Tag Archives: Faith and obedience

Focusing on God

 Sin blindfolds man from beholding the glory of God

Sin blindfolds man from beholding the glory of God

One walking or driving through any street in a big city needs to stay focused if he or she is to reach desired destination. The reason is that there are many attractions and distractions such that if one loses focus, one is more likely to miss the road leading to ones destination. Driver that has the GPS stands the chance of arriving at his destination easily provided he stays focused all along. The christian GPS is clearly the fruits of the spirit as recorded in the Bible. This reminds us concerning the children of Israel on arrival in the land of Canaan. To a believer, focusing on God demands obedience and depending on HIM in all areas of life. While the Israelites were in the wilderness, they really focused on God and continuously got all they needed without having to pay a dime, Isaiah 55:1(NKJV). It says: “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; And you who have no money, Come, buy and eat, Yes, come, buy wine and milk, Without money and without price.”

God knows our needs and invites us to avail ourselves with His gracious provisions. Anyone that loses focus may not benefit from Gods provision. This translates into anytime the children of Israel turns their back against their God they lose woefully if not shamefully in battle. As they stayed focused on God in perfect obedience, the walls of Jericho fell not by being mighty in battle but by obeying and following God’s strategies for winning.  Joshua 7: 1-26 (NKJV) reminds us that after the epic victory over Jericho, Israel could not defeat AI that was known to have “few people”.

Achan son of Carmi from the tribe of Judah had stolen accursed items from the battle of Jericho that was  to be destroyed completely. Joshua was alarmed and asked God, “why?”. In response, God said in verse:11 “Israel has sinned and they have also transgressed my covenant which I commanded them. For they have even taken some of the accursed things, and have stolen and deceived, and they have also put it among their own stuff, (verse 12) therefore the children of Israel could not stand before their enemies, because they have become doomed to destruction, Neither will I be with you anymore unless you destroy the accursed among you”

The blueprint of focussing on God is traceable to the NINE great attributes of a good christian. Galatian 5: 22-23 as well as in Verse 24 says: “But the fruit of the spirit is love , joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control against such there is no law…….If we live in the spirit let us also walk in the spirit” To lose focus on God is to embrace the work of the flesh which are adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousy, outburst of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions, heresy, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries and the like, Galatians 6: 20-21 (NKJV).

Answered Prayers Series # 2

God isn't a robot the way in which HE answers prayers.

God isn’t a robot the way in which HE answers prayers.

Answered prayers are a two-way process of man saying prayers to God in faith and answers being granted by the Almighty God through Christ our savior. Psalm 5: 3 (NKJV) says; “My voice you shall hear in the morning O Lord, in the morning I will direct to you, and I will look up” Also, it is declared in Psalm 3: 4 (NKJV) “I cried to the Lord with my voice, and He heard me from His holy place”. The bridge between man and God is FAITH. Even though God specially called Moses to go and ask for the release of the Israelites from bondage in Egypt, yet he needed faith to buttress his absolute obedience to what God instructed him to do from time to time. Moses faithfully trusted God and was full of obedience. His obedience was based on his meekness which God attested to. Therefore, when he prayed for God’s guidance, he was always receiving the required correct answer. The various plagues suffered in Egypt happened consequent upon Moses’ prayer induced God’s punishment on Egypt for suffering the chosen people of God for 430 years.

 

There are so many prayers said that we can say God does not honor. A true believer must take time to consider parent-child relationship concerning the lots of requests made by children and those granted them. Is it not out of parental genuine care that not all requests are granted? Where parents know the bad after-effect of request if granted, they tend to prevent or delay granting the request until an appropriate time. On a greater spiritual level therefore, there is relevance between the love of parents and their children as well as the manner in which God answers our prayers. If parents as mortals do love their children so dearly, how much more about God’s love for mankind that he always considered His children’s prayer for their benefit and never for their destruction.

 

He considers the pros and cons before deciding to grant any prayer, delay the answer or prevent it from manifesting which the supplicant does not know in advance. God is all-knowing and He performs wonders without having to obtain clearance from mankind. For instant, a usurper planning to overthrow the incumbent, when there is God’s divine intervention the secret would leak out. Such would be usurper would get punished and not praised. Therefore the believer who is upright in heart or a person with integrity still needs to be righteous to ensure receiving answers to prayers in the manner in which the Patriarchs, Moses or Hannah prayed and received the right answers. Answered prayers ensured the miraculous release of Peter from King Herod’s prison while preparing to kill him Acts 12: 1-10 (NKJV). God knew the great role Peter was still to play and therefore sent an Angel to secure Peter’s release. This enabled him to lead the Church of Christ and was able to be part of the spreading the gospel.

Armor of Faith

YAHWEH is the strentgh of the Israelites in battles.

YAHWEH is the strentgh of the Israelites in battles.

Armor generally refers to protective or defensive gear consisting of shield or buckler and helmet as well. They are meant to cover head and face and chest or torso mainly against arrow, spear club or any other offensive weapons. The concept of armor of faith is metaphorical when used to describe protective or defensive gear against non-physical but spiritual warfare. God or YAHWEH was the source of defence for the Jews Isaiah 57: 17. They are god’s people but to receive God’s protection they need to trigger it off by their faith in and obedience to the laws of God. Whenever they drift off from faith and worship of YAHWEH they fall prey to their enemies that were all over around them. Strong faith and obedience  to God made the walls of Jericho to fall without any physical weapon of war. 

In the New Testament the emphasis is on spiritual warfare that requires the strong armor of God to defend believers. They are constantly being attacked by the devil and its cohorts already defeated on the cross by Christ. To be on God’s winning side, believers must always put on the full armor of God made up of truth, righteousness, the gospel of peace, faith, salvation and better still the sword of the spirit which is the Word of God Ephesians 6: 14-18, James 4: 7, Matthew 4: 1-11 and 1 Peter 5: 8-9.

Paul in Ephesians 6: 11-13 declared: “Put on the armor of God so that you may take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the power of the dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground and after you have done everything, to stand”. In view of the foregoing, Warren W. Wiersbe wrote “The Christian life is not a playground; it is a battlefield”.