“Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing, now it shall spring forth; Shall you not know it? I will even make a road in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert” (Isaiah 43:18-19).
A new dawn simply means a new year pregnant with many possibilities. Though God lives in eternity and not constrained by time, He allows delineation of timelines and chronology for humans for the purpose of evaluation. The Psalmist said: “Teach us to number our days that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). To harness the possibilities that the new dawn will bring, we will need [to do] the following as discussed below:
A new/renewed vision: Because we are made in God’s image, we have the ability to envision the future. A vision is a picture projecting a desirable future. A goal is defined as the end towards which effort is directed. A new year requires vision from us in order for it to deliver. A vision can be sourced from within oneself (Proverbs 20:5), from God (Jeremiah 33:3), or from observing people we admire or aspire to be like. To renew something is to refresh it and make it new again. An old, unfulfilled dream can be renewed or refreshed again. It’s time to pick up old dreams that has been abandoned or buried again.
A new approach: The main question to ask in 2017 is what should I do differently this year? Insanity has been defined as doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. Hannah tried a different approach in the yearly Shiloh program which she attended with her family for many years with no result. She had been barren for many years and was desperate for a child. She went to the altar at Shiloh where the high priest Eli was sitting, prayed to God, and made a vow to give the child back to God, if the LORD granted her request. The high priest prophesied over her and God granted her request. Hannah changed her course of action and heaven responded (Scripture reference: 1 Samuel 1:8-18).
A new perspective: The way we see things in life is mainly shaped by the information we take in and the association we keep. Twelve leaders were asked by Moses to check out the promised land of Canaan, and to report their findings. Two of them (Joshua and Caleb) saw opportunity in difficulty, whereas the remaining ten (majority) saw difficulty in opportunity. Don’t allow majority report to influence your perspective in 2017; rather, let God and His word influence your worldview and perspective. The justified ones in Christ are required to live their lives in a manner consistent with their confident belief in God’s promises (2 Corinthians 5:7, AMP).
A new spirit: Apostle Paul stated that he was able to do everything he purposed to do through Christ who strengthened him (Philippians 4:13). He was always infused with Holy Ghost inspired determination. He had a can-do and fired up spirit. When an astute prophet relayed to him the peril he was going to suffer if he traveled to Jerusalem, Paul was unperturbed. He determined against the prophecy to go to Jerusalem. A can-do spirit will brave all odds to accomplish what he set out to do. Joni Eareckson Tada, a quadriplegic, paralyzed from the shoulders down overcame all odds to author over forty books and earned many honorary degrees. She also painted with her mouth, recorded many albums and starred in an autobiography movie of her life.
A new diligence: A wise man once said the only place success comes before work is in the dictionary. In real life it isn’t so. We all have comfort zones we are unwilling to relinquish. However, to enter a new dawn, some great deal of effort is required on our part. To make the most out of a new dawn, there will always be need for diligence and favor. God is committed to blessing the work of our hands. Diligence is work directed to the proper channel. Proverbs 12:27 in the Amplified Bible says: “The lazy man does not catch and roast his prey, but the precious possession of a (wise) man is diligence (because he recognizes opportunities and seizes them).” Diligence is the wise man’s precious possession.
Conclusion: Receive new grace in this year of perfection in Jesus’ name. May Jesus, the Morning Star, arise anew in our hearts and birth a new dawn for us all (2 Peter 1:19). Happy New Year!
“For which of you, intending to build a tower, does not sit down first and count the cost, whether he has enough to finish it lest, after he has laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, saying, “This man began to build and was not able to finish” (Luke 14:28-30, NKJV).
As the year begins to come to an end, many are already reflecting on year 2016. The year, thus far, may have been great for some and not too great for others. Regardless of where you may find yourself, this period is actually the time to begin to project and plan for the future. Doing such an endeavor is like building a tower.
Building a tower is far different from putting up a shanty. It could be akin to starting a new building project, starting a new line of career, starting a new business enterprise or becoming an entrepreneur. It could also be a spiritual assignment; every believer, in conjunction with the Holy Spirit, is building a spiritual edifice (1 Peter 2:5). It could also be committing to raising up godly children in an era of increasing decadence. Thus, building a tower is like doing something of significance. The following are some truths of how to BUILD:
Believe in God: “Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in Me the works that I do he will do also, and greater works than these he will do because I go to My father” (John 14:12). The quoted scripture is Jesus’ word to believers. Having faith in God is very crucial to doing mighty works. It activates the divine in the life of the believer, making him or her to see the possibility and attainability of anything. That is why Jesus categorically said: “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23). Towers are built by believers who believe in a mighty God, with whom nothing shall be impossible.
Understand your assignment: To build a tower, it is imperative one knows and identifies the tower he is assigned to build. We are only divinely empowered to do things in line with our God-given assignment. Nehemiah was assigned to rebuild the broken walls of Jerusalem. He was burdened, passionate and restless about the broken walls. What is your assignment? What are your burdens and passions? What arouses godly anger in you? They are pointers to your assignment.
Incline your ear to hear: Building a tower isn’t a child’s play. You must have a word or inspiration from heaven that will enable you to continue, especially when the going gets tough. God is always willing to speak as long as we are willing to listen. God will speak as long as we are focused on seeking Him wholeheartedly and patiently. God will also speak in line with our prompt obedience (Scriptural reference: Jeremiah 29:12-13).
Leverage on what you have: You can’t build a tower alone. To build a physical structure of that magnitude, many experts will be needed. For example, to build a great career, business or ministry, mentors are needed. Identify your resources and leverage on them. Leveraging means laboring with wisdom. It means using other people’s talents, resources, experience, money, time, etc. Nehemiah leveraged on his connection with King Artaxerxes to get materials for the building of the wall (Nehemiah 2:7-8).
Do your due diligence: Our main text says we should count the cost of building. In this modern day and in secular parlance, it means do due diligence. Failing to plan is planning to fail. A man of God said “it is prayer and planning that makes us co-laborers with God.”
Conclusion: The Bible says we should lay up treasures in heaven. In other words, build a tower in heaven. To make heaven and reap dividends there, all the afore-mentioned points are important. Have you received Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior? Are you building your tower in heaven? With the help of the Holy Spirit, you can build towers here and in heaven.
Highways are turnpikes or expressway with free flow of traffic. Highways don’t have traffic lights or stops, since they are usually interstates or inter-city roads. They are freeway devoid of obstacles and encumbrances. Like highways, praise for the believer is the surest way of overcoming hindrances and obstacles, and getting our desires established after praying. The under-listed are ways to travel on the highway of praise, and the results we get as we journey in PRAISE.
Praise is comely: “Rejoice in the Lord, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright” (Psalms 33:1 KJV). The synonyms of comely are beautiful, proper, pleasing, good, and attractive. Praising God is good for the health and makeup of the believer. It makes the praise-full believer attractive and beautiful. And God relishes the praise of the pure, blood-washed believer (Scripture reference: Psalm 92:1-4).
Revel in thanksgiving. To revel is to take great pleasure and delight in something. Delight yourself in the Lord your God and He will grant your heart desires. The one leper who was healed was recorded to have returned to thank God “with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks. And he was a Samaritan” (Luke 17:15-16). Also, the lame man who was healed by Peter and John entered the temple walking and leaping and praising God (Acts 3: 8-9). We are to thank God with high praises, wild jubilations, and effusive singing.
Ascribe greatness to God: Thanksgiving extol God’s goodness. Praise extols His greatness. Worship extols His holiness. To ascribe greatness to Him (i.e. to praise Him) is to eulogize Him about His works. His works are perfect (Deuteronomy 32:3-4), great (Psalm 111:2), wonderful (Psalm 139:14), incomprehensible (Job 37:5), and visible in creation (Romans 1:20). The greatness of someone is measured by the greatness of their work. As we magnify His greatness, God in turn does great things for us, in us and through us.
Increase is a result of praise: Just as warm air rises from the earth and condenses to form clouds which in turn fall as rain on the earth, so also when praises rise up to God the resultant effect is a rainfall of blessing. This waters the earth and causes the earth to yield to mankind. The desolate places of this earth are places where nothing is going up (Zechariah 14:17). A Christian who is praise-full will experience increase, much blessings and divine interventions (Scripture reference: Psalm 67:5-7).
Sacrifice of praise is highly regarded by God: A sacrifice is something offered to God at a cost. A sacrifice of praise is when we offer praises to God in distressful and inconvenient times. Paul and Silas offered a sacrifice of praise to God while they were in jail and severe pain which they suffered after being bodily tortured in Philippi. They sang praises to God in this unpalatable moment and the result was an earthquake which loosened every prisoner’s chains (Scripture reference: Acts 16:16-34).
Eleventh hour miracle is an outcome of heartfelt praise: We are in the eleventh month. The eleventh hour is defined as the latest possible time before it is too late. I believe sincerely that a heartfelt, continued praise offered to God will make Him do in this eleventh month what He hasn’t done in the last 10 months of 2016. “Delight yourself in the LORD, And He will give you the desires and petitions of your heart” (PSALM 37:4 AMP).
Conclusion: The highway of praise will take us from glory to glory, victory to victory, faith to faith, and triumph to triumph. As the year begins to wind up, engage this spiritual tool to the utmost, and you will experience His great blessings. Have a blessed month!
“If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my appointed time I will wait, till my change come” (Job 14:14, KJV);
“If a man die, shall he live again? All the days of my warfare would I wait, till my release should come” (Job 14:14, ASV)
In today’s fast paced world, a world of instant messaging, instant coffee, instant skyping, etc., waiting is becoming increasing difficult, particularly for the younger generation. But anyone who will walk with God and make strides in the spirit realm have to embrace the concept of waiting. Our God uses waiting and patience to prove our faith and infuse maturity in us (James 1:2-4). Holding on during intense, pressured moment builds capacity in us and forces us to seek God. Waiting makes us abide with the process of life and perfect the process of development. For example, a pregnant woman carrying a child doesn’t have a choice but to accept and abide with the inconveniences of pregnancy. She has to go through the process (i.e. nine months of pregnancy) in order to get a favorable outcome. The scriptures say it is good to both hope and wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord (Lamentation 3:26). Our opening text tells us that waiting time is akin to warfare or examination time, and how we utilize such a time matters a lot. Below are some truths to consider:
Wait Actively: Waiting isn’t always synonymous with passivity or inactivity. The Bible says we should rejoice in anticipation (Romans 12:12). The prophet Elijah on Mount Carmel, while waiting for rain to fall after a drought of three and a half years, kept on requesting his servant to go check the clouds. He was active while waiting. Waiting time is crucial, and hence must be taken seriously. We must learn to listen to divine instructions during our waiting period. We should also learn from the eagle which goes into waiting to renew itself. It retreats and goes into seclusion for many days to pluck off its weak feathers and beak, allowing new ones to emerge. We are to use waiting time to seek God, do spiritual warfare, memorize scriptures, perfect our art, chill and allow a new ‘us’ to emerge.
Wait Expectantly: A vision, goal or dream always speaks at the end, and not at the beginning. This is what makes the goal or dream worth waiting for. If you desire it, and the desire is within God’s will for you, it shall surely come to pass. Faith in God approves God, and this approval is pleasing to Him (Hebrews 11:6). His faithfulness to fulfill promises is always evident to all when the dream is realized (1 Thessalonians 5:24). When one keeps looking to God for a desire to manifest, it commits Him to perform. Make bold statements about your desire and proclaim it on the rooftop for people to hear. This kind of action propels God to manifest His power and glory to you.
Wait for the coming of the King: “Therefore be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord, see how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, ……, You also be patient, establish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord is at hand” (James 5:7-8). A faithful employee is one who does his work diligently at all times whether the employer is present or not. Jesus is coming back, and it’s only those who endure to the very end shall be saved. Endurance means staying ability. The way we live our lives is proof of whether we believe or not that Jesus is coming back. We should live in a state of preparedness always before God, so that we will not be caught napping at the coming of the Lord (Luke 12:35-40).
CONCLUSION: It is divine providence to sometimes delay manifestation; hence, the need for us to develop the ability to wait (John 11:5-6). Also, cutting corners or short circuiting the process will always have adverse consequences. But abiding and embracing the process results in favorable outcomes.
“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).
Christianity is a way of life that is opposed to the ways of this world. Personal transformation and change in the attitude of people always start with a change in their thinking patterns and thoughts. Becoming a born-again Christian doesn’t automatically mean there has been a complete, overnight change in the person. God’s intention is to change our mentalities, stereotypes, mindsets and patterns from a worldly perspective to His own perspective. The rate at which an individual Christian changes is a function of his or her cooperation with God in the process of mind renewal. To renew means to make new or to renovate. Below are vital truths about RENEW:
Renew the mind: The mind functions as an umpire between the spirit and the flesh or human nature. It decides which direction to take. It makes the decision between choosing the higher way of the spirit or the lesser way of the flesh. Any way this pendulum swings determines our outcome or action. The Bible says we should put off our old nature and take on the new man which is created in true holiness (Ephesians 4:22-24). It is every Christian’s personal responsibility to do this.
Enlist inspired thoughts: The Bible is God’s inspired book (2 Timothy 3:16). The Bible carries God’s breath. It isn’t a mere or ordinary book. Therefore, by consciously imbibing the Word of God, (for purposes of instruction, reproofing, encouraging and correcting) you are allowing divine thoughts that carries great potential to impact supernatural qualities on you. It was an inspired divine thought which Jacob had through a dream that made him wealthy in a very short time (Genesis 30). We enlist inspired thoughts by Bible meditation and prayers.
Negate and shut down wrong thoughts: The mind is the battlefield. The Holy Spirit seeks control of our minds and Satan seeks same. As Christians, we have the power to control our minds and thinking. We own our minds just like we own our hands and eyes and ears. Whatever thing we own, we have control over. We should never give our minds over to thrash and seductive information which demonic entities always peddle to us. We are not to entertain evil thoughts (2 Corinthians 10:5). To entertain someone is to invite the person over into your house, feed the person, and keep the person comfortable in house. Every time we entertain an evil thought, that’s what we do. And there is always a heavy price to pay for such accommodation and entertainment.
Elevate your thinking: “Brothers do not be children in your thinking. Be infants in evil, but in your thinking be mature” (1 Corinthians 14:20, ESV). Spiritual maturity results from mature thinking. To elevate one’s thinking, one has to expose the mind to superior and quality thoughts. God’s thoughts are superior thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9). Gideon’s thought of himself was transformed from that of a weakling to a mighty man of valor when he was exposed to quality thinking. Also, Abraham transitioned into a model of great faith when he was exposed to quality thinking. As the quality of our thoughts improves, so does the quality of our lives (Proverbs 23:7). What information do you regularly expose your mind to?
Wash with the blood: Renewing the mind is to regularly have our minds cleansed. We take time daily to wash our bodies, cars, etc but hardly do some people take time to cater for their most vital part i.e. the inner man. God made provision of the blood of Jesus to cleanse our consciences from guilt and feelings of insufficiency, so that we can approach Him and fellowship with Him (Hebrews 10: 19-22). Regularly avail yourself of this provision by having a mentality of access to God which the blood of Jesus had provided for us.
CONCLUSION: To repent is to change one’s way of thinking, and hence one’s direction in life. Have you repented by accepting the sacrifice of Jesus? Have you repented from dead works? Renewal of the mind is only perfected when genuine repentance is in place.