The soul is a tender bird. The heart is a brute lion. My home is everywhere. My language is love. On pilgrim paths, I spill oceans on dry places until hidden seeds germinate, flowers sprouting — most&more.
After I have passed on to the other side of eternity, my life will be measured by men, in time, by the kind of impact I had on my generation. People will sing my praise as my casket is wheeled away and if the impact was so strong, my name will be echoed in time while I am gone
Many strives towards making a mark in their generation. True to this pursuit, history is littered with biographies of men and women who have made a mark in their world that cannot be erased in time. Such men and women are our heroes. Society applauds them for their great sacrifices towards the improvement of human civilization.
One thing we cannot measure is the underlying motive behind everything men do or have accomplished in time. Only eternity can measure the scope of our hearts to justify our motives, because as humans we have all sorts of underlying motivations towards what we do with what we have.
THE KINGDOM MODEL OF PURPOSE
Unlike the spirit of this worlds system, the kingdom of God has a sole motivation in its undertakings: “to be governed by the will of God.” As a disciple of Christ, it is expected of me that what has been entrusted to me be used faithfully to fulfill the grand purpose of God. Meanwhile, we are encumbered by our personal ambitions and motivations, which may run parallel with the agenda of God.
Our greatest challenge as believers is knowing how to secure the will of God, and live by His will so we don’t live our lives trying to attain the applause of men just as the world do. Until we overcome self our attainment will be motivated by personal gains and glory instead of striking a chord in eternity.
Matthew 25:14-17 14For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. 15And unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one; to every man according to his several ability; and straightway took his journey. 16Then he that had received the five talents went and traded with the same, and made them other five talents. 17And likewise he that had received two, he also gained other two
The kingdom’s model, as I said earlier is different from this worlds order. The motivation of many achievers today is to make name for themselves. They live for themselves and breathe self and seek the rising of the self on the success ladder. Such men do everything in their own way to fulfill a personal agenda. Though they are successful in time, their achievements means nothing to the creator of heaven and earth.
Success, in eternity, is not measured by our material increase but is measured by how faithful we engage ourselves in the directives of God with his ability and opportunities, whether small or big. The increase in life should be seen in the light of Gods will, as a byproduct of faithfulness. Most of the things we celebrate as success could mean nothing to God if he is not the Lord of such enterprises. This may shock most believers who are obsessed with success and they assume God is celebrating every one of their carnal pursuits.
The kingdom of God is like a man travelling into a far country; He calls all his servants and gives them special responsibilities and also what it takes to fulfil his expectations; talents. Each one had a special talent. Unto one he gave five talents, to another two, and another one; to every man according to his several abilities; and straightway took his journey. Now, the goal is to please their boss and the duty is to live each day doing business according to his culture or way of life, to establish his dominion on earth with what has been given. This is the true model of the kingdom of God. It is not in man to direct our affairs. Our goal is to yield to a life designed by the wisdom of God before time began. Jeremiah 10:23 O Lord, I know that the path of [life of] a man is not in himself; It is not within [the limited ability of] man [even one at his best] to choose and direct his steps [in life]
TRUE AMBASSADORS, ARISE!
Do you know that these servants were representatives of their master, who distributed to them his wealth and embarked on a journey? He was respected and honored in the community and he seeks to establish true dominion in that region, not according to the ways of the stewards but according to his ways or model of life. They could have transacted business with the most corrupt business men in the community and increase his wealth but that would tarnish his image, although they would gain much profit for him. They could have established a tavern on the highway and hire young ladies for sex hungry society. That would create a multimillion empire for their master, putting him among the top-notch wealthy men on Forbes list, and maybe receive front-page recognition in New York Times.
For our king, it is not about ‘our’ results. It’s about the knowledge of his eternal measure for our lives and how we dedicate our lives each day in His power to withstand the mundane way of life and to be governed by His wisdom to accurately execute his initiatives in time. His will must find a clear expression in our lives. The Lord spoke to Jeremiah in this sense; “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
Jeremiah could have been a successful farmer and be applauded by men and miss his ordination. Society may have told him farming was the best sector to engage his life with but God had a different plan. In his encounter with the Lord, the young Jeremiah tried to persuade God to find an alternative due to his inadequacies, but God did not succumb to that fact, which was not a reality in eternity.
In eternity God could only see an able prophet, chiselled for a godly purpose for the nation Israel. In the manual of instructions for Jeremiah, the Monarch of Zion has this written in bold letters; “you shall go to all to whom I shall sent and whatever I command you, you shall speak.” God was not calling Jeremiah as a prophet and in every aspect of his prophetic office, he has the free will to pursue whatever ambition suits him. No, that’s not how our God works. He does not sponsor what He is not involved in. Oh, how we do a lot of good things outside of Gods will with the wrong motives. God sees and knows the rein of our hearts, if it is aligned to his will or not.
“Then said I, Ah, Lord God! Behold, I cannot speak, for I am only a youth. [Exod. 4:10; 6:12, 30; I Kings 3:7.] But the Lord said to me, Say not, I am only a youth; for you shall go to all to whom I shall send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak.”Jeremiah 1:6-7 AMPC
The Lord is calling us to evaluate our lives to see if we are on course. Are you on the right path of your assignment or you are carried away by personal ambitions?
FAITH TO REJECT THE VOICE OF SELF
So many Christians will pray for Gods blessing to be materialized in their lives but not for the furtherance of the kingdom of God, but rather for their self-gain. They are not willing to surrender their selfish motivation of life, for the will of God to find expression in them. They are engrossed by personal ambitions and seek the applause of society. As long as they are applauded by men, to them, the voice of the people is the voice of God.
There is a kind of success which is sponsored by the deception of the devil, to trap us from Kingdom way so that you and I cannot attain the ultimate purpose of God. It wasn’t hard for Moses to reject the status as the son of Pharoah daughter. A title that could offer him great success and opportunities in Egypt but he sought for the will of God according to prophecy rather than the ways of Egypt. We are reminded of how the patriarchs and the elders obtained a good report, (see Heb 11:2) of which Moses was also counted;
Hebrews 11:24-26 AMPC “[Aroused] by faith Moses, when he had grown to maturity and become great, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter, [Exod. 2:10, 15.] Because he preferred to share the oppression [suffer the hardships] and bear the shame of the people of God rather than to have the fleeting enjoyment of a sinful life. He considered the contempt and abuse and shame [borne for] the Christ (the Messiah Who was to come) to be greater wealth than all the treasures of Egypt, for he looked forward and away to the reward (recompense).”
Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith was also pressed by self, but he yielded himself to the counsel of God that was upon his life through obedience. He sought grace in humility, therefore, he passed the test of human will in distinction. Our saviour chose to endure the shame of the cross and the hostilities wrapped in this journey, neglecting the lures to rescind from the will of God, marching to Calvary in total obedience to the Father. We are entreated to let this same mind be in us (See Phil 2:5-11)
Mathew 26:29 Going a little farther, he fell with his face to the ground and prayed, “My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me. Yet not as I will, but as you will.”
“Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God. [Ps. 110:1.] Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds.” Hebrews 12:2-3 AMPC
Stay strong to the end, O’ pilgrim friend. Your path may be littered with troubles and your face seems to have hit gloom, don’t turn your face toward the path drenching with oil because your feet are tired. There is light at the end of this wretched path. There is a crown at the end of this path, your name engraved on it. Thy King will say well done, though the world never appreciated your contribution
THE JOY OF THE KING IS IN OUR FAITHFULNESS
From our main text, upon the return of the master, he called his servants to render an account in stewardship. There is a genuine expression of joy on the heart of the master, seeing how those representatives handled matters that were important to him. They died to themselves and devoted everything in them to fulfil a higher purpose.
The master, who represent Christ in this story was elated, not only because they multiplied his goods. He also saw faithfulness to the core. Outside of his domain, I believe there were other members of the community who were also multiplying and maybe much bigger than his servants, in terms of quantitative achievement. But he doesn’t compare his measure of success to the worlds way of success because he want to see sincere obedience to his purpose in every one of our achievements.
Such achievements travel beyond time into eternities, as an eternal treasure that has met Gods approval, such as Jesus, who is currently seated at the right hand of the throne of God because he endured the temptation to hit the quit bell by learning obedience
In the end, what matters will not be the applause of men we received in the ages but the praise and reward of the eternal one. Let us sincerely dedicate our lives to something much bigger than ourselves, through it all. So we ask God for the grace to die to self, and the wisdom to execute his heartbeat in the areas and places he has called us to represent him as faithful stewards.
“Now after a long time the master of those servants returned and settled accounts with them. And he who had received the five talents came and brought him five more, saying, Master, you entrusted to me five talents; see, here I have gained five talents more. His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys And he also who had the two talents came forward, saying, Master, you entrusted two talents to me; here I have gained two talents more. His master said to him, Well done, you upright (honorable, admirable) and faithful servant! You have been faithful and trustworthy over a little; I will put you in charge of much. Enter into and share the joy (the delight, the blessedness) which your master enjoys.” Matthew 25:19-23 AMPC
Phaneroò | Make Manifest | 🔺
“Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; or ministry, let us wait on our ministering: or he that teacheth, on teaching; or he that exhorteth, on exhortation: he that giveth, let him do it with simplicity; he that ruleth, with diligence; he that sheweth mercy, with cheerfulness.
not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;” Romans 12:6-8, 11-12 KJV
The Christian walk is a life of surrender. It is the kingdom of heaven converging with the kingdoms of men, and the Lordship of Christ becomes the central focus of such men who have relinquished their carnal thrones to God. This yielding on the part of the believer is not motivated by a divine compulsion but rather inspired by an intimacy between both. Love compels us to yield our lives to serve a greater mandate and purpose instead of the lures of the mundane
This dying on the part of the believer, to self, creates an undistracted space for the government of God to rule or manifest within an earthen vessel. Christ, our savior, set this glorious template for us to emulate. I know there is higher price to pay if one wants to see God touched the soul of the nations through them, in ways and manner that is beyond human ability
A lot of things has to be sacrificed in this sacred expedition with God and many pilgrims gives up before the real journey even begins
Until our lives strikes a chord in eternity we have not began living. In the Kingdom dimension success is not measured by how many things you have acquired on earth, it is rather measured by how yielded you are to an eternal ordination. Our savior triumphs against the temptation of self. He cried out at Gethsemane —
LUKE 22:42 KJ21saying, “Father, if Thou be willing, remove this cup from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Thine be done.
We are entreated by scripture to build our lives upon this same foundational truth that catapulted Jesus into honor and stay there. If you desire to see God manifest in your life in dimensions unimaginable then this must be your creed. Paul writes to the Philippi Church; “Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,” (Philippians 2:5 NRSV)
What then was the mindset of Christ? The Spirit answers that in the ensuing verses but the seventh verse drew my attention because of the word emptying. It reads; “but emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form,” Philippians 2:7 NRSV
THE SELF EMPTYING CHRIST
The mindset of Jesus was about letting the Father’s will prevail in Him. He yielded all that he was as God-man to the objectives of the Father. He was sold out to the agenda of a Kingdom which was not invented on earth. He fulfilled the counsel of the father in becoming a substitutionary sacrifice in the place of sinful men on Calvary cross.
“How? you ask. In Christ. God put the wrong on him who never did anything wrong, so we could be put right with God.” 2 Corinthians 5:21 MSG
The son of God lived and breathed the Fathers will on every single decision he pursued of his earthly life even to the beckoning of the cross.
“he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death— even death on a cross.” Philippians 2:8 NRSV
He spoke in this sense of yielding when He addressed the Jews, when they criticized him concerning the healing of a man at the pool of Bethsaida on a sabbath day —
“Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise.” John 5:19 NRSV
We have been conditioned to pursue personal ambitions and goals so most believers only seek God in few matters of life, especially who to marry and maybe when we are at the edge of pain, when we need his intervention. It is almost like everything always has to be our way or the highway. We are religious experts — we know how to emotionally invite God into our world of personal choices to help us fulfill our carnal ambitions.
SELF IS A STUBBORN SERVANT
Even a two year old kid have that fallen mindset of desiring to have his way all the time though that child is under matured guardianship. Letting mum and dad have the control requires total death to the tendencies inherent in the child to want to be in control.
JEREMIAH 10:23 O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps.
Our flesh is weak but it never want to accept that reality because that makes us feel vulnerable in a sense. It is not in humans to direct our steps. Our true reference is in the infinite wisdom of God. Oh, when we become vulnerable and contrite at heart and feel the weight of God in our spirits, suddenly, what was once a priority becomes unappealing within us. This principle of dying to the flesh is strongly echoed by Jesus in Johns gospel; Chapter twelve and the twenty-fourth verse: “Verily, verily I say unto you, unless a grain of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone; but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit”
In this context Jesus talked about his ultimate death and resurrection but within this truth is the principle of seed sowing and harvest, which is applicable in all things in this life. Until one yield himself or become a servant to the law of death, which means to give up to your personal agenda and tendencies, creating graceful space in our lives for God to exercise His will and purposes within us. This is the only way a harvest of eternal magnitude could manifest in us.
That individual seed or life will remain a seed and probably have great success in this world context but as long as Gods will is concern, he will not strike a chord in eternity.
Our lives counts in eternity when we sacrifice our life for the ultimate of heaven to be fulfilled on this side of life.
Self is a serious problem of humanity. We are fighting against a capitalistic system backed by the demon of lust and obsession. Strange enough, it had done a fine work by turning even followers of Christ to be so obsessed with self. Our love wax cold due to the fact that we put ourselves before everything. We struggle with the sin selfishness and lawlessness. Until we grow past the mindset of self aggrandizing this world will not taste the goodness and power of God through selfless individuals who are sold out to an agenda of God. An agenda which is higher and bigger than our personal gains.
If self is emptied for the life of God to be displayed in us, Satan is not a match for the church of Christ. Our churches will be full of love and the power of God. Our communities and the world at large will be drawn to this life. The world still gropes in hopelessness because when your eyes can only see you, you become blind to all the serious matters around you. Matters you and I are called to be hands and feet of Christ in solving it.
I love this rendering of the MESSAGE Bible on Philippians 2:5-8
“Think of yourselves the way Christ Jesus thought of himself. He had equal status with God but didn’t think so much of himself that he had to cling to the advantages of that status no matter what. Not at all. When the time came, he set aside the privileges of deity and took on the status of a slave, became human! Having become human, he stayed human. It was an incredibly humbling process. He didn’t claim special privileges. Instead, he lived a selfless, obedient life and then died a selfless, obedient death—and the worst kind of death at that—a crucifixion.”Philippians 2:5-8 MSG
HORSES AND EAGLES RISING
Until that self in us is one hundred percent yielded to the demands of heaven we will not see the manifestation of the greater purpose of God foretold. We are living in a prophetic season of purging and visitation, but there are few men on the altar of surrender.
God is a rewarder. When we give Him the seed of our life he will give us and the world, a harvest.
This self sacrifice was a daily practice of Christ, from birth to death; He yielded His life to the very will of the Father. He had all the privileges as a deity to do what pleases Him yet He set everything aside in order for the Father to have His ways and work in Him. By choosing the path of selflessness our savior and master was honored above all, by the Father
“Because of that obedience, God lifted him high and honored him far beyond anyone or anything, ever, so that all created beings in heaven and on earth—even those long ago dead and buried—will bow in worship before this Jesus Christ, and call out in praise that he is the Master of all, to the glorious honor of God the Father.” Philippians 2:9-11 MSG
Whoever desires to become true custodian of an eternal reality on earth, God will demand more from you. This kingdom life is more than just doing few morning devotions here and there and being a regular at the local church yet unfruitful in the matters of the kingdom. By salvation we profited from God. By kingdom living (a life of sacrifice to the will of the King) God profits from us. God is a spirit and He functions through men to establish his dominion.
As a true functionary of God, what others can easily do with their life in the mundane way of things you cannot regulate your life by that standard. God will demand your time at odd hours of the day. Sometimes He will want you to pray or intercede according to His desire, not according to your schedule and those personal old same prayer points. He will urge you to refrain from the casual pleasures of this earth just to be in His presence for a day, a week or even a month, to breathe heavenly burdens upon your heart. Whiles everyone is partying or sleeping you will be wide awake at 12am; praying for the will of God to be established in a certain territory.
Those Men and women who changed the world for Christ were people who were dead to self. They loved not their lives and their harvest was uncommon. We are weak, tired, and powerless because we indulge in all kinds of the activities of the economy of the flesh as if eternity doesn’t exist. If your life doesn’t have the symptoms of divine burden then you are still living for yourself.
Let’s walk through the corridors of faith and sacrifice and observe the lives of ordinary men who carried the burdens of Zion as if they were from a different planet —
“And what more should I say? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets— who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, obtained promises, shut the mouths of lions, quenched raging fire, escaped the edge of the sword, won strength out of weakness, became mighty in war, put foreign armies to flight. Women received their dead by resurrection. Others were tortured, refusing to accept release, in order to obtain a better resurrection. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned to death, they were sawn in two, they were killed by the sword; they went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, persecuted, tormented— of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground.” Hebrews 11:32-38 NRSV
There is an army rising in these end times, from the secret places of divine preparation and manifestation. Such men and women who have downloaded the heartbeat of the father through the burden of obedience and sacrifice. These men are like horses that have swallowed fire. They are like wild eagles with the eyes of sunshine. They gallop through the darkest deserted places of our world as they scanned pressing spiritual needs of humanity, and turning the hearts of a dying world back to the Father of love through the inherent force of a baptism of fire and light in His presence.
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