Prosper and be resilient through toughest storms

Psalm  1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. [2]  But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. [3]  And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. [4]  The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Lately, I find myself besieged with modern thought bombs – deceptive counsel – exploding and leaving debris of doubts threatening to darken understanding.  There are three examples of increasingly accepted “counsel” that cause me to pause, think and consider.

  • It is the method in the modern emerging church that is changing and not the message. Most modernists believe that the message Christ – the salvation of God is not changing but rather it is the method that needs change. The TRUTH is that if you listen to early preachers e.g. Tozer or Spurgeon who taught the word over 50yrs ago and compare to messages from the network menu…you must conclude (you can find a few classics on sermon audio) that the message is radically different…It is NOT the music and style – described as “the method” that is changing today. It is the fundamental message of salvation only in Christ Jesus and what this truly means – that is being repackaged.  Modern style/music/atmosphere etc are anaesthesia to dull perception during a radical surgery.

 

  • Imperative for radical spiritual warfare has ceased …we need not war (fast and pray) like saints of old …because social issues are now better addressed, basic needs are met and people are coming to the Lord in their billions.  Let’s focus on more constructive engagements. The TRUTH is that the war is more fierce and intelligent. It is fought not on sea and land but on the digital and print media, in education, in our minds and thoughts and on cultural fields. The new weapons are amazingly effective.  Instead of feeding Christian to the lions, Christians are now fed with strange meats… how many “Daniels” decline the sumptuous fare?

 

  • The Church (or the old time religion as we used to know it) is becoming irrelevant, threatened to extinction and will soon collapse under the weight of overriding cultural pressures…unless it accepts extra-biblical revisions.   The TRUTH is that the Church is Christ’s treasured and adored Bride – and is very safe.  She does not require any adornment that has not been provided by Christ in His word. The scriptures assure us that nothing will prevail against the Church.  It will be what it is meant to be when Christ returns i.e. without spot or wrinkle…ready for the master. The only garment she needs is Christ. Many over the ages have seen her troubles and afflictions and did not understand that in her weakness she is at her strongest. Though God requires human vessels, the Church is increased and sustained primarily by divine help and not by well meaning efforts or marketing.

palmtreeWhat has this got to do with finances or other practical matters? We are asked to reflect and meditate on the word of God – day and night, to delight in it … and we will prosper like the Palm tree…even through the toughest storms. 

The Palm tree is known for resilience, stamina and uncommon ability to withstand extreme vagaries of weather including long periods of cessation of rain and adverse situations. You and indeed your business, marriage or ministry can be like stately palm trees or chaff easily blown away.  You decide which.  

Be assured that you have given your life to Jesus Christ. You can do so  – even now.

Have a blessed day. Amen.

Bode

 

 

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King Uzziah, Queen Esther, Ann Boleyn and Wealth

May God help us to die daily. Amen.   Every day I look at the Word, I hear God speaking His old truths which are ever living spirits through the ages in yet new and fresh ways for illumination and strength. The wisdom of God may seem simple, obvious and plain yet the powerful Prophet Isaiah missed it until he saw King Uzziah dead and then we read “He saw also the Lord”.  Why also? What is so attractive and compelling about Uzziah that even in death Isaiah’s gaze was fixed on him?

Isaiah 6 [1]  In the year that king Uzziah died I saw also the Lord sitting upon a throne, high and lifted up, and his train filled the temple.

I dare confess to my more spiritual mentors that I thoroughly enjoyed recently watching “One Night with the King” featuring great actors like Omar Sharif and Peter O’Toole.  One Night With the King is an epic motion picture set in an ancient and exotic world of gripping adventure, intrigue and romance, that follows a young beautiful Jewish orphan who rises from peasant to Queen of Persia only to One Night With the Kingface the annihilation of her people. The film had it all – beauty, morality, lavish wealth, fantastic dreams coming true, exciting and witty conversation, suspense, wisdom and intellect, joys and thrills, honour, courage, valour, music, art …and Queen Esther had it all. Can we not have it all ?… Read on. 

The most important part of the plot was when she suddenly found herself facing the loss of all her dreams and her life suddenly threatened by the unmatchable intrigue of Haman the Agagite. Her response was to risk it all for God. She breached a protocol that demanded her very life. Mordecai informs Esther that the Jews only hope is for her to risk her life and go before the King unsummoned (a crime punishable by death) to intercede for her people. It is then that Esther utters those fateful words that have rung through the centuries, “If I perish, I perish,” as she races off with one last chance to save her people.

Esther saw her “King Uzziah” dead as she obeyed God. This did not just save her from a tragic end, but ushered a greater wealth and eternal honour in the annals of the history of her people. The greatest lesson was not her achievement to emerge as royalty but her short speech ending in “…If I perish I perish”.  The perishing of “I” in Christ… is the end of Uzziah and the beginning of divine wealth…the treasured secret of all those who will see God’s Heaven.

The Apostle Paul said in I Corinthians 15:31(amp) [31] I assure you by the pride which I have in you in your  fellowship and union with Christ Jesus our Lord, that I die daily  – I face death every day and die to self.

King Uzziah will not be ignored and Isaiah could not help but see him and certainly could not kill him. The Lord will not reign in our finances or indeed in anything else until He has helped us to dethrone Uzziah. The end of Uzziah is the beginning of eternal and limitless possibilities in all spheres for God. Only a few categories are listed as follows – they all tend to revolve around “self” in different ways. Uzziah was a king who came to the throne at the age of 16…started well but ended badly. What are the manifestations of Uzziah – the bewitching attractions of the modern era?   

  1. Human intellect and civil perfection producing great and “humble” well meaning performance imagined as pleasing to God. Humanism and traditions enslave the mind through corrupted education and media brainwashing. These are mental comforts that mask hidden ambitions and corruptions to enthrone man in all spheres even in the religious church and more so in the new so called post-church “free” movements now apparently emerging with new internet gurus.
  2. Subtle deviations to God’s complete word – propagating new and more palliative truths, beliefs and thought bondage supernaturally supervised and upheld by invisible overpowering hierarchies of spiritual wickedness.  Man is enthroned in scripture interpretation and revisions abound to serve different thirsts and evil agenda.
  3. Negative self promotion (thinking mankind is too bad for God‘s mercy and restoration) also enthrones man…opens channels for self-condemnation and Pharisaic accusation and silences divine compassion and intercession for revival.

Favour from men can be a bewitching culprit.  Ask another Queen, Ann Boleyn – one of the six wives of King Henry VIII described as “ a giddy womanAnne Boleyn of no stability of character, her success turned her head and caused her to behave with insolence and impropriety”  She did not have the help to say “if I perish I  perish” but nevertheless died a very involuntary and wicked death on Tower Green, her head being struck off with a sword by the executioner of Calais brought to England for the purpose.

The Holy Spirit is our helper and He helps us die daily. Without Uzziah’s death, Isaiah may have prophesied many things but not fulfilled his destiny. If Esther was not helped to see the dethronement of her dreams she would have surely ended up butchered sooner or later by the wicked schemes of Haman – not very different from Anne Boleyn.  If we do not go to the word of God and seek help from the Holy Spirit to die daily…wealth will become an executioner’s sword that studies all our passions and knows when best to strike.  With the help of the Holy Spirit, God helps us to die and then can freely give us what we can have…knowing it is for keeps…and He can very well decide not to…reserving a better resurrection.

As Esther lived the life of a peasant orphan, a queen in the palace and God’s heroine for all time.  Our life can also be seen in 3 segments.  First, before we knew Christ. Second, invitation into royalty as we surrender to Him and ultimately maturing into a life of daily death in Him. 

Let me end with a famous quote from my missionary friend, Sam Kputu. The real danger of drifting from Christ and Biblical Christianity is not that we will struggle to come back; the real danger is that we end up creating new “truths”, new values, new targets and new pivots for our lives. And we even begin to celebrate and propagate them. “Read your Bible and pray every day, if you want to grow…” Remember that Sunday School rhyme?”

And another local saying from a speech by another Nigerian friend – Pat Utomi  – speaking on the difference between leadership and management and the inevitable outcomes of bad leadership or absence of leadership in any nation… I found a link to face book for the article…

“The King that was enthroned and the city flourished, we know him – while, the king that was enthroned and the city diminished, we also know him” Nigerian proverb.

I am a poor politician to suggest that we let the Holy Spirit lead. In Recession or in the best of times we can stop managing ourselves … and soon we will surely see the difference.

Read more in Wealth out of Ashes. Also, for more reflections and related articles and free subscription to articles by the author please click icon below.

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Have a blessed day. May God help us to shine in Him always. Amen.

Bode

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