I used to think only Sarah laughed in unbelief when God reassured her of still giving birth at her old age. But it came to my awareness lately that Abraham also laughed in unbelief. In fact he laughed first before Sarah followed suit (See Gen.17:17-19 & Gen. 18:11-15). Genesis 17:17-19 says “Then Abraham fell on his face and laughed, and said in his heart, "Shall a child be born to a man who is one hundred years old? And shall Sarah, who is ninety years old, bear a child?" And Abraham said to God, "Oh, that Ishmael might live before You!" Then God said: "No, Sarah your wife shall bear you a son, and you shall call his name Isaac; I will establish My covenant with him for an everlasting covenant, and with his descendants after him.” (NKJV). Abrahams laugh was a big one. The Bible tells us that he fell on his face and laughed! That’s big laugh, it sounds like he had a laughing session of doubt. Doesn’t it? Sarah had long passed menopause, and here God is still saying she’d have a child. They didn’t laugh because it was funny but because they doubted. They had stretched their faith to the elastic limit. But what strikes me most is the fact that even Abraham – the father of faith – laughed in unbelief. We hardly hear that Abraham laughed in unbelief. No, we wouldn’t mention that. Abraham is taken to be the superman while Sarah’s laugh is always our instance for unbelief and doubt because we think Abraham was such a perfect man who had a perfect faith.
Abraham believed God quite alright but he never had a perfect faith all the time. God always made up for his deficiencies as He does for us today. Well, their laughter didn’t stop God. He didn’t give up on His plan even though they laughed in doubt. If we must possess a perfect faith before getting God’s attention then I wonder who will ever get His attention. God always gives us the opportunity to start out and grow in faith. The more results we get by using our faith, the more we are encouraged to use it and the stronger it becomes. We must grow in faith! Abraham was 100 years old and Sarah 90 years old when they had their first baby – can you beat that? Well, how long have you waited? If God kept His words to Abraham, He sure would keep His Words concerning you if you remain in faith and wait patiently. Patience is not just waiting, it is waiting with the right attitude says Joyce Meyer. Real faith is built on the knowledge of God and His Word. The bases of faith is to know who God actually is and then what He says would mean much to you.
It might seem as though time is gone and there is no more hope of seeing that promise come to pass, God still wants you to hold on to His Word. He is ever faithful – He never lies to anyone. If He says it, He’d surely make it good. The Scripture declares “that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” Heb 6:12 (NKJV). Notice, it didn’t just say faith but it says FAITH and PATIENCE. We need the both to be stable until the promised good is delivered unto us in the natural. We have an assurance from the Lord Himself in Jeremiah 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh: is there any thing too hard for me?”
The truth is, God never expects perfect faith f
rom us before doing things in or through us. He just expects a child-like trust. Sometimes we know too much to doubt but children don’t know that much – they easily trust! Most times God promises us things that make us laugh because of the inability of our minds to comprehend or accommodate them. God is bigger than our minds! Has God promised you something that made you laugh lately? Well, if you don’t have such promises from God, perhaps you are still dealing with the small things of life. If you walk with God, most of the time He gives you visions that make you laugh and sometimes in order to keep from doubting you may just try not to think about it much but just keep saying “Lord, I believe you anyhow.” Just trust God anyhow. You don’t need to know how He’s going to do it. Just trust Him all the way. He is faithful!
Thursday, February 3, 2011
No man ever comes to God and goes back the same. When we come to God in total surrender of our lives, tremendous change is inevitable. The Word of God declares in Matthew 4:19 “And he [Jesus] saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Want to be made in life? Follow Jesus! – that’s all it takes. All through the New Testament, we see men who where simply nobodies, nonentities but when they came to Jesus He made them significant. They came as minuses but they left Him pluses! He placed value on their lives. Think about His twelve disciples (apart from Judas Iscariot who gave in to the devil and walked away from the Lord ending up in a suicide), they were common people – fishermen, tax collectors, laymen. He simply gave them an order consisting of just two words “follow me”. They obeyed. All they did was just follow Him and He made them world changers! They became the wonder of the ages. They became the Apostles of the Lamb, even having a special place at the throne of God and in the Kingdom. It’s so amazing what God can do with a life that is solely committed to following Him. No matter who or what we are here in this world, if God hasn’t made us we’re not made – we’re simply nothing! Jesus says “… for without Me you can do nothing.” (John 15:5b, NKJV). Emptiness is what we get after we’ve done our best to become something void of God’s design! Our significance and usefulness to the Kingdom of God only comes from our following the Master – Jesus Christ.
Many people seek to be self-made. They cut God out of their lives and expect to be made through their academic qualifications, money, status, achievements, titles etc. How dare you disconnect from your source and expect to have it made? It’s really amazing how so many people look to men to be made. How in the world would a man look to a fellow man to be made? Think about the flaws and limitations of a man. Most unfortunate is the fact that many Believers in Christ still look up to men or things to be made. But these have never made anyone. I think apart from the fact that this is a deception from the devil; it is also a function of the wrong definition of what success really is. I believe until we come to a proper understanding and definition of what true success in life is, we can’t attain it. When a man comes to know that success in life is not in what one has but in who one is, it will change everything. Success in life is about discovering and following God’s plans for your life. Success in life is doing the will of God. Success in life means to do and finish what you were born to do – God’s mandate on your life (John 4:34). We must be careful not to let our attention drift from the Lord. We live in a world where people are easily carried away by what they can see and the desire to meet up with men’s expectations of them. People live to impress each other and that is why they are seeking to be self-made or forced to look to things to be made by them. They can’t walk on with the Lord. They feel the Lord is too slow with things. They wind up in depression. How unfortunate!
Following Jesus is a personal thing – absolutely! John 21:19-22 points this out so clearly: “…Then Jesus told him [Peter], “Follow me.” Peter turned around and saw the disciple Jesus loved following them—the one who had leaned over to Jesus during supper and asked, “Lord, who among us will betray you?” Peter asked Jesus, “What about him, Lord?” Jesus replied, “If I want him to remain alive until I return, what is that to you? You follow me.”” (NLT). We can only be sure of ourselves when it comes to following Jesus. We might not be able to judge rightly whether someone else is following Jesus or not but we can be sure about ourselves. Following the Lord has a lot to do with personal conviction. In following the Lord any thing aside focusing our attention on Him is a distraction just as it was with Peter when he asked Jesus about John. God loves to deal with His children on one-on-one bases as though they were the only child He’s got.
Jesus says: “Follow Me.” That’s an instruction! It is either obeyed or disobeyed. There are no middle grounds. There are no assumptions. You are either following the Lord or not following Him – it’s that simple. In obeying that instruction, all you need do is to follow Him! He alone knows the way! In Him there is total security. In Him a glorious future is guaranteed. He wants to make you. You might have given up in life or even lost confidence in yourself. Yes, this is the right time to follow Jesus. There’s still hope – 100% with Jesus on the lead. We often hear terms like “the making of a man” or “the making of a film” What does it mean? There’s always a story behind the glory. There is always the ‘behind the scene’ part of every movie or man. The making of something worthwhile is always never without a process. But too often many only see the glory and never think of the story. When we follow Jesus, it might take some time for us to be made. Sometimes it might seem as though God is too slow with the process. We just want a quick fix. But we must always remember that He knows exactly what He’s up to and at the appointed time He would display us to the world as His finished product. Glory to God! So we must trust God through the process of life. Just trust Him, it’s just a matter of time!
When God makes a man, He’s really made! When God makes a man he can stand anywhere are defend the cause of Christ. When God makes a man, He [God] becomes responsible for his sustenance. Only in Christ are we made. Those who look to men, things or elsewhere to be made are bound to be disappointed. Only God is the original Maker, every other person or thing was made. (John 1:1-4, Gen. 1). So we don’t look to the ‘made’ to be made, rather we look to the Maker to be made. Let God begin the process of working out His plans and purposes for your life. Let God make you! It’s really a choice for us to submit to the Lord to be made. If our motive in life is to honour God with our lives by living for His purpose, then we must let God make us. Our pursuit in life must align with God’s perfect will for us if at all our lives must make Kingdom sense. I don’t want to stand before God on the day of judgement and be told ‘you only lived for yourself.’ No! I want my time and activities on earth to make Kingdom sense. That’s why I must depend on Christ to be made, that’s why I must follow Jesus with all my breath – everything inside of me! I believe this is true for you too. Eccl. 3:11a says: “He has made everything beautiful in its time.” (NKJV). Let God make you!
Prayer: Father in the Name of Jesus, we trust you with our lives. We desire to be made by you. You are our source and we want only that which comes from you. We receive grace to follow you every single day of our lives. Amen.