Wednesday, March 16, 2011
Lately, I walked into a hospital to agree in prayer with some sick folks and I was so changed by what I saw. I began to think about the goodness of God in my life. Many a times we take things for granted. God is just merciful and faithful.
It’s so amazing how so many times we slip into the realm of complaining without even thinking of it because we are so used to it. Many Believers don’t pray, they simply complain on their knees and think they have prayed. They say words like “Lord, why do I have to wait for this long?”, “Lord, when would you come to my aid, can’t you see how much I have suffered this thing?” and so on. God responds to faith and not complaints or tears. Complaining is never the will of God for His children. In fact it a sin to complain! For the Israelite, complaining made a 40 days journey that of 40 years and they [those who complained] even died not seeing the Promised Land. Complaining never pleases the Father. It makes us do stupid things. It starts in the mind and ends on the lips. It all begins when we refuse to think of and be thankful for what the Lord has done but meditate on what has not yet been done.
Always overcome the temptation to complain because it’s a sin. Worrying and complaining are identical twins they both produce doubt – the enemy of faith. “But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” (Heb. 11:6, NKJV). We must fight these from our lives with all earnestness. How do we do that? Simple! Always think of things to be thankful for. Don’t just set your attention on things yet to be achieved. We have the power to choose our thoughts (Phil. 4:8). For every one reason the devil gives you to complain, you must give yourself a hundred and one reasons to be thankful to the Lord! Thanksgiving turns your prayer requests into a praise report. Thanksgiving gives you a shout in your spirit! Never let the devil steal your shout – it’s your note of victory!
When you forget the goodness of God, you tempt and limit Him in your life (Ps 103:1-7; 78:40-43). I strongly believe that Psalm 103 can help you live a thankful life everyday. There’s so much to be thankful for. We can’t thank Him enough. The thankful life is the victorious life! For the thankful one, miracles happen everyday! He lives the wonderful life (Ps 71:7). The life of ‘what manner of man is this?’ The Christian life is the wonderful life – a life of unending springs of wonders! Don’t be perturbed by the present mishaps in the world. Jesus says for us to look up in moments like this (Luke 21:28). Hope this edifies you. Blessings!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Many folks lack the courage to start small. They want to start big but unfortunately they end up accomplishing nothing. Most of the time over-ambition and pride gets in the way of people and make them despise starting small. They think about what people may say or think of them. Well, if you must walk with the Lord, you must think differently. Zechariah 4:10 declares “For who hath despised the day of small things?...” Saint, only a fool despises the days of little beginnings. I will never forget the Parable a Minister once spoke over my life and ministry a couple of years ago. He just quoted Matt. 13:31-32 which says: “…"The kingdom of heaven is like a mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field, "which indeed is the least of all the seeds; but when it is grown it is greater than the herbs and becomes a tree, so that the birds of the air come and nest in its branches."” (NKJV). Ever since that day, I’ve always walked with that consciousness and remained thankful to God for the privilege of starting small and watching things grow. The things of the Kingdom always start small and grow. We can’t afford to escape the process of growth. No cutting corners in the Kingdom of God! As we go through the process, there are many lessons that we must learn along the way, these lessons are divine and customized for us based on what we are called to do. We can’t do away with process (experience) if we must do things God’s way. Take a look at the life of Joseph, one of the Patriarchs, he had a big dream of royalty and leadership but his initial story was that of servitude, slavery and mistreatments. We later see that all these things were to prepare him for the throne. We can’t afford to appear at the top crude. We’ve got to be refined and the process is not any easy.
As it is often said, only the grave is built starting from the top to the bottom. Dr. Oral Robert, of blessed memory, always talked about the seed principle. He taught that everything starts with a seed. It could be seed-ideas, seed-time, seed-money, seed-faith etc. Seeds are small. Every seed is a potential fruit. It’s just a matter of time. So, it’s ok to have a big vision but be humble enough to start small. Starting small is the seed for finishing great. This generation seek avenues to ‘fast-track’ things. No one wants to go through the normal process. We’ve got to learn the art of starting small, be faithful at doing small things and watch them grow. In my knowledge of what a divine vision is all about, I see that God never gives any man the whole picture of the vision at the onset. Why? Because He wants us to walk step by step with Him all along. If He ever gives us all the details at once, we’d run off and make a big mess of it. God is looking for sons and daughters through whom He would birth His purpose on the earth. People who don’t mind waiting on the Lord as He works in and through them. People who manifest the fruit of patience. People who are willing to walk at the same pace with God – not hasty folks.
One thing about the Kingdom of God is that, though it starts small but it is ever progressive! It doesn’t get stuck in the rut. It doesn’t remain small – it spreads like wild fire. It starts like a mustard seed but it advances to become a great tree where the birds of the air can come and nest. This is what it’s all about. It’s ok to start small but it’s a tragedy to remain small. Paul, speaking to Timothy – his son in the faith – said “Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.” (2 Tim. 4:15, NKJV). Paul, by the Spirit of God, was simply telling Timothy – and us in extension – that progress is not automatic. But there are things that one must do to experience constant progress. Paul explains that if we meditate on that thing – vision, dreams, goals etc – ever so often, and give ourselves entirely and unreserved to it (i.e. focus), it is impossible for us not to make progress, in others words, visible progress is inevitable! Progress cannot be hidden just as failure cannot be hidden – they are so visible. Sometimes the reason we don’t experience progress could be that we don’t stick with things for too long, we easily give up, give in and compromise.
I have come across so many people who seem to be static in life and as peculiar as each of their challenges are, one thing is common among many of them, they refuse to start small. They refuse to start with what they have. They have big dreams but they refuse to start out with small things. How unfortunate. The person who wants to be a world evangelist who goes to the nations declaring the Gospel shouldn’t mind preaching to a soul on the street, in his neighbourhood, in the work place, in a car etc. at least one soul at a time. When God sees your faithfulness and passion with few souls, He’d let you reach a crowd. He’s the One who promotes. The great Evangelists Benny Hinn, Billy Graham and Reinhard Bonnke and the likes equally had little and humble beginnings but today the story is different. Your dream is only a seed for your future – it’s got to be worked out to produce a harvest! Here’s the idea: Think big but start small. It’s a divine principle! Authentic and durable success always starts small. Starting from the top could be suicidal. If God could start great things in small ways even though He could as well get anything done at the snap of His finger, why shouldn’t we learn the art of starting small and watching ourselves grow? There is something about being a part of the process of growth. It’s exciting! Isaac was all God needed to produce a whole nation – Israel. Jesus was all God needed to produce a whole new race called The New Creatures – the twice born men! There is virtually nothing too small to be a starting capital. And as long as God’s hand is on it, growth is inevitable!
There are so many lessons we must learn in this life and every level we get to serves a purpose. Every step on the ladder is very crucial to the next one. So if success must not only be obtained but also sustained, we must learn to start small and go through the process of growth. David and Moses were both faithful shepherds of sheep before they became shepherds of people. Some of Jesus’ first disciples were first fishers of fish before they become fishers of men. Sometimes we might have to first learn the art of following before we become true leaders. We might have to first learn to serve before we can be served. Honestly, it takes real humility and courage to start small. Do not seek to impress people, go for a lasting success – start small and make progress. It’s just a matter of time! If growth must be experienced, then we can’t escape starting small. According to the Kingdom, if you can’t handle small things, then you can’t equally handle great things. Faithfulness in little things guarantees faithfulness in great things. If you’re too big to handle small things, then you’re too small to handle big things! If God can’t commit small things into your hands then how would He commit great things into your hands – selah!
What is that dream in your heart, start doing something about it today. That is the aim of this piece. That is what this reading encounter is all about. That is why I have written this thing. Get inspired! Let the Kingdom of God reproduce itself in that thing that you are doing and enjoy God’s best as He takes you from one level of glory to another! Blessings!