“Things are about to Change” by Gbile Akanni

There was a famine in the promise land!
Things were hard and everyone was affected!
Yes! But not everyone decided to leave the land like Elimelech.

This is not the kind of famine that kills everybody or flushes everybody out. This kind of famine simply brings a spate of suffering . . . a difficult but endurable hardship allowed of God to test the faithfulness of God’s man, especially those whom He is considering for glory and leadership. He sends this kind of famine to find out who will hold on to God’s promise, stay put and be true to God’s commandments in the face of hardship or who will leave in search of relief, comfort and convenience outside of the will of God.

And it comes to all of God’s people in one shade or the other. There was a famine in the days of Abraham, there was another famine in the days of his son Isaac and there was yet another famine in the days of his grandson Jacob. All three encountered their different season of suffering, hardship and difficulty and all three responded differently. This period of suffering or hardship you are going through is not strange neither are you strange for going through it. It’s your own time of famine and how you respond determines your future.

Concurrently, in the time of these famines, God normally allows for there to be food, pleasures and convenience in a nearby land of disobedience. When this kind of famine comes to Israel, there’s always corn in a nearby Moab or Egypt. In order to be a real test of individual faithfulness, God never fails to leave a “tree of good and evil” within reach of his beloved man that is only made “out of boundaries” by clear instructions and commandments. Elimelech decided to take the easy way out, so he packed his bags and baggage, picked up his wife and two boys and headed out for the country of Moab.

This decision not to endure the famine was borne out of an individual’s response to endurable hardship; a selfish, self-seeking expedition. “I’m checking out, whatever happens to everyone left behind is their business, this is my chance to escape and have a breath of fresh air!”

Whatever be the cause of the famine, either of national punishment for forsaking the Lord or just the normal seasonal and cyclic phases of famine and plenty, it never lasts forever. God will soon visit His people in sending them Bread. God never punishes His people to the extent of extinction, he never forgets to remember mercy! If we endure and walk with the Lord, we will still prosper in the land though it be a time of famine.

So, there was a Boaz!, a near kinsman, a contemporary . . . . who remained behind in God’s Bethlehem Juda. He endured the hardship, “roughed the suffering” and continued planting in famine. The result? He became “a mighty man of wealth” in the same land from where Elimelech ran.

The decision to run was personal, it was individual even though he could have been influenced. It was “a certain man” that went to sojourn, it was “he” and “his” wife and “his” two sons. It was his decision. It is a man that takes the decisions for the family, it is a man that takes the lead, it is a man that determines the future and destiny of his household. That is usually the case, that is the way God ordained it.

Unfortunately, it is never “he” alone that bears the repercussion of “his” decision. Many times, his wife, his sons, his posterity . . . . all partake of the fruit of a man’s wrong decision or indecision. In the end, Elimelech lost it all . . . his life, his two sons – his two opportunities of perpetuating his lineage and becoming famous in Israel. Only his wife escaped the cataclysm and returned to tell the tale of woe.

I don’t think you should take that journey! Whatever it is, if it is in response to a sense of being squeezed and choked by economic hardship or some other environmental hardship. I don’t think you should change your job, if it is only for greener pastures sake! I don’t think you should pack out of your husband’s house or abscond and leave the household simply because some pressure have come to which you have no answer.  I don’t think it will augur well in the end, if you leave the man of God you were posted to serve under while waiting for when the Lord will visit you. Don’t leave that Church, no matter the hostility of the Pastor!  Don’t leave your duty post because there’s a famine!
Famines are short-lived, it will soon be over. God will soon visit you and send you corn and wine and you will eventually dip your foot in butter! Think of tomorrow, think of posterity, think of your testimony!

(By Gbile Akanni – Originally posted in www. Livingseed.org  “An Individual response to hardship”)

Beloved of God, stop, think and pray! Things  are about to change. The Recession will soon be over.  it will soon be over.

 


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Enjoying Abundance again … what can I expect?

“The recession is over” says my dear friend as he dances happily to the bank once again … It’s been a while since he could visit the manager without nervousness on the position of things.  But recently business has definitely improved.   I discovered Charles Spurgeon wrote a piece in his devotional titled “ I know how to abound”… Do we really ?     Below are the thoughts of Spurgeon. I still ponder over them …and this time I pray I get it right.

Philippians 4:12   [12]  I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.

There are many who know “how to be abased” who have not learned “how to abound.” When they are set upon the top of a pinnacle their heads grow dizzy, and they are ready to fall. The Christian far oftener disgraces his profession in prosperity than in adversity. It is a dangerous thing to be prosperous. The crucible of adversity is a less severe trial to the Christian than the fining-pot of prosperity. Oh, what leanness of soul and neglect of spiritual things have been brought on through the very mercies and bounties of God! Yet this is not a matter of necessity, for the apostle tells us that he knew how to abound. When he had much he knew how to use it. Abundant grace enabled him to bear abundant prosperity. When he had a full sail he was loaded with much ballast, and so floated safely. It needs more than human skill to carry the brimming cup of mortal joy with a steady hand, yet Paul had learned that skill, for he declares, “In all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry.” It is a divine lesson to know how to be full, for the Israelites were full once, but while the flesh was yet in their mouth, the wrath of God came upon them.

Many have asked for mercies that they might satisfy their own hearts’ lust. Fullness of bread has often made fullness of blood, and that has brought on wantonness of spirit. When we have much of God’s providential mercies, it often happens that we have but little of God’s grace, and little gratitude for the bounties we have received. We are full and we forget God: satisfied with earth, we are content to do without heaven.

Rest assured it is harder to know how to be full than it is to know how to be hungry–so desperate is the tendency of human nature to pride and forgetfulness of God. Take care that you ask in your prayers that God would teach you “how to be full.”

” Let not the gifts Thy love bestows estrange our hearts from Thee.”  As the sound of abundance of rain is heard again, this time I am making a decision by the grace of God to be a better witness and make better use of the opportunity to create a more conducive discipling environment for God to use as He pleases.

It is well…begin to prosper again.  Amen

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