When all is said and done, the church is just the people

girl-463462_640We may build edifices, if we do not build the people, the kingdom of God is not being built. Jesus said that the kingdom is within you. The landscape of thoughts, imaginations, visions, emotions, understanding, decisions, limitations within you is the kingdom, the landscape of expectations and transformation. If the building is built and money spent on maintenance, but the people are neglected when then stepped into the door, then we are in trouble.

People means relationship, it means needs met, it means interaction, it means shared joys, pains, knowledge.

It is not project, it is a lifestyle,

it is not a …, it’s a …. (Share your ideas in the comment area)

Time to go and time to stay

Hagar ran away from the house of Abraham, and God went all the way to send an angel to ask her to return. The casual observer may think: how can God be that wicked. This was a place where life was made a living hell for her.

However, there was a time she left the house, this time around it was now organised, this time around, she did not initiate the move. But now God sent a message again to her that it was okay, giving her precious promises.

imageHow come God did not want her to leave the first time but the second time, God wanted her to leave? She wanted to leave when God did not want her to leave, and when God wanted her to leave, she seemed not to want to.

It brings us face to face with the “times and seasons” character of God, where different things happens in different seasons because they are different seasons, based on the superior wisdom of God.

What happened to Hagar, is similar to what happened to Moses. He made a move to start to deliver Israel but it led to his running away from them, the second time when he does not want to go, God pushed him to go, showing that the time is in God’s hands, not ours.

Jesus was told by his brothers to go and show himself to the people in jerusalem, when a feast was going on there, so that he came become popular and more acceptable. But he said his time has not come.

imageA life of spiritual significance is focused on divine timing more than others. Others can follow humanistic reasoning, follow the way things are normally done, the way of human approval, humanistic rubbish, thinking carnally, judging after the flesh.

Man, Jesus said, does not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. What proceeded yesterday, is not what will proceed today, so I need to follow the shepherd so that I do not lean on my own understanding, so that I will find sustenance today.

To get water from the rock for the Israelites, at different times, God told Moses to do two different things. When, the second time, he became moved by what the people are saying more than what God said, God felt slighted, and punished him from it. He hit the rock the first time, and did the same the second time, turning a walk with God to a formula, ritual, routine, though it is a relationship.

God asked Elijah to show himself to Ahab, and he will bring rain on the earth. That was the timing. Elijah could not afford to move by human feeling in that regard. He cannot follow wishful thinking. It was not self-initiated.

To the people, it may seem that Elijah acted on a whim, to seize rain and to bring rain again. He was authorized by God to make those proclamations. God decided to trust Elijah with such power. When rain fell, ti was also based on God’s instruction. And in the time of the water coming down, it was based on God’s instruction.

While the prophets of Baal were hoping that Baal was going to answer them by fire, Elijah had no such uncertainty, he acted on express instruction from God, the God of times and seasons. God determines the place of our abode and times of our habitation.

You may be asking: what should I do now, how do I move, where should I go, knowing that the best thing is to know what God is saying.

Isaiah said: my ears he has opened. So my hearing God is not my responsibility, but God’s responsibility. It is written, He makes hearing ears.

So the challenge is not the challenge of hearing, it is the challenge of obedience. God speaks, we read in the book of Job, but we refuse to listen, to pay attention, to yield.

Eve did not have the problem of hearing from God, but she choose differently from what God wanted. She embraced error. What about Saul? He had a clear instruction, but chose not to obey.

But apostle Paul, after he had a revelation of Christ and his purpose in him, said: I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.

If obedience to God is important and it is, and since God has to be justified when he speaks, he needs to clear his own side of the arrangement, which is make his will known. He puts conscience in us for that reason, the indicator of right or wrong.

He made it so that if you want to know his will, you will know it. He said: ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you will find. You can find out the times and seasons he has for you, the people he wants you to be with, the places he wants you to go, if you want to know, if you will follow his logic and not humanistic rubbish, which is about conforming to the world.

We should stand in his presence like Elijah and declare the will of God, because we know it, because we love it. If our minds are clouded with humanistic rubbish, in which naturalistic thinking which the bible calls carnal mindedness is king, we will not be able to see beyond our noses, to see the path that God has set before us.

So it’s not about what others say, what seems convenient, what is acceptable, but the will of God.

Abraham is a case in point. He was told that he should sacrifice his son, that was what to do, he made preparation for it, organise a party, started out early in the morning, but at the end of it, he did not carry it out. Why? Because the first instruction was about testing Abraham obedience, not really about anything else. Eventually, Abraham sacrificed a ram. It would have been disastrous if Abraham refuses to hear the second instruction, but God did it so much that he did have a choice but to hear.

Moses saw the burning bush, through which God caught his attention. God knows how to get your attention, but we see Moses afterwards struggling to obey God, even suggesting that God send somebody else. That actually happens partially when it was Joshua who eventually led the Israelites to the promised land.

The attitudes differ between the two: to do or not to do, to hide or show yourself, to move or to stay.

Moses was so used to the “not going” attitude for forty years that when the time came to go, he found it hard to move.

Unveiling Purpose and Motivation From Leviticus 

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159497

ISBN: 9781524208851
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Purpose, Pursuit and Motivation are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Leviticus. They are: Giving, Revealing God; Offering without defect; Restoration: from redemption to dominion.

Excerpts: 

Giving 

“Giving also expresses lack of fear of lack. Fear causes people to withhold more than is necessary (2Timothy 1:6-7). They hoard money and are not generous. You cannot be a lover of God and not want to give, as your love for God is reflected in your love for others. When you trust God to provide for your needs you will give.”

Revealing God

“The use of the gifts is in the context of being part of the body of Christ, who called himself the temple of God. So to the limit that we are in union with God, we express him. We express his wisdom, his power because the plan is that through the church there will be the manifestation of the manifold wisdom of God to principality and power in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:20).”

Offering without defect

“The reward for offering God your time is that he makes use of you, maximizing the possible results of the use of your time; the reward of offering God your money is that he multiplies it back to you; the reward of offering God your energy is his energy/presence.”

Restoration: from redemption to dominion

“Jesus was born son of God (akin to our redemption) and he experienced growth (akin to our transformation). After his baptism in the Holy Spirit, he was activated and he became a manifested son for over three years displaying stupendous level of signs and wonders, healing, words of knowledge, wisdom and unprecedented expression of the glory of God to change people, dominate the demons and the elements of the earth like wind and water. He now dominates in the spirit and on earth through the church which is his body.”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159497

Unveiling Purpose and Motivation From Exodus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

https://draft2digital.com/book/159496

ISBN: 9781524292515
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Purpose, Pursuit and Motivation are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore six topics from different verses in the book of Exodus. They are: Path of obedience, They saw God, Forty days and forty nights, God’s pattern, Called, Between the internal and the external.

Excerpts: 

Path of obedience

“While disobedience is disconnection from God, obedience shows alignment with Him. It shows that we have left our ways and are following his way; that we have a heart that yields to him, that we are not resistant to the Holy Spirit, that we are not stiff-necked and are opened to correction, amenable to the operation of the Holy Spirit in our heart to lead and guide us as he should (Acts 7:51).”

They saw God

“The woman with the issue of blood also saw Jesus with the eyes of faith (Luke 8:43-48). She said in her heart long before he met Jesus that she will be healed when she touches the helm of his garment, and that was what happened. She touched Jesus, having seen him in her heart as healer and she was healed. Jesus equally told her: your faith has made you whole.”

Forty days and forty nights

“He was not hungry before then. This makes the impact of the first temptation so strong. What happens He was supernaturally made to not want food for forty days and forty nights, and at the end, he was allowed to feel hunger, the full blown forty-day hunger, in a moment, That is why the first temptation that the devil brought to Jesus that he should turn stone into bread was probably the most intense temptation of all time.”

God’s pattern

“Paul wrote that we know that all things work together for those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28-32). That you love God gives you the right to hope that all things are definitely working together for your good.”

Called

“But, more often than not God call people, to come alongside you in the work he has for you, or you are called to be alongside someone in the work God has want them to do.”

Between the internal and the external  

“God said about himself: I look at the heart not at the appearance (1Samuel 16:7). We should therefore make a lot of effort on our inside, i.e. set your eyes on things of heaven not on things on earth (Colossians 3:1-3).”

https://draft2digital.com/book/159496

Unveiling Purpose and Motivation from Genesis

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781524210533
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Purpose, Pursuit and Motivation are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: Time, God sent me 1 & 2, Understanding God’s purpose and the scriptures.
Excerpts:
Time
“Listening to God is power. It is by hearing and doing what the father does that Jesus expressed so much power in his lifetime (John 8:38).”
God sent me
“We are meant to move by the power of the light of Jesus and break the hold of darkness off people. Jesus said: you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me everywhere (Acts 1:8).”
God sent me (2)
“God met Gideon while he was hiding because of the grievousness of the oppression of the enemy (Judges 6:11-16). And God sent him to deliver Israel. That was the change God wants to bring to the earth through him. He needed to know that and then walk in it, in cooperation with God. The same goes for you.”
Understanding God’s purpose and the scriptures
“Paul bestrode the New Testament like a colossus, writing many of the books. His testimony concerning Jesus and the church is not less potent than others. Peter a “chief” among the apostles, acknowledged that the writings of Paul should be regarded as scriptures. He said he wrote those words based on God’s wisdom manifested in him (2Peter 3:15-16). The only book in the New Testament with disputed authorship is Hebrews, but it does contradict the words in the other books, and from earliest times it was regarded as scriptures.”
Get it here: 

Go

spot-862274_1280Acts 9:15: But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. (ESV)

The commandment of God that Ananias should go and meet and minister to Paul, recorded in the focus verse is without prejudice to how he feels about it. The same can be said of Peter who in spite of his misgivings about reaching out to the gentiles, because of his innate Jewish sentiment, was asked to go and meet them (Acts 10).

Both incidents in which these two men had to go minister in spite of consideration for safety (in the case of Ananias) and consideration for tradition, or what is acceptable in his culture (in the case of Peter) resulted in great advances for the kingdom. Both incidents were pivotal to the shape of  the church as we know it.

So if God asked you to go, then go you must, not knowing the full implication of it, but hearing and obeying.

The bible says that blessed are those who hear and do the word of God (Luke 11:28), not argue with the word of God, not postpone the word of God, not dodge it, or excuse themselves from it.

Appointment

Acts 6:3: Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (ESV)

The qualification for this leadership was threefold. They must be known by the people for being highly regarded, which speaks of social standing, and long-term proof of probity, and respected.

To be of good repute is not a day job. It follows a consistent pattern of uprightness.

Then there was the issue of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Many people may be dependable, but not many people are full of the Holy Spirit. The latter live an empowered life. The power of God is manifest through their lives, in spiritual giftedness in expression. That is the meaning of infilling from the book of Acts.

Then thirdly, they should be full of wisdom. That means they are not just all talk, but have practical result as evidence of their wisdom. I define wisdom as what to do to get result, the divine how-to. Jesus said that wisdom is justified by its children, it’s results (Matthew 11:19).

The apostles wanted those who are approved by men (of good repute), approved by God (full of the Spirit) and approved by the results they have been getting in their practical lives (full of wisdom).

The reasons correspond to the three qualities the Apostles wanted:

They needed those who will move among the people, therefore, must be approved by men.

Since it is about the church, and not a social club, not a political party, not a natural entity but spiritual, those who will lead must be full of the Spirit, must be intentional followers of God, on his own terms, submitted to his will.

Then thirdly, since the matter at hand is a practical matter of the “serving of tables” (Acts 6:1-7) they need people who will be effective, so that the apostles would not border about such things again. They needed people who can deliver results on a practical level, exhibiting high intelligence, ability to coordinate, intuitive enough to marry what is on ground with what the people need.