“But beloved do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” (2 Peter 3:8)
God operates in eternity (Isaiah 57:15). God operates out of time but yet He is in time. God created time; He put time in place at creation (Genesis 1: 5,8,13,19,23,31). At the end of each day of creation, the day was announced. He created time but He isn’t bound by time. One of the definitions of time in the dictionary is the duration in which all things happen or a precise instant that something happens. This definition encapsulates both times and seasons (Ecclesiastes 3:1-12). A season is a process of time, while time can be defined as a point in a period. The scriptures say a thousand years with God is just as a passing day as brief as a few night hours (Psalm 90:4, NLT). Though God operates in timelessness, He still regards time (the times and the seasons of humankind). One resource that when lost is out of man’s control is time, but God has control over time. Below are ways that God can handle and control time:
God can collapse or compress time: “…. And Ahab mounted and rode (his chariot) and went (inland) to Jezreel. Then the hand of the Lord came upon Elijah (giving him supernatural strength). He girded up his loins and outran Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel (nearly twenty miles).” (1 Kings 18:45b-46, AMP). God collapsed time for Elijah and gave him supernatural strength to bare-footedly outrun chariots. Elijah made the journey from Mount Carmel to Jezreel in record time because God facilitated time for him. May we all receive divine speed this month in Jesus’ name.
God can stagnate time: The Israelites who came out of Egypt’s captivity went around and round in circle for many years because they refused to learn the lessons God wanted them to learn. A journey of eleven days took them forty years, and a whole generation (except Joshua and Caleb) didn’t enter the land God promised them (Deuteronomy 1:1-3). If one refuses to use time well and appropriately God can stagnate time. When people think they have time, they take their time. We are enjoined to redeem the time and not trifle with it (Ephesians 5:15-17).
God can expand or extend time: “After this Job lived one hundred and forty years, and saw his children and grandchildren for four generations. So, Job died, old and full of days.” (Job 42:16-17). After Job lost his seven sons and three daughters in one day, God gave him a new set of seven sons and three daughters, and also gave him long life (after healing him of a satanic affliction). God expanded Job’s time, allowing him to live till 140 years and to see 4 generations. It is God that determines when the sun sets for the righteous.
CONCLUSION: As 2019 ends and a new year approaches, we must be assured that our times are in God’s hands. He controls the times and seasons. Even though He operates in timelessness, He still regards us who live in the realm of time. As we cooperate with Him, He will compress time for us by blessing our labors and enable us to achieve more in a shorter period of time. He can also choose to expand our time by giving us more opportunities to fulfill life and ministry. Receive grace to end 2019 strong in Jesus’ name.
“Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
The dictionary defines habit as a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior. It is an involuntary act that we do without exercising control. Human beings are creatures of habit. We create our habits, and our habits in turn determine the course of our lives. Great and successful people create good habits which bring them success and good outcomes, while less successful people create habits that bring failures and unfavorable outcomes. Bad habits are disastrous and create addicts, alcoholics, lazy, indulgent, miscreants and the likes. Below are some ways to break the yoke of bad habits:
Be Born again: Being born again is having an encounter with the word of God (1 Peter 1:23) and the Holy Spirit (John 3:6). A genuine encounter with God totally transforms and converts sinners into saints; weak and indulgent people into powerful and decisive individuals. It is a spiritual rebirth that changes the tastes, inclinations and proclivities of the individual. It is God coming to take up residence in a hitherto dead and unregenerate spirit man.
Renew your mind: As the mind goes, so does the man. The mind of man is very powerful. Habits are formed when the brain registers a particular event or action. If the act is repeated and it is pleasurable, it becomes reinforced in the brain. As this act is repeated the brain continues to reinforce it until it becomes a stronghold in the mind. This is essentially how people become addicts. Exposing the mind to large doses of the word of God continuously renews it and shatters negative strongholds in the mind. The word of God converts the soul (Psalm 19:7). God was able to deliver the Israelites from Egypt (Spiritual deliverance) but He couldn’t get them into Canaan, the Promised Land because of their unrenewed and slavery mindset. Mental strongholds, at times, are more difficult to deal with than spiritual strongholds.
Engaging the help of the Holy Spirit: It is by the Holy Spirit that we put to death the desires of the human nature (Romans 8:13). Without the Holy Spirit there cannot be permanent victory. Engaging the Holy Spirit by praying regularly in tongues is a must, if we want to overcome bad habits. The Holy Spirit is fire that destroys the yoke of sin and destructive habits. We also stir up the anointing of the Holy Spirit when we actively engage Him; it is the anointing that destroys yokes and undo burdens in our lives. Bad habits are yokes that are to be destroyed.
Affirm yourself constantly: One of the downsides of bad habits is that it makes us lose confidence in ourselves and taint our self-image. After doing something for a long time the tendency is for us to define ourselves as such. We are not what we do; we are what God, through the scriptures, say we are. A healthy self-image is a sine qua non to breaking bad habits. We will always rise or fall to the image and picture of ourselves that we carry within. It is vital we constantly affirm who we are in Christ regardless of our circumstances. Just like (in Christ Jesus) we aren’t our past, so also, we aren’t what we repeatedly do. As Christians we are God’s righteousness and we carry the seed of righteousness within us. As we affirm ourselves with the scriptures the hold of destructive habits will be broken.
Keep standing: To keep standing is to continuously maintain our victory in Christ. Our opening scripture in Galatians 5:1 lends credence to this. Freedom always comes with a cost. After colonized countries fight and obtain their independence, they have to keep maintaining their independence and seek total independence from their colonizers; otherwise, they will fall back in some bondage again (neo colonization). The Amalekites were a recurring enemy of the Israelites; from the time they came out of Egypt till the time of Haman the Agagite (an Amalekite), they constantly were a thorn in their flesh. There is need to totally exterminate and root out all evil habits in our lives, else they will be detrimental to our eventual success and wellbeing.
Conclusion: Other vital ways to break bad habits are to avoid idleness, to create good habits to replace the bad ones, and to have worthy mentors and accountability partners that you will open your lives to unashamedly.Have a blessed month.
“Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love” (1 Corinthians 13:13, NLT).
Faith, hope and love are three virtues or graces that will transcend the temporal world. The opposite of these virtues is unbelief, despair (or hopelessness) and hatred. No one can make it to heaven with unbelief, hopelessness and hatred. These three virtues are to be carefully and diligently cultivated by every child of God. These virtues will give us a good and abundant life here as Jesus promised (John 10:10b), and also guarantee us a place in Heaven.
Faith: Simply defined is abiding trust in God and His promises. It is through God’s promises that we are able to share in His divine nature and operate as “gods” in this world (2 Peter 1:4). Peter the Apostle called God’s promises great and precious. It is the assurance of these promises that help us confront life and overcome life challenges. The rod in the hand of Moses by which he operated as a god over Pharaoh and with which he wrought many wonders can be likened to faith in God and His promises in the new testament. The word rod is “shebet” in Hebrew, and it means a tool for correction and a symbol of authority. David spoke about His rod and His staff comforting him. The Word of God (and His promises) is a tool for correction and also a symbol of authority. God said to Moses, “And you shall take this rod in your hand, with which you shall do signs” (Exodus 4:17). Believing and confessing God’s promises makes us to rule and reign in this world. We are saved by faith in Jesus (Ephesians 2:8-10).
Hope: Simply defined is having a future expectation and anticipation. It relates to the future (Romans 8:24-25). While hope deals with the future, faith deals with the present. Faith gives substance to hope, converting future expectation to present reality. Jesus while still hoping to start His ministry of signs and wonders at a particular time in the future was compelled by the faith of His mother Mary to perform His first miracle i.e. the turning of water into wine at a wedding in Cana of Galilee (John 2:1-9). While faith obtains, hope sustains. As Christians, through the resurrection of Jesus, we have the hope of eternal life (1 Peter 1:3). Hope is confident expectation of eternal salvation. Hope transcends this present world to eternity. Apostle Paul said we are to be pitied if our hope in Christ is only for this world (1 Corinthians 15:19).
Love: This is the nature of God. As children of God we grow in this divine love as we progressively understand God’s love for us. The disciple Stephen was able to forgive those stoning him to death on the spot because he was filled with the Holy Spirit and also had a revelation of the love of God (Acts 7:54-59). This love overcomes evil by doing good; it is never conquered by evil. A testimony was told about a sister who had a stubborn neighbor who hated their guts because they lived in an upscale part of town that people of their nationality aren’t supposed to live. This unfriendly neighbor did everything possible to frustrate this sister and her family. This sister, rather than reacting to her hostile neighbor in kind, chose to pray for her in love. Within two weeks of praying, this neighbor surprisingly turned around and began to entreat this sister and her family. The turnaround of this neighbor was nothing but supernatural. The Bible says the only thing that counts is faith expressing itself in love (Galatians 5:6, NIV). The new testament way of relating with our enemies is to feed them when they are hungry, and give them drink when they are thirsty. Love is the greatest of the virtues.
CONCLUSION: As potent as faith is, it only works and produces by divine love. As futuristic as hope is, it needs faith for the future and the One who holds the future. Love is a stand-alone virtue. Just as everything rises and falls on leadership, in God’s kingdom and economy everything rises and falls on agape love. Love is the ultimate!