Sunday, January 15, 2012
How long can you wait on the Lord? How long is long enough? Well, time has a way of proving a man. Time has a way of proving a thing. Time has a way of revealing to us the actual state of our hearts. The genuineness of our faith is based on how long we can wait without questioning God’s ability. If you can’t wait on the Lord in absolute trust after making your request in prayer, then your faith is not active – it’s weak. Patience is the proof that you really trust God. Hebrews 6:12 tells us “That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.” One thing that is always missing when we are being taught about faith is the link between faith and patience. A message that addresses faith without showing the link between faith and patience is not only lopsided, but also produces weak believers who lack persistence. Your faith is not perfect without patience. In other words, patience is the perfection of our faith. Patience keeps hope alive while faith is at work.
No one really likes to wait. Everyone would rather go for a quick fix. It is really not easy to wait, but when dealing with the Lord, we must learn to wait. Waiting on the Lord speaks of brokenness and total dependence on Him. We learn a lot when we wait. So why do we have to wait for so long sometimes before we see the manifestation of what we asked the Lord in prayer? The answer to this is two fold. First, because we don’t wait long enough in the place of prayer to hear what the Lord has to say about the matter. This makes us to wait as a consequence for our impatience in the place of prayer. Secondly, Because God is a Father and not a prayer answering machine. God knows what we really need and when we really need it just like our earthly fathers do. God is not just interested in you having your desires met; He is also interested in you enjoying it. There are people who, as soon as their desires are granted by the Lord, walk away from Him. They simply lose out on God’s presence and big plan for their lives. This class of people simply have quick satisfaction and can’t see the bigger picture – they’re spiritually immature. So God is interested in meeting our needs while He concurrently wants to grow us into maturity.
Patience is highly connected to spiritual maturity. It’s an act of true worship. It is a major mark of those who really know God, not just for what He can do but also for who He is. Mature Christians know God. They know that He never fails. They know that though it tarries, it will surely show up. They might not know the when and how of it but they know the Who they have trusted. Life in Christ is such an amazing adventure. So, whenever we ask the Lord for a need and we do not get a quick result (after being sure that we are in faith and are walking in holiness before the Lord), it is an opportunity to grow into maturity. Dr. Joyce Meyer said something I will never forget. She said “Patience is not just about waiting. Patience is waiting with the right attitude.” It is really not just about the waiting as it is about how we wait. At the end of the day, after we have seen the manifestation, we’d then realise that not only did the situation change, we also changed! That’s the goal!
Hebrews 10:35-36 say “Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry.” In James 1:3-4 we read “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.” Be encouraged today. Blessings!
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Few days ago, while studying the Book of Hebrews, the Lord opened my eyes to the phrase ‘the Spirit of grace’ in Hebrews 10:29. I had often read and even preached on this portion of Scripture. But I never saw it in the light of this revelation. I never really understood what it meant in essence for the Holy Spirit to be called the Spirit of grace. I never really considered His association with grace. What a exciting moment I had when the Lord opened my eyes to see by revelation what it meant.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of grace. That means the Holy Spirit is personally responsible for administering the manifold dimensions of God’s grace released through Jesus Christ to everyone on earth. The Holy Spirit is the One Who sees to it that your life is full of grace. He ensures it. He takes personal responsibility for it. He looks out for opportunities to impart grace to anyone in need of it. The Holy Spirit Himself is gracious – full of grace. The Holy Spirit is the only Person who knows everything about you – your weaknesses, short comings, sins, faults, deficiencies etc. – but still identifies with you as a friend. He never gives up on you. He stands by you to help you stand firm. He comforts you when you’re hurting. He takes personal responsibility for your welfare. This is amazing! The lack of the influence of the Holy Spirit in your life is the lack of grace in your life. The ministry of the Holy Spirit to the Believer and non believer is the ministry of grace. If we sin, He helps us draw near to the Lord for His forgiveness and He helps us repent instead of running away from the Lord. The Holy Spirit helps us receive the fullness of God’s grace. John 1:16 says “And of his fullness have all we received, and grace for grace.” But all these would only happen if you let Him. He never forces Himself on anyone.
So what is Grace? Grace is so vast that I will attempt to give just three Scriptural definitions of grace:
1. Grace is Unmerited favour – receiving what we do not deserve.
2. Grace is Divine empowerment – the Anointing
3. Grace is The outward working of an inward ability – Manifesting The Blessing.
Anywhere you see the word ‘grace’ in Scripture, you equally see the activity of the Holy Spirit. I discovered that grace is the biggest thing God can give to a man here on earth. We are saved by grace and still keep on receiving grace in our daily Christian life. The Lord never runs short of grace and we can never survive on earth without grace just as much as we can never get to a point in life where we wouldn’t need grace anymore. In II Cor. 12:9, the Lord said to Paul “…My grace is sufficient for thee…” The word ‘sufficient’ here means ‘surplus’. That means God’s grace was all Paul needed even in His desperate moment. Many believers do not know how to receive more grace from the Lord. Many believers don’t experience grace in their daily walk. Many believers simply live a graceless life. All these happen when we don’t invest in our fellowship with the Spirit of grace. We need grace to love, we need grace to serve, we need grace to minister to the Lord and to men, we need grace to relate with people, we need grace to live the Christian life, we need grace to win the lost, we need grace to pray, etc. When we lack the understanding of the grace supplied to us by the Spirit of grace, we end up struggling in our own limited human effort. Ain’t you tired of struggling? Ain’t you tired of living a life of trying to make everything work? Ain’t you tired of living a life void of grace? This is the time to identify with the Spirit of grace. He has a ministry in your life. Make room for Him. Let Him take the wheel. Surrender totally to Him because He knows your past, present and future – He knows the way to your destination!
Whenever I think of what is happening all over the world and how the Lord’s coming is at hand, I thank God that I have the Holy Spirit. I am comforted by the knowledge of His presence in my life. This is because no one can live right in this last days and corrupt age without the help of the Holy Spirit. No! This is the worst time to trust in your human ability. My hope of not missing heaven is not in my good works but in the presence of the Holy Spirit in my life because He is my standby! He’d see to it that I stand strong and firm till the Lord arrives. Glory to God! The Holy Spirit cares for you and wants to minister God’s grace released by Christ into your life. He wants to invade your life with grace. Zachariah 4:6 says “…This [is] the word of the LORD unto Zerubbabel (you and me), saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the LORD of hosts.”
The Lord says this is our Season of Grace. Well, this could sound familiar and ordinary because we are so use to the word ‘grace’. However, I believe this is a deeper dimension. We are going to experience, in reality, the wonders of God’s grace starting from this very year, even now! It is not just the year of grace but The Season of Grace for us. The Lord works in times and seasons not clocks and calendars. Psalms 102:13 says “Thou shalt arise, and have mercy upon Zion: for the time to favour her, yea, the set time, is come.” II Corinthians 9:8 says “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” It’s a season of rest for us. We have come into our rest and we have ceased from our labours! It is called the rest of faith. Glory to God! HAPPY NEW SEASON!