GET THE VIRTUE THAT BRINGS GOD YOUR WAY
They were all under the same cloud, under the same fire, they all ate the same spiritual food, they drank the same spiritual water, yet they died, they never stepped into the promise of God.
Do you know you can be in a church where the spirit is moving, the glory of God abounds and you can be there for years when others are progressing and you are still on the spot? Your own is to just tell the story of what happened 10 years ago and five years ago, yet you cannot find your own testimony of faith. You need to check yourself; it is not enough to tell people you have been in this church for 20 years. Many of them that came 10 years ago; they have built houses, they have started businesses, they are flourishing, they are married and all you do in this church is to sit on a chair, watch out for the lady that came in newly and then tell her you are looking for a future partner.
How can you make progress when you are your own worst enemy? Hebrews 3 : 17-19 says: “But with whom was he grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcasses fell in the wilderness? And to whom swear him that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? See we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.” We are talking about the Mosaic generation that has to walk in the wilderness without having the taste of the promise of God.
Grace does not work for everybody because they are in church. You have to position yourself. And that was why Apostle Paul writing to the Roman church said: “I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect will of God – Rm 12:1-2. You are not a gambler in the presence of God but a vessel meant for the Master’s use. Therefore present your bodies as a living sacrifice; holy, acceptable unto God for this is your reasonable service. Only this virtue brings the glory of God your way. 1st Corinthians 6:10 says: “These things were written as our examples, to the intent we should not lust after evil things, as they also lusted.” Number one: Lusting after evil things. What is lust? To lust is for your heart to leave the primary thing and go after something else that will not benefit you. It is to be seduced. Lust is something that sweeps your heart from the original love of God. It is not just that thing that lures you into fornication and adultery but anything that shifts your attention from the love of God. It could be the influence of your new wife. You so much love her that you no longer want to be in Bible study or prayer meeting. It could be one TV programme, for instance football that on the day a match is being played, nothing comes till you are through with watching the tournament. Something has swept your heart away from God.
Numbers two verse 7, “Neither be ye idolaters, as were some of them; as it is written, the people sat down to eat and drink, and rose up to play. What is idolatry? Anything you honour or place side by side God is an idol. Directly or indirectly, a lot of us worship idols. For example if you ask some people why they are not in church right now, you will be shocked at the reason they will give you. That is one idol somewhere. Even a TV programme: Chelsea is playing Barca. Even if the wife says it is time for our family devotion, he would say, can’t you see Chelsea and Arsenal are on? So God must wait until Chelsea and Arsenal finish? Idol worshipper. Money can be your idol, your husband can be your idol. Some people would have been faithful, but for their wives, some wives would have been but their husbands are always threatening them.
An ordinary idea can become your idol when such an idea takes you away from the presence of God continually. You no longer have time because you are working on a new project and proposal. Your position can become something you worship. Beloved child of God no idol worshipper will inherit anything from God. If Dagon is your God he will have to sustain you, he will have to keep you. When the test comes, Dagon will have to be your source. Idol worshippers! That was one of the things that stopped them over there. They rose, they danced, they ate, they drank and they went ahead to play. God gave them silver and gold, they made an idol out of it. They carved a golden image and began to worship it. The money that God gave to you was not meant to enter your head. Give it to the work of God and let us save souls. Let us go to nations, let us be a blessing to people for that is part of your reasonable sacrifice as Apostle Paul told us.
BISHOP LAWRENCE OSAGIE