PASSION: THE SECRET TO FULFILLING DIVINE PURPOSE.

To them he presented himself alive after his passion by many proofs, appearing to them during forty days, and speaking of the kingdom of God.

ACTS 1:3

According to WIKIPEDIA, “Passion is a feeling of intense enthusiasm towards or compelling desire for someone or something. Passion can range from eager interest in or admiration for an idea, proposal, or cause; to enthusiastic enjoyment of an interest or activity; to strong attraction, excitement, or emotion towards a person.”

 The word passion from Late Latin passionem (in nominative, passio) means suffering, enduring.

Passion is an emotion that requires action, Passion is compelling. Passion makes us do the impossible. it is the oil that lubricates engine parts to reduce friction and help keep the car running. Without the oil of passion, the car cannot run and people cannot maintain momentum. The secret to fulfilling divine mandate is hidden in our passion. Passion is a formidable force that dismantles any form of obstacle. As Saints, we need a high dose of passion and enthusiasm.

For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

JOHN 3:16

Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends.

JOHN 15:13

Passion is sparked by love. God’s love for humanity provoked Him to give His all to humanity- His only Son, JESUS. It was not just the Father but the Son also laid down His life for the world. Jesus presented Himself alive after His passion” in Acts 1:3 signifying His suffering. This shows that “passion” is a willingness to suffer for what you believe and for what you love deeply. God in Christ demonstrated his love for humanity while we were yet sinners. What does it mean to love the Lord? Jesus responded “if you love me, keep my commandments.” It is not enough to say “I love you, Lord”; the question is, what is the evidence of that love? It is called obedience. The proof that you love God is your passion to do His will.

And they have conquered him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.

Revelation 12:11

 The key word in the above scripture is “they loved not their lives even unto dead.” Passionate believers are a company of Overcomers who have dealt with the issue of death and are no longer afraid. Living for God is what constitutes their drive. Their only ambition is to do the will of God, and would not be perturbed by what people say. They would settle for nothing less than the mandate of heaven. They want nothing else than to see the Kingdom of God take over the earth. Their resolved is “the earth must become a replica of heaven”. Passion would make you dare and defy the course of this world. Passion will provoke you to take a stand for righteousness.

So, Saints of God, stir up the power of God residing inside of you; awaken yourself to righteousness, “for greater is he that is inside of you than he that is in the world”. Inside you dwells the power of endless life, inside you is the fullness of immortality. Heaven is in your heart and God wants you to release heaven from within you and spread it over your sphere of influence. Within you is the power that can destroy sin and sinful acts; shake off yourself from laziness and excuses, and break out from your comfort zone to shine His light to the world. There are adventures in the spirit! Come into transformative relationship with the Father and let his love purify you. When we become passionate about the hope of eternity, revival breaks out, power is released from heaven and great awakening occurs.

It is passion that turns timid and shy people to become as bold as the Lion of Judah. Passion makes us strong proclaimers of the Kingdom. We must lay down our lives at the brazen Altar and let ourselves to be burnt completely by the fire of His presence. God enjoys the sweet aroma of burnt flesh. We become holy fragrances before Him- living flames of love.

TRACKING YOUR THOUGHTS

For as he thinks in his heart, so is he. “Eat and drink!” he says to you, but his heart is not with you.

Proverbs 23:7

How do we change our pattern of thinking? How do we change our interpretation of adverse circumstances of life? Let me create a scenario for counseling purposes.

 As a child, you probably witnessed your aggressive dad assault your Mom frequently and you hated him for the pain he caused and you vowed never to let that happen to you.  “Men are evil and aggressive” you resolved within you that you will never get married because “men are not to be trusted”

Your dad was an absentee Father and the few times he came home, he made you so uncomfortable by mentally and physically abusing you- telling you “what a good- for nothing individual you are” you struggled through adolescent with insecurities. Now you are grown up and you have a career, you are married but despite all that, you are still burdened by fear and insecurities. Will your marriage last? You query? Will you wake up one day and your spouse has is gone? When your spouse corrects you, it hurts so deeply because everything is interpreted to you as rejection. You seek for people’s approval because of a poor self image. The negative words spoken by your dad have grown different branches; the root is deeply entrenched within your subconscious that tracing its origin is nearly impossible.

You grew up in loveless family where your parents demanded absolute obedience. You are not allowed to question or offer any suggestions. You had a dutiful Mother who did everything to perfection. High standards were set and you learnt to do things methodically. You were never to fail an exam or misbehave in any way. A boy child must not cry because it is a sign of weakness. You grew up without experiencing a hug, a peck on the cheek and true laughter. You were not trained to handle failure, not even recreation or relaxation. You were bullied by your peers and because you must put up with right attitude at all times you were unable to reciprocate. Now you are grown up, with an impressive academic record yet dissatisfied and sad. You are shy and timid and somewhat jealous of others who are free spirited. You are in a prison!

You got pregnant as a young girl and had to carry the pregnancy in shame and this has left you broken. “Nothing good can ever come out of your life again” that was your take home on that experience.

You were raped by your uncle and by your step dad! A bad situation! Your interpretation of that situation is” men are beast, I will never allow a man come near me” or “I am a dumping place for all filth” so you sleep with any man that care to ask.

As a Christian, you could be overwhelmed by the righteous demand for purity. God is holy and demands same from us. Without understanding the love of God, we can become numb and unresponsive to God as a result of constant failure to the divine statutes. Cynicism, anger and bitterness towards God is possible in the face of protracted sickness and unmet expectations. Deep within your heart, you have believed God is a Father who demands obedience, makes promises he cannot or does not desire to fulfill; and since you cannot question God, the result is hidden anger towards Him. You may be in a church, faithfully carrying out your duties but lack intimacy with God. What is keeping you is the fear of eternal judgment.

What a person thinks in his heart is a summation of his beliefs and convictions which becomes the governing philosophies of his life. Like in Proverbs 23:7. A person’s real thoughts are inward, he may say to you “eat and drink” but he does not mean it and because you can’t see his heart you believe his words. Similarly, we wear our nice clothes, sing and dance in church but our convictions are inside of us. The truth is you have a hard time believing the word of God. We are constantly renewing our resolves. One day you are determined to push forward but when reality stirs you in the face you become deflated.

 ” What if God disappoints?” your heart questions as the circumstances of the past begin to play back in your mind “you remember Mr. AZ who trusted God in similar situations but never had his request granted rather  he died in frustration. “Remember he was a devout Christian” suddenly your resolve is broken and you become sad again, even angry with yourself because of the powerlessness and frustration you feel over your inability to control your emotions. You are reminded again how the Almighty God who is meant to protect you should permit such calamity to befall you. The fact that God cannot be questioned hurts you even more and in trying to bottle up all the emotions you feel, you sink even deeper into the abyss of hopelessness.

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Romans 12:2

God is sovereign and rules over the affairs of men. He knows the end from the beginning and he is aware of the circumstances of your life. Nothing takes him by surprise. He knew your path was going to be rough; he was not confused when he placed you in your family. Tribulations, adverse conditions are part of your journey. Trust in his foreknowledge, his love and supremacy. Let the word of God form your belief and convictions. To renew your mind is to detoxify yourself of negative thoughts pattern that are contradictory to the word of God. It is to reprogram your mind with the spiritual software which is the word. Do not yield to the culture and belief system that you derive from this world, from unpleasant situations but rather detoxify yourself by removing all the toxins of negativity.

God loves you unconditionally. do not let guilt hold you down. You were made for beauty; do not concentrate on the bad situation but look to Him who is able to save you. ” our help is in the name of the Lord” For the name of the Lord is a strong tower, the righteous run in and find safety. Come under his arms of love.

DISCERNING THE ROOT OF DEPRESSION.

Depression is an emotion so in treating depression, we must look at the concept of emotions. According to online dictionary, “Dictionary.com” emotion is defined as:

 “ an affective state of consciousness in which joy, sorrow, fear, hate, or the like, is experienced, as distinguished from cognitive and volitional states of consciousness. Any of the feelings of joy, sorrow, fear, hate, love, etc. Any strong agitation of the feelings actuated by experiencing love, hate, fear, etc., and usually accompanied by certain physiological changes, as increased heartbeat or respiration, and often overt manifestation, as crying or shaking. An instance of this: Something that causes such a reaction: the powerful emotion of a great symphony.”

Emotions are “affective state of consciousness.” I call it, feelings from an unconscious place. Not within your conscious control; more like in auto drive. But something instigates them. Emotions in themselves are neither bad nor good. What makes them good or bad is what instigates or initiates them. The thoughts we think either produce negative or happy emotions. What you think is the result of your environment and your culture. What was the environment you grew up with? What environment are you currently living in? What have been the circumstances of your life? Negative or pleasant? Every experience we go through in life makes imprint in our hearts and speaks with loud and strong voices. These voices begin to gradually build belief and convictions within us.

These beliefs and convictions are stored in the inner recesses of our hearts or the subconscious mind and they become the driver of our lives. The mindsets we derive from our environment becomes our core self. What was the loudest voice you heard when you lost your dad or Mother at 16 and the suffering that followed?

 When He had called the entire multitude to Himself, He said to them, “Hear Me, everyone, and understand: 15 “There is nothing that enters a man from outside which can defile him; but the things which come out of him, those are the things that defile a man. 16 “If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Mark 7:14-16

So one day, the Pharisees and teachers of the law confronted Jesus on why his disciples did not observe the age long traditional practices of the Jews. While answering them, Jesus spoke to his disciples and brought out an important principle for living. “Nothing that enters a man from the outside which can defile him: but the things which come out of him”.

 Awesome!

EPICTETUS was a Greek born slave of Rome in the first century who became a philosopher, He said in one of his many quotes.  “Men are disturbed not by things, but by the view which they take of them” He also said “It is not the external events themselves that causes us distress, but the way in which we think of them, our interpretation of their significance. It is our attitudes and reactions that give us trouble”

This precisely is the point Jesus was making. It is not your social conditioning or your environment that matters but what beliefs or convictions you have developed based on the particular situation you have gone through. The views we take or imbibed in traveling through life shape us and condition our emotions. We must detoxify ourselves from toxic emotions and trust God to forgive, release all offenders. Love is stronger force than bitterness and hate, we must reprogram our minds through the word of God to bring a shift in our thoughts life

Depression is feeling of hopelessness, despair and sadness. They are Feelings that have gone beyond our abilities to control. It is an emotional disorder that happens when we focus on the negative circumstances of life. What is the origin of depression? Sin. Sin here is not just acts of disobedience but the result of Adam’s fall. We are fallen humans who live in an imperfect world full of bumps and bruises. Negative thoughts produce negative emotions and consistent negative thoughts leads to depression and ultimately suicide. We will always face negative and contradictory situations in life. Jesus said, “in the world, there will be tribulations but be of good cheers for I have overcome” How do we face a negative situation and maintain a positive attitude? Next week we will be looking at the solution based on the word of God.

Understanding Depression (I)

Depression is becoming a worldwide pandemic. According to the World Health Organization, over 264 Million people are suffering from it.  It could become a debilitating health problem when it becomes severe. According to WHO, depression is a major cause of suicide- a leading cause of death in people between the ages of 15-29 years.

Depression is a mental health disease that affects people’s mood.  It is different from short lived emotional response to every day’s contradiction of life. It involves a persistent feeling of hopelessness, sadness and loss of interest in activities.

“Depression results from a complex interaction of social, psychological and biological factors”. (WHO).

It is prevalent among people who have suffered negative circumstances in life. Infertility, bereavement, protracted sickness, unemployment etc and other psychological traumas are all some of the conditions that could lead to depression.

According Mayo Clinic, Depression among teens is a serious mental health problem affecting the way they think and behave. They enumerated some of the signs to watch out as follows:

  • Feelings of sadness, which can include crying spells for no apparent reason
  • Frustration or feelings of anger, even over small matters
  • Feeling hopeless or empty
  • Irritable or annoyed mood
  • Loss of interest or pleasure in usual activities
  • Loss of interest in, or conflict with, family and friends
  • Low self-esteem
  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
  • Fixation on past failures or exaggerated self-blame or self-criticism
  • Extreme sensitivity to rejection or failure, and the need for excessive reassurance
  • Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
  • Ongoing sense that life and the future are grim and bleak
  • Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide

Truth is, Depression affects people of different ages particularly women. Maybe right now, you are experiencing these feelings of hopelessness, anxiety and emptiness. Maybe you are plagued by pessimistic feelings and distressed on every side. Maybe you have lost interest in life and experiencing symptoms of apathy. You have a friend in Jesus who went through similar feelings so that you can be free. Even born again Christians suffer from depression but we hide from admitting because of stigmatization but there is no shame in vulnerability.

According to WHO, there is correlation between depression and certain health conditions. It is said that cardiovascular issues, some kind of joint pain, headaches and digestive problems may be associated with depression. Also constant and severe pain that do not response to treatment may be caused by depression.

How can one who is a Christian, Born again and full of the Spirit suffer from Depression? How should the Church handle issues of depression? Should a Christian visit a trained counselor? These and many more are some of the concerns I will be treating.

Please, if you are experiencing symptoms of depression, do not be ashamed to share your problems. Depression affects the high and mighty; it is not just because you are jobless. We must all fight this menace. It is not just about quoting the scriptures; it demands an inward searching of the heart to locate the source of the problem. It is a disease and Jesus paid for it and just like you will take a stand against cancer, we must take a stand against depression.

UNDERSTANDING THE SPIRIT OF JEZEBEL

God is raising an army; a prophetic generation. And wherever there is an emerging prophetic voice Satan raises a counterfeit voice to confuse the Saints. The spirit of Jezebel loves the prophetic.

Now Ahab the son of Omri did evil in the sight of the LORD, more than all who were before him. And it came to pass, as though it had been a trivial thing for him to walk in the sins of Jeroboam the son of Nebat, that he took as wife Jezebel the daughter of Ethbaal, king of the Sidonians; and he went and served Baal and worshiped him.

Chronicles 16:30-31

Jezebel was the daughter of Ethbaal, Ethbaal means like Baal; he was an ardent worshiper of Baal. Baal is the fertility god of war and sex.  Jezebel’s Dad killed his predecessor in a coup d’état and ascended into power. Jezebel was raised from a political family and was exposed to intrigues and assassinations from an early age. The name Jezebel means “ Unhusbabded” Although she was  married to King Ahab, her lack of submission and her infidelity proved that true marriage meant nothing to her. Jezebel submits to no one but demands all to submit to her. God has set authority but the spirit of Jezebel usurps authority and seeks to establish its own agenda. The spirit of Jezebel has different manifestations but two stand out for me; they are Seduction/immorality and power/insubordination.  The day you gave your life to Christ you got engaged to God and fidelity to your vows is of uttermost importance  but the seductive spirit of Jezebel tries to lure us away. The spirit of Jezebel is not a gender base but a satanic operation that strategically and deliberately craft means to entice the Saints through divination and witchcraft. It was the same spirit that took over Absalom, the Son of David. Absalom took the people’s loyalty away from his Father the King.

To deliver you from the immoral woman, from the seductress who flatters with her words.

Proverbs 2:16

The spirit of Jezebel is not so powerful; it can easily be decoded and dealt with. It works with our weaknesses so it is imperative that we recognize our weak points and submit to the Lord. He who covers his sin will not prosper. We must check to see if they are things within us that the spirit of Jezebel can latch on. What are the things that Jezebel takes advantage of? Pride for instance; this spirit sure knows how to pump up people’s ego. It tells you how brilliant you are, how important you are and how without you, that church or office initiative will not be accomplish. It lifts you up like Lucifer until you begin to see yourself above every other and demand to be celebrated and when you are not celebrated you become threatened, insecure and withdrawn. But as long as you are praised you are energized to forge ahead. That spirit hates correction and rebuke. Jezebel loves to hang out with Leaders; pastors etc to study their weakness and then take advantage of them and plot their downfall.

But there was no one like Ahab who sold himself to do wickedness in the sight of the LORD, because Jezebel his wife stirred him up.

1Kings 21:25

Jezebel spirit needs an Ahab environment to function. Ahab is timid, loves unholy alliances and hates confrontation. King Ahab offered to buy the land Naboth inherited from his family but he declined in strong terms. Typical of Ahab, he went to his bedroom to cry because he is timid; he knew his cry would get to the attention of his bold wife-” Madame Fixer”. She got back home and found Ahab crying and refusing to eat, when she queried him he responded like a child;”Because I spoke to Naboth the Jezreelite, and said to him, ‘Give me your vineyard for money; or else, if it pleases you, I will give you another vineyard for it.’ And he answered, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.'” 1Kings 21:6. Jezebel immediately sprang into action, she wrote to the elders of the city where Naboth lived using the King’s seal of authority and requesting that Naboth be placed in honour while they proclaim a fast and charge Naboth with blasphemy against the King and against God. Naboth was stoned to death. Jezbel is the cemetery of great men of God and sincere leaders.

The spirit targets the weak, people who are offended, wounded, the lonely and the rebellious. Any relationship that brings you under or belittles you, any relationship that renders you powerless, cause confusion and depression is a Jezebel’s spirit. That spirit specializes in emotional manipulation. It steals influence and loves to control others by bringing them under guilt and condemnation. Jezebel’s spirit finds fault in the leadership and service is motivated by a desire to be known and celebrated as the best. This was the same spirit that motivated Miriam and Aaron; they murmured against Moses saying “does the Lord speak only through Moose?” “Why is my Boss asking me to submit my report to him before sending to the MD? Am I not intelligent enough to relate with the MD?”How do we overcome this negative spirit? Jesus came to destroy the works of darkness.

He who covers his sins will not prosper, but whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy

Proverbs 28:13

I acknowledged my sin to you, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD,” And you forgave the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

Psalms 32:5

Truth be told, we are all caught in this quagmire! We are all vulnerable to this spirit. We must acknowledge we are capable of being used by Satan to perpetuate his agenda. We must deliberately resist the devil and honestly confront hidden motives. Jezebel prospers in hidden dark areas of our lives so we must make all efforts to uncover.

And whatever you do, do it heartily, as to the Lord and not to men. 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance; for you serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:23-24

 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself.

Philippians 2:3

Be honest, do not seek man’s approval,  serve God and not men. Do not seek the praises of man let God be your reward. Express your opinion sincerely. Even if you think you are more intelligent than your Boss, defer to him; do not plan a coup d’état behind him or her. The leader has the vision/blueprint, approach him/her if you don’t understand rather than murmur behind and talking to people you perceived might be dissatisfied.

But test everything; hold fast what is good,  abstain from every form of evil.

1 Thessalonian 5:21-22

The Bible encourages us to test all spirits. We need discernment to be able to track spirits. Someone can say all the nice words but hidden behind those words is a seed of discord and division. Discernment is ability to tell truth from error.  How do we develop discernment? Stay in the secret place; get so familiar with the voice of God so much so that you can tell his voice from that of Satan. Be his sheep because his sheep hears is voice and they not respond to contrary voices. Heart honesty is a treasure and meditation in the word of God cultures our heart. Love the Lord with all your heart; do not harbor bitterness, deal with offense, forgiveness and submit to the brethren.  Visit a Christian counselor if you need to and pour out your heart, where you have been treated unfairly speak honestly and will yourself to forgive and release those who have hurt you.

A CRY FOR DELIVERANCE

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit

ROMANS 8:1

As Christians, our destination has been set ahead of time. We have been called to conform to the image of Christ. God wants to deck us with glory. Our destination is oneness with Christ- living in alignment with His will. Just as Jesus Christ was fully God and fully Man, so are we! Christ could have yielded to his human part but he chose rather to yield to his divine nature. Though you are born again and having the divine nature dwelling in your spirit, the residue of the sin nature still dwells within your soul. The Bible in Romans stated that, “for those who are in Christ Jesus; that is, those who no longer live according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit, the verdict or sentence of dead is destroyed”. It is a process that requires a lot of laboring in the spirit. Jesus understood this principle so he cried unto God with strong prayers while he was on earth seeking for deliverance from the human nature.

Then He spoke a parable to them that men always ought to pray and not lose heart, saying: “There was in a certain city a judge who did not fear God nor regard man.  “Now there was a widow in that city; and she came to him, saying, ‘get justice for me from my adversary.  “And he would not for a while; but afterward he said within himself, ‘Though I do not fear God nor regard man,  ‘yet because this widow troubles me I will avenge her, lest by her continual coming she weary me.'”  Then the Lord said, “Hear what the unjust judge said.  “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?  “I tell you that He will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?”

LUKE 18:1-8

Prayer fosters intimacy with God. It helps us to maintain focus on the finish. Prayer tenderizes our hearts and heightens our discernments. Prayer generates power and spiritual capacity to combat sin and temptation. Men ought to pray continuously and not to faint. This implies that if we fail to pray, we will definitely give up and throw in the towel. Faint here to me means to give up, to lose direction and focus. You might still be breathing but essentially you are lost because, you are no longer living with the goal or sense of destination in view. True life is living in alignment with God.

This woman was seeking justice. In application, I would say, this woman was seeking deliverance from the decaying process. She wanted to be free from her battle with carnality and the sin nature. This could be anything you are currently battling with; depression, hopelessness, divorce, etc. But I am concentrating on our destination as set by God. This woman was persistent, never gave up her cry and intercession for liberation. She kept knocking at the door of the wicked Judge until she was vindicated.

Glory, Hallelujah!

God is not saying that he is a wicked Judge but rather he is using this as a metaphor. If the wicked Judge could change his mind and grant justice to the widow how much more will the Judge of the Universe give deliverance to His covenant children seeking Him daily for deliverance from the carnal nature. Do you desire to be the bride without spots or wrinkles? Then, don’t give up on yourself. God is able to set you free from that struggle with fornication, and adultery. God is able to liberate you from bitterness and all the filthiness’ of the flesh. In your struggle against sin, have you resisted it to the point of shedding your blood? Then why are you giving up? Keep fighting and resisting. A righteous man may fall seven times yet will he rise again.” When the Son of Man returns will he find faith in the earth?”  Meaning, will He find a people with deep resolve to hold unto God till they become the exact replica of Christ? Relentless pursuers, those who will say like Mary, “Be it unto me according to your word”.  “He that is born of God overcomes the world”.

Keep your destination in view. The end of your faith is not a place but a person. Becoming like him in all things. Your destination is union with God Almighty. You have been called to nobility. Make a good warfare, friend! You can be free from pornography and all the negative addictions. Shun the voice of guilt and condemnation, and keep pressing till you find your freedom.

MY SONG IN THE MIDNIGHT

Midnight is usually considered to be a period between 12 midnight and 3am.  Spiritually, this period holds strong significance. It is believed to be the darkest period of the night and a time of intense spiritual activities both from the Kingdom of Heaven and that of darkness.

¶ Then Moses said, “Thus says the LORD: ‘About midnight I will go out into the midst of Egypt.  ‘and all the firstborn in the land of Egypt shall die, from the firstborn of Pharaoh who sits on his throne, even to the firstborn of the female servant who is behind the hand mill, and all the firstborn of the animals. ‘Then there shall be a great cry throughout all the land of Egypt, such as was not like it before, nor shall be like it again.

Exodus 11: 4-6

Generally, it is believed that battles of great spiritual significance are fought at midnight. It is at this time that satanic powers operate to manipulate people’s destinies and purposes. At midnight, people are tired and would rather sleep than engage in warfare so evil powers cease this moment to cause massive devastation.  The Almighty walked the streets of Egypt to wreck havoc upon Pharaoh and the nation at midnight. Similarly, it was at midnight that one of the two prostitutes during the reign of King Solomon craftily exchanged her dead child with the second prostitute.  Midnight here, is used allegorically to mean the time of immense hardship. Divine justice in a way takes place at midnight.

Prophetically, the whole earth is in a night season. These are ferocious times. Most people are confused and saddened as a result of the corona virus pandemic. We are living in very trying times; family members have had to watch their loved ones bellowed in agonies. Some have lost their Jobs. World economies are in the doldrums, suicide rate has surged dramatically as the blanket of hopelessness spread over the nations of the earth. Midnight is symbolic of wilderness experience. The wilderness is an arid place, a dry land void of water and green vegetation. The intensity of the sun leaves one drained and thirsty; all you hear is the howling sound of the wind. . There is so much suffering and gloominess all over the world. The whispers of hell are prevalent in the night season: whispers of hopelessness and despondency. Satan takes advantage of the night season to confused people’s mind; his intent is to completely obliterate God in people’s heart. It becomes imperative to be vigilant and awake spiritually so as to scuttle satanic incursion.

How shall we sing the LORD’S song in a foreign land?

Psalm 137:4

The children of Israel had been taken into captivity to Babylon and were subjected to hard labor. So, one day after toiling they decided to seat by the Babylonian River to reminisce about Zion. Filled with nostalgia they wept vehemently about the good old days. “O Jerusalem, my happy home, when shall I come to thee” They could not see bright light at the end of the tunnel; everything looked bleak. It was at this point that they were demanded to sing joyful songs by their captors and the above scripture was their natural response. Does this sound familiar? perhaps you are currently experiencing your night season and life has become like a prison sentence. How do you sing praises when life troubles stare you in the face? When your landlord has thrown out all your belongings? How do you sing and praise God in the face of protracted illness? How do you sing the Lord’s song in the midnight season?

But none saith where God is my maker, who giveth songs in the night.

Job :10

The Night, though gloomy has a beautiful song from the mouth of the Lord of Angel Armies. There is this old song, “the Lord knows the way through the wilderness, all i have to do is to follow Him”. In the night season only the voice of God counts; you are to be still and listen for his voice. God is the one who gives a song in the midnight. This means that the midnight season is a time to vigorously seek the Lord. God inhabits the praises of the righteous; He makes his dwelling, his residence in our heart when we are able to locate the song of the Lord

The bands of the wicked have robbed me: but I have not forgotten thy law. At midnight I will rise to give thanks unto thee because of thy righteous judgments.

Psalm 119: 61-62

David understood the power of trusting God. He was surrounded by enemies, but he made a bold declaration of faith to praise God at midnight. He knew the significance of midnight; that it was a time of divine activities. He called to remembrance how God killed the first born son of the Egyptians despite that he was ambushed by the enemy. What is the song in the heart of God that we need to capture? finding this song will strengthen us to praise and rejoice in our midnight hour.

Sing, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O Israel! Be glad and rejoice with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem! The LORD has taken away your judgments; He has cast out your enemy. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall see disaster no more. 16 In that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Do not fear; Zion, let not your hands be weak. 17 The LORD your God in your midst, The Mighty One, will save; He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing.”

Zephaniah 3:14-17

Hallelujah!

The Almighty God, the King of the Universe is singing over you. The song says “fear not, be glad, you shall see no disaster” Your heavenly Father sings this song consistently over you. It is the song of deliverance and liberation. It is the song of salvation. Pull yourself together; the Lord is fighting your battles. He is walking the foundations of your life and dealing with the powers of Pharaoh.  The Lord your God in the midst of you is mighty to save! Be comforted, keep singing for the time intense demonic activities is also a time of conquest. God will do valiantly. Trust him to help you take your eyes off the dark night but rather let him open your eyes to behold his inexhaustible resource and unfailing love.

GOD IS THE ALCHEMIST

But I want you to know, brethren that the things which happened to me have actually turned out for the furtherance of the gospel.  So that it has become evident to the whole palace guard, and to all the rest, that my chains are in Christ. 14 and most of the brethren in the Lord, having become confident by my chains, are much bolder to speak the word without fear.

Philippians 1:12-14

Life is an unpredictable journey full of twists and turns. Our hearts dream of a great future and a life of blissful adventures but somehow along the path of life, a twist occurs and our once put together life is shattered.  Like the saying “Man proposes but God disposes”. A different path emerges, leaving us bewildered, mystified and petrified! “What is meaning?” we ponder, why is there so much pain in the world? Why do we have to say farewell to that beautiful relationship? Why the divorce?  Why do our loved ones die? Pain is so intensely personal and we grieve so badly. Life is tough. There are a plethora of issues to deal with each day ranging from protracted sicknesses, child delinquency; rape, drug addiction and loneliness etc. Why do Christians suffer the same fate as unbelievers? We are wrongly framed and sent to jail like every other person. We are falsely accused of crimes we did not commit. Is there any advantage of being Christian? How can one find meaning and purpose amidst turbulence and contradictions?

Jesus declared “In the world, there will be tribulation but be of good cheers for I have overcome the world” This definitely answers the question. Christians are not exempted from life’s troubles and agonies. God is the Alchemist who takes the dregs of the society and turns them into something magnificent. He takes the residue or the scum from the slag heaps of life and turns it to gold.

According to Cambridge online dictionary ALCHEMY is “a type of chemistry, especially in the middle ages, that dealt with trying to find a way to change ordinary metals into gold and with trying to find a medicine that would cure any disease” How possible is it to turn lead into pure gold? “But the things which are impossible with Men are possible with God”

The ups and down and the twists and turns are all part of the divine plan. God’s plans are pure and full of peace. Do not be afraid, God has figured it all out for you. He knows all things

  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Romans 8:28

Paul stated in the above scriptures that what was considered a tragedy to everyone turned out to be a blessing. He was arrested and jailed. The great Apostle Paul! But Paul saw things from the eye view of God. In his imprisonment the stronghold of the fear of death and a desire for Man’s approval was dismantled. The result was that people became bold and resolute in the declaration of the saving power of Christ. A bad situation turned good!

Hallelujah!

You are created in his image. He has a great future for you. Hold your head up high knowing nothing can separate you from the love of God. God uses all and fixes all. Your victories, your failures are all part of the divine plan

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? 36 As it is written: “For Your sake we are killed all day long; We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” 37 Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. 38 For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come. 39 nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39

Romans 8:35-39

THE JOY OF THE LORD

An Invitation to the Story of God - Evangelicals for Social Action

Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our LORD. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
So the Levites quieted all the people, saying, “Be still, for the day is holy; do not be grieved
.”

Nehemiah 8:10-11

God is bringing you to a season of rejoicing. The time of weeping is gradually coming to an end. you may have been in a time of intense persecution, pain and affliction but God is releasing supernatural ability to overcome. Gloomy days are over and seasons of refreshing are hear! The word “Joy” in the above scripture comes from the Hebrew word “Chedvah”. It means to rejoice and to make glad. What produces joy is our union with Christ. Joy is the result of hope. The present situation may be tough and unpleasant but joy comes from knowing that Christ has paid the price for your salvation and knowing that he possess the ability to bring to pass what he has promised. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. The word encourages and enable us to create the presence of the Holy Spirit.

“Strength” from the above scripture speaks of a place of safety, a stronghold and a place of refuge. Rejoicing is a weapon of power because it puts you under the protection of the Most High. The name of the Lord is a strong tower and we find refuge therein. Angelic Host is at your command.

Sing praise to the LORD, You saints of His, And give thanks at the remembrance of His holy name.
For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for life; Weeping may endure for a night, But joy comes in the morning.

Psalm 30:4-5


It is time to rejoice and give thanks to the Lord. Sing joyfully unto our God! He is a great King and a Mighty deliverer. The remembrance of his name is the remembrance of his authority, his integrity and his power to make possible what he promised. Mourning is giving way to gladness. God’s anger is momentary but the favor of God imparts life. Zoe is available to strengthen and to restore all that the enemy has stolen. Heaven is rejoicing over you with singing. Remember always that joy comes from knowing God. The word of God is our anchor that holds in the raging storm. The word keeps us in a constant state of reconciliation, it produces peace and subdues internal hostilities. As this is going on, joy, gladness and exultation are stirred from within. You are the apple of his eyes. Be still, do not grief anymore for the Joy of the lord has come to help you.


O LORD, You are the portion of my inheritance and my cup; You maintain my lot.
The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Yes, I have a good inheritance.
I will bless the LORD who has given me counsel; My heart also instructs me in the night seasons.
¶ I have set the LORD always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope.
For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.
You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore
.

Psalms 16:5-11

FAITH THAT OVERCOMES (II)

For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world–our faith.

1 John 5:4

In my first article on Faith that overcomes, I stated that faith relates to the unseen reality. It is the door way to the spiritual realm; it is the bridge that connects your toady to your tomorrow. I also established that God has written a beautiful script concerning us long before we came into the world. Also, Satanic kingdom, has written a counter script about us. But sadly, Humans are more aware about the physical existence than the invisible realm of existence where God dwells. And because of this fixation with the natural, Satan takes advantage to push forward his own script.

He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all.

John 3:31

Jesus is the first born among many brethren,. He is the the pattern son and he came from the above invisible realm to show us how to work in victory. He is the ladder that connects us to the heavenly realm. Through his sacrifice and death on the cross, he bridged the gap and brought us to seat with him in the heavenly realm. We find meaning for existence when we find him. He is our introduction to divinity and our true life or essence is found only in him. Jesus is the image of the invisible God; we know God in the face of Jesus. To overcome is to walk with Christ who understands the spiritual terrain and who is also the head of all things within the visible and invisible realms. The faith that overcomes is the faith that is built on Christ. Faith comes by hearing. This presupposes that, what we hear shapes and molds us. Faith is built by listening to, and adhering to the word of God.

With my whole heart I have sought You; Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments!
Your word I have hidden in my heart, That I might not sin against You!

Psalm 119:10-11

The word of God is so critically important and requires our uttermost attention. David wanted to live a life of purity and a life that would bring honor to the Most High so he sought vigorously after Him and discovered the secret to pleasing God. “Your word have i hid in my heart” How can one hide the word of God in his heart? By meditation. It is the unveiling of the word that brings forth illumination or understanding. The word is unveiled when the eyes are opened by the Holy Spirit through meditation. Apostle Paul prayed in most of his epistles for opening of eyes as prerequisites for a proper understanding of the knowledge of God’s will and increased wisdom.

The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; The testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple.

Psalm 19:7

The Law of the Lord consist of his instructions, teachings and doctrines etc The law is perfect, flawless and without defect capable of restoring the soul back to its true essence. God has exalted his word above his name, Name speaks of authority and reputation of a person. In essence, we can take his word to the bank. His word is law, it signifies integrity.

For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mothers womb.
I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, And that my soul
knows very well.
My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth.
Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.

¶ How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!

Psalm 139:13-17

You are a creation of God. He laid the foundation for your existence. He carefully weaved your delicate frame through his incomprehensible, power and skillful abilities. He molded not just your skeletal structure but your cells, your veins,and arteries etc. You are a maze that needs to be unraveled; that is why in verse 17, the Palmist declare after a deep session of meditation, “how precious are all your thoughts to me, o God!” It takes meditation in the word of God to come into this intimate knowledge of yourself. We are enjoined to stand firm and engage the word God has spoken concerning us “. Let us hold waveringly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful”. God who created you is able to execute what he has begun.

Faith means accepting the word of God as final authority. To develop faith to overcome means to be proactive.  You are proactive when you enlighten yourself with the heavenly constitution (the word of God). Being proactive means becoming self aware, knowing your tendencies and familiarizing yourself with Godly script and even the enemy’s own. Being proactive is being able to choose your responses; it is the realization that you are not a victim of circumstances. Faith in the invisible God empowers you to superimpose what is written about you over the physical conditioning. “Faith without works is dead” says James the Apostle. Your experiences are not the problem but what your interpretations of them are, is what matters.

 Are you seeing your problems through the lens of the world or through the scriptures? Freedom begins with you. You must be able to subject your feelings to value. For example, the word of God says “you are created in the divine image” but your circumstances tell you, “You are doomed.”  And because you were recently fired from that employment, and because your reality is basically drawn from what you see from the visible realm, you tend to believe the second voice more. This is the foundation for bad self esteem, depression, hopelessness etc. This is how the enemy keeps us in bondage to sinful acts through guilt and feelings of hopelessness.

Growing your faith requires warfare. Faith brings the dead to life. You build momentum by insisting on what the scriptures say and through the art of confession. You can rise up unafraid to defy the King of Egypt like Moses did. Faith comes by hearing the word of God. As you familiarize yourself with the heavenly script, you will rise up from futility and from old sinful habits to faith and hope.