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GOD IN MEN’S PAINS


Bolaji O. Timothy


Published by Rabboni Resort


Smashwords Edition


Copyright 2018 Bolaji O. Timothy


ISBN 978-978-55660-0-0


All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book..


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This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to Smashwords.com and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.




Except otherwise stated all Scriptural References are from New king James (NKJV).




















Dedication

To those who have experienced different kinds of pains or are experiencing varieties unpleasant circumstance. To those whose visions’ of hope seems blurred by unfriendly circumstances, this book is dedicated to.

This work is a proof of God’s interest and availability in your pains. Your issues are not strange to Him. A book of hope and testimonies is on course from your pains, just hang on in God, He is by your side. This book is dedicated to your sure future’s testimonies!



























Acknowledgment


This book is a product of many peoples’ active and passive contributions. I have the support of the Almighty God and contributions of many people in all the stages of preparing this work. First, I appreciate those who shared their stories, feelings and resolve before and while developing the frame for this work.

The first stage of this aided by the effort a group of young people. Listing their names may form three chapters. They have helped in writing this work by their various suggestions, questions, group discussions, personal and general observations. This motivated the progress of this work afterwards and I am sincerely grateful to them.


The effort of Mr. and Mrs. Ernest Ighravwe in the second stage is highly appreciated. Their comments and contributions during the last stage added significant value.

The patience of my wife and children is appreciated. I am sincerely grateful for their understanding, mostly in the last stage of this work.




























Table of Content

Acknowledgment

Introduction:-My inspiration.

Chapter One:-Nature of ordeal

Chapter Two:-God has not promised.

Chapter Three:-Visions and divisions.

Chapter Four:-Victim of Circumstance.

Chapter Five:-God’s permitted interruption

Chapter Six:-Job’s affliction

Chapter Seven:-Misery of failure

Chapter Eight:-Emotional threat

Chapter Nine:-Able but ignorant

Chapter Ten:-Unlawful prayer

Chapter Eleven:- Goshen

Chapter Twelve:-Wise conduct in life ordeal

Chapter Thirteen -A new day of hope

End Note



























Preface


There are treasures in man’s ordeal

You have to melt their snows

And search their hails

Within, are gold

Named greatness

Floods of fortune

Often survive

The melted packed

Snows of ordeal


A renowned writer C.S. Lewis in one of his works wrote that,


The most beautiful people are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known struggle, known loss, and have found their way out of the depths. These persons have appreciation, sensitivity, and understanding of life that fill them with compassion, gentleness, and a deep loving concern. Beautiful people do not just happen.”


“ And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” (Romans 8:28).


Sometimes ago, I was alone, in a sad state. I chanted repeatedly, songs of “why me.” I did ask many questions that my lifetime cannot exhaust the answers if God were to respond to them. I prayed all kinds of prayers, some launched by ignorance. A few other supervised by indifference and some motivated by anger, impatience and pride. Although, few were right on target, needed for necessary advancement. Irrespective of their sources and features, I learnt a great deal from them all. We know little about life and do the best help for our lives when we have right mindset to learn in all these pains. He would speak as a father and teach what I needed to understand about life. This formed the wisdom shared in this book. The loving and caring father of peace in my troubles and challenges proved to be great blessing. My pains, lessons, comfort, trust, hope, help and progress summarised the goodness and enduring mercies of God. I can join to sing the song by a wonderful singer, William Gather.

Through it all,

I have learnt to trust in Jesus,

Have learnt to depend upon his words


We may now be experiencing temporary predicaments or long-standing pains, yet there is no mistake in our existence! Negative circumstances stand the chance of becoming sources of promising and blissful future. This however depends on our responses. No matter how terrible and frustrating life seems, we’ll need to make choices out of this. No matter how difficult, a better alternative always exist.


Creating scale to measure whose pain is the greatest or who suffers the most is not a rewarding venture. Praying for grace to survive these pains and challenges with testimonies is most rewarding. We can, if we do not think these troubles and challenges are independent of God or greater than Him. When God is allowed, irrespective of their sizes, He will decorate all with wonders. Pains may come in diverse forms: Hunger, lack, rejection, sickness, failure, injustice, disappointment, disgrace, famine, abandonment, hatred, abuse and the like in different degrees in many peoples’ experiences. Life is filled with people who survived these with great testimonies while others succumb to their crushing fist. If only we could understand the mind of God and concede to His wisdom, we will harvest great comfort and confidence.


We need God in our world. His absence would have been the greatest accident. He carefully schemed all with purpose and our problems cannot erase His existence and power. I owe Him all the praises for showing Himself mighty in my own pains, disappointment, scarcity, lack, troubles, challenges, responsibilities, victory, successes and advancement. This is similar to many testimonies of many people.


Gold and precious stones glories need be revealed by furnace. Also, the beauty of a man’s life and testimony is shady without the necessary trials. I do not delight or solicit for a man made affliction, but I speak of necessary challenges that come in natural courses of life. And, even when men’s activities have produced these pains, we still have great hope in God’s mercy.

Our scriptural understanding will be realistic and reasonable with the lessons picked up from various challenges, when God is involved. It could be deliverance from theoretical theology. It could be a good way for God to direct, guide, protect, teach, train and promote us. There are varieties of good and great things the Lord can do with categories of pains. This work and many others are living proofs.


According to the testimony of Apostle Paul , “Who comforts us in all our trouble, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ. Now if we are afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effective for enduring the same sufferings which we also suffer. Or if we are comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 2 Corinthians 1:4-6.

The circumstances that led to the writing of this book occurred some years ago in my second year in the University. Just as the common saying. “A path without obstacles does not lead to a important place”. I failed two courses that year and it bothered me much. It was contrary to the promises I had received before then and my assessed preparation for the examination. This failure, coupled with lack of some need and harsh conditions, before, during and after the incidence, inspired some of the wisdom shared in this work. According to word of Ben Carson in his book Gifted Hands “Success is determined not by whether or not you face obstacles, but by your reaction to them. And if you look at these obstacles as a containing fence, they become your excuse for failure. If you look at them as a hurdle, each one strengthens you for the next.” The response!


The whole of my third year were filled with depression from divers challenges, but I had resolved that this will not bother my relationship with God come what may. I was not deprived of the timely comfort that made up most of this book. The Holy Spirit was and is still my major comfort. He used the scripture to combat my previous and presents troubles, confrontation, disappointments and temptation. And from them, grows great grace and help that I will ever be grateful to God for. Just like the Psalmist put it, “You have tested my heart; You have visited me in the night; You have tried me and have found nothing; I have purposed that my mouth shall not transgress.” (Psalms 17:3).



Trying to explain sources of my problems, pains, troubles and challenges before, during and after that moment is not enough an inspiration. But the lessons gleaned in those circumstances were more relevant solutions and hope centred than trying to describe how I felt then. Those define the focus of this work. More so, our reaction to similar situations may differ. Some may magnify the effect while to some; it does mean little or nothing. But staying through with God will give you the perfect perspective of the challenges.


Just like birth and death, pains and disappointments are common terms to every human being. They may be produced and encouraged from our or someone else’s carelessness or mistakes. Sometimes, they are planted by injustice, corruptions, wickedness, greed and ignorance. Identifying the sources of these pains is important, but very weak, if our responses are negative and would not encourage solutions.

Since “God is not a man that He should lie neither the son of man that he should repent” He cannot fail His words and our lives cannot fault His words either. In my fourth year, the Lord brought a turn around in my academics and since then, He has filled my mouth with testimonies that were too obvious for secrecy. “The glory of this latter house shall be greater than of the former, says the LORD of hosts: .. (Haggai 2:9). “So the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning…” (Job 42:12). A few of these wisdom are shared in a book “God’s Intervention”


In summary, this book presents the true picture of God in our pains. He has comforting, living and wonderful plans despite these pains. These must be discovered. The plans are without doubt good and promising, irrespective of the present size of pains! Also, there are many opportunities in our pains. These also need be understood. There is the tendency to assume each of these painful moment is the end of all things; waiting for the last stroke of death. The truth is, they can as well be the springboard for stability, strength and success. I am not in doubt of the blessing God will use the book to channel into your life. I trust God that while you read this book, you have courage reproduced within your mind and lighted with renewed hope and redeeming actions afterwards.

It is my prayer that the Spirit of God will dwell in these letters and bless every reader’s understanding beyond imagination in Jesus name. Amen.


Bolaji O.Timothy Back up to the Table of content












CHAPTER 1

NATURE OF ORDEALS


Many are the afflictions of the righteous, But the Lord delivers him out of them all.” (Psalm 34.19).


For affliction does not come from the dust, Nor does trouble spring from the ground; yet man is born to trouble, As the sparks fly upward. But as for me, I would seek God, And to God I would commit my cause-- Who does great things, and unsearchable, Marvelous things without number. He gives rain on the earth, And sends waters on the fields. .” (Job 5:6-10).


Do not pray for easy lives,

Pray to be strong men

Do not pray for task equal to your power

Pray for power equal to your task.

Then the doing of your work shall be no miracle

But you shall be a miracle.

Philip Brooks


Ordeals are difficulties and painful experiences. They are problems that rub roughly against the spiritual, physical, social and emotional phases of man’s life. If poorly attended to, they can make or mar, depending on wisdom in our reactions. They test our strength of character and show how far we want and can go in life. By them, warriors and victors are named; also, victims and failures are confirmed. The how and when we respond to them will reveal the nature of demands we place on our lives and God.


In life, problems or difficulty may be presented as invincible giant with terrifying features difficult to overpowered by an ordinary man of little strength. Irrespective of the presentation, we need to assess them and give their definition, if we must handle them effectively. This will help us know the energy, time, information and prayers needed to get them solved. It is important to know that our rewards are increased by the nature of odds and hurdle we scale through in our various endeavours. Ordeals always portray the image of impossibility but they are not so. Every man has an origin, so does every problem in life and they always have solution. It is easy to exaggerate our situations, circumstances and challenges. This is possible because of a faulty mindset.


Necessities of Problems

Problems are certain and unavoidable in life. No one gets to the top without steps or stair case. Even if it is with the aid of an elevator, you must always access your height somehow. Problems are steps or means to promotion. Life’s stars are like problems; to unfold their glories, you must scrape off their coverings. John Mason said “The breakfast of champions is not cereal, it is problems”.

If we respond rightly to problems that come across our ways, they will yield wonders on our path. I never knew I would be writing such a book like this, neither did I know you would be reading it today. It would have been difficult to write this book if I had not tasted some pains. However, I must admit that some have and are facing a greater if there is a way to measure them. Irrespective of the sizes of our pains, failures or problems, I love to call them responsibilities or challenges; they can make us stronger. There are opportunities in every trouble. Potentials usually are embedded in problems, this is because

• Problems prepare us, preserve us and sometimes project us for future anticipation and challenges.

• Problems reward us, advance us and reveal new things in or to us.

Problems break forth the pods of gifts and talents that are within us. The means of recognising gifts, talents and abilities are through confrontation of problems. What you worth and can do is a revelation by problems.

Problems give birth to inventions. Discovery and solutions are possible where there problems to solve.

• Problems embrace opposites: failure and success, death and life, increase and decrease, progress and retrogress, joy and sadness, fear and faith, greatness and littleness, poverty and prosperity and all sorts. You determine which is temporarily or permanently experienced in your life.

Problems multiply effort. They are the yeast that may increase your labour and favour. The degree of problem determines the extent and value of its solution. Great problem and complex situation will always give birth to great miracle. The value of the testimony would turn mammoth crowd into an ecstasy of inspirational praise if responded to positively.


I attended a Bible study. The assistant pastor while teaching that day struggled to preach the message that bothers on believers’ afflictions. Many people in the congregation were not pleased or probably scared. This was based on their responses and contributions. It was not their delight, unfortunately, a reality. Well, the minister managed to blend all and he summarised the message with a question “How many of you will pray for problems”? This question was left unattended to. Many of us are ignorant that the desire for miracle is connected to problems that must be solved. There cannot be victory without warfare or plenty without scarcity. While we pray for miracle we should expect necessary problems to solve. However we must be careful, lest the devil take advantage of our ignorance! Do not try to fill up your boat while on the sea. It is natural; there will be splashes of water on your boat from the waves of the sea.


Problems Classifications

There are necessary and unnecessary problems. Some problems are brought into our lives by ignorance, the society, neighbours, sin and its associate. Necessary problems are expedient for testimonies. We must be careful to invite unnecessary challenges into our lives by careless actions. And if so, they can still be handled if you God’s mercy is sought on time. Sincerity and genuine repentance is the first response in this case!


Possible Source of Problems

There are about five major sources of problems, ordeal or trouble in this life and they are

• Problems permitted by man’s ignorance

• Problems from society and others

• Permitted problems by God

• Problems associated with growth

• Calculated problem by the Devil and Demons.








Problems Permitted By Man Himself

Most problems are rooted in ignorance. Ignorance heralds evil virtues. Disobedience, pride, arrogance, extravagance, laziness, procrastination, covetousness, envy and self-pity (Galatians.5:19) are linked with ignorance. They all have their evil effects. Men have their will to exercise and determines man’s degree of troubles or peace. Problems cultivated by ignorance are often difficult. Such problems are unfortunately managed by ignorance and there is no beauty in ignorance; it turns all sides to calamity. Until such accepts and sincerely steps forward to correct the mistake, such may not find help. Ignorance is incompetent for life’s struggle. An unattended to problem will create other problems and by ignorance and negligence, problems are nurtured and multiplied.


























Problems from Society and Others This ranges from an individual to groups. You share your parents’ name and their biological accessories. Also you share their good fortune and otherwise. Problems can crop up because of singular or collective effort to solve a particular problem or its laxity. The results of corruption in the society have many effects on the innocent citizens. Discovery and invention can crop up many problem that will affect. Pollution in the society, wickedness and their sponsors can cause much mishap in the society. The more sophisticated the world, the more sophisticated the evil perpetrations. The partner shares spouse problem. Leaders’ problems are directly or indirectly transferred into the lives of the followers. According to Hans Finzel, “Leaders have incredible power for good or ill people’s lives. A few control the destiny of many”. Policies and principles could be harmful to peace. It is easier to create problems than to offer solution. Greed, incompetence, deceptions and pride are possible sponsors of societal problems. Corruption is a great global menace recognised by many right-thinking people. According to Transparency International, “corruption is a global problem”. “This has led to poorly equipped schools, fake medicine and elections decided by money, creating society where few are invincible and majority are vulnerable to all kinds of injustices, hunger, death, sickness, wickedness and diseases”. It is unfortunate this experienced in the church! It saddens God’s heart! In a situation that a few people’s greed had deprived the majority their safety, peace, supplies, hope, legitimate right, help and encouragement. Roads are bad and death’s traps. Funds assigned for such were diverted to personal pulse. Needed attentions are not given to health care. Educational institutions are out of tune with development and relevance because policies and implementation are pivoted by ignorance and greed. The greed for position has plunged many communities into crisis. Some suffer demotion, lost their jobs and many other evils were harvested by this. Negligence by the management about rules and regulations and safety conducts in a work environment exposed the workers to naked calamities. Many people may sincerely deserve to be blamed for all these calamities in many societies. However, you will need to negotiate your life out of this mess. God is much ready to help while you do this.










Permitted Problems by God

Whatever problem allowed by God, is for a reason. God uses them for so many reasons. We will see those reasons in the latter chapters of this book. Problems could be part of his curriculum in training and miracle working. Such cannot swallow you, they are needed and will promote you if well attended to. They are like necessary examinations for student to test their performance and legally confirm their promotions to the next level. What do you think about the situation of Abraham or Job? When Jesus asked a question about the blind man from birth about who actually sinned, this man or his parent? Some circumstances are permitted for God to reveal Himself through them.


Calculated Problem by Devil and Demons

We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against wicked spirits. The devil should not be seen as a gentle man. More so, the end is near, he is time conscious and his rage is fired brand. His philosophy promotes trouble “Skin for skin, yes all that a man has will he give for his life”. He carries out well-intended trouble to wreak havoc and cause catastrophe on an individual or group of people, purposefully to paralyse spiritual life and cause death and derail. He enjoys and justifies it. Sometimes, he subtly carries out his offensive mission by weakening his target for next attack.


Growing and learning need problems

How do we measure our growth? What is the knowledge gained indices? Quick and timely problem solving ability or skill measure our maturity. There must be increase in problem solving ability or rate with increase in growth. Some problems are associated with growth. Sometimes, it may be crowd control, handling critics, envious, jealous and haters. Expansion of goals and dreams may be necessary. This may need more financial, physical and other resources commitment and management. Attending to multiple issues simultaneously is common with growth. Decisions will always go from simple to complex with maturity, progress, advancement and successes.


Man’s Pain and God’s Plan

Ordeals or problems become chronic pains, most especially when it is not responded to in good time or left to grow wide and wild. Pain is a result of wound. Wounds are accompanied by anguish and limitations. Fortunately enough, wounds can be treated and healed. Who does this and how? Of course, nurses, doctors, your parent, and your loved ones with suitable medication and methods. Nurses and doctors are trained to do so, parents and loved ones are driven by love. Knowledge, understanding, skill and love are necessary in healing and removing pains.


The plan of God about men’s pain is to heal the wound and remove the pain. He has knowledge, understanding and skill to handle your problems and also, overpowered by love to attend to you. The pages of the scripture are full of promises and acts of God in healing wounds. The fall of man in Eden, His prompt action to cover man’s nakedness is a clear indication of what His plans are. As an expert doctor, nurse and loving parent cares for the wound of their patients and their children, similarly God’s plan reflects in His knowledge and love to heal pains from every problem that come across our ways.



But here is the problem:


Some children keep their wounds from the notice of their loving parents. Some see their doctors as cruel and heartless. Similarly, many run away from God because they think His plans are heartless and severe, but no matter what, that is the best way to heal the wound.


Men’s pains in the absence of God encourage constant bitterness and sorrow. While pain buried in his plan leads to happiness and joy. Burdens cast on Jesus are burden trodden upon. They never can weigh you down because you carry none. Just promise that as from today, you will take your burdens to the cross, where burdens are lifted. He did mine, I have read and heard many testimonies, and He did theirs also. Yours can be lifted, take it all to Calvary.


Back up to the Table of content


















CHAPTER 2

GOD HAS NOT PROMISED


These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world “ (John 16:33).

If they break My statutes And do not keep My commandments, Then I will punish their transgression with the rod, And their iniquity with stripes. Nevertheless My loving kindness I will not utterly take from him, Nor allow My faithfulness to fail..”( Psalm 89:31-33).


In spiritual life as well as natural life there is a principle “No pain no gain” (Ralph Mahoney).


Life is a struggle and as Christians we struggle with the same life experiences that non-Christians do. Being born again does not exempt us; it is hard being a Christian but it’s harder not being one- Neil Holiman


There are two extreme assumptions by some set of believers. Both misunderstood the scripture. Some champion believers’ endless suffering while some patronise vacuum faith. The first group ask for expulsion of messages treating believers’ interruption. They argue with their ignorance “Negative messages or challenges should not be preached on church pulpit”. These ones are ignorant of Christ teachings. I suggest they check out the scripture. While those who run on vacuum faith encourage all forms of excesses and abomination to justify their prosperity drives. When such are confronted with adverse situation, they are likely going to throw their bibles away; accusing God of disappointing them while the other group dine and wine in all forms of deceptions. When I was in the high school, I once had a Christian friend/counsellor who dumped his bible because he failed one of his subjects at the O’level. He anticipated going to the college but could not meet up with the requirement and blamed God for this, he left the Lord.


God never once throughout the scripture promised storm free life or continuous feather plucking situation. Why must we have about 365 “Fear not” in the scripture? I think this should puzzle us. Why do we have such numbers of fear not in God’s word? God knew there would be scary situations but “Fear not”. He has never absorbed us from the reality but he has also made available relevant supplies. I wonder why there should be promises of provision; protection, promotion, prosperity and preservation, if there will not be scarcity, dangerous situations, lack, and poverty. However, there are provisions that will create standard to place His children above the board of disgrace and shame.


Who can guarantee a world without problem and life without some interruptions? Who can guarantee the continuous flow of a stream without an obstacle since inventions crop up many problems? Who can put the busy enemy in check – you may say your prayer will, yes, but what about your neighbours who do not believe in your prayers or your God? Their ways of life may direct or indirectly affect your life. And what about your mistakes?

God called the pilgrims out of the bondage and they must pass through the wilderness before the Canaan land. Between the bondage and the Promised Land, there was wilderness of temptation, persecution, trial and test. He deliberately led them in the wilderness way. “And it came to pass, when Pharaoh had let the people go, that God led them not through the way of the land of the Philistines, although that was near; for God said, Lest peradventure the people repent when they see war, and they return to Egypt: But God led the people about, through the way of the wilderness of the Red sea: and the children of Israel went up harnessed out of the land of Egypt.” (Exodus13:17-18).

God knew all they must face and what to do at every stage of need. God has not promised them Canaan without the wilderness, neither did He promised peace without pain. He has not promised victory without war, or success without necessary problems, confrontation and challenges. Annie Johnson Flint wrote in her song “God hath not promised”


God hath not promised skies always blue

Flower strewn pathways all our lives though

God hath not promised sun without rain

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.


But God hath promised, strength for the day

Rest for the labour, light for the way

Grace for the trials, help from above.

Unfailing sympathy, un-dying love.


God hath not promised we shall not know

Toil and temptation, trouble and woe

He hath not told us we shall not bear

Many a burden, many a care.


God hath not promised smooth road and wide

Snuff easy travel, needing no guide

Never a mountain rocky and steep

Never a river forbid and deep.

Why will God not promise such? He would not for the following reasons

- There is sin in the world

- Presence of the busy enemy

- Man’s ignorance and weaknesses

- God’s school is in the wilderness.

There is Sin in the World

The atmosphere of the world is charged with lots of activities, practices and cultures. Concepts of the world accommodate sins, and where sins are, there is infliction of sorrow, calamity, problem and troubles – “the wages of sin is death”. Some of these activities, practices and cultures directly and indirectly encourage sins.


Injustice, cruelty and abomination of all sorts are not wanting in the world. The world is full of struggling and fighting. Ungodly desires and evil ambition of selfish, greedy and wicked men will crop up troubles “The earth is given into the hand of the wicked. He covers the faces of its judges. If it is not He, who else could it be?” (Job 9:24).

This is peculiarity of the world.

This justify the need to pray for our society. “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).












Presence of the Busy Enemy

God has not promised there will not be interruption and restless ripples across the boundaries of life, because of the busy enemy, the pendulum of woe, whose restless activities keep throwing stones of sin into the sea of life of all and sundry. The devil’s actions may affect believers directly or indirectly but God uses all situations to carry out His will. Well, if men are less conscious there is a battle to fight, he is well conscious that he must inflict someone. He is the accuser of brethren. When he appeared before God and was asked “And the Lord said to Satan, "From where do you come?" So Satan answered the Lord and said, "From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it.” (Job1:7). He dashes fleetly at any opportunity to cause mishap. He afflicts sons and daughters of God with weaknesses. He sows tares in the field of wheat at the careless moment of man. He possesses, obsesses and oppresses. He has ministry of restlessness in the world; he is the pendulum of woes in the world.


Indebted to the Devil

Just like a fastened clamp to a piece of wood in the workshop, so clamped will the devil hold on to as many that are indebted to him. The price is worth an eternal value, so expensive than the labour of man. It is a great crime to sin against God. Whosoever corridors he finds his luggage, be sure to see devil feasting there. As supported by the scripture in 1 John 3:8 which says “ He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil”

Man’s Ignorance and Weakness.

God knew that we have limited or no knowledge of spiritual matter. Most times the devil hires our ignorance against us. By our weakness, he enters our lives to afflict and sometimes engage our heart seriously until we run into trouble. He drains us of all possible interest in God. Until we fail, we are most of the time full of ourselves. Unfortunately, we sometimes parade our folly as a great wisdom. The day you begin to learn wisdom, you begin to give the devil a bitter pill. Until then, he may not change his tactics of attack against you.


God’s School in the Wilderness

God sometimes allow some interruptions. He has not promised life without some necessary problems, challenges, responsibilities and some tasking situations because we must gain experience and discover some certain things about life. Our successes and advancement need relevant knowledge to achieve and sustain them. Problems always precede solution, invention and discovery. There are two major ways we learn and experience some lesson in life. Learning from other people’s experiences and Learning from one’s experiences

Peoples’ ordeals and solutions could be a source of inspiration to many of us. We do not need to pass through all situations in life before we learn. They are not best means of learning. If we can access information from similar experiences, success or failure, it is the better. Learning from our experiences may be helpful, but not always the best, except if allowed by God. One may not survive some mistakes, but others learn from them.

An old man was asked one day “Who indeed is a wise man”? “He replied, the one who learns from others’ failure and success”. He or she avoids what made them a failure and embraces with proper adjustment what made him a success. Life ordeals have always been good teachers. There is great treasure in it “Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.” (Ecclesiastes 7:3).


If Israel had not passed through wilderness, they would have lacked the knowledge about the full strength of the God of Abraham. How He could make a way in the Red sea, and open the gates of water in the rock. There were many revelations in the wilderness. That is school of God in the wilderness.


Joseph dreamt of that height and later had a decline down the slope. First, he was sold to the Ishmaelite down to the house of Potiphar and deep to the prison. Has God forgotten Joseph’s dream? No! Joseph was in the training school. He successfully completed his course and the dream was fulfilled.


The difference (Gap or space) between your dream or vision and fulfilment is “Experience”. This is possible when you take active and positive part in levelling up the gap. You must have some good experiences to consult, if you have to counsel others effectively. If not yours, then that of others. What you have stored in your mind and memory can easily be drawn out. Your experience is the savings you can always count on when counselling. You can as well gain experience from others. We do not need to learn everything by ourselves, getting in involved in all types of situations and circumstances.


God has not promised there will not be some interruption across our ways, but he promised to see us through. Be sure, you cannot regrets when God is in the situation with you.


Back up to the Table of content






































CHAPTER 3

VISIONS AND DIVISIONS


"Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents and harmless as doves. But beware of men, for they will deliver you up to councils and scourge you in their synagogues. You will be brought before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them and to the Gentiles”(Matthew 10:16-18).


Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'; and 'a man's enemies will be those of his own household.”(Matthew 10: 34-36).


Godly vision is not going to bring you instant affection and respect. Vision from the Lord is always tested by trials and tribulation. When God establishes a vision He does not change his mind.(Ralph Mahoney).


What we see or know brings us closer or separates us from other people. It is sometimes scary to read what Jesus said in Matthew 10-16, 34-36. The reality of these message is based on the endless conflict between some visions and their sources. Most especially when they are heading different directions, championed by different mindsets and motives and presented and operated from different environment: wisdom or ignorance. The Christ kingdom’s visions (salvation in the Lord Jesus Christ) defers from visions from outside the kingdom; the world of sin. The vision of the cross make one body, Christ the head, and one Spirit, one hope, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God, one Father. We are one in the Lord (Ephesians 4:5). Visions rooted in religion and mere practice is living far from this. This is the reason behind many confrontations and confusions for ages. This had similarly encouraged many conflicts.


Visions differ and there are many beliefs, ideology, philosophies and ways of life. Where these conflicts, the professors do as well. Where wisdom, love, laws and value for life are strangers, confusions and conflicts and crisis are unavoidable. Vision of the cross embraces the grace of God. This fight against sin. The vision of the world encourages sins as a way of life. Truth about reconciliation and forgiveness of sin is foolishness to those who accept sin as way of life. These differences between culture and practices of God’s kingdom and devil will create divergence view about issues and may create separation. Therefore opposition is certain. The contrast in vision and belief will create temptation, trials and persecution. Difference in vision helps divisions and confrontations.


Most time we wonder why Jesus in Matthew 10:34-35would say “Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. Mat 10:35 For I have come to 'set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law'” is this not contradicting to what he said in John 16:33?

Jesus was referring to the outcome of heterogeneous ideas and a vision that exists between God’s and devil’s Kingdom. Righteousness and unrighteousness, injustice and justice, salvation and depravity, sinners and saints and many other conflicting opposites. Different visions forms lines of divisions and oppositions; most especially when wisdom and love are alien. “For I am come to set a man at variance against his father …” contrast in vision cause friction. There will be separation between light and darkness because they operate on different rules. Foes and friends have different visions. The devil will violently contest the peace of God’s vision and that is what we see in past and modern martyrs.


Response of Christ’s Vision

All through the scripture, He promised to attend to His own in their time of confrontation. Promises that are inexhaustible abound. Testimonies of men in Bible days and now show that God is even faithful in keeping His own. We have hope, we can pray. We have the comforter and we have fellowship. “These things I have spoken unto you that in me ye might have peace in the world ye shall have tribulations. But be of good cheer I have overcome the world. John 16:33.



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