How to respond to the Call of God- 1

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HOW DO I RESPOND TO GOD’S CALL ON MY LIFE?

This is the question I get from a lot of people, not some times but all the times. I decided to answer this to the best of my knowledge of the scriptures. I will discuss these major things you must be aware of.

  1. The call of God is not an assumption.
  2. God not you decides ‘WHEN’.
  3. Be planted in a local church.
  4. Be active in service.
  5. Followership is key.

Ephesians 4:11:  And He gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers.

The scripture above is clear: And HE GAVE SOME, not all. Everyone is called into ministry according to 2Corinthians 5:17-18 but not all are called into the five fold.

2Corinthians 5:18: Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and HAS GIVEN US the ministry of reconciliation.

The moment you got born again, you received the ministry of reconciliation. This is the preaching of Christ to all men, that they may be reconciled to God. Every believer is called to this ministry. It is our primary purpose and life assignment.

On the other hand, there are SOME, not All are called into higher ministries called ‘The five fold’. Their offices are listed in Ephesians 4:11: Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.

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  1. The Call of God is not an assumption.

You don’t assume the call of God upon your life, it is a dangerous thing to do. If you put yourself in an office God has not put you, it is self-destructive. No mortal man should call you into any of these offices, it is only God that does.

You must really be sure you are called into the five fold. How do you know? By the witness of the spirit, through the word and through divine encounters.

There are many who are already active in ministry but do not really know their place in the five fold. I was once in that shoe. The Lord had told me to start The God Seekers, months after, I became very curious. I had always known I had the call of God upon my life even before the Lord asked to start a ministry. So I started and became very curious. At some point, I thought I was an evangelist, because of my unusual passion to preach. I’d preach in the bus, cabs, on bikes, I once led a bike-man to Christ after a mid-week service in the evening. It was late, I didn’t get the chance to see his face but  I am sure I invited him to church but he didn’t come so few weeks later, after another mid-week service, I took a bike to the bus stop and decided to share Jesus with the bike-man. Unknowingly it was the same man I led to Christ few weeks before. My Passion for the ministry of reconciliation was so palpable, I can preach anywhere and everywhere that I thought I was called into the office of an Evangelist but I was not.

Do not be anxious to know, just keep preaching and teaching, in due time, the Lord Himself will bring you into it. Few months after, I went on a season of fast and prayed with Colossians 1:9-10, lo and behold, I had an encounter that can never leave me forever, it was then I knew I was called into the office of a teacher. The anointing to function in each office comes with the calling, you don’t learn it, you just have it. There are some gifts of the Spirit that comes with this office too, you flow in them expressly without struggle. It is to fulfill the work of the office you are called into. E.g Someone called into the office of an Evangelist will have the power gifts and Gift of faith at work in him/her in a dimension beyond at work in an ordinary believer.

TO BE CONTINUED.

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Dealing with the Past -2

2Corinthians 5:17: if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation. OLD THINGS HAVE PASSED AWAY, behold all things have become new.
A new creation has no past in God because it was blotted out. Your former nature was crucified with Christ and a new you emerged with Christ when He resurrected.
Many Christians, after they get born again, still struggle with experiences from the past. Devil brings guilt and condemnation from the past, due to ignorance of your identity in Christ, you then submit to depression.
He reminds you of your old addictions, how you messed up in the past, he tries to convince you, that you do not deserve the best of God right now. Then, you go ahead to embrace his lies and result in depression.
IF THE DEVIL CAN BRING YOU UNDER CONDEMNATION, HE WILL CHEAT YOU OUT OF YOUR INHERITANCE.
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Talking about a bad past, Apostle Paul had the most ugly past. He was a murderer, persecutor, blasphemer (yours could be abortion, abuse, sexual addictions) yet when he was born again, he said, ‘I have wronged no one’ and I’m like Uncle Paul, hol’ up! Let me open Acts 8:1: Now Saul was consenting to his death….verse 3: As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison. What happened to this past sins? So here was the same person in 2Corinthians 7:2 saying ‘we have wronged no one’. In context, he was right but in the human sense, he wasn’t. He had wronged several people in his past but the blood of Jesus had blotted it all out so he had boldness to say none of those things existed anymore!
He no longer identified with his past but the reality of His redemption in Christ. He identified that his old man (the sin nature) had been crucified with Christ(Romans 6:6), Gal 2:20, he identified that he was a new creation in Christ, and there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ. He identified that he was the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
YOUR REAL IDENTITY IS IN CHRIST, NOT IN YOUR PAST.
IN CHRIST
How to live victoriously over the lies of the enemy is by daily acknowledging who you are in Christ. Your faith becomes active this way, your mind should be filled with this consciousness of the truth that is already in your spirit.
Being in Christ is not a theological lesson, it is the reality of redemption. It is your new address, your stance before the father. Your new identity.
Your mind is where the number one battle is fought. Satan knows if he can capture your thought life, he has won a great victory. Therefore the first place the devil is going to attack is your mind. As a matter of fact, he brings thoughts and suggestions to you. I like the way Kenneth Hagin said it: just because Satan brings thoughts to your mind doesn’t mean they are sins.
Every believer is above condemnation. Don’t let the devil bring you under it, you ought to live above it!
When the devil introduces thoughts of guilt into your mind, don’t accept it. Your response to it is a reflection of what is in your consciousness. If you are not conscious of who you are in Christ, you will submit to condemnation and depression. If you are, you will scream at him and say, devil, the person you are talking about no longer lives here! He died with Christ two thousand years ago. A new man lives here, one who lives above condemnation, one whose past has been blotted out by the blood. You have to daily renew your mind with the word, meditate and confess your identity in Christ till it powers your consciousness.
If you allow the memory of your past to continue, it is just as bad as if those things were still there. If you keep thinking about it, the impact is just as if it had happened again.
The old person you used to be is dead, it was crucified with Christ. You might as well forget the past. Read the previous post in the series at Dealing With The Past (1)
TO BE CONTINUED

Dealing With The Past (1)

Hebrews 11:13,15, NKJV:
13. These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.
15. And truly, IF THEY HAD CALLED TO MIND THAT COUNTRY FROM WHICH THEY HAD COME OUT, they would have had opportunity to return.

Although, many believers have been delivered from the past, they still put on the chains of the past by calling to mind the things they had been delivered from already. The past in this case could be an old, unpleasant experience like an abuse, a dysfunctional relationship and countless several examples.

When God brought the Israelites out of Egypt, one of the things He first purposed to do was to delete the memory of their past so they could embrace the new land He was bringing them into.

YOU WILL NEVER HAVE THE NEW, IF THE OLD IS STILL IN VIEW.

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The consciousness of the new life in Christ must overwhelm and subdue the consciousness of the old life you once had. The consciousness of where you are going must obliterate and bring to naught the consciousness of where you are coming from. The memory of the new must superimpose the old, terrible life God has delivered you from.

There was a quicker route to Canaan the Lord could have delivered the Israelite from the hands of Pharaoh but God decided to take them by the way of the Red Sea.

Exodus 13:17-18, KJV (emphasis added): Then, it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, THAT GOD DID NOT LEAD THEM BY WAY OF THE LAND OF THE PHILISTINES, ALTHOUGH THAT WAS NEAR; for God said, lest perhaps the people CHANGE THEIR MINDS when they see war, and return to Egypt, so God led the people around by the way of the wilderness of the Red Sea.

In the scripture above, God was mindful of the will power of their minds. He will not be able to change their will power if it went against His plans, so He decided to lead them away so that would influence their minds to be in agreement with His plan.

God does not remove our will power even after we get born again. The leading of the Spirit is never and will never be by force, it will always be by choice. One can choose either to yield or go against the Spirit of God.

In order to delete the memory of Egypt from the minds of the Isrealites, God created an alternative route; He hardened the heart of Pharaoh, so he could pursue them and God used that opportunity to destroy him before the Isrealites. He wanted them to be assured that their greatest enemy was done with, once and for all and he did this also to remove all their attachments from the past.

However, their hearts were hardened, they kept on calling Egypt to mind, so they never had opportunity to reach Canaan. These things were written for our learning (1 Corinthians 10:6). To have a successful journey in life, we must learn to let go of the claws of the past.

PAST

HOW TO DELETE THE MEMORY OF THE PAST.

Hebrews 11:13, KJV: These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

The elders of faith never received the promise but they had a great attitude towards receiving.

  1. They saw them afar off and were assured of them. How can you be assured of what you are yet to receive? This is simply faith. They took the promise of God and kept it in their mouth till it filled their mind. They fixed their gaze on the promise and they never faltered, so much that they had an assurance of receiving. It means the promise of God had filled their consciousness. Meditate on God’s Word especially His promises concerning where you are going till it rules your consciousness. Meditating on the Word is the medication, the antidote to delete the past, to make it non-existent.
  2. They embraced it. How can you embrace what you are yet to receive physically? It’s like hugging a ghost. This is deep! It’s simply faith in action. ‘Embrace’ is translated ‘aspazomai’ in Greek, meaning to draw to one self, to receive or welcome joyfully.

You can never separate joy from the faith process. Joy is not dependent on physical happenings. You rejoice in trials, tribulations as the one who is victorious always in Christ (read my post ‘REJOICE’ on my blog, it explains better). Your consciousness shows on your countenance. When you are conscious of the past, fear, depression, guilt will be seen all over you but when you are conscious of the new, joy, peace, strength will be written all over you.

  1. They confessed. Faith has a voice. It is the confession of victory in the midst of turmoil. You must acknowledge the good things you have received in Christ Jesus even if they are yet to be seen physically (Philemon 6). When you confess, your faith becomes effectual. Your faith is not active until you begin to speak.

 

Begin to declare boldly, the new life you have received, the victory you have in Christ and the promises of God concerning what you are looking forward to.

 

“Every time you think about the past, you create an opportunity to return to it.”

​HALLMARKS OF THE ’31’ WOMAN (1).


One of the hallmarks of the ‘Proverbs 31 woman’ is all round strength.
Proverbs 31:17 (AMP): She gird herself with strength (spiritual, mental and physical fitness for her God-given task) and makes her arm strong and firm.

Dear Woman, you are a spirit, you have a soul and you live in a body (1 Thessalonians 5: 23). The order: spirit, soul and body is arranged in order of importance in the above scripture and not the other way around. God desires your completeness in this order.

It is clear in the scripture above that SHE GIRDS HERSELF WITH STRENGTH, God did not gird her.
Spiritual strength: This is not automatic! It is not given at birth. It is built in the place of prayer. God releases strength into her when she prays. 

Ephesians 3:14-16: For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ…..that He would grant you according to the riches of His glory TO BE STRENGTHENED WITH MIGHT through His Spirit in the inner man. Strength is released into your spirit in the place of prayer. You must have a consistent prayer life for strength to be infused into your spirit daily. Paul didn’t wish they had strength, he prayed that they be strengthened.
Mental Strength: Spiritual strength is not an excuse to be dull mentally. Spirituality is an added advantage, however you must not neglect instead you must acquire knowledge in your field or profession. Mental strength is developed by reading. For example, if you are a christian and a surgeon by profession, the skill required to perform your daily duties is not written in the scriptures but in medical books. 
Your spiritual strength however is an edge for you, it provides an added advantage.  If you are a student, you have the responsibility to read your academic books, don’t expect the Holy Ghost to do that for you, it is your required task. Read books, not solely academic or spiritual books but other materials that will help develop you in all spheres of life.

Physical strength: This is got by nourishing your body with healthy meals and exercising it on a regular basis. Physical exercise does have some value. Make it a point of duty to groom your body to be strong and healthy. Don’t consume every junk that comes your way, most are not beneficial to your health. Eat well, rest well and exercise well. No matter the strength of your spirit, your body is still needed to give full expression to your purpose.
When you become spiritually strong, mentally sound and physically fit, you will be able to carry out God’s task and give expression to your purpose.

Best Regards.

#TheCompleteWOMAN

Love Walk

Deacon Gaius gave a word of knowledge in church yesterday but he was seen in court on Monday prosecuting Mr Chloe for encroaching on his farmland. Uncle Fortunatus led the church in opening hymn on Sunday morning yet we heard he has been sleeping with his father’s wife (his stepmother) and he does not even feel it’s a sin.
Stephanas gave a beautiful exhortation last Sunday however was seen stirring up strife among the deacons saying, “I have the general overseer’s anointing (I am of Paul’s circle)” while other deacons are operating in the associate’s anointing (I am of Apollos’ circle).

These were common scenarios that operated in the Church of Corinth before Paul wrote his first letter to them.

1 Corinthians 14:1: Pursue love and desire spiritual gifts but especially that you may prophesy.
This is the 14th chapter of Paul’s letter (although it was not written initially in chapters and verses). Paul had addressed some major issues the Church in Corinth had been plagued with: strife, envy, sexual immorality, court cases and so on. All these were traceable to their lack of love walk: they did not walk in love.. These guys had great demonstration of the gifts of the Spirit as recorded in 1 Corinthians 1:5; they were enriched in all spiritual utterance and in knowledge combined.

Spiritual gifts are not evidence of spiritual maturity, love walk is! Paul, in 1 Corinthians 3:1, called the members at the Church of Corinth babes because they walked not in love. Someone might be rich in the knowledge of scriptures and not walk in love. He or she may know so much but applies little practically. No wonder Paul said, pursue love AND desire spiritual gifts.
Don’t be fooled by what people know but be more concerned about the fruits they have produced without knowledge. Knowledge indeed puffs up, it is love that truly edifies.

LOVE

Love is the fruit of the spirit. As much as you desire to demonstrate the gifts, you must first abound in the fruit. Gifts are charisma, the fruit is the character that will sustain the gifts. Develop character before charisma. John 13:35:By this all will know that you are my disciples, IF YOU HAVE LOVE ONE FOR ANOTHER. Before you look out for gifts in people, first check their love walk. Their love walk is their character gauge.
The best endowment of the Holy Spirit is not His gifts but His Love.

The Kind of Love Paul was talking about in the above scripture was Agape. A new creation in Christ has this love within (Romans 5:5). The love of God was birthed in you at the time of your salvation however the love in you can lay dormant i.e not working through you to reach out to others. Faith likewise can be dormant if it not released to lay hold on all the provisions of grace. This leads to a life filled with insignificant results.
The love in you becomes active through the knowledge of God’s Word. You become love conscious by confessing and acting on God’s word concerning love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 describes how to express love to others.

Love suffers long and is kind. Love does not envy and does not parade itself. Love is not puffed up. Love does not behave rudely and does not seek its own. Love is not provoked and it thinks no evil. Love does not rejoice in iniquity but rejoices in truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things and endures all things.  Which part of love walk are you falling short of, it is time to make adjustment. You probably need to show more kindness, have more patience or start believing the best of others. You have to be intentional about walking in love because walking in love is walking in the spirit.
As much as you are ambitious for spiritual gifts, let love be your greatest pursuit.

I once wrote 6 posts in a series titled LOVE BEING, read at http://wp.me/p8efmv-et

 

Uncle Apollos

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Luke 6:40, NKJV: A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone WHO IS PERFECTLY TRAINED will be like his teacher.

Paul was more involved in church planting and he had helpers in ministry (Apollos inclusive) whom he placed over the churches he planted, to help grow and establish them in the way of truth. To understand the epistle and the characters in it, you need to study the Acts of Apostles.

The very first time I encountered the name Apollos was in 1 Corinthians 3:6: I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase.

For you to be the right hand man of Apostle Paul was not “beans”, it was no easy task.  You had to be sound and whatever was taught had to be consistent with the foundation he had laid. You had to have an understanding of the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ and present Him to the church till they grow up in Him. So one would naturally expect so much from Apollos.  See what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 3:10: According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed on how he builds on it.

But here was Apollos before he met Paul, he had been a preacher but knew nothing about Christ.

Acts 18:24-28: Now a certain Jew named Apollos, born at Alexandria, AN ELOQUENT MAN, AND MIGHTY IN THE SCRIPTURES, came to Ephesus. This man had been instructed in the way of the Lord; AND BEING FERVENT IN SPIRIT, HE SPOKE AND TAUGHT ACCURATELY THE THINGS OF THE LORD, THOUGH HE KNEW ONLY THE BAPTISM OF JOHN.

So he began to speak boldly in the synagogue. When Aquila and Priscilla heard him, THEY TOOK HIM ASIDE AND EXPLAINED TO HIM THE WAY OF GOD MORE ACCURATELY. ………for he vigorously refuted the Jews publicly, showing from the scriptures that Jesus is the Christ.

  1. Apollos was ELOQUENT. He had good oratory skills but he was skillful with an incomplete knowledge. (He was indoctrinated in the baptism of John only).
  2. He was MIGHTY IN SCRIPTURES. He could quote several scriptures but only had mental knowledge of it not a revelation knowledge of Christ. Just the way Timothy knew scriptures that could make him wise unto salvation from childhood.( 2Timothy 3:15)
  3. He was FREVENT IN SPIRIT. Fervency in the spirit does not translate to accuracy in knowledge. You can be zealous yet ignorant (Romans 10:1) or zealous with the wrong knowledge. God on the other hand might permit some great things in your life and ministry because he is a merciful God. For example some present day Jew who do not believe in Christ yet, still enjoy the covenant God made with Abraham. As much as you are fervent in the spirit, you must also have an accurate knowledge of Christ.

Thank God for Aquila and Priscilla, who took Apollos aside to teach him. They did not try to correct him openly, they just knew he did not know enough. The moment Apollos got it right, he went to present the accurate teachings of Christ. These couple had been with Paul so their understanding of Christ was definitely accurate (Acts 18:1-4). They knew Apollos had great ministry potential, they refined him and he came out better.

The truth is, in this present day, the Aquilas and Priscillas around you might not call you aside but it is your responsibility to submit and learn from them till you become all God has called you to be.  Paul could not put the unlearned Apollos over a church, it would nullify the good foundation he had laid.

Meekness (teachability) or readiness to learn must be the hallmark of every minister or child of God. You grow faster when you are teachable. Be humble enough to learn. Training or learning refines you. God bless every “Aquilas and Priscillas” that have taught me and are still teaching me. I celebrate y’all eternally.

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My Camp Experience-4

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THE SEEMINGLY GOOD ALTERNATIVES

I was on a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) queue sometimes ago in Lagos. I had waited for over an hour already, if not more than two hours after a very long day. My legs were paining and the yellow-painted transport buses were simply not an option at that time because of the heavy traffic. Suddenly, people started creating a “pseudo queue” different from the main queue and were rapidly entering the BRT buses, so I thought to join but the Holy Spirit gently said, stay! But the pseudo queue kept moving and the original queue was completely static. Out of impatience, I left for the pseudo queue! Alas! By the time I got there it had stopped moving and the original queue which I left started moving fast. The pain of regret overwhelmed me. Trust me, pain of regret is far worse than suicide. I felt so bad, not because of the now moving queue, but for disobeying the Holy Spirit thinking I knew better. I felt naturally, that I will not be accepted on the queue again since I did not tell anyone I was coming back but the Holy Spirit said to me, “go back to the original queue.” Lo and behold, I was permitted! Who would have imagined?

He is not just a God of second chances but of many chances. A thousand times I have failed, but God’s mercies still remains. This is not a license to take His grace or mercy for granted but an assurance that God never gives up on us. Nothing can ever separate us from God’s love.

I wrote in the first post that I knew where my PPA (Primary Place of Assignment) will be. The Lord confirmed it again while I was in camp. Few days to the end of camp, a very good friend of mine called me with such great intention. She knew the man in charge of posting people to their PPAs and she thought it wise to do me a favour so that I will be afforded the chance to choose wherever I wanted in Edo State for my PPA. BLANK CHEQUE, you think? Not every opportunity is God’s leading. Not every open door is from God. She had good intentions but it was not part of God’s plan.

When Sarah offered her maid, Hagar to Abraham (Genesis 16:3) , it seemed like a good option but it was not God’s option.  Before you embrace every new opportunity or walk through an open door, always discern if it’s from God. Speed in the wrong direction is the same as being stagnant.

I got to this chosen PPA which I selected based on my will and everything about it was not right. The surrounding circumstances were so discouraging. I asked myself, ‘what am I doing here?’. Ignorance is better than knowing the truth and heading the wrong path, the pain of regret made me cry. I quickly put myself together and searched within me if I was to stay or leave. Right there I prayed, “sweet Holy Spirit, I know I got myself into this but I’m sorry, help me out of here.”  It seemed impossible at first because my letter had been stamped. I was expected to resume immediately. Few minutes later, a woman walked up to me and asked if I was okay. I told her I did not want to be here, she willingly offered to help. Straightaway, she met with the director of administration and I was permitted to leave.

I was told I will be posted to another place. I later found out that the new place was not where God showed me. I stood up that same morning, worshipped and danced like I got where I wanted already. You should read my post on REJOICE! (Here are the links; REJOICE  and REJOICE -2)  I danced like God had settled it which indeed He had. Satan brought thoughts like your disobedience got you here, but I chose to rejoice like it was done already.

To cut the long story short, my camp clinic director found out the place was not so okay and took it upon herself to see that I was posted to a better place and eventually it was the initial place God revealed to me. God indeed is faithful! Here I am, writing this post in that very place.

Lessons learnt

  1. He is the God of many chances.
  2. God’s mercies are unending but don’t take it for granted. The cost of disobedience is very expensive, you do not want to know how stressful it was, changing local governments, moving up and down when your mates were already settled. Going from one office to another to sign or pick up a letter. It was tiring! But I am happy God remains faithful even when we deny Him. His mercies are unending, they are new every morning.
  3. No matter how long you have walked on the path of disobedience, it is never to too late to turn back. Madness is simply speed in the wrong direction. God was merciful to Abraham and to me. Yours will not be an exception.

God loves you.

My Camp experience continues later. There are some testimonies I will share in the course of this one year journey. So much in two months, I’m sure the next ten months will be awesome.