Monday, November 30, 2015

When God Seeks For Your Permission

Are you willing to let go of your good plans and allow God's will to be done? This is not an easy decision to make. It is a tall order. It is a high calling.

Let me state it here and now; for God to accomplish His plan He uses ordinary people like me and you. Sometimes the responsibility may be huge but you should know that God is not asking you if you can do it. He is simply asking if He can use you as His instrument to carry out His plan. 

We cannot run away from the fact that being an instrument of the Lord is a huge responsibility. However, you better rejoice because to be chosen as an instrument of the Lord is a favour and a blessing.  Mary was chosen by God to be the mother of Jesus Christ. The angel Gabriel greeted her as a favoured woman. "Don't be afraid, Mary," the angel told her, "for you have found favour with God!" (Luke 1:30 NLT).

Mary was given a huge responsibility - to give birth to the much anticipated Messiah. As we have discussed in our previous post, agreeing to this arrangement meant that she was rendering herself to public ridicule. God was only seeking for her permission to be the mother of Jesus Christ. Difficult as it was, Mary had to say, "Yes Lord!".

I find it interesting that the moment you agree to God's agenda in your life, He helps you revert to you plan. He helps you to accomplish your personal plans - the only difference being that your plans are now intertwined with his Divine plans. Eventually, Mary got married to her fiancé Joseph.

Accepting such a huge responsibility calls for total dependence on God. Mary accepted the responsibility based on the evidence of God's miracle working power. It was proven to her that nothing is impossible with God as her relative Elizabeth was said to be pregnant in her old age. 

When the angel had explained everything to Mary, she spoke these powerful words, "Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word." (Luke 1:38 NKJV). As William McDowell sings, it's like Mary was saying, 'I give myself away, so you can use me.' She was surrendering all to God, withholding nothing! She took the responsibility through total obedience to the will of God.

God determines the time when He wants to unveil His plan and He looks for the instrument to use. He is the one to take care of the instrument, ensuring that it is always in good condition and well sharpened or prepared to function effectively. As long as the instrument is in the hands of the Lord, it is safe! He never forces you to be that instrument but He is asking, "Can I use you?"

Monday, November 23, 2015

When God Disrupts Your Plans

What do you do when God decides to disrupt your plans? You've got everything going in your life and suddenly He comes to introduce His own agenda. 

When I reflect on the birth of Jesus, I can't help but focus on the young Mary who was given the mammoth task of carrying the Saviour of the world in her womb. Matthew introduces the story by narrating, "This is how Jesus the Messiah was born. His mother, Mary, was engaged to be married to Joseph. But before the marriage took place, while she was still a virgin, she became pregnant through the power of the Holy Spirit." (Matthew 1:18 NLT).

Can you imagine the cultural shock and shame! She was earnestly looking forward to the 'big day' when she was going to be officially announced Mrs Joseph. She was looking forward to enter into the marriage with a sense of pride of having kept her purity for her husband. Suddenly, she was told she was to be pregnant!

She was going to be pregnant but still remain a virgin. It did not make sense. I can only imagine what was going through her mind when she received the message from angel Gabriel. She was going to be publicly ridiculed. She was going to lose the man of her dreams. Her plans were to be ruined. "Joseph, her fiancé was a good man and did not want to disgrace her publicly, so he decided to break the engagement quietly." (Matthew 1:19 NLT)

What Mary and her fiancé Joseph did not know was that it was God's time to reveal His glory. It was time for God to fulfil the long standing promise of the Messiah. It was God's time to bring on earth the Redeemer and Saviour of the world, "But when the fullness of the time had come, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman..." (Galatians 4:4 NKJV)

I have learned that God's right time (fullness of the time) comes when we least expect it. We are never ready for such. God often makes a promise but not reveal the time when we will receive the promise. He just knows the right time. In our books the timing may be wrong but in His sovereign plan it is always the right time.

Sometimes I want to ask, "But why now Lord?" It seems to me that the Lord does not respond directly to this question. When God decides to unleash His plan, there is little or nothing you can do to change it. He has His own agenda and He wants to accomplish it through you. 

What do you do when God decides to disrupt your plans? The beautiful thing is that even though God chooses to disrupt your plans so that He can run His own agenda through your life, He never forces you into it (we will elaborate on this point in next week's post "When God Seeks For Your Permission"). 

When God comes into your life and wants to introduce His agenda, He never asks if you are ready. Instead He wants to know if you are willing. Are you willing to submit to His authority over your life? Are you willing to allow Him accomplish His purpose using you as His instrument? Are you willing to surrender your life to Him? 

Here is the interesting thing; whether you are willing to allow Him use you or not, it will not stop Him from accomplishing His purpose. But what a blessing it is to be used by God for His own purpose!

Monday, November 16, 2015

He Who Acknowledges The SON...

We have been talking about the world and the offers it presents to believers. There is nothing that shakes the devil’s strongholds than the name JESUS CHRIST of Nazareth. In one end the world denies the deity of Jesus Christ. On the other hand it denies the humanity of Jesus Christ. That is the foundation of our faith – Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God.

If we desire to be in fellowship with God, our heavenly Father, we must acknowledge His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ. If we desire what the Father has, we must acknowledge the firstborn of creation, Jesus Christ. We must recognize Jesus for who He is – the Son of the living God.

It is important to understand that the Father acknowledges the Son himself and he loves his Son. “The Father loves the Son, and has given all things into His hand” (John 3:35).

Let us say for instance you are a woman and you hoping for a man with a son from a previous relationship to marry you. How you treat his Son will have a huge bearing on his level of commitment to the relationship. Simply because he loves his Son. If you truly acknowledge his son, you will have him and if you reject his son you will lose the father as well. Obviously this is a feeble illustration of the relationship between the heavenly Father and his Son Jesus Christ. The Father loves the Son.

True love is demonstrated in action. Likewise, the Father has demonstrated his love for his Son by giving ‘all things into His hand.’ This means he has given his Son authority to govern all things that belong to the Father. He has put him in charge. Therefore, it will help you to acknowledge the Son to have access to the Father.

If we are to enjoy our fellowship with the Father, we must recognize the Son. In fact, we must desire to know the Son. It is better that way. It is the only way to have true fellowship with God.  And let me tell you, Jesus wants to reveal the Father to you. He does not want you to miss out. He would go to great lengths just for you to know him and the Father – to give you eternal life.

Listen to him when he says, “My Father has entrusted everything to me. No one truly knows the Son except the Father, and no one truly knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)

Again, Jesus emphasizes the strong bond he has with the Father. He is emphasizing his oneness with the Father. Note that Jesus confirms that the Father has given everything to him. Also note that he says no one truly knows the Father except him and lastly note he says that he has the authority to reveal the Father to anyone he chooses to.

And if you read carefully to the preceding verses you will understand that the heavenly things are hidden from those who think themselves wise and clever but they are revealed to those with a childlike faith. Jesus cannot reveal the Father to those who are too intelligent to accept that Jesus Christ is God incarnate.

It is pointless and profits nothing  to engage in whole lots of theological debates. It is simple, “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” (1 John 2:23).