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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We are perishable beings chanting with forever lips, like eternalbeings. We are raindrops on shattered windows acting like the ocean waves. This is man; a fading reality, a flickering candle in the wind
There comes a moment when we all must realize that life is short, and in the end, what really counts is not how others see us, but how God sees us” — Billy Graham
“Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.” Psalm 144:4 KJVAE.
A few days ago I learned an important lesson from an incident that took place at home. I know most parents can relate with this, especially under the current situation of COVID-19 when most kids are at home 24/7 being home schooled. In my desire to save a banana for another day from my daughter who have become accustomed to consuming groceries at the speed of light. Before you blink an eye almost everything is gone
So on this day I decided to hide one of the banana in the upper cabinet of our kitchen so I could use it for smoothie the next day instead of keeping everything at the usual spot on the kitchen counter. I knew I was safe because she will not be able to see it or reach. For some interesting reason I forgot I have hidden the banana away from her.
You know banana is perishable and when it is ripe you can only save it up to 2-4 days. This banana could only survive a day or two. Imagine how many days this banana find itself in the dark. For more than a month the banana was inside the top cabinet minding its own business. About two days ago I decided to hide cookies away from my son and his Covid 19 high appetite levels for another day or two.
Lo and behold, I saw this black banana softly lying on the same spot am hiding the cookies and when I brought it out I knew I was as fallible as the word fallible could mean. How on earth did I forgot, I asked with a soft smile. Suddenly, wisdom flowed through my soul.
The very yellowish smooth banana has changed into something else; blackened and flattened like a dead squirrel on a highway. It reminded me of the fragile nature and brevity of man. In all of our search to be appear invisibly awesome, strong, unbeatable and the guarantee to weather through the storms of life without defects, we always come back to the same spot of mortality.
In our pursuit to be here, on this side of life for a long long time, we have come to realize that we can’t conquer the brevity of life. Alas, we are fragile and our lives changes like the flower. The best among us is as vulnerable like a toddler learning to ride a bicycle
Yeah, we are vulnerable. We struggle to come to terms with the short span of our life. We were not born to live forever fresh in the flesh. We were not born to be exempted completely from the constant changes in this our fragile experience. This is why we see the strong fade through the icy hands of death, and the young and agile become old; feeling insignificant in his mobility and power as in the days of his youth.
Our bodies, regardless of how we condition it with all kinds of physical training regime and follow the latest anti aging formulas, the famous endorsed dieting plans and cosmetics surgeries, we will never endure life in foreverness. We become weakened by the day through unexpected sicknesses, sin, old age, stress and many emotional weights. This side of eternity is perishable and it’s occupied by us. We are the perishable men that sometimes want to act like we have control over our destinies.
“As for man, his days are as grass: as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone; and the place thereof shall know it no more.” Psalm 103:15-16 KJVAE
My heart has been totally humbled by this experience. As I held this blackened reduced banana in my hand, I felt the wisdom of scripture emitting from my spirit. You know God will use multiple channels to draw home an important message.
On this day these words sunk in deeper; “as for man, his days are as grass. As the flower of the field, so he flourish. The wind passeth over it, and is gone.” Where is the place for pride and invincibility? What is the essence of comparison and hate? What is the place of boastings? Everything around us is just like a common banana or a beautiful flower. We are sweet and glorious today but such glorious of the mundane do not last forever
I am also reminded of the words of the psalmist;
“Psalm 90:12 NLT Teach us to realize the brevity of life, so that we may grow in wisdom.”
A man who understands and live his life from the persuasion of truth — That kind of man is rich in humility towards God, and has a good estimation of others, in love. Such brethren makes wise choices that echoes into eternity. His soul is not dedicated to the mundane but he thrives in the agenda of God for the season he lives in. Such a man will not sell his soul cheaply at the auction of vanity
Lets cry unto our God, that the grace to appropriate life prudently will be lavished on us daily so that we don’t live like the heathen; without the urgency and purpose orchestrated by divine ordination. May we not perish with the wind but thrive under the influence of the power and love, gratitude, forgiveness, and holiness of our Father in heaven through Christ Jesus.
We are are at period of birth pangs. The signs of Jesus coming is upon us. Friend, it behooves us to redeem the time. Let us not live as if we are exempted from the fragility of life. Without the constant help from the administrative center of our eternal Christ, which is able to fortify our hearts and minds we will be governed by the economy of the dust, and all our days will be a wasted life; a live giving to the cause of vanity.
May Jesus be uncensored in us. He that has an ear let him hear and see the wisdom of God in this matter.
“When we fully understand the brevity of life, its fleeting joys and unavoidable pains; when we accept the facts that all men and women are approaching an inevitable doom: the consciousness of it should make us more kindly and considerate of each other. This feeling should make men and women use their best efforts to help their fellow travelers on the road, to make the path brighter and easier as we journey on. It should bring a closer kinship, a better understanding, and a deeper sympathy for the wayfarers who must live a common life and die a common death.”— Clarence Darrow
“Man is like to vanity: his days are as a shadow that passeth away.” Psalm 144:4 KJVAE.