Monday, 24 October 2016
MEMORY VERSE: After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not. Acts 16:7
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Exodus 14-18
Divine guidance is something the Lord promised all His children. Several verses of the Holy Scriptures allude to this fact; e.g. Proverbs 3:6 says: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”; Isaiah 30:21 says: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.”
One of the ways God guides His children is through open doors. Isaiah 45:2 says: “I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron.” John 10:4 says: “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” No door can be shut against The Door (Jesus Christ). Doors automatically open before Him as He leads the way (Psalm 24:9) and you go through easily. One of the ways to know that God is in a matter is things just happen without forcing them. You achieve things without stress because the Holy Bible says, “it is not by power or by might but by my spirit says the Lord.” An instance that comes to mind was when I wanted to travel abroad to study. Due to lack of money, everyone was against the idea and I quite understand. Out of the blue, everyone that was against the idea suddenly bought into it and I was on my way to attend a visa interview. At the interview, I was nervous because I had never seen a white man before in my life. To make matters worse, I could barely hear him when he asked me questions. All through the interview, I was shaking and stammering. The next thing I knew was he asked for my passport and motioned to me to go and wait outside. When God is in a thing, I have learnt with the little time I have spent with Him that things go smoothly - so smoothly that one may think it is that easy. Another way He guides, although many are not used to, is through prohibition or closed doors. Paul wanted to go and preach in Mysia but the Lord did not want him to go so He shut the door at him. Acts 16:7 says: “After they were come to Mysia, they assayed to go into Bithynia: but the Spirit suffered them not.” Many a time, God speaks to us and we pretend as if we can’t hear Him so He deliberately shuts the door to us- out of love. Friend, what God denies and keeps us away from is as much divine guidance as what He permits and opens to us.
NOTE: Every door that didn’t open, every opportunity you didn’t get and every call that didn’t come, is as much God’s guidance as those that did.
Bro Samuel | Reaching the world.
Wednesday, 21 September 2016
MEMORY VERSE: I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye. Psalm 32:8
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Genesis 26-30
It is God’s will to guide His children. The Bible is littered with several promises concerning divine guidance;e.g., Proverbs 3:6 says: “In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths”, Isaiah 30:21 says: “And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left”, Psalm 32:8 says: “I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye.”
How does God instruct? One of the ways He instructs is through Scriptures. 2 Timothy 3:16 says: “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” God’s general will for all people in all places in all circumstances is revealed in Scriptures. He has told us what He thinks about a whole range of issues. From the Bible, we know that certain things are wrong. Therefore, we can be quite sure that He will not guide us to do these things. He will not guide any man to marry a second wife. Sometimes a single person says, “I have fallen in love with this man/woman who is not a Christian. We love each other so much. I feel God leading me to start a relationship with him/her." But God has already made His will clear. He has said, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness (2 Corinthians 6:14)?” We can be quite sure that God will not guide any Christian to marry an unbeliever. In this particular case and many other cases, God has revealed His general will. We do not need to ask for His guidance because He has already given it. If we are not sure, we may need to ask someone who knows the Bible better than we whether there is anything on that issue. Although God’s general will is revealed in Scriptures, we cannot always find His particular will for our lives there. The Lord also instructs through sermons and books written by anointed men and women of God.
NOTE: If the Lord tarries we will discuss the four ways in which God reveals His will to us. In the meantime, I want you to know that the voice may be many, the message can be but one. If God tells me in one voice to do or to leave undone anything, He cannot possibly tell me the opposite in another voice. If there is a contradiction in the voices, the speakers cannot be the same. Therefore, the rule for distinguishing the voice of God would be to bring it to the test of harmony. Always check whatever you heard with Scriptures first. If it does not agree with Scriptures, I appeal to you to pray again and ask others to pray along with you.
Bro Samuel | Reaching the world.
Sunday, 24 May 2015
MEMORY VERSE: Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established. Proverbs 15:22
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Job 33-34
There are some very important points I will like to remind you of. Firstly, guidance springs out of our relationship with God. He has promised to guide those who are walking with Him. Before you look up to Him for guidance on any issue, first of all check your walk with Him. Secondly, His guidance is always in line with scriptures. He will not guide one to do something contrary to scriptures. As mentioned yesterday, one of the ways God speaks is through prophets. We find examples of this both in the Old Testament and in the New Testament (e.g. Agabus- Acts 11:27-28). He also speaks through pastors. Several months back I had a serious challenge at work. With the way things were back then, it was obvious that I was on my way out so I reported the matter to God. One evening I sat back to watch a live program over the internet. Whilst the man of God was preaching, he quoted Isaiah 41:10 - Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness. Then he said, “God says I will help you, I will strengthen you and uphold you with my right hand.” Immediately he made that statement, something snapped in my spirit. I knew God was speaking to me. Several minutes later he repeated himself and said “God says i should i tell you, I will strengthen you and uphold you with my right hand.” I held onto it and God confirmed the word of His servant. As He promised, He helped me and i didn't lose my job.
He also guides through the counsel of the saints. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel purposes are disappointed: but in the multitude of counsellers they are established.” While seeking advice is very important, we need to remember that ultimately our decisions are between us and God. They are our responsibility. We cannot shift that responsibility onto others or seek to blame them if things go wrong. The ‘counsel of saints’ is part of guidance – but it is not the only part. Sometimes it may be right to go ahead in spite of the ideas of others. If we are faced with a decision where we need advice, whom should we consult? The best advisors are usually godly Christians people with wisdom and experience whom we respect. (It is also wise to seek the advice of parents whom we are to honour, even if we are past the age of being under their authority. Even if they are not Christians, they know us very well and can often have important insights into situations).
The people whom we ask for advice should not be chosen on the basis that they will agree with what we have already planned to do. Sometimes one sees a person consulting countless people in the hope that they will eventually find somebody who will endorse their plans. Such advice has little weight and simply enables the person to say, ‘and I consulted X and he or she agreed.’ We should consult people on the basis of their spiritual authority or their relationship to us, regardless of what we may anticipate their views to be. Another way God guides is through circumstantial signs. God is in ultimate control of events. Sometimes God opens doors (1 Corinthians 16:9) and sometimes He closes them (Acts 16:7). Sometimes God’s guidance seems to come immediately it is asked for (e.g. Genesis 24), but often it takes much longer: sometimes months or even years. Sometimes we hear God correctly, but we get the timing wrong. Sometimes, like Abraham, we try to fulfill God’s plan by our own wrong methods and get it into trouble.
NOTE: God is able to restore you to the years which the swarming locust has eaten (Joel 2:25). He is able to make something good out of whatever is left of our lives – whether it is a short time or a long time- if we will offer what we have to Him and co-operate with His Spirit.
Bro Samuel | Reaching the world for Jesus.
Tuesday, 13 January 2015
MEMORIZE: and thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left. Isaiah 30:21
BIBLE IN ONE YEAR: Psalms 119:153 - 176, Proverbs 31:13, 1 Corinthians 13: 4-8
Recently I wanted to go somewhere, I had the address of where I was going to but I was not sure about the route so I decided to use a satellite navigator. (A satellite navigator guides an individual from his present location to his destination.) I put the address in the SatNav (Satellite Navigator); it calculated how long the journey would take, which was 8 minutes, and then proceeded to guide me to the destination. “Drive straight, at the end of the road turn left,” was the first instruction I received. I ignored it and took the first left. (Remember, I had an idea of the route.) I decided to use my knowledge until I got to where I was not sure. Immediately I turned left, the SatNav re-calculated the route and informed me that the journey would now take 7 minutes. I smiled to myself. It continued to give route instructions and I obeyed until I got to another area where I thought I knew the route better than the SatNav. Instead of driving straight as instructed, I took a right turn to avoid traffic and cut down the journey time. After I turned, it re-calculated the route and instructed me to make a ‘U’ turn at any available opportunity but I ignored the instruction. I continued to drive hoping it will re-calculate the route and give me a new instruction but it kept on instructing me to make U-turn. After a short while, I decided to comply and let the SatNav do its job. I made a ‘U’ turn and followed all the instructions from that moment to the letter. When I arrived at my destination, I checked to see how long the journey took and to my shock, I did an 8 minutes journey in 14 minutes!
As I pondered about the whole thing, it dropped in my spirit that my attitude towards the instructions from the SatNav is exactly the attitude of many of us towards divine instructions. God has told many of us to go straight but we turned either to avoid traffic i.e. problems or take a short cut. My disobedience to the SatNav seemed like a good idea at first- I was even encouraged to ignore it more - but at the end, I wished I had followed the instructions to the letter. Because of the rewards many received from initial disobedience to divine instruction, they are encouraged to ignore divine instruction once a while. Friend, if God tells you to go right and you go left, it may seem like a good idea at first but at the end, you will wish you had gone right as He instructed. Has God instructed you to make a U-turn i.e. turn completely from a particular path or way of doing things but you ignored it hoping to get a new instruction, friend you will not get a new instruction until you turn. God’s counsel is always the same regardless of where you go. If God spoke through a man of God that you should not divorce, you can go to all the men and women of God in the world, the counsel would come back the same.
POINTS TO NOTE: God’s route takes you to God’s destination for your life while your route will ultimately land you in no destination. Every time you follow your route, you waste resources. Every time I took my route, I wasted resources – car fuel, time, energy, etc. Every time you follow your route, the time it should take for you to reach your destination increases. There is a reason for every instruction, that left turn or stay at home and pray could save your life.
PRAYER POINT: Father, please help me to stop working against myself.
Bro Samuel | Reaching the world for Jesus.