SPIRITUAL WARFARE I

“Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil” – Ephesians 6:11

Text: Ephesians 6:10-13

When we are told to put on the whole armour of God, one thing becomes clear instantly. this is the fact that there is a God. we cannot be talking about the armour of God if there is no God. Anyone who thinks there is no God is a fool (Psalm 14:1). You have to pray that God would reveal Himself to you. The Bible in Daniel 11:32b says,

“……but the people that know their God shall be strong and do exploits.”

Little wonder, Paul, an Apostle of Jesus Christ said in Philippians 3:10:

“That i may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto death;”

These scriptures show that knowing God is a weapon of spiritual warfare! when you know your maker, your battle is 90% won. From our Bible reading, we also realise that there is the armour of God. This armour is made up of several parts, otherwise we would not be told to put on the WHOLE armour of God. the constituents of this armour is listed for us in Ephesians 6:14-17. The armour of God is not built into us by default as children of God. It is external, and we have to pick it up in order to put it on. The reason many Children of God are defeated in the battle of life is because of their failure to fortify themselves with the armour God has made available to them.

From today’s memory verse, it is clear that there is a devil. The devil is alive and active. In Job 1:7, we read about the instability and unpredictability of his destination. This is one of his wiles. Through this corrupt wisdom, he gets people into trouble. The devil’s attacks are not always direct. They may not come from the direction that you expect. A good example is found in Joshua 7:1&12. Joshua had been victorious all the time; Jericho had just been taken and Joshua was beginning to feel confident. Then the enemy came from behind. He entered one man who stole what God had warned them not to take. Joshua thought God was still with him so he went against a small town called AI. The Israelite had to flee from this small town. The enemy had used a new method. It was an indirect attack. Another classical example of an indirect attack of the devil is found in Samuel 18:5-9. David did nothing wrong, but the devil used wiles.He got women together and taught them a song: “Saul hath slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands”. This turned Saul against David.

I pray for you that the devil’s wiles against you will be exposed and defeated in Jesus’ Name. However, you must put on the whole armour of God. Good Morning!

POWER TO MAKE HEAVEN

                                                               

“Look! I stand at the door and d knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my father on His throne. Anyone with ears to hear must listen to the Spirit and understand what he is saying to the churches.” – Revelation 4:20-22

The ultimate goal of all genuine Christians is to make Heaven at last. The essence of Jesus coming to die for humankind was to open the door of Heaven that had been shot against us. He opened this door that we may have access to eternal bliss in Heaven.

In Luke 19:10, Jesus said:

                    “For the Son of man is come to seek and to save that which was lost.”

Nevertheless, only those that overcome would have the power to make it to Heaven. The question then is: “What are we to overcome?” First, we must overcome all the evil thoughts and imaginations of our heart. The Bible in Proverbs 23:26 says,

                    “My sons, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.”

When we allow Jesus to come into our wicked hearts, He gives us victory over evil thoughts that defiles us, and that has made us candidates for hell fire. The reason why Jesus needs to come into our hearts is that the heart of man is desperately wicked according to Jeremiah 17:9

                    “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?

What exactly is in the heart of man that caused the Bible to declare it as desperately wicked? Jesus is Mark 7:21-23 reveals this to us. He Said:

                    “For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornication, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.”

Only those who overcome these ills will get the power to enter into heavenly bliss. This is the reason why we all need Jesus Christ who overcame sin and who possesses the power to live above it. The power that overcomes sin is the power we need to make heaven. Jesus is ready to give you this power if you are willing to forsake Satan, sin and all forms of wickedness. Therefore you must make conscious effort to do away with all appearance of evil like Joseph did while in Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39:12).      I pray for you that the days of your struggle with sin are over today in Jesus name. The power to “go and sin no more” as was given by Jesus to the woman caught in the act of adultery (John 8:11) shall be yours today in Jesus name.

Prayer Point:

Father, I am tired of being a victim of sin; please empower me with strength in my inner man to manifest the reality of the truth that I am dead to sin in Jesus’ Name.  

PRAYER ATTRACTS AUTHORITY

                                                               

“For he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.” (Matthew 7:29)

Besides providing an avenue for you to report everything that threatens your peace and joy, prayer brings the fullness of the Spirit. We see this demonstrated in Acts 4:31

                “And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness”.

The Holy Spirit is ever near to those who call upon God in truth, while He is distant from those who call upon Him In pretence or who hardly pray. In James 4:8, we are enjoined to draw near to God. How? One way to do this is by praying. When you pray, you provoke the Holy Spirit to come closer to help you. If you fail to pray, you keep Him at bay. If you pray intensely and effectively enough, He will descend upon you and even those around you. In Acts 2:1-4, one hundred and twenty believers were together praying in the upper room when the Holy Spirit descended during the feast of Pentecost and they were all baptised with the Holy Spirit. In Acts 4: 23-33, in the face of serious threats from the authorities, the church council members prayed and where filled with the Holy Spirit. If you can pray, the Holy Spirit will come to fill the space within you and you will be full of the Spirit. You can be filled with the Holy Spirit as often as you require Him to fill you. If you are always full of the Spirit, you will be empowered to live the life of the Spirit.

Prayer also brings boldness to declare God’s word. There is a link connecting these variables: Prayer, The Word and Boldness. If you tarry in the place of prayer, when you declare the word, it will be done with authority. This was one of the feature that was commonly seen in the ministry of Jesus Christ (Matthew 7: 28-29). How do you teach or preach today? If it is plastic, powerless and void of the backing of the Spirit, you are teaching like the scribes and not like Jesus. Prayer makes the difference in the ministry of the word. The one who preaches or teaches with conviction has obviously paid the price in the place of prayer. How prayerful are you? How impactful are you? If you are still shy to preach salvation to sinners, it is most likely you are not praying enough. Pray without ceasing!   

THE CONSCIENCE

                                                                               

“How much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?” (Hebrews 9:14)

TEXT: Romans 1:18-32   

The conscience is an internal judge examining all that you do or say. It cries out before any wrong-doing. It does not keep quiet during the act and keeps on talking even after the act. Every man has a conscience. This fact is pointed out in 2 Corinthians 4:2.

The conscience can exist in different states. These states affect the character exhibited by the conscience. Based on this character, the conscience can manifest itself as any of these: evil conscience. Convicted conscience, weak conscience, good conscience and conscience devoid of offence. Consequent upon the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, man’s conscience became darkened and defiled. Our Bible reading for today tells the terrible story of what happens when the conscience becomes defiled, depraved and evil. It is an evil conscience that directs a man to bow down and worship an idol. It is an evil conscience that accuses a man of being anti-social when he refuses to entertain others with alcoholic drinks or partake in an immoral gathering. The conscience becomes convicted when a man hears the Gospel of Jesus and the Holy Spirit quickens the word in the heart. When the hearer receives the word, he does one of two things: either he yields to the working of the Holy Spirit or he excuses himself (Romans 2:15). If he yields to the prompting of the Holy Spirit, He begins to feel sorrowful for his sins and soon, he is on his way to repentance. Have you yielded to the prompting of the Holy Spirit? The conscience becomes purged when a man yields to the prompting of the Holy Spirit and his awakened conscience puts pressure on him to conform to God’s stand on sin and righteousness. He begins to realize the evil of a depraved conscience, and this conviction leads to conversion and salvation. Such a person has his conscience purged and he begins to find joy in serving the living God.

 Conversion is therefore the recreation of a conscience which has long been silenced. A young convert would however find out that his conscience is still too weak to be relied upon (1 Corinthians 8:7).       Such weak conscience may accept anything that is “Not too bad”; ignoring the fact that anything that is not too good is definitely not good. This weakness can be overcome by prayer, Bible study and constant obedience. To a sinner, the conscience is a burden; but to the saved, the conscience Is a big help, a friend to know, to love and a messenger from God which constantly reminds him of God’s standard, which is perfection (Matthew 5:48). The desire of God for every born-again believer is to have a good conscience (1 Timothy 1:5). One of the highest goals of a Christian life is to have a conscience devoid of offence toward God and toward men (Acts 24:16)

YOU ARE PURPOSE-FULL (PART 1)

                                                               

Some weeks ago, I asked a colleague this question, I said “before you were born, you were never alive. After you were born, this life became your reality. But what happens when you are gone? Would you realise that that which you thought was reality was actually an illusion? Or just a foretaste of what is and had actually always been? Where were you before you were born? Where would you be after you are gone?”

Yes, this present look on your face was actually the same way he gazed at me in utter confusion. But truth be told, most of us in this contemporary world do not take time out of this really fast paced, routine regulated society to do a deep reflection on ourselves and ask some basic but really important life questions. These include asking questions like:

  • Who am i?
  • Where did I come from?
  • Why am I here?
  • Where am I going?
  • What can I do?

Let me tell you a quick story, a farmer once had a vision of providing apple juice for his community, so he decided to plant an apple orchard. He did all he needed to do and after some years, the apple trees were fully grown. But something happened, the trees weren’t producing any fruits year after year even after the farmer had done all he was supposed to do, yet there was no progress. Out of frustration, he decided to cut the trees down and burn them all up.

Now, we all are that tree planted here on earth with an innate ability to bear fruits which should be served to our world. The creator on the other hand, is the farmer who works tirelessly in order to ensure we manifest our truest self.

There is a purpose for which we are still breathing; there is a reason why you are where you are, regardless of what life is dishing you, there is a reason why God is letting you go through what you are going through.

What is Purpose?

Purpose is defined as the reason for which something is done or created or for which something exists. When you do something with purpose, you do it with determination. When your activities have a purpose, you have an aim or intention in mind.

Today, we would be focusing on the reason for which man was created. And when I say Man, I mean you and I. who are we? Why are we here? Where are we going?

I would try to touch and tackle those various questions every one of us has been struggling with in this article. So stick around, get comfortable, grab a cup of coffee or hot chocolate and read along.

                                                                                    WHO AM I?

This is a question about identity which we have all struggled with at one stage of our lives and which some of us are still struggling with. The “Who am I” question is one which disturbs every human. Rich or poor, black or white, male or female and it is one which needs to be answered and understood as quick as possible. This is very necessary because you cannot value yourself if you do not know yourself, and nobody else would value you if you do not value you.

                                “You cannot value yourself if you do not know yourself, and nobody else would value you if you do not value you.”

Question: how do I then get to know who I am?

Answer: Ask the manufacturer!

As a child, I pondered this same question a lot. Until one rainy Thursday afternoon, haven just gotten back from school, I ran to my mother’s room filled with so much excitement and zest. My mother was having her nap at the time and she hates to be disturbed when asleep, but I didn’t care. I just kept tapping her until she got up. With a broad grin on my face, I said to her “I’ve finally got it mummy, I know where we came from.”  Still looking perplexed, she asked “Where?” I gave her a minute to make sure she was fully awake, and then I answered “we evolved from apes, mummy!” I earlier had a class on evolution in school but I guess my answer didn’t impress my mother in any way. If anything, it actually alarmed her and the next thing I saw was she getting out her huge bible and taking me through the story of creation.

                We got to Genesis 1:26-28 and she wanted me to read it out loud so I would not only hear the words, but it would sink into my very soul. It would be nice if you do the same in order to fill the power of God’s word

                26. Then God said, “Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground.”

                27. So God created human beings in His own image. In the image of God He created them; male and female He created them.

                28. Then God blessed them and said, “Be fruitful and multiply. Fill the earth and govern it. Reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that scurry along the ground.”

From that point on, not only did I realise that I came from the creator, but that I was also created in His image and made to be like Him. How cool is that? “I have God flowing through my veins?” I asked “Yes, you do!” “So what does that mean?” I asked again. “It means you are a child of God, it means God’s very Spirit lives within you so there is absolutely nothing you cannot do. All you have to do is have faith in God and believe in yourself.”

The scriptures say:

                Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. – Ephesians 3:20

Now, this is the identity of every human being on the face of the earth but sadly, the devil has done a good job in blinding us to the truth about our very existence. We were created in God, by God, for God and to be like God. But how do you know the truth if you do not know the One who is the Truth Himself

                The Scriptures say:

                “My people are being destroyed because they do not know me.” (Hosea 4:6a)

                                                                                &

                “Jesus told him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one can come to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

To answer the question of “How to know who we are” I answered “Ask the manufacturer!” because at the end of the day, nobody knows a product better than the one who made the product, the manufacturer! God is our manufacturer and we are His products. In fact, He calls us His masterpiece. Would you believe that?!

                “For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.”  (Ephesians 2:10)

Knowledge of who God is automatically ensures we have knowledge of ourselves. Then we begin to see what God sees in us and also say what God says about us. Today, this is what the Lord says about you…

He Says:

  • You are handsome/beautiful
  • You are smart
  • You count
  • You are a Success
  • You can do all things
  • You are great
  • You are a child of God

Say these words to yourself at every given opportunity because words are indeed powerful having the ability to create and destroy. Never forget that you are very valuable to God and He has planted us as lights to reflect His glory in this dark world.

                You are the light of the world-like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden.

(Matthew 5:14)

This is the word for you today. Until next time, we’d talk about the other questions which need to be answered in order to fulfil purpose’. Thank you and God bless.

                                                                                                                                                               

                                                                                                                                                          

Peace and Holiness

To succeed in life and make it to heaven, you need both vision and action.

Vision is no doubt one of the most powerful force available to man on earth today. Vision gives meaning to life. Action springs out of what we fundamentally desire. Someone once said, “Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision is just passing the time. Vision with action can change the world.”

Specifically, what vision, coupled with action is needed to change the world and ensure that we make it to heaven? It is the vision of peace and holiness. We need peace to change the world. Christians are enjoined to follow peace with all men (Hebrews 12:14). The Bible also makes it clear that peace makers shall be called the children of God (Matthew 5:9)

As a Christian, you are expected to live at peace with your neighbours. The first group of neighbours you should be at peace with are your loved ones. These include members of your household or family. Ensure that you live at peace with all members of your nuclear family which includes: your spouse, your children, your parents and your siblings. You should also live peacefully with all members of your extended family, being your uncles and aunties, cousins, nieces and nephews.

You also should endeavor to live peacefully with all members of your family, regardless of their religion and regardless of whether they give you peace of mind or not. It is unscriptural for a Christian to neglect his or her children or aged parents. Take good care of your Children, parents and all your loved ones. Ensure that you give them peace of mind. Another group of people that we should live peacefully with are those living in the same community with us.

Demonstrate true Christianity in your relationship with every member of your neighbourhood. Let them identify the love of God in your utterances and actions. Aside from your loved ones, it is your responsibility to live peacefully with those who are not kindly disposed to you. These includes your persecutors and critics. Endeavour to be at peace with all who despitefully use you.

Additionally, you should pray for peace in your community, nation and the entire world. It is your responsibility to pray for global peace and share the Prince of peace with all the people who are in need of salvation. Be prayerful and active in soul winning, follow-up and discipleship.

It however not enough to follow peace with all men. It is mandatory for you as a child of God to live Holy.

Read: 2 Corinthians 7: 1-2

Action Point: Make peace with your neighbours and all who have offended you.

Not A Coincidence

God uses human agents to bring to pass what he had planned before the foundation of the world.

The meeting between Abigail and David was no accident; God arranged it. David was wise enough to recognise this. You will make a lot of progress in life if you take note of the fact that no meeting with any person is a coincidence.

In Exodus 2:5-10, Pharaoh’s daughter went to bathe in the river at about the same time Moses was placed on it. It is easy for a casual observer to see this as a mere coincidence, but it was God at work in the affairs of men. God planned it because He wanted Moses to be trained in the house of Pharaoh. Fortunately, Pharaoh’s daughter had no child. If She had children, she would have seen adopting Moses as an extra burden.

Also, in 1 Samuel 17:22-23, we have the story of David and Goliath. David arrived at the battlefield at the very moment Goliath showed up to boast as he used to. As it were, the one meant to die met the one who would kill him. This was arranged by God.

In 1 kings 19:15-21, Elisha was busy doing his work when Elijah came passing by. God also arranged this meeting. Through this meeting, their lives were radically transformed.

From time to time, God uses some people to open doors for you and He uses some others to close doors against you.

Revelation 3:7 says,

And to the Angel of the Church in Philadelphia write; These things said He that is holy, He that is true, He that has the key of David, He who Opens, and no man shuts; and shuts, and no man opens;”

In the case of Nabal and David, David did not even ask God whether he should go and attack Nabal or not. He was so angry that even if God spoke, he would not have heard. God sent Abigail to close the door of revenge against him. This is why you must ensure that you are on the side of God.

As long as you are on His side, you have the assurance that every door shut against you is not good enough for what God is preparing to give you. Through patience, you must also learn to recognise that everyone in your life has been assigned to play one role or the other to bring about the actualization of the plan and purpose of God for your life. Whatever represents Nabal in your life, and whatever stands like Goliath on your road to success, all have their different roles to play. Just ensure you are on the Lord’s side and you can be sure of victory at the end of the day.

Read:

1 Samuel 25:32-35

Prayer Point:

Lord, work out your purpose for my life.

The Blessed Life

There is a divine purpose for sending you to Earth. It is this plan and purpose that will connect you to the blueprint of God for your life. Until this purpose is discovered, you may wander through life without any sense of fulfillment.

A lot of people pass through the world like an ant: unnoticed and unknown. This is because they fail to understand the plan and programme of God for them. The master plan for your life is in the hands of God. It spells out phase by phase what is expected of you at every given time. This is what gives you clear direction and focus on what to do and what not to do. It gives clear-cut direction on what can make your life a blessing indeed.

To have a blessed life means prosperity, excellence and extra-ordinary breakthroughs. Abraham is a true example of what a blessed life is. His life reveals what it means to be a blessing. He became a blessing because he discovered God’s purpose for His life and pursued it (Genesis 12:1-3). The moment your life becomes an instrument of blessing other lives, there is no way you will not record outstanding successes.

It is clear to all and sundry that Jesus lived a blessed life. He came to the world and died on the cross for the salvation of humanity. Today, you and I are called children of God because of that sacrifice.

There is no one who can enjoy a blessed life while living a double-standard life. You cannot be a channel of blessing if your life is not right with God. You need to be reconciled with your maker. You need to be at peace with God before you can begin to taste His wonderful grace. Having a blessed life implies a life that is totally surrendered to the Lord Jesus Christ. The life of Jesus is a blessing because through His Name, the sick are healed, the barren becomes fruitful, deliverance is given to the captive and innumerable miracles happen on a daily basis.

The steps to living in the realm of a blessed life revolve around having a mind of Christ. With the mind of Christ, you will be able to make a positive lasting change in the world. You must embrace a life of humility. True humility and the fear of the Lord lead to riches, honour and long life (Proverbs 22:4). Humility is a virtue that is expected to be seen in a life that wants to be blessed. When you are humble, you achieve greater feats. Jesus became obedient unto death. To have a blessed life, you must be willing to die daily; this means your self-will is subjected to the will of the Master on a daily basis.

Read:

Isaiah 45:1-3

Prayer Point:

Oh Lord, move me from the minimum level of life to the maximum you designed for me.

FREEDOM

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” – John 8:32

Freedom is generally defined as the power of self-determination attributable to the will. It is the power to act, speak or think as you want without hindrance, constraint or restriction.

However, the freedom that Jesus promised is freedom in which a man is set free from the power of the devil, sin, sickness, poverty and failure. It is freedom that is in the possession of born-again children of God who have been liberated through the blood of Christ.

It is a freedom that doesn’t rule out obedience to the commandments of God and submission to the will of God.

This freedom is a freedom of choice: a choice to submit to Jesus and follow Him all the days of our lives; a choice to live a holy and righteous life, and a choice to reject the devil, his demonic activities and their influence in our lives.

There are lots of misconceptions about the freedom that Jesus promised his followers. It is definitely not an invitation to lawlessness of self-will as some Christians suppose. The freedom Jesus promised comes through strict obedience to the word of God and it’s conditions.

Jesus says, if you continue in His word, you will come face to face with the truth, and the truth in the word of God will then set you free (John 8:31-32).

This passage was written for believers. Anyone that is yet to believe and trust in the Lord Jesus May find this principle of freedom promised by our Lord Jesus very difficult to understand.

This freedom comes as a natural response to the grace of God; it is not a system that forces anyone to live in any particular way.

The submission and commitment of Christians to Jesus is simply out of love and appreciation for what God did for us. However, anyone who claims to be a Christian, and yet finds it difficult to accept the freedom offered by our Lord Jesus Christ with thanksgiving, is only a pretender. James 1:25 says:

But if you look carefully into the perfect law that sets you free, and if you do what it says and don’t forget what you heard, then God will bless you for doing it.

The concept of freedom is not easy to understand. It offers us freedom from religious systems, the devil, sin, unrightiousness, self and demonic powers.

The Spirit guides us and leads us to make required sacrifices, but these sacrifices are for our own gain. We strive to make these sacrifices consciously and willingly out of love and appreciation for our salvation of our soul. This is the freedom of the Spirit offered by Jesus Christ to anyone who wants to be free from the devil and his works.

Read:

John 8:31-36

Prayer Point:

Father, please let the truth of your word continue to make me free, in Jesus’ Name.

The Light Of The World

Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life” – John 8:12

Darkness is the partial or total absence of light. It is a place of confusion, secrecy or mystery. Darkness stands for lack of spiritual or intellectual enlightenment, and represents wickedness or evil.

Children of God must have nothing to do with darkness. Moreover, light is the natural agent that stimulates sight and makes things visible. Light is a source of illumination and it represents a condition of spiritual awareness. It liberates and gives direction. Light reveals.

Every true child of God must seek to have the light of God – Jesus is the light of God. Jesus declared in John 8:12 that: “I am the light of the world, he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” He was actually making a very important statement that has it’s roots in the spiritual realm.

Light and darkness both have physical manifestations, but they have their roots in the Spirit realm. The book of Genesis opened with darkness upon the face of the deep, and the first thing God did was to replace the darkness with light by the power of His Word. The work of creation could not proceed until there was light.

Jesus used the concept of “following the light” to minister to Jews because it was a concept they could not relate with. When God brought them out of Egypt, He led them through the wilderness with a Pillar of fire by night so that they could travel far whenever the need arose (Exodus 13:21). Jesus used this to clearly illustrate that He alone can offer security, illumination and meaning in this dark world we live in.

Jesus as the light of the world offers life, revelation, grace, peace, understanding and spiritual awakening to those who are lost in the dark. I pray that everyone who is confused or lost in the darkness of this world will receive illumination and the revelation of the Lord Jesus today, in Jesus’ Name.

The Bible while talking about the brevity of time in John 12:35-36 says:

Jesus replied, “My light will shine for you just a little longer. Walk in the light while you can, so the darkness will not overtake you. Those who walk in the darkness cannot see where they are going. Put your trust in the light while there is still time; then you will become children of the light.” After saying these things, Jesus went away and was hidden from them.”

Therefore, time waits for no man; tomorrow May be too late. Today is the day of salvation; come to the light of Jesus today.

Prayer Point:

Dear Father, You are the light of the world. Let the light of your gospel shine in every heart, community and nation, in Jesus’ Name.