“To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, TO GIVE UNTO THEM BEAUTY FOR ASHES, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord, that he might be glorified.”
– (Isaiah 61:3, KJV).
Prophet Isaiah in the above verse was stating part of the roles and functions of the anointing. Ashes in the Bible is a symbol of deep grief, mourning and penitence. Job was said to sit in ashes after he got news of losing his children, possessions and struck with painful boils (Job 2:8). Tamar, the daughter of David was said to put on ashes after she was raped by her half brother Amnon (2 Samuel 13:19). Many are in deep mourning at this time due to the loss of loved ones to COVID-19. Some people have suffered losses of jobs, health, opportunities, etc. Many are hopeless because of what life has thrown at them. Below are some truths to consider:
Isaac received beauty for ashes: “And Isaac brought Rebekah into his mother Sarah’s tent and she became his wife. He loved her deeply, and she was a special comfort to him after the death of his mother” (Genesis 24:67). Because Isaac was born to Sarah when she was 90 years and being her only child, he was very pampered. Isaac and Sarah shared a serious bond. The death of Sarah had a devastating blow on Isaac. The scripture quoted says Rebekah, the new found wife of Isaac became a special comfort to him. She filled the gap Sarah left in Isaac’s life. Our God is a Restorer who heals wounds and binds up the broken-hearted. He gives beauty for ashes once we do not give up hope and trusts implicitly in Him.
Jacob received beauty for ashes: “But when they told him all the words of Joseph which he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived (and warmth and life returned)” (Genesis 45:27). Jacob had thought his son Joseph was dead after his brothers sold him to slavery, and in turn lied to him that Joseph had been killed by a wild beast. Jacob was devastated because Joseph was his favorite son. He never really recovered from the news of Joseph’s death. By divine orchestration, after 22 years Joseph was found and reconciled to his brothers. When the news got to Jacob that Joseph his son was alive and was Governor in Egypt, the Bible says his spirit revived, and warmth and life returned to him. God compensates those who mourn in Zion and gives them beauty for ashes (Psalm 30:11).
The nation Israel received beauty for ashes: Prior to 1948 there was no nation called Israel. The Jews were scattered all over the world while the Arabs occupied the Promised Land. They suffered under Adolf Hitler who wanted to exterminate all of them in the Holocaust and in the process killed six million Jews. They were scattered all over the world and were dominant in Europe, and having no homeland of theirs they were persecuted, harassed and oppressed wherever they found themselves. They were hated because of their religious inclination and economic prowess. Satan drummed up hatred for them because of God’s special interest in them. With the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948, Jewish independence lost 2000 years prior was renewed. The Prophet Ezekiel affirmed that the dry bones God asked him to prophesy over was the nation of Israel. From hopelessness and despair their homeland was restored. They got beauty for many years of ashes.
CONCLUSION: Have you suffered loss of any kind in this pandemic? The God of Heaven appoints to those who mourn in His Kingdom beauty for ashes. The one thing that guarantees restoration, renewal and recovery from God is being in His kingdom. It is those who mourn in Zion (His kingdom) that has the guarantee of their ashes being replaced by beauty. Are you a member of His kingdom? If no, accept Jesus Christ today.
– (Exodus 19:3-4, NKJV)
The highlighted scripture above tells us how God caused the Israelites to rise above the challenge of the Red Sea. In this year, like all others, there will be challenges. Some people will be overwhelmed and overcome by these challenges, while others will ride and glide over the challenges 2021 will present to them. It is my prayer you will be among the latter group. Below are some things we need to do in order to rise over 2021 challenges, viz:
Repent: Repentance is simply turning to God and doing works befitting of repentance (Acts 26:20). Repentance has to do with the exercise of the mind. In Yoruba language (spoken in Western Nigeria, Togo, Benin, some parts of Brazil and Cuba), the word repentance means deep introspective thinking that leads to a change in behavior. Many of the challenges faced by mankind are caused by sin, poor choices and being far from God. Repentance upgrades our lives and is antidote to the sin challenge which bedevils mankind.
Inspire yourself: Mary, the mother of Jesus ran to the house of her relative Elizabeth after the Angel Gabriel announced she was going to conceive supernaturally. The moment Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby in her womb leaped and she was filled with the Holy Spirit and she began to prophesy to Mary (Luke 1:39 -45). What an account! Inspiration causes a stirring in our hearts that leads to the delivery of purpose and destiny. To rise in 2021, be regularly inspired by the teaching, preaching and personal study of the Word of God.
Sanctify yourself unto God: As believers in Christ, God has set us apart to Himself for a holy purpose (Ephesians 1:4-5). The second leg of sanctification is that we must yield to God and further separate ourselves from the world. The more sanctified we are, the more we will see divine manifestations. The clear instruction Joshua gave the Israelites before they overcame the Jordan River challenge was that they sanctify themselves (Joshua 3:5).
Innovate: The pandemic and the new world order has thrown up new challenges that require new approaches. Innovation is creativity that has to do with new ways of doing things. A new wineskin (animal skin used to hold wine) with elasticity is required to accommodate a new fermenting (and expanding) wine. An old rigid, hard and inflexible wineskin cannot accommodate a new wine (Matthew 9:17). Just as the world is becoming overly complex and complicated so also are the challenges of the present time. There is need to regularly pray to God for new insights, new anointing and approaches to tackle the challenges of the 21st century.
Negotiate with the Word of God: A dictionary meaning of negotiate is to obtain or bring about by discussion or by conference. Negotiation include two-way communication, persuasion, strategizing and cooperating. All the aforementioned are ingredients of a good and effective prayer that obtain results from God. In negotiation two parties arrive at an agreement or consensus based on terms of the contract that is favorable to each party. If the terms are not favorable to either party, there will not be a contract. The Word of God reveals the mind of God and shows us what is acceptance to the Divine. To rise in 2021, we must align with God’s will as shown in His Word. (Scripture reference: Isaiah 41:21, Amos 3:3).
Grow exponentially: Exponential means rapid increase. Because the challenges we see today are daunting and unprecedented ordinary growth may not suffice anymore. We must be deliberate to grow mentally, spiritually, socially, financially, etc. To grow exponentially, we must increase our capacity and devour more. And growth in all forms is usually a function of exposure. Exposure to the right information, association and location. Isaac was able to overcome the challenge of the Philistines contesting with his inherited wells because of the grace of God and an enlarged capacity and he outgrew his challenges as a result. (Scripture reference: Genesis 26: 15-30).CONCLUSION: Receive grace to rise in 2021. Have a blessed new year in Jesus’ name.
“And He said to her, daughter your faith has made you well. Go in peace and be healed of your affliction” (Mark 5:34, NKJV).
One of the dictionary meanings of the word appropriate is to take for one’s own use, typically without the owner’s permission. And some of the synonyms of appropriate is to seize, commandeer, arrogate, take over, lay claim to and acquire. The story surrounding the scripture above is that of a woman who had been hemorrhaging for 12 years and could not get a cure. When she heard that Jesus was passing, she said to herself that if I touch His garment, I will be well. Though there was a crowd thronging Jesus, she managed to reach Him and touched Him. Immediately she was healed and simultaneously Jesus felt some anointing leaving Him. She is a typical case of faith appropriation. She took her healing by simply believing. She did not ask for special prayers nor Jesus’ permission before she received her miracle. Below are some points to consider:
Faith appropriates what Grace has made available: GRACE is acronym for God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. The glorious riches available for the Christian was made available by Christ through His finished work on the Cross of Calvary. Jesus paid fully for the redemption of mankind. He paid the debt of sin and the ultimate penalty of sin which is death. This is the basis of the New Testament and the framework by which we receive God’s best. Real faith acknowledges what Jesus has done and rests entirely in it.
Faith appropriates by forgetting the past: The Israelites that God delivered from Egypt never had a closure on Egypt. Though they left physically, but mentally and emotionally, they were still in Egypt. They kept on remembering the cucumbers and garlics and the relative serenity Egypt offered them. They preferred to remain permanently in Egypt as slaves to the temporary discomfort of the wilderness on their way to the Promised land. They complained and murmured incessantly to Moses and God about taking them out of Egypt. Because of their attitude and not letting go of Egypt they perished in the wilderness. Dwelling in the past will not allow us to have faith in the present and hope for the future. The past, if not carefully dealt with, will rob us of the future.
Faith appropriates by unbroken focus: “Now when the time was almost come for Jesus to be received up (to heaven), He steadfastly and determinedly set His face to go to Jerusalem” (Luke 9:51). Jesus on His way to Jerusalem to be crucified needed to pass through Samaria but the Samaritans refused Him passage. Because He was resolute and focused on Jerusalem, He found another way. The woman in our introductory verse was resolute about getting well. A magnifying glass focused on a combustible object under the rays of the sun will invariably spark a fire and cause the object to be burnt. Faith and focus are Siamese twins. For faith to appropriate the grace of God, focus must be in place.
Faith appropriates by obedience: Christians are intended by God to be highfliers. A pilot flies an aircraft in very high altitudes simply by obeying a code of instructions. Failure to comply totally to instruction means disaster and destruction. Appropriating God’s best is always at the other side of obedience. Jesus told the paralytic man “take up your bed and walk” (Mark 2:11). He told the man who was sick for 38 years after healing him, to go and sin no more (John 5: 14). Faith and obedience (corresponding action) work together. Faith is not stand-alone. Both general and specific instructions from God are critical for faith to harvest and sustain Heaven’s blessings.
Faith Appropriates by Thanksgiving: The first thing Jesus did when He was about to raise Lazarus was to give thanks (John 11: 41). He taught His disciples in the Lord’s prayer to first praise and worship God. He was modelling Heaven’s protocol for us. For a transaction to be complete there must be offer and acceptance. God has offered us His best through Jesus Christ; the way to receive His innumerable blessings is through incessant and effusive thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is the receiving hand of faith.
CONCLUSION: May your faith and confidence in God soar in these uncertain times in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed month.
“For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands. You have put all things under his feet.” – (Psalm 8:5-6)
Dominion simply means overseeing something and having rulership over it. God delegated authority to man after creating him to take charge of the earth and rule over His creation (Genesis 1:26-28). Adam, the first man, disobeyed God and lost the authority and rulership. Jesus, the God incarnate, had to become man in order to restore dominion back to man. Dominion has been restored by Jesus but in order to exercise authority and operate as gods on this earth, we have to take on the mindset of dominion. Below are some of the mindsets:
The Mindset of Possibility: The Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4, verse 13 that “I can do all things through Christ that strengthens me.” He possessed the can-do attitude, and also acknowledged that Christ working vibrantly in him is his ability. This mindset helps the possessor of it to be willing to take on challenges and not to buckle in the face of overwhelming odds and seemingly impossible situations. Joshua and Caleb were the only two leaders out of the twelve spies who believed they could possess the land of Canaan.
The Mindset of Sonship: Born again Christians are those who have consciously accepted Jesus into their hearts as Lord and Savior (John 1:12). The acceptance of Jesus makes them sons and daughters of God (Galatians 3:26). Sons are different from hired servants. Sons have a sense of ownership; servants do not. Sons have a sense of their right to inheritance, whereas slaves do not. Sons are not afraid of being disowned or fired from the family; hired servants can be fired anytime. Sons carry the family name and DNA; servants do not. The DNA of God’s family is the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Spirit every child of God has in common and He is the Principal Agent of dominion. To walk in dominion the mindset of sonship must be ingrained in us.
The Mindset of Submission: One of the most profound scriptures in the Bible is found in Philippians Chapter 2, verses 5 to 8. It talks about the mindset of Jesus. Though He was God, He still submitted to the authority of God the Father in Heaven. He obeyed God the Father by agreeing to become a man in order to redeem mankind. And once again, He (Jesus) submitted to the will of God the Father and died a criminal’s death on the cross. Because of His total submission, God exalted Him and made Him the head of all principalities and powers. Submission to the right authority confers power and authority. A submissive wife to a godly husband is powerful. A submissive Christian to God will be highly anointed. It is the meek that will inherit the earth. Submission is not weakness; rather it is wisdom.
The Mindset of Enthusiasm: King David is an example of an Old Testament saint who truly dominated. He never lost any battle, and he overcame and outlived his enemies. God testified of him that he (David) is a man after His heart. He knew how to touch God and move Him through praises. David wrote most of the Psalms. David knew how to encourage himself despite his many challenges. David knew how to draw strength from God by praising and worshipping him regularly. David knew how to turn bad situations around and make lemonade out of lemons. He was an exceptional person because he sought to see his challenges from divine perspective, and this made him to always cheapen serious challenges and oppositions.
Mindset of Compassion: Many Christians do not realize love is a weapon. Anyone walking in love cannot be overcome or conquered. Love is a force as strong as death (Songs 8:6). Because of Jesus’ compassion He healed and delivered many from sicknesses and demonic spirits (Matthew 14:14). He wrought miracles every time He was moved by compassion. Evil is conquered by good. Light dispels darkness. Love overcomes hatred. Forgiveness trumps revenge. By feeding an unrepentant enemy the Bible says you are heaping coals of fire on his head (Romans 12:20). We should imitate our God who has a bowel of compassion on His creation.
CONCLUSION: It is God’s will we dominate fear, demonic forces, failure and stagnation, sicknesses, poverty, the Adamic nature, negative emotions, etc. We are more than conquerors through the love of God shed in our hearts. Have a blessed month!
“Therefore, if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed” (John 8:36, NKJV).
Freedom can easily be defined as a release from something unpleasant. There are many unpleasant things besieging human beings that Jesus came to deliver us from. Such unpleasant things include bondage to sin, sicknesses, poverty, demons, untimely death, shame, rejection, inhumane treatments, slavery, injustices, etc. Jesus came to the world to destroy the works of the devil and purchase freedom for all who will put their trust in Him. This write-up seeks to elucidate some of the ways by which we can enforce total freedom in our lives and in the world viz:
Freedom is internal: Jesus said, “if you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32, NKJV). The truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ makes us free. There is a difference between being set free and being made free. A prisoner can be set free from prison but the captivity of the sin that took him/her to jail may still be intact within him/her. Until the sin or crime is dealt with within the prisoner, he remains a captive to the crime. The Passion translation of the Bible says in John 8:32, “for if you embrace the truth, it will release true freedom into your lives.” The gospel of Jesus Christ can change us from within.
Revelation knowledge is necessary: The knowledge of the truth makes us free (John 8:32). The Greek word for now/knowledge in the scripture is the word “Ginosko”. And this word means a personal, intimate and experiential knowledge of something or someone. It has to do with a vibrant relationship. It is possible to know about someone but not have an intimate knowledge of them. The one who has a “Ginosko” knowledge of them is the one who has a relationship with them. Many know about Jesus, but they do not know Him. They do not have a revelation knowledge of Him. It is my ardent prayer that Jesus will reveal Himself to us all in Jesus’ name.
Emancipation is to be proclaimed: Emancipation is the freeing of someone from slavery. Jesus said in His mission statement in Luke 4, verse 18 that the anointing is upon Him to proclaim liberty to the captives. Believers in Christ are to regularly proclaim that they are free and delivered in Jesus’ name. In 1863, Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation. He declared that all slaves in the Confederate states are free and therefore must be released. That became a major shift in the freeing of slaves worldwide. The declaration was Biblical and prophetic. We must regularly declare our freedom from unpleasant situations, while we stay away from such.
Emancipation is to be worked out: The Apostle Paul enjoined us to work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Philippians 2:12). No captor releases his captive willingly. Many of the slaves in the confederate states had to take their destinies in their hands by fleeing from their slave masters to the Northern states where slavery had been abolished. Many others remained in captivity in the Southern confederate states even after the Emancipation Proclamation. Many third world countries years after gaining political independence from their colonial masters remain subservient and tied to the apron strings of the colonialists. This is because they have refused to work out and chart their own course for growth and development. To remain free indeed we must continue to work out our salvation.
Conclusion: My birth nation is 60 years today. I join several others on this day to declare freedom and emancipation over Nigeria. We decree and declare the nation Nigeria will rise from all unpleasant things and begin to fulfill her glorious destiny in Jesus’ name.
Have a blessed month.
“But these are the ones sown on good ground, those who hear the word, accept it, and bear fruit, some thirty-fold, some sixty, and some a hundred.” (Mark 4:20, NKJV).
The word of God is a seed (Luke 8:11). A seed is a source of development and growth. A seed is the beginning of something that continues to grow. A seed has the ability within itself to reproduce after its kind (Genesis 1:12). The fruit is packed within the seed. An orchard is packed within an apple seed. The fruit of a godly character is embedded in the seed of God’s word. God established the seed principle because that’s how life is transmitted and perpetuated.
The word of God is a spiritual seed capable of reproducing the life of God in humans who accept and receive it. The Word of God is an incorruptible and imperishable seed (1 Peter 1:23). Other seeds, such as that of human or plant, can be corrupted and capable of being destroyed, but certainly not the Word of God. It is alive and active and carries the potential to fulfill God’s counsel here on earth if well utilized. Our text above tells us God’s word will bring fruitfulness to anyone who accepts it to the measure of what has been sown. Below are ways of working the Word of God for better yield and results:
Receive the Word: Every born-again child of God had an encounter (or intercourse) with the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). Nobody comes to Christ without first encountering His Word. The Bible says those who receive Christ (the Word of God), He empowered to become the children of God. But the Word must be received in a good environment of a good and noble heart. The Bible enjoins us to receive the implanted Word of God with meekness because it is able to save our souls (James 1:21). For any seed to produce and bring forth it has to be planted in the right environment. The right environment for the Word of God to germinate is a good heart that is childlike and devoid of hypocrisy. We should always pray for a cultivated, childlike and circumcised heart (Ezekiel 36:26). With childlike faith, the Virgin Mary received the message from Angel Gabriel that she will conceive supernaturally.
Retain the Word: It takes time for the seed to germinate in the soil. Every farmer will continue to tend the seed planted in the soil until it sprouts and full harvest is attained. A woman goes to prenatal clinics and sessions until she puts to bed. In developed countries nothing is left to chance in catering for the seed (embryo) in the womb of the woman. For the Word of God to be productive in any one’s life it has to be established and well rooted in such a life (Colossians 2:6-7). Jesus Christ said if we continue in His Word then we are His disciples indeed (John 8:31-32). To retain means to abide, dwell, meditate, muse and apply the Word all the time. It takes patience (staying ability) for the Word of God to produce faith, courage, holiness, love, etc. in our lives. It is only those who endure that will be saved.
Release the Word: The Word of God and God are one and inseparable. In creation, God spoke creation into manifestation. When He wanted to create plants, vegetation and animals He spoke to the ground (Genesis 1:11,12,24). He spoke to the waters when He wanted to create sea creatures (Genesis 1:20-21). The sun, moon and the stars appeared in the sky when God called them into being (Genesis 1:14-17). And He sustains the universe and mankind through His Word (Hebrews 1:3). We release the Word of God when we speak it diligently in faith and obedience. The Word spoken, in turn, marshals the forces of Heaven to act accordingly (Psalm 103:20). The angels of God do His word and hearken to the voice of His word.
CONCLUSION: May we all experience fruitfulness in the work of our hands, our minds, spirit man and reproductive organs in Jesus’ name. And may we develop greater capacity to receive, retain and release the Word of God in Jesus’ name. Have a blessed new month!
“Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God (set aside self-righteous pride), so that He may exalt you (to a place of honor in His service) at the appropriate time” (1 Peter 5:6, AMP).
Humility is the secret of divine lifting. Humility is associated with the word ‘humus’ which means coming from the earth. Human beings were made by God from the dust of the earth, and in comparison to God we are nothing. In His magnanimity, He chose to share His glory with man by breathing into him His breath and making him the zenith of His creation. Below are some truths on humility:
Humility is Simplicity: The book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins researched companies who transformed from ordinary companies to extraordinary companies. The book highlighted that all the CEOs of these Good to Great companies were executives who combined humility with professional will. Because of their humility and simplicity, they were able to motivate their work force to take the companies to higher heights. They were not charismatic or larger-than-life personalities. King David in the Bible was well loved and accepted because he was a simple and accessible leader (1 Samuel 22:2).
Humility is Meekness: Meekness is power under submission. The horse is a very powerful animal that was and is still used to drive carriages, wagons, etc. Motor vehicles’ capacity is called horsepower. An untamed or unsubdued horse is very dangerous. For horses to be useful and serve worthily, it has to be tamed, subdued and submitted to the will of the owner. Jesus Christ though very powerful submitted to the will of God the Father in Heaven and on earth. Because of His submission He was raised to the right hand of God and given a name higher than all names. Before honor comes humility. (Scripture reference: Philippians 2:5-11).
Humility is not thinking less of oneself; it is thinking of yourself less: People usually equate humility with low self-esteem. Humility is not low self-esteem; humility is low self pre-occupation. The difference between a proud person and a humble person is that the proud is very self-centered. The proud is very quick to brandish their achievements, wealth, knowledge, pedigree, etc. and leave God out of the equation of their success. The mantra of the humble is “everything I am I owe to God.” The Bible says, “For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did receive it, why do you boast as if you did not receive it?” (1 Corinthians 4:7, NKJV).
Humility is having regard for the lowly, despised and non-consequential: The humble regards all humans as God’s creation made in His image and likeness. The Bible says, “Though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly, but the proud He knows from afar” (Psalm 138:6, NKJV). God is not class nor race conscious. He regards people who society despises and disregards because every man was made in His image. The humble person sees all humanity with the lenses of divinity. Though God is the Most High, yet He has regard for the lowliest of the low.
Humility is purging oneself regularly before God: Just like the body purges itself from toxins and contaminants, so does the humble purges his/her soul before the Almighty God. The Apostle Paul, a very humble man says that even though he walks in a clear conscience that does not mean he is entirely innocent before God (1 Corinthians 4:3-5). He acknowledges God as the Judge and the Person to whom he is answerable to. The humble doesn’t seek to always justify themselves. The prayer of the humble is, “search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life” (Psalm 139:23-24).
CONCLUSION: There are several other things humility is besides the aforementioned. Humility and pride are both attitudes and issues of the heart. Issues of the heart are usually difficult to decipher. Only God can adequately judge the heart of men. The Bible admonishes us to cloth ourselves in humility. It is a garment that attracts God to us. Pride on the other hand repels God from us. Receive fresh grace for humility in Jesus name.
“Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come by observation; nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ FOR INDEED, THE KINGDOM OF GOD IS WITHIN YOU” (Luke 17:21, NKJV).
The root word for Kingdom in the Greek language is Basileia, which means authority, rule, kingship especially of God both in the world and in the hearts of men. The kingdom of God is distinct from the kingdom of Heaven. The kingdom of God is God’s influence in the earth, it is God’s sovereign will being done on earth through men. The Great Britain colonized about a quarter of the entire world, changing cultures and establishing the will of the Queen in several major countries. This colonization was done by agents of the British colony. God wants to spread His will and the culture of Heaven to the earth through His children who are His agents and are empowered by the Holy Spirit (the Main Agent) (Matthew 6:10). Below are some ways we help extend His kingdom on earth:
The Greatness within: Every child of God carries greatness within them. God put in us inherent abilities when we were born, and also gave us spiritual endowments and gifts when we became born again. For instance, God put in Gideon the ability to deliver Israel from their strong enemies (the Midianites and Amalekites). Gideon never realized the greatness he carried within until it was revealed to him. Greatness is a seed resident in the child of God. Greatness has to be connected to purpose for it to fully manifest. To unleash the greatness within is to serve humanity with the gifts and endowments of God (Acts 13:36). Greatness done within the will of God glorifies God and furthers His agenda on earth. How well are you serving the world with your God-given gifts?
The Anointing within: The anointing is the power and influence of the Holy Spirit resident in the child of God (1 John 2:20,27). It is usually defined as the yoke-destroying and burden-removing power of God. It is God’s power exclusively given to His children to solve human problems. A story was told of John G. Lake, a missionary to South Africa in the early 1900s. While he was serving there, the bubonic plague, a deadly plague was on rampage, killing many people. He was quoted to have said, “As long as I walk in the light of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, no germ will attach itself to me.” He requested that the germs be placed in his palms and under a microscope, it was seen that the germs died in his hands and he was never infected. He had a revelation of the working and operation of the anointing within that also flows out through him. When the anointing is displayed the influence of the kingdom increases. Jesus said unless people sees signs and wonders they will not believe; in other words, they will not allow the kingdom of God in their hearts. The anointing is displayed as we become intentional and careful with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30).
The Righteousness within: Righteousness is being right with God and doing right with His help. God’s kingdom is founded on righteousness and justice (Psalm 89:14). Righteousness is a force that exalts and impacts positively on society. Righteousness is a seed implanted in the heart of the believer when he/she gets born again (1 John 3:9). We are to allow the seed of righteousness within to grow and impact our world for the better. The more righteous people there are in a society, the better for the society. The twin cities of Sodom and Gomorrah was destroyed because God couldn’t find ten righteous people there (Genesis 18:16-33). Righteous people practicing righteousness further the cause of God on the earth.
CONCLUSION: Everything in its raw state has little or no value. As we begin to nurture and allow the treasures within (as exemplified above) to find expression through us we, further the kingdom of God here on earth. This should be our focus because then and only then does our life become impactful and significant.
“But Jesus said to her, “Let the children be filled first, for it is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.” (Mark 7:27).
The above scripture was Jesus’ reply to a Greek woman who had approached him and pleaded for healing of her demonized daughter. Jesus insinuated that healing was the exclusive right and privilege of children – referring to the Jews. Non-Jews were not included in this blessing. He further insinuated that non-Jews could be likened to dogs. This woman persisted in her plea and eventually got the miracle she desired for her daughter. Below are some vital points to note:
Healing is the children’s bread: By Jesus’ sacrifice on the Cross of Calvary, those who believe in Him and accept Him as Lord and Savior are now God’s children – whether Jews or non-Jews (i.e. Gentiles) (Galatians 3:7-9). Healing is the right and privilege of all such people who are born again by the grace of God. This is so because God in His love for mankind afflicted Jesus to purchase healing for mankind and particularly to those who are His children. “But He was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole, He was whipped so we could be healed” (Isaiah 53:5, NLT). God afflicted Jesus and made healing available in abundance to His children.
Expectation brings Manifestation: In the scripture above the Greek woman left Jesus with healing for her daughter because she will not accept a “No” from Jesus. In Acts 14 verses 8 onwards, we read the account of a crippled man who had never walked before receiving his healing through Paul. He was enraptured by Paul’s preaching, and Paul seeing his eagerness and attentiveness to the Word commanded him to stand up on his feet. This lame man got up and walked. The songwriter echoing John 3:14-15 says, “Look and live, my brother live, look to Jesus Christ and live, it’s recorded in His Word Alleluia, it is only that you look and live.” A childlike faith in God that brings salvation to our souls will also produce healing in our bodies.
Attend to His Word: The crippled man in Acts Chapter 14 who got healed paid undivided attention to God’s Word when Paul was preaching. We are enjoined in Proverbs 4, verses 20 to 22 to pay attention to God’s Word, keep it in the midst of our hearts because the Word is health and healing to our flesh. Many who seek healing do not pay attention to the Word of healing! They will rather pay attention to the disease and total undivided attention to their doctors. We must always realize that it is God that works through doctors and medications to bring the required healing. We must never be like King Asa who ignored God and turned only to physicians when he battled cancer of the feet. He lost the battle over the sickness and died (2 Chronicles 16:12-13). I can personally testify to so many COVID 19 patients who were in ICUs for several days and at the brink of death but bounced back miraculously through prayers and the mercies of God.
Leverage on different ways to healing: While God is the primary healer, He uses different ways to heal. It is foolhardy not to seek healing through medical science with all the awesome innovations and improvements of it. God gives wisdom to researchers, scientists, medical doctors, and natural therapists who daily seek solutions to sicknesses that befall mankind. Isaiah (through God) instructed King Hezekiah to make an ointment from figs and apply it over the boil that was threatening to take his life (2 Kings 20:7). Apostle Paul instructed Timothy to take wine regularly to alleviate his incessant tummy ailments (1 Timothy 5:23). The priests under the Old Testament were the ones to always check and confirm the healing of lepers, and also to certify them fit to live in society. The priests’ role was like that of dermatologists.
CONCLUSION: Healing starts from the inside. A robust, expectant, upbeat, faith-filled, joyful mind will bring healing readily and easily to the physical body. A crushed, defeated, doubtful, fearful and unforgiving mind will bring death easily to the body. Healing is the children’s bread and every good father provides bread when requested by their children.
“But the wisdom which is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.”(James 3:17-18).
The wisdom from above is divine godly wisdom. God’s wisdom is needed in this COVID-19 era. This era is the Church’s finest hour because we have access to the mind of God and His wisdom. The Bible says through the Church God will reveal His multi-faceted wisdom to the powers of darkness (Ephesians 3:10, AMP). Light shines brightest and it’s more impactful in thick darkness. The wisdom of God is a mystery, and not available to all, except those who seek for it diligently. Below are some characteristics of divine wisdom and how to access it:
Pure: God weighs the actions and the intents of the heart of man (Jeremiah 17:9-10). He looks inwards to check motives and intentions. King Solomon’s motives were pure when he asked for wisdom. He needed wisdom to govern the Israelites appropriately. He wasn’t seeking for wisdom for himself to self-serve and for personal aggrandizement. As a result, God was very pleased with his request (1 Kings 3:7-13). The Bible says, “Now God gave Solomon (exceptional) wisdom and very great discernment and breadth of mind, like the sand of the seashore” (1 Kings 4:29, AMP).
Peaceable: Another attribute of God’s wisdom is that it is peaceable. To access it, one must have made peace with God (Romans 5:1-2) and also be a peaceable person. We are instructed to make every effort to live at peace with everyone and be holy in order to see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14). The name Solomon means peace in Hebrew. King Solomon was a man of peace whose reign was largely characterized by peace. His modus operandi was to keep making alliances and building bridges with other kings and enemy nations. He prospered greatly because God favored him and he embraced peace.
Easy to be entreated: God is easy to be entreated. He is long suffering and doesn’t quickly react and fight His enemies. He is a Father who loves like a Mother. He is good to all and gives ample time for people to repent and change their ways. He is the Highest and yet He regards the lowly. At the core of divine wisdom is humility. Humble people are easy to be entreated. At the heart of stubbornness, obstinacy and quarrelsomeness is arrogance. The proud have a fragile ego, while the humble have a secure ego. The proud cannot access the wisdom from above because God keeps His distance from them (Psalm 138:6). The wisdom the proud at heart will access is demonic wisdom. Fathers and authority figures should be easy to be entreated.
Full of mercy and good works: The Bible contrasts between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom. The major difference between the two is that worldly wisdom is self-centered and selfish. Wealthy people in the world have two major temptations which are pride and trust in riches. The Bible admonishes them to be generous to those in need in order to open God’s bowels of mercy on them. We are to reach out and give generously in these unusual times. We are to give hope, encouragement, prayers, material possessions and share whatever we have with the needy world around us.
CONCLUSION: The wisdom Solomon received from God greatly enhanced his intellectual capacity. He wrote 3000 proverbs and 1005 songs. He was a keen observer of the world around him. He had a keen sense of judgement, great insights and great discernment. He understood science and was of quick understanding and comprehension. May divine wisdom that will make us shining stars be our portion in this COVID-19 era in Jesus’ name.