TODAY’S DEVOTION (THURSDAY 20TH JULY 2023)**
“And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him:” Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.
Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand.
For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” 2 Chronicles 16:7-10 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 201ST DAY OF OUR YEAR OF SIGNS AND WONDERS.
Glory be to God almighty for another glorious day. Down here in Kenya, a lot is happening politically. We are in prayers that the prince of peace brings the political leaders of this nation of destiny to harmony.
Yesterday a police officer on duty looked at me and said, “reverend, pray for our nation.” You know I have been given different titles in Kenya. Some call me Bishop too. My response was, “Yes, we have been praying and will keep praying.”
One of the major prayers is about the prophecy of brotherhood. It is our desire that the prophecy of the table of brotherhood prevails in a time like this, because I fear that the Rehoboam event might happen. If you are a Bible student, you will understand me perfectly.
The political elders of this land have to rise and speak to the political young men. And the political young men have to listen to the political elders. If that do not happen, what will happen will be very dark.
Friends, we should keep praying until it the political young men, listen to the political elders that God has blessed this nation with. Some of the elders are not even known by the media, but the young men know them.
The enemy, who loves counterfeiting God as he seeks to kill, to steal and to destroy, is trying to implement a correctional judgment God implemented in Israel, when He tore the Ten Tribes away from the Two tribes that later remained as Israel.
What happened then was this, God prevented the young men from listening to the elderly men, and there was trouble.
In every nation, there are political young men, and there are political old men. God usually place the two sets of people for the greatness of that nation. In time of crisis, the wisdom of the political old men must not be ignored by political young men. Bible history has it that, anytime the reasoning of the politically old is ignored, and the zeal of the young is not guided, a nation will slip into disintegration.
God designed that political young men should have amazing visions for their nations, and the politically old men amazing dreams. The Bible says young men shall see visions and old men shall dream dreams.
THE REASON IS FOR THE PURPOSE OF GOD FOR THAT NATION TO STAND.
Depending on who is in government or leadership, the implementation of the visions of the politically young (if they are the ones in government or leadership) is to be guided by the dreams of the politically old. And the implementation of the dreams of the politically old, if they are the ones in government or leadership, should be guided by the vision of the politically young.
That is how God design nations to prosper under Heaven and fulfill their purposes. But in Kenya, just like in many other African nations, this synergy does not exist. That is why our nations are in crisis every now and then.
Our leaders must understand the plan of the LORD and know that if only the vision of the young men in government or leadership, or the dream of the old men, drives a nation, the nation will be ruined. Both must work together on a table of brotherhood.
We must understand that no bird can fly on one wing. The two wings for any nation to fly and keep flying high, is the vision of the politically young, and dreams of the politically old.
It is my prayer that the enemy will not prevail, that the political young men, either in Kenya, Nigeria or every other place facing political shakings, will listen to the voice of the political Old men, so that they can be guided by the dreams of the Old men, in their bid to implement their great visions for their nations.
I also pray that the political old men will not ignore the visions of the politically young, calling them rascals. That they will be sober, and the young men humble, so that our nations will not be destroyed. I pray that “to your tent oh Israel” will not happen due to lack of this synergy.
I pray that God will establish the synergy.
On our part, we will remain on our knees, praying and trusting the LORD to prevail over the hearts of the political young and old men, so that they all can come to the table of brotherhood prophesied many years back, and birth a great nation that the LORD has pre-determined.
WE WILL KEEP PRAYING FOR THE PEACE OF OUR JERUSALEM. AMEN!
Every child of God must understand that, God designed that for every nation to become great and prosperous, the vision He has put in of its political young men, and the dreams He has given to the old, must work together. Without that synergy, that nation will come to its end.
With the eyes of faith, we can see the LORD ahead of Kenya, making the crooked places straight, breaking in pieces the gates of brass and cutting the bars of Iron asunder. We can see His presence permeating every strata of this nation, and putting asunder what the enemy determined.
The presence of the LORD remains the neutralizer of the pressures of men and women. It remains the neutralizer of national pressures and all that. That is why, even as believers, we do not do anything without seeking that God’s manifest presence go with us. Yes, we carry the indwelling presence but it will never do what God’s manifest presence does.
God’s indwelling presence may show us what is ahead of us, but can never go ahead of us to make the crooked places straight. Only God’s manifest presence goes ahead of us to do that. When the presence of the LORD goes ahead of a people, they will never see a successful attack of the devil or an obstacle that is not surmountable.
One of the greatest secrets of peaceful or victorious living in an evil infested world, is to have the manifest presence of God go ahead of you. That is why men who know this secret spend quality time with the LORD, committing their ways to Him before embarking on anything in life. David was one of such men.
ONE DAY THE PHILISTINES CAME AGAINST HIM. AND THAT WAS AT THE PLACE OF SUCCESS.
He had fought a raging battle with Saul for 13 years, and had been made king as the LORD anointed it to be 13 years ago. Then the Devil moved them against him through the Philistines. But he did not just respond to them. He went first to God in prayer to seek His counsel and will.
Seeking the counsel of the LORD and His will on a thing before embarking on it is one way you secure His backing for that thing – it is one way you put the LORD ahead of you. David did that and the result was amazing. The Bible says;
“Now when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king over Israel, all the Philistines went up to search for David. And David heard of it and went down to the stronghold. The Philistines also went and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim.
So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand.
So David went to Baal Perazim, and David defeated them there; and he said, “The Lord has broken through my enemies before me, like a breakthrough of water.” Therefore he called the name of that place Baal Perazim.
And they left their images there, and David and his men carried them away. 2 Samuel 5:17-21 NKJV
Friend you will need time in the stronghold of truth and prayer in the Holy Ghost, before facing the challenges life brings our way. You will need to cultivate the habit of praying in tongues for hours in the morning, before rising to go to work or face your day. You will need to commit your ways to the LORD, like David did here, to see the glory of the LORD in your life.
The Bible says;
“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in Him, and He will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.” Psalms 37:5-6 ESV
Putting God ahead of you could be the missing key in your walk with him. David did not just seek the LORD one time. He sought Him always.
For instance, after that first victory, the Philistines came the second time to attack him. Again, he did not just respond to them even with the first victory he had recorded over them. He did not ignore the LORD, take Him for granted, or assumed God will act the way He did before; He went to the stronghold again to seek His directives.
THAT AGAIN PUT GOD AHEAD OF HIM IN A MORE POWERFUL WAY.
The Bible says;
“Then the Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the Valley of Rephaim. Therefore David inquired of the Lord, and He said, “You shall not go up; circle around behind them, and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees.
“And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines.”
And David did so, as the Lord commanded him; and he drove back the Philistines from Geba as far as Gezer. 2 Samuel 5:22-25 NKJV
I have come to understand that the more we depend on God the more of His power and presence we will have in our lives. But many of us do not do this. We do not apply this great secret of David. You do not commit our ways to the LORD like he did; hence we do not see His acts like he saw.
We only run to the LORD when we have gone ahead of Him, met obstacles and have become fed up with life.
Let me show you a practical truth at this point. If you do not put God ahead of you in a given day or before embarking on anything, you have silently put hellish situations ahead of you because there is no middle ground.
For instance, if you do not seek the counsel and directives of the LORD before going into marriage, or any other form of righteous relationship, you have silently sought and put hellish situations ahead of you in that marriage or relationship. It will be hell on earth for you.
If you do not put God ahead of you before embarking in any significant trip of life, business, job, or etc., you have silently put the spirit of hell ahead of you, and everything will just be hellish. We break our lives into pieces not putting God ahead of us,because it tantamount to putting the spirit of hell ahead. And if you put the spirit of hell ahead of you, it will prevail against you, and make life hell for you.
Our divine destinies require that we put God ahead of us daily, or in anything we set our hearts to do, to be fulfilled. You see, the spirit of hell controls Sheol, the abode of the dead. That means if you do not put the LORD ahead of you, or set Him always before you like David did in his days, the spirit of hell will bring your life to the shadows of death.
IT WILL PARALYZE YOUR EFFORTS TO MAKE IT IN LIFE. DAVID SAID
“I have set the Lord continually before me; because He is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad and my glory [my inner self] rejoices; my body too shall rest and confidently dwell in safety, for You will not abandon me to Sheol (the place of the dead), neither will You suffer Your holy one [Holy One] to see corruption.” Psalms 16:8-10 AMP
People who set God before them will never be moved. They will enjoy stability in life. People who set God before them will always rejoice, they will not be abandoned in hell or Sheol circumstances. The presence of God will manifest in their lives and paralyze every activity of the spirit of hell.
There is another dimension of truth to the mystery behind setting the LORD before you.
It also means to set His word before you. To take time and look at it, study it, meditate on it, and make it your attention and focus before embarking on anything significant in life.
If you set His word before you that way, especiallybefore embarking on things like starting a Business, going into marriage, accepting a proposal or making one, pursuing a career, making an application for a job, deciding on an important journey of life and etc., the LORD will always be ahead of you to make the crooked places straight. He will be ahead of you breaking the gates of brass in pieces and cutting the bars of iron asunder.
One other way to put God ahead of you, is to learn how to trust the LORD and how not to direct your paths. Learn to let Him direct your paths. Godwill always go ahead of people who trust Him enough to pray to Him to take charge of a new day, week, month or year before stepping into it.
He will always go ahead of people who will trust Him enough to thoroughly pray concerning anything before stepping into it. Sufficient prayer is one way we demonstrate out trust in the LORD. When the LORD sees that trust, He will go ahead of us directing our paths. The Bible says;
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” Proverbs 3:5-6 NKJV
OUR DEVOTIONAL TEXT HAS ADDITIONAL TRUTHS TO GLEAN ON THE SUBJECT
It tells us of the pathetic story of a Child of God in the Old Testament who lost divine backing because he did not rely on the LORD like David did. One of the verses in the text says, “Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.”
It is very costly for a child of God not to rely totally on the LORD. It is very costly not to commit your ways to Him in prayer, and leave Him with your enemies to handle. It is very costly to engage the arm of flesh as a child of God, especially when you have the power or provision to do so. Our enemies will escape from our hands and the victories the LORD wanted to give us will be withheld.
I believe David knew this, that was why even when he had the means, he still engaged God through prayer, seeking His directives and backing before facing the enemy. Our devotional text made it clear that “***…the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him.” ***We must not allow our hearts to shift to our means. We must remain loyal enough to put Him always before us like David did. Only then we will not be moved!
I believe the Spirit of the LORD has helped you to find wisdom this morning! The Bible says in Proverbs 3:13, ***“Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gains understanding;” ***May the wisdom you have found, and the understanding you have gained this morning, make your life brighter and better in Christ Jesus! Amen
LET THIS SCRIPTURE BE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR YOU TODAY!
In the thirty-sixth year of the reign of Asa, Baasha king of Israel came up against Judah and built Ramah, that he might let none go out or come in to Asa king of Judah.
Then Asa brought silver and gold from the treasuries of the house of the Lord and of the king’s house, and sent to Ben-Hadad king of Syria, who dwelt in Damascus, saying, “Let there be a treaty between you and me, as there was between my father and your father. See, I have sent you silver and gold; come, break your treaty with Baasha king of Israel, so that he will withdraw from me.”
So Ben-Hadad heeded King Asa, and sent the captains of his armies against the cities of Israel. They attacked Ijon, Dan, Abel Maim, and all the storage cities of Naphtali. Now it happened, when Baasha heard it, that he stopped building Ramah and ceased his work.
Then King Asa took all Judah, and they carried away the stones and timber of Ramah, which Baasha had used for building; and with them he built Geba and Mizpah.
And at that time Hanani the seer came to Asa king of Judah, and said to him:”Because you have relied on the king of Syria, and have not relied on the Lord your God, therefore the army of the king of Syria has escaped from your hand.
Were the Ethiopians and the Lubim not a huge army with very many chariots and horsemen? Yet, because you relied on the Lord, He delivered them into your hand. For the eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose heart is loyal to Him. In this you have done foolishly; therefore from now on you shall have wars.” Then Asa was angry with the seer, and put him in prison, for he was enraged at him because of this. And Asa oppressed some of the people at that time.” 2 Chronicles 16:1-10 NKJV