The covenant keeps those who keep it

As a Christian you need to be clear about the lines you cannot cross no matter what. Know what you cannot eat, no matter how hungry you are, what you cannot give in to no matter who’s putting pressure on you and where you cannot go no matter who’s there, waiting for you.

I have read about a few men who knew their limits, men like Joseph, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. I have also read about some people who didn’t. People like Adam and Eve, Esau, and Saul. What is that thing that makes the difference between somebody like Daniel and a person like Saul? I believe it is the understanding of the covenant that has been established between a man and his God. This covenant does not exist as an idea or mere information in your head, you are living your life in the reality of the truth that God is your Father and your God; you are His son, daughter, friend, servant. His word is an oath binding on you, a sword fighting for you. When you are in this place, you do not bow to satanic pressure, you resist, and you fight, until you conquer. The devil will bring it on, challenging your faith with fire, and when you don’t melt, he makes the fire seven times hotter, the purpose is to terrorize and oppress you into submission. When the satanic heat is severe, there is the temptation to disregard God’s word as unrealistic. The satanic heat tries to get you to be “practical”, “to face reality”. We are in the world, and the world has its traditions, and we are to embrace these traditions if we expect the world to make room for us. But here’s the thing, God has made us to understand in His word that we belong to Him and that He is in charge of the affairs of our lives, He is the one that settles His own people, not the princes of this world. Our joy, our peace, prosperity should come directly from God.

Giving in to satanic pressure out of fear will never deliver the comfort or safety promised, what will happen is that in the end, you will discover you have been deceived into jumping out of a frying pan straight into naked flame. Things will go from bad to worse until there is utter destruction. But when we withstand satanic pressure on the strength of the word of God and the presence of the Holy Spirit in our lives, the pressure will bow. We will not die, but live. We will not be defeated, but emerge as conquerors.

Dear FOJ,

Are you under any kind of satanic pressure to conform to a lifestyle you know God objects to? You may find temporary relief if you do but be rest assured that the end will not justify the means. You can enjoy long lasting peace and prosperity by holding on to the word of God. When you choose to endure temporary hardship because of your covenant relationship with God, the Lord will be with you every step of the way to strengthen and comfort you until the storm is over. Will the storm be over even when it doesn’t feel or look like it will? Yes! How can I be so sure? Joseph didn’t die in the prison, and Daniel didn’t perish in the Lion’s den, neither you nor I will perish in any storm of life while standing firm on the word of God.

Yours truly,

Moni.

Do you have a testimony?

What if Lazarus didn’t get sick much less die and spend four days in the grave? What if Jairus’s daughter didn’t get sick much less die? What if a storm didn’t arise on the sea in the dead of the night and the disciples didn’t have to fear for their lives? What if king Darius never made a decree that Daniel’s enemies used to get him thrown into the lion’s den? What if king Nebuchadnezzar never made a decree that got Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego thrown into a monstrous fire? What if Pharaoh never had the children of Israel bound for four hundred years? And when he finally said, “Go!” what if he stayed defeated and never pursued after them with his monstrous army? What if the imperfection of today’s church doesn’t exist and it is truly as Christ desires it to be, a place of worship where people love each other unconditionally? What if Nigeria were free from the spirit of corruption and artificial poverty? What if life were free from all the situations and circumstances capable of making one’s heard thud with fear? If it were so, then Jesus wouldn’t have had to say, “Do not be afraid; only believe.”

No, He did not take it away, the reasons for fear. If He were to do so, how would we ever get to know that as powerful as fear is, it will bow to faith, which activates the power of God to make anything possible. On the other hand, if the Lord takes away the reasons for fear, we will not have to face trials, tribulations and temptations, life would be perfect. Apostle Peter described trials as “grievous”, another word for that would be “painful”. But he also likened trials to fire that tests the strength, genuineness and durability of our faith. We cannot determine the true worth of anything if we take it at face value; all things must be tested to determine it’s true worth. Fearful situations create opportunities for our faith in God to be tested and unwavering faith ignites the power of God to perform miracles. To believe that God can and that He will do what He said He would no matter what is the true test of walking with God.

How can you prove that you really have faith in God? What is your testimony? If you ask Abraham he’ll tell you that he got up, left his father’s land and followed God blindly through the wilderness in anticipation of possessing a certain promised land. He’ll also tell you how he believed God for a son from the dead womb of his old wife. If you ask David he’ll tell you how he faced Goliath and defeated him in the name of the Lord when an entire army wouldn’t dare. If you ask Daniel he’ll tell you how he let king Nebuchadnezzar throw him into the lion’s den, rather than commit idolatry and he came out alive. The song of Moses speaks of his testimony, (Exodus 18 vs. 1-18), the prayer of Hannah speaks of her testimony, (1 Samuel 2 vs. 1-10), and the exultation of Mary speaks of her testimony, (Luke 1 vs. 46-55). Do you have a testimony?

Dear FOJ,

For a child of God, trials produce testimonies. The next time you are faced with a reason to fear, remember that God allowed that situation because He knows you have what it takes to overcome; your faith. And it is only when you overcome that you get to have a testimony.

Yours truly,

Moni.

I WANT TO BE WITH YOU EVERYWHERE

“Then a certain scribe came and said to Him, “Teacher, I will follow you wherever you go.” (See Mathew 8 vs. 19)

In other words, the scribe said, “I want to cut myself from everything and be joined to you. Nothing will matter to me unless it matters to you. I want you to be my friend, my teacher and my master.” Wow, speaking of dedicating one’s life to Christ! How did Jesus feel about this? Flattered? It didn’t look like he was. All he did was try to tell the man what he would be getting himself into.

Jesus said, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man have nowhere to lay his head.” (See Mathew 8 vs. 19) That doesn’t sound like an attractive package; in fact what Jesus said could be easily interpreted to mean He was having a difficult life and that would be the lot of anyone who decides to follow Him. Is that true? Well, Jesus said that the way that leads to life is narrow and difficult but the way that leads to destruction is broad and easy, (see Mathew 7 vs. 13&14). Now, the question is, what does it mean to endure a difficult life because of Christ? Does it mean to be stricken with Poverty? Or to be afflicted with sickness? Or for one’s life to enshrouded in misery? No, it does not mean any of that, Jesus was not needy, He meet needs. He was never sick, He healed the sick, and He was never miserable, He gave people hope. So where does the “difficult” thing come in? Jesus lived by faith, His lifestyle, for instance, neither encouraged materialism nor amassing of wealth. Whenever a need arose, he made supernatural provision available to meet it. To trust in God and not a fat bank account is a difficult thing, it will challenge your faith over and over again.

The decision to obey the teachings of Christ is a difficult thing. Whoever feels like loving an enemy? Whoever wants to turn the right cheek after being hit on the left? A life of obedience is not pleasurable but it is rewarding.

Jesus said: “if you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.” (See John 15 vs. 19) Whoever wants to be an object of hate, ridicule or spite or malice, for whatever reason? The world prefers darkness to light and lies to truth so if you follow Jesus the world will not like you. The world may not hate you if you’re merely pretending to follow Christ as some do. A pretender attends church religiously, hears the word of God but never obeys. Perfecting the art of pretending to follow Jesus is dangerous; it sets one up to be a cast away. Jesus said, “Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in your name, cast out demons, and done many wonders in your name?’ “And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice inequities!”

Here’s the good news, those who follow Jesus truly with patience, perseverance and even making costly sacrifices will be rewarded. Jesus said, “Assuredly I say to you, “There is no one who has left house or parents or brothers or wife or children, for the sake of the kingdom of God who shall not receive many times more in this present time and in the age to come eternal life.” (See Luke 18 vs. 29-30).

Dear FOJ,

Can you remember the day you decided to follow Jesus? How has the journey been? Can you say like Peter in Luke 18:28, “See, we have left all and followed you?” Examine your life today, secure your future.

Yours truly,
Moni.