Category Archives: God’s choice

Our Conscience

Our conscience is like a room which is subject to being kept clean or dirty. Just as the state of physical environment makes us breathe fresh air or otherwise so does a clear or seared conscience to our spiritual life. In looking through 1Peter 3: 15-16, we read: “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear, having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed” NKJV MacArthur

We need to pattern our life according to the will of God learnt in the teachings of Jesus Christ. Christ summarized the Mosaic Ten Commandments into loving God and our neighbors. In other words, we are expected to do to others what we expect them to us.  As it is, if it is the will of God for one to suffer for doing good, it is better than for doing evil” 1Peter 3:17 NKJV MacArthur. It is only by doing the will of God that one can have clear conscience before God and man. If one lies or commit any sin without anyone seeing or knowing; God is all eyes and sees all things done either in secret or under public glare. God had structured our conscience to commend or condemn us depending on what we do – good deed or otherwise.

As we continue to commit sinful acts, conscience gets seared and would no more be able to yield to the dictate for doing good deeds. 1Timothy 4: 1-2; “Now the spirit expressly says that in later times one will depart from faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons, speaking lies in hypocrisy, having their own conscience seared with hot iron”. Dirty or sacred conscience is a state of sinfulness or conscience cramped with lies, wickedness, drunkenness, contempt, adultery, fornication, covetousness and many more. Absalom’s was undoubtedly of this type of conscience.

Our conscience is the spirit of God in us. I believe, it represents the “still small voice” which many people often refuse to give due regard. In http://www.google.com it is described as “The nonphysical part of a person that is the seat of emotions and character, the soul.” Therefore, to be Christ-like, we need to seek harmony between body and spirit which must be kept clean and pure.

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HOPE : AN UNSEEN REALITY

In Hebrew 11: 1, we can see how. “Hope” constitutes an unseen reality. It says: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen”. It is an expected future manifestation based on an unshakable trust in God. Hope is thus faith-based for it to work out fine. As human beings, we are faced with challenges. Some are self-induced, while some are brought on individuals as a result of ones sins or devil’s attempt at shaking believer with a view to scaring him or her and thus be able to rubbish his or her belief in God. A believer who knows that the steadfast love of the Lord never fails, tends to unfailingly believe that he or she has an anchor in Christ Jesus. He will not allow such people to succumb to the world’s stormy blast.

Faith-based hope is an anchor that is always available to stabilize a believer from allowing his hope to waver, because God has solution to our problems for 1Corinthians 10: 13 says “There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape that ye may be able to bear it. Furthermore, in ll Corinthians 9: 8, God’s grace is ever sufficient to meet every need or whatever is being hoped for and we need to know that God is able to meet and do more than we ask for or can imagine. Ephesians 3: 20 says; “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us” (KJV). There is a true life story of a woman who was close to God in her heart and service but was unable to get married for one reason or the other. She was fast approaching the age of fifty years when a widower asked her hand in marriage. Having prayed over it, she joyfully agreed to marry him with her chronic un-wavering hope that she would get married with children in a happy family setting. Her hope for a God-sent suitor came at last and yielded more than she hoped for. Her first pregnancy resulted in the birth of a triplet. First, her hope never wavered and secondly, God granted her wishes by blessing her more abundantly than she asked for or thought about.

The believer who faithfully trusts in God can always count on God’s unfailing faithfulness Lamentation 3: 32 says, “But though he cause grief, yet he will have compassion according to the multitude of his mercies” (KJV). The bible recorded that King Hezekiah pleased God all his days, but he later faltered by showing emissaries of Berodach, King of Babylon all the wealth and top secrets of his kingdom. The people came with presents as if they really came to congratulate him for getting over his ailment during which he nearly died. The King of Babylon came to attack Israel after the death of Hezekiah. Faithful love of God for the pious King Hezekiah made God to postpone the attack until then. ll Kings 20: 12-21 (KJV). The bible depicted Hezekiah as having lived his life during his reign pleasing God and hoped for the best. He got it in spite of his indiscretion and lack of insight into espionage as carried out by the king of Babylon. He did not condone idol worshipping or serving any graven image. When a tested man of God gives God’s message, it should increase or embolden one’s faith and hope of realizing what one had been praying for. Abraham’s situation readily comes to mind with his twenty-five-year promise of having a child from his own loin.
Sarah, his wife, who wanted to help God get a child regretted it when the erstwhile house help promoted herself to claim equality with the “legal” wife. Based on human thinking, mother of Ishmael was right but man’s thought is never as perfect as God’s decision. God’s time may tarry but it will assuredly come. HE is never late in granting man’s request. His timing is never the same as ours; but surely he does not forget. When promise of God tarried it is faith that helps our hope in the Lord. Hannah’s faith and hope never wavered. Eli first took her as one that was probably having a hangover from the festivity in Jerusalem, she told him that she was only pouring out her heavy heart to God. By the auction of God on Prophet Eli, he prophesied that God would grant her the object of her prayer. She believed and that hope buoyed her up as she returned to her home. Her vow in her prayer centered around lending the child to God. In fulfilling the vow, she did not return to Shiloh per the annual pilgrimage. She went back to Shiloh only when Samuel was whined to fulfill (pay) her vow.

King Ahab of Israel, after Elijah’s encounter with all the prophets of Baal at Mount Carmel, had invasion problem from Ben-Hadad, King of Syria, looming over his kingdom l King 20: 1-34. (KJV) He even agreed to part with valuables as well as his family but Ben-Hadad insisted on attacking Samaria because he believed he would have no difficulty in overrunning the Kingdom. God intervened and sent a prophet to tell Ahab that HE would deliver Israel. Definitely, Ahab’s hopelessness changed to hopefulness and agreed to put his men in array for the war. God networked the downfall of the drunken and reveling King Ben-Hadad with his accomplices twice. After the second encounter, Ahab did not consult with God before putting his men in battle against Ben-Hadad the third encounter. The two victories he had were based on putting his hope on God not based on his prowess or assistance from other kings. Psalm 42: 5 actually stressed that we need to put our hope in God : “Why are you cast down , O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, For I shall yet praise Him for the help of his countenance. By the same token, Shadrack, Meshack and Abed-nego placed their hope in God to defy King Nebuchadnezzar’s decree on worshipping his golden image. They declared in Daniel 3: 16-18 “O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand O King. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king,that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou has set up. (KJV)

Unshakeable faith of some rulers in their ability to continuously coarse or subjugate their subjects has always led to their woeful end. The first king in the break-away Northern Israel was of this cast. 1 King 12: 25-33 and 13: 1-6 showed King Jeroboam at his worst when he earnestly attempted to usurp the God assigned duty to the priestly people i.e. “when the king heard what the prophet cried against the alter in Bethel, Jeroboam standing at the alter, extended his hand and ordered, ‘Seize him!’ The hand he had extended shriveled up and he could not pull it back”. He had to beg the prophet to beg God for him before his hand became functional again.

PROVIDENCE OF GOD (Part Five)

⛲️The more our studies proceed in provision of God, the clearer it becomes that it is not that of breads and butter only. For instance, in Malachi 3, God distinguished between those who honored His laws and served Him for who He is and not for gold and silver as reward for serving Him. There was a comparison of the proud and the wicked in verse 15 with those in verse 16 that fear the Lord for whom he had made provision for their being spared in times of trouble. In verses 16-17, the bible recorded: “And they shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, in that day when I make my jewels, and I will spare them, as a man spareth his son that serveth him. Then shall ye return, and discern between the righteous and the wicked, between him that serveth God and him that serveth Him not” (KJV). In other words, “When a man’s way pleases the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. Proverb 17: 7 (KJV)

As a sovereign God He carries out perfect will in His own time. Those who surrender themselves are prone to letting God take absolute control while the godless did all things at their own whims and caprices. Hitler believed he could rule all the world especially by making a grandiose plan to over run Europe and others to follow. His regime tended to favor Moslems from North Africa in order to woo them out of French domination. He did his best or call it the worst and God raised an individual who was able to decode the Da Vinci code that broke the camel’s back. Some African rulers in the second half of last century felt they had all the answers to the problems facing their countries. They all ended in misery. They were the like of Idi Amin of Uganda, Mobutu Sese Seko of Republic of Congo, self-styled Emperor Jean Bedel Bokasa, and of course Sanni Abacha of Nigeria.

Proverb 16: 4 declares; “The Lord has made everything for himself; yea, even the wicked for the day of evil. The Lord has made provision for recompensing the wicked who initially thought he was above the law. If not for the provision of God in accordance to everyone’s work before him, how could one envisage that Moamar Ghadaffi would be deserted by his regimes’ loyalists. His golden gun became useless when nemesis caught up with him. I believed he overstayed his welcome and at such, all the good deeds that endeared him to his people were rubbished. From scriptural view point, any one that allows himself to be deified has gone beyond human limit of relationship with God. Human beings are pots in the hand of the potter. The pot can never transmute to become the potter no matter what your religion is; be it Christianity, Islam, Buddhism or whatever. In our present era, we shall all see their disastrous end as it occurred to Nebuchadnezzar in the Book of Daniel until he came back to acknowledge the sovereignty of God. Pharoah did not deify himself but wickedness of many Pharoahs to the people of God for centuries gave rise to the need for God to raise Moses for fulfilling God’s purpose exemplified by the declaration in “LET MY PEOPLE GO” It was an act of undisputed providence of God.

Conditions precedent to providence of God include ardently seeking the face of God, through reading and studying the word of God, fasting and praying as well as obeying, trusting, honoring and praising Him. Salvation is thus for seekers among other prerequisites. This was the situation of the Ethiopian Eunuch in his chariot on his way back to Ethiopia as he was ardently reading the scriptures but with little understanding until God teleported Philip to meet him, explain the scriptures to him and got baptized as they both got to a river along the way. As Philip fulfilled his mission the spirit of the Lord separated them and was found in Azotus on his missionary journey to Caesarea.

Still on providence of God, Moses was instructed by God to transfer anointing on some Elders from the various tribes of Israel. Two elders were glaringly absent from the congregation. As those present received their anointing Bildad and Eldad received theirs simultaneously with others present in the congregation. When outside the tabernacle the two were seen prophesying, Joshua told Moses to prevent them but Moses refused to forbid them as the anointing was of God and not from any man. In other words, nothing can prevent manifestation of what God has done. “Thy word oh! Lord, Thy word is settled in heaven, it is settled.”

Appreciation for series 1-5 of ‘Providence of God” goes to John G Kruis: Quick Scripture Reference for Counseling. Expanded edition copyright 2013 pages 177-184.