Oh no! Not again! I hate to be like this!
Those are some phrases we commonly use after we have sinned. I’m talking about true born again children of God who love him and want to have their destinies in him fulfilled and make God proud. It’s such a frustration.
I totally believe the Bible, so if my experience or even the experiences of everyone I know don’t line up with the Word I still believe the Word is right and we are missing it somewhere. One of the verses that really got me thinking early is this one:
1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.
I read that and thought to myself, are there so many professing believers who are really not children of God? And that will make me also not a child of God, because I could still remember stumbling here and there. Well, right there was the issue. I couldn’t tell if everyone else was a fake or not, but I knew certainly that I wasn’t. I loved God with all my heart and even hated the totally dumb way I fell into sin here and there. But the fact was that I needed help. I’m glad to let you know that I found help and I’m going to share it with you.
You can live above sin. But not by your will power or by your self denial. Never! Understanding this is crucial to your triumph. That verse in first John says the reason we don’t sin is because of the seed of God, which is also the life of God, that is in us. In reproduction, the male gamete(sperm) is the one that has the life and swims towards the egg and if the process of fertilization is successful, life enters the egg and both gametes make one cell that grows into a baby. In the same way, we were born again by the incorruptible seed of the word of God which lives and abides for ever.(1 Peter 1:23). The seed there connotes a gamete in the Greek root of the word. It implies, therefore, that it is only by the activity of the life of God in us that we are able to live above sin. I will explain how this works practically.
It is common knowledge that no one prays to go through difficult times in their lives. As a matter of fact, people pray to God to lead them through ways of pleasantness and minimal difficulty. But having understood some of God’s ways through the scriptures, I dare to say that the reason why some of us will go through some difficult times in our lives is because of the love God has for us. Don’t get this wrong, the end is not to put us through difficulty but to achieve his goals and purposes after we come out of those situations. And his plans are of good not evil to give us beautiful futures and wonderful ends. However, there is a process through which God allows us to go in order to prepare and equip us for our glorious destinies. Read this:
And ye have forgotten the exhortation which speaketh unto you as unto children, My son, despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him:
For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not?
But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Hebrews 12:5-8.
A quick explanation of the above passage. First chastisement there doesn’t mean punishment or subjection to hardship. It means child training. If you read that passage with this in mind you will find that it makes more sense. It makes sense that a father should give training to his children whom he loves. In the same way God, our heavenly Father and Father of our spirits, subjects us to trainings that will profit us in life. This is love, that God gives us training to equip us and secure our futures. Next, it is important to note that there are no exemptions. Verse 8 says all the children of God are partakers of this training and those who are not are bastards. They claim God to be their Father but he is not. Even Jesus, who is the first born, endured suffering and temptation, and we are admonished to look to him as our example, as well as others who have gone before us(Hebrews 12:1-3). It is not a strange thing that we should go through trying times.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:
But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ’s sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. 1 Peter 4:12-13.
There hath no temptation(adversity) taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13.
Certainly, we all have growing up experiences that we smile and laugh over when we remember now. For some, they didn’t like going to school or doing home works when they got back, but parents/guardians made them do them. Some never liked to clean the house and do chores but they had to do them anyway because parents/guardians insisted. Some didn’t even like taking their bath and brushing their teeth but parents/guardians made them do those things. At that time it all seemed like our parents/guardians were not nice. But imagine an adult who won’t brush his teeth or take his bath for several days at a time. What would you think of such a person, whose mouth oozes every time he speaks and has an unendurable body odour? And there are people like that. Those people failed to learn personal hygiene as children. Child training is meant to instil in children the disciplines that will make them function well later in life. At the time of discipline it doesn’t seem nice but eventually it yields profit, and trained children become grateful to their parents/guardians for the trainings they received, a lot of which were not pleasant at the time.
Our lives can be a lot more joyful and meaningful even in difficult times if we know that God teaches us important lessons through our difficult times. Now you can understand why James said this:
My brethren, count it all joy when ye fall into divers temptations;
Knowing this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience.
But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing. James 1:2-4.
With this understanding, difficult times can become times we cherish because we know that we are going to receive some training from God that will give us ADVANTAGE in life.
A look at God’s evaluation of the experience of the children of Israel in the wilderness and a declaration of his purpose and intention is quite revealing.
And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread(natural means) only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.
Who fed thee in the wilderness with manna, which thy fathers knew not, that he might humble thee, and that he might prove thee, to do thee good at thy latter end. Deuteronomy 8:3, 16
The point of the whole process is that God has ordained a path to our glorification which is in living with and functioning by the understanding that man shall not live by bread(natural means alone) but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God. When we understand this and we learn to live by the word and wisdom of God we will find out that we will end up with great good in our lives. Read this:
But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7.
There is a wisdom which God ordained before the world which is hidden in his word alone and that wisdom is what God has ordained to bring us to glory. Except we understand that the glory which God ordained for our lives is hidden in his wisdom we will go on living our lives as ordinary men. But the plan of God is that through us, in our difficult times, his manifold(many sided) wisdom will be made known to the world, principalities, powers and even angels(Ephesians 3:10). The way this played out in the life of Jesus is that God let the devil kill him and because the wisdom of God was hidden, the devil thought he had won – Christ was dead and buried. But when the wisdom of God was made manifest, he raised Jesus from the dead and the devil was more miserable than he had ever been. Jesus had triumphed and made an open show of the devil and his cohorts. Jesus was glorified through the wisdom of God that was demonstrated. Salvation would never have been possible if God did not let the devil kill Jesus. Paul said it this way:
…even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8.
WITH THE WISDOM OF GOD, adversity is just a stepping stone to glory. It doesn’t matter what life and the devil throws at you. Not even death can stop the plan of God from coming to pass in your life. Click here to read more about that. . With the wisdom of God, all things work together for our good. Heads we win, tails the devil loses. Either ways we come out on top and in glory.
Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.
Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.
She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee. Proverbs 4:7-9.
This is why the Apostle, James tells us that in our times of trials let anyone who lacks wisdom ask of God who gives liberally without finding fault(James 1:5). We must understand that the wisdom of God to turn terrible trying times around is found in God alone and that he gives to those who will ask and he doesn’t find faults to disqualify his children. He prepared this wisdom in advance for our glory. Proverbs puts it this way:
For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding.
He layeth up sound wisdom for the righteous… Proverbs 2:6-7.
It is only when we fail to understand the point of the whole process which is that our lives should be lived by the wisdom of God which he reveals in his word and not in accordance with natural laws and common practices; and that our lives were meant to show forth the wisdom and glory of God that we remain in our adversity and wallow in it.
A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.
(but)If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. Proverbs 24:5, 10.
This means that it is the deficiency of wisdom that makes us to faint in the day of adversity. But with wisdom we will be strong and be able to navigate through our trying times into our victory and glory.
Blessed is the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. James 1:12.
P.S: Only in difficult and unusually hopeless situations is the hidden wisdom of God needed and it is this wisdom, when used that brings us into glory and makes us the light of the world indeed because only after we display such wisdom will the world learn of its existence which means we have illuminated the world with our light. So rejoice in your trial because you are about to shine forth like a city set on a hill that cannot be hidden.
I pray for you today that the fact that man shall not live by bread(natural means) alone but by every word that comes out of the mouth of God shall man live will settle into your spirit, transform your mind and determine your experience. Receive the wisdom which God has reserved for you before the world for unusual breakthrough in the midst of your adversity be it financial, marital, in relationship, your career, academics, health, personal life and whatever area of your life that you need it. You are a city set on a hill and you shall continue to shine and be a blessing in Jesus name….
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Once upon a time, during the life of Jesus on earth he made a statement about a situation that turned out, to the understanding of those that heard him and followed the event, not quite the way he said it would. Jesus, the one who was known to have performed so many great miracles, for the first time, was wrong, or so they thought.
Jn 11:1 Now a certain [man] was sick, [named] Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha.
Jn 11:4 When Jesus heard [that], he said, This sickness is not unto death, but for the glory of God, that the Son of God might be glorified thereby.
Those were the words of Jesus himself, but a few day later he said this:
Jn 11:11-14 …Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep.
Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he shall do well.
Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep.
Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
What a shock! Only a few days ago, Jesus was absolutely positive and he said that Lazarus was not going to die of the sickness he had. His disciples certainly were not expecting to learn of Lazarus’ death since Jesus the son of God had said his sickness would not end in death. But now he was breaking the news that Lazarus is dead.
Imagine the thoughts that would have been going on in the minds of the disciples. Thomas was probably thinking: “are you sure we can always count on Jesus’ every word?… I mean, he just proved to us that sometimes he could be…. well, maybe not wrong, but not right. I know he has good intentions but he was wrong all the same” Peter was probably going to scold Jesus for leading them to believe that Lazarus was going to live when he remembered that Jesus actually loved Lazarus and might be in grief, so he holds back. The bottom line however was that what Jesus said turned out in reality to be wrong, or so they thought.
The conclusion of the story of Lazarus and the sickness was going to be one that no man saw coming. By the time Jesus got to Bethany, the town of Lazarus and his sisters, Mary and Martha, Lazarus had been buried for four days already. He was certainly dead, so dead that he stank. In the midst of all that had happened, when Jesus met Martha he told her that her brother who was dead and buried and stinking and rotting was going to rise again. Of course he will on the last day she said. Her mind could not accommodate the event of a man coming back to life after being buried for four days. Besides, if Jesus really wanted him alive, he would never have let him die. But Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this? John 11:25-26. And true to his word, Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after being buried for four days and decaying.
To the natural human mind, the death of Lazarus was the end of the story and so we could conclude that Jesus was wrong when he said the sickness was not going to end in death.
Isa 55:8-11 For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the Lord.
For [as] the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.
For as the rain cometh down, and the snow from heaven, and returneth not thither, but watereth the earth, and maketh it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater:
So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper [in the thing] whereto I sent it.
When we see a dead end it doesn’t mean that God also sees a dead end. When we get to the end of our way it does not mean that God has gotten to the end of his. To everyone the death of Lazarus was the end, but to Jesus even death could not be the end, his word had to come to pass. Even if u wake up and find out that the sun did not rise in the morning, even that couldn’t stop the word of God from coming to pass.
So many of us give up on God because from everything we see, its game over for us. Some of us even wonder if we heard God well in the first place. We think to ourselves, I thought I heard God. The problem is that you are trying to think for God and make a way for him. That just does not work. God’s ways and thoughts are far above ours. All we need to know is that God’s word cannot go unfulfilled, even when it seems like Lazarus is dead, when God said he will not die and now he is buried and four days in the grave. Maybe God made you a promise and it looks like there is absolutely no way this can come to pass again. Two years or five years ago it might have been possible, but now the situation has crossed the line into the impossibility zone. Well, I have great news for you, God is a specialist in taking care of impossible situations. Remember Abraham and Sarah, when it became impossible for them to have children, God gave them Isaac. Remember the children of Israel’s exodus from Egypt? They were standing before the red sea, surrounded by mountains on the left and right and Pharaoh and his army were coming behind to destroy them. There was no way out, or so we would think. Psalm 77:19 says:
Thy way [is] in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known.
A more contemporary translation says you (God) had a secrete way in the sea and nobody new of it. [Paraphrased].
His ways are not ours. When the children of Israel saw inevitable death, God saw a magnificent victory. The more unlikely your victory the more glorious it shall be.
How difficult do you think it is for the word of God to come to pass in your life? Is it more difficult than Jesus word coming to pass that Lazarus’ sickness was not going to end in death when he was already dead? When it looks like God has failed and his word did not stand, remember Jesus’ word four days after Lazarus’ burial: …I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die. Believest thou this?
If only you believe you will see the glory of God. It is not over until Gods word is fulfilled in your life.
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