Has God Let You Down?

Has God Let You Down?

One day a local evangelist bragged during a crusade that his God was more powerful than all the other gods in the town and the powers that the villagers worshipped put together. Just then, rainstorm started sounding overhead, threatening the progress of the crusade.

The evangelist lifted up his voice and declared with confidence that if the rains fell, then he wasn’t a man of God; he would stop preaching. Before he finished speaking, the rains began to hit the crusade grounds so vehemently, without regard to his declarations. The whole town left the crusade ground for their houses, shaking their heads in dismay.

The evangelist, so distraught and angry, packed his belongings and left the town the next day. On his way through the next town, he checked into a local bar and drank himself to stupor. As he laid on the ground cursing God, an old seedy looking man tapped him gently on the shoulder.

“Man of God”, the old man began. But the evangelist quickly cut in, “Don’t mention the name of God to me. He is fake. He is unreliable. I am no longer a believer in this God. A God who chooses to disgrace his servants. Leave me alone!”

But the old man would not let him be. He continued, ”I am the fetish priest in the village you preached yesterday. During your one week stay in my village, you destroyed all the charms I had made on the people for 45 years. Your prayers and your words always came with some fearful fire and power. I tried so many times to eliminate you but I couldn’t. My last chance came yesterday. I had loaded my gun with gunpowder lying in wait on the mountaintop where I had a very clear view of you.

My plan was to shoot you from a distance since I couldn’t get close enough to you due to the fire around you. But just when I lifted the gun, the rains came from nowhere, wetting my gunpowder and covering you in a cloud so that I couldn’t even see you. All I saw was a bright man holding a sword in front of you.

I was so terrified. I concluded that your God was indeed all-powerful and Almighty. That is why I’ve been looking for you since then. I want to follow this your God!”

The ex-evangelist bowed his head in shame.

Sometimes, it is just wise for us to believe that our Father knows the way He is taking us. We should just trust His leading. Let our boast be in the Lord, not in ourselves. If we decree a thing and it doesn’t happen, let us not see it as disappointment or dishonour from the Father. Let us just believe that the Father wants His perfect will to be done in all things.

Meditation: Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths.Proverbs 3:5-6

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How Not to Provoke God to Anger (4)

How Not to Provoke God to Anger (4)

Below is the final instalment on the series of how not to provoke God to anger to a devastating effect in our choices and doings.

…You provoke Me to wrath with the works of your hands, burning incense to other gods in the land of Egypt where you have gone to dwell, that you may cut yourselves off and be a curse and a reproach among all the nations of the earth? Jeremiah 44:8

Idolatry is another way by which we instigate the anger of God to a harmful effect. Now the Dictionary describes idolatry in two broad ways; on one hand, it is “the worship of idols or false gods”, which is a common definition. In a more contemporary term, idolatry is defined as “excessive admiration or love shown for somebody or something.”

The Israelites of old usually set themselves on a collision course with God by their habitual deviations to worship articles of gold whenever they were at ease. And God never took it kindly for once, neither did He leave them unpunished for such disregard, because He had drummed it into their hearing that He is a jealous God, who does not like to be undermined, ignored, denied or replaced.

In contemporary times, while there may not be a widespread practice of the first definition of idolatry whereby folks pay obeisance to idols of various forms – indeed, some still do out of ignorance; but it is a fading practice. However, the second definition of idolatry, which borders on ‘excessive admiration or love shown for somebody or something’ is what we need to be very careful about, so that we do not run afoul of God’s command.

Having created us for His own reasons – primary among which is to worship Him – God has the prerogative of discretion as to how we live and what we do. In fact, He has his opinion about everything we do; this we can only know when we take time to read the Bible and ask for His counsel. And, where the issue of worshipping idols is concerned, He clearly states that “you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God” (Deuteronomy 5:9).

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

Prayer Changes Things

Prayer Changes Things

They say that prayer changes things; but does it REALLY change anything?

Oh yes! It really does!

 

Does prayer change your present situation or sudden circumstances?

No, not always, but it does change the way you look at those events.

 

Does prayer change your financial future?

No, not always, but it does change who you look to for meeting your daily needs.

 

Does prayer change shattered hearts or broken bodies?

No, not always, but it will change your source of strength and comfort.

 

Does prayer change your wants and desires?

No, not always, but it will change your wants into what God desires!

 

Does prayer change how you view the world?

No, not always, but it will change whose eyes you see the world through.

 

Does prayer change your regrets from the past?

No, not always, but it will change your hopes for the future!

 

Does prayer change the people around you?

No, not always, but it will change you – the problem isn’t always in others.

 

Does prayer change your life in ways you can’t explain?

Oh, yes, always! And it will change you from the inside out!

 

So does prayer REALLY change ANYTHING?

Yes! It REALLY does change EVERYTHING!

 

Meditation: Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed earnestly that it would not rain; and it did not rain on the land for three years and six months. – James 5:17

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

How Not to Provoke God to Anger (3)

How Not to Provoke God to Anger (3)

Below is the third instalment in our series on how not to provoke God to anger.

And to whom did He swear that they would not enter His rest, but to those who did not obey? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.Hebrews 3:18-19

Another human attitude that irks God to no end is unbelief. God is both mighty and awesome, among many other things, and He has acquitted Himself through the ages as ever-reliable and dependable, such that no one can claim he/she has not experienced His goodness or knows any other god bigger, higher, or more powerful than Him.

Every day we see His manifold goodness in the mundane and mega things of life: we see the rising and the falling of the Sun heralding the start and end of each day; we also go about our daily activities expecting there will be air to supply us the oxygen we need to live. At intermittent intervals, we see the air in other forms such as whirlwind, hurricane, and tornado that enable us to appreciate that all the things we see and enjoy in life can actually come in adverse forms, which we can do nothing about. Thus, we can appreciate their common form, rather than take it for granted that they will always be that way.

We must have also read in the Bible, as well as heard or seen in contemporary time, the various acts of kindness of God and His interventions (otherwise called miracles) in different cases in terms of healing, deliverance, provisions, orchestrations, favours and many other wow things He has done or is doing in the lives of folks. So, He really doesn’t need to prove Himself anymore for us to trust that He’s got our back and will always do His part.

Therefore, it upsets Him greatly when we go about doubting and second-guessing Him. He is cool when we live in the assurance of His care and ability – that is faith. “But without faith, it is impossible to please Him” (Hebrews 11:6).

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Other readings

Beware of Him and obey His voice; do not provoke Him, for He will not pardon your transgressions; for My name is in Him. – Exodus 23:21

When I have brought them to the land flowing with milk and honey, of which I swore to their fathers, and they have eaten and filled themselves and grown fat, then they will turn to other gods and serve them; and they will provoke Me and break My covenant. – Deuteronomy 31:20

They provoked Him to jealousy with foreign gods; With abominations they provoked Him to anger. – Deuteronomy 32:16

They have provoked Me to jealousy by what is not God; They have moved Me to anger by their foolish idols. But I will provoke them to jealousy by those who are not a nation; I will move them to anger by a foolish nation. – Deuteronomy 32:21

and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. – Judges 2:12

Also read:

How Not to Provoke God to Anger (2)

How Not to Provoke God to Anger (2)

In continuation of the series that we started yesterday on how Not to Provoke God to Anger, here is the second instalment of insight on how to navigate your way away from the fatal path of divine wrath.

Now with whom was He angry forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose corpses fell in the wilderness?Hebrews 3:17

The second way we can provoke God to great wrath is by continually living in sin without any conscious attempt to stop the sinful indulgence. God is holy and cannot behold sin. So whenever sin comes into the equation, God departs from the scene and waits until the soul of man is conducive, through genuine repentance and turnaround, for His dwelling.

Sin also hinders the move of God anywhere and restrains His hand from doing much for anyone. That is why the Scripture says, “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; nor His ear heavy, that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you, so that He will not hear” (Isaiah 59:1-2).

That means sin holds back the hand of God, blocks His ears to our prayers, alienates Him from us and screens His face from seeing us. Imagine if an individual receives this treatment from his/her benefactor or a business receives the same treatment from its clients; that may have some long-term negative effect on such individual and spell doom for the business.

As humans, it is almost impossible not to sin or have some habit you are struggling with; God sees them all and is willing to help us overcome such as long as we honestly seek His help. But in a situation where we cite our human frailties as an excuse for habitual indulgence in sins, then we leave little room for God not to give us the cold shoulder treatment because He “is angry with the sinner every day” (Psalm 7:11).

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

Also read:

The Gestation of Faith (4)

The Gestation of Faith (4)

Here is the final part of the series on the gestation of faith.

The seeds that were planted on good ground are people who, hearing the word, hold it fast in an honest and good heart, and bear fruit with patience. – Luke 8:15

Faith without patience is like planting a seed and then uprooting the seedling before it has time to produce fruits.

If we want to live fruitful lives, we must learn patience (Luke 8:15, James 5:7-8). Even God is patient, and He has made patience one of the built-in features of our universe. For instance, you cannot force a tree to produce fruits before its time. You cannot force the day to break before dawn. You cannot harvest immediately after you plant.

It takes time for a seed to become a tree. Just like it takes a process of time for the germinal vesicle to become an ovum, the ovum to be fertilised by the sperm to give a zygote, and for the zygote to become a foetus and finally a complete human being (a new creation that did not exist before), it takes a similar process of time for the seed of God’s Word to become implanted/engrafted in our hearts and create new realities that did not exist before.

The importance of patience cannot be overemphasised. Every Christian should do a personal Bible Study on this crucial factor without which our faith becomes ineffective and unproductive. In the meantime, you’ll do well to remember this: “There is no conception without faith; no delivery without patience. It takes faith to conceive and patience to deliver.”

You will succeed in Jesus Name!

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