TODAY’S DEVOTION (WEDNESDAY 10TH JANUARY 2024)
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake.” Psalms 23:1-3 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 10TH DAY OF OUR YEAR OF IMPACT.
This is the day the LORD has made, we shall rejoice and be glad in it. He has been our King and maker, to Him belong all the glory.
Today God has a word for us. He said man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from His mouth.
God’s word is always light, yes, a great light in a dark world. That is why wherever His true word is preached, you find light. You find the Spirit of the LORD, the power house of God’s light, working in the lives of men and women.
The kind of light we get from the word of God is God Himself, because God is light. Not the light from electricity but a spiritual light that is even better and stronger than electricity because it gives life to the dead and works more wonders than the wonders of electricity.
God is light and never created man to live in darkness.
There are two major categories of darkness; natural darkness and spiritual darkness. Natural darkness is light out in the natural but spiritual Darkness is God out.
WHEN GOD IS OUT, EVERY EVIL AND BAD THING WILL COME INTO EXISTENCE.
The darkness of crimes and criminalities will come into existence. Yes, when God is out, the darkness of atrocities and abominations, adultery and prostitution will come into existence.
When God is out, the darkness of false prophecies and prophets, man-made religion and all its cruelties will come into existence.
When God is out, the darkness of trespass, sinful living, and iniquity, ignorance of who Jesus really is, a Christianity mixed with carnality, sickness and all forms of satanic attacks will come into existence. When God is out, the darkness of evil thoughts, murders, deaths, vile imaginations, and all kinds of evil works will come into existence.
God is light, in Him is no darkness at all. He did not create our world to be in any form of darkness. That is why we are going back to a New Heaven and a New Earth where no form of darkness exists.
But before we get there, we must all strive to lead lives that are absent of any form of darkness.
We must live lives in realms where God cannot be out, because as we have seen, if our human spirits live in spirit realms where He is out, everything devilish will be in our lives. Our human spirits will be drawing them into our lives, making life difficult for us.
That is why you even see people who serve God suffering. They suffer because though they are serving Him, their human spirits live in spirit realms where He is out.
If we do not want our human spirits to be living in spirit realms where God is out, we must make efforts to make the revealed word of the LORD our only source of light on earth.
We must also be genuinely intimate with the Spirit of the LORD, the power house of light. We must not be making Pentecostal noise in the outer court without having intimate relationship with the power House of God’s light Himself.
EVEN AS WE SERVE HIM, WE MUST NOT SERVE HIM LIVING A SPIRITUAL LIFE THAT IS FAR FROM HIM.
God wants us near not far. If we are far, we will be serving GOD but living in darkness. People will then be mocking our version of Christianity because it will not reflect the Heavenly glory that it should carry. It will not be full of light but mixed with darkness.
Now, let us go further; there is living in darkness and there is dying in darkness. Living in darkness is very bad, it tantamount to living in bondage. But dying in darkness is the worst.
When I look at people who have not made peace with Christ, precious lives pursuing man-made religion and ascribing deity to mortal men, carved idols, and certain religious leaders, it breaks my heart. When I watch them do terrible atrocities and abominations in the name of a loving and Holy God, I wonder what humanity has turned into.
When I see people who by mouth are saved, but by character fruits are still unsaved and still lost eternally, running after prophets for miracles, or going to church but not living the life, it worries me. It worries me because they are all bound to die in darkness.
Indeed, it’s terrible to live in darkness, but more terrible to die in darkness because your soul will be banished forever in hell.
If you die in the darkness of false religion, you will be sorry in the next life. If you die in the darkness of deception, especially the kind of spiritual deception we have in church today, you will wake up in the sorry side of the next life.
Do not be deceived; if your salvation has no holiness of GOD, power with GOD, purity from GOD, intimacy with the LORD, and great moral excellence as fruit, you are doomed.
The darkness of false religion and perverted Christianity, has taken more people to hell than any other form of darkness
Any religion that does not present Jesus as the Son of GOD, the way of salvation, and the Light of the world will take any soul to eternal damnation.
Any religion that does not get people filled with the Holy Spirit of GOD, but give them oil, water, salt to pray with, brooms, stones, and all kinds of religious gadgets, is a darkness that you should never live or die in.
RELIGION MIXED WITH DARKNESS IS ONE OF THE WORLD’S PROBLEM.
Any religion that put hate in your heart for a fellow human being, even asking or influencing you to kill them, or do wickedly to them, like raping, abusing sexually or financially, is darkness in disguise.
Any religion that influences you to kill a fellow human being for a reward in Heaven, is spiritual darkness.
Any religion that puts money in your pocket instead of Christ in your heart, is a spiritual darkness you should run away from. Sadly, billions are living and dying in this kind of darkness. Some of them are gaining the whole world and losing their souls to eternal fire!
God’s call this morning is that we walk out of any form of darkness and embrace Christ – the light of the world – in spirit and in truth. He is the way the Truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Him.
Darkness is not just an absence of Light, it is also an absence of truth; the truth of the gospel because the true gospel is light.
Where there is no truth there is darkness. Where the true gospel is not preached, taught, or lived, there darkness will dwell. Demons will be studied and false freedom administered to poor and ignorant folks.
People will be told to give all kinds of amounts of money to be free from problems.
Many will be bound to sinful habits and taught to explain it away. They will forget that the wages of sin is death and the free gift of GOD is eternal life through Jesus Christ our LORD!
They will forget that eternal life empowers us over sin. They will not present it as a freedom from sin, but a freedom to sin.
Genuine spiritual freedom takes away our freedom to sin, because genuine spiritual freedom is slavery to righteousness, not freedom to sin. Any spiritual freedom that frees a man to sin (instead of from sin) is captivity redefined. It is a life full of darkness.
Authentic freedom comes by an encounter with Christ as the way the truth and the Life; where He becomes the Shepherd of our souls. Our devotional text this morning says;
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake”
THE FIRST TRUTH WE CAN GLEAN FROM HERE IS OBVIOUS.
If the LORD is the one leading you in life, you will never lack (want). You will never lack light, moral excellence, purity, power with Him, provisions from Him, etc.
You will never lack a blessed life on earth.
One of the major things that happens to anyone led by the LORD Jesus Christ, is the manifestation of peace, light, and understanding that will fill his or her life. That is why I wonder the kind of Jesus people have today, that keeps them coming for deliverance every now and then.
There is no way that the light of the world, the prince of peace, the way, the Truth, and the Life, will lead you and not fill your life with peace, understanding, truth and the Heavenly Life.
If you are led by anything but the Spirit of Christ (the Holy Ghost), your life will be full of darkness! You will never have peace, truth, or light. The Only source of the true light that needs to lighten your life in a spiritually dark world is Jesus Christ – the Light of the world.
Let me conclude this word by looking briefly at how to follow the LORD today. One major statement Jesus made when He met most of His disciples was, “Follow me.”
He has not stopped saying the same words silently or verbally to even those He is meeting today. When you meet the true Christ, He pulls you towards Him. He makes you His follower.
It was easy for the disciples to follow Him in the days of the BIBLE because He was physically among them. But today that has changed. He is no longer physically among us.
TODAY WE FOLLOW JESUS IN SPIRIT.
He left us ministers of the gospel who hear Him and the Holy Spirit and the Bible to help us sense and follow Him as our Shepherd.
If you have a pastor who hears Him clearly, teaches you His word, and administer the Holy Spirit to you, it will be very easy to sense Christ in your heart and follow Him wherever He leads.
In simple terms, if you want to follow Christ today, you will need a preacher who is following Him to imitate, the way Timothy and the early church had Paul. You will also need the Holy Spirit in your life and you will need the Bible by your side.
You will need to be taught the true word of GOD sufficiently and made to develop a beautiful relationship with the Holy Spirit with the Bible as the tool. Above all, you will need a heart that has Christ living in it.
The fruits of all these will definitely show in your life in what David said in that beautiful psalm.
He will be your Shepherd and lead you safely through a chaotic world like ours. You will see Him leading you beside still waters and restoring your soul. Yes, He will make you lie down in green pastures, irrespective of where the devil wants you to lie down.
It’s a new day for someone this morning!
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION FOR THE DAY;
“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”
“You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup runs over.” Psalms 23:4-5 NKJV