced a stronghold. They do not help in forming strongholds.
Like I shared earlier, in our little church then, there were rules, regulations and instructions but no impartations and teachings, hence many could not keep rules, follow the regulations or respect the instructions our leaders gave.
That was how I grew up to find out that it is not regulations that change people but revelation knowledge. There was no revelation knowledge to hide in our hearts in those days until a stronghold was formed. Our leaders then, had no revelation knowledge on Righteousness, Purity and Holiness. They just had screams and shouts of “the Bible says, be ye holy for I am holy.”
Though that helped some of us, but they could not teach us anything that will implant in us the stronghold to be holy. Hence, not many of us followed after righteousness. Consequently, not many found the true life in Christ. It was a big mess for so many!
Our devotional text says;
“He who follows righteousness and mercy finds life, righteousness, and honor (Proverbs 21:21 NKJV).”
This journey is to make us part of that generation that follows righteousness. Are you ready? If you are, then join me tomorrow for another word from the LORD!
LET THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR THE DAY
“Blessed are You, O LORD! Teach me Your statutes. With my lips I have declared All the judgments of Your mouth.
I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, As much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, And contemplate Your ways.
I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word. Psalm 119:12-16 NKJV