…Oh, how I love your instructions! I think about them all day long…
THE WORD WORKS
“Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful”, (Joshua 1v8, New International Version). The preceding Scripture comes with a promise. If we work with God’s Word, it will work wonders for us. However, if we fail to work with the Word according to God’s way, experiencing the power of His promises remains a dream.
According to God’s instruction to the Israelites, they were meant to teach the law to their Children and pass it from generation to generation. This would involve speaking the Word. A crucial way to apply the Word to our everyday circumstances is to declare it over our situations. However, we can only boldly decree what we have read, thought on and believed.
The influence of the Word over our lives begins when we meditate on it. Our thoughts determine our attitude. When we consistently think on God’s Word, we receive faith. Romans 10v17 (New King James Version) assures us that “So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God.”. Meditation involves speaking the Word to ourselves over and over again. God’s Word becomes powerful in our mouth when faith is ignited in our hearts.
A critical requirement for enjoying the blessings of God’s promises is doing the Word. According to Joshua 1v8, we need to do everything the Word says – total obedience. This is often easier said than done. The good news is God’s Word always comes with the grace to apply it. All He needs from us is the willingness to live by His Word.
As we resolve to think, speak and do the Word, it will work wonders in our lives.
THE POWER OF BITTERNESS
I once heard of the account of a woman whose mother committed adultery. She became bitter against her mother and promised herself she would never repeat her mother’s mistake. Unfortunately she ended up doing the same thing she hated her mother for doing.
I strongly believe the lady repeated her mother’s because she failed to forgive her mother. We have every tendency to be guilty of what we detest in our parents if we don’t release them in our hearts. How many times have we heard of the man who promises to never lay a finger on his wife and yet does exactly what his father did? Resentment creates a cycle of failure from one generation to another.
A pattern of failure in the family is just one of the several results of bitterness. Bitterness also succeeds in sabotaging our relationships. When we carry the baggage of resentment from our past relationships, we end up treating people with bitterness. A lady who is resentful against the men who were unfaithful to her will draw the conclusion that all men cannot be trusted. Her future finance will bear the brunt of her bitterness. The man with the purest intention will be frustrated by her attitude.
We have to let go of every ounce of bitterness against those who have hurt us. Someone said resentment is a poison we take hoping it will kill the other person. Nobody is worth ruining your life over. Releasing those who have hurt us is a task we cannot achieve on our own. God offers us help in the form of grace to do so. Cry out to Him for help to let go. Let go of the hurt. Let go of the pain. Let go of the bitterness and resentment. Embrace the beautiful life forgiveness offers you.
God revealed His intention to free the Israelites from the grip of Egypt. He also told Moses he had been chosen to liberate the nation of Israel, Exodus 3v7-10. Moses’ reaction showed his level of self-esteem-“Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh? Who am I that I should bring the Israelites out?”, Exodus 3v11. In other words, Moses was saying God had chosen the wrong person for the job. He was not qualified in any way.
Has God shown you your destiny, Has he revealed what He wants you to achieve for His Kingdom, Are you meant to be a Pastor, Business Magnate or influential philanthropist, Are you counting the reasons you are not qualified?- you have a past soiled with sexual addiction, you are poor, people have concluded you can never be somebody significant. In response to your inadequacies, God is telling you what He assured Moses in Exodus 3v12-“I will be with you.”
None of us can ever be good enough on our own to be instruments for Heaven’s Plans. We are called because of His unmerited favour and unconditional love. God never expects us to fulfil His Agenda with our abilities. The One who makes the call is responsible for paying the bill. Once we are sent by God, He assures us of His never-failing presence. Our role is to work with Him, relying solely on His ability.
To those who have believed and confessed Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour, Romans 8v37 says “We are more than victorious through Him who loved us.”, (Holman Christian Standard Bible).
While Moses was taking care of the flock of his father-in-law, He received a higher call, Exodus 3v1-8. He was destined to free God’s people from a life of slavery in Egypt yet he was tending sheep. God didn’t meet Moses complaining or being idle. He met him being faithful in what appeared to be an insignificant job. This translates to the fact that faithfulness is a crucial attitude in the waiting years.
We have discovered that God intends for us to cultivate the attitudes of trust and patience in the place of preparation. He also desires that we are faithful during that period. Our level of faithfulness determines the length of time we spend in the school of preparation. There are people today that Heaven cannot commit millions in their trust simply because they failed to use the thousands for God’s purposes. One of the yardsticks our Master uses in assessing our qualification for promotion is our level of commitment.
God doesn’t need to test you with the position of the CEO before He knows how faithful you will be. He already knows how committed you are as the Head of your Department. Luke 16v10 attests to this when it says “The one who is faithful in a very little is also faithful in much, and the one who is dishonest in a very little is also dishonest in much”, New English Translation.
To those who have been giving less than 100% to what has been committed to their hands-there is grace to be the best at whatever you do, all your Master needs is faithfulness. To those who have been committed-your Master is proud of you and pay day is coming.
After Moses’ attempt to free his people failed, he fled to the land of Midian to escape from Pharaoh. He became a Shepherd. According to Bible Scholars, Moses served as a Shepherd for 40 years. The deliverer of men was tending sheep for significant years of his life, Exodus 3v1.
The question was not whether Moses was the promised deliverer for the Israelites. He had been chosen for this purpose. The question was whether he was prepared. It was a question of time and seasons. In as much as it is crucial to be called for an assignment, it is also critical to be ready for the task. Jesus had to be groomed for 30 years for His destiny of saving mankind from the power of sin.
The place of preparation is a place where our character is shaped. You cannot lead sheep for 40 years without learning to be humble. There are certain character flaws, attitudes and habits that will frustrate Heaven’s Agenda for us. We need time to do away with such factors. We need time to cultivate godly attitudes. We also need time to develop the skills required for the fulfilment of destiny.
We need faith and patience to enjoy the best from the Waiting Years. Circumstances don’t usually align with God’s Word during this time. However, we need to trust God’s Heart when we can’t see His Hand. We also need patient to work at Heaven’s pace. Scripture assures us that God ensures that all things work together for our good and that He makes all things beautiful in His time.
The silent years are preparing you for your best days.
“The people of Israel groaned because they were slaves. They also cried out to God. Their cry for help went up to Him. God heard their groans. He remembered His covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. So God looked on the Israelites with favour. He was concerned about them”. (Exodus 2v23-25, NIRV)
One thing is clear from the preceding verses of Scripture-God answers prayers. The Israelites were tired of a life of slavery. They remembered God’s promises to their ancestors-Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. They were not willing to settle for an inhumane existence. They did all they could do. They prayed. They called out to the Governor of nations. They cried out to the One who lifts paupers to feast with princes.
Your situation may feel like that of the Israelites. I can assume that you don’t have chains on you and are controlled by a Task Master. However, you may have certain limitations. You can’t afford good food because you are poor. You can’t work because you are sick. You can’t hold your baby because according to the Doctor, you are barren. You can’t stop drinking because you are an alcoholic.
You have done all you can do. However, it is not enough. You need help. It is time to leave it in the Hands of the One who rules over the affairs of men. The assurance we have is “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved”. (Romans 10v13)
When you have done all you can do, God will do what you can’t do. God has never failed to answer the cry of His Children and He is not about to start with you. Rest assured, help is on the way.
Moses was tired of the live of slavery his people were subjected to. One day he saw an Egyptian maltreating an Israelite. He was so passionate about freeing his people he killed the Egyptian. When he tried settling a dispute between 2 Israelites the next day, one of them resisted his help and reminded him of his crime. When Pharaoh discovered that Moses had killed an Egyptian, he tried to kill him. Moses had to run to the land of Midian, (Exodus 2v11-14).
Moses obviously had good intentions and his plans were in sync with God’s desire to free the nation of Israel. However, the timing was wrong. God is a God of times and seasons. His plans will always be fulfilled according to His schedule. When we try to speed up the process, we end up failing just as Moses did.
It is not enough to know God’s Plans for us; we should also be willing to work according to His schedule. He is never early or late. He is always on time. God doesn’t need us to help Him in fulfilling His Word. He only needs us to work with His timing in birthing His Promises into reality. We live in a fast paced world where technology helps us in speeding things up. While that is good, we should not carry that mentality into our walk with God.
As we receive grace to be patient, we will work in perfect symphony with our Maker. We will discover that the wait was more than worth it.
The king of Egypt had ordered the killing of Israelite baby boys, Exodus 1v22. When Moses was born, his mother hid him for 3 months. When she couldn’t hide the baby anymore, she placed him in a basket and put him at the edge of the Nile River. The king’s daughter came to the river to have her bath and found the basket. Moses’ sister had been watching to see what would happen to his brother.
When Pharaoh’s daughter discovered Moses, her sister offered to get a nurse for the baby. Guess who the nurse was? It was Moses’ mother. So Moses’ mother was getting paid to take care of her baby. Moses was with her mother until he was weaned and the king’s daughter adopted him as her son. All this is recorded in Exodus 2v1-10.
Someone might say the series of preceding events are mere coincidences. God had promised that He would deliver His people from slavery in Egypt. Moses was the promised deliverer. God orchestrated the events to preserve the deliverer. This alludes to the truth that God’s Word will be fulfilled despite the enemy’s attempt to frustrate His plans. Isaiah 55v11 assures us that “That’s how it is with my words. They don’t return to me without doing everything I sent them to do.”
Everything has to conform to the fulfilment of God’s Promise. If He has to arrange circumstances and use the agents of the enemy just as He did in Moses’ case, He will ensure that His Word is accomplished to the letter. It may not look like it. It may not sound like it. Trust Him. When He is through, it will be what He promised you.