Lockdown – What Are You Doing?

Lockdown – What Are You Doing?

Asa did what was good and right in the eyes of the Lord his God, for he removed the altars of the foreign gods and the high places, and broke down the sacred pillars and cut down the wooden images. He commanded Judah to seek the Lord God of their fathers, and to observe the law and the commandment. He also removed the high places and the incense altars from all the cities of Judah, and the kingdom was quiet under him. And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years, because the Lord had given him rest. Therefore he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah who carried shields and spears, and from Benjamin two hundred and eighty thousand men who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty men of valor. – II Chronicles 14:2-8 NKJV

King Asa started his reign on a very positive note. Immediately he ascended the throne, he demolished all the idols and other alternative totems of worship in his nation and led his people to serve the true God. He actively sought the LORD and because of that, God gave him rest for the first 10 years of his reign – no war, no rebellion, no battle, no unrest whatsoever in the whole country for a good decade. That was a long stretch of time in ancient or contemporary history. But what did Asa do with this peacetime? Please read that below:

And he built fortified cities in Judah, for the land had rest; he had no war in those years because the Lord had given him rest. Therefore he said to Judah, “Let us build these cities and make walls around them, and towers, gates, and bars, while the land is yet before us, because we have sought the Lord our God; we have sought Him, and He has given us rest on every side.” So they built and prospered. And Asa had an army of three hundred thousand from Judah who carried shields and spears, and from Benjamin two hundred and eighty thousand men who carried shields and drew bows; all these were mighty men of valor. – II Chronicles 14:2, 6-8 NKJV

The first thing Asa did was to build fortified cities, fortified walls, fortified towers, fortified gates and fortified bars. This was when there was no war. In other words, he started preparing for war in a time of peace. He started putting security structures and apertures in place when the land was at peace. He also built an army of 580,000 well-trained warriors, mighty men of valour, who were battle-ready.

Apart from this, he also mobilised the people to get productive and the Bible says “they built and prospered” during those years.

Now here is the contemporary application, the best time to prepare for war is when you are at peace. The best time to provide for famine is during the time of abundance (remember Pharaoh’s dreams and Joseph’s interpretations and eventual application), the best time to set up security for yourself, your family, career, business, ministry, etc is during a time of little concerns when you don’t really need to. Doing this at any other time will only be reactive as against proactive. You will be playing catchup when you should be drawing from your stored resources.

To bring it closer home, the best time to get most productive and fruitful is during a time of rest such as this novel Coronavirus lockdown period. The questions each of us should be asking ourselves every day of this lockdown period are, ‘What have I achieved, produced or completed today that will have a significant impact on my life, family, career, ministry, business and other concerns after the lockdown is over? What am I adding to myself today? Am I resting too much, sleeping too much, loafing too much, or engaging more in nonproductive activities, such as WhatsApp chats and other social media timewasters, as against doing things that will move me forward?’

As the lockdown persists, remember, the best thing to do in a time of peace is to prepare rigorously for war; the best thing to do in a time of surplus is to prepare adequately for famine. And the best thing to do in a time of rest is to get all your operations and productivity machinery well oiled and raring to fire from all cylinders at the next call.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Increase In Grace (2)

How to Increase In Grace (2)

Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord.
– 2 Peter 1:2

Grace is endowed as required to carry out the responsibilities of an office, spiritual or secular. Grace answers to purpose, assignments, and calling, as allotted by God. But no two individuals have the same measure of grace, even if they hold the same office and have a similar calling.

The scripture above sheds light on the one reason people have different portions of grace. The apostle, writing under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, says grace is multiplied through the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ, His Son. The Bible does not say that grace is multiplied to anyone based on his office, background, assignments, or any such consideration. While there is grace available to execute them, that grace becomes multiplied only in proportion to one’s knowledge of God. That means the extent you know God is the extent you would increase in grace. And because it is not possible for two or more individuals to know God in the same degree, that is why it may, perhaps, be difficult to see people who share the same measure of grace.

Grace rules in every area of life. That is why your relationship with God will influence your bearing, performance and results in aspects of life such as work, business, career, marriage, ministry, academic, and other such spheres.

It takes grace to be among the high-flyers in whatever setup you find yourself. And, whilst you have enough grace to get by, you need an increasing measure of grace to get to the top and to remain there. To receive this, your personal altar must in place; you need a closer walk with God in addicted prayer life, Bible study, and selfless service. The more of these you do, without leaving other important diligence of life undone, the more you will increase in the knowledge of God, and the more aura of grace you will enjoy. Try it and you will testify.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Get Out of Entrapment and Desperate Situation (2)

How to Get Out of Entrapment and Desperate Situation (2)

But Jeroboam caused an ambush to go around behind them; so they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 2 Chronicles 13:13-15

Secondly, the priests among them sounded the trumpets in praise. They did not sing tunes of distress; the praise instruments of God are not meant for that purpose. They blasted the trumpets in praise. Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face/midst of troubles you are saying that He remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand; hence your giving Him your attention and not the problem that is threatening to wipe you out. There is no how you will accord God such honour and He will not honour you back by wrecking a mighty deliverance for you.

Lastly, the men of Judah let out a shout. They did not cower or give up the fight. They let out a shout of defiance and got ready to battle. Having prayed and praised, they were assured of divine partnership and were ready to face anything. So their shout was literally saying, “Bring it on!”

They did not need to fight the battle themselves, as they had done enough for God to unleash terror on their enemies and caused a great rout that left 500,000 of Israel’s pompous army dead, while the rest scampered across the wilderness for dear life. Thus the terrifying challenge that was about to swallow up the people of God became another milestone of victory for them and a testimony to God’s faithfulness.

God is still in the business of wrecking deliverance and rescuing His people today. The Bible says He is a “very present help in times of trouble” (Psalm 46:1). The problem is that we usually accord our problem more attention than we give God and we focus more on ourselves – bemoaning what will become of us – than we engage Him on our issues.

Having read this, you should change the order of your attention henceforth and accord God prior thinking, not your problem. He is ever ready to save.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How to Get Out of Entrapments and Desperate Situations (1)

How to Get Out of Entrapments and Desperate Situations (1)

But Jeroboam caused an ambush to go around behind them; so they were in front of Judah, and the ambush was behind them. And when Judah looked around, to their surprise the battle line was at both front and rear; and they cried out to the LORD, and the priests sounded the trumpets. Then the men of Judah gave a shout; and as the men of Judah shouted, it happened that God struck Jeroboam and all Israel before Abijah and Judah. 2 Chronicles 13:13-15

The passage above presents us with three classic principles for getting out of danger and desperate or life-threatening situations. Jeroboam, king of the majority nine tribes of Israel with his 800,000 army had come up against the minority tribes of three in Judah which God had reserved for David’s descendants. Numerically, the men of Judah were outnumbered by ratio two-to-one by Israel. To make matter worse, before Judah could even set out to battle, the enemies had surrounded them front and back and were ready to pounce on them and finish them off. What Judah did in that dire moment is the focus of our meditation today and a possible principle we can apply when we find ourselves in similar circumstances.

Firstly, the men of Judah cried out to the LORD in prayer. When they sighted their adversaries in front and behind them, they did not start to wail in self-pity, bemoaning their lot for coming out that day and expecting a certain death. No, they cried out to God for help. The Bible says the name of the LORD is a strong tower into which the righteous run and are safe from peril (Proverbs 18:10). That was what Judah did. By calling upon God, they activated His fortress and opened up His strong tower for their refuge. When you find yourself in similar situation, will you pray or moan?

Secondly, the priests among them sounded the trumpets in praise. They did not sing tunes of distress; the praise instruments of God are never used for that purpose. They blasted the trumpets in praise. Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face or midst of troubles you are saying that God remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand…Worship is an acknowledgement of God’s sovereignty, and when you worship Him in the face or midst of troubles you are saying that God remains sovereign and far more important than the issue at hand…

We’ll continue tomorrow.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

One Good Reason to Hang on (7)

One Good Reason to Hang on (7)

Though the fig tree may not blossom,

Nor fruit be on the vines;

Though the labor of the olive may fail,

And the fields yield no food;

Though the flock may be cut off from the fold,

And there be no herd in the stalls—

Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

I will joy in the God of my salvation.
– Habakkuk 3:17-18

Challenges and vicissitudes of life may just be a test of your faith and commitment to God. They may not be because of your sins, but are meant to see what your disposition to God would be when the going gets tough. This was the case of Job who suffered much ruinous afflictions, not because he was the worst sinner of his time, but because there was a need to place him in term of his loyalty to God in the face of adversity.

It is easy to worship God and be committed to His works when things are going smoothly. But when situation becomes rough and everything seems to be going downhill, that is when the real devout are known. Adversity reveals the true nature of any man – just like money and power.

When Job was at the lowest ebb of his life, even his wife who must have been so sweet and supportive of his previous devotion to God could not contain the hardship any longer and had to blurt out, “Curse God and die!”

What is your own attitude when you are beset with trials? Are you the type who starts to wag his finger toward heaven, daring the existence of God and demanding His immediate intervention? Or you are the type who maintains an attitude of worship affirming the sovereignty and goodness of God despite your own conditions? What do you say when you are tossed by the storms of life? Do your words glorify God or cast aspersion on His ability? Do you still thank Him for what you have or you are preoccupied with what you don’t have and thus become ungrateful and critical?

As our reference scripture suggests, adversity and lack should not rob us of our sense of gratitude to God. We owe all to Him. For all you know, your present situation may just be a test of your worship. Will you still praise Him or continue to whine about what is not or what should have been?

Don’t you think you have a reason to hang on?

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

One Good Reason to Hang on (6)

One Good Reason to Hang on (6)

But before all these things, they will lay their hands on you and persecute you, delivering you up to the synagogues and prisons… But it will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony. – Luke 21:12-13

Here is yet another reason to remain optimistic in the face of trials and challenges. Jesus Himself said those trying situations are going to turn out for you as occasions for testimony. That means their purpose is sure; they are not meant to undo, but to announce you. They are contrived to make you testify and glorify God.

This knowledge will help you adopt a new perspective in the way you view your challenges and a new approach in the way you deal with them. Your perspective will change to the extent that you realise each trying condition will not determine your end, but is a platform for you to showcase the goodness of God to the world. This will also boost your confidence to take it on. Knowing the problem will not spell your doom, but will make you bloom, will add springs to your steps as you confront it. Now you know that you can pray and hope to get a favourable answer, and you can take guided steps and expect positive results.

This sums up God’s expectation from us in term of how we perceive and respond to unfavourable circumstances. He doesn’t want us to become downcast and moody, carrying a long face everywhere and infecting/offending others with our sour mood. He expects us to look beyond the problem and be joyful in our comportment (James 1:2). He wants us to see Him at work in our challenge and trust Him as He guides us to the end of it, when we will get to testify and let the world know how good He is. He has assured you that each challenge “will turn out for you as an occasion for testimony.” And He doesn’t just say things for the fun of it.

Now, that is a good reason to cheer up.

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

× How can we help you?