And the Philistine said to David, Am I a dog, that you should come to me with sticks? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. ( 1 Samuel 17:43 )
The weapons we don’t see are the most deadly ones. The attack that is not anticipated is most likely to destroy the attacked. The Israelites and Philistines had been fighting for years until a Philistine champion, Goliath at one time suggested that instead of the whole army of Philistia and the army of Israel drawing out their swords in battle, each side should select a champion who represents the army. If that champion wins, the side of the battle they belong to, wins automatically. Goliath represented the Philistine army while it took Israel over 40 days to find their presentative who was “unfortunately” not a champion on the battlefield. He came at Goliath with a staff in one hand and a sling in the other. But Goliath had only seen the staff because he didn’t make much of what was in the other hand, and so he thought David was coming at him only with the staff [which he called a stick]. And because he was distracted by the staff, he didn’t see the real weapon that will bring him down. Hence, Goliath died by what he didn’t see David carrying. In fact, he was killed by the invisible God of Israel, that was why he couldn’t see the weapon of David. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds (2 Corinthians 10:4). Our weapons of warfare are not carnal. And so, our dependence on the invisible power of God is what will bring down the strongholds of our lives._
Prayer_Bead:Almighty God, mighty in battle, fearful in praise, doing wonders by the finger of His hand, thank you for showing us the invisible weapons of our warfare. As we bring the battle to the gates of the enemy, we glory in your victory.
“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. [ Isaiah 43:18 ]
It is thought that, if one loans their present to their past, their future will be terminally injured. It is also true that one of the most difficult things to do is to forget the things that should be forgotten. We are not ignoring the fact that there are certain things in our past that shouldn’t be forgotten. For example, God told the Israelites not to forget His deliverance which He wrought for them. But then, there are certain landmarks of the past that should be forgotten otherwise they form an impenetrable layer of defeat for us. In the verse that follows our anchor verse, we read that God is asking the people to forget the former things because He wants to do a new thing. God will not build a new thing on an old [wrong] foundation. And also, unless the former is removed from view, the new thing cannot be in view. The old will constrict the new unless it is removed. God is about doing a new thing in our day and time but there is the need to let go of the past and embrace the torrent of the future. The past will take as much of our present and subsequently, our future if we keep dwelling in our past. We cannot perceive a glorious future until we stop dwelling in the shadow of the past. The question therefore is, how badly do you want to see the new thing being prepared for you?
Prayer_Bead:Mighty God, Creator of all things, thank you for what you did in the past and what you are yet to do. Please give me the attitude that will attract the glorious future in store for me. Help me to forget the former things and look to the new.
So tell them, ‘As surely as I live, declares the LORD, I will do to you the very thing I heard you say: ( Numbers 14:28 )
Often, when we are surrounded by crisis and problems, we tend to tell people more frequently about it than talk to God about it. Sometimes we do this knowing very well that these people have no practical solutions to our needs but we still trust them with the burdens that weigh on us. On the other hand, there are those who would attempt to tell the Lord about their problems but in the long run, their approach does not yield any meaningful results because they don’t seem to tell God what they want but rather they just retell God what they are facing. You see, it is one thing to complain about something and another to request or ask for something. God is always attentive to us, to hear our requests and heart desires (Ephesians 3:20). But rather too often, when we go to God in prayer, we complain more than we make requests. During Job’s famous trials, it was very clear that Job complained more than prayed. More than two thirds of the chapters that covered his predicament were spent complaining about what had happened rather than telling God what solutions were needed. It was at the later parts of the book, when Job prayed for his friends that the solutions returned to him. God says in today’s scripture verse that He would do the very thing we say to him. So then, if we don’t have what we need, then it means we didn’t say to the hearing of God what we needed; maybe we said it to our friends and google but not to God. Maybe we only complained to God.
Prayer_Bead:Prayer answering Lord, thank you for being attentive to my needs. Take away resentment and bitterness from my heart so that I can speak to you as to my Father. Give me more of you, Lord. In Jesus’ name.
This is what the LORD says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is, and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls. But you said, ‘We will not walk in it.’ ( Jeremiah 6:16 )
There are times when action speaks louder than the loudest words. Many of us have no rest for our minds and hearts. We are set on edge at every time and every moment. We have occupied ourselves with a lot of activities, trying to keep everything together until we come to the crossroads. The crossroads is not a place for taking actions but for looking out for the good way. Whenever we find ourselves at the crossroads, the best thing to do is not to start acting and occupying ourselves with activities. Crossroads are for sober reflections and looking out for the tried and tested routes—ancient paths— to find rest for our souls. At that point, we need to seek for the path that had been taken by those who had gone ahead of us in the same direction of our calling. Rest for our souls is only guaranteed at the shores of our calling and purpose. Until we find the path that will lead us to the place of our true calling, everything that is supposed to bring peace of mind and comfort to our lives will actually seem like they are draining our live force. For some of us, we have found that ancient path but we don’t want to walk in it because of fear. But make no room for fear, whether you have found the way or not [yet] because it steals away opportunities.
Prayer_Bead:Father in heaven, thank you for bringing me to the crossroads. Show me the good way so that I may find rest for my soul. May I not be distracted by fear or foes but keep me on the path of my calling for the benefit of others.
Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”( Luke 5:5 )
The best time to fish according to expert fishermen is at night. Maybe because at night the temperature of the water and the quietness helps the creatures in the water much. And so, to have a great catch, a fisherman must study the water and also consider the time of day. In Luke 5, Peter had toiled all night with his companions but they caught no fishes. Now, we established that, the night was a better time to have a catch but at this point, they couldn’t catch anything even at the most convenient time—night. It seem that the window of opportunity had closed on them. Nothing could be done because it was already day and they may have to go home empty handed and hope to come back the next evening—at the next opportunity. But Jesus will ask Peter to go fishing at the time of the day when it was almost impossible to find any fishes out there. I believe He chose that time of day so that Peter will see the impossible of catching a fish and if he did, he will not depend on his expertise. God is the custodian of all opportunities (doors), He permits them to come our way or go from us. He leads those He would to the right opportunities even when it seems too late for anything substantive. This is why with God, we cannot lose what He intends to make available to us even if it seem delayed. So, hold on, trust in His word, and He will drive the fishes to your net.
Prayer_Bead:Master Jesus, Saviour and Redeemer, thank you for the wonderful opportunities available to me through your word. Please restore to me whatever I lost trusting in my strength. In Jesus’ name. Amen!
Tomorrow about this time I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin, and you shall anoint him to be leader over My people Israel; and he shall save them out of the hand of the Philistines. For I have looked upon the distress of My people, because their cry has come to Me. ( 1 Samuel 9:16 )
In order to send Saul to Samuel, God created a situation that led to the lost of Saul’s father’s donkeys. One would have thought, what would missing donkeys have to do with someone’s call and ordination? Kish (Saul’s father)would probably not have sent his son to go beyond that region to incidentally meet Samuel if not for the missing donkeys. Sometimes, God sends people through and with circumstances that seem vague in themselves and so unrelated to their call. And he brings people into our lives almost the same way. To Saul, he was looking for the missing donkeys but to God, he was responding to a call of destiny. God had planned his meeting with Samuel without his permission and notice, but he would honour it nonetheless because God was luring him. We may not be privileged or opportune to know the call upon our lives yet, but whatever it is God has called us into, He will lead us on until we find ourselves in the center of it. This is why it is so good to have a yearning and yielding heart. God will stir us to the place of meeting Him with our hearts. And wherever the heart goes, the man follows. Our call is often necessitated by the needs of people. Our gifts are for the benefit of others and our talents and leadership skills is because of others. Israel had a need/desire, and in order to answer that need, Saul’s purpose was ignited. Wherever God leads, go and you wouldn’t know how you got to the center of your purpose in a matter of time.
Prayer_Bead:Almighty Father, as I yield my heart to your navigational system of grace, lead me to my purpose and call. Ignite my purpose by meeting the needs of the world and showing the world your glory as a result.
Hannah said, Let your handmaid find grace in your sight. So [she] went her way and ate, her countenance no longer sad. (1 Samuel 1:18 )
Hannah, the wife of Elkanah, had been barren for many years and each time they went to Shiloh (the Lord’s house at the time), she would pray for a child but it seems her heavens were closed. Hannah had always allowed the voice of her rival, Peninnah and her provocations drown her faith. She had almost given up because of the continuous torment from her rival. Like Hannah, sometimes we receive the opinions of people and take the advice of experts as if it were the final say. Hannah would probably have given up if her hope was only on the comments of people. But the Scripture says we should pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). And so it happened at one Shiloh, Hannah was stirred to pray one more time and this time she engaged the principle of first fruit. And then she received peace in her heart after she had prayed this time. Her countenance was no longer sad because her spirit was relieved of the weight of her need—there was a witness in her heart. That sign of relief (peace) in ones heart after they have been with the Lord is the sign that things are going in the right direction. Hannah didn’t stop praying until she had peace of heart. That is what an effectual and fervent prayer consist. Do we desire change, then we must continue in prayer until that trigger of peace.
Prayer_Bead:Father in heaven, whose hands are not short to save and ears are not corked to hear, thank you for your commitment to answer my prayers always. Satisfy me with the desires of your heart.
He answered, “I heard you in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid.” ( Genesis 3:10 )
Usually, guilt makes people want to hide from themselves and others. That reality extends to our spiritual experiences. Whenever people realize that they are in the wrong against God, their first reaction is to “hide” from God and the things of God. Some will not visit the church again, others will continue to do more of the wrong they had done to make themselves feel bad all the more. It surely didn’t start from them, it’s probably in the Adamic DNA. When Adam sinned against God, he didn’t confront God about his wrong by confessing to God, instead he hid from God out of guilt. On the other hand, the man in Christ is called to come boldly to the throne of grace to obtain mercy and find grace (Hebrews 4:16). The man or woman in Christ, has been given a Spirit after the Spirit of God and He is not a spirit of fear but of power, love and sound mind. In other words, He does not condemn those in whom He dwells. The individual in Christ who tries to run from God is still in Adam or yet still has not come to the throne of grace. In Adam, our glory is in our strength but in Christ, our glory is in His grace, for we can do nothing by ourselves. Another thing that happens when we are far from the throne is that we see our weakness and frailties because the covering of his grace is thin. It is God’s glory that is supposed to cloth us and apart from His glory we are naked and cold. And so, we are called into the covering of the Most High. His grace is calling out to us.
Prayer_Bead:Almighty Father, most merciful and compassionate king, thank you for calling out to me that you may cover my nakedness. I approach the throne of grace for mercy and grace so that I can live my days in your glory.
But each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed. [ James 1:14 ]
Quite often, the believer attributes temptations to God, saying God is tempting them. But James says that God cannot be tempted, neither does He tempt others with evil—James 1:13. For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:16). James teaches that temptations come from desires and whatever entices us. Desires are like the bait on hooks. We don’t immediately see the hook (the evil that may be hidden behind our desires). So in order to avoid temptations, we must expose the hook behind the bait of our desires. The scripture goes on to say when desire hatches, it produces sin. Whenever a desire presents itself in our hearts, the first question to ask oneself is, “what will this desire conceive in the end?” Or is this desire a lust of the eye, pride of life or lust of the flesh? Because our desires, if they will lead to sin will be categorized into one of these. Once it is lust or pride, then sin is at our door. If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it (Genesis 4:7). This is what God told Cain before he killed his brother. Sin was crouching at his door (heart) because he made room for negative desires (he did not do what was good). And then we see God giving Cain the solution to his problem—to rule over that desire; Love. The power to rule over negative desires and sin is LOVE. But Cain didn’t rule over his desire with love and then sin took over him. We may all have negative desires but as to whether they are conceived as sin or not will depend on us. Let Love lead.
Prayer_Bead:Loving Father, Ancient King, thank you for the knowledge you have made available to me through your word. I rule over every negative desires that crouches at the door of my heart. I live in love. Glory be to God.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands. ( 2 Timothy 1:6 )
The apostle Paul wrote to Timothy, his son in the Lord telling him about his sincere faith that is bequeathed to him through his blood line. Even though Timothy had this worth of deposition of faith, fear had clouded his faith. And so, the apostle asks him to fan into flame the gift of ministry that is in him. Timothy had a sound spiritual foundation inherited from his mother and grandmother. And at his ordination, Paul and the elders laid hands on him. But even though they had laid hands on him, Timothy had to stir the embers of that flame. He was to first of all guard the deposit and then stir it aflame by the help of the Holy Spirit. We may have powerful gifts of the spirit and gifts of ministry but without engaging the proper protocols of stirring and fanning them to flame, the circumstances of our lives will still be as cold as the bodies in the morgue. Usually, fear prevents us from fanning our gifts to flame. All the people God had called in the past till our day, people like Gideon, Jeremiah, Moses, etc were held bound by fear. They all almost gave up their calling until they shook fear off in the power of the Lord. This is why Paul told Timothy that, the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). The Spirit of God breaks the clutter of fear that stops us from stirring His gift in us. He has given us power and when we speak in the power of His might, we see the glory of His grace. So, stir the gift in you by the help of the Holy Ghost.
Prayer_Bead:Precious Holy Spirit of power, love and sound mind, thank you for making Your abode in me. I boldly confess and exercise the authority of Your presence in me. I live above reproach and all the works of darkness. :Speak in tongues for some time if you can