Just obey! Do not give God what He did not ask for or do what He did not tell you.

Why give excuses? Simply obey!

So Samuel said: Has the LORD as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, As in obeying the voice of the LORD? Behold to obey is better than sacrifices, And to heed than the fat of rams.” 1 Sam.15:22

Saul, Israel’s king was to go out to war against Amalek under strict instructions from God for their unkind behaviour towards Israel in their days of sorrow. Saul was expressly instructed not to spare any; whether man, woman, children and even the very young and animals were to be killed (verse 3).

Rather than listen to God’s command and do acordingly, Saul and men of Israel did exactly the opposite; they killed some and spared some. ”But Saul and the people of Israel spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.” (verse 9).

The command was very simply; destroy all, but the bible says that Saul and the people of Israel disobeyed! They killed people and animals of no value or worth but kept for themselves those that had value. God was grieved because of this — He regretted making Saul king. But God knew this would happen, so He was not surprised, rather He was concerned for Israel His people and their King.

When Samuel eventually met Saul after the war, three things happened: (1) Saul pretended to have obeyed the LORD but in truth he knew he had not. (2) He blamed the people for his foolish action rather than accept responsibility as King. (3) The leadership of Israel was taken from him and given to someone else.

If Saul had obeyed the LORD fully he would not have had to lie, he would have been bold enough as King to give Samuel in details and truth the state of affairs in Israel’s camp, and he would have remained King over Israel. In short, disobedience made way for lies and both cost him his Kingship.

As we enter 2012, we all must be determined in our hearts to obey the LORD just as He has directed. Saul failed as King because of disobedience and lies and he lied because he feared. What has God asked or called you to do? To succeed in it, you must be prepared to obey instead of sacrificing the best sheep or whatever thinking such can take the place of obedience. If God requires sacrifice, He will ask for it. So do not give Him what He did not asked for or do what He did not tell you. God cherishes our obedience to Him above all else.

Do you want to succeed in your life and ministry? Just obey God. If you do obey, there will be no need for lies and fear. For perfect love for God breeds obedience just as perfect love casts out fear. Saul did not have love for God, he was proud and full of himself. You must not be as he was. Rather love God and in this love, obey Him in all He commands and you shall succeed.

 

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Confess the blood of Jesus.

The blood of Jesus redeems… and so I CONFESS THAT….

By the blood of Jesus heaven is open to enable me come into the very presence of God.

The blood of Jesus is my divine covering and protection.

The blood of Jesus purges me from any defilement of the enemy.

The blood of Jesus prevents deception and aborts any attempt of the enemy to deceive me.

The blood of Jesus reconcilles everything in me to the perfect will of God everyday and in everyway.

The blood of Jesus, the everlasting covenant of God is working in me that which is well pleasing in His sight.

By the blood of Jesus I overcome the enemy (Satan) and every work of his hands against me.

By the blood of Jesus I have received supernatural grace and mercy in God.

God is on my side for the blood has been apllied, every need shall be supplied and nothing shall be denied, so I enter into rest, I know that I  am blessed for I have passed the test, I will get God’s best in the name of Jesus.

I am redeemed by the blood.

I am forgiven by the blood.

I am saved by the blood.

I am blessed by the blood.

I have boldness because of the blood.

I have victory by the blood.

I have health and healing by the blood.

RIGHT NOW….CHRIST HAS REDEEMED ME with His blood:

I AM FREE, I AM FREE

I AM FREE, I AM FREE

I AM FREE…Because of the blood of the Lord Jesus.

 

Leading by God’s leading.

If you are a leader of God’s people, how do you lead?

”But Jonathan said,’My father has troubled the land. Look now, how my countenance has brightened because I tasted a little of this honey.’ ” 1 Sam. 14:29

Israel had gone out to war against Philistine its arch enemy. At the same time, Saul, then King of Israel had put all his men under oath — non was permitted to eat anything till the battle was over! ”And the men of Israel were distressed that day, for Saul had placed the people under oath, saying, ‘Cursed is the man who eats any food until evening, before I have taken vengeance on my enemies.” So none of the people tasted food.” 1 Sam. 14:24. Now imagine going to war and being restricted from food? Thirst and hunger alone were enough to give the enemy victory. This was the case with Israel — a rash order by an irrational leader. But God saw them through.

However, Jonathan, Saul’s son had no knowledge of this oath. Being faint after the battle, he saw honey, took some and ate and his strength was restored. Just then he was told of his father’s forced oath on the people. His response was swift (verse 29). He went on to say in the next verse that if the people were not subjected to such an oath by his father, the Philistines would have suffered a greater loss. God must have given Israel victory because from all, it is obvious Saul’s men had no physical strength to fight their enemy.

What happened in verse 32 is very instructive: ”And the people rushed on the spoil, and took sheep, oxen, and calves, and slaughtered them on the ground; and the people ate them with the blood.” The people were now free from their forced oath after the battle. Being so hungry, they throw God’s code as given them through the hand of Moses to the wind (see Gen. 9:4; Lev. 3:17; 17:10-14; 19:26; Deut. 12:16, 23,24). They ate meat with its blood. Saul’s irrational and unreasonable oath made the people to break God’s law. Saul himself confirmed this in verses 33 – 35.

Again they prepared to go to war and so decided to seek God’s face, but God would not answer. Therefore, Saul called for a gathering of the people and a spiritual inquest was initiated. Jonathan was found guilty because God personally showed respect to Saul’s forced oath. But for the people he was saved.

Leadership in the household of God goes beyond academic knowledge, emotions, sentiments, or human wisdom. It has so much to do with listening to God, taking instructions from Him and doing as He has directed and not as we perceive. Saul in his human thinking felt that starving the people in battle would give them victory. Though they won that battle, however, the people sinned against God by eating meat with its blood. Jephthah made the same mistake; he made an irrational decision, which he could not reverse (Judges 11:29-40).

In whatever position we find ourselves as leaders in God’s house, all efforts should be made to lead as God has led for this is how we know who His true sons and daughters are (Rom.8:14).

Have you been leading God’s people or  living your christian life based on your perception without getting directions from God? It’s not too late to seek His face and ask Him to direct you in His way to lead His people and live a life as He wills. I know He will answer you without bias (James 1:5)

 

 

Change that strategy.

Even in despair and adversity, trust in Him without ceasing.

”…They sat there before God and fasted that night until evening; and they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings…” Judges 20:26

The children of Israel with about 400,000 foot soldiers went out to war against their brothers, the Benjamites  with about 26, 000 foot soldiers.

One day,  a Levite had reason to spend the night with his concubine in Gibeah, which belonged to the Benjamites of Israel. In the cause of the night, some men of the city surrounded the house where they were being accommodated and demanded to have a sexual relationship with the Levite. All pleas by both the Levite and his host fell on deaf ears as the men of the land insisted on having their way. And eventually, the Levite gave his concubine to the men who abused her sexually all through the night. As expected, she died.

This caused great pain to the Levite who in turn cut his concubine into 12 pieces and divided them amongst the 12 tribes of Israel. This action was to express his desire for justice, thus, a call to all Israel to assemble to determine a possible line of action against the culprits.

Following the town hall meeting, a decision was taken and men were sent to the Benjamites to ask for the release of the perpetrators. But the men of Benjamin would not! Instead of repenting and immediately releasing those responsible they began to prepare for war. Israel in turn sought God’s face to determine further actions. They were permitted to go and the house of Judah was to take the lead.

Against all expectations, Israel lost no fewer than 26,000 men of war on the first day of battle to Benjamin. Again they sought God’s face and again they were directed to go, yet again they were slaughter. Israel lost about 18, 000 men on the second day. But come to think of it; did God really ask them to go to war?

In view of this, they humbled themselves: ”Then all the children of Israel, that is all the people, went up and came to the house of God and wept. They sat there before the LORD and fasted that day until evening; and the offered burnt offerings  and peace offerings before the LORD.”

Note that they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. Why did they do this? The burnt offering was the most common offering in Israel, which was offered twice daily and it atoned for sins and made fellowship with God possible. The peace offering was an expression of gratitude for God’s providence.

In other words, though they were permitted by God to go to war, they recognized that sin in their midst could be an impediment, thus, the need to make atonement, which will pave the way for fellowship with God, while expressing their thankfulness or gratitude to God for His providence.

Once this was done, Israel came out strong in the LORD and the men of Benjamin were roundly defeated the next day.

Many a times, God instructs us to do certain things, but things don’t always work out as expected. It is not that God is not faithful or that His word is no more effective. It could actually be that we need to re-examine our lives as the people of Israel did. It could also be that our method is wrong. Whatever the case may be, we must seek God’s face again and again to get a clear word from Him.

They offered burnt  and peace offerings — they confessed their sins, allowed God to consume them as the fire consume the burnt offerings (they surrendered to God’s way), and told God, ‘Thank You LORD.’

May be we also need to confess some weak areas in our lives, allow God through His Spirit to consume us (surrender to Him), then, tell Him, ‘Thank You.’

If we can do this, every battle in our lives will be won, His calling and tasks for us will be perfected. Challenges will come, but if God has indeed said it, He will surely perfect it in His way. Stop doing it your way.

Do not ever give up in times of adversity especially when you are sure God has spoken. Whenever God is silent or you are facing times like this, God might be telling you to seek Him, He wants to fellowship with you first, and probably confessing some weak areas. Also, He might be telling you to change your strategy.

 

Walk, stand and sit.

Where you walk, stand and sit matters. Psalm 1

(1.) Blessed is the man Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly, Nor stands in the path of sinners, Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;

Many have not realized that where they walk, stand and sit determines greatly their emotional disposition and spiritual state. Blessed as used here means happy. I have never come across a criminal of any sort who has lived a happy life on earth and can say boldly that he will end up happy before God. Temporarily, things may seem good and well, but in all cases, they shy and even hide from the arm of the law. That is not a happy life. No one can say he is living a happy life, yet sleeping with all senses awake. No one can say he is living a happy life, yet a mere knock on the day puts that person under his bed. So, you must ask yourself this question; where do I walk and who do I walk with? Where do I stand and who do I stand with? Where do I sit and who do I sit with? This is necessary because where you are to day will determine where you will be tomorrow.

(2.) But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and in His law he meditates day and night. To meditate means to reflect on the word of God, speak the word slowly to oneself, to ponder, to mutter, etc. By doing this, the word of God becomes a check on your life, the word of God controls your actions and your thoughts. Please remember that it is not what enters you that defiles but what comes out. So, when you ponder  or reflect over God’s word, when you mutter God’s word you are actually speaking the word to every part of your body, thus, edifying your body. Therefore, do not be surprised when your body begins to respond to the words of God that proceed from your mouth. From the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks and all creation except man was by the spoken word. Rather than walk, stand and sit with sinners, walk, stand and sit on God’s word.

(3.) He shall be like a tree Planted by the rivers of water, That brings forth its fruit in its season, Whose leaf also shall not whither, And whatsoever he does shall prosper. Your prosperity in this life and in that to come is bound to God’s word. If you bind your self to God and His word, you will be like a tree planted  by rivers of water. No tree planted by rivers of water would ever die of drought.For his location, he will be fruitful and prosperous. Remember God’s charge to Joshua: ”This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.” Joshua 1:8

(4.) The ungodly are not so, But are like chaff which the wind drives away. The way of the ungodly — those who walk, stand and sit doing evil, is different from the way of those who have made the word of God their life compass. Thus, the ungodly shall have no inheritance before God. In fact, they shall be blown away — a life without value — chaff — empty.

(5) Therefore the ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, Nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous. While the godly shall go before God receiving commendations and rewards for their good works on earth, the ungodly will be no where to be found. So, where will you be?

(6.) For the LORD knows the way of the righteous, But the way of the ungodly shall perish. In other words, the LORD protects all those who follow Him. All who follow Him will enjoy eternal life. But the ungodly — all who talk counsel to do evil shall end in complete horror, shame and ruin.

Think about this.

 

God’s everlasting love.

God will not forsake you for His great name’s sake.

”For the LORD will not forsake His people for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.” 1 Sam. 12:22

In 1 Samuel chapter 8 Israel demanded for a king to rule over them as other nations. Despite Samuel’s persuasion on them to drop their demand while pointing out the implications, they insisted on having a king over them.

So in chapter 9 Saul was chosen as king and in chapter 10 he was anointed. But on the day of Saul’s coronation something remarkable happened. Towards the end of his address Samuel declared: ”Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the LORD, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD,  in asking a king for yourselves.’ So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel.’ ” 1 Sam. 12:17-18

This was the wheat harvest – a dry season, a period that thunder and rain were unheard of. This event was, therefore, an indication that the request of Israel to have a king over them was wrong, thus, against God’s purpose and will. In fact, a total rejection of God Himself, His rule and Lordship over them.

The people therefore begged for mercy having recognized their evil deed. Samuels’s response is remarkable: ”…do not fear. You have done all this wickedness, yet do not turn aside from following the LORD, serve the LORD with all your heart. And do not turn aside; for then you would go after empty things which cannot profit or deliver, for they are nothing. For the LORD will not forsake His people, for His great name’s sake, because it has pleased the LORD to make you His people.” 1 Samuel 12:20 -22.

We may wander away from God choosing rather to fulfill our plans and desires. But even at the point of failure and guilt because of disobedience or unbelief, it is soothing to know that God never forsakes His children.

God has invested too much in us to allow all to go down with the wind. This is not an encouragement for us to continue in sin that grace may abound. Rather it is an encouragement to anyone who has strayed away from God’s purpose to turn to Him in true repentance asking for forgiveness.

Yes, God will forgive you if you will repent today and remain steadfast to His will and commands ensuring that no other king rules over you.

Also remember; God has not finished with you, so don’t give up on Him.

Changed by the Spirit.

How effective can you be in God’s hands?

Then the Spirit of the LORD will come upon you, and you will prophecy with them and be turned into another man.” I Sam. 10:6

After  a fruitless search for his father’s lost donkeys, Saul met Samuel and this meeting led to an event that changed Saul’s life.

As ordered by God, Saul was ordained King over Israel. But there was something yet to come, which would make him a more effective leader. Clearly, Samuel told him among other things that as he journeyed home, he would meet some prophets coming  down from the place of worship with instruments of praise. That in the cause of this, Saul would prophecy as the prophets did and be turned into a new man.

 Though he had been ordained King, Saul needed more than his strength to operate in this office. Beyond strength Saul needed to be turned into a new man. In other words, a total transformation of Saul (in and out) was necessary. It was impossible for him to serve God in his old self. He needed to be empowered by God to be effective.

We all need that transforming power of God, we all need to be empowered by God’s Spirit to be effective in whatever assignment He has given us. No one can please God in the flesh and no one can effectively serve God trusting in his abilities and strength. He who has called you knows the weight and demands of your calling. Therefore, He alone can give you the needed backup to serve as He desires.

No one serving God in his strength can succeed because in times of adversity his strength and resources will fail him. To this end, Paul wrote: ”I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13.

Paul recognized the weakness of his strengthen, thus, chose instead to put his trust in God to empower him to carry out his calling. Against this backdrop, he was able to withstand the difficulties and challenges of life that came along his person and ministry.

Why not make a choice today to allow the Spirit of God turn you into a new person so that you too can be effective for Him?