One dictionary meaning of eagerness is keen or ardent in desire or feeling, and impatiently longing. My first interaction with the title “The Eagerness of God” was in my teen years with a Christian radio program so called. My late father will gather my siblings and I around a radio every Sunday night to listen to this program. The program centered on world evangelism and the preaching of the gospel. And the renowned preacher (Apostle Timothy Obadare of blessed memory) was apt in capturing that title because God is very keen in saving the souls of mankind. Below are some other areas of God’s keenness and eagerness viz:
His eagerness to redeem: Redemption is about the forgiveness of sins (Ephesians 1:7), deliverance from the power of sin (Psalms 40:2-3), rescue from the oppression and tyranny of satanic forces (Colossians 1:13-14), freedom from curses (Galatians 3:13-14), obtaining a glorious inheritance (Ephesians 1:18), and eternal salvation in Christ Jesus (Hebrews 9:15). All these and many more were purchased legally by the blood of Jesus. The ransom God paid, after the first man (Adam) sold mankind to sin and Satan’s captivity, was the blood of Jesus. God was so eager to rescue mankind that it pleased Him to make Jesus, His beloved son, the atoning sacrifice for the sins of the whole world.
His eagerness for fellowship: God is a relational God who is always seeking for true worshippers (John 4:23-24). The reason for redemption is to draw mankind close to Himself so as to relate and have warm fellowship. God will always come down in the cool of the day to fellowship with the first human beings, Adam and Eve (Genesis 3:8). The man Enoch, one of the patriarchs in Genesis, was recorded to have suddenly disappeared because he was taken alive by God to heaven. He disappeared because God so much enjoyed fellowship with Him (Genesis 5:21). When Jesus died the veil that was separating the Holy of Holies (where God dwells) from the inner court in the temple was ripped supernaturally. This signifies access and the eagerness of God to have mankind come to Him and relate with Him.
His eagerness to bless: Many people do not doubt God’s ability to bless but many doubts His willingness to bless them largely due to perception of their unworthiness and failures. In Matthew 8:1-3, a leper came to Jesus telling Jesus He has the ability to heal him, but he wasn’t sure if Jesus was willing to do so. Jesus responded promptly and said I am willing and He touched the leper (a symbol of sin) and healed him. It is through Christ that the blessing of Abraham comes to the Gentiles (Galatians 3:14). The blessing of the Holy Spirit is received because of faith in Christ not by works of righteousness (Galatians 3:5). God is eager to bless those who engage Him in childlike faith.
His eagerness for reconciliation with mankind: “For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to Himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them…” (2 Corinthians 5:19). From the quoted scripture and some others, we see that the sins of non-believers in Christ are technically forgiven, and that God is just waiting for them to accept the offer of His forgiveness. Jesus Christ was given to mankind to save and not to condemn. People end up in hell by refusing the offer of salvation in Christ Jesus. God’s long suffering towards sinners is because of His eagerness to have them saved (2 Peter 3:9). And because of this eagerness He has given all born-again believers the ministry of reconciliation. We are to co-labor with Him in reconciling men to Him.
CONCLUSION: We serve an awesome God who is very zealous, enthusiastic, eager and passionate about man. In which way and manner has He been tugging your heart to get better and reciprocate His kind gestures? The Psalmist in relishing God’s goodness greatly declared “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8). One good turn deserves another! Become better this month by becoming more zealous towards Him.
“We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed” – 2 Corinthians 4:8-9.
Failure is not intended by God to be fatal or terminal for a child of God. The scripture quoted above attests to the fact that we have setbacks or failures, but we recover from them by the grace of the Almighty. The downfall of a child of God is not his or her end. Failure really is a part of the process of success just as death is part of the process of resurrection (1 Corinthians 15:36). Winston Churchill said, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure without the loss of enthusiasm.” Literally, all the patriarchs listed in the faith hall of fame in Hebrews 11 failed at some point in time but they bounced back to the point that they became models of faith. Even nature tells us that God’s intention is that we always recover. Trees that have become bare due to harsh conditions in winter always bounce back in spring and summer as they grow back leaves and luscious fruits. But there are occasions when failure can be fatal and terminal. Below are occasions when failure is fatal:
When we refuse to change: The Bible calls someone who refuses to change a fool. In Proverbs 27:22, the Bible says, “though you grind a fool in a mortar with a pestle along with crushed grain, yet his foolishness will not depart from him.” This scripture says if you afflict a fool with severe punishment akin to grinding him with a pestle in a mortar, he will still not change his ways. People who refuse to adjust and mend their ways make failure final. All men fall; it’s only those who refuse to get up that end up having terminal failures (Proverbs 24:16).
When we internalize failure: Failure is largely an external event. The fact that someone failed an exam or an event planned didn’t work out well doesn’t make one a failure. Just like success needs to be managed, so does failure need to be managed. We manage failure by separating ourselves from unfavorable outcomes particularly when we have a string of them. One isn’t a failure until one adopts a mindset of failure. People do extreme things like committing suicide because they internalize failure and make if fatal and final. We should teach our younger generation how to handle failure particularly those who are very competitive that failure is not an enemy and it’s ok to experience failure occasionally. That failure makes you a better person, more knowledgeable and adept. People we call successful today have failed in many ventures in the past.
When we isolate ourselves: The Bible says woe is the man that is alone when he falls because he has no one to help him up (Ecclesiastes 4:10). The prophet Elijah became depressed and suicidal principally because he was alone. He was alone on Mount Carmel when he confronted 450 prophets of Baal (an idol), and he attested wrongly that he is the only prophet left in Israel. The powerful prophet Elijah was a lone ranger with no affiliations whatsoever. There was no one to inspire or encourage him. Little wonder he suffered a burn out, became depressed and asked God to kill him when Jezebel, the wife of King Ahab, threatened him. It was the mercy of God that intervened for the prophet whose ministry ended shortly after the encounter on Mount Carmel. When we have no positive and strong support, failure can be final and terminal.
CONCLUSION: Failure is fatal for the person who refused to accept Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior and lapsed into eternity in that condition. It is said that in the grave there is no repentance. God has provided a way out for mankind in the person of Jesus Christ. He is our Qualifier and Savior. Have a blessed month!
“Now the man from whom the demons have departed begged Him that he might be with Him. But Jesus sent him away, saying, return to your own house, AND TELL WHAT GREAT THINGS GOD HAS DONE FOR YOU. And he went his way and PROCLAIMED THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE CITY WHAT GREAT THINGS JESUS HAD DONE FOR HIM” – (Luke 8:38-39).
The dictionary defines testimony as evidence, firsthand authentication of a fact. Testimony is also defined as an open acknowledgement. In the above text, Jesus healed a mad man who had a legion of demons resident in him. He wore no clothes; he was untamed and lived in tombs. After the miraculous healing, this man wanted to follow Jesus on His missionary journey. Jesus declined and told him to go and tell what the Lord has done for him. Below are some salient truths about testimonies:
Testimonies are a great tool of encouragement: The Apostle Paul enjoined Christians to comfort each other with the comfort each have received from the Lord (2 Corinthians 1:3-4). God has purpose behind everything He does; He is not a haphazard God. He will work miracles, heal and deliver one just to serve as an encouragement for another. A common feature of the early church was informality and their unstructured way of holding services. This was majorly so because of the high premium placed on encouraging each other (1 Corinthians 14:26).
Testimonies beget testimonies: Testimonies will usually birth more testimonies. We are prone to believe real life stories more than Bible stories. Bible stories usually look far fetched but life testimonies bring the power and faithfulness of God closer home. A brother in our church gave a testimony of how he lost his lucrative job and how he was led to prayerfully plead his case with his superior. God worked on his boss who in turn pleaded his case out of so many cases, and eventually he was recalled back. A while after this, another brother lost his job and from the encouragement from the earlier testimony he was able to trust God, and also got recalled back to the same job. What God does for one, He is willing to do for another.
Testimonies are reminders of God’s goodness: After the Israelites crossed River Jordan, God instructed Joshua to have 12 priests take up 12 stones from the midst of the Jordan and lay them on a plain ground in public glare. God requested this so that in times to come when their children and generations after ask them about the stones, they will testify that God opened the Jordan River and made them pass through on dry ground. It is clear God wants us to recall over and over again what He did for us in the past.
Testimonies defeat the enemy’s plans and purposes: “And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death.” Because testimonies are public acknowledgement and proclamation of God’s goodness, it brings God fully into the picture to rout out His enemies. Satan, the accuser of the brethren, cannot stand nor handle a Christian who goes about proclaiming His goodness.
Testimonies foretell the future: Revelation 19, verse 10b states, “… For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” By considering what God has done in the past, one can accurately predict what He will do in the future (prophecy). David, the shepherd boy in the valley of Elah testified to King Saul how God used him to kill a lion and a bear while trying to rescue his sheep from them. He was so sure that God was going to use him to kill Goliath the giant (1 Samuel 17:34-37). He was able to predict accurately the outcome of the fight between Goliath and himself. God has a track record that what He has done before He will do again. CONCLUSION: One of the reasons for less supernatural acts in today’s church is that we don’t place enough premium on what God has done in the past. We don’t stimulate ourselves enough along the path of recalling past events that will activate raw faith in other believers.