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PRAYING WORKFORCE

Are you a believer and you are in one form of legitimate endeavor or the other? This group is for you! It is a weekly online group for active or intending businessmen or women, entrepreneurs. Here, we take advantage of the weapon of effective prayers to pray our businesses to fruitfulness! You are welcome.

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Bro Emmanuel Olarinre

Equip the people in your life - 26th November 2022

“So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.” (1Sam 13:22NIV)


When the word of God tells us not to look to our own interests alone but also to the interests of others, it is for our own good. Of course, we may not know exactly when or how or to what extent we will benefit from doing so. But there will surely be times in our lives when we will reap the fruit of genuinely taking interest in the welfare, growth and development of the people in our lives, be it our spouses, children, family members, neighbours, colleagues at work or church brethren. (Cf. Phil 2:4)


As we see in our opening bible text, there was a time during the reign of King Saul that none of the soldiers with him had a sword or spear to defend themselves or their country. Only he and his son Jonathan had them. What that means is that all the soldiers with him, whatever their number may be, were useless to him and to their country at the time. They were useless because they had nothing to offer for the safety of the land when their enemies came to battle against them.


But who was to blame for that? Saul was to blame for it. He was their leader. He was their king. And he must have known that there would surely be days in which their enemies would rise up to fight against them. Why, then, did he not labour hard to see to it that all his soldiers were adequately equipped with quality weapons to defend themselves and their beloved country? Or what exactly did he think he was going to do with soldiers that had no real weapons but farming tools? Could he even call those ones soldiers? Definitely not!


Now, of course, as are equally shown in the passage where this matter is recorded in the bible, it was the Philistines that orchestrated the whole thing. They were the ones that made sure there was no blacksmith in all of Israel. So, all the people had to go down to them to make or sharpen their farm tools. You can see, then, that these Philistines did what they did to keep the Israelites dependent on them for as long as possible. They wanted to make sure they would never be strong enough to liberate themselves or defend themselves against their hostility and oppression. And they succeeded. (Cf. 1Sam 13:19-21)


But why did they succeed? They succeeded because the king of Israel did not take the training and equipping of his own people very seriously. Even if the Philistines would not teach their blacksmithing skills to the Israelites, he could have sent spies to other countries around them to learn these skills and to come back and teach them to their country people. But he did not do that because he was not passionate enough about the equipping of his fighting men. And because he failed in this matter, on the day of battle, when he needed these men to stand with him in fighting their enemies, they were useless to him, for they had no weapon to fight with.


Unfortunately, similar things are happening in our country today and, in fact, in many other countries of Africa. Most of our leaders do not take the education, training and equipping of their people seriously. And though there are developed countries, here and there, that are willing to share their knowledge in various fields with anyone willing to learn, these leaders are not doing much to sponsor their people to go and learn and become well-equipped enough in various fields of life to be able to give back to their countries.


Therefore, many of our African countries have been depending on the developed nations of the world for almost everything modern we want or need. And we may forever remain dependent on these developed nations for our sustenance in this modern world, if we don’t change our ways. And God forbid, if any of them should decide to wage war against us, the outcome would have been decided even before the war started.


What is my point? It is that we should be concerned not just about our own personal development and usefulness in life but also about the education, training and equipping of the people in our lives, especially our spouses, children, siblings, workers and brethren in church. Yes, sometimes, this may not be convenient and may even cost us some things that are very dear to us. But if we equip the people in our lives or support them in whatever way we can to become adequately equipped and fit to handle life by themselves, a day may come when they will be the ones supporting us to win some battles of life that we can’t win alone or to expand our sphere of influence in life in very significant ways.


So, don’t let life be all about you alone. Be concerned about others too. Be concerned about those in your life and see how you can help them get fit for life, spiritually, academically and financially, according to the grace God has given you. And a day will come when you will be glad you contributed to their fitness or readiness to handle life.


Let us pray:


- Thanksgiving to God for all that He has enabled us to know and acquire to be fit to handle life.

- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see the training and development needs of those in our lives, so that we may know where they need our help.

- Prayers that we will be furnished with adequate wisdom and resources to support the equipping of everyone in our lives according to their needs.

- Prayers that God will touch the heart of everyone that is in a position to equip us or support us to increase in usefulness in life to begin to carry out His will in our lives without delay.

- Prayers that God will wake up the leadership of our nation and that of our various organisations and enterprises to begin to take the education and development of those under them very seriously, so that our country will not remain handicapped among the nations of the world.

- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.


By Johnson O. Lawal


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It can take a while -19th November 2022

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, He who is coming will come and will not delay.” (Heb 10:35-37NIV)

How readily does God answer the prayers of His people and move on their behalf? Very readily! Immediately! Now, of course, there are people who think differently. And they think differently because they have been taught by some preachers that God does not always answer people readily. According to them, there are times that He may tell people to wait for a while before He answers them and times that He may tell them ‘No’ outright. But these ideas are not rooted in God’s word but in people’s imaginations.

From what we see in Scriptures, every prayer that is offered by God’s people that is in line with His will is answered by Him immediately (1John 5:14). In fact, our Lord Jesus says this about God’s attitude towards prayers offered to Him: “And will not God bring about justice for his chosen ones, who cry out to him day and night? Will he keep putting them off? I tell you, he will see that they get justice, and quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will he find faith on the earth?"” (Luke 18:7-8NIV)

Did you see that? God never puts off His people who are praying to Him. Instead, He always attends to them quickly. The Lord’s concern, however, is that God’s people may not see things like this and maintain their faith in Him. That is why He asks whether He will still find faith here on earth when He returns. In other words, will people still be trusting in God when He returns or will they have thrown away their confidence in Him?

Yes, sometimes, it may look like God is not active or answering our prayers at all. And sometimes, He may appear too slow in handling what concerns us. But God, according to Scriptures, is never inactive or slow in relating to matters that concern His people. Rather, He is always immediate and quick to respond to them. Nevertheless, there are times that it may take a while for what He has done or doing on our behalf to manifest for us to see.

For example, when He sent Moses to lead the nation of Israel out of Egypt, it was not the very day that he arrived in Egypt that he led them out. It probably took him some months, though we are not given any specifics in the bible about this. But, at least, we are shown in the bible that Pharaoh was unwilling to let the people go. So, Moses had to perform waves of miracles, one after the other, to bring Pharaoh to his knees and let the people go.

Now all the time that this was going on, things were getting rougher and more difficult for the Israelites. Pharoah saw to it that they were frustrated and oppressed more than ever before. It was so bad that even Moses had to cry out to God at some point, saying, “O Lord, why have you brought trouble upon this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble upon this people, and you have not rescued your people at all." (Ex 5:22-23NIV)

And who among us has never felt like that before? Who among us has never for once felt that God was not helping them at all? I have felt like that many times before. I have several times woken up to still find the same problems I have fervently prayed about staring me in the face, looking as though God had not even lifted any finger to address it. And that, of course, is exactly how Satan, the evil being behind all our problems and pains, always wants us to feel about God. He always wants us to feel that He in unconcerned or unmoved about what we are facing and praying to Him about.

But that is never true. God truly cares about us and is truly concerned about us. That is why He Himself is the one that has invited us to cast all our burdens on Him. All we need, then, is to cast them on Him and to maintain our faith in Him, knowing that He has gotten to work the moment we pass these burdens over to Him. (Cf. Ps 55:22; 1Peter 5:7)

In the case of these Israelites, the moment God heard their outcry in Egypt, He began to work for their deliverance. But first He had to wait for the man He was going to use to be ready. And He took him forty years to wait for the only person that was fit for the job to be ready. In fact, He almost literally dragged this man, Moses, out of his shell in order for him to go and save them. Perhaps that is also what He is doing at the moment to certain people that He has prepared to handle certain matters of your life. Perhaps He is dragging them out of their shells, so that they can attend to those situations. But would you know that, if your eyes were not open to see what He is doing? No! (Cf. Ex 3-4)

Then when Moses got to Egypt to work, he was met with very stiff opposition from Pharoah and his sorcerers. So, God had to send ten different plagues on the nation of Egypt before these Israelites could gain their independence. And that, as I pointed out before, took some time. So, you can see that it is not everything God is doing in response to our prayers that we can enjoy immediately or right at the instant that we pray. Some things can take a while before we begin to enjoy His works for us concerning them. And how long each situation of our lives that He is fixing will take before we witness a full manifestation of His works concerning it will depend on the nature of the situation.

Sometimes, we underestimate the nature of the problems we are dealing with, thinking that they should not take God a minute to fix. But what is behind those problems may be bigger than what our minds can handle. And God who knows this will not take half measures at all in dealing with such problems. Instead, He will do all that needs to be done for them to be permanently resolved. But this may take some time.

All of this is why we are told in our opening Scripture not to throw away our confidence in Him or give up on Him. Yes, it may look like nothing is happening or that things are getting worse. But that does not mean that God is not at work on our behalf. He is working and will not delay His works at all. We are the ones, then, that should continue to persevere in doing His will. That is because that is the only way we will receive a full manifestation of what He is doing for us and not miss His help or provisions.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us and is always working for our good, even when it looks like everything is falling apart for us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened to always maintain our confidence in God about every situation of our lives, so that we will witness a full manifestation of all that He is doing to save or elevate us.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see the steps we need to take for ourselves while waiting for God’s work to manifest about those situations of our lives that are giving us the impression that God has abandoned us.
- Prayers that God will quicken and make ready everyone He has appointed to attend to matters of our elevation in life or salvation from certain troubles that is still sleeping, afraid or reluctant to work, so that they can get to work for our good without delay.
- Prayers that wherever there is a need for waves of miracles for us to experience the best God has purposed for our lives that God will stretch forth His hand and begin to perform them right away.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Too much for you - 12th November 2022

“Lord, I have given up my pride and turned away from my arrogance. I am not concerned with great matters or with subjects too difficult for me.” (Ps 131:1GNT)

In the book of Daniel, he narrates one of the visions he saw in which he heard certain things that he did not understand at all. And when he asked the angel that was sent to give him those revelations, he simply told him that it was not his business to understand what he had heard. The actual words of that angel were: “Go your way, Daniel, because the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.” (Dan 12:9NIV)

Also, when the apostles of old began to ask Jesus questions about the signs of the end time and of His return, He told them without mincing words that no one, not even the angels or He Himself, knows the day or hour He will return. Only God, the Father, knows. And there is nothing anybody does to search it out that will amount to anything. Why? God, in His wisdom, has chosen not to disclose it. He has chosen not to disclose it because we don’t need to know it. That means that knowledge is not relevant to our steadfastness in the faith and also probably too much for us to handle. (Cf. Matt 24; Mark)

If we, then, insist of searching it out, we will surely get into trouble. And there have been people who got into trouble along these lines. In their attempt to search out the exact day that the Lord would return, they ended up being seduced by evil spirits to come up with misleading dates and times. Thus, they endangered their own faith and the faith of others who believed them and brought disgrace upon the body of Christ.

Now just as it is with spiritual things, so also it is with natural things. What I mean is that just as there are spiritual matters that are too much for us to know or handle, there are also natural matters that are too much or too deep for us to handle. And that is what David is drawing our attention to in our opening bible text. There he tells us that he does not concern himself with matters that are great or too difficult for him to process or handle.

Evidently, David was a very wise and godly man. Yet he knew his limitations and boundaries. So, he would not get himself involved in probing to know something that he had no business knowing. Why? He knew that could get him into troubles that were not meant for him.

We too need to know our limitations and boundaries in life. We need to be able to separate knowledge that we need from knowledge that is useless to us or that is too much for us to handle. Look, it is not everything we need to know about the people in our lives or around us. And it is not everything we need to know about the place we live or work in. Some knowledge is not good for us at all. That, of course, will be because we have no wisdom or character to handle it.

For instance, when I was working in the bank, there were times some compliant officers would meet me and ask questions like, “Did so and so actually do this?” And my response would be, “Well, that question is above my pay grade. It is not my job to know. I have not been saddled with the responsibility of knowing what so and so is doing. And I really don’t want to know.” Why? I did not want to be dragged into matters that I had no authority to comment on or to defend. Also, I did not want to make unnecessary enemies for myself in matters that had nothing to do with my job or reputation. So, I always excused myself from such things and allowed those employed to handle them to handle them.

But there are people who often foolishly put their noses where they do not belong in their offices or neighbourhoods. They want to know what is going on with everyone so that they will always appear up-to-date. And before they know it, they will have heard something too big for their ears to handle or too great for their mouth to speak of. Then people that should never have been their enemies will rise up against them to hinder their progress or to destroy them. And they may not be able to escape.

Also, personally, I always love to maintain a good notion about the people in my life and around me, based on my personal judgment of who they are. Therefore, I don’t encourage anyone to tell me ugly stories of their past, especially when they have nothing to contribute to my present relationship with them or their present situation. I consider such information to be useless to me. It will probably only stain the good picture of them that I have in my mind. Why, then, should I have it?

But there have been people who dug deep into the past of their friends or spouses only to find there things too terrible for them to bear. Yes, what they found out probably had no direct effect on their relationships. But it ruined their minds and the images of their partners they had always had. And before they knew it, their relationships were ruined as well, ruined for nothing.

Now don’t get me wrong here. I am not saying that if we are in certain relationships with people we should not seek to know what they are up to or capable of doing. We should by all means know these things. Otherwise, we may become victims of our own ignorance someday. Then I am not saying that if we are working somewhere we should not know what is going on there or what those we are working with are up to. We should by all means seek to know anything that concerns our job or that is related to it. Otherwise, we may end up foolishly getting into trouble and putting our job or reputation at risk.

However, in situations where we have no authority whatsoever to know what is going on in someone’s life or in a certain place, we should do our best not to put our noses where they do not belong. Also, where people have made it clear to us through their words or actions that it is not our business or in our interest to know certain things about them or about the place we are in, and if we too know that is not our business or in our interest to know these things, we should back off. Otherwise, our insistence on knowing what is too much for us to handle may end up bringing disgrace, bitterness or destruction of lives, relationships or reputations on us. And may that not be your experience, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the wisdom of His Spirit that is ever available to us in His word for our safety in life.
- Prayers that our hearts will always be full of the wisdom of the Spirit to be able to separate the knowledge that we need from that which we do not need, so that we will never again invite unnecessary troubles into our own lives.
- Prayers that God will rid our lives of whatever unclean appetite we may have for seeking to know things that we don’t need to know.
- Prayers that wherever we are now in trouble because of our possession of certain information that we don’t need that God, in His mercy, will step in and rescue us and anyone else that is involved.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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What will you say? -
29th October 2022


"If I have denied justice to my menservants and maidservants when they had a grievance against me, what will I do when God confronts me? What will I answer when called to account? Did not he who made me in the womb make them? Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?”
(Job 31:13-15NIV)

Those were some of Job’s words, when he was labouring to show his friends that he had been leading a blameless life all his life and did not deserve to experience the terrible things that came upon him and his family. And was he right to think and speak like that? No! Was he right to think that his good works were enough to keep evil away from his life and family? No!

Nevertheless, the things he said about his consciousness of God, which we have in our opening bible text, are worthy of note. According to him, he was conscious of the fact that God was watching his every action and move and would someday hold him accountable for it. What, then, would he say to Him on the day He begins to question him about the way he had dealt with his workers, both male and female? What would he say to God, if he had treated them maliciously and denied them justice or their rights? What would be his excuse for using them despitefully and without consideration?

As he further points out, the same God who formed him in his mother’s womb also formed these workers of his in their mothers’ wombs. Therefore, even though he was occupying a place in life that was better than theirs, he was not better than any of them before God. If he, then, ignored this fact and began to abuse and maltreat them, he would someday have to answer to God for all his crimes. And since he knew that he would have no answer to give Him on that day, he would not treat anybody unfairly, whether highborn or lowborn. Instead, he related to everyone in his life with fairness and justice. No wonder God Himself testified that he was blameless in all his ways and that there was none like him on the face of the earth (Job 1:8).

In like manner, we too need to function in life with the consciousness that God is watching us and will someday hold us responsible for how we use our positions and how we treat others. What, then, are we going to say to Him, when He confronts us about how we are treating the people in our lives? What are we going to say to Him, when He begins to call us to account for all the cheating, abuses and wickedness that perhaps characterise our ways of dealing with others?

Recently, the internet was awash with news about a man that so beat his own two-month-old baby that one of the baby’s arms had to be amputated. And why did he treat the baby like that? It was reported that it was because he disturbed his sleep with his crying? But would he be able to say that to God when He eventually confronts him about the matter?

Now I am not in a position to judge that man for what he did. By the way, God is able to forgive even him for what he did. But I am saying this to let us know that we need to always be conscious that God is someday going to hold us accountable for whatever we say and do to ourselves and also to others, even if men will not hold us accountable. That way, we will think carefully and well before we say or do anything that we will not be proud of before Him.

Mind you, this goes beyond what will happen on the day that God will judge all men and the secrets of our hearts. It also involves what can happen while we are still here in the world. As we see in the bible, there was a day when God confronted King Belshazzar, son of Nebuchadnezzar, with the truth about his life and reign. God made this man know on that day that He had been watching him all along and examining his actions and motives, so that He may judge him accordingly and at the right time.

But did he know that he was being watched and examined by God? No! Or did he know that he was daily moving closer to taking the one step that would make the cup of his sins full? No. And why did he not know these things? It was because he was not conscious of God. But when he took that step, God gave His verdict against him, with a writing on the wall of his palace, which says:

“Mene: God has numbered the days of your reign and brought it to an end. Tekel: You have been weighed on the scales and found wanting. Peres: Your kingdom is divided and given to the Medes and Persians." (Dan 5:26-28NIV)

Unfortunately, similar things are still happening to people everywhere in the world today because they are not conscious of God. Everyday God is judging the wickedness and stubbornness of men, just as He is rewarding their goodness and acts of righteousness. And that He has not come to you or me does not mean that He is not coming at all. He will surely come to us someday to either reward or punish us for what we are doing to ourselves and to others in our lives. What, then, shall we say to Him when He comes? Are we even going to be able to speak at all?

Well, these words are coming to you now so that you will be reminded again that we have a God who is watching us and who will not be passive in judging and rewarding our actions and motives, whether they are good or evil. And we will do well to take note of this and begin to handle all our affairs accordingly. May we not be found wanting by Him in any way, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for being patient in dealing with us, so that we may have opportunities to discover our errors and repent of them.
- Prayers that God will keep His consciousness forever in our hearts, so that we will not do anything to anyone without considering what He will say about it.
- Prayers that God will cause us to humble ourselves before His word and repent without delay wherever we are abusing or maltreating those in our lives with our authority, position, wealth or power, so that we will not take one more step in error that will lead to our destruction.
- Prayers that wherever we are suffering in our lives now because of the bad treatment we gave to others in the past God will show us mercy because of the death of Jesus and rescue us from the consequences of our errors.
- Prayers that God will keep our spirits, souls and bodies blameless before Him, so that when our Lord Jesus returns to judge we will not be ashamed to speak before His presence.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to all our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Recognise their authority - 22nd October 2022


“For even if I boast somewhat freely about the authority the Lord gave us for building you up rather than pulling you down, I will not be ashamed of it.” (2Cor 10:8NIV)

What kind of authority is Paul speaking of here? It is spiritual authority. He is speaking of the authority to supernaturally affect or transform people’s lives. And who gave him this authority? It was the Lord Jesus Christ. And why did He give it to him? As he himself points out in our opening text, He gave it to him to build people’s lives and not to destroy them. Therefore, whatever he said or did with this authority must be geared towards building lives up and not destroying them. And all church leaders must take note of this.

But then, even though Paul had the spiritual authority to build lives up, if those he was dealing with did not recognise this and relate to him accordingly, his authority to build them up will not be a blessing to them. For example, our Lord Jesus, once after using Peter’s boat to preach, told him to launch out into deep water and let down his nets for a catch. Now Peter had every reason not to be obey His word. He was the professional fisherman and not Jesus. Also, he and his men had laboured all through the night and had caught nothing. So, asking them to go back and waste more time trying to catch nothing was somehow insane.

However, instead for Peter to be arguing with the Lord and telling Him why it was insane for him to do as He had instructed, he said that he would obey. Why? It was because he recognised Jesus as one who had supernatural authority to bless him and his labour. He did not know exactly how things would turn out by obeying Him. But he was ready to obey. And when he did, he and his men received the shock of their lives. They received a miracle of provision that was just too much for them to handle. (Cf. Luke 5:1-11)

Similarly, there was a centurion that once sent men to beg Jesus to come and heal his servant that was sick and dying. And while Jesus was still on the way to his house, he sent some friends again to ask him not to bother to come to the house of an unworthy person like him. Why? As far as he was concerned, Jesus was a man of supernatural authority. And since authority could be communicated and, in fact, is often communicated through words, he reasoned that all Jesus needed to do was to simply give a word of healing for his servant and he would become well. That, of course, was exactly what happened. Jesus, excited because of the man’s faith, spoke a word of healing for his servant, and he was immediately healed. (Cf. Luke 7:1-10)

What is the point I am making? It is that there are people who have received supernatural authority from God to make us experience His goodness, mercy, salvation and protection in various ways. And we must recognise them and relate to them accordingly. We must recognise them and always take their words of authority seriously, regardless how quietly or simply they put such words. Otherwise, certain experiences of transformation, exaltation or salvation we desire to witness in our lives may never happen.

Our Lord Jesus once called His disciples to Him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and illness. All they needed to do, then, was to go out and speak healing and deliverance words to people, and they would be healed and set free. However, He also told them before they left that the working of the authority He had given them was not based on what they said or did alone but equally on how what they said and did were received. In other words, if they blessed someone and the person received their words and acted on them, the blessings of those words would rest upon him and work wonders in his life. But if the person did not receive their words, their blessing would return to them. (Cf. Matt 10:1-10)

So, words of blessing, healing, deliverance and exaltation can actually return to those who give them instead of settling to work in the lives of those being blessed. That is a shocking revelation. And only God knows the number of those who, through ignorance or pride, are daily sending back the words of blessing, healing or transformation that are coming to them from those authorised by God to bless them.

Perhaps you too are like that. Because of your failure to take seriously those authorised by God to supernaturally build you up and set you where you should be in life, their authority is not working for you. Yes, they pray for you and teach you God’s word to build up your life. But you are repelling their blessings because you are ignorant, proud, bitter or unteachable. You need to humble yourself and change your attitude towards these spiritual authorities in your life. Otherwise, as I pointed out before, there are great experiences of God’s goodness and mercy that you may never have in life.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all the people He has sent and authorised to supernaturally bless us.
- Prayers that God will train our hearts to always recognise those He has authorised to fulfil His will in our lives, so that we will humble ourselves to receive and experience His provisions through them.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and strengthened to always embrace divine words coming to us instead of arguing with them, so that they will accomplish the will of God in our lives.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and restore us wherever we are suffering or are behind in our lives because we rejected words or acts of blessings that He sent to us through His servants.
- Prayers for all those that God has given some measure of spiritual authority to for the building up of His children that their hearts will always be filled with patience and gentleness, so that they will not abuse or misuse the authority they have been given.
- Prayers that God will always confirm the words of all His servants all around the world with signs, wonders, miracles and the distribution of spiritual gifts, as they faithfully use the authority He has given them.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Don’t be manipulated - 15th October 2022



“Then Samson's wife threw herself on him, sobbing, "You hate me! You don't really love me. You've given my people a riddle, but you haven't told me the answer." "I haven't even explained it to my father or mother," he replied, "so why should I explain it to you?" She cried the whole seven days of the feast. So on the seventh day he finally told her, because she continued to press him. She in turn explained the riddle to her people.” (Judg 14:16-17NIV)


What was Samson’s weakness? Women! Yes, that is what almost every bible student or teacher would say. But Samson was not the first or only person in the bible to love women or to be involved with multiple women. Abraham, as we are told in the bible, had more than Sarah in his life. He also had an unspecified number of concubines in his life. Yet he was not led astray or into destruction by any of them. What about David? He also had many wives and concubines in his life. Yet not one of them led him astray or opened the door for Satan to come into his life and afflict him. (Cf. Gen 25:1-6; 2Sam 5:13)

Am I saying it is alright to be a lover of women or to be involved in polygamy or adultery? No! The word of God is very clear about God’s stand on such things. And though He did not punish these saints of old for their involvement with multiple women, He has now made it abundantly clear to us through His Son and through His holy apostles that people who give themselves to sexual immorality have no place in His kingdom.

However, I brought up these things just to show you that Samson did not fail God and fall simply because he was involved with all kinds of women. Rather, he failed Him and fell because he was weak in handling love manipulations and pressure.

As we see in our opening text, even in handling the very first love of his life, the only woman that he actually went after to marry, he was weak. He was weak in handling her manipulations and the pressure she mounted on him to do something that would put him in financial trouble. And though he gave in to her, he still ended up losing her to another man.

Similarly, in handling Delilah’s case, he was weak in handling her manipulations and pressure. Yes, he loved her. But when it became clear to him that the woman was up to no good, what should he have done? He should have walked away. Even if he was not going to walk away like that, he could have told her that he had no intention of discussing the secret of his power with anyone. But he did not do any of these. Instead, he kept on telling the woman lies and trying to play games with her. And when he could no longer handle her nagging, he told her the whole truth and exposed himself to destruction. (Cf. 1Sam 16)

Now there are many today that may end up being destroyed like Samson because they too are weak in handling the pressure or manipulations of certain individuals in their lives. These individuals may be their husbands, wives, parents, children, friends, neighbours or even religious leaders. But they are constantly on their necks, manipulating and pressuring them to do something that will put them in trouble.

They may be pressuring them to borrow money for them or for certain things they can do without, money that they have no capability to pay back on time. Or they may be pressuring them to acquire facilities they cannot manage or to go for a job that will take them away from the faith or to get involved in a love relationship that is bound to be deadly. But the truth is that when trouble eventually happens, as it will most likely happen, these people may not be there at all to save them.

So, if you have people in your life at the moment that are constantly manipulating, threatening, enticing or pressuring you to do something that you know is not good for your life, home or future, you must not yield to them. Will that be easy? No! Taking our stand against threats, manipulations and pressure, especially if they are coming from those that we love, respect or adore, is usually not easy. But we must always remember the word of the Lord that says, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not give in to them.” (Prov 1:10NIV) We must also always remember His word that says, “Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked.” (Ps 1:1NIV)

Now, of course, it is not every time that these words apply only to sinners and ungodly people. There are times that it is godly people, who ought to know better, that yield themselves to be used by the devil to harass, threaten, manipulate, entice or pressure us to go overboard and destroy ourselves. And where this is the case, we must take our stand against the devil using them, while still maintaining our love for them.

Truly, doing this may sometimes require that we end certain relationships altogether or that we endure the rejection and hostility of those that we love dearly. But we have to do so, as long as it is what will keep us in the will of God. All we need is to keep our Lord Jesus who, as an example for us to follow, endured the opposition of sinners all His earthly days, always before us. And we will never grow weary or be moved but always be vindicated by Him as being right and just in our ways. (Cf. Heb 12:3; Psalm 16:8)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for He is always there for us to keep us steadfast, regardless of life’s opposition.
- Prayers that God will always fill our hearts with the wisdom of His Spirit to detect love manipulations, so that we can take our stand against them.
- Prayers that God will supply all that is lacking our boldness, wisdom, knowledge and understanding in taking a firm stand against every manipulation, enticement or pressure of men that is geared towards leading us away from His will.
- Prayers that we will be shown mercy and rescued wherever we are suffering as a result of yielding to the manipulations and pressure of men to do what was wrong.
- Prayers that God will quickly vindicate us in every situation where those we love are against us because we will not follow them to do evil.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Victims of another’s error - 8th October 2022

“So the LORD sent a plague on Israel, and seventy thousand men of Israel fell dead.”

(1Chron 21:14-15NIV)


Why did seventy thousand men of Israel fall dead on the occasion mentioned in our opening bible text? It was because the Lord sent a plague on the land. And why did the Lord send a plague on the land? It was because their king, David, sinned against Him.


Now what exactly did David do that got God so angry that He took the lives of seventy thousand men of Israel? Did he commit adultery or murder? No! When he committed adultery and murder, God did not punish the nation for his sins; instead, He punished him and his household. But on this occasion, it was not because of any personal sin that David committed that God punished the land; rather, it was because of a national sin that he led the people to commit.


Chapter 21 of 1Chronicles opens with these words: “Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” (1Chron 21:1NIV) Did you see that? Satan wanted the nation of Israel to suffer. He wanted an open door of opportunity to afflict them. But when he probably could not find any, he decided to lure David to take their census. And is anything wrong with taking a census of a nation? No! There are a lot of benefits to that, especially when it comes to resources management and allocation.


However, at that time, the nation of Israel could not be treated like any other nation of the world. That is because God chose them out of all the nations of the world for Himself (Deut 7:6). Therefore, though they had a king over them, they did not belong to that king but to God Himself. That means they could not be numbered by anybody or king, if the order did not come from God Himself. All of this is why it was God Himself that ordered Moses to take their census those two times that he took their census in the wilderness (Num 1 & 26).


Besides, God had given Moses a specific instruction of what the people must do anytime their census was taken. Look at how this is stated in the book of Exodus:


“Then the LORD said to Moses, "When you take a census of the Israelites to count them, each one must pay the LORD a ransom for his life at the time he is counted. Then no plague will come on them when you number them. Each one who crosses over to those already counted is to give a half shekel, according to the sanctuary shekel, which weighs twenty gerahs. This half shekel is an offering to the LORD. All who cross over, those twenty years old or more, are to give an offering to the LORD. The rich are not to give more than a half shekel and the poor are not to give less when you make the offering to the LORD to atone for your lives. Receive the atonement money from the Israelites and use it for the service of the Tent of Meeting. It will be a memorial for the Israelites before the LORD, making atonement for your lives."” (Ex 30:11-16NIV)


From what we see here, it is clear that apart from the fact that the people ought to be numbered only on the order of God, there were offerings they must also give anytime they were numbered. Otherwise, a plague would break out among them to destroy them. The question, then, is, “Was David aware of these things?” If he was aware of them, why did he not act accordingly? If he was not aware of them, what about the priests in the land, the priests that were supposed to be teaching the people the will of God? Were they also not aware of these things?


If the priests were not aware of these things, that means they were ignorant and not fit to be leading the people. And if they were aware of them, why did they not warn David not to expose the country to a national disaster by acting against the will of God? Were they afraid of facing him and telling him the truth? Or were they trying to run away from the tedious job of supervising the census themselves and collecting the ransom offerings required?


As the story goes, only Joab, the general of Israel’s army, opposed the king on this matter. And he too did not oppose him because he knew what was at stake but simply because he just did not like the idea. So, it is evident that while we must hold David responsible for the evil that came upon the land as a result of his act of numbering Israel, we must hold the priests and the elders of the land responsible as well. They also had a duty of knowing the will of God and insisting that even their king act accordingly, so that the land would always be safe. But they failed in this area.


Unfortunately for all of them, Satan, who lured David to take this census, was very well aware of these things. He knew that if he could get them to miss the will of God in handling this matter, He could also get God to punish them. He must have thoroughly assessed the attitude of the leadership of the country at that time to the word of God before making that move. And it worked.


Now the most painful part of the story is that when God began to judge the land for this sin, the lives of seventy thousand innocent men of Israel were taken. These men did not give the order for the nation to be numbered. Yet they died. But even David, who was the main offender in what happened, did not die. In fact, no member of his household died for his sin.


And what is that teaching us? It is that it is not every time that people make mistakes that they suffer directly for them. There are times that innocent people may be the ones that will suffer for the mistakes made by others. All this is why we must continually pray for those who have authority over us, however small the authority they have over us may be, that God will keep them from making any mistake that will put our lives in jeopardy.


Also, we must always pray for ourselves as well that we will not take any step that will ruin the lives of those under our authority. That is because we too can foolishly or ignorantly make decisions that will expose those under us to danger. And the only one that can keep us from doing such is God. So, we should always commit ourselves and our decisions into His hands.


Then we must continually pray that even if those who have authority over us or who are handling things that affect us should make mistakes or commit blunders, God will keep us from being victims of their blunders. As we see in the account we are considering, it was not everyone in the land that died as a result of David’s blunder. There were several others in the land that God spared in His mercy. And His mercy can speak for our protection too, even if certain people around us should get involved in things that can endanger us. And that is how it will always be for us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Let us pray:


- Thanksgiving to God because He is a merciful God whose mercy can keep us safe from any kind of trouble, even self-made troubles.

- Prayers that God will destroy every negative influence in the life of everyone who has authority over us, so that they will never again make any decision that will put our lives or affairs in jeopardy.

- Prayers that God will keep us from yielding to any satanic influence that will drive us to do or say things that will give room for those under our authority or care to be afflicted or destroyed.

- Prayers that God, as we progress in our walk through this life, will always keep us from being victims of anyone’s mistakes or blunders.

- Prayers that God’s mercy will overflow mightily to us and rescue us from every situation in which we are now suffering or being limited as a result of the past or immediate errors of those who have authority over our lives.

- Prayers for everyone now suffering as a result of our own past mistakes that God will show them mercy, heal them and also restore them without delay.

- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.


By Johnson O. Lawal

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Recognise and appreciate your worth - 1st October 2022



“When the angel of the LORD appeared to Gideon, he said, "The LORD is with you, mighty warrior."” (Judg 6:12NIV)

Where was Gideon when the angel of the Lord first appeared to him? He was hiding in a winepress threshing his wheat because of his fear of the Midianites. But God had chosen him to be the deliverer of his people. And why did He choose him? First, it was because He knew what He had endowed him with. He knew the fighting and leadership abilities he possessed.

Second, God knew that He was going to be with this man every step of the way. So, he was never going to face the Midianites alone. Yes, the Midianites had so oppressed them that many of them had deserted their inheritance and gone off to hide in some caves and on some mountains. But God was going to be with him in handling them. And since He was going to be with him all the way in handling them, success was guaranteed.

Unfortunately, Gideon did not know these things at all. He did not know what he was worth in the sight of God. He had no true and proper appreciation of the abilities He had endowed him with. So, when the angel of the Lord addressed him as ‘Mighty warrior’, he was quick to protest and tell him that he was nothing close to a warrior. And for him, the facts could speak for themselves. His clan was the weakest in the tribe of Manasseh and he was the least important person among his father’s children. How, then, could he possibly be the leader and saviour of the entire nation of Israel? That wasn’t even something that he could day-dream or fantasise about. (Cf. Judges 6:11-16)

Similarly, there are many of God’s children today that He has chosen and equipped for great things in life but who do not see themselves as He sees them. So, they are hiding in caves of fear, rejection, ignorance, sin, wrong relationships or irresponsible living. And unless they experience a divine encounter that will open their eyes to see God’s plans for them, they may live and pass away in obscurity.

Also, as we see from the story of Gideon, before the Lord came to him, he had no abiding consciousness of the presence of God with him. So, even when the angel of the Lord said to him, “The Lord is with you,” he lost no time to protest again and say, “How can that possibly be true? If the Lord is with us, how come all these bad things are happening to us?”

Unfortunately, most of us who are God’s children also often think and talk as Gideon did on that occasion. That is because we think that if God is with someone, there is no way bad things can happen to them at all. But the bible shows us that the presence of God with us will not always keep challenges from coming to us. However, if we are walking in the consciousness of His presence in our lives, there is no challenge that comes to us that we will not walk in victory over.

Remember the story of Joseph. Remember we are told that God was with him when he was a slave in Potiphar’s house and that He was also with him when he was in the prison. And because he knew that God was with him, he did not lose his mind or lose his character. Instead, he took advantage of God’s presence with him to shine like a star in those bad situations of life in which he found himself. And when the time came for God to vindicate him, he was exactly where he was supposed to be and ready to assume his new status in life. (Cf. Gen 39-41)

Gideon, however, needed to be shown series of signs in order for him to fully embrace the reality of God’s presence with him to give him victory. Perhaps you too need to see some signs in order to embrace fully the reality of God’s presence with you in order for you to go to that place He has always wanted you to be. You can ask Him, as Gideon did, to show you those things that will build up your faith and lead you to accept the roles He wants you to play in His kingdom and to begin to play them. (Cf. Judges 6-7)

Whatever the case is, I want you to know that it will not be a good thing at all for you to come into God’s eternal kingdom and realise that you have actually been in the world something less or far less than what you have been endowed by God to be. So, wake up and get ready to come out of your hiding place. Yes, wake up and begin to talk to God about filling your heart with revelations of all that you can be for Him and also do for Him in this world.

Now I am confident that He will answer you, if you will wholeheartedly pray to Him about it. That is because He has said, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jer 33:3NIV)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because the plans He has for us are great and lovely plans, plans to bring us prosperity and not disaster, plans to bring about the future we hope for.
- Prayers that God will bring us divine revelations that will open our eyes to recognise and appreciate the places where He wants us to function in life and to begin to utilise His abilities in us to occupy them.
- Prayers that God will bring about circumstances that will drive us out of every cave in which we have been hiding away from His purpose for our lives.
- Prayers that God will supply all that is lacking in our faith and boldness to take our various places in His schemes and to begin to function accordingly.
- Prayers that God will strengthen our hearts never to accept to be anything less than He has ordained us to be in this life.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Be more determined - 24th September 2022


“But Manasseh did not drive out the people of Beth Shan or Taanach or Dor or Ibleam or Megiddo and their surrounding settlements, for the Canaanites were determined to live in that land.”
(Judg 1:27NIV)

Why did the people of Manasseh not drive out the inhabitants of the land God had given them through Joshua? Was it because they could not? No! If you look at our opening text carefully, you will see that it does not say, “But Manasseh could not drive out…” Otherwise, it would mean that they lacked the ability to drive them out. But the text says, “But Manasseh did not drive out…” That means it was a matter of will. The will to drive out their enemies was not strong enough. So, they left them in the land.

But why was their will not strong enough to drive out those people? At least, God’s instruction was that they must drive them out. In fact, He said that they must not make any treaty with the people or intermarry with them. Instead, they must totally rid the land of them and of their idols (Deut 7:1-6). So, it was utterly against the will of God for them to allow those Canaanites to continue to live among them and to enjoy the goodness of the land with them.

Unfortunately, that was the situation. And why was it so? Why did they leave their enemies in the land and not drive them out completely? As we see in our opening text, it was because those enemies of theirs were determined to stay in the land with them. Yes, they had been subdued and the land taken over from them. But they were determined not to get out of the land. And their determination worked. Why did it work? It worked because the people of Manasseh were not more determined to root them out of the land.

Yes, they had already overpowered these Canaanites, as I pointed out before. So, if they had wanted to make an end of them, they could have easily done so. But their determination to do so was not strong enough.

Now we are not told how those people weakened their determination to permanently and totally get rid of them. But they somehow did so. They somehow made the people of Manasseh let them be. They somehow managed to let them think it was not altogether a bad idea to allow few of them to remain in the land. What sort of threat could few of them be to them anyway?

But they were wrong. Yes, they were wrong to allow any of those Canaanites to stay with them in the land. That was because God had said that any of them left behind would end up becoming a thorn in their flesh. And that was exactly what happened. Those few Canaanites that the men of Manasseh and those of other tribes of Israel left behind ended up luring them into idolatry and all kinds of sexual perversion. And before they knew what was happening, God’s wrath had come upon them and they had begun to gradually lose the land they had possessed. (Cf. Ex 34:15; Joshua 23:12-13; Judges)

What is the point of all this? It is that God does not expect us to permit any work of the devil or of the flesh in our lives. He has already set us free from these things and also given us authority in His Son, Jesus Christ, not to permit them in our lives again. But Satan and his demons, like those Canaanites mentioned in our opening bible text, are very stubborn and determined. So, they will never want their works of sin, sicknesses, failure and death to end in our lives. If we, then, are not more determined to get rid of every trace of their works in our lives, we will find that they will settle down to live and dine with us. And if that should happen, it won’t be long before they again take over our lives and renew their old works in them.

This explains why people get born again and certain evil experiences or generational problems that have been part of their lives before they got born again remain with them. Why? Satan is determined to keep those bad experiences or problems on in their lives. And because they are not more determined to take authority over him and permanently end his works in their lives, because they do not mind cohabiting with some of his works in their lives, perhaps because of certain degree of comfort or progress they are now enjoying because of the presence of the Lord Jesus in their lives, Satan continues to quietly afflict them. If they, then, allow those works that he is doing to go on unchecked in their lives, after a while, he will take over again those areas of their lives in which they are already experiencing God’s rest and make them lose their experience of His rest in them.

So, regardless of how determined Satan may be to work in your life, be more determined to resist and drive him out through prayers, the word of God and the support of God’s people. And since you have authority in Christ Jesus over him and his works, you will surely succeed in expelling him and his works from your life and affairs.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for rescuing us from the dominion of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of His dear Son, Jesus Christ.
- Prayers that your heart will always be strengthened not to accept any work of the devil or of the flesh as normal or insignificant in your life.
- Prayers that your heart will be strengthened and encouraged to always make use of the authority that is yours in Christ Jesus to destroy the works of the devil instead of accommodating or overlooking them.
- Make declarations in the name of Jesus against every activity of the devil and of the flesh that you can recognise in your life, asking them to cease.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Don’t use love as your excuse - 17th September 2022

“Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ.” (Eph 4:15NIV)

As we see in the bible, walking in love is not an option for the child of God. Rather, it is a must for him. However, love that is not based on knowledge and insight can get us into trouble with men and even with God. And when people are saying that love is blind, they are speaking about situations in which people walk into trouble all in the name of love.

But there is nowhere we are told in the bible that love is blind. That is because love is not blind. For instance, the bible tells us that God is love (1John 4:8). But is God blind? No, He is not blind. On the contrary, He sees everything going on in life and also judges everything going on in it, appropriately and adequately. So, though He loves us and wants the best for all of us all the time, He does not ignore sins or iniquities but judges them.

He once said this to Moses about Himself: “The LORD, the LORD, the compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness, maintaining love to thousands, and forgiving wickedness, rebellion and sin. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children and their children for the sin of the fathers to the third and fourth generation." (Ex 34:6-7NIV) Did you see that? Even though God is always multiplying in love, He does not leave sins unpunished. Otherwise, human beings will not take Him seriously.

Why did He send Jesus Christ to die for us? It was to duly punish our sins, so that He would not have to punish us for them again. And those who will not accept His payment for their sins and His offer of the gift of righteousness will ultimately be made to pay for those sins, every one of them, at the right time.

So, you can see that though God is love, He does not accept just anything from anybody. He does not bend His standards of justice because of love. And that is how He wants us to be functioning in life as well. He does not want us to use love as our excuse for allowing anyone to ruin our lives or home, destroy our business or put our finances in jeopardy. Also, He does not want us to use love as our excuse for allowing our loved ones to ruin themselves or to create for us problems that we should have no business encountering at all in life. Instead, He wants us to confronting them with the truth in love.

As we are shown in our opening bible text, one of the things that aid Christian maturity is speaking the truth in love. That means we cannot mature in Christ, if there is no one telling us the truth we need to know in love. See, love does not deceive people. True love does not pretend that it is okay with what is unacceptable. True love does not suffer in silence, even though it is patient and persevering, giving room for bitterness. Instead, it always speaks the truth out in love.

Yes, of course, true love is not harsh or unfeeling. However, it always speaks the truth, for that is what will heal, build up and set free our lives and our relationships. And where people will not accept the truth spoken to them in love, love must judge them. Otherwise, they will take it lightly or even trample upon it, if they have a chance to do so.

As we see in the bible, Eli was judged by God not because he did not rebuke his sons at all for their sins but because he did not judge them. Out of love for them, he rebuked them for their many sins. But when they ignored the rebuke of his love, God expected him to judge them by putting them out of the priestly office. And by failing to do so, he was judged by God along with them and the priesthood was taken away from his family. (Cf. 1Sam 2-4)

If we too don’t want certain good things God has blessed us or our families with to be taken away from us, we must allow our love for people to confront them with the truth and to also judge their failures where necessary. In other words, we must not allow love to make us weak in rebuking, correcting or punishing those in our lives, as occasions demand. That kind of love that weakens righteousness is not the love of Christ. It is the love of men. And we must not allow it to dominate, subdue or replace the love of Christ in us. Otherwise, it may end up putting us in much trouble with God.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for pouring out His love into our hearts by His Holy Spirit.
- Prayers that God will cause our love to increase continually in knowledge and in depth of insight, so that love will never again be our reason for dealing with people based on sentiments instead of based on the truth.
- Prayers that God will perfect our love with boldness, so that we will never hesitate to correct, rebuke or judge wickedness in those that we love.
- Prayers that God will heal us and lead us to take appropriate steps for comfort wherever we are suffering or are in pains in our lives because we have misrepresented the love of Christ for weakness.
- Prayers that God will cleanse our lives of everything causing us to resist the truth in any area of our lives and everything causing us to make people feel bad or sorry for confronting us with the truth in love, so that we can attain the degree of Christian maturity He wants us to attain in Christ Jesus.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Where there is no hope for greatness - 10th September 2022

“This is what Jeremiah the prophet told Baruch son of Neriah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim son of Josiah king of Judah, after Baruch had written on a scroll the words Jeremiah was then dictating: "This is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says to you, Baruch: You said, 'Woe to me! The LORD has added sorrow to my pain; I am worn out with groaning and find no rest.'" [The LORD said,] "Say this to him: 'This is what the LORD says: I will overthrow what I have built and uproot what I have planted, throughout the land. Should you then seek great things for yourself? Seek them not. For I will bring disaster on all people, declares the LORD, but wherever you go I will let you escape with your life.'"” (Jer 45NIV)

Baruch son of Neriah, as we see in the book of Jeremiah, was his secretary. He was the one responsible for documenting the events of this prophet’s life and also his prophecies. So, he too was a victim of the hostility of all those who were against Jeremiah and who wanted to take his life. That, of course, is showing us that who we work with sometimes can determine the nature of circumstances we are confronted with in life. (Cf. Jer 36)

But then, it was not only the hostility of those who hated Jeremiah that Baruch had to deal with, he also had to deal with God’s judgment that was resting on their land. Evidently, as revealed in our opening bible text, Baruch, being a learned person, had great dreams and visions for himself. He wanted to be big in the land and to do big things. Therefore, when he started facing all kinds of challenges, especially with the kings and leaders of the land, as a result of his association with Jeremiah, he became grossly unhappy and began to protest.

Now, in response to this man’s protest, God gave Jeremiah a word for him. And what was the word? It was that he should forget about all his hopes and plans of becoming great in the land and of doing great things. What! Why would God tell a man with great education and prospects for becoming rich, influential or mighty in his country to give up on his hopes of becoming great?

Did he do anything wrong? No! Baruch was a good man. That was why he stuck with Jeremiah in documenting his prophecies and making their copies available to those who wanted to read them, even though the hostility against that man of God was great. Why, then, would God tell this man not to think of great things for himself? It was because He was bringing judgment on his country, a kind of judgment that would spare no one, whether they were rich or poor, great or small. And the only reward that he would have for his devotion to God was the preservation of his life.

So, it was not wise at all for Baruch at that time to embark on any grand project for himself or for his family. It was not wise for him to start any business or organisation to make a name for himself or to contribute to the development of the land. It was not even wise for him to raise a family at that time. That is because God had ordained destruction for everyone and everything in the land. And He had not promised to preserve any business or family member for him; He had only promised to preserve his life, regardless of what happened or where he went.

What is the point of all this, then? It is that there are times that the situation of the place we live or work in may not give room for our desire for greatness in life to materialise. I mean that there are times that living or dwelling in a certain place can take away from us any hope of greatness we may have. If God’s hand is against a place, as His hand was against the nation of Judah during Jeremiah’s time, and He is determined to uproot it or bring it down, then, whatever hope of greatness anyone in the place has can only amount to nothing. Yes, the person may work hard and diligently. It will all still amount to nothing.

It is important, therefore, that we do not fold our arms and allow our country, town or wherever we find ourselves become a place where it is useless for people to hope or labour to become great. And to say the fact, if we consider the current situation of our country, one might be tempted to say it has become such a place. How many dreams and visions have died or become shattered in the country? Only God can tell. How many are even looking forward to becoming anything important in the country at the moment? In most cases, it is only little children, who do not yet comprehend what is going on in the country, that do have such high hopes and expectations. Many who have come of age and can see how things are going in the country don’t have any hope of living a significant life in the country at all. And that is why they want to leave.

But it is impossible for all of us to leave this country. In fact, it is impossible for most of us to leave. That is because there are no countries of the world that would welcome or absorb us. So, instead of allowing all our hopes of having great and wonderful lives in the country to vanish, while we are trying to run away, we need to begin to passionately and steadfastly talk to God about showing us mercy and healing our land. He alone has the power to heal us and make our country once again a place where dreams of greatness come true. And if many of us will humble ourselves before Him and ask for His intervention, He will answer us, for He is a merciful God.

Personally, I am grateful to Him for the gift of life. But if there is no hope of using this gift of life to make our dwelling place more peaceful and enjoyable for us, will living not result in frustration? And many in the country are frustrated today. Yes, they are alive. But they are frustrated. They are frustrated because all their desires and efforts towards making life beautiful and meaningful for them have accomplished nothing for them. And that will continue to be the situation unless God steps into our situation, shows us mercy and once again gives the command for our nation to be built up.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a God who pardons sins and who forgives iniquities.
- Prayers that God, because of the death of His Son, Jesus Christ, and because of His great love for His children in this country, will have mercy on us and forgive our many sins, especially the sins of idolatry, bloodshed and injustice.
- Prayers that God will clear the way for those who will sanitise our nation to take over the leadership of the nation, so that He will withdraw His hand of judgment from us.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will speak tenderly to our country and give the command for us to be built up and not torn down, so that we can freely have dreams of greatness again and also see those dreams come true.
- Prayers for all on this platform that are frustrated at the moment that God will comfort them and rid their lives of frustration.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Where you should not imitate Job -27th August 2022


“As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job's perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.”
(James 5:11NIV)

One of the lessons that the story of Job teaches is perseverance in the face of life’s challenges. As we see in the bible, this man faced tribulations that many who have lived and died never faced. He lost all his children and all his possessions in one day. And as if that were not enough, he lost his health too and became an object of scorn among those who had once revered and honoured him. To make matters worse, he did not experience any of these things as a wicked man but as a righteous man. (Cf. Job 1&2)

According to the bible, God Himself testified before all His angels and even the devil that Job was an upright and blameless man. If fact, as God pointed out to the devil, there was no one on the face of the earth like Job. Yet this man was severely afflicted. So, you should never think that Satan is incapable of touching you or afflicting you because you are righteous or holy or because you give generously for God’s cause and to people. If he is permitted, Satan will step into your life and afflict you, regardless of what degree of righteousness, holiness or blameless you or others may think you have. (Cf. Job 1:8)

Now we are not told how many days, weeks, months or years that Job’s afflictions lasted. But we are told that the man endured everything. He did not give up on God because of his afflictions. Even though his own wife took advantage of the situation to torture him and to pressure him to denounce God, he still would not denounce him. And though his friends also seized the period to harass him and express their reservations about his devotion to God, he did not give up on Him.

Yes, at some point, he became offended and got angry with God for everything he was going through. But he never for once denied or cursed him. He maintained his integrity all through. So, at some point, God, who is full of compassion and mercy, stepped in, set him right where he was wrong, healed him, made him whole and restored his life, home and fortunes. What a good God!

Therefore, whatever you may be faced with, don’t give up on God. No, do not deny Him or disown Him because of your trials or challenges. That is because the bible says:

“So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." (Heb 10:35-38NIV)

Did you see that? Our unfailing confidence in God will be richly rewarded, just as Job’s unfailing confidence in Him was rewarded. All we need is to persevere, even as we do His will. And in just a very little while, we will see Him move on our behalf. Yes, sometimes we may think He is not fast enough or that He is just too quiet about our situation. But we are told in that text that He will not delay His work or action for our salvation, deliverance or exaltation. That means even when we think He is not working at all or when we cannot see what He is doing, He is working fast for our good. And if we do not shrink back, we will see what He has been doing all along for our good.

But then, there is another side to Job’s story, which we hardly notice or pay attention to. And that has to do with the fact that he did not resist the devil at all in his life. Of course, God permitted the devil, as the story goes, to touch his family, possessions and even body. And that was to show the devil that his faith in him was true and genuine. But even though God permitted the devil in that manner, he too had a right here on earth and through his faith in God to resist him.

Unfortunately, he did not even know at the time that Satan was the one responsible for all that he suffered and was going through. He thought God was to blame for everything. He thought that God was always the one behind everything good and everything bad. And his ignorance in this matter gave Satan all the time and space he needed to make matters go from bad to worse for him. If God, then, had not limited the devil and his works and told him not to touch his life, he would have killed him.

In like manner, many are suffering in the hands of the devil today because of ignorance of different kinds. It may be ignorance that is associated with his works or one that is associated with not knowing that he can be resisted in the name of Jesus Christ. The bible tells us that we can resist the devil and that we should resist him steadfastly. It also tells us not to give him any opportunity to work in our lives. Then it tells us the nature of his work – it tells us that he is a thief, killer and destroyer. So, anything that is geared towards stealing from us, killing us or destroying us or anything that belongs to us is a work of the devil, and we must not allow it. (Cf. John 10:10; Eph 4:27; Eph 6:10-18; James 4:7; 1Pet 5:8)

This, then, is one area in which we must not imitate Job. Job did not resist the devil at all. Instead, he accepted his problems as coming from God and allowed Satan to persist in afflicting him. And as I pointed out before, if God had not been merciful to him, he would have been utterly destroyed by this enemy of his soul. But we have been clearly told that we can resist the devil and that he will run away from us when we do so. Job did not resist the devil because he did not know that he could resist him. But we know. So, if we allow Satan to work in our lives and mess us up, we must blame ourselves and ourselves only.

Now I don’t want to end up blaming myself for giving Satan any room at all to work in my life. So, I have got my mind made up to daily take advantage of the grace of God to say ‘No’ to this wicked being’s works in my life and affairs. And I enjoin you too to make up your mind to do the same.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the authority that He has given to us in Christ Jesus to resist the devil and frustrate his works in our lives and wherever we go.
- Prayers that the eyes of our hearts will always be opened to recognise the works of the devil wherever we are, so that we may firmly take our stand against them.
- Prayers that our spirits will be taught and strengthened to always utilise the authority that is ours in Christ Jesus to destroy and frustrate the works of the devil in our lives and in the lives of others around us.
- Prayers that God will comfort and encourage our hearts to remain true to Him, regardless of the challenges of our lives, knowing that He is working to make all things cooperate for our best.
- Speak in the name of Jesus against everything you consider to be a work of the devil in your life or affairs and demand that it end.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Learn to walk away - 27th August 2022



“Then the devil took him to the holy city and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. "If you are the Son of God," he said, "throw yourself down. For it is written: "'He will command his angels concerning you, and they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.'" Jesus answered him, "It is also written: 'Do not put the Lord your God to the test.'"”
(Matt 4:5-7NIV)

The language of the Scriptures can sometimes be very funny and shocking at the same time. For example, as we see in our opening bible text, there was a time that Satan took Jesus, the Son of God, to Jerusalem and had Him stand on the highest point of the temple. That means it was not the Holy Spirit that led Him on this trip. Rather, it was the devil that led Him on it. And he led Him on the trip for the sole purpose of destroying Him – He wanted Him to commit suicide. Interestingly, the Lord went with Him.

So, don’t think that Satan cannot lead you to go to places you should not go or to meet with people you should not meet or to engage in ventures you have no business engaging in or to say things you are not permitted to say. He can lead you to do any of these things or even something worse, regardless of how spiritual you think you are. He led Jesus to go to a place where He could freely commit suicide without being stopped, as spiritual as He was. And he led Him to do this when He was just done fasting for forty days and forty nights.

That you are fasting and praying and feeling very spiritual, then, does not mean that Satan cannot lead you to do the unthinkable. It does not mean that he cannot in that moment lead you to commit adultery, murder, theft or suicide. If you do not have the word of God in you, as did Jesus, and be ready to act on it, Satan may end up destroying you, even when you feel most spiritual.

And this is something those who have all kinds of prophets and prophetesses in their lives and over their lives ought to be paying attention to. If Satan could lead Jesus to go and attempt suicide, he can lead your prophets too to do things contrary to the will of God for them or for you. So, you need to be loaded with the word of God in order to know when Satan is leading you or someone in your life and to take appropriate and adequate measures to frustrate him.

On the occasion mentioned in our opening bible text, though Satan succeeded in leading Jesus to the highest point of the temple in Jerusalem, he did not succeed in realising the purpose for which he had brought Him there. Yes, the urge to go to that place must have been strong in the Lord. However, because He had the word of God in Him, He resisted the temptation to commit suicide all in the name of proving that He was God’s Son.

Now what particular word of God kept Jesus on that occasion? It was His word that says, “Don’t put the Lord your God to the test.” In other words, recognise the boundaries God has set for you and don’t go beyond them. As Satan pointed out to Jesus, God has clearly said that He would use His angels to protect Him, if he should find Himself in danger. But was the Lord in danger at that point? No! There was nobody pursuing Him or trying to push Him off that temple height. So, if He had thrown Himself down, as suggested by the devil, He would have been the one putting Himself in danger. That being the case, God’s plan of protection may not have worked for Him.

But the Lord knew better. So, He would not listen to the devil but simply walked away. Why? It was because He knew that He would be stepping out of His boundaries by deliberately putting Himself in danger, just to prove to the devil that God would protect Him as His Son. That, actually, would be like saying that God would keep His people safe and sound, regardless of what they did, good or bad. And is that so? Will God always keep His people safe and sound, regardless of what they do? No!

So, like Jesus, we too must learn to walk away from anything that takes us outside the boundaries of God’s love and provisions for us. In other words, once something is not within your boundaries, whether financial boundaries, professional boundaries, mental boundaries, physical boundaries or spiritual boundaries (gifts or knowledge), don’t go for it, if there is no legitimate need to do so. Don’t go for anything that is beyond you just because you want to prove a point. Otherwise, you are guaranteed to get wounded or injured in the process.

Yes, if there is a clear need to confront a situation that is beyond you, God will certainly step in and grant you the victory you need. But don’t deliberately throw away caution and put yourself in harm’s way or get yourself involved in things you have no abilities for and that are of no benefit to you or anyone, just because you think God is with you and that you can do all things in Christ. You will be putting God to the test by acting in that manner. And you can be sure that you will be wounded just as some have been wounded who acted similarly.

See, the one always behind all such things that involve people going to the extremes or needlessly going for things they have no abilities for is the devil. And his aim always is to destroy them. If you, then, don’t want to get destroyed by him in this manner, learn to walk away from every thought, idea or suggestion that is leading you to do something dangerous or something beyond you for no reason other than to prove that you are something.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for giving us His word for our protection from the schemes of the devil.
- Prayers that God will always keep your heart humble before Him, so that you will not open the door for Satan to afflict you through confidence in any degree of spirituality you may think you have.
- Prayers that God will keep your heart ever sensitive to recognise every scheme of the devil to twist Scriptures to mislead you and get you into trouble.
- Prayers that your heart will be adequately taught to always recognise the boundaries God has set for you in life and to never yield to any temptation or pressure to go outside them just to show off or to prove that God is watching over you.
- Prayers that God will show you mercy wherever you are now suffering because you stepped outside the boundaries He has set for you and also heal and restore you completely.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Revelation for safety - 20th August 2022

"When they had gone, an angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream. "Get up," he said, "take the child and his mother and escape to Egypt. Stay there until I tell you, for Herod is going to search for the child to kill him." So he got up, took the child and his mother during the night and left for Egypt, where he stayed until the death of Herod. And so was fulfilled what the Lord had said through the prophet: "Out of Egypt I called my son." When Herod realized that he had been outwitted by the Magi, he was furious, and he gave orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, in accordance with the time he had learned from the Magi.”

(Matt 2:13-17NIV)

Why did Herod give orders to kill all the boys in Bethlehem, two years old and under? It was because he wanted to get rid of the boy Jesus at all cost. That, of course, is to show us how wicked and unreasonable some people can be. They don’t care what steps they take or what things they destroy in order to have their desire granted. This man was king already. And he knew that there was no way he could possibly be king forever. Yet when he heard that another king had been born, he could not just take it, even though he knew nothing about the nature or character of the kingdom of this boy-king.

At any rate, he made up his mind to get rid of the boy-king. In fact, as the angel that warned Joseph about this matter pointed out, this wicked king was determined to use all the resources at his disposal to find the boy and to kill him. And when it was clear to him that locating the boy Jesus would be very hard, if not impossible for him, he decided to kill all the boys in Bethlehem, where he had been born, within his age bracket. He did that and succeeded because there was no one in the land powerful enough to withstand or resist him.

Thankfully, God had already warned Joseph in a dream to take the boy Jesus and His mother and leave for another country, Egypt. And he lost no time at all in obeying. Our bible text says that he took the child and his mother that same night and made good their escape. That, of course, was how Jesus was kept alive to fulfil God’s purpose for His life.

What, then, is the point of all this? First, it is that there are times we need specific divine revelations to escape from certain danger or trouble that are bound to destroy us or prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. If it had not been revealed to Joseph what Herod was planning, there was no way he would have known what was coming for his family. And if he had not known what was coming for them, there was no way he would have been able to lead them to safety. So, it is in proper order for us to constantly pray to God to continually fill our hearts with divine revelations for our safety and for the safety of everyone and everything dear to us.

The second point of the story is that innocent people can be victims of circumstances they did not ask for or bring upon themselves. All the boys that were killed by Herod in his attempt to get rid of Jesus knew nothing at all about the matter. They did not ask for Jesus to be born. And they did not ask the wise men that told Herod about his birth to spread the news. Yet they ended up losing their lives and not fulfilling whatever purpose God may have had for them here on earth. What about their families? They too suffered for nothing.

So, don’t think that you need to commit a crime or to be involved in a fight with someone before you can become a victim in this world. You don’t have to do any of these things. You may, for some reasons, unexpectedly become a victim even of crimes you did not commit or fights you did not start or ask for. Therefore, learn to pray that God will always keep you and all that is dear to you from being victims of other people’s problems, errors or bad judgments. And He surely knows how to keep you and also possesses the power to keep you.

Now the last point of that account is that it is not enough to receive divine revelations for our safety or anything else. It is also important that we are prompt to act on it. Joseph was prompt to act on the revelation he received for the safety of his family. So, he was able to save them from destruction. Lot, on the contrary, was not prompt to act on the revelation brought to him by God’s angels about the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He was hesitant. If God had not shown him mercy, his hesitation would have been his doom. And eventually, that hesitation to leave Sodom was what brought destruction upon his wife. (Cf. Gen 19)

So, never think you will be safe or exalted just because you have God’s revelation. If you won’t act on it or be prompt in acting on it, you may end up suffering like one who had no divine revelation at all.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us and because He has the power to keep us safe in any situation.
- Prayers that God will always fill your heart with adequate and accurate revelations for your safety and for the safety of all that is dear to you, regardless of the circumstances you may find yourself in.
- Prayers that God will keep you and all that is yours at all times from being victims of other people’s problems, errors or bad judgment.
- Prayers that God will strengthen your heart so that you will always be prompt in acting on whatever instructions or revelations He brings you about your safety or exaltation or the safety or exaltation of other people.
- Prayers that God will continually keep all His children in this country and all over the world safe from the activities of wicked and unreasonable people.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Until you are ready - 13th August 2022

“I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” (Ex 23:28-30NIV)

Anyone who has children or has been spending time with children will certainly know that when you promise to do something for them, they will want you to do so immediately. That is because they do not like to be told to wait for anything that they can enjoy right away. So, they will not care whether you have the ability to fulfil the promise you have made to them immediately or whether they themselves have the ability at that moment to manage what you have promised to give to them or do for them. They just want what you want to fulfil your word and to fulfil it right away.

However, those of us who are parents know that it is not everything that our children need in life or everything that we want to do for them in life that we can do for them right away, even if we have the ability to do so. Why? It is because it is not everything that they are wise, knowledgeable and strong enough to handle or keep. So, regardless of how responsible and capable we are, we won’t do certain things for our children until they are ready to have them, until they are mature enough not to lose what we have done them and not to destroy themselves or others with what we have done for them.

In like manner, it is not everything that we need in life that God will give us access to immediately and all at once. As we see in our opening bible text, even though God had already determined to fulfil His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by giving the land of Canaan to their descendants, yet, as a responsible God, He knew that the people were not many enough at the time to occupy the whole land. If He should, then, drive out all the inhabitants of the land at once for them, He would be creating some other problems for them. First, He would be putting them in a position where the unoccupied part of the land would become desolate right before their eyes, seeing that they did not have the manpower to manage it. Also, He would be giving wild animals a room to multiply greatly against them and begin to devour them and their children.

So, He told them that He would not drive out all their enemies from the land all at once. Instead, He would drive them out little by little, giving them time to multiply enough in number and be ready to take over the entire place. How thoughtful and wise of Him! But He had to announce this ahead to the people. Otherwise, they may grow impatient with Him, rush ahead and mess things up, not realising that they were actually the ones He was waiting for – He is always ever ready to do whatever He needs to do.

How, then, does this apply to us? It applies to us in the sense that even though God has already given to us everything we need for life and godliness and blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, our experience of His provisions for us will only come with the growing level of our maturity day after day. This is why though our hearts are yearning and praying that we may experience or enjoy certain provisions of God for us, we may yet not enjoy them until we attain some degree of maturity in our walk with Him.

See, it does not cost God anything to lift us up to the greatest position anyone can attain in life or to deliver all the wealth of this world into our hands. But do we have the right measure of character, love, patience, boldness, humility, wisdom, knowledge and understanding to manage what He is giving to us? Are we not going to destroy ourselves and others through our inability to manage it? And are we not going to make Him regret giving to us what He gives to us, having abused or mismanaged it?

God made Saul the first king over His people Israel. But He later regretted doing so, for the man did not have enough character to handle the office and use it to promote His purpose. So, when He made David king in his stead, He did not immediately put on the throne of Israel, as He did with Saul. Instead, he first allowed him to grow up and lean to earn the trust and respect of small groups of people. He allowed him to first learn to lead few people to trust Him for their safety in difficult times and through dangerous situations, without losing his mind or their trust. Therefore, when He eventually put him on the throne, he did not disappoint Him or fail the people He made him king over.

What this is showing me is that when I think I am being patient with God, the reverse may just be the case. He may just be the one being patient with me, waiting for me to mature enough to be able to possess, protect and enjoy what He has provided for me, without destroying myself or others with it. Or it may be that His patience is for certain people, systems or organisations to fade away or make an end of themselves first, so that I will be able to fully take my place in His programme and enjoy what He provided without any form of harassment or disturbance.

Remember that Joshua and Caleb had to wait for all the people (twenty years of age and above) that turned their back on God and the land of Canaan to die before they could enter that land and begin to enjoy it. Yes, God was ready to give them the land. They too were ready to have the land. But because those with them were not ready, they had to wait for forty long years before they could enter the land. It was not their fault that they had to wait in that manner. But they just had to wait and make themselves happy while waiting. Otherwise, discouragement and depression may set in and make them also lose what they have believed and laboured for.

At any rate, my point is that God’s patience in dealing with us is always about our own readiness and other people’s readiness to receive from Him and never about His own readiness to give to us. And if we will begin to relate to Him with this consciousness, we will never again lose our mind or go into depression because of anything we want Him to do for us or give to us.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a responsible Father who never does anything without being certain that it is for our good.
- Prayers that God will supply all that is lacking in our patience, as we relate to Him, so that we will not foolishly hasten our feet to take for ourselves what we do not yet have the capability to handle and mess things up for ourselves or others.
- Prayers that our hearts will always be filled with the humility of the Spirit, so that God will be able to build into us all the competence we need to possess and enjoy all that He has freely given to us, without hurting ourselves or others.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see every area of our lives in which we need to walk with patience, even though we are not the reason for the delay of our experience of His provisions, so that we will not frustrate ourselves by engaging in things that will not make anything better for us.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will come to our aid in all the areas of our lives where we are losing because of our lack of fitness for what we are handling and give us all the support we need to recover and stand strong.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal13th August 2022

Until you are ready

“I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.” (Ex 23:28-30NIV)

Anyone who has children or has been spending time with children will certainly know that when you promise to do something for them, they will want you to do so immediately. That is because they do not like to be told to wait for anything that they can enjoy right away. So, they will not care whether you have the ability to fulfil the promise you have made to them immediately or whether they themselves have the ability at that moment to manage what you have promised to give to them or do for them. They just want what you want to fulfil your word and to fulfil it right away.

However, those of us who are parents know that it is not everything that our children need in life or everything that we want to do for them in life that we can do for them right away, even if we have the ability to do so. Why? It is because it is not everything that they are wise, knowledgeable and strong enough to handle or keep. So, regardless of how responsible and capable we are, we won’t do certain things for our children until they are ready to have them, until they are mature enough not to lose what we have done them and not to destroy themselves or others with what we have done for them.

In like manner, it is not everything that we need in life that God will give us access to immediately and all at once. As we see in our opening bible text, even though God had already determined to fulfil His promise to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob by giving the land of Canaan to their descendants, yet, as a responsible God, He knew that the people were not many enough at the time to occupy the whole land. If He should, then, drive out all the inhabitants of the land at once for them, He would be creating some other problems for them. First, He would be putting them in a position where the unoccupied part of the land would become desolate right before their eyes, seeing that they did not have the manpower to manage it. Also, He would be giving wild animals a room to multiply greatly against them and begin to devour them and their children.

So, He told them that He would not drive out all their enemies from the land all at once. Instead, He would drive them out little by little, giving them time to multiply enough in number and be ready to take over the entire place. How thoughtful and wise of Him! But He had to announce this ahead to the people. Otherwise, they may grow impatient with Him, rush ahead and mess things up, not realising that they were actually the ones He was waiting for – He is always ever ready to do whatever He needs to do.

How, then, does this apply to us? It applies to us in the sense that even though God has already given to us everything we need for life and godliness and blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, our experience of His provisions for us will only come with the growing level of our maturity day after day. This is why though our hearts are yearning and praying that we may experience or enjoy certain provisions of God for us, we may yet not enjoy them until we attain some degree of maturity in our walk with Him.

See, it does not cost God anything to lift us up to the greatest position anyone can attain in life or to deliver all the wealth of this world into our hands. But do we have the right measure of character, love, patience, boldness, humility, wisdom, knowledge and understanding to manage what He is giving to us? Are we not going to destroy ourselves and others through our inability to manage it? And are we not going to make Him regret giving to us what He gives to us, having abused or mismanaged it?

God made Saul the first king over His people Israel. But He later regretted doing so, for the man did not have enough character to handle the office and use it to promote His purpose. So, when He made David king in his stead, He did not immediately put on the throne of Israel, as He did with Saul. Instead, he first allowed him to grow up and lean to earn the trust and respect of small groups of people. He allowed him to first learn to lead few people to trust Him for their safety in difficult times and through dangerous situations, without losing his mind or their trust. Therefore, when He eventually put him on the throne, he did not disappoint Him or fail the people He made him king over.

What this is showing me is that when I think I am being patient with God, the reverse may just be the case. He may just be the one being patient with me, waiting for me to mature enough to be able to possess, protect and enjoy what He has provided for me, without destroying myself or others with it. Or it may be that His patience is for certain people, systems or organisations to fade away or make an end of themselves first, so that I will be able to fully take my place in His programme and enjoy what He provided without any form of harassment or disturbance.

Remember that Joshua and Caleb had to wait for all the people (twenty years of age and above) that turned their back on God and the land of Canaan to die before they could enter that land and begin to enjoy it. Yes, God was ready to give them the land. They too were ready to have the land. But because those with them were not ready, they had to wait for forty long years before they could enter the land. It was not their fault that they had to wait in that manner. But they just had to wait and make themselves happy while waiting. Otherwise, discouragement and depression may set in and make them also lose what they have believed and laboured for.

At any rate, my point is that God’s patience in dealing with us is always about our own readiness and other people’s readiness to receive from Him and never about His own readiness to give to us. And if we will begin to relate to Him with this consciousness, we will never again lose our mind or go into depression because of anything we want Him to do for us or give to us.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a responsible Father who never does anything without being certain that it is for our good.
- Prayers that God will supply all that is lacking in our patience, as we relate to Him, so that we will not foolishly hasten our feet to take for ourselves what we do not yet have the capability to handle and mess things up for ourselves or others.
- Prayers that our hearts will always be filled with the humility of the Spirit, so that God will be able to build into us all the competence we need to possess and enjoy all that He has freely given to us, without hurting ourselves or others.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see every area of our lives in which we need to walk with patience, even though we are not the reason for the delay of our experience of His provisions, so that we will not frustrate ourselves by engaging in things that will not make anything better for us.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will come to our aid in all the areas of our lives where we are losing because of our lack of fitness for what we are handling and give us all the support we need to recover and stand strong.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Be wise in dealing with them - 6th August 2022


“Be wise in the way you act toward outsiders; make the most of every opportunity.” (Col 4:5NIV)

Our Lord Jesus once told His disciples that the children of this world are more shrewd or clever in dealing with their own kind than are the people of the light (Luke 16:8). What does this mean? Well, it means that those of the world use their head when dealing with unbelievers like them. They don’t ever assume that that they are nice, kind or trustworthy. Instead, they see each of them as unkind and someone not to be trusted. So, in dealing with them, they put up measures, systems and boundaries that will prevent them from being cheated, robbed or hurt by them.

But many of us who are Christians don’t often relate to those of the world in this manner. Having become Christians and filled with the love of God, we somehow and deliberately begin to assume that everyone is like us, nice, trustworthy, patient and peace loving. So, we find ourselves entrusting precious things to people that are not trustworthy or competent at all, without putting in place measures, systems and boundaries that will prevent them from putting us in trouble. And it is after they have hurt us or injured us in some big way that we will wake up. Then we will go to the extreme of being hostile and loveless in dealing with others in our lives, including believers.

Now God does not want us to live like that, to live like fools or ignorant persons in this world. He does not want us to function in ways that will make it easy for wicked, unreasonable or godless people to continually mess us up and rob us of our peace, joy and goodness. That is why, as we see in our opening bible text, He instructs us to be wise in the way we deal with unbelievers. Otherwise, they will constantly take us for granted and abuse our kindness, generosity, trust or tolerance. Then when we react, they will be the first to say, “And he calls himself a Christian.”

So, first, whether at work, in school, in the neighbourhood or anywhere, when dealing with an unbeliever, always remember that they are not Christians. So, don’t try to treat them like a child of God that you know well and that is full of the fruit of the Spirit. Instead, relate to them just as they are. Is that to say you are not to walk in love with them? No! You must always walk in love with them, however terrible they may be.

However, always put up measures, systems and boundaries that will prevent them from turning you into a victim of their wickedness. For instance, if you want to lend an unbeliever some money, lend them only what you can afford to lose. Don’t assume that they will be diligent to pay back, just the way you would do. That is because they may not even have it in mind to return your money. And if you have given them what you cannot afford to lose, you may end up in a messy quarrel or fight with them that will ruin your testimony as a child of God or that will further endanger your life or faith.

Of if you must do business with an unbeliever, it won’t not be a bad idea at all to document everything or to involve a lawyer. That is what a clever unbeliever will naturally do, if he does not want to be cheated. He doesn’t trust himself. So, he does not trust anybody. If he will do business with anyone, then, he will make sure everything that needs to be documented is well documented, even if the person is his family member. That way, it becomes difficult for anyone to cheat or unduly take advantage of him.

Then if you set up a business and have to employ unbelievers, don’t assume that they will be nice to you, just because you are nice to them. All they may have at heart is how to steal from you the fruit of your labour. I was once told of certain poultry employees that used to steal eggs from their employer. And anytime the man came around and complained that the eggs they were getting were too small for the number of birds they had, they would secretly throw some crates of eggs into a nearby river, just to justify their claims that the birds were not performing. That is how wicked people can be.

Am I now saying that it is only unbelievers that always act like this? No! There are also many so-called believers that are capable of doing even worse things. So, whether you are dealing with an unbeliever or a believer, give no room for the devil to work (Eph 4:27). Yes, give no place for Satan to use anyone to steal from you, abuse your goodness or injure you.

How, then, do you do that? First, always make a distinction between favours and responsibilities. That means when you are doing people favour, let them know that is what you are doing. But when you are giving them responsibilities, put in place sound measures that will make them accountable and responsible for their actions or inactions. That way, there are problems you will never have with them.

Furthermore, always be vigilant when dealing with people that have not proved themselves over a long period of time to be trustworthy and when you are around those that have shown themselves as hostiles. Remember that everyone is not a child of God. And you cannot tell how far some will go to hurt you, ruin your business or take over your position at work.

Therefore, be like Nehemiah and his builders. Once it was clear to the that were building with enemies all around them, they made it a business, first, to always pray to God for protection. Second, they posted guards to watch enemy movements. Third, each of them held a weapon in his hand while working. And God made sure they succeeded in handling their project. (Cf. Nehemiah 4)

Now you don’t need to hold any weapon in your hand while working or while dealing with men, though you can do so, if your job requires it and if the law of the land permits it. But you must always put on God’s full armour for your protection and safety in this world (Eph 6:10-18). And you must also be vigilant all the time, so that you can take necessary steps that are humanly possible for your preservation and for the preservation of all that is yours. That will be your wisdom in dealing with those of this world and also in handling false brethren.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because His word imparts us with wisdom for living.
- Prayers that God will open your eyes to see every area of your life in which Satan is working and ruining you through those you are directly involved with in this world, so that you can end his works.
- Prayers that your heart will be filled with adequate wisdom, knowledge and understanding from the Spirit of God to put up measures in your life and affairs that will keep devourers away from you or totally frustrate them.
- Prayers that your heart will be taught to take God’s provisions for your safety and peace of mind in this world seriously, so that you can always take advantage of them in your dealings with those of this world.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Ignore an ungodly command - 30th July 2022



“But the king said, "You will surely die, Ahimelech, you and your father's whole family." Then the king ordered the guards at his side: "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me."” (1Sam 22:16-17NIV)

Anyone under authority may, for one reason or the other, find himself in a situation in which he is instructed or commanded by his superior to abuse or misuse his office or power. And if there is no fear of God in his heart, he will succumb to such commands and do evil, especially if he feels that his superior can protect him from the reaction or protest of others against his wickedness.

But even if certain people are able to protect us from the judgment of men like us, can they also protect us from God? No man can protect us from God’s judgement. No man can save us from His hands. So, regardless of what measure of fear or respect we have for those who are superior to us in this life, we must never allow them to drive us to do anything that is contrary to the will of God. Otherwise, we will not fail to pay the penalty for allowing ourselves to be used to do evil.

As we see in our opening bible text, there was a time that King Saul, in his quest to get rid of David, was bent on destroying anyone that stood in his way or anyone that was associated with the young man. In fact, he once hauled his javelin at his son, Jonathan, because the latter was trying to protect David. So, when he heard that Ahimelech, the leading priest of God in a town of Israel called Nob, helped David with some food and a weapon, he was mad at him. He was so mad at him that he commanded his guards to execute him and all the people with him. And did Saul’s guards obey him on this occasion? No, they did not obey him.

Why did they not obey him? Why would these men, who were trained to take orders, even at the risk of their lives, not obey their lord the king? They would not obey him because they knew that even though he was their king and lord, they had yet another King and Lord over them and over him as well. That is God. And since his own command was an abuse of his office as king and contrary to the will of God, they had to ignore it.

Now were these men not afraid of the consequences of disobeying their king on this occasion? Maybe they were. But whatever measure of fear they had for him was not strong enough to make them disobey God, who is sovereign over all beings and things. And what did he do to them for disobeying him in this manner? The bible shows us that he did nothing to them. Yes, he got someone else to carry out his wicked desire for him. But he did nothing to those guards for not obeying him. Why? God was protecting them. How He made this mad king overlook their disobedience on this occasion is not something anyone can say. But He sure made him overlook it.

So, anytime you are wondering what will become of you if you disobey a superior that is often commanding you to act against the will of God, remember these guards. Remember that God protected them against their ruthless and mad king, when they chose to honour Him by not touching His anointed ones. Also, remember that when the Hebrew midwives, because of their fear of God, disobeyed Pharaoh’s order to kill all the male boys of the Israelites, He not only protected them but also gave them families of their own. And He is able to protect you too, when you disobey men in order to honour Him. (Cf. Exodus 1:15-21)

However, He may not protect you in the manner that He protected those people I just mentioned. On the contrary, He may allow you to first be thrown into a lake of fire or a den of lions before He moves to rescue you (Dan 3&6). But as long as you choose to honour Him, even if it means disobeying those who have power to harm you, He will not let you down. So, don’t allow anyone, however highly placed or powerful they may be here on earth, to use you or your office to perpetuate evil. Instead, fear the Lord.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because His eyes are always over us to keep us safe and sound in this dangerous world.
- Prayers that God will always fill us with adequate boldness to say ‘No’ to evil commands or instructions, regardless of who is giving them to us.
- Prayers that God, who is forever faithful, will always keep us safe and sound wherever men are hostile to us because we will not allow them to use us to perpetuate evil.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and heal and restore us wherever we are suffering in our lives because we allowed ourselves to be used by others in the past to hurt the innocent.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Faithfulness in little things - 23rd July 2022

“Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:10-12NIV)

Among the funniest things that happen too frequently in our local home videos are situations in which rich and influential people would pick up some guys they just met recently and put them in charge of their multimillion-naira businesses or organisations, that is, without first proving them in any way. And those guys would call that favour, God’s favour, when sharing their testimonies.

But is that how God favours people? Does He just pick up people from where they are and make them rulers over nations, businesses or organisations without considering their capabilities? No! People may do that. Satan also may do that in order to accomplish certain evil schemes of his. But God never does such things.

Yes, there are scriptures that point to the fact that God is able to raise the poor from the dust of the earth and sit them with princes. But how many poor people do you personally know that God has treated in this manner? I am guessing you are saying, “Very few, actually.” (Cf. 1Sam 2:8; Ps 113:7-9)

But why? Why is God not lifting every poor person He finds around and putting them in places of honour? The answer is in our opening bible text. There the Lord Jesus gives us one of the basic principles God follows in lifting people in life and in entrusting them with more resources, authority, power or people. And what is this principle? It is that of faithfulness in little things.

As our Lord Jesus points out in that text, as far as God is concerned, anyone who is not faithful in handling little things, position, resources, education, time and so forth, is not faithful in handling much. Yes, the person may be a child that God loves dearly and wants to take to very great heights. But as long as he cannot show himself faithful and honest where he is and with whatever abilities, resources or opportunities he is given, however little those things may be, God will not give him more of them. That is because he will not be faithful in handling them as well.

Also, our Lord says if we cannot show ourselves faithful in managing what belongs to other people, God will not see us as fit to manage His provisions for our own good, elevation and development. In fact, Jesus says our unfaithfulness in handling natural things, especially things that belong to others, will only show God that we cannot manage true riches, that is, spiritual wealth. It is no wonder, then, that when preachers or church leaders start manifesting unfaithfulness in handling God’s money and people, they also stop receiving more and better knowledge and understanding of the Scriptures from Him. He will just block their access to more revelational knowledge. So, they end up cresting and living on past glories.

Unfortunately for many of us, we usually assume that such retrogression or stagnation, which is associated with our unfaithfulness, can be dealt with just by praying to God and praying more to Him. But things don’t work like that with God. He has already said that we must show ourselves faithful in little things before He can entrust us with great things. Therefore, the only way our prayers for exaltation or breakthrough will work is for us to get busy with being faithful in handling whatever is in our care, whether it is for us or for others. Otherwise, we will just be wasting our prayers.

To say the fact, the most reasonable prayer we can offer for our exaltation in life is that God will teach and strengthen us to be faithful to Him and to men in all things, especially little things. Then exaltation and abundance of all good things will naturally follow.

Now, of course, it may take a while for our exaltation or promotion or increase in wealth to become obvious to us and to others around us. But it will surely happen, as long as we devote ourselves to being faithful where we are and with whatever has been entrusted to us by God and men. Remember Joseph. Remember that this was the process his exaltation followed: faithfulness in little things and faithfulness in handling what belong to others. And it is the same process our own exaltation will follow as well.

So, let us get busy with promoting faithfulness in all things in our lives. And before we know it, we will begin to see the light of the glory of God in us shining forth and causing men to glorify Him on account of us.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us always and has our exaltation and prosperity in mind.
- Prayers that God will lead us to repentance in every area of our lives in which we are manifesting unfaithfulness in handling the things He or others have entrusted to us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and strengthened to begin to faithfully manage everything God has blessed us with and everything men have entrusted to our care.
- Prayers that we will be abundantly shown mercy by God in every area of our lives in which we are now suffering or experiencing stagnation because of our unfaithfulness.
- Prayers that God will remember us for exaltation in all the areas of our lives in which He has seen our faithfulness to Him and others.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Deal with that devourer - 16th July 2022



“Jesus told his disciples: "There was a rich man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. So he called him in and asked him, 'What is this I hear about you? Give an account of your management, because you cannot be manager any longer.'” (Luke 16:1-2NIV)

One of the things anyone who wants to continually enjoy God’s prosperity and elevation must pay attention to is how the resources under his control are being managed or used. That is because God Himself is paying attention to it. And what He sees is one of the things that will determine whether He entrusts more of the good things of this life to that person or not.

As we are shown in the bible, there is nothing good we have in this life that we have not received from God. At least, we all can relate to the fact that none of us brought anything into this world when we came. We simply came into the world to meet God’s provisions for us. So, naturally, we should know that whatever we are able to take for ourselves here does not originally belong to us but to God, the creator and owner of the heavens and the earth. That being the case, we should not be surprised that He is interested in knowing how we use our possessions. (Cf. Gen 1:1; Ps 24:1; 1Cor 4:7; 1Tim 6:6)

Now since God is interested in how we use our possessions and will judge us accordingly, we too should be interested in how others use our possessions, so that we may judge them accordingly. And we see our Lord placing His fingers on this in our opening bible text. There He tells a story about a man whose manager was accused of wasting his possessions. And how did this man respond to what he heard? Did he ignore it? No, he did not ignore it. Instead, he told the man to tidy up his desk because he was going to be sacked.

We are not told how long that manager served this man. But it did not matter to him. What mattered to him was putting an end to a waste of his resources. In like manner, we too must never allow sentiments to prevent us from putting an end to any waste or mismanagement of our resources. So, first, we need to pay attention to how whatever belongs to us or is entrusted to us is being used by those with us or under us. Then if we observe that they are wasting things, mismanaging things or stealing things, we should deal with them accordingly and not allow any kind of sentiments to prevent us from doing the needful. Otherwise, God will hold us responsible for their errors. And who knows how He will judge?

Why was Eli condemned and punished by God? The bible tells us that it was because he failed to restrain his sons. His sons were messing up with the offerings and sacrifices brought by the people to the Lord. And though he was not involved in their crimes, the Lord expected him, as the chief priest, to do more than merely rebuking them. He expected him to put them out of office, that is, sack them, even though they were his sons. And if he had done that, the sins of those young men would have been appropriately atoned for. But he did not do so. Instead, he allowed them to continue to serve and to mismanage what God entrusted to him. So, he was judged along with them. (Cf. 1Sam 2-4)

Under the old covenant, God said the following about how to handle anything entrusted to us by others:

"If a man gives a donkey, an ox, a sheep or any other animal to his neighbor for safekeeping and it dies or is injured or is taken away while no one is looking, the issue between them will be settled by the taking of an oath before the LORD that the neighbor did not lay hands on the other person's property. The owner is to accept this, and no restitution is required. But if the animal was stolen from the neighbor, he must make restitution to the owner. If it was torn to pieces by a wild animal, he shall bring in the remains as evidence and he will not be required to pay for the torn animal.” (Ex 22:10-13NIV)

Did you see that? God does not expect anybody to treat you with sentiments, if, as a result of your negligence, you lose what they have kept with you or entrusted to you. Instead, He demands that you pay back what has been lost under your care. And even if you claim that it is not your fault, He demands that you swear an oath before Him to that effect. Otherwise, you must fully settle the owner.

Similarly, under that covenant, if, as a result of your activities, another person suffers a loss of their properties or farm produce, you must settle them fully for what they have lost. And why did God give His people such laws? It was so that they would learn to operate with seriousness and carefulness in life and not take others and their properties for granted. (Cf. Ex 22:5-6)

Now since this is how God reasons, we must not only handle whatever belongs to others with a high sense of responsibility, we must also demand that others handle what belongs to us with a high sense of responsibility. Of course, as children of God, we must be forgiving and merciful in dealing with people’s errors or mistakes in handling our things. That is because there is none of us that does not make mistakes or commit blunders.

However, when we observe that someone using or managing our things or what has been entrusted to us has developed a culture of wastefulness or theft, we must not allow them to carry on with whatever nonsense they are doing, regardless of how close they may be to us. Instead, as the man in the story of our Lord did, we need to sack them. That does not necessary mean that we are to send them away from our lives, for there are people we can’t just send out of our lives as we please. But it means that we must take away from them whatever measure of access they have to what belongs to us or whatever system or set up that permits them to mismanage our properties or steal them.

This, of course, will require some measure of boldness from us. But it is the will of God for us. And if we won’t do it, such people will not stop being the door through which devourers will continue to devour our lives and prosperity. Will it be wise of God, then, to keep giving more resources to a man that is living or working with devourers and who will do nothing about them? No! If, as human beings, we will not give certain good things to those we love because we believe certain people with them will not allow them to enjoy those things, will God not even do better? I tell you, He will. So, do the needful about all those that you know Satan has been using to steal your prosperity, for it is your job to do so.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for freely giving us all things for our enjoyment.
- Prayers that God will expose every human devourer or system devourer that Satan is using to steal or drain our prosperity, so that we may deal with it.
- Prayers that God will fill our hearts with adequate wisdom and boldness to do what is right about the people or systems in our lives that have become devourers of His goodness.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see wherever we are functioning as devourers of His goodness in the lives of others, so that we may repent without delay and save ourselves from His judgment.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will restore to us every good thing we have lost to devourers in our lives and which we still need for us to enjoy the quality of life He wants us to enjoy.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to all our prayers and for the testimonies that will follow them.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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The sin that so easily entangles - 11th July 2022



“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.” (Heb 12:1NIV)

There is no way we will talk about the fall of Samson and not talk about his dealings with women. And that is because, as recorded in the bible, most of the problems he had in life came through his dealings with them. Yes, he was an unusually strong and powerful man because of God’s anointing upon his life. He was so strong that killing a lion was as simple for him as killing a baby goat. In fact, he once personally caught three hundred foxes and tied them tail to tail in pairs and used them to destroy the farms of his enemies. That is just to mention some of his exploits.

Yet, when dealing with women, especially the ones he loved, Samson’s superior strength could not keep him from becoming a victim of their nagging, seduction or manipulation. All they needed was just to put more and more pressure on him and make him feel that he did not know how to love enough or properly. And he would begin to say or do what he was never meant to do. That, of course, was how they eventually became responsible for his failure in ministry and also his early death. (Cf. Judges 14-16)

Now what is that telling us? It is telling us that even if we have been anointed by God from the womb, as long as we would not identify and deal with those things that constitute a weakness of character in our lives, they may end up being the trap that Satan will use to make us fail God or to destroy us.

In our opening bible text, we are told that there are sins that easily trap people, even God’s people. Is this supposed to be so? No! Or are we supposed to be weak in handling any kind of sin? No! The bible already tells us that sin shall not be our master (Rom 6:14). It also tells us that God’s grace is more than enough for us to say ‘No’ to any kind of sin (Titus 2:11-12). So, we are not supposed to be caught in any trap of sin, if we will duly take advantage of God’s grace and also watch ourselves. And even if we are caught in the trap of a sin, there is forgiveness for us in Christ Jesus, which we can freely take, just as we have the gift of God’s people whose job is to seek our restoration, should we be caught in any trap of sin (Gal 6:1-2; 1John 2:2).

But then, the situation we are dealing with here is not one in which a Christian errs in a situation and then repents. Rather, we are talking about one in which he finds himself being consistently caught in the traps of a particular sin or weakness. That was the case with Samson. He was not a godless or useless person that did not care at all about God or about pleasing Him. He cared about God. He cared about his people. And he wanted to see the will of God done in their lives through his labour. But he was a man that was easily falling into the traps of sexual immorality. And because he did not see it and deal with it as a problem, his enemies used it against him.

In like manner, it is possible that you too have in your life a sin that easily entangles you, using Paul’s words, or a weakness that easily surfaces in your life once you are confronted with certain circumstances. You need to admit the reality about your situation and deal with it. It may not be sexual immorality, as it was in Samson’s case. It may be the love of money, envy, bitterness, rage or impatience. It may even be a relationship with someone. Whatever it is, you know that it is something that easily takes charge of you, makes you lose yourself and drives you in a way nothing else is able to, in a way you yourself do not like. The Lord’s command to you about it is that you are to throw it off your life.

Therefore, you must no longer make excuses for it. Instead, you are to separate your life from it by taking advantage of the grace of God through prayer, meditation on the Scriptures and the fellowship of God’s people. Otherwise, a time will come when it will be the door through which Satan will come into your life and destroy you.

And perhaps this is already happening. Perhaps Satan has already found in this sin or weakness in your life an opportunity to do all kinds of evil. It is not too late for you to end his works and receive God’s mercy for restoration. You just throw off this evil thing that easily entangles you. If you have to end some relationships, deny yourself of some privileges or dispose certain valuables of yours in order to accomplish this, do so. Just make sure you don’t put yourself anymore in any position again where you will be easily trapped or ensnared by that which the enemy is seeking to use to destroy you. And your salvation and restoration will show up without delay.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for His grace that is more than enough for us to walk in victory over any sin or character weakness.
- Prayers that our hearts will be made to accept the truth about any kind of sin or character weakness that is constantly endangering our souls or preventing us from fully living in the will of God for our lives, so that we may do the right thing about it.
- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened to know and to take every necessary step towards separating our lives from sins or weaknesses that are already opening the doors of our lives for Satan to come in and work.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy in every area of our lives where we have been captured by the enemy, as Samson was captured by his enemies, through our persistence in certain sins and break our bonds, so that our souls and lives can escape to safety (Ps 124:7).
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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What sort of change? - 2nd July 2022



“So the two women went on until they came to Bethlehem. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the whole town was stirred because of them, and the women exclaimed, "Can this be Naomi?" "Don't call me Naomi," she told them. "Call me Mara, because the Almighty has made my life very bitter. I went away full, but the LORD has brought me back empty. Why call me Naomi? The LORD has afflicted me; the Almighty has brought misfortune upon me."” (Ruth 1:19-21NIV)

When Naomi came back with Ruth from Moab, the people of her town, Bethlehem, could not believe their eyes. Why? It was because she was not looking like the happy and joyous Naomi they had always known. Instead, she was looking worn-out, horrible and extremely depressed. In fact, she herself told them not to call her Naomi, which means ‘pleasant’, again but to call her ‘Mara’, which means ‘bitter’.

But why would Naomi say such things? Why would she want her town’s people to begin to associate her with bitterness instead of sweetness? It was because of the losses she suffered in the land of Moab. As she pointed out in our opening bible text, she, her husband and her two sons had left for Moab as wealthy and influential people. But all that disappeared in Moab. Her husband and her two sons died mysteriously in that strange land. And whatever measure of wealth or fortunes they had equally died with them.

So, Naomi was left all alone, with nothing so show for her ten years or so of staying in Moab. That, of course, was when she, like the prodigal child, decided to come back home to the land of her inheritance and to her people. And she would most probably have died of depression or fatigue on her way back, if Ruth, her precious daughter-in-law, had not lovingly and stubbornly joined her in coming back.

It is sad, however, that Naomi, as many today often do, blamed God for all that happened to her and her family. She blamed him for her bitterness, emptiness, afflictions and misfortunes. But was He really the one to blame for all that this woman experienced? No! Was God the one that told them to go and sojourn in Moab? No! Did they even consult Him before leaving for Moab? No! If they had, we would have been told in the bible. It was their choice to go and live in Moab. And they made that choice because there was a severe famine in their land. They must have thought that a change of location must definitely be the answer to the famine. And since they had the resources to relocate somewhere else, they moved to Moab and settled there.

Unfortunately, Moab did not end up being the pleasant place they had thought it would be for them. Moab instead swallowed up their wealth, happiness and lives, leaving only Naomi as the survivor. And if she too had lingered in Moab any longer than she did, she would most likely have died there like the rest of her family members. But when she came back to her land and submitted herself to the will of God, she was shown mercy, healed and restored by God. (Cf. Ruth 2-4)

Why, then, do we have this story and other similar ones in the bible? We have them in the bible to teach us that there are changes in our lives that we must not make based on our current situations alone but also based on adequate revelations of God’s will for us. Perhaps things are tight or very rough for us where we are. And having thought about the matter carefully, our conclusion is that we must make a change of certain things in our lives, if we do not want to be consumed by our present circumstances.

But what kind of change must we make exactly that will turn things around for our good? That must go beyond head knowledge. It must go beyond a response to pressure. It must be based on a clear revelation from God of what to do. Otherwise, things may end up for us as they did for Naomi. In other words, with one wrong move from us, we may end up making a bad situation terribly worse for ourselves.

See, it is not a change of location, job, business, Christian assembly or even lifestyle that solves man’s problems. Rather, it is what God does with this change that solves our problems. So, He has to be the initiator and a full part of whatever changes we are making about our lives for such changes to save, support or exalt us. Otherwise, more pains, bitterness and miseries are what we are most likely to find through the changes we are making, when all has been said and done.

So, I am not saying that we may not need to make certain changes in our lives in order to separate ourselves from some problems or pains. We may need to. But what sort of change do we really need to make to see the difference we want to see? Do we know it or are we just gambling? Do we know it or are we just trying to run our lives based on what we think is working for certain people we know?

But that something seems to be working for someone close to you, even if the person is your family member, does not mean it will work for you too. As the bible shows us, God did not stop Abraham from going down to Egypt when a severe famine hit his land. Instead, he blessed him while he was in Egypt so much so that he left there a very wealthy man (Gen 12:10-16). But when Isaac, his son, wanted to do the same thing under a very similar circumstance, God did not permit him. Instead, He told him to stay where he was and that He was going to prosper him there. And he stayed. (Cf. Gen 26:1-6)

Now by staying in Gerar, Isaac was able to learn from God that what he really needed at that time was not a change of location but a change of business. He had been into the business of rearing animals. But while he was in Gerar, he was led to go into crop production. And God so blessed his new business that he became exceedingly wealthy and great through it. (Cf. Gen 26:12-29)

In like manner, we all too can learn from God what sort of personal changes we need to make to turn our lives around and be all that we could be in this life. All we need is to pray continually to Him, as Paul used to do for the Colossian-church, to fill our hearts with adequate and precise knowledge of His will for us about our lives’ situations (Col 1:9-12). And He will answer us, for He has said to us, “Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.” (Jer 33:3NIV)

So, stop making changes in your life on the basis of the pressure you are getting from your situations. Instead, seek God’s revelations and let them guide you. Then let whatever revelation you are acting on be founded solely on the word of God. So, don’t change your wife or husband or abandon your parents or children on the basis of some so-called revelations from God. Such changes are contrary to God’s word and can only ruin your life utterly and ultimately. Therefore, be well-guided.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for He alone possesses the power to change our lives and situations and make them conform to His good purpose for us.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy wherever the changes we made in our lives or to our lives are terribly hurting or ruining us and lead us to the right things to do to experience His restoration.
- Prayers that God will fill our hearts with perfect and accurate knowledge of His will for us about every situation of our lives that is a problem to us, so that we may know what sort of changes we need to make to experience His victory.
- Prayers that, henceforth, our hearts will never lack divine revelations of the right steps to take to always move our lives and homes forward and also keep them safe.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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They can delay what is yours - 25th June 2022



“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.” (Heb 3:12-13NIV)

Why are we given the instruction in our opening bible text? Why must we see it as our responsibility to watch the people of God in our lives and do all we can to prevent them from turning away from God? It is because their falling away from the faith or unfaithfulness to God can affect us in ways that we can’t imagine.

Of course, God will not hold us responsible for the sins of anyone in our lives, whether it is a family member, church member, neighbour, friend or colleague at work, if have not contributed to such sins in any way and if we have done our duty of warning them, rebuking them or praying for them. Notwithstanding, when He is judging sinners, we may not be able to totally escape the consequences that follow.

For instance, before the writer of the book of Hebrews gives us the instruction in our opening bible text, he first reminds us that many of those that Moses brought out of Egypt did not enter God’s rest, the Promised Land (Heb 3:7-11). Why? It was because God was not pleased them. In fact, as the story goes, God was so angry with them that He said that they would all wander in the wilderness for forty years, until the last person among the rebels in their midst died. And it was so. (Cf. Num 14:26-35)

But there were two men among them that God promised to safely bring into Canaan, the Promised Land. And they were Joshua and Caleb. God promised to give them the land as their inheritance because they were faithful to Him when they were sent to explore the land. They were the only ones that brought back a good report about the land. They were the only ones that stood fast in honour of God’s power and faithfulness.

However, even though God had promised to bring these men, Joshua and Caleb, into the Promised Land, and He did fulfil this promise, they could not enter it until all their rebellious brethren spent the forty years God had said that they would spend in the wilderness. They could not possess their inheritance until the very last person among those rebels died. That means they too wandered liked the rest of the people for forty years. They too were subjected to the harsh conditions of the wilderness for forty years like the rest of the people, even though they were not partakers in the sins of their brethren.

Now what is this teaching us? It is that the sins or errors of the people in our lives can delay our experience of God’s goodness, exaltation, promotion or liberty. We don’t often pay attention to this. But it is the reality that all of us need to deal with.

For many of us, once our lives are right before God, we assume that nothing should stop us from fully experiencing His goodness. But the word of God shows us that it does not always work like that. While it is true that God will not fail to keep His promise to us or deny us any good thing meant for us because others’ sins, sins we are not guilty of, it is also true that He may delay our experience of certain promises of His to us because of the sins of some people in our lives. And that may even be for our own good.

It follows, then, that we must always pay attention to how those in our lives, especially members of our immediate family or Christian assembly, are functioning in life. This is so that we can help them to always stay in the will of God for their lives. Otherwise, they may just be the reason we will not move forward or experience the right measure of progress on time in life.

Now perhaps this is already happening to us. Perhaps we are already locked in some unpleasant situations because of the sins of some individuals in our lives. Then we should ask for God’s mercy for them and for us too and also ask Him to give us revelations of what we must do to stop being a part of their sufferings. And He will answer us, for He is a merciful God. But we must never assume that the wrongdoings or falling away of the people in our lives is not our business, for it is our business. And our failure to see and treat things as such may eventually be the reason we too will never enjoy certain measure of God’s goodness in life.

Then it is even possible that we are the offenders, that we are the ones responsible for the delay of promotion, peace or freedom that those in our lives are experiencing in certain areas of their lives. Where this is the case, we need God’s revelation to know and repent without delay, instead of selfishly continuing in our path of error. Otherwise, God may just separate us permanently from such relationships, so that He may fulfil His purpose in the lives of those that we are limiting or hurting through our own sins. May that never be your experience, in Jesus’ name. Amen. But you need to do the right thing and to do it fast.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for being gracious to us and for always being full of mercy in dealing with us.
- Prayers that God will teach our hearts never to get so involved with ourselves that we forget the relevance of paying due attention to the lives of others with us and prevent them from becoming a source of hindrance to us in life.
- Prayers that God will show mercy to everyone in our lives that is being currently judged by Him and whose punishment is limiting or hindering our own experience of His goodness in one way or the other, so that we may begin to fully experience and enjoy His goodness and provisions for us.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see any area of our lives in which our errors are exposing the people in our lives to undeserved punishment or suffering, so that we can repent without delay and stop being obstacles to the experience of His goodness by all such people.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Give him no opportunity to work - 18th June 2022



“Don't give the devil any opportunity to work…” (Eph 4:27GW)

Among the things we don’t ever want to fail to recognise or utilise in life are opportunities. We want to recognise and utilise opportunities to demonstrate our talents, opportunities to make money, opportunities to attain some position of advantage, opportunities to do good for ourselves or others and even opportunities to punish our foes. And it is only the opportunities to serve God or to give to Him in some big way that we hardly desire not to miss or utilise.

In any case, my aim here is not to address the need for us to identify and utilise our opportunities to do good and fulfil the will of God for our lives. Rather, it is to let us see that just as we are after recognising and utilising opportunities to better our lot in life, there is also one who is seeking opportunities to destroy and ruin and our lives. And that is the devil.

For example, the bible says this about the way he once related to our Lord Jesus: “When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.” (Luke 4:13NIV) Think about that. Satan, on that occasion, tempted Jesus with three different things. First, he tempted Him with His appetite, but he did not succeed. Second, he tempted him with His position and power, as the Son of God, but did not succeed. Then he tempted him with the riches of this world, thinking that would work, but he also failed. Therefore, he left Him. (Cf. Luke 4:1-13)

But as Luke further shows us in that account, Satan did not leave Jesus permanently. He only left Him for a while. He left him until there would be another opportunity for him to tempt Him again and perhaps make Him fall. And that is telling us something about how Satan reasons and works. He is always looking for opportunities to tempt and hurt us.

No, he may not consider today to be a perfect day of opportunity for him to tempt or harass us. But tomorrow may be. Also, the situation we are in now may not be considered by him as an opportunity to hurt us. But that does not mean that he has given up on hurting us. He never gives up on doing his evil works. And he never gives up on keeping close watch on us until he sees his opportunity to strike.

Now, concerning those recorded temptations of our Lord Jesus Christ that we considered above, Satan saw an opportunity to tempt Jesus when He went through forty days and forty nights of fasting. He came for him when he believed that, like most people, He would be feeling high, mighty and untouchable in the spirit. And if the Lord had been merely functioning on the basis of His feelings, He would have fallen flat on His face before this wicked and clever being.

Therefore, that we are regularly praying, fasting, giving or preaching does not mean that Satan will not be able to work in our lives. On the contrary, those very things we do and that we often pride ourselves in or put our confidence in may be the very things that will give him an opportunity to mess us up. So, first, as Peter tells us, we must keep in mind the fact that Satan is always on the lookout for opportunities to devour our lives (1Peter 5:8). Then, as Paul tells us in our opening text, we must always be careful not to give him any opportunity to work in our lives.

Now one major way not to give Satan an opportunity to work in our lives is to stay away from acts of the flesh. That is because any act of the flesh that we indulge in can be taken by him as an opportunity to ruin our lives or relationships. Anger, for instance, has given him countless opportunities to ruin several lives and relationships. Sexual immorality has also given him opportunities to destroy many lives, marriages and children. If we, then, do not want to open the doors of our lives for him to come in and freely work in them, we must desist from all acts of the flesh.

Another way not to give Satan an opportunity to work in our lives is to always resist him in prayer and with the word of God (James 4:7). The bible already tells us that we have authority over him and his works (Luke 10:19). But that will not stop him from testing us with evil. Remember that he once attempted to capsize a boat that was carrying Jesus and his disciples (Mark 4:35-41). And he can try something similar or worse with us as well. So, we too, like Jesus, must always be ready and willing to use our God-given authority to stop and frustrate whatever he is doing against us. Otherwise, he may not stop harassing us until he takes away everything from us, just as he did with Job. And may that not be your lot, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the authority He has given us over the devil, his demons and all their works.
- Prayers that God will always strengthen us to walk by the leading of His Spirit and with the energy of His Spirit, so that we will never again put our hands into anything that will give Satan an opportunity to work in our lives.
- Prayers that God will teach our hearts to always count on Him instead of relying on any effort we are making towards being spiritual, so that Satan will not use our pride or self-confidence as a means for destroying us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught by the Holy Spirit to always recognise every work of the devil in our lives and around us and also strengthened by Him to frustrate it instead of accepting it as of God.
- Prayers that God will cause us to experience the healing and restoration of the Lord Jesus in every area of our lives where we have in the past allowed Satan to mess things up for us.
- Thanksgiving to God for the wisdom, strength and privilege to pray and receive from Him.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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No showing off -11th June 2022



“At that time Merodach-Baladan son of Baladan king of Babylon sent Hezekiah letters and a gift, because he had heard of Hezekiah's illness. Hezekiah received the messengers and showed them all that was in his storehouses — the silver, the gold, the spices and the fine oil — his armory and everything found among his treasures. There was nothing in his palace or in all his kingdom that Hezekiah did not show them.” (2Kings 20:12-13NIV)

One of the things that often reveal the pride in humans is wealth. Yes, there are poor people in whose lives pride is clearly obvious. I am talking about individuals that you cannot spend few minutes with and not see that they are full of themselves, even though they know nothing and have nothing. But it those who are rich that are mostly prone to exhibiting pride in the way they function in life.

Now exhibition of pride is not always about taking credit for what God has done for us. We may acknowledge that God is the one responsible for our wealth or riches and still be exhibiting pride. For instance, when we begin to show off our wealth or increase, when we begin to do things that will let those around us know or feel that we are not on the same level with them, we are exhibiting pride. No, we are not saying that our power has obtained all that we have for us. Rather, we are merely pointing out to others that we are bigger than whatever they think or have known of us. So, they should take note and show us some respect.

For example, in our opening text, we see how King Hezekiah showed off his wealth to the envoys that had come to visit him from the King of Babylon. These envoys had come to congratulate him on his recovery from an illness that almost took his life. And if all he had done was throw parties for them and make them feel at home, it would have been okay. But he went further to show them everything he had and everything he had inherited from his ancestors, including the treasures in his armoury.

Why did he do that? It was because he wanted to impress them. He wanted them to take reports back to their master that he too was a great and mighty king.

Unfortunately, what Hezekiah did not know was that those envoys took to heart everything he showed them about his wealth and kingdom. And as Prophet Isaiah later told him by the word of the Lord, his exhibition of his wealth to them at that time would be the foundation for the attack that the Babylonians would launch against his country and his palace after his demise. So, it was foolish of him to exhibit his prosperity to them the way he did. But the harm had already been done, and there was nothing he could do to alter it. (Cf. Isaiah 20:14-21)

What is the point of all this, then? It is that as God increases us in good things, we need to be careful not to allow our hearts to be lifted up in pride to the end that we begin to show off our prosperity. We don’t need to prove anything to anybody. God is not increasing us in good things because He wants us to prove to somebody that we can make it in life. Rather, He is increasing us in good things so that we will not be unduly dependent on anybody and so that we can abound in good works. (Cf. Eph 4:28; 2Cor 9:8; 1Thess 4:11-12)

Am I saying you should not dress well, eat delicacies, build magnificent houses or use luxury cars, if God has enriched you to do so? No! Or am I saying you should be stingy to yourself or to others around you, simply become you don’t want anyone to know that God is lifting you? No! But I am saying be wise, as the word of God says, in the way you conduct yourself and manage your prosperity. Don’t use your wealth to do anything that will attract undue attention to you from those around you. Don’t use your increase in any way that will make those in your life unnecessarily jealous or envious of you or that will make them begin to make demands on you that you have no capacity to meet. And do not, through the use of your resources, lay a foundation for the deceitful, envious and wicked people around you to start wars with you that you are not fit to handle. Otherwise, you may end your enjoyment of the goodness of God before it even starts.

To say the fact, this is usually one of the reasons God limits the prosperity of some people. He knows that if they have more than they now have, they will foolishly expose themselves to unnecessary jealousies and wars that would ruin or cut short their lives. So, in His love, He waits for them to come to maturity before He entrusts to them the prosperity that He has always wanted them to have.

And perhaps that is the situation with you too. You have an unclean appetite to show off what is going on in your life. You don’t know how to discriminate at all between what is alright for public consumption and what is not. So, any little progress you make in your life must be reported to the world. They must see in on your WhatsApp status or on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or TikTok.

Therefore, because of His love for you, God, who sees your heart, has to limit your experience of His goodness till you come of age and learn from Hezekiah. But how long will it take you to come of age and learn from him? Will you even learn from him at all? Well, my prayer is that God will use these words to cleanse your life of every wrong desire to publicise yourself where and when it is not necessary, so that He may freely release for your enjoyment all the beautiful things He has in store for your life. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because His love for us is just too great for Him to allow us to mess up our own lives through reckless and foolish living.
- Prayers that God will open your eyes to see every area of your life in which you are foolishly exposing yourself to unnecessary and avoidable wars through your lifestyle and also lead you to do the right thing about it.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will set you free wherever you have ensnared yourself and made yourself a victim of the jealousy and bitterness of the wicked.
- Prayers that your heart will be adequately taught the proper way to handle God’s prosperity in your life and not attract to yourself unnecessary enemies.
- Prayers that your heart will be rid by God of every unclean desire to show off things that should be kept private, so that you will never again be the one showing your enemies where and how to destroy you.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Take care of all your debts - 4th June 2022



“Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” (Rom 13:8NIV)

One of the things every child of God must learn to avoid in life is borrowing. Why? It is because, as the bible rightly puts it, the borrower is servant to the lender (Prov 22:7). In other words, borrowing from people can put you at their mercy, especially if they are wicked and unreasonable. It can place you in impossible situations in life. It can make you beg where you shouldn’t be begging, hide where you should boldly stand out or remain quiet where your voice ought to be loud and clear. Borrowing can even lead you to a place of depression or to an early grave. So, if you can totally avoid borrowing from people, especially money, then, do so. It will spell rest of mind for you.

But we know that, as long as we are in this world, we may not be able to totally avoid borrowing from people. Even the richest among men sometimes borrow to do some things. However, one main difference between them and the poor is that they usually borrow to invest in things they are certain will make them more money and not in liabilities. The poor, on the contrary, often borrow to take care of liabilities like weddings, house rents, funerals, luxury cars and so forth, things that will not earn them more money or put them in positions where they can access more resources. So, they end up getting in trouble for nothing.

Then the rich hardly borrow money that they do not have assets or resources to take care of, just in case they are faced with disappointments. The poor, however, borrow only on the basis of hope, the hope that things will soon get better for them or that a miracle will happen that will enable them to pay back what they have borrowed. So, they end up eating their future before it comes.

In any case, the Spirit of God, speaking to us in our opening bible text, instructs to see to it that we owe nobody nothing. He says let there be no outstanding debt. In other words, we are to live our lives in such a way that if our Lord Jesus comes today to take us home with Him, we will have no debt on our necks. Yes, we are to live in such a way that if our time in the world is up today, we will leave no unsettled debt for our children, families or loved ones.

In 2Kings 4 is the story of a man of God that died without settling all his debts. So, his creditors came to take away his two boys as slaves. And when his widow ran to Prophet Elisha for help, he did not say, “No! No! Call those people for me. They cannot do that at all. Don’t they know that your husband was a man of God? Why would they not cancel his debt?”

Elisha did not talk like that at all? Why? It was because he knew that it was not the will of God for His people, not to talk of His servants, to owe anybody anything. In fact, part of the word of the blessings that He gave to them through Moses was that they would be the ones lending to others instead of borrowing from them (Deut 28:12). So, by the leading of the Spirit of God, he told that woman what to do to pay their debt and begin to live lives free of debt.

Now my thought is that that woman’s husband could as well have taken the step his wife later took. He could have met the man of God for help while he was still alive. And the miracle that his wife and children received may have come to them sooner. Then maybe he would not have died as early as he did. Who knows?

What is my point, anyway? It is that you need to settle all your debts, whatever they are, now that you are alive and now that our Lord Jesus has not come. Pay up whatever you owe anybody, whether it is money or promises. Pay up whatever you owe the government, whether you are dealing with taxes, revenues or services. And pay up whatever you owe God, whether it is money, time or devotion.

But then, someone may say, “I really want to pay all my debts. But I just don’t have the money or means to do so at this time.” As honest as that may sound, it is still not an acceptable excuse before God for having outstanding debts. Do you know what He says about people who owe and do not pay back? He says they are wicked (Ps 37:21).

So, if you owe and will not pay back, whatever your excuses may be, you are a wicked person, as far as God is concerned. That is because you are cheating the person that lent you what you owe. You are hindering them from enjoying the fruit of their labour and from advancing in their lives. Also, you are repaying their acts of kindness with evil. If they had not lent you what you owe or sold to you what you bought on credit, would you have taken it from them by force? Quite unlikely! So, not to pay back what you owe them when due or at all is wicked in the sight of God. And it can hinder your own progress and enjoyment of life too in ways beyond understanding. Stop making excuses, then, and make up your mind to pay up everything you owe without any further delay.

Second, you need to wholeheartedly reach out for God’s divine supply to clear all your debts, however huge them may be. That was what that widow that went to Elisha did. And to say the fact, SOME PEOPLE CANNOT COME OUT OF DEBT IN LIFE UNLESS A MIRACLE HAPPENS. So, you too should reach out for God concerning your debts. Pray to Him about them. Study His word to know His will for your finances. Then get spiritual counsel from trusted people of God and act on it. And you will be amazed at how soon God will lead you to begin to live a debt free life.

Finally, you need to begin take legitimate steps that are within your ability in order to settle all your debts. One of such steps will be to stop borrowing, especially for irrelevances and things that won’t make you more money. Another will be to always find worthy alternatives that will cost you less for everything you want to do or acquire until you are financially independent. Then identify and ruthlessly cut off every form of waste of resources happening in your life. Otherwise, regardless of how much help God sends to get you out of debt, you may never be debt free.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because His desire is for us to prosper and be healthy, spirit, soul and body in this life.
- Prayers that we will be cleansed of every wrong attitude we have towards the acquisition of money and its use, so that we will stop attracting needless troubles into our lives.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will perform miracles of provisions for us that will enable us to quickly clear every debt that is hanging on our lives or families.
- Prayers that God will grant us favour in the sight of all those we owe, so that they can forgive our sins of failing them and also help us with repayment plans that we can faithfully handle.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will heal and restore everyone that has been hurt or harmed through our failure to pay back what we owed when it was due.
- Prayers that our hearts will be loaded with the wisdom of the Spirit of God to, henceforth, be true managers of every resource we are blessed with, so that we can multiply it instead of losing it.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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When you need help - 28th May 2022



“After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.” (Job 42:10-11NIV)


The story of Job, the calamities that befell him and how God restored him is one of those bible stories that we have a lot to learn from. First, it teaches us that our safety in this life is not a function of our righteousness or holiness; rather, it is a function of the love and mercy of God. So, we should never think the reason all things are going well for us and we are not faced with certain trials that others are faced with in life is that we are so good to God. If we think and function like that, then, a day may come when God will allow certain circumstances to upend our false religious philosophy, so that we may see that it is all about His love and mercy and never about our righteousness.

Another lesson for us from Job’s story is that if things should go wrong with us in any way, we should pray to God about them instead of seeking to justify ourselves. As we clearly see in the book, we do not have to do anything wrong for things to go wrong with our lives, jobs, businesses, families and so forth. Then that something goes wrong with us does not mean that God is negligent or irresponsible. It just means that Satan, our enemy, has come for us and we need to resist him, taking advantage of the armour of God that He has given to us (Eph 6:10-18; James 4:7).

But when Satan came for Job, he did not resist him at all by praying to God to put an end to his work in his life and home. Instead, he held God responsible for everything. And that was because he thought that God was always the one responsible for anything that happens to man, whether good or bad. And if God had not shown him mercy and revealed Himself to him in ways he had never known Him, he would have perished in his sufferings. So, if you are going through a bad time, don’t look for who to blame, even if you are the one to blame. That is not going to solve your problem. Instead, take advantage of the grace of God to resist the devil and end his operation in your life and affairs.

Then there is another lesson for us in Job’s story, which is revealed to us in our opening text. And it is that when we need the help of others, we should take it and not despise or waste it. As the account goes, after Job had repented of all the wrong things he said against God and also prayed for his friends that offended him, God made him prosperous again. In fact, the account says that God gave him twice as much as he had before.

How did that happen? As we are told in our opening bible text, God used his brothers, sisters and a number of other people who had known him before to support him. They all came to him with gifts of silver and gold. So, he must have started life again with the resources they gave to him.

But where was everyone in those days that he was suffering? At least, from what we are told in the bible, only three of his friends and another young man came to stay with him and to comfort him. And they also eventually ended up becoming worthless comforters to him. But apart from them, all the other people that later came to give him gifts did not show up when he lost everything and his body began to rot away. Instead, based on his own testimony, all of them were secretly abusing and condemning him (Job 19:13-20).

What, then, made these same people come back to comfort him and to bless him with gifts? It was the favour of God. It was God that moved their hearts in ways no one could explain to seek him out and comfort and support him, so that he may rise again. But what if Job had refused their help and gifts because of the way they had treated him before? He would most likely have remained poor for the rest of his life.

God, however, had earlier ministered to him to forgive and pray for his three friends that used all the time they spent with him to insult and falsely accuse him. And it was after he did so that his healing and restoration began. So, he must have reasoned that he needed to forgive others who abandoned him as well in order for His restoration to be total. And that was exactly what happened.

In like manner, there are times that we need the help of others in order to break away from certain situations that have held us bound. And we must recognise such times and embrace whoever God sends to help or support us, regardless of who they may be. Yes, some of them may be people who have hurt us or done us harm in the past. Yet we must drop our pride and freely forgive them. Otherwise, we may just miss the help God has sent them to give to us.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is in charge of our lives and everything going on in them.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught never to approach God on the basis of self-righteousness, so that we will not block the flow of His mercy and favour in our lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened and emboldened to always take advantage of God’s grace to resist the devil in our lives instead of looking for who to blame for his evil works.
- Prayers that God will, without delay, drive everyone that He intends to use to help us, regardless of what our history with them may be, to locate us and give us the help He wants them to give us.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to recognise everyone God has sent to help us experience His goodness or salvation in our lives, so that we will not allow pride or bitterness to keep us from receiving the help they bring.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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The God who sees me - 21st May 2022



“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.” (Gen 16:13-14NIV)

Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant, was the one being referred to in our opening bible text. She was the one who had an encounter with God while she was running away from her mistress, Sarah. And why was she running away in the first place? She was running away because of the maltreatment she was receiving from her mistress. (Cf. Gen 16)

But why would Sarah, who is presented in the bible as a model for godly women to emulate, maltreat her maid? It was because she was trying to rectify a mistake she had made. What was the mistake? It was that of turning her maid into her husband’s concubine. She and her husband had been trusting God for years for a child of their own. And God had promised them that He would certainly give them a child. But at some point, Sarah felt that since it was her husband, Abraham, that received the promise from God, the child could as well come from anybody. And the only person she felt that she could trust with this plan at the time was Hagar, her maidservant. (Cf. 1Pet 3:6)

Unfortunately, as it is usually the case when we are dealing with love and marital matters, the moment Hagar realised that she was with a child, she began to despise her mistress. And Sarah blamed Abraham for this. Why? Maybe he was beginning to shower much love, gifts and praises on the lady for becoming pregnant for him and also for making him feel alive once again. If that was the case, as I think it was the case, then he was the one that unconsciously gave room for Hagar to disrespect his wife.

In any case, when Sarah brought up the matter with him, he decided to back off and allow her to fix the problem. At least, she was the one that created it in the first place. It was all her idea for Hagar to become her marriage mate. So, if there was anyone to fix the problem, she was the person. But in fixing the problem, she went overboard. She literally became oppressive in relating to Hagar. And so oppressive was she in relating to her that the young woman ran way with her pregnancy.

Now, though that looks like some Nollywood story, it is not. It is a true-life story. And one of the things it is teaching us is to be careful of elevating people into positions in which we may not be able to control them. See, it is not everybody that can handle promotion or a position of advantage well. Most people will abuse the opportunity or privilege. So, if you do not want to live with regrets for the rest of your life, don’t allow desperation, frustration or even excitement drive you to bring anybody into a place in your life that is not meant for them. Otherwise, they may end up creating a monster of you and ruining your testimony as a true child of God.

Then when people give you a rare opportunity or privilege of being a part of their lives or affairs in some special way, don’t get carried away and allow pride or greed to ruin everything for you. In other words, don’t forget your place in whatever relationship you are, however sweet things may become for you there. Don’t mistake privileges for rights. And don’t forget that you did not carry yourself up; someone else did. So, if you mess up, the same person that God used in lifting you up may also be used by Him or by the devil to bring you down.

Finally, always keep it in mind that God’s eyes are on you wherever you are and regardless of what people are doing to you or for you. And He will surely vindicate you and also fulfil His good plans for you, if you will maintain your confidence in Him and also humble yourself before Him and men. That was what Hagar found out when God appeared to her. She did not think that God cared about an ordinary slave girl like her. She did not think at all that God was watching her misery and was prepared to rescue her someday and give her descendants too numerous to count.

But God cared about her and had plans for her as well. And when He appeared to her, He told her what plans He had for her and how important it was for her to deal with the pride in her life and go back to submit to her mistress for those plans to come to pass. This encounter, of course, was what prompted her to give God a name. She called him ‘the God who sees me’ and also went back to submit to her mistress, as she had been instructed.

Now, as I said earlier, God sees you too where you are, regardless of how ordinary or uneventful your life may seem at the moment. Not only that, He is also committed to bringing to pass all His good plans for you. You just need to trust Him, humble yourself where you are and be careful not to waste any opportunity or privilege you are given to rise or shine. And may His grace continue to overflow on your behalf, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

- Thanksgiving to God for loving us eternally and for always being there for us, regardless of the circumstances of our lives.
- Prayers that God will always keep our hearts strong in faith in Him, so that we will never yield to any kind of pressure or sentiment to bring anybody into a place in our lives, homes or affairs that does not belong to them.
- Prayers that God will lead us to repentance in any area of our lives where we have allowed people’s betrayal or unfaithfulness to make monsters of us and also comfort and restore us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be rid of any attitude or culture that could make us waste our opportunities or privileges for exaltation and comfort in life.
- Prayers that God our Father, who sees us where we are now in life, will, in His mercy and favour, bring about circumstances that will elevate us to where we should be.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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The God who sees me - 21st May 2022



“She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: "You are the God who sees me," for she said, "I have now seen the One who sees me." That is why the well was called Beer Lahai Roi; it is still there, between Kadesh and Bered.” (Gen 16:13-14NIV)

Hagar, Sarah’s maidservant, was the one being referred to in our opening bible text. She was the one who had an encounter with God while she was running away from her mistress, Sarah. And why was she running away in the first place? She was running away because of the maltreatment she was receiving from her mistress. (Cf. Gen 16)

But why would Sarah, who is presented in the bible as a model for godly women to emulate, maltreat her maid? It was because she was trying to rectify a mistake she had made. What was the mistake? It was that of turning her maid into her husband’s concubine. She and her husband had been trusting God for years for a child of their own. And God had promised them that He would certainly give them a child. But at some point, Sarah felt that since it was her husband, Abraham, that received the promise from God, the child could as well come from anybody. And the only person she felt that she could trust with this plan at the time was Hagar, her maidservant. (Cf. 1Pet 3:6)

Unfortunately, as it is usually the case when we are dealing with love and marital matters, the moment Hagar realised that she was with a child, she began to despise her mistress. And Sarah blamed Abraham for this. Why? Maybe he was beginning to shower much love, gifts and praises on the lady for becoming pregnant for him and also for making him feel alive once again. If that was the case, as I think it was the case, then he was the one that unconsciously gave room for Hagar to disrespect his wife.

In any case, when Sarah brought up the matter with him, he decided to back off and allow her to fix the problem. At least, she was the one that created it in the first place. It was all her idea for Hagar to become her marriage mate. So, if there was anyone to fix the problem, she was the person. But in fixing the problem, she went overboard. She literally became oppressive in relating to Hagar. And so oppressive was she in relating to her that the young woman ran way with her pregnancy.

Now, though that looks like some Nollywood story, it is not. It is a true-life story. And one of the things it is teaching us is to be careful of elevating people into positions in which we may not be able to control them. See, it is not everybody that can handle promotion or a position of advantage well. Most people will abuse the opportunity or privilege. So, if you do not want to live with regrets for the rest of your life, don’t allow desperation, frustration or even excitement drive you to bring anybody into a place in your life that is not meant for them. Otherwise, they may end up creating a monster of you and ruining your testimony as a true child of God.

Then when people give you a rare opportunity or privilege of being a part of their lives or affairs in some special way, don’t get carried away and allow pride or greed to ruin everything for you. In other words, don’t forget your place in whatever relationship you are, however sweet things may become for you there. Don’t mistake privileges for rights. And don’t forget that you did not carry yourself up; someone else did. So, if you mess up, the same person that God used in lifting you up may also be used by Him or by the devil to bring you down.

Finally, always keep it in mind that God’s eyes are on you wherever you are and regardless of what people are doing to you or for you. And He will surely vindicate you and also fulfil His good plans for you, if you will maintain your confidence in Him and also humble yourself before Him and men. That was what Hagar found out when God appeared to her. She did not think that God cared about an ordinary slave girl like her. She did not think at all that God was watching her misery and was prepared to rescue her someday and give her descendants too numerous to count.

But God cared about her and had plans for her as well. And when He appeared to her, He told her what plans He had for her and how important it was for her to deal with the pride in her life and go back to submit to her mistress for those plans to come to pass. This encounter, of course, was what prompted her to give God a name. She called him ‘the God who sees me’ and also went back to submit to her mistress, as she had been instructed.

Now, as I said earlier, God sees you too where you are, regardless of how ordinary or uneventful your life may seem at the moment. Not only that, He is also committed to bringing to pass all His good plans for you. You just need to trust Him, humble yourself where you are and be careful not to waste any opportunity or privilege you are given to rise or shine. And may His grace continue to overflow on your behalf, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

- Thanksgiving to God for loving us eternally and for always being there for us, regardless of the circumstances of our lives.
- Prayers that God will always keep our hearts strong in faith in Him, so that we will never yield to any kind of pressure or sentiment to bring anybody into a place in our lives, homes or affairs that does not belong to them.
- Prayers that God will lead us to repentance in any area of our lives where we have allowed people’s betrayal or unfaithfulness to make monsters of us and also comfort and restore us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be rid of any attitude or culture that could make us waste our opportunities or privileges for exaltation and comfort in life.
- Prayers that God our Father, who sees us where we are now in life, will, in His mercy and favour, bring about circumstances that will elevate us to where we should be.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Count on His favour alone
- 7th May 2022


“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” (Gen 6:8NIV)

Why was Noah with his family spared when God brought floodwaters to destroy all life on the face of the earth? Was it simply because he was a righteous man? No! Indeed, he was a righteous man, as we are told in the bible (Gen 6:9). But as we are also told in the bible, no man’s righteousness is sufficient to save them in the day of God’s judgment. That is because all of men’s righteous acts are as filthy rags before Him (Is 64:6). Therefore, none of us should trust in their righteousness or righteous acts. They will never be enough to merit God’s salvation or exaltation.

This, of course, is not to say that God does not value people’s righteous acts at all. He does. He, in fact, created us to do righteous works (Eph 2:10). But He never wants us to rely on our acts of righteousness as a means of getting anything from Him. He never wants to think that our acts of righteousness qualify us to get anything from Him. Only His own righteousness qualifies us to get things from Him. And unless we understand this and function accordingly, there are things we will never receive or enjoy from His hands. (Cf. Luke 18:9-14)

Consider Job, for example. He was a righteous man. God Himself testified that he was a righteous man (Job 1:1). Yet He gave Satan permission to attack him, his family and his possessions. Why? First, it was to show Satan the genuineness of this man’s devotion to Him. Second, it was to uproot Job’s own wrong notion that his righteousness qualified him to enjoy God’s provisions and protection. And until he acknowledged this fact and repented of his dependence on his righteousness, his healing and restoration did not come. (Cf. Job 42)

So, though God commends and appreciates righteous living, it does not qualify anybody to receive anything from Him. It is only His favour that qualifies people to receive from Him. And that is why the first thing we are told about Noah when God first decided to destroy mankind from the face of the earth was that he found favour in God’s sight. Yes, he was a righteous man. But it was not his righteousness that saved him; rather, it was God’s favour that saved him.

In like manner, it is only God’s favour that can keep us safe too in this world of danger. And it is only His favour that can lift us up. Therefore, we must never approach Him or expect to receive anything from him on the basis of any righteous act of our own, though it is important that we are devoted to acts of righteousness. Rather, we must always approach and seek things from Him only on the basis of His own righteousness and grace. That way, we will never fail to experience His goodness in this life, regardless of how messed up things may get.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for His love and favour that always abound to us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be cleansed of every form of self-righteousness, so that Satan will never have any ground to work in our lives or to hinder the flow of the blessings of God in our lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to always rely on God alone in all things, so that we will never lack any good thing we need in life.
- Prayers that just as Noah found favour in the eyes of God, we too will continually find favour in His eyes for our protection from every form of danger and for our exaltation in life.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Count on His favour alone
- 7th May 2022


“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” (Gen 6:8NIV)

Why was Noah with his family spared when God brought floodwaters to destroy all life on the face of the earth? Was it simply because he was a righteous man? No! Indeed, he was a righteous man, as we are told in the bible (Gen 6:9). But as we are also told in the bible, no man’s righteousness is sufficient to save them in the day of God’s judgment. That is because all of men’s righteous acts are as filthy rags before Him (Is 64:6). Therefore, none of us should trust in their righteousness or righteous acts. They will never be enough to merit God’s salvation or exaltation.

This, of course, is not to say that God does not value people’s righteous acts at all. He does. He, in fact, created us to do righteous works (Eph 2:10). But He never wants us to rely on our acts of righteousness as a means of getting anything from Him. He never wants to think that our acts of righteousness qualify us to get anything from Him. Only His own righteousness qualifies us to get things from Him. And unless we understand this and function accordingly, there are things we will never receive or enjoy from His hands. (Cf. Luke 18:9-14)

Consider Job, for example. He was a righteous man. God Himself testified that he was a righteous man (Job 1:1). Yet He gave Satan permission to attack him, his family and his possessions. Why? First, it was to show Satan the genuineness of this man’s devotion to Him. Second, it was to uproot Job’s own wrong notion that his righteousness qualified him to enjoy God’s provisions and protection. And until he acknowledged this fact and repented of his dependence on his righteousness, his healing and restoration did not come. (Cf. Job 42)

So, though God commends and appreciates righteous living, it does not qualify anybody to receive anything from Him. It is only His favour that qualifies people to receive from Him. And that is why the first thing we are told about Noah when God first decided to destroy mankind from the face of the earth was that he found favour in God’s sight. Yes, he was a righteous man. But it was not his righteousness that saved him; rather, it was God’s favour that saved him.

In like manner, it is only God’s favour that can keep us safe too in this world of danger. And it is only His favour that can lift us up. Therefore, we must never approach Him or expect to receive anything from him on the basis of any righteous act of our own, though it is important that we are devoted to acts of righteousness. Rather, we must always approach and seek things from Him only on the basis of His own righteousness and grace. That way, we will never fail to experience His goodness in this life, regardless of how messed up things may get.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for His love and favour that always abound to us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be cleansed of every form of self-righteousness, so that Satan will never have any ground to work in our lives or to hinder the flow of the blessings of God in our lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to always rely on God alone in all things, so that we will never lack any good thing we need in life.
- Prayers that just as Noah found favour in the eyes of God, we too will continually find favour in His eyes for our protection from every form of danger and for our exaltation in life.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Count on His favour alone
- 7th May 2022


“But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.” (Gen 6:8NIV)

Why was Noah with his family spared when God brought floodwaters to destroy all life on the face of the earth? Was it simply because he was a righteous man? No! Indeed, he was a righteous man, as we are told in the bible (Gen 6:9). But as we are also told in the bible, no man’s righteousness is sufficient to save them in the day of God’s judgment. That is because all of men’s righteous acts are as filthy rags before Him (Is 64:6). Therefore, none of us should trust in their righteousness or righteous acts. They will never be enough to merit God’s salvation or exaltation.

This, of course, is not to say that God does not value people’s righteous acts at all. He does. He, in fact, created us to do righteous works (Eph 2:10). But He never wants us to rely on our acts of righteousness as a means of getting anything from Him. He never wants to think that our acts of righteousness qualify us to get anything from Him. Only His own righteousness qualifies us to get things from Him. And unless we understand this and function accordingly, there are things we will never receive or enjoy from His hands. (Cf. Luke 18:9-14)

Consider Job, for example. He was a righteous man. God Himself testified that he was a righteous man (Job 1:1). Yet He gave Satan permission to attack him, his family and his possessions. Why? First, it was to show Satan the genuineness of this man’s devotion to Him. Second, it was to uproot Job’s own wrong notion that his righteousness qualified him to enjoy God’s provisions and protection. And until he acknowledged this fact and repented of his dependence on his righteousness, his healing and restoration did not come. (Cf. Job 42)

So, though God commends and appreciates righteous living, it does not qualify anybody to receive anything from Him. It is only His favour that qualifies people to receive from Him. And that is why the first thing we are told about Noah when God first decided to destroy mankind from the face of the earth was that he found favour in God’s sight. Yes, he was a righteous man. But it was not his righteousness that saved him; rather, it was God’s favour that saved him.

In like manner, it is only God’s favour that can keep us safe too in this world of danger. And it is only His favour that can lift us up. Therefore, we must never approach Him or expect to receive anything from him on the basis of any righteous act of our own, though it is important that we are devoted to acts of righteousness. Rather, we must always approach and seek things from Him only on the basis of His own righteousness and grace. That way, we will never fail to experience His goodness in this life, regardless of how messed up things may get.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for His love and favour that always abound to us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be cleansed of every form of self-righteousness, so that Satan will never have any ground to work in our lives or to hinder the flow of the blessings of God in our lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to always rely on God alone in all things, so that we will never lack any good thing we need in life.
- Prayers that just as Noah found favour in the eyes of God, we too will continually find favour in His eyes for our protection from every form of danger and for our exaltation in life.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Don’t try to help God -30th April 2022



“Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.” (Gen 16:1-4NIV)

In Genesis 15 we have the account of God’s assurance to Abraham that He would give him a son of his own, who would be his heir. And he believed God. He believed every word God said to him about the matter. Therefore, God proclaimed him righteous on account of his faith.

But then, as we see in our opening text, after a while, his wife, Sarah, succeeded in convincing him to take her maid in as his concubine. Why? She probably felt that since God had assured her husband that he would have a son, the son might as well come from anywhere – he really did not have to come from her.

Now did her plan work or not? It worked. But was that what God wanted? No! Indeed, He promised Abraham a son of his own. But it was never His intention to do so through an illegitimate means. And all that they, then, needed to do was to wait for Him to fulfil His promise.

Unfortunately, Sarah would not let them wait. Instead, she felt that they needed to do something to help God. That was why she came up with the plan to use her maid, Hagar, to bring the promise to pass. And as I already pointed out, her plan worked, even though it was not in line with the will of God for them.

So, that you take steps outside the will of God in order to get something that God has already promised to give you or to get something that He wants you to have does not mean you are going to fail. I mean that people can be succeeding in what they are doing, even though it is contrary to the will of God for them. It does not mean that they are on the right track.

Yes, they may think they are just helping God to bring His will to pass in their lives. But nobody can help God to do what only He can do. And no one should try to help Him to do it. It is sufficient for us to carry out our own legitimate responsibilities in our lives’ matters, based on the abilities and opportunities given to us by Him. But to step outside that realm in order to aid Him is to look for trouble.

Again, as we see in Abraham and Sarah’s case, though their plans to help God seemed to work, it introduced into their lives and into the world troubles that should never have been there. First, it launched an attack on their marriage. And that attack would have destroyed it, if Abraham had not acted wisely in handling it. Second, it brought ageless bitterness in between the sons of both women and their descendants.

In like manner, whenever we resort to using our own wisdom or schemes to accomplish the will of God for us, we are bound to invite into our lives and world problems or wars that should never have been ours to fight. This is why the quarrels in some families may never end till Jesus would come. And it is also why some people may never enjoy peace or rest in life again, even though they have gotten certain things their hearts have been yearning for years to have.

So, be careful of any kind of desperation that may drive you to go outside the will of God in getting your needs met or in solving some of your life’s problems. Otherwise, though you have your way, the troubles that will follow may just be bigger than the ones you are trying to solve.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the wisdom His word always communicates to us for safe living.
- Prayers that our hearts will be rid of every form of impatience or desperation that may drive us to move outside the will of God for us in meeting our needs or solving our problems.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and disciplined to follow God’s way in all our quest to access or enjoy His provisions and promises for us.
- Prayers that we will be shown mercy and rescued in every area of our lives in which we have invited unnecessary troubles upon ourselves because we abandoned God’s ways for our own ways.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Don’t try to help God -30th April 2022



“Now Sarai, Abram's wife, had borne him no children. But she had an Egyptian maidservant named Hagar; so she said to Abram, "The LORD has kept me from having children. Go, sleep with my maidservant; perhaps I can build a family through her." Abram agreed to what Sarai said. So after Abram had been living in Canaan ten years, Sarai his wife took her Egyptian maidservant Hagar and gave her to her husband to be his wife. He slept with Hagar, and she conceived. When she knew she was pregnant, she began to despise her mistress.” (Gen 16:1-4NIV)

In Genesis 15 we have the account of God’s assurance to Abraham that He would give him a son of his own, who would be his heir. And he believed God. He believed every word God said to him about the matter. Therefore, God proclaimed him righteous on account of his faith.

But then, as we see in our opening text, after a while, his wife, Sarah, succeeded in convincing him to take her maid in as his concubine. Why? She probably felt that since God had assured her husband that he would have a son, the son might as well come from anywhere – he really did not have to come from her.

Now did her plan work or not? It worked. But was that what God wanted? No! Indeed, He promised Abraham a son of his own. But it was never His intention to do so through an illegitimate means. And all that they, then, needed to do was to wait for Him to fulfil His promise.

Unfortunately, Sarah would not let them wait. Instead, she felt that they needed to do something to help God. That was why she came up with the plan to use her maid, Hagar, to bring the promise to pass. And as I already pointed out, her plan worked, even though it was not in line with the will of God for them.

So, that you take steps outside the will of God in order to get something that God has already promised to give you or to get something that He wants you to have does not mean you are going to fail. I mean that people can be succeeding in what they are doing, even though it is contrary to the will of God for them. It does not mean that they are on the right track.

Yes, they may think they are just helping God to bring His will to pass in their lives. But nobody can help God to do what only He can do. And no one should try to help Him to do it. It is sufficient for us to carry out our own legitimate responsibilities in our lives’ matters, based on the abilities and opportunities given to us by Him. But to step outside that realm in order to aid Him is to look for trouble.

Again, as we see in Abraham and Sarah’s case, though their plans to help God seemed to work, it introduced into their lives and into the world troubles that should never have been there. First, it launched an attack on their marriage. And that attack would have destroyed it, if Abraham had not acted wisely in handling it. Second, it brought ageless bitterness in between the sons of both women and their descendants.

In like manner, whenever we resort to using our own wisdom or schemes to accomplish the will of God for us, we are bound to invite into our lives and world problems or wars that should never have been ours to fight. This is why the quarrels in some families may never end till Jesus would come. And it is also why some people may never enjoy peace or rest in life again, even though they have gotten certain things their hearts have been yearning for years to have.

So, be careful of any kind of desperation that may drive you to go outside the will of God in getting your needs met or in solving some of your life’s problems. Otherwise, though you have your way, the troubles that will follow may just be bigger than the ones you are trying to solve.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the wisdom His word always communicates to us for safe living.
- Prayers that our hearts will be rid of every form of impatience or desperation that may drive us to move outside the will of God for us in meeting our needs or solving our problems.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and disciplined to follow God’s way in all our quest to access or enjoy His provisions and promises for us.
- Prayers that we will be shown mercy and rescued in every area of our lives in which we have invited unnecessary troubles upon ourselves because we abandoned God’s ways for our own ways.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Don’t act in haste - get sufficient knowledge - 23rd April 2022

“Desire without knowledge is not good – how much more will hasty feet miss the way!”

(Proverbs 19:2NIV)


E.W. Kenyon once wrote about his success in selling pianos. But he did not start in the business as a success but as a failure. Yes, he had great love and passion for selling pianos. Yet he first failed at it. Why? It was because when he first started selling them, he did not know much about what he was selling. So, he could not give those he was meeting much tangible reasons to buy his products, neither was he able to make good price bargains with them.


But when he got tired of failing, he went to the factory where pianos were manufactured and learnt almost everything a young man like himself could learn at the time about their production, usage and significance in life. Armed with this knowledge, he went back to the streets to sell again. And this time around, the story was different. In his own confession, he said that he was so successful in selling pianos that even those who had no music in them bought from him. Why? He had acquired so much knowledge about what he was selling that he was able to make those he met see that he was doing them good by bringing his products into their homes.


What, then, is the point of what I just shared with you about that man of God? It is that it is not enough to desire success at anything in life; it is equally important that we possess sufficient required knowledge for whatever form of success we want. Yes, it is good to desire or be zealous to be successful in life. That is because it is our desire or zeal that will drive us to work or labour hard to be successful.


However, desire for success without knowledge will, most times, only make us act hastily in getting involved in what we have no capacity to handle or make us fail in what might have been a huge success in our hands. This explains why many are not thriving in their businesses, jobs, vocations or academic pursuits. All that led them into whatever they got involved in was a burning desire for success in it, not adequate and appropriate knowledge of it.


Now that burning desire may have been fuelled by certain success stories of others that they heard or witnessed. But they did not labour to know enough about what they were getting involved in before getting involved in it. Therefore, their decision to get involved in it was not rational but impulsive or thoughtless. And now, having put in years or months of devotion and hard labour and resources into it, the success they originally thought they would have is nowhere to be found. So, they are depressed, confused and lost in sorrow. But who is to blame? They are to blame.


As Solomon shows us in our opening bible text, desire without knowledge is neither good nor profitable at all. It can only make us act in haste. And when we act in haste, without knowing where we are heading, what lies ahead of us or what we are up against, we can only miss the way and get ourselves in trouble.


So, before you get involved in any business, venture or project, be sure you get enough knowledge on what it is all about and what it will take from you. Don’t just hastily get involved in anything on the basis of someone’s smooth talk about it or your love for it or certain success stories you have heard or witnessed about it. Instead, get real and concrete knowledge and understanding about it. Doing that, of course, may cost you some money, time or energy. But it will pay off. Otherwise, you may end up wasting your time, energy, devotion and resources on what is never meant for you or on doing what is right the wrong way.


Let us pray:


- Thanksgiving to God for the wisdom that His word offers us for fruitful and productive living.

- Prayers that God will cleanse us of every form of impatience that is capable of driving us to act in haste and mess our lives or work up.

- Prayers that God will drive us to true knowledge about every legitimate thing we are now involved in, so that we can multiply tremendously in productivity in it.

- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see everything we are never supposed to give ourselves to but which we are involved in and which Satan is using to devour our lives and also fill us with adequate courage and wisdom to do the right thing about it.

- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with discernment in handling people’s success stories or smooth talks about success, so that we will never again hastily or crazily get involved in what will never work for us.

- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.


By Johnson O. Lawal

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May they be summoned - 16th April 2022

“For the sake of Jacob my servant, of Israel my chosen, I summon you by name and bestow on you a title of honor, though you do not acknowledge me.” (Isa 45:4NIV)

When the years decreed by God for the nation of Judah to be in exile were fulfilled, He, according to the bible, moved the heart of King Cyrus of Persia, in the very first year of his reign, to make a proclamation for the release of these Jews and for the rebuilding of His temple in Jerusalem. And if what Cyrus did surprised any of them, it would be because that person had not been reading their prophetic books or had not been taking seriously the contents of those books.

As we see in our opening bible text, several years before the nation of Judah went to exile, God had spoken through His servant, Isaiah, that He would raise and summon a man, whose name would be Cyrus, to release them from Captivity. So, this king was particularly born, raised and placed on the Persian throne for the sake of the people of God. And did he fulfil the purpose for which he was summoned by God or not? He did! He did because God Himself moved him to do so.

Interestingly, Cyrus was one that we would call a pagan king, for he was not a Jew. As we even see from our opening bible text, God did not choose to use him because he knew and acknowledged Him; rather, He chose to use him despite the fact that he did not know or acknowledge Him.

So, that someone is an unbeliever does not mean that God cannot use him for the good of His people. In fact, there are times that it is those that we consider as pagans that He considers to be most suitable for certain good works that He wants to do for us. And if we are not discerning enough to grasp this, we may miss our experience of His goodness by looking for it in the wrong place and among the wrong people.

At any rate, whether those God wants to use for our experience of His goodness are believers or unbelievers, what is important is that they are summoned by Him without delay to do for us what He has chosen them for.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all the people He has chosen and brought into this world for our experience of His salvation, exaltation, prosperity, healing and peace of mind.
- Prayers that wherever they may be at the moment, God will summon all the people He has chosen to make us and our families flourish in this land and also move them to begin to carry out His will in our lives.
- Prayers that God will take out of the way of the people He has summoned for our good everything that is hindering them from fulfilling His purpose in our lives.
- Prayers that wherever they may be now, God will summon and move all the people He has chosen to deliver this nation from all our miseries and woes to begin to work without delay.
- Prayers that God will take out every obstacle on the way of the people He has chosen for the salvation of this nation, so that they may begin to do what He has summoned them to do as a matter of urgency.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and also for the testimonies that will follow.

By Johnson O. Lawal


Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Begin to do your own job - 9th April 2022

“Then I said to them, "You see the trouble we are in: Jerusalem lies in ruins, and its gates have been burned with fire. Come, let us rebuild the wall of Jerusalem, and we will no longer be in disgrace." I also told them about the gracious hand of my God upon me and what the king had said to me. They replied, "Let us start rebuilding." So they began this good work.” (Neh 2:17-18NIV)

There are things God must do for us in this life. And if He does not do them, there is nothing we can do about them that will amount to anything. That is why absolute dependence on Him is important, if we want our lives to be what they ought to be.

But then, there are also things we must do for ourselves in order for our lives to be what they ought to be. And if we will not do these things for ourselves, there is nothing God can do about them. Why? It is because He has already given us the abilities, skills and resources required to them.

For example, when Nehemiah heard about the condition of the Jews in Jerusalem that had returned home from exile, he was not happy at all and wished he could be of help. But he also knew that if God did not intervene in the matter, there was nothing he or any other person could do to help. So, he turned to Him in prayer and asked for His favour before the only man that was in a position at that time to clear the way for him to help his people. (Cf. Nehemiah 1)

Now did God answer his prayer or not? He did! He granted him favour before the Emperor that the nation of Judah was under his rule at the time. So, the man was willing to let him go and help his people. More than that, he was willing to supply him with a small army for his protection and plenty of resources to accomplish his mission. Therefore, when we pray to God, we cannot even imagine what great miracles He can perform on our behalf to make things work for our good. (Cf. Nehemiah 2:1-9)

However, though it was God’s job to cause Nehemiah to be favoured before Artaxerxes, it was not His job to give this king the details of how long it would take Nehemiah to go and help his people or what sort of resources he would need to help them. That was Nehemiah’s job. And he had to do it in a very diligent and responsible manner. Otherwise, the king would not take him seriously at all.

Also, though it was God’s job to move the hearts of the Jews in Jerusalem at that time to get up and rebuild their lives and land, it was not His job to gather them, talk to them and organise them to start working. That was Nehemiah’s job. And he had to do with a demonstration of knowledge, understanding and enthusiasm. Otherwise, the people would not take him seriously at all.

Then, though it was God’s job to favour the people by sending Nehemiah to them and providing the resources they needed to rebuild their ruins for them, it was not His job to put the resources on ground together and rebuild. That was the people’s job. And they had to do it with a sense of urgency and seriousness. Otherwise, all of God’s favour lavished on then would simply go to waste.

What, then, is the point of all this? It is that we must go beyond praying to God for His intervention in our lives and affairs. We must also identify what we must do with His intervention and begin to do it with every sense of seriousness, understanding and care. Otherwise, our lives and situations will not leave where they are for where they could be.

So, as you are praying to God for better living conditions, also begin to do whatever legitimate things you can do to experience better living conditions in a very serious manner. That way, you will not be wasting His favour but utilising it to fulfil His purpose in your life.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because we can always count on Him to make all things work for our good, regardless how hard the times may be.
- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with adequate measure of wisdom to always distinguish what God must do for us from what we must do for ourselves, so that we will never again be waiting God where we should get our hands to work.
- Prayers that God will make His favour overflow over our lives and affairs this year, so that every ruin of our lives will be rebuilt.
- Prayers that God will always keep our eyes opened to see what we are required to do with every measure of favour He shows us, so that we will not waste it.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to always handle our responsibilities with a high sense of diligence, seriousness and understanding, so that everyone in a position to help or favour us will take us seriously.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Cast your burdens on Him- 2nd April 2022

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” (1Peter 5:7NIV)

“Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.” (Ps 55:22NIV)

As long as we are in this world, there will always be burdens or loads for us to carry. Some people’s burdens may be heavier than those of others. But there is no one that does not have life burdens, which may be personal, family, societal or religious, to carry.

Now the truth about whatever burden any of us may have to bear is that we cannot bear it alone or by ourselves. I am saying that regardless of how little or insignificant a life burden may be, we cannot bear it by ourselves. Otherwise, we are going to get crushed by it.

See, the smallest of man’s problems is able to kill or destroy him, if it is not well and timely handled. Have you not heard of people who died of shock or excitement? Nobody touched them or did anything to them. Some information just came to them at the wrong time, and before anybody could figure out what was going on, they were already dead because of shock or excitement.

But how many times have you been shocked in life? How many times have been excited or afraid to the point of shaking? Yet you are alive and well today. What has kept you from dying of shock, excitement or fear? It is God.

The bible says this concerning Him: “Praise be to the Lord, to God our Savior, who daily bears our burdens.” (Ps 68:19NIV) Did you see that? God is to be praised forevermore. Why? He is our Saviour in this world. He is the one saving us from being crushed by our life’s burdens and trials. How? It is by daily bearing them for us.

That means the reason we go through life everyday and are not crushed by our challenges or find things smooth and easy for us is that God is handling the matters of our lives for us. Yes, sometimes, we can see Him at work; we can tell that He is directly behind certain experiences of salvation or victory we are having. But most times, we don’t see or feel Him. So, we don’t associate Him with the progress, salvation and ease of doing things that we are experiencing or enjoying.

But the truth is that the reason life is worth living for us at all is that God is involved in it with us and bearing our burdens for us on a daily basis. And He has no problem doing this for us day after day because He loves and cares about us, as Peter tells us in our opening bible text. But then, in order for us not to forget but fully appreciate His place in our lives, there are burdens of our lives that He may leave untouched. And He may leave them untouched so that we can learn to reach out for Him and cast those burdens on Him.

As I pointed out earlier, there is no burden in life, however small or little it may seem, that we can carry by ourselves. All the burdens we have ever successfully carried were the ones God Himself carried for us. And if we will not acknowledge this and begin to cast every burden we have on Him, He too will have to sometimes let us learn by experience that apart from Him there is nothing we can successfully handle in life. This is why we have sometimes failed where we were so sure of success. It is also why certain problems we never thought would mess us up ended up messing us up.

Our problem is that we are refusing to acknowledge that there is no life burden of ours that we can carry by ourselves. God must carry everything for us. And He will carry everything for us, if we will allow Him, because He cares about us and also possesses the power to handle any of our problems and sustain us.

Mind you, He is already carrying many of our burdens for us without our asking. How readily, then, will He carry all of our burdens for us, if we will consciously and deliberately hand them over to Him! Therefore, cast all your worries and burdens, whatever they may be, on Him now, and He will take care of them for you and sustain you.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He loves us so much that He daily bears our burdens for us, even without our asking Him to do so.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to always remember that there is no life burden, big or small, that we can carry by ourselves, so that we may learn to cast everything on our Father who cares.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will step in right away and set right every mess we have made in our lives and affairs because we would not cast our burdens on Him.
- Commit those situations of your life that have become burdens that are weakening, hurting, killing or paralysing you into God’s hand right now, so that He may carry them for you and bring you absolute comfort and restoration concerning them.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for the testimonies that are following.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Accidents sometimes happen - 26th March 2022

“But if without hostility someone suddenly shoves another or throws something at him unintentionally or, without seeing him, drops a stone on him that could kill him, and he dies, then since he was not his enemy and he did not intend to harm him, the assembly must judge between him and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send him back to the city of refuge to which he fled. He must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.” (Num 35:22-25NIV)

From what we see in our opening bible text, it is clear that even God acknowledges the fact that accidents can happen in this life, whether to good people or bad people. We don’t want them to happen. We don’t like them. But sometimes they happen.

Now though God has the power to stop any kind of accident from happening, He does not always prevent accidents from happening. Why? We will never know the reasons for these, if He does not reveal them to us. That being the case, we must always be careful in the way we use our bodies and the things of this life. We must also not keep quiet about the carelessness or recklessness of the people around us in handling life matters or resources. Otherwise, their activities may result in accidents. And they may not be the only victims of such accidents. We or (and) others with them may become victims as well.

You can then see why Solomon says this to us: “Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.” (Eccl 10:8-9NIV) Did you see that? We ourselves can be victims of our own activities through carelessness or recklessness. So, in all that we do, we must function with safety in mind.

That means if, for example, we know that we are not well trained or qualified to do something, we should stay away from it, especially if there is no one to monitor or supervise us. And if we have an animal, a facility, an equipment or a system that can accidentally hurt us or others or destroy things, we should put safety barriers, equipment or signs around it that will warn others about it or keep them safe from it.

However, as we also understand through our opening bible text, even when we are most careful, accidents can still occur. An animal we keep may go wild and cause trouble for us or others. An equipment we are using may malfunction, for no machine is a hundred percent efficient, and endanger lives or properties acquired through many years of hard labour. Or an ignorant person may tamper with a system we have set up and cause unexpected trouble.

Interestingly, even if such things happen, God still expects our society to protect those responsible for them. He does not want us to punish them without first making sure that they did not deliberately cause what happened. And once their innocence is established, they have to be protected, even where a loss of lives is involved. Otherwise, God will hold our nation guilty of bloodshed (Deut 19:5-10).

Mind you, there are equally times that Satan uses nature or natural things that God created for man’s benefits to cause accidents for us and ruin us. For example, as we are told in the book of Job, one of the things Satan did in attacking him was to cause fire (lightning) to fall from the sky and consume all his sheep and their shepherds, leaving only one man alive to tell the story. That, of course, was an accident, which Job was not responsible for at all. But people were victims of it. And he and the families of those men involved just had to take heart and go on with life. Just think about it. (Cf. Job 1:16)


Well, all of this is why we must never rely on our carefulness at all for the safety of our lives, others’ lives or our properties. Instead, we must always rely on God for it. That is because if He does not keep us and the people and things in our lives or around us safe, we will not be safe. On the contrary, we may end up becoming accidental victims of the activities of men or of the devil. Or we ourselves may end up endangering the lives and properties of others through our activities and live in sorrow for the rest of our lives because of the accidents that happened through us.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because our safety is always a matter of concern to Him.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and disciplined to prioritise with safety wherever we find ourselves, so that we can always prevent avoidable accidents that may destroy us or others around us.
- Prayers that God, in His love and mercy, will always keep us, our families and all our loved ones from being accidental victims of people’s activities.
- Prayers that God will continually frustrate every plot of the devil to use anything created by God for man’s benefit to destroy us or our possessions.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Accidents sometimes happen - 26th March 2022

“But if without hostility someone suddenly shoves another or throws something at him unintentionally or, without seeing him, drops a stone on him that could kill him, and he dies, then since he was not his enemy and he did not intend to harm him, the assembly must judge between him and the avenger of blood according to these regulations. The assembly must protect the one accused of murder from the avenger of blood and send him back to the city of refuge to which he fled. He must stay there until the death of the high priest, who was anointed with the holy oil.” (Num 35:22-25NIV)

From what we see in our opening bible text, it is clear that even God acknowledges the fact that accidents can happen in this life, whether to good people or bad people. We don’t want them to happen. We don’t like them. But sometimes they happen.

Now though God has the power to stop any kind of accident from happening, He does not always prevent accidents from happening. Why? We will never know the reasons for these, if He does not reveal them to us. That being the case, we must always be careful in the way we use our bodies and the things of this life. We must also not keep quiet about the carelessness or recklessness of the people around us in handling life matters or resources. Otherwise, their activities may result in accidents. And they may not be the only victims of such accidents. We or (and) others with them may become victims as well.

You can then see why Solomon says this to us: “Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.” (Eccl 10:8-9NIV) Did you see that? We ourselves can be victims of our own activities through carelessness or recklessness. So, in all that we do, we must function with safety in mind.

That means if, for example, we know that we are not well trained or qualified to do something, we should stay away from it, especially if there is no one to monitor or supervise us. And if we have an animal, a facility, an equipment or a system that can accidentally hurt us or others or destroy things, we should put safety barriers, equipment or signs around it that will warn others about it or keep them safe from it.

However, as we also understand through our opening bible text, even when we are most careful, accidents can still occur. An animal we keep may go wild and cause trouble for us or others. An equipment we are using may malfunction, for no machine is a hundred percent efficient, and endanger lives or properties acquired through many years of hard labour. Or an ignorant person may tamper with a system we have set up and cause unexpected trouble.

Interestingly, even if such things happen, God still expects our society to protect those responsible for them. He does not want us to punish them without first making sure that they did not deliberately cause what happened. And once their innocence is established, they have to be protected, even where a loss of lives is involved. Otherwise, God will hold our nation guilty of bloodshed (Deut 19:5-10).

Mind you, there are equally times that Satan uses nature or natural things that God created for man’s benefits to cause accidents for us and ruin us. For example, as we are told in the book of Job, one of the things Satan did in attacking him was to cause fire (lightning) to fall from the sky and consume all his sheep and their shepherds, leaving only one man alive to tell the story. That, of course, was an accident, which Job was not responsible for at all. But people were victims of it. And he and the families of those men involved just had to take heart and go on with life. Just think about it. (Cf. Job 1:16)


Well, all of this is why we must never rely on our carefulness at all for the safety of our lives, others’ lives or our properties. Instead, we must always rely on God for it. That is because if He does not keep us and the people and things in our lives or around us safe, we will not be safe. On the contrary, we may end up becoming accidental victims of the activities of men or of the devil. Or we ourselves may end up endangering the lives and properties of others through our activities and live in sorrow for the rest of our lives because of the accidents that happened through us.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because our safety is always a matter of concern to Him.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and disciplined to prioritise with safety wherever we find ourselves, so that we can always prevent avoidable accidents that may destroy us or others around us.
- Prayers that God, in His love and mercy, will always keep us, our families and all our loved ones from being accidental victims of people’s activities.
- Prayers that God will continually frustrate every plot of the devil to use anything created by God for man’s benefit to destroy us or our possessions.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Don’t make their problem your problem -19th March 2022

“But Elisha said to him, "Was not my spirit with you when the man got down from his chariot to meet you? Is this the time to take money, or to accept clothes, olive groves, vineyards, flocks, herds, or menservants and maidservants? Naaman's leprosy will cling to you and to your descendants forever." Then Gehazi went from Elisha's presence and he was leprous, as white as snow.” (2Kings 5:26-27NIV)

Sometimes, when some preachers want to get people to pray hard in their meetings, they will say, “You had better pray hard now. Otherwise, you may end up leaving here with another man’s problem.” And while it is truly important that we get serious with praying anytime we are in a congregation prayer meeting, people don’t just become carriers of other people’s problems because they would not pray hard in a prayer meeting. Rather, they become carriers or partakers of others’ problems because of their undue involvement or interaction with them.

What I am saying is that if we do not unduly get ourselves involved in some people’s lives or affairs, there are problems in their lives that we can never partake of. But if we keep unduly getting involved in other people’s lives, counselling them where we have no right to counsel them, helping them against the will of God or taking from them things that we have no right before God to take from them, we may end up become partakers or carriers of their problems.

For example, as we see in our opening bible text, Gehazi, the servant of Prophet Elisha, one day became the carrier of the leprosy of a man called Naaman. How did this substitution happen? How did a man who was never had a history of leprosy become the carrier of the leprosy of a man who had for years nursed leprosy in his body, while the leper himself went home free of his leprosy? It was through greed.

Naaman, as bible accounts show us, had come to Elisha for healing. And the man of God told him to go and wash himself in the Jordan seven times in order to be cured of his leprosy. When he did that, his leprosy left him. So, he did not come out of that river with it. Instead, he came out with a body that was clean like that of a boy. (Cf. 2Kings 5:8-14)

Now, in his great excitement, Naaman went back to the man of God with all kinds of gifts to appreciate him. But he would have none of his gifts, though he persuaded him hard to take something. Why? His healing was a gift from God, not something he could buy or pay for. And Elisha wanted him to go home with that testimony. He wanted him to go home telling everybody what a kind and gracious God the God of Israel was. (Cf. 2Kings 5:15-19)

Unfortunately, Gehazi was not happy with this at all. He saw in the healing of Naaman an opportunity to become rich. And since his master would not take advantage of it, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He went after Naaman, who was already going home happily and getting amazed that he was healed of years of leprosy free of charge, and lied to collect from him some of the gifts the man of God had already rejected. SO, HE CHANGED THE MAN’S TESTIMONY. Then he came back home, hid what he obtained from the man in his tent and went out to meet the man of God, acting as though he had done nothing wrong.

But to his surprise, by the Spirit of God, Elisha saw and knew everything he did. So, there was no place for him to hide. Then, to make matters worse for him, the man of God pronounced God’s judgment on him. He told him that he and his descendants after him would, henceforth, be the carriers of Naaman’s leprosy. And it was so.

In like manner, many have become carriers or partakers of other people’s problems by wrongly taking things from them. For instance, there are people that will not diligently and wholeheartedly do the jobs they are paid by their employers to do unless those they are serving encourage them with some money. And there are people who are continually commercialising the things God has given them to freely give to others or share with them. Then there are those who steal from others, borrow and deliberately will not repay, intentionally deny others what is due them or sleep around with any available man or woman. All such people are unconsciously opening the doors of their lives for problems that are never theirs to become theirs.

So, be careful not to walk in their paths. And if you have been walking in their paths, retrace your steps now and repent. Otherwise, you, like Gehazi, may not just be the only one that will suffer for your greed and wickedness; generations of your children after you may also end up suffering along with you. Today, we talk about hereditary sicknesses and diseases or generational curses. But the question we do not usually ask is, “At what point did those sicknesses, diseases or curses become hereditary or generational?” Exactly when did they enter the family lines of those who now have them or are suffering from them?

Now I am not saying that sin is responsible in every case where people are suffering from hereditary or generational problems. But based on what we see in Scriptures, we can bring into our lives problems that should never be ours and even make them generational through our greed, wickedness, immorality carelessness or lack of spiritual sensitivity. So, watch yourself and how you relate to others in order that you do not become the troubler of your own life and descendants.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for always filling us with His wisdom on how to live and be safe.
- Prayers that God will rid our lives of any form of greed or sin that may now or later make us partakers or carriers of other people’s problems.
- Prayers that our hearts will always be filled with the perfect knowledge of the will of God in all our dealings with men, so that we will never foolishly take from anybody things that will forever put us or our descendants in trouble.
- Prayers that God will teach us what to do to experience the liberty of Christ wherever we have become partakers of others’ problems because of our own errors or the errors of our ancestors.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Salvation from unreasonable and wicked people - 12th March 2022

“…and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith.”
(2Thess 3:2NKJV)

As bible accounts show us, there was a time that King Saul, in his quest to capture and kill David, was ready to kill and destroy anyone that associated with him. First, it was his own son, Jonathan, that he wanted to kill. He wanted to kill him because of his friendship with David. But originally, it was because he wanted the throne for Jonathan that he wanted to kill David. Why, then, would he want to kill him? And who would he give the throne to after killing the son that was the most qualified of all his sons to take over from him? He was not thinking about this at all the day he hurled his spear at him. Why? He had become wicked and unreasonable. (Cf. 1Sam 20:24-34)

Also, because he had become wicked and unreasonable, he made a move to attack Prophet Samuel and all the other prophets with him, just because he had learnt that David was with them. But God disgraced him that day and delivered them from his hand. (Cf. 1Sam 19:18-24)

Unfortunately, the story went differently with the priests at Nob. Their head priest, Ahimelech, had interacted with David briefly when he was fleeing from Saul. And he had innocently done this without knowing what was going on between the two of them. But because Saul had become wicked in heart and unreasonable in his actions, he did not even bother to investigate Ahimelech’s involvement with David at all. He simply ordered his execution and the execution of all his family members and the town of the priests. Think about that. (Cf. 1Sam 22)

Now, and this is something I want you to pay attention to, when Saul ordered his officials to rise and kill the priests of God, they would not listen to him. Yes, it was a royal order and these men could be executed themselves for defying it. Nevertheless, they would not carry it out. Why? First, it was because they feared God. In other words, these men knew that there was no way they would touch God’s anointed priests and be guiltless. And since He is greater than their king, they would rather obey Him than obey their king, even if that would bring punishment on them.

Second, those men would not carry out Saul’s order because they had not lost their minds like him. That means they could tell, based on the explanation of Ahimelech, that he had no fault at all in helping David. So, killing him, the priests with him and entire town of the priests had no justification whatsoever. Oh, that God would bless us in our various government and private institutions with such men and women, men and women that will not allow any unreasonable or wicked person to use them to condemn or punish the innocent!

Unfortunately, that same day, there was another wicked and unreasonable person like Saul with him. His name was Doeg the Edomite. He was just like Esau, his ancestor, who was godless and had no care at all for spiritual things. And it was he that rose up to strike down Ahimelech, all the anointed priests of God with him and the entire town of the priests, with all their women, children and livestock. Why did he do that? What was he going to benefit by killing innocent people? Had Saul promised him a great position? No, the account does not say that. So, he just did what he did because he was a wicked, unreasonable, godless and bloodthirsty fellow.

In like manner, unreasonable and wicked people do not need to have any justifiable reason to attack you or to seek to destroy you. In other words, even if there is no benefit for them in harming you, they may still want to harm you. Or if they simply feel like harming you or someone tells them to harm you, they may not mind doing so. Why? It is because they do not care about tomorrow or the future. No, they do not care about human lives, properties, love, justice or peace. They do not care about the consequences of their actions, even if they may result in their death or destruction. They only care about themselves and the immediate gratification or satisfaction they are going to get from what they do.

So, you cannot reason with them or counsel them because they are not different from wild animals. All they want is to consume to their satisfaction now. If tomorrow comes, fine. And if it does not come, it is fine with them as well. These ones are also not different from machines, which are being operated with a remote control. Therefore, they can only do what they are asked to do by those who have possessed them – they cannot ask questions.

You can see why kidnappers, bandits, terrorists, robbers, serial killers, rapists, paedophiles, thieves of public funds and those who use people for money rituals behave the way they do. They do not care about those things that God fearing and sensible people care about. They care only about themselves. So, unless they are destroyed or saved by God, most people will not be safe around them.

Which, then, is better, their salvation or their destruction? Evidently, their salvation is better. In fact, God, as the bible shows us, wants all such people saved (1Tim 2:1-4). However, while they are yet living their wicked and unreasonable life, we need to be protected against them, so that we do not become victims of their wickedness. That is why Paul, in our opening text, tells us that one of the prayers we should be offering is that we will be protected from unreasonable and wicked people, people who have no faith in God. And we will do well to continually offer this prayer for ourselves and for all our loved ones, for we all have around us wicked, unreasonable and godless people.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is our protection and has promised to always be there for us and keep us safe from all harm (Ps 91; Ps 121; Heb 13:5-6).
- Prayers that God, in His love and mercy, will always fulfil His word concerning our protection, so that we and all our loved ones will always be safe from the activities and wicked schemes of the unreasonable, wicked and godless people in our world.
- Prayers that God will move all through our land and set free all those who are being harassed or tormented by the wicked and unreasonable people in the land.
- Prayers that God will cause our security agencies all across the nation to succeed in fishing out, frustrating and judging all those who have sold themselves out to the devil to be used to do wicked, godless and unreasonable things.
- Prayers for as many wicked and unreasonable people in the land that are being exposed to God’s word regularly that God will cause His word to take roots in their hearts and to deliver them from all that is seeking to destroy them.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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What if things get rougher? -5th March 2022

"If you have raced with men on foot and they have worn you out, how can you compete with horses? If you stumble in safe country, how will you manage in the thickets by the Jordan?” (Jer 12:5NIV)

Why does God speak to Jeremiah in the manner that He does in our opening bible text? It is because He wants Him to know that things can actually get rougher for him. Therefore, if he will not take advantage of His grace in his present situation to walk in victory, how will he fare, if things should get rougher for him?

What, then, is the point of that? It is that we need to learn to use every situation we find ourselves to train ourselves for tougher or rougher situations, instead of grumbling or complaining. As the bible shows us, as long as we are in this world, we can expect trials of all kinds. And what forms these trials would take we cannot tell (Ecc 11:2). But, first, we can tell that God will never leave us or forsake us, regardless of what we are confronted with (Heb 13:5-6).

Also, we can be sure that God will not allow us to be fried or tempted beyond what we can handle. The word of God says, “No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1Cor 10:13NIV) The same Greek word that is translated ‘Temptation’ in this text can also be translated ‘Trials’. It follows, then, if God allows any trial to come our way, it is because He knows that we will be able to handle it, as long as we will take advantage of His provisions for us to do so. And we will always have His provisions to walk in victory over any trial of our lives, for this Scripture also tells us that when we are tried, God will make a way out for us to walk in victory.

Therefore, instead of grumbling, blaming God or others, running away or seeking solutions where there are no solutions, when we are being tried, what we should do is ask God to open our eyes to see His provision for us to experience victory. That was the way Moses functioned all through those years that he led the children of Israel. He turned to God every time a new challenge showed up instead of joining the Israelites in complaining, crying or losing faith. So, he always ended up having the solutions to their problems.

So, there is solution in the hand of God for every problem of life. However, if we will not learn to engage Him for the solution to whatever challenge we are faced with now, if we should be confronted with bigger issues (and we may be confronted with them), there is every tendency that we may lose ourselves and allow those challenges to ruin us.

All of this is why the Scripture says this to us: “Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. "Make level paths for your feet," so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed.” (Heb 12:12-13NIV) It also says this to us: “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil's schemes.” (Eph 6:10-11NIV)

What this means is that we must choose not to be weaklings in this life. We must choose not to be individuals that always complain, run away or lose heart when challenges come. And we will be such individuals, if we will not strengthen ourselves in the Lord. But if we will strengthen ourselves by putting on His whole armour, we will find that we are able to frustrate the devil any day and any time and walk in victory over all his works.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is always there for us in every situation and because we can always draw strength from Him to walk in victory over whatever challenge we are faced with in life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened to never be afraid of any challenge we may be confronted with in life but to see it as a ground to be trained to take advantage of God’s grace to be stronger and to experience His victory.
- Prayers for our hearts to be taught to always turn to God for His solutions to our life’s challenges instead of giving up, complaining or turning to other gods for help.
- Prayers that God will supply whatever is lacking in our Christian faith, so that we will always be strong enough to take advantage of His grace in frustrating the devil and walking in victory over any challenge we may face in life.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Looking beyond your limitations - 26th February 2022

“During that night the LORD said to Gideon, "Get up, go down against the camp, because I am going to give it into your hands. If you are afraid to attack, go down to the camp with your servant Purah and listen to what they are saying. Afterward, you will be encouraged to attack the camp." So he and Purah his servant went down to the outposts of the camp. The Midianites, the Amalekites and all the other eastern peoples had settled in the valley, thick as locusts. Their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore. Gideon arrived just as a man was telling a friend his dream. "I had a dream," he was saying. "A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed." His friend responded, "This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands." When Gideon heard the dream and its interpretation, he worshiped God. He returned to the camp of Israel and called out, "Get up! The LORD has given the Midianite camp into your hands."” (Judg 7:9-16NIV)

One of the lessons that the bible story of Gideon teaches is that it is not enough for God to choose and equip someone for greatness; it is also important that the person’s heart be encouraged and emboldened to take those steps that will result in their greatness. Otherwise, they may just live and die without attaining the height meant for them in life.

As the story goes, God had appeared to Gideon and told him that he was the one He had chosen and prepared to deliver His people, the Israelites, from the hands of the Midianites. The Midianites had been oppressing them for seven years. And they were so oppressive that the Israelites had to start living in hiding and also taking care of whatever little farm produce they had in hiding. (Cf. Judges 6:1-6)

So, when the Lord told Gideon that he had what it would take to defeat the Midianites and rescue his people, he could not see the possibility. And that was because he was looking only at his natural circumstances; he was not considering at all the fact that God, who had chosen him for the job, was able to bring about circumstances that would give him success. (Cf. Judges 6:11-16)

Therefore, to get his heart ready to embrace the job and do it, God gave him a number of undeniable proofs that He was the one sending him and that He would be with him to give him success. Nevertheless, even when this man had already gathered his fighting men for battle, he was still afraid to move. Why? He was looking at the size of the enemy-armies he had to lead his three hundred men to battle against. The bible says those people were as thick as locusts and their camels were like the sand on the seashore. So, going against them was a like suicide mission to Gideon. (Cf. Judges 7:12)

But then, God would not give up on him, despite the fact that he was afraid and unbelieving. Therefore, as we see in our opening bible text, He told him to discreetly go down with his servant to the camp of their enemies and listen to what they were saying. And when he got there, to his surprise, two among the enemy soldiers were talking about him and how God had already delivered their armies into his hands. Imagine that. Those people had already admitted defeat even before the battle started. And that was all that Gideon needed to move and take his place in God’s scheme of things.

In like manner, as human beings, we all have our sense or feelings of limitations in life. These feelings may be real or apparent. But they are there, and it is important that we do not ignore them but deal with them in the light of the word of God. Otherwise, we may find ourselves going for things we have no strength or capacity for and injure ourselves.
On a good day, Gideon had no capacity to handle the armies of their enemies. And if it had not been God that sent and empowered him against them, what he did would have indeed been nothing but a suicide mission. But because it was God that called and sent him, divine circumstances were created to eliminate all his limitations and give him success.

What is my point? It is that even though our limitations are real, if God has already chosen a place for us in life, He is able to bring about circumstances that will eliminate those limitations for us and bring us to where He wants us to be. So, while it is important for us to recognise our limitations, we must not allow them to keep us from seeing or going for those heights God wants us to attain in life.

See, many are stagnant or occupying the low places of life today not because they could not be great and mighty here on earth but because all they ever see are their natural limitations. They don’t ever see what God’s divine power could accomplish for them. But the bible says that God’s divine power is for those of us who believe (Eph 1:19). And we can expect Him to unleash this power to destroy our limitations, whatever they may be, and take us to where He wants us to be in life. What we need is to continually pray to Him to open our eyes to see what heights He wants to attain in life and to also bring about those circumstances that will enable us to count on His divine power to deal with our limitations for us and bring us to where He wants us to be.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all His beautiful plans for our lives and for His commitment to bringing them to pass in spite of all our human limitations.
- Thanksgiving to God because He will not give up on us but be patient with us until He fulfils His purpose concerning us.
- Prayers that God by His Spirit will continually fill our hearts with revelations of His purpose for us in this life, so that we will begin to look at ourselves the way He is looking at us.
- Prayers that God will bring about an urgent renewal of all the dreams and visions of greatness He gave us, which we abandoned because we fixed our eyes on our limitations instead of on Him.
- Prayers that God, in His love, mercy and patience, will bring about all the circumstances that are necessary for our faith to be strengthened and emboldened to look beyond our limitations and go for what He has chosen for us in life.
- Prayers that as we begin to take steps of faith towards occupying the places meant for us in life, God will move on our behalf and take care of everything limiting or hindering us.
- Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers and for all the testimonies that will follow them.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Be generous with discernment - 19th February 2022

"Do not give dogs what is sacred; do not throw your pearls to pigs. If you do, they may trample them under their feet, and then turn and tear you to pieces.” (Matt 7:6NIV)

All through the Scriptures are teachings, instructions and admonitions on giving and the blessedness of it. And if you are a true child of God, you will take these things very seriously. I mean that you will not make light of generosity, for you will know that you will receive your reward from God at the right time, if you do not faint. (Cf. Gal 6:9-10; Heb 6:10)

However, just as we are instructed in the bible to take generosity very seriously, we are also instructed in it not to be undiscerning with our generosity. Otherwise, we may find ourselves in situations in which we will regret our generosity. And once that happens, regardless of how kind-hearted with may be, our devotion to a life of generosity in accordance with God’s word may be seriously affected. Then we may find ourselves missing out on the rewards of generosity that could have been ours.

Therefore, it is very important that we always handle our acts of generosity with understanding. That way we can protect ourselves from doing something we may forever regret. For example, in our opening bible text, our Lord Jesus tells us that it is not every good thing that is in our power to do or give that we can give to some people. Why? Because we do not love them? No! Rather, it is because of their personality.

As our Lord further points out, some people are not any different from wild dogs or pigs. Now wild dogs and pigs have no sense of appreciation or value for anything. They only care about what they can consume right away. And if you should give them anything they can’t consume immediately, they will simply make a mess of it, regardless of how valuable or costly it may be, and may even attack you for giving it to them.

That, unfortunately, is how some people are. They only care about what they can consume or use now. They do not care much about the future or the need to prepare themselves for it. Therefore, if you want to do anything or them, you must keep this in mind. Give them only what they can consume now and nothing more. And they will thank you for it and go away.

But if you should go beyond that by giving them or doing for them something they have to maintain, preserve or sustain, you will most likely regret it. That is because they do not have the character or culture of preserving or sustaining anything. All they want is what to consume or devour. Give them a job, all they will be looking for in it is what to consume. Or bring them into your home in order to make life easier and better for them, all they will set their eyes on there is what they can consume. They may not even mind what steps they take, even if they have to go manipulative or diabolical, in order to get something to consume. And if they can’t find what to consume, they may end up tearing everything apart for you.

Perhaps you can remember one or two people in your life who are like this or who have been like this. You felt you could help them get their lives straight by doing something tangible for them or by giving them something that will enable them to stand on their own. But what did they make of it? Nonsense! They could not just maintain or prosper with what you gave to them. Instead, they messed up everything, tarnished your reputation and then blamed you for everything.

Now those are the kind of people the Lord says we should be generous to with discernment. Otherwise, they may do things that will fill us with bitterness and resentment and even discourage us from being generous to others in the future. And that way, they will be making us to sin against God and be prevented from reaping the harvest of our generosity.

So, as you labour to do the will of God by being generous and kind to others, always consider their character and disposition to life and resources before doing anything for them. Then you will know the kind of help that is suitable for them. And suppose you yourself have been a wild dog or pig to the people in your life or around you, you need to admit it and allow God to cleanse you of all that is wrong with you. Or else, unless those in your life are foolish, they will never give you any real or sustainable help in life.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because of the sureness of His word in keeping us from injuring ourselves while trying to do His will.
- Prayers that our hearts and lives will be healed and made whole wherever they have been hurt or injured because of acts of generosity that we carried out without discernment.
- Prayers that the Lord will continually fill our hearts with wisdom and insight in handling all our acts of generosity towards people, so that we will never again give any form of help or support that will result in regret or that will make us sin against Him.
- Prayers that God, who knows and sees all things, will move in our lives to cleanse them of every attitude that wastes or repels true support.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Rejoice over her - 12th February 2022

“Rejoice with Jerusalem and be glad for her, all you who love her; rejoice greatly with her, all you who mourn over her. For you will nurse and be satisfied at her comforting breasts; you will drink deeply and delight in her overflowing abundance." For this is what the LORD says: "I will extend peace to her like a river, and the wealth of nations like a flooding stream; you will nurse and be carried on her arm and dandled on her knees. As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you; and you will be comforted over Jerusalem." When you see this, your heart will rejoice and you will flourish like grass; the hand of the LORD will be made known to his servants, but his fury will be shown to his foes.”
(Isa 66:10-14NIV)

I have observed that every time I discuss the situation of our nation with others I am filled with anguish of heart. Why? It is because I love this nation and want all to be well with her. But will all be well with her? All cannot be well with her, if God does not step in and make it happen. And this is why I pray for this country day after day that God will show her mercy, rescue her from all those who are ruining her and lift her up to be great again.

Now if you too care about this country and want to see all go well with her, you should be praying to God for her. More so, God Himself wants us to be praying to Him for any land in which we reside, even if it is a foreign land. Why? It is because our personal prosperity and peace of mind are connected to doing so. Look, for example, at what He said to the people of Judah, when they were in exile:

“Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jer 29:7NIV)

Did you see that? God expected His people to seek the peace and prosperity of the land of their enemies and to also pray for it. Why? Their prosperity was connected to it. In other words, they could never prosper beyond the level of prosperity of that land. So, if they truly cared about their individual prosperity, then, they must also work and pray for the prosperity of the land they were sojourning in.

Since God, then, want foreigners to seek and pray for the prosperity and peace of the land they are in, do you think He will want anything less from the citizens of the place? Absolutely not! This is why we must be given to seeking the prosperity and peace of our country and to also praying for her.

Yes, it may look like our prayers and efforts are not working or accomplishing anything. But our Lord Jesus has told us to always pray and not to give up. Why? It is because God is always answering our prayers and working to turn things around for our good. Yes, there are times that He may need to perform more miracles than we can imagine in order for us to see what He has been doing for us all along. And there are also times that we may not for a long time see what He is doing for us because of the great measure of wickedness in our land. But there is no time He does not answer the heartfelt prayers of His people and work for their good.

So, we must not give up on praying for our land, even if we cannot yet fully see or comprehend what God is doing to save and exalt her. Instead, as we keep on praying for her, we should also begin to do what He tells us to do in our opening bible text. What does He tell us to do? He tells us to rejoice with and over our nation. And who among us are to rejoice over her? All of us who love her and who have been mourning in prayers for her!

Why, then, are we to rejoice with and over this country, especially when nothing seems to be working well for her? It is because God Himself has promised to give us peace of mind and satisfaction through her. Yes, He has promised to comfort us and make us flourish in her. How will He do this? I cannot tell you that. And exactly when will all this fully manifest? I cannot also tell you that. But I can tell you that if we will begin to act on His word and rejoice before Him over our nation, He too will make haste to fulfil His promises to us and make sure we witness and enjoy the salvation, exaltation and rest of the nation.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He has not forgotten our nation but loves her and is working to lift her up.
- Prayers that our hearts will be rid of every form of discouragement we have about our nation, so that we may stand firm in working and praying for her peace and prosperity.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see whatever we are doing that is contrary to the peace and prosperity of this nation, so that we may immediately repent of it.
- Prayers that as we act on the word of God and rejoice before Him over Nigeria, He will hasten to comfort and give us rest over her.
- Prayers that in the day that God rescues and exalts this nation, we and our families will not be missing to witness and enjoy what He has done.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and because He will cause us to flourish greatly this year in this country.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Even if it comes without warning - 5th February 2022

“Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. Without warning, a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. The disciples went and woke him, saying, "Lord, save us! We're going to drown!" He replied, "You of little faith, why are you so afraid?" Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm. The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!"” (Matt 8:23-27NIV)

One of the things made very plain to us in the bible is that we cannot totally avoid challenges and trials, as long as we are in this world (John 16:33). Yes, by recognising our limitations in life, being watchful and also organising our lives, there are challenges we can totally avoid or handle before they rear their ugly heads. Nevertheless, there are challenges that we cannot avoid at all or run away from. We just have to face and deal with them. Otherwise, they may just ruin our lives or destroy us completely.

All of this is why we are told to strengthen ourselves in God by putting on His full armour. That way, we will be able to handle any challenge or trial that Satan and his agents may throw at us and walk in victory over it, any day and any time. (Cf. Eph 6:10-18)

What I am saying is that even if the enemy should bring some trial upon us without warning, we have what it takes in God to handle it. But if we are not walking in the consciousness of God’s provisions for us to handle every life challenge or trial, we will continually think of ourselves as helpless or hopeless in the face of some challenges and surrender to them. And that is what Satan wants. He wants to so overwhelm or terrify us with our challenges that we forget that we have God or lose confidence in Him and in His adequate provisions for us to walk in victory in any situation.

For example, in our opening bible text, we are told of a time when a furious storm came without warning against the Lord and His disciples when they were on a lake going somewhere. As men who understood weather and climatic conditions and were quite experienced in travelling on waters, they would not have set out on that journey, if they had seen any sign of danger. But everything seemed normal to all of them when they were setting out. So, they got in the boat with the Lord Jesus and set out.

However, after covering some distance on the lake, a furious storm came upon them suddenly, without warning. And it was so serious that the waves swept over the boat and began to threaten to drown them all. Now these disciples had no answer for what was happening. They had not expected it or prepared for it. So, they felt so overwhelmed and terrified that they could not think of anything to do to take charge of the situation.

But the Lord Jesus was in that boat with them. All along He had been sleeping. So, He was not aware of what they were going through. But when they realised that they were going to lose to their lives to the storm that had come against them, they woke Him up, crying, “Save us! We are going to drown!”

Now did they really expect Him to save them, when they cried out to Him? No! Or did they think that He could really save all of them from drowning that night? No! They simply cried out to Him for help because they could not think of anything else to do. It is just like a child would cry out to his father in a moment of terror and say, “Daddy, please do something,” even though he is not sure daddy could do anything.

Therefore, when the Lord got up, the first He said to them was, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” In other words, they ought not to have panicked or become terrified because of the challenge that had come upon them. Why? It was because they had Him in the boat with them, and He was more than capable of handling the situation. So, the reason the were afraid was that they did not consider Him to be up to the task of dealing with the winds and the waves coming against them.

In like manner, as long as we too do not consider God’s presence and provisions for us as sufficient in dealing with the trials of our lives, whatever they may be, we will not boldly and faithfully take advantage of them. We will just keep on facing life with a sense of weakness, helplessness and hopelessness. And where that is the case, even when we pray to God or declare His word, it will not work. It will not work because it won’t be on the basis of faith. If He, then, does not overlook our unbelief or littleness of faith and show us mercy, we may end up being ruined by our challenges.

As we further see in the case of those apostles, the Lord had to overlook their littleness of faith and, in His mercy, rebuke the winds and the waves. And when He did, everything went completely calm right before their very eyes. In fact, they themselves were shocked to find out that all that the Lord needed to do to solve their problem was to simply say, “Quiet! Be still!” So, their fear and agitations were totally unnecessary, for the one with them was more than adequate to handle the situation.

Now we too need to understand that all of our fears and worries about our lives’ challenges are totally unnecessary. That is because the same Lord, who was with those men in that boat, is with us as well and is more than capable of dealing with any challenge we may be faced with, even it has come to us without warning. All we need to do is to take advantage of His presence in our lives and of His provisions for us to deal with life’s trials. And regardless of how the enemy rages, we won’t be the ones running from him. Rather, he will be the one ending his activities in our lives or against our lives and running from us. Then whatever has been upset in our lives will become calm again.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for His abiding presence in our lives and for His adequate provisions for us to walk in victory in every situation of our lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened to never ever forget that God is always with us and that His provisions are always adequate for us to walk in victory in every situation of life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be rid of every form of fear or anxiety that is preventing us from intelligently praying or applying the word of God to handle the challenges of our lives that are seeking to overwhelm and destroy us.
- Prayers that our hearts will be instructed by the Lord on the specific steps we need to take in fixing any situation that is upsetting our lives and affairs, so that we may experience a complete calm in it.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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The little foxes that ruin things - 29th January 2022


“Catch for us the foxes, the little foxes that ruin the vineyards, our vineyards that are in bloom.”
(Song 2:15NIV)

Clearly, the words of our opening bible text are from the love song of Solomon. Nevertheless, they can be applied to various issues of life. That is because they are addressing the need for us to pay attention to the seeming little things that we do or that we allow in our affairs that are messing up our lives or destroying them little by little.

Solomon in that text calls such things ‘little foxes’. And we know that foxes are dangerous animals. What makes even more dangerous is the fact that they are very cunning. So, if you discover that a fox is in your compound or neighbourhood, you won’t want to go to rest until you get rid of it.

However, if it is a little cute fox, which appears utterly harmless and innocent, that you see around you, you may choose to ignore it. And it is when you begin to see the kinds of harm it has done, as little as it is, that you will know that you should never have ignored it or allowed it to freely move around in your place.

Now such are the nature of certain habits in our lives. They don’t appear to be anything harmful to us or our relationships. So, we don’t pay any serious attention to them. It may be a culture of thoughtlessly making promises to people. It may be a carefree attitude towards people or things. It may be rudeness or a culture of lateness. It may even be occasional indecent dressing or laziness.

Whatever it may be, the problem is that we are not paying attention to it. And why are we not paying attention to it? Is it because we do not know that is bad? No! If we don’t know that something is bad and are doing it, we may have an excuse, if it ends up hurting us in some big way. But we are not talking here about something we are ignorant of its danger. Rather, we are talking about something that we know is dangerous or harmful for us, which we are still doing because we do not consider it harmful enough to ruin our beautiful lives, homes, relationships, business or reputation.

But any bad habit, however insignificant it may be, is harmful enough to ruin or hurt us in very big ways. It may not appear at the moment that it is destroying us. But like a cunning little fox, it is secretly hurting or destroying us. And if we fail to deal with it without delay, a time may come when we will realise that the havoc it has wrecked in our lives is unspeakable.

Then, sometimes, it may even be certain individuals that represent in our lives the little foxes Solomon speaks of. We know that they are bad, evil or lacking in character in some ways. Others may even have warned us about them. But we don’t think the evil in them is enough to hurt our lives, relationships or reputation. So, we are ignoring them and whatever wrong things they are doing to us, to others in our lives or with our possessions. And if we continue like this and refuse to put them where they belong, a time may come when we will see that they have hurt us in ways that are beyond imagination.

So, if we don’t want anyone or anything at all, however little it may seem, to ruin our beautiful lives or whatever beautiful things God has given to us, we have a duty to deal with it, as long as we can tell that it poses some degree of danger to us. God Himself is expecting us to do this. And my prayer is that we will be given the strength of character needed to do so, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for giving us the ability to sense, recognise and deal with evil in this life.
- Prayers that God will wake us up wherever we are sleeping in our lives and allowing any form of destructive evil habit or person to ruin or destroy our lives.
- Prayers that we will be loaded with adequate wisdom and boldness by God to catch every little fox of evil habit or person that is quietly or cleverly working to ruin things in our lives or destroy us.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and totally heal and restore us wherever our lives have been messed up or made miserable because of certain evil habits, practices or relationships that we ignored in our lives in the past.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for His healing balm being applied to heal every wound in our lives.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Are you repelling His blessings? - 22nd January 2022


“When you enter a house, first say, 'Peace to this house.' If a man of peace is there, your peace will rest on him; if not, it will return to you. Stay in that house, eating and drinking whatever they give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do not move around from house to house.” (Luke 10:5-7NIV)

As we see in the bible, God has blessed all of us who are His children with all the blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Eph 1:3). So, we cannot be more blessed by anybody or through any ministration than we already are. However, having all the blessings of God is not the same thing as experiencing all the blessings of God. That is why there are many children of God whose lives don’t appear blessed at all, even though they are fully blessed.

To experience the fulness of God’s blessings, there are things we must be doing. For instance, we must be devoted to praying to Him, for there are some of His blessings for us that will not manifest in our lives unless we do so. Also, we must be devoted to learning and practising His word. Otherwise, there are certain of His blessings that we will never know of or enjoy. These will just keep eluding us.

Then we must be devoted to fellowshipping with His people. That is because there are certain blessings of His for us that we can only access and enjoy as we properly receive and fellowship with other children of His that He has planted in our lives. So, we will do well to duly recognise the role every child of God that is in our lives at the moment is meant to play in our experience of the blessings of God. Otherwise, we may, for our entire lifetime, cheat ourselves of certain blessings of God that we could have enjoyed or experienced.

For example, as we see in our opening bible text, every minister of the gospel sent out by the Lord is a channel through which He makes people experience His blessings for them. Therefore, how they respond to such a person and his ministry will go a long way in determining whether they experience His blessings through him or not. If they relate to him well, then, the blessings God wants them to access and enjoy through him will flow freely in their lives. But if they do not relate to him well, then, those blessings will just return to him, regardless of how hard he himself tries to get them across to them.

This explains why all the prayers and words of blessings being offered for some believers by their church leaders and other ministers of God are not working for them or in their lives. They are not relating to those ministering to them with love and respect and in peace. So, they cannot experience or enjoy the blessings of God that are for them and are meant to be communicated to them through the ministries of these leaders. And unless they humble themselves and change their attitudes towards these people, certain good things that could have been theirs in life will never be theirs.

Now it is possible that you too are not experiencing or enjoy certain blessings of God in your life, marriage, business, job or academics because your attitude towards some people that God has placed in your life to minister to you is wrong. Yes, it is possible that you are the very person repelling certain manifestations of the blessings of God in your life through your pride, stubbornness or stinginess in relating to some people placed by Him in your life to minister to you. If that is the case, then, you need to admit the fact that you have been missing it and change your ways.

What exactly do you need to do about this? Well, everything depends on what wrong attitudes you have towards those people God has appointed to make you experience His blessings through their ministries or prayers. So, check yourself to see if there is anyone that is currently in a position to minister to you in the word of God or prayer that you have been relating to in pride, bitterness, stubbornness or stinginess and begin to do the right thing in relating to them. And before you know it, those blessings of God that have refused to manifest in your life through them will begin to freely find expression, causing you to overflow with joy and praise to God.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for blessing us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every spiritual relationship of ours that we are taking lightly and because of which we are being cheated of God’s blessings, so that we may repent and begin to do what is right about them.
- Prayers that our hearts will be set right to, henceforth, always relate with love, respect, submission and generosity to all the people God has planted in our lives in order for us to experience the fullness of His blessings, so that we will never again repel His blessings through a mismanagement of our relationship with anyone.
- Prayers that our hearts will be led and strengthened to be devoted to everything we need to devote ourselves to in order to experience the fullness of the outpoured blessings of God on our lives.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will restore to us every opportunity to experience certain blessings of His that we missed in the past and also enable us to now make the most of them, so that nothing will be lacking in our lives.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Stop cheating -15th January 2022

“Judah got a wife for Er, his firstborn, and her name was Tamar. But Er, Judah's firstborn, was wicked in the LORD's sight; so the LORD put him to death. Then Judah said to Onan, "Lie with your brother's wife and fulfill your duty to her as a brother-in-law to produce offspring for your brother." But Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so whenever he lay with his brother's wife, he spilled his semen on the ground to keep from producing offspring for his brother. What he did was wicked in the LORD's sight; so he put him to death also.” (Gen 38:6-10NIV)

As we see in the bible text above, Judah’s firstborn, Er, was put to death by the Lord because he was wicked. Exactly what form his wickedness took is not something we are told in the text. But it is clear that he was wicked enough to get a death sentence from the Lord before he could even father a child. So, if someone is living a wicked life and is still alive, know that the Lord is just being merciful to him and giving him time to repent. And if he will not repent within the amount of time given to him, God’s judgment is bound to come on him. How He will judge, however, is what no one can say.

At any rate, when Judah saw that his son, Er, died without leaving any child behind, he asked his younger brother, Onan, to take in his wife and fulfil his duty to her as a brother-in-law. Why? It was so that through him his elder brother might have a son to carry on his name. This, of course, was cultural at that time. So, nothing was wrong with it. In fact, God would later give the Israelites similar laws in order to see to it that no one loses his inheritance because of their childlessness and to also protect the widows of childless men. (Cf. Deut 25:5-10)

Now Onan did not argue with his father when he told him to take in his brother’s wife, even though he could have. But he made sure that his sexual relationship with her would not result in a pregnancy. Why? He did not want his brother to have any offspring. Why? It may be that he was thinking about their father’s inheritance. This is just an assumption, for the bible does not say so. But if this assumption is correct, then, it would mean that he did not want his brother to have any child that would claim his own share of their father’s inheritance, a share which, of course, would be the largest, seeing that Er was Judah’s firstborn.

But as I already pointed out, Onan could have refused to marry that woman. Even under the Law of Moses, a man could refuse to marry the widow of his brother for any reason justifiable to him. And no punishment would follow other than the fact that he would be despised and labelled forever as unkind. So, if Onan had refused to marry his brother’s wife, heavens would not have fallen over him. The worst that could have happened would be for them to release the woman and allow her to go and start afresh. (Cf. Ruth 1:3-14 & 4:1-12)

However, Onan chose to marry her, knowing fully well that he had no intention of helping his dead brother have a son through her. Why? It was because he was greedy. And I am not talking about his greed for their father’s inheritance, though that was present in him too. Rather, I am talking about his greed for his brother’s beautiful wife, Tamar. Though he did not want his brother to have any child through her, he wanted to have her for himself and to continue to enjoy her. So, he would keep her in the family, use her from time to time to satisfy his sexual desires and then let her grow old without any child to care for her.

Now what do you call that? Cheating! Oppression! And could any man judge this kind of case appropriately? No! But God could. And He decided to judge it by also taking the life of the young man, Onan. Thus, He is showing us that He is watching every matter of our lives to see that there is justice for everyone. So, if you are cheating others in one way or the other, even if they are your family members, know today that God is watching you. Yes, if you are drawing from others but preventing them to draw from you what is appropriate or legitimate for them also to draw from you, God is watching you. And if you do not amend your ways, at some point, He will step in to judge your wickedness.

How, then, will He judge, when He decides to judge? That is not what anyone or I can say. What Onan did seemed quite trivial and not deserving a death sentence. He got a death sentence, nonetheless. So, we cannot tell what form of loss or pain we may experience for cheating others. That is why we should, henceforth, begin to cleanse our lives of every tendency to cheat or oppress others. And may we be guided and strengthened by the Spirit of God to effectively do so, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

- Thanksgiving to God because He is continually opening our eyes to see those things that can endanger our lives and faith, so that we may do what is right about them.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every relationship of ours in which we are cheating, even if it has not been obvious to us or to those we are cheating, so that we may repent without delay.
- Prayers that our eyes will be made to see whatever we are doing that is oppressive to others, even if it does not appear so, in order that we may do what is right and shut our lives against God’s judgment.
- Prayers that we will be shown mercy and restored wherever we are suffering in our lives because we cheated or oppressed someone.
- Prayers that God will move on our behalf and vindicate us in every situation where people are cheating or oppressing us and keeping us from enjoying the fruit of our labour.
- Thanksgiving to God for giving us access to pray and receive from Him.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Don’t let it serve wrong purposes -8th January 2022

“On reaching Jerusalem, Jesus entered the temple area and began driving out those who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves, and would not allow anyone to carry merchandise through the temple courts. And as he taught them, he said, "Is it not written: "'My house will be called a house of prayer for all nations'? But you have made it 'a den of robbers.'"” (Mark 11:15-17NIV)

Why did our Lord Jesus make a whip to drive out those buying and selling within the temple courts on the occasion mentioned in our opening bible text? It was because they were using that temple for wrong purposes. According to the Lord, the Scriptures are very clear about what God’s temple is meant for. For example, they tell us that His temple is meant to be a house of prayer for all nations. That means it is to be a place where hands would be lifted and voices raised in prayers to God by people from all the nations of the world, so that His glory may be seen by all.

Unfortunately, at the time in question, the place was not at all serving His purpose. Instead, it had become a den of robbers, a place where all kinds of sharp and wicked practices were taking place, a place where people could freely come together and plot evil things. And how did that happen? It happened through the negligence and irresponsibility of the spiritual leaders of the nation. They were the ones that allowed God’s temple to become what it was at the time. That was because they would not cleanse it of every form of ungodliness present and also teach the people the proper way to relate to it. (Cf. Ezekiel 44:23; Malachi 2:7-8)

When Hezekiah became king, the first thing he did was to lead the religious leaders of the land at that time to sanctify the Lord’s temple and rid it of every defilement, so that it may begin to serve God’s intended purpose (2Chro 29). But that was not the case during the time of our Lord Jesus Christ. The leaders of the land did not see anything wrong in having the temple desecrated and turned into a den of thieves and robbers. And that must have been because they were profiting from the situation.

Therefore, on the occasion mentioned in our opening bible text, our Lord would not just take it. He would not allow God’s temple to continue to be used for purposes contrary to His will. That was why, in His zeal for Him, He decided to do the needful. He drove out all those messing up this temple and began to teach the people what their proper attitude towards using it ought to be.

Now, as we see in Scriptures, the temple of God is no longer a symbol, that is, a physical building, but people. We, who have come to Him through Jesus Christ, are His temple (1Cor 3:16&6:19). Our lives and bodies are His Home. And like the priests of bible days, we too have a duty of seeing to it that our lives and bodies, which are God’s temple, are not used for purposes that are contrary to His will. We have a duty to regularly cleanse and rid our lives of those that are buying and selling in them, corrupting them and making them unprofitable to God.

But if we will not do this, at some point, the Lord, because of His love for us and His zeal to see God’s purpose realised in our lives, may have to step in, get a whip and drive out of our lives everything working against God’s purposes in them. This, of course, may come with pains, losses or even death. If we, then, do not want to have such experiences, we must continually shine the light of the word of God on our lives, so that we may identify those things making them function contrary to His will and deal with them appropriately.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for loving us enough to make our lives His temple and live in them.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see everything in our lives that is working contrary to God’s purpose for them, so that we may do the needful about it.
- Prayers that God will fill our hearts with adequate wisdom, knowledge and boldness to cleanse our lives of everything that is making them serve purposes contrary to His will.
- Prayers that God will teach us to always be on our guard, so that we will never again allow anyone or anything to make our lives serve purposes that are contrary to His will.
- Prayers that God will wake up all our church leaders all around the world to take seriously their responsibility of keeping the church free of things that are making her serve purposes contrary to His will.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Trust Him with all your heart -1st January 2022

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” (Prov 3:5-6NIV)

What is Solomon’s instruction to us in our opening bible text? It is that we should trust in the Lord with all our hearts and not rely on our wisdom or intelligence. He says this because he knows that we, who believe in God, are often confronted with the temptation to ignore Him in some areas of our lives and do things according to how we think or feel they should be done. And this explains why we often fail where success could have been ours and gain nothing where we could have had an abundance of everything.

There is a story in the bible of a king of Judah called Asa. This king started out his reign fully trusting in God for everything. So, He made him and his people prosper in every way and also gave them rest on every side. Even when a mighty king came against them with his soldiers, God crushed him before them and made sure His terror was on all their enemies around them. (Cf. 2Chro 14)

However, after this king had been fully established, he began to choose when to trust God and when to rely on his wisdom and wealth. And this was highlighted when the king of Israel, their sister nation, came against him his army. Instead, for him to consult God on what to do, he decided to follow his own reasoning. He paid another king, the king of Syria, to deal with the matter for him and then sat back to watch. (Cf. 2Chro 16:1-6)

Now, of course, what Asa did seemed to work, at least for that period. What he did not know, however, was that if he had trusted God on that occasion as well, it was not only the armies of Israel that He would have delivered to him; He would also have delivered to him the armies of the king of Syria, whom he had consulted and put his trust in. But his failure to trust God with all his heart made him lose all that. Also, it exposed him to wars that he should never have had to fight in life. (Cf. 2Chro 16:7-9)

So, when Solomon admonishes us to trust God with all our heart and never to lean on our own understanding, it is in order that we may not end up opening the doors of our lives for unnecessary wars or challenges to come in and wound us. Yes, there are times we may feel in ourselves that we are more than capable to handle certain situations or challenges we are faced with. But the truth of the matter is that there is no situation of our lives that we are capable of handling by ourselves, if God does not make us capable of handling it. And there are many Scriptures that make this very clear to us. (Cf. Ps 127:1-2; Is 26:12; 2Cor 3:5-6)

If we, then, do not want things to end for us as they did with King Asa, especially as we begin a new year today, let us learn to trust God always and with all our heart. Yes, let us learn to acknowledge Him always as our sufficiency. And as Solomon tells us, when we relate to Him like this, He will make our paths straight. In other words, He will deal with every hindrance and every harmful thing on our way and make sure we have a free passage to success, peace and prosperity.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the gift of a new year and for all that we are going to enjoy from His hand in the new year.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and strengthened to always entrust everything about our lives to God alone this new year, so that our paths to experiencing greatness and excellence in the year will be straight and not crooked or destructive.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every area of our lives in which, instead of relying on God for our breakthrough and success, we are relying on ourselves, some men or some institutions, so that we may repent of this error and foolishness immediately and put our trust in God.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and end all forms of needless wars that have come into our lives as a result of our failure to depend on Him in some areas of our lives.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

Happy New Year!

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2022, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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He answers simple prayers too -25th December 2021

“Then he prayed, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.”” (Gen 24:12NIV)

When Abraham’s servant set out to find a wife for Isaac, as his master had instructed him to do, he knew that the only way he could succeed on that trip was to have supernatural help. But where would this help come from? What god would give him the kind of help he needed?

As we see in Scriptures, that was a time in which idolatry was widespread in the world. It was a time in which most people had all kinds of personal gods and household idols that they worshipped and relied upon. But this man would not turn to just any god or idol for help. Instead, he turned to the God of His master, Abraham. Why? It was because he had seen him perform all kinds of wonders and miracles for him. He had seen Him make promises to his master and fulfil them. So, he was certain that if he turned to Him for help, He would certainly answer and not fail him.

And he did turn to God for help. He offered a very simple prayer to him, saying, "O LORD, God of my master Abraham, give me success today, and show kindness to my master Abraham.” Observe that he was very specific about the God he was praying to – it was the God of his master, Abraham. And why did he refer to Him as the God of his master? It was most likely because he had not fully made Him his personal God. But if you have made Him your personal God, you do not have to refer to Him as the God of so and so; instead, you should refer to Him as ‘My God and my Father’.

In any case, this man, as I pointed out before, offered to God a very simple but straight-forward prayer. He asked Him to give him success that very day. And did He give him success or not? He did, for he later said to the family of Rebekah, the woman he eventually picked as wife for Isaac, “…Do not detain me, now that the LORD has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master."” (Gen 24:56NIV)

So, we do not need to pray and sweat as Jesus did, just before He went to the cross, before God answers our prayers. Jesus sweated when He was praying on that occasion because He was in anguish. And His prayers were not heard because He cried out loud and sweated but because He cast Himself on God who was able to save Him from death. (Cf. Luke 22:41-44; Heb 5:7)

Mind you, there are some recorded incidents in the bible in which He prayed very simple prayers and God answered Him right away (Matt 14:15-21; Matt 15:32-37; John 11:41-44). So, if you are not in anguish of heart, you may not have to cry out loud and weep before you pray to God. That is because He is able to hear and answer your very simple prayers, as long as they are heartfelt prayers that are offered in faith. And even if you are in anguish and have to pour out your heart to Him with tears, you must understand that it is not your tears that will make God answer your prayers but your expression of faith in Him and the consistency of your prayers with His will (1John 5:14).

At any rate, if you too, just like Abraham’s servant, need success on your journey into the new year that is just around the corner, then, begin to offer to God, your God and Father, very simple prayers of faith about the kind of success you need or the areas of your life in which you need success. You may not remember everything all at once. But regardless of where you are and what you are doing, once you remember an area of your life in which you need success, favour, protection or deliverance, pray to Him about it right there and then.

What I am saying is that you do not need to wait until you get to a church meeting place, a secluded area or a prayer mountain before you speak to God about what you need in the coming year. Just keep speaking to Him wherever you are, as the thoughts of the things you need in the year flow through your mind. And just as He answered Abraham’s servant and did not ignore him in his moment of need, He will answer you too and not ignore you, seeing that you are trusting in Him. I personally have seen Him answer prayers that I offered to Him in this manner countless times. So, it works – He answers simple prayers too. And my prayer is that your heart will be made strong and filled with faith to do this without fear, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a God that takes notice of every word of prayer we offer to Him, however simple it may be and regardless of where we are and when we offer it.
- Prayers that your heart will be taught never to again waste any opportunity you have to pray and receive from God on the basis of where you are or what you are doing.
- Prayers that God will make your journey through the new year we are moving into favourable and peaceful for you in every way and at all times.
- Prayers that God will grant you good success in all your honest and righteous endeavours in the year we are moving into.
- Prayers that you will be taught by the Spirit of God to always recognise answers to your prayers, so that you may give thanks to God for them and also possess them instead of foolishly turning away to things that are not answers to your prayers.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Put first things first -
18th December 2021

“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready; after that, build your house.” (Prov 24:27NIV)

Before God made the world of plants, He first made sure the sun that would give them light for growth and the land on which they would grow and draw nutrients were ready. Also, before He made the world of birds and animals, He first made sure the plants they would feed on and the trees and the ground on which they would live and thrive were ready. In addition, before He brought forth His man, who would be ruler over all the works of His hands, He first of all made sure everything He would need to be a true ruler was ready. And what do we learn from all of this? It is that God is organised and orderly. He knows how to put first things first, so that things can run smoothly and easily for all His creations to flourish and be exceedingly fruitful and productive. (Cf. Gen 1)

Now since we have been created in the image of God and after His likeness, we too are expected to be organised and orderly in our lives. We are expected to train ourselves to always put first things first. This is so that we can easily manage our lives and affairs to be continually fruitful, productive and restful.

See, one of the reasons life is hard and full of pains for many today is that they are not orderly or organised. It may be because of IGNORANCE, FOOLISHNESS, FEAR OR INDISCIPLINE. But the fact remains that they are not putting first things first in their lives and setting up systems and principles of doing things that will make it easy for them to live productive, meaningful and peaceful lives. So, their lives are full of confusion and needless distress and pains.

Perhaps your own life too is full of confusion, distress, discontentment and pains because you would not organise your life and affairs. Then you need to heed what Solomon says to us in our opening bible text. And what does he say? He says put first things first. He says set up a system that will guarantee sustenance and continuity in your life.

For example, considering this man’s actual words, if you want to build a house, first make sure you are in a job or business that will ensure that the money you need not just to start but to also finish the house in record time is available. Otherwise, it may take you your entire life time to build that house. Yet you may not even finish it. And then you will have wasted your labour and sacrifices. I mean that you will have wasted the resources and energy that you could have committed to other aspects of your life and made it easier and more enjoyable for you.

In like manner, as Solomon’s words indicate, if you want to raise a family, you need to make sure you are involved in legitimate things or are setting up things that will ensure that the money to sustain this family, even when it is increasing in number, is always available. And this is the way you must always handle all your life affairs – business, academics, family, ministry and so forth. Don’t commit yourself to doing things or embarking on projects thoughtlessly. But always think first of the sustenance or continuity of whatever you want to start, embark on or bring forth. And if what you need to effectively sustain or meaningfully finish what you are getting involved in is not available or ready, then, you know that it is not something you are ready for.

Now once you see that you are not ready for something, don’t allow anybody to pressure, manipulate or threaten you to get involved in it. Even if it is something that is good and profitable for you to do, wait until you know you are ready to handle it without compromising godly standards or introducing into your life problems that should never have been a part of it. That way, you will be saving yourself needless heartaches and a waste of your time, energy, labour and devotion.

So, go over your life affairs now to see what is not working because you have not put first things first or because you are putting the cart before the horse. Yes, look through your life to see where lack of orderliness or organisation is introducing needless pains and sorrow into it and begin to make necessary amends and corrections. This, of course, may require that you altogether end some projects or relationships or separate yourself from some commitments. But it is better for you to do what you have to do than to continue to waste your labour, resources and devotion on things that may never work or be fruitful for you in your entire lifetime.

Remember that when God saw that the world of Noah’s days would never serve His purpose, regardless of what measure of goodness He showered on it, He did not hesitate to end it and start all over again with Noah and his family. You too must not hesitate to end disorderly processes, systems, principles and ways of doing things in your life that are promoting confusion, pains, ineffectiveness, tiredness, restlessness and distress. I am saying do not go into the new year before us with anything that is associated with disorderliness in your life. And if you need to take some days off to deal with this, please do so. May God fill your heart with the wisdom and boldness to do this in such as a way as to eliminate all forms of needless pains and sorrow from your life, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for using Himself to set examples for us of how we can use orderliness to make life easy, simple and enjoyable for us.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every form of disorderliness that is producing distress in our lives, so that we may deal with it.
- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with the right measure of wisdom, understanding, discipline and boldness to put an end to every form of disorderliness in our lives and free ourselves from all forms of needless pains and waste of labour, resources and devotion.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will rescue us from all the consequences of disorderliness in our lives and restore us by the power of His Holy Spirit.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Turn Ahithophel’s counsel into foolishness -11th December 2021

“Now David had been told, "Ahithophel is among the conspirators with Absalom." So David prayed, "O LORD, turn Ahithophel's counsel into foolishness."” (2Sam 15:31NIV)

Among the most difficult battles of life to fight are those that involve friends that turn into enemies or traitors. That is because we will be dealing with people who possess enough knowledge about us that they can use against us. And if we are not rescued by God from their conspiracy, we may end up losing a lot, if not our lives as well.

David, for instance, would have lost his life and the lives of other members of his household during the rebellion of Absalom, if God had not rescued him. And why would he have lost his life? Was it because Absalom was such a great warrior and formidable military leader? No, not at all! He was far from such things. However, one of the people with him in his rebellion was David’s own friend and counsellor, Ahithophel.

Now this man, Ahithophel, knew David very well. He knew what he was capable of doing and what he was incapable of doing. He knew how he reasoned as a warrior and also how he organised his men as a leader. So, he had enough information to expose and frustrate whatever plans he had of defending himself and the people with him. More than that, at that time, Ahithophel’s counsel was like that of one who inquires of God. That was how both David and Absalom viewed his counsel. So, in a sense, he was someone that you would not like to have as an enemy. (Cf. 2Sam 16:23)

But then, Ahithophel was not God. Yes, he was a very wise man and a valiant soldier too. But he was not God. So, he was not all-wise or all-powerful. He was but a man whose counsel and strength could fail any time. That was why when David was told that this man, whom he had shared his life with, had joined the camp of his enemies, the first thing he did was to turn to God in prayer. And his prayer was very simple, as we see in our opening bible text. He asked that God would frustrate the counsel or advice of the man.

Why did David pray like that? Why did he not ask God to kill Ahithophel instead of asking Him to frustrate his counsel? It was because Ahithophel’s greatest weapon was his counsel. So, even if God killed him, inasmuch as he was able to give Absalom and the people with him the counsel they needed, David and the people with him would never be safe. But if God did something that made the people reject his counsel as something that would not work, then, David and his people would be able to triumph over them.

Then, apart from praying that God would frustrate Ahithophel’s counsel, David also sent another trusted friend of his, Hushai, to go and join the enemy camp and be his eyes, ears and mouth there. And it was this man that God eventually used in frustrating Ahithophel’s counsel and making the war end in favour of David. Meanwhile, the moment Ahithophel realised that his good counsel had been rejected, he knew exactly how everything would end. He knew that the conspirators would lose and David would return as king. And once that happened, his head would certainly be taken. But he was not going to wait around for that to happen. So, he first put his house in order and then killed himself. That, of course, was how God saved David and those with him from a conspiracy that would have wiped them out. (Cf. 2Sam 17:1-23)

Now perhaps you too at the moment are in a situation in which certain people that you have shared your life with have become the Ahithophel or Judas Iscariot that Satan wants to use to destroy you or put you to shame. You don’t need to fret or lose heart. And you also don’t need to become aggressive, violent or abusive because of whatever they are doing or saying against you. Instead, be like David and also act like him. How? First, commit the matter to God. Pray to Him that He would frustrate whatever weapon these friends, relatives, neighbours or colleagues at work that have turned themselves into your enemies may be counting on to use against you. Second, take whatever wise and righteous step that is in your power to take to frustrate whatever they may be doing against you. Then the leave everything else to God to handle. And you can be sure that He will answer you, deliver you from all your fears and see to it that you are not put to shame.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because all power belongs to Him and so no one, however wise, powerful or ruthless they may be, can successfully stand against Him.
- Prayers that God will expose every traitor in our lives that is posing as a friend or loved one, so that their secret works against us may also be exposed.
- Prayers that God will frustrate and turn into nonsense whatever the traitors in our lives may be relying on to use against us.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened by God to see every honest and wise step we are to take to frustrate everyone that Satan has captured to use as a traitor to pull us down or disgrace us.
- Prayers that God Himself will plant in the camp of our enemies individuals that will work in our favour to frustrate them and vindicate us.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Identify the root and deal with it - 4th December 2021

“Without wood a fire goes out; without gossip a quarrel dies down.” (Prov 26:20NIV)

No problem goes away or dies by merely treating its symptoms. The only way to effectively and permanently solve a problem is to first identify its cause and then deal with it. And that is what Solomon is charging us about in our opening bible text, when he says, “If you want a fire to go out, then, deprive it of fuel. And if you want a quarrel between two people to end, shut out the gossips in their affairs.”

In like manner, if there is any problem in your life that has become a constant source of pain or sorrow to you, you need to first identify its cause or what is fuelling it. Until you do that, whatever effort you make towards solving it will be an effort in futility. And it is possible that all the efforts you have been making towards ending certain problems in your life or home have been going to waste. Then you need to stop wasting yourself on what will not work and first identify what you are dealing with. That is when you will know what sort of steps you need to take to make an end of it.

See, it is not every problem that gets solved through prayers. I know that may sound ridiculous. But it is the truth. It is good, righteous and commendable that we pray about every matter of our lives, whether pleasant or unpleasant. But there are times that in order to pray the right kind of prayers, we need to know the true nature of the problems we are dealing with. Also, there are times that God needs us to do more than praying about the problems before us in order for them to get solved. And until we learn what He requires to do at such times and do them, all our praying, even with fasting, will accomplish nothing.

For example, on the day that the nation of Israel fled before the people of Ai, Joshua fell facedown before the Lord till the evening of the same day, praying to Him and lamenting about their defeat. And when God would respond to his lamentations, this is what He said: "Stand up! What are you doing down on your face? Israel has sinned; they have violated my covenant, which I commanded them to keep. They have taken some of the devoted things; they have stolen, they have lied, they have put them with their own possessions. That is why the Israelites cannot stand against their enemies; they turn their backs and run because they have been made liable to destruction. I will not be with you anymore unless you destroy whatever among you is devoted to destruction.” (Josh 7:10-12NIV)

Did you see that? The only good thing Joshua’s prayer on this occasion did was that it got God talking. It made God tell him what the problem was. But in order to solve the problem, Joshua had to stop praying and start acting on the revelation he had been given. He had to look for the cause of their problems and root it out. Otherwise, as God had told them, nothing else, not even several days of prayers and fasting, would work. (Cf. Josh 7)

In the same vein, there are matters of our lives that the only thing God will give us about them, when we pray, are revelations of the exact things that are wrong with them and nothing more. And until we work with the revelations He has given us about such matters and do the needful about them, we will not experience His salvation or rest from them.

Now, sometimes, of course, what we need to do to solve some problems may be unpleasant or hard for us to bear. And when that is the case, we will have to decide for ourselves whether we want to continue to experience defeat in those areas of our lives or we want victory. The question, then, is, “Do we really want victory in those areas of our lives or we want to continue to cope with the defeat, pains and sorrow we are experiencing in them?”

Joshua and the Israelites had to choose between destroying Achan and his household in order to have peace and leaving him and his household in order to experience defeat. That was because God had said that until they got rid of him and his household there would be no more victory but defeat for them. And though it was a hard and sorrowful thing for them to do, they had to do it for the health, preservation and victory of their nation.

What about the sailors that Jonah was travelling to Tarshish with, when he was running away from the Lord? They had to do the unthinkable to him in order to save their lives. They had to throw him overboard. (Cf. Jonah 1)

Now we have no right under the laws of the land to take anybody’s life, even if their presence in our lives is the reason certain problems of our lives will never go away. But we have the right separate ourselves from any relationship that we know is bound to ultimately destroy our lives, homes or faith, if that is the only way out. And we do have a right to get out of a job or quit a business that we know is the source of certain pains that are continually flowing into our lives. In short, as long as the taking of anybody’s life is not involved, we do have a right to separate ourselves from anyone, programme, group, place or thing that God has revealed to be the source of certain problems in our lives that will not go away.

But then, it is not every time that separating ourselves totally from some people is the solution to the problems they are causing in our lives. There are, in fact, people we cannot freely separate ourselves from under normal circumstances. People like our parents, spouses, siblings and children are not individuals that we can easily separate ourselves from without creating additional problems to the ones we already have for ourselves. And if any one of such people happens to be the reason certain problems have come and stayed in our lives, we will need the wisdom of the word of God to know the exact thing to do in order to frustrate and end whatever Satan is using them to do in our lives.

At any rate, my point all along is that you should always go for the root of whatever is causing you pains and sorrow in life instead of dealing with the symptoms. Once you deal with its root, the symptoms, however annoying they may be, will naturally vanish.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for showing us through His word that the most effective way to solving any problem is to identify its root and deal with it.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see the exact root of every problem we are faced with in our lives that have refused to be solved, so that we will stop wasting ourselves on doing things that will never work about them.
- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with God’s wisdom and the right measure of boldness we need to take every step we need to take in order to end every problem in our lives that God has already revealed its root to us.
- Prayers that God Himself will deal with every individual that we have no power or wisdom to handle and that Satan has been using to fill our lives with pains and sorrow.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Don’t settle for less - 27th November 2021


“Elisha said, "Get a bow and some arrows," and he did so. "Take the bow in your hands," he said to the king of Israel. When he had taken it, Elisha put his hands on the king's hands. "Open the east window," he said, and he opened it. "Shoot!" Elisha said, and he shot. "The LORD's arrow of victory, the arrow of victory over Aram!" Elisha declared. "You will completely destroy the Arameans at Aphek." Then he said, "Take the arrows," and the king took them. Elisha told him, "Strike the ground." He struck it three times and stopped. The man of God was angry with him and said, "You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times."” (2Kings 13:15-19NIV)

The bible passage above gives a little story of a spiritual encounter a king of Israel had with Prophet Elisha. The man of God had been ill for a while, and it was clear to him and also to those around him that he may not survive it. So, the king went to pay him a visit and to speak of how much the land would miss him. And during that visit, the prophet was led by the Spirit of God to instruct this king to do certain things that would result in his victory over the Arameans that had been oppressing them.

What was he asked to do? He was asked to face a particular direction and shoot some arrows to the ground. And to let him know that what he was doing was not ordinary but spiritually symbolic, the man of God told him after he had shot the first arrow that it was the Lord’s arrow of victory over Aram (Syria). So, every shot he took symbolised victory over his enemies.

Unfortunately, this man only took three shots from the arrows with him and stopped. This, of course, got the man of God so angry that he said, “You should have struck the ground five or six times; then you would have defeated Aram and completely destroyed it. But now you will defeat it only three times." (2Kings 13:19NIV) But why did he stop? At least, he had been told that every shot he took was a shot of victory over his enemies. And he had plenty of arrows with him. So, the problem was not that he did not understand the implications of what he was doing, neither was it that of a shortage of the arrows to shoot. RATHER, IT WAS THAT OF A HEART THAT IS SATISFIED WITH TOO LITTLE.

See, before this time, the land of Israel had suffered so much from the Arameans that the army that this king’s father handed over to him was nothing to write home about. He inherited only fifty horsemen, ten chariots and ten thousand foot soldiers. And that was because the king of Aram had destroyed the rest of them. So, for him, if he could just defeat the Arameans three times in a row, it would mean all the world to him. But would that be enough to totally free him from the harassment of these people? No! However, when someone has suffered a lot in life, just a moment or some days of enjoyment could mean everything to him. Therefore, even when the person is presented with an opportunity to be totally free from his days of misery, he may not go for total freedom, thinking it would be too much to ask or seek; instead, he may go for partial or temporary freedom. (Cf. 2Kings 13:7)

Now that was the case with Jehoash, king of Israel, at that time. He and his people had suffered so much from the hands of their enemies that he could not think of going for total victory over them, when he was presented with the opportunity to take advantage of the power of God to do so. Instead, he went for partial victory over them, thinking that would do. And by doing so, he limited the experience of the grace and power of God that he and his people could have had.

In like manner, we too could limit our experience of God’s grace and power we could have in our lives, if we do not have the right mindset. And it may even be that the reason we are not experiencing certain measure of victory, advancement and enjoyment in our lives at the moment is that our reasoning is just too low to accept it. Perhaps we too, like the Israelites of the days of King Jehoash, have suffered so much from the hands of the devil and men that we are now beginning to think that certain measures of success, promotion, riches or comfort are just too much for us. Yes, we now think that if we can just have a little relief from the enemies and some peace of mind or comfort, we will be okay.

But we will never be okay with anything that is below what God wants for us. No, you will never be okay with any degree of success that is below what God wants for you. That is because it is not every form of success you record that is capable of taking you permanently out of a life of misery or slavery. Some kind of success will only give you a temporary relief in life. So, if you do not consistently experience success in all that you do over a certain period of time, you may never be permanently free from your miseries and shame.

Similarly, you will never be okay with any measure of freedom that is less than the absolute freedom that God has purchased for us in Christ Jesus. So, you need to begin to work on your mindset. Yes, you need to begin to adjust it until it begins to agree with God to accept nothing less than what He has in store for you. See, just like Elisha was not happy with that king for going for something less than he could have had, God also will not be happy with you for going for anything less than He has prepared for you. Remember that He is the owner of all things and also that He is able to do immeasurably more than we can ever ask or imagine (Ps 2:1; Eph 20). So, we need to stop embarrassing Him by always going for less than He has prepared for us. That is not a sign of modesty or contentment but a symptom of poverty of the mind.

I know that God orders us to be content with what we have in life and to be free of covetousness. And what that means, first, is that we are to be thankful to Him for what we have and where we are instead of complaining about them. Second, it means we are not to desire or labour to take for ourselves what belongs to others or what we don’t need. Third, it means we are not to do just about anything to have what we need or what belongs to others.

All this, however, does not in any way mean that we are not to desire or work by the grace of God to have and enjoy more beautiful things of this life in good health and with peace of mind. So, don’t ever again use your devotion to a life of contentment as an excuse for the poverty in your mind or as your excuse for enjoying less of God’s grace than you can actually enjoy. Instead, be determined in your heart that you will make full use of His grace to experience absolute freedom from every Satanic harassment and limitation and to possess and enjoy all the beautiful things of this life that He has set aside for you.

Therefore, don’t stop asking for more and more from Him through prayers. And don’t stop saying the same thing in agreement with Him about the situations of your life, regardless of how contrary these situations may be to His word. Then, He will progressively see to it that your life becomes all that He wants it to be and that you also enjoy His grace in its full measure.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because what He wants for us is a life of complete joy and absolute victory over the works of the devil.
- Prayers that God will cleanse us of every kind of poverty and failure mentality that is keeping us in wrong positions in life.
- Prayers that the Spirit of God will rid our hearts of every form of fear that is preventing us from taking advantage of the grace of God to live a life of absolute victory over the works of the devil in our lives.
- Prayers that God will create in us a dissatisfaction for everything that is below His purpose and plans for our lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will always be given complete understanding of every spiritual step God wants us to take, so that we will not be slothful in taking it.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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Why you may not enjoy it -
20th November 2021

“Elisha said, "Hear the word of the LORD. This is what the LORD says: About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria." The officer on whose arm the king was leaning said to the man of God, "Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?" "You will see it with your own eyes," answered Elisha, "but you will not eat any of it!"” (2Kings 7:1-2NIV)

One of the things we must keep in mind about life is that it is not every time that people experience something good that they get to enjoy it. What this means, for example, is that the fact that someone gets a new job, is promoted at work, receives an increase in his pay package or seals up a great business deal does not mean he is going to enjoy the profit or goodness that comes along with it. Also, the fact that someone gets married, gives birth to a child or is brought into a pleasant environment does not mean he is going to enjoy this new relationship. That is because if God does not release the power to enjoy the good things of this life to us, there is nothing we do that will make us enjoy it.

Look at what Solomon says about this: “I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.” (Eccl 6:1-2NIV) What does this mean? Well, it means that the power to enjoy the good things of this life is in God’s hand. And if He does not release it to you, it does not matter how much of the good things of this life you have access to, you will not be able to enjoy them.

But why will God allow someone to have access to the good things of this life and not allow him to enjoy them? Why will He allow someone to toil and labour hard to have some good things of this life and then prevent him from enjoying them? That is usually a painful thing, as those of us who have experienced or seen others experience something of this nature would confess. But it is real. And one of the causes of this is a despising of God’s word, which is born out of unbelief in Him.

As we see in our opening text, when God spoke to the king of Israel by the mouth of Elisha that their days of famine would be totally over in a matter of just one day, this king’s right-hand man despised the word of the Lord publicly. If he did not believe what the prophet had said, he could, at least, have kept his unbelief to himself instead of trying to spread it. And because he voiced out his unbelief and despised the word of the Lord, a death sentence was pronounced on him. He was told that his eyes would only see the goodness of the Lord but his mouth would not taste it. And that was exactly how it happened. He witnessed the plenty God had announced but did not taste it at all. (Cf. 2Kings 7)

Now that man was just like the ten out of the twelve men that Moses sent to spy the land of Canaan. They too would not keep their unbelief in God to themselves but infected the whole nation of Israel with it. So, God said that they would not live to inherit or taste the goodness of the good land they had seen. And that was exactly what happened. They died that same day before the Lord. (Cf. Num 14:36-38)

So, if we too do not want to be denied the power to enjoy certain provisions of God’s goodness for us, we must maintain our faith in Him and in His word, regardless of contrary circumstances. What I mean is that even if the circumstances of our lives are giving us very good reasons to call God a liar and reject His word or promises to us, we must not yield to their temptation. That is because God will never lie or fail to fulfil any good promise He has made to His people. And if we hold on to Him in patience, we will not only see the fulfilment of His promise to us but also be empowered to enjoy it. But if we despise Him and His word or, for any reason, begin to spread our unbelief in Him to those around us, even if we are allowed to witness His goodness, we may not just be allowed to enjoy it.

Another reason God may allow someone to witness His goodness but not allow him to enjoy it is ingratitude towards Him. And there is a story our Lord Jesus tells to illustrate this. It is that of a man whose farm land did very well one certain period. But instead for him to thank God for his increase and to also bring Him thanksgiving offerings, all he could think of doing was building bigger barns to store his grains and goods. Therefore, just as he was having this thought in him, God pronounced a death sentence on him, saying, “You fool, this very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” (Cf. Luke 12:16-20)

Now the Lord ends the story by saying, “This is how it will be with anyone who stores up things for himself but is not rich toward God.” (Luke 12:21NIV) In other words, anyone who does not have a culture of thanksgiving and generosity towards God can expect to be denied the power to enjoy the good things that he is seeing in his life. So, if there are certain good things of life that you have access to at the moment but which you are not enjoying, you may want to check your attitude towards God in terms of thanksgiving and generosity.

Anyone who is not thankful to God for the good things he is witnessing in their lives is showing that he does not agree that God is the one responsible for those things. And anyone who does not recognise God as the source of the good things in his life will certainly not be generous to Him or His people. That kind of person, then, if not shown mercy, may just be denied the power to enjoy those good things that he thinks his power or wisdom has gotten for him. This is so that he may realise that without God we cannot have or enjoy anything good or perfect in this life.

So, for all the good things God is causing you to experience in this life, begin to show Him wholehearted gratitude. And don’t let this end with words of mouth alone; instead, put your resources or money into it as well. That is one sure way to allow God’s power for enjoyment of life to freely flow in your life.

Finally, stay away from every form of wickedness. That is because the practice of wickedness is also one main reason God denies people the power to enjoy the good things of this life. As we are told in the bible, the reason God took the life of Judah’s first son and did not allow him to enjoy his marriage or have any child through it was that he was wicked. Unfortunately, it was also because of his younger brother’s acts of wickedness towards his widow that his own life too was taken before his time. (Cf. Gen 38:6-10)

So, giving yourself to any act of wickedness towards anybody can make God take away from you the power to enjoy certain good things of this life or to be alive. Watch your heart, then, and make sure no root of evil is ever allowed in it. And may God strengthen you to always do so, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and for all the good things we have in our lives and that are happening to us now.
- Prayers that God, regardless of the circumstances of our lives, will continually keep us from developing a sinful and unbelieving heart that will make us turn away from Him or turn others away from Him and block the flow of His power to enjoy life in our lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to be thankful to God always and also taught to express our gratitude to Him in ways that are appropriate and acceptable in His sight.
- Prayers that as we maintain faithful and thankful heart before God, He will always see to it that we fully enjoy every good thing in our lives.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will cleanse us of every form of bitterness and wickedness against others that may ultimately make Him deny us the power to enjoy His goodness or open the door for satanic afflictions in our lives.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Kept from sinning against Him -
13th November 2021

“Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.” (Ps 19:13NLT)

As we see in the bible, there was a time that King Abimelech of Gerah took Sarah, Abraham’s wife, to be his wife. Why did he do this? It was, for the most part, because Abraham did not tell him the whole truth about his relationship with Sarah. He had said of her in that place, “She is my sister.” And indeed, Sarah was his sister, his half-sister. But she was also his wife. (Cf. Gen 20)

At any rate, because this man took the wife of a man of God, God was set to destroy him and his household. And He started by first shutting the wombs of all the women in his household, including his wife. So, none of them could conceive or have children all the time Sarah was with them. We wouldn’t know how long she stayed with them. But for the bible to note that no woman in that palace could conceive while Sarah was with them, it must have meant that she was there for a number of months. (Cf. Gen 20:17-18)

Then God came to Abimelech in a night dream and said to him, “You are a dead man because of the woman you have taken, for she is a married woman.” That, of course, surprised the man, who pleaded not guilty. He said, “But I acted in complete innocence; I did not know that the woman was Abraham’s wife.” And in response to that, God said, “Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.” (Gen 20:6NIV)

Now think about that. God showed Abimelech mercy and did not allow him to commit adultery with Sarah all the time she was with him. That actually sounds unbelievable, but it was the truth. Somehow, he just kept on treating Sarah like an angel and would not be in a hurry to have any intimate knowledge of her. He himself may not have understood why he was just taking his time with her. But when God showed up and told him the kind of trouble he was in, he understood that it was He that had kept him from doing something that would have resulted in his destruction and that of his entire household.

But why did God prevent this man from sinning against Him, that is, beyond sinning against Abraham? It was because it was never his desire to take another man’s wife for himself. The only reason Sarah was in his palace was that Abraham did not tell him the whole truth about who she was to him. What this, then, is showing us is that God is able to keep us from doing the wrong thing, inasmuch as our hearts are not bent on doing evil.

We see another example in the way God prevented David from killing a man called Nabal and his entire household and thereby sinning against Him. Nabal, indeed, had behaved very badly towards David and his men, who had in the past been kind to his servants and possessions. And in David’s anger, he wanted to teach him the lesson of his life. He wanted to kill him and all the men in his household. But the truth is that though the man did not behave well, David had no right to take his life or the lives of members of his household. So, it was a needless bloodshed that he and his men were out to carry out. (Cf. 1Sam 25:1-22)

However, because God knew that David was not that kind of person in his heart – he was not someone that would want to take an undue advantage of anyone, even his enemy – He sent Abigail, Nabal’s wife, to stop him on his reckless mission. God knew that it was out of anger and frustration that David and his men wanted to act like wicked people and destroy Nabal and his household. If they had not been under the kind of pressure they were at the time, they would not have thought of doing anything like that. So, to prevent them from sinning against Him, He inspired Abigail to meet them and say soothing words to them, words that would open their eyes to see the foolishness and recklessness of their mission. That, of course, was how they were saved. (Cf. 1Sam 25:23-35)

But then, we see that this same man, David, was not prevented by God from committing adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah. Why? It was because he was not under any pressure to do so, neither was he deceived or seduced to do so. He did what he did because he deliberately wanted to do it. And before he knew it, he went on from being an adulterer to becoming a manipulator and murderer. If he, then, had not been shown mercy by God, he and his household would have been wiped out. But even then, what he did still gave the devil an opportunity to afflict him and his family in very terrible and painful ways in his lifetime. (Cf. 1Sam 11-18)

You can now see why his prayer, which we have in our opening bible text, is very relevant. There he says to God, “Keep your servant from deliberate sins! Don't let them control me. Then I will be free of guilt and innocent of great sin.” Why? It is because though any sin can ruin us, the ones that are most dangerous to our lives and faith are those that have taken charge of us and we deliberately and stubbornly want to carry out. That is because it is such sins that make God give people over to do more and more wrong things that would ultimately ruin them. (Cf. Rom 1:21-32)

Look at the way He, for a while, gave David over to go on from being an adulterer to becoming a deceiver and then a murderer. And if He had not shown him mercy and drawn his attention to the evil in his life, maybe his life’s story would have ended differently. So, when we know that something is entirely against the will of God, yet we find this strong and stubborn urge in us to go for it, we need to know that destruction or disgrace is coming for us. And unless God, in His mercy, stops us somehow on our reckless mission, we can only, at some point, see that we have ruined ourselves. This is why we too, like David, must continually pray that we will be kept from stubbornly setting our hearts on paths that will lead to our destruction.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for opening our eyes to see that He is able to keep us from walking in any path of wickedness, as long as our hearts are humble and pure before Him.
- Prayers that God, in His kindness, will always keep you from falling into sins that emanate from deceit, anger, frustration or bitterness.
- Prayers that your heart will always be kept right and unpolluted by God, so that you will never develop a sinful and stubborn heart that turns away from Him.
- Prayers that wherever you have been left by God to walk in your own will because of your pride or stubbornness, you will be shown mercy and restored before it is too late.
- Prayers for all the children of God in our land that are on the verge of being destroyed because of certain deliberate sins they have taken charge of their lives that they will be shown mercy and restored without delay.
- Thanksgiving to God for answered prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)
By Johnson O. Lawal

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Always count the cost - 23rd October 2021

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.” (Luke 14:28-32NIV)

One of the ways to avoid failing at almost everything we do or functioning under undue pressure in life is to learn to count the cost of whatever we want to do before embarking on it. That is what our Lord Jesus is talking about in our opening bible text. And He illustrates it for us using two examples that we all can relate to. The first is about building. He says if you want to build anything, whether a tower, a house, a business, a life, a home or a career, start by estimating what it will cost you. Don’t rush into building anything just because you feel like doing so or because others around you are doing so. Don’t even rush into building anything because you need to or have an opportunity to do so. First, settle down to count the cost.

What will you need for this project, training or relationship you want to start? Are the resources or people you will need to see it through readily available? If they are not, how do you intend to get them? Will you even be able to get them at all? Or will you require some other people’s support to see it through? If you will require others’ support, who are you going to meet, and will they be willing to support you? Then will your embarking on this project affect any other important thing or relationship in your life or not? Will it affect your spouse, children or anyone else that is important to you? If it will, to what extent will it affect them and will they be willing and ready to cope?

Those are some of the main things the Lord says we must study to first consider before we embark on any important thing in our lives. Otherwise, we may find ourselves wasting our resources, effort, time and devotion on something we will never finish or find ourselves having to settle for something that is less than our dreams or aspirations. And how many people have been victims along this line. They wasted their time, energy, resources, devotion and maybe other people’s support too on projects, education or relationships that they had no capacity to sustain. Why? They did not settle down to count the cost before embarking of what they started.

Sadly, there are people who have become habitual failures along this line. They don’t ever get anything finished because they lack the discipline required to count the cost of whatever they want to do before starting. So, they have all kinds of abandoned projects, trainings, relationships and so forth. And there are also those who have often had to settle for lesser things in life, simply because they lack the discipline, diligence and patience required to estimate the cost of what they want to do before starting.

Perhaps you too are like that. You have all kinds of abandoned projects in your life and you are wondering why this is so. You may even have been going from prayer mountain to prayer mountain, thinking you have a spiritual problem or that some witches and wizards are responsible for what you are experiencing. But your problem may not be what you think it is at all. It may just be that you lack the discipline to settle down and carefully count the cost of what you want to do before embarking on it. And if you will begin to do that right away before you embark on anything important in your life, you will be amazed at the experience of complete success you will start having. Therefore, begin to train yourself to count the cost of whatever you want to do in life before starting.

Another illustration the Lord gives us to show us the importance counting the cost of any major thing we want to do in life before embarking on it is that of warfare. As He points out, it is a foolish thing to start a war you are not sure you can win. Wars are inevitable in this life. In other words, it is impossible to totally avoid them, even if you are most gentle and peaceable person in this world. That is why the bible says, “If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” (Rom 12:18NIV)

What does that mean? It means if you can avoid going to war against some people, avoid it, so that you can live in peace. But sometimes you just have to fight off some people in order to have peace in your life. I mean that you just have to take your stand against their nonsense. And you will be doing the will of God by doing so. Otherwise, they will keep trampling on you and your rights and privileges. But how do you know when to do this? The Lord says it is by counting the cost.

See, it is not every war, whether in your office, neighbourhood, school, family or elsewhere, that is worth your time or commitment. That is because even if you win such wars, it may not add to the quality of peace you are experiencing. In fact, some wars will cost you more than you will gain through them. They may cost you your reputation as a child of God, relationships or wealth or create more future problems for you. So, you need to avoid them, even if it means forfeiting certain rights or privileges of yours, and let God take care of them for you (1Cor 6:7). That is the wisdom of the Spirit.

Then there are wars that you cannot win, even if you are in the right. You just don’t have the wisdom, knowledge, resources, influence, power or time needed to win them. So, you need to do your best to avoid them and let God have His way. But how do you know these things? The Lord says it is by counting the cost. In other words, when you have to deal with people’s opposition or oppression, do not rush to do anything. Instead, first sit down to estimate what dealing with the problem will cost you. Then ask yourself whether it is something you can deal with decisively or not. And be truthful to yourself about this. That way, you will know whether all you need to do about the matter is to pray or whether there are other legitimate steps, which will not hurt you or make matters worse for you, that you can equally take in addition to praying about it.

At any rate, just make sure you do not rush into any battle with anyone, organisation or government without first counting the cost. That will free you from unnecessary losses and pains in life.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for imparting our hearts with the wisdom of His Spirit to handle life’s situations, challenges and opportunities.
- Prayers that our hearts will be imparted with the right measure of discipline that they need to never rush into doing anything in life without first counting the cost.
- Prayers that God Himself will teach us to never again ignore our limitations in handling life’s challenges, situations or opportunities, so that we will stop wasting ourselves on things that will never profit us or give us enjoyment or peace.
- Prayers that we will receive God’s mercy, comfort and restoration wherever we have become losers in our lives because we did not count the cost of certain things before embarking on them.
- Prayers that God will continually teach our hearts the right way to respond to every life battle of ours and win without jeopardising our peace, joy or prosperity.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Responding to oppression - 2nd October 2021


“Men cry out under a load of oppression; they plead for relief from the arm of the powerful. But no one says, 'Where is God my Maker, who gives songs in the night, who teaches more to us than to the beasts of the earth and makes us wiser than the birds of the air?' He does not answer when men cry out because of the arrogance of the wicked. Indeed, God does not listen to their empty plea; the Almighty pays no attention to it.” (Job 35:9-13NIV)

Why is there widespread oppression and cheating in our land today and the oppressors of men keep walking around freely? It is largely because those who are being oppressed or cheated do not know how to properly respond to oppression. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying the oppressed do not respond at all. They often do. But what kind of response is coming from them? Is it a kind that will break the yoke of oppression on them or a kind that will make matters worse for them or keep them in perpetual bondage?

People may cry, weep, complain, grumble, murmur or curse their oppressors. But will that stop the oppression they are experiencing? Also, people may secretly be doing things that will hurt their oppressors. For instance, they may steal from them or mismanage their resources. But will that stop the oppression or make it even worse? Then people may revolt against their oppressors and surrender to anarchy or lawlessness, looting, killing and destroying things. But in how many places have such things ended oppression? On the contrary, experience has shown us that oppressors are hardly victims of the revolts or lawlessness of the oppressed. That is because they often have the money, power and influence to protect themselves from such things. So, in most cases, it is still the oppressed that suffer the most when they revolt.

All of this, I believe, is why Solomon says to us in his book, Ecclesiastes, “Again I looked and saw all the oppression that was taking place under the sun: I saw the tears of the oppressed — and they have no comforter; power was on the side of their oppressors — and they have no comforter.” (Eccl 4:1NIV) Did you see that? Solomon says the oppressed are in tears because power is on the side of their oppressors, and they have no comforter to comfort them or set them free.

Have you been there? Or are you right there now? Are you in a place where you are being cheated, oppressed or shamefully treated and there seems to be no one to help, rescue or speak for you? The truth is that many, especially in our country, are in such places today. Many are in homes, offices, workplaces, schools and so forth where they are constantly being abused, cheated or oppressed in one way or the other. And they are bitter and (or) in agony because of this, especially when there is no one to comfort them or seek their welfare and it seems nothing will ever change.

But is it really true that there is no comforter for the oppressed? From what Elihu tells us in our opening bible text, it is not true at all that there is no comforter for the oppressed. Of course, people may not have any human comforter around them to save them from their oppressors. That, however, is not to say that there is no comforter for them at all. There is indeed a comforter for everyone that is being oppressed or in distress in any way. It is just that He is not a human comforter. He is God Almighty.

Now the bible calls God the Father of all comfort, who not only comforts people in all their troubles but also makes comforters of them, so that they can comfort others too who are being troubled in all their troubles (2Cor 1:3-4). Since God, then, is the Father of all comfort, why are those being oppressed and troubled not receiving His comfort?

Again, we have an answer to this in our opening bible text. As Elihu tells us in it, one major reason those who are being oppressed don’t receive God’s comfort is that they don’t ask for it. He says people cry under the load of oppression but don’t talk to God their maker about setting them free. See, the fact that someone is crying or weeping because of the load of oppression they are carrying does not mean that they are praying to God. Likewise, cursing those oppressing you, stealing from them or seeking to harm them in any way is definitely not the same thing as praying to God. In fact, patiently enduring oppression is not the same thing as praying to God about it.

If you are not praying to God about any form of oppression or cheating you are experiencing, then, you are not praying to Him, irrespective of what other legitimate things you are doing to save yourself. And until you begin to pray to Him, you may end up being oppressed or cheated for the rest of your life. For example, we are told in Judges 4 that Jabin, a king of Canaan, cruelly oppressed the Israelites for twenty long years because he had nine hundred iron chariots. Why was he able to oppress them in the first place? It was because of their sins. And why was he able to oppress them for so long, twenty years? It was because they would not cry out to God for comfort and deliverance. But when they cried out to God, He had mercy on them and used Deborah and Barak to rescue them.

In like manner, we too may keep on suffering under the oppressive activities of a government, a cultural leader, an employer, a husband, a wife, a parent or a guardian for years, if we will not pray to God for help. We may, in fact, perish as a result of their oppressive activities, if we will not pray to Him. Yes, He will certainly judge them for their wickedness. But their judgment may never result in our experience of salvation or comfort, if we keep mute and refuse to pray to Him about their oppression, as a matter of urgency.

Therefore, instead of merely crying or weeping or getting ourselves involved in all kinds of foolish things because we are being oppressed, what we should be doing is praying to God for salvation, deliverance and comfort. And as we are severally shown in the Scriptures, He will not drag His legs about matters like this. Rather, He will act fast on our behalf and give us justice, comfort and restoration.

This, of course, does not stop us from taking any lawful step we are in a position to take to help ourselves. But we must never forget that unless God breaks the yoke of oppression on people’s lives, whatever lawful steps they take for their salvation will never amount to anything constructive. So, praying to God in this manner must not take a secondary position in our lives; instead, it must always take the first position.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is always available to us as our comforter and will not fail to comfort us in every area of our lives where we are being troubled.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see those areas of our lives in which we have been foolishly enduring oppression and injustice instead of praying to Him, so that we may begin to do the right thing about them.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will lead us to repentance in all the areas of our lives in which sin is the reason for the oppression we are experiencing, so that we may witness His salvation.
- Prayers that God will visit all those who are oppressing us and making lives miserable for us with justice and take away from them whatever they are using to oppress us.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every lawful step that is in our power to take to experience salvation from every oppressive activity of men and of the devil and that our hearts will be emboldened to begin to take those steps.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Let nothing be wasted - 25th September 2021

“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:12-13NIV)

From the teachings and practices of our Lord Jesus Christ we see that God is very much concerned about how we use not only our gifts but also resources. And our demonstration of diligence and faithfulness in managing or using what we have is one of the things that He considers before entrusting more resources to us. Don’t forget that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Ps 24:1). So, everything we have belongs to Him. We are just stewards of these things.

That being the case, we should naturally expect Him to be watching to see how wise and profitable we are in using whatever He has entrusted to us. And as He makes clear to us in Scriptures, it is only those among us who prove themselves wise, diligent and profitable in using what He has entrusted to them that He will consider as qualified to have more. His actual words are, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26NIV)

Did you see that? Those who show themselves as trustworthy with the resources God has given them will be given more, so that they may have an abundance. But those who do not show themselves as trustworthy in using what He has given to them will have even what they have taken away from them. So, if you are decreasing instead of increasing in the earthly resources that God has committed to you, however little they may be, you need to ask yourself if you are being faithful in using them or not. See, it is not every situation that people are in poverty because of Satanic attacks or even because of their stinginess to God or men. In most situations, people are in poverty because they are not faithful and diligent in handing the resources God has given to them.

For example, many people are wasteful in the way they manage even the little resources they have or have access to. From the way some people use tap water in their homes or neighbourhoods, you can tell that they are wasteful. You do not have running water in your house. But in God’s mercy, He allowed a neighbour to put some taps of running water out for you in front of his house. And how do you manage it? Wastefully! Foolishly! Yet you expect God to give you more resources. How is that going to happen? Have you not read in the Scriptures that the one who would not manage other people’s things well does not deserve to be given anything to call his own? (Cf. Luke 12:16)

Also, if you look at the way some people eat, you can tell that they will most likely end up being poor in life. For instance, I personally knew a woman who was doing odd jobs and who ought to be taking out time to cook at home before coming to work. And that would, of course, have reduced the amount of money she spent everyday on food. But she would not do that. Instead, she would go and buy meals that would cost her more money than she should be spending. So, as it was to be expected, she was regularly in debt.

In like manner, what many labourers, commercial drivers and company casual workers in our country today spend on single meals is something that even some organisation executives would not dare spend. You need to see the chunks of meat or fish on some people’s food. And you will start wondering whether they are the richest people on the face of the earth. Yet they are not. The problem is that they are just wasteful.

Now God does not reward or encourage wastefulness. And we see an illustration of this in what our Lord Jesus said to His disciples in our opening bible text. After miraculously feeding well over five thousand people who had come to His meeting on one occasion, He told his disciples to gather the pieces of food left over and allow nothing to be wasted. So, even though the food was miraculously provided by God, our Lord Jesus did not see that as an excuse to have it wasted or used anyhow. No wonder God honoured Him on another occasion by enabling Him to yet again miraculously feed about four thousand people, without counting the women and children (Mark 8:1-10).

But why did He not allow the food that was left over in that meeting to be wasted? First, it was to show that He valued very much what God had provided. Second, it was to save what was left for future purposes or to share with others in need. It, then, follows that if we too value God’s provisions for us, we would not waste them. Also, if we are thinking about tomorrow, when we may not have what we have today at all or in abundance, and if we are thinking about other people who do not have access to what we have, we will not waste whatever God gives to us. And if that is the way we are functioning, God will see to it that miracles of increase and multiplication do not cease in our lives.

But if we are wasteful, reckless, selfish or irresponsible with what He has given us, however little it may be, we are only showing ourselves as individuals that cannot be trusted with more. And regardless of how much we have today, a time is coming when we will certainly suffer for our wastefulness and irresponsibility. So, please take note of this and adjust yourself accordingly.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for enlightening us on how wastefulness could block the flow of His provisions into our lives.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see those areas of our lives in which we are wasting His provisions for us and shutting the doors of our lives against the abundance He wants to send to us, so that we may do the needful in them without delay.
- Prayers that our hearts will be enlightened by God to recognise every form of unfaithfulness in us in the way we use the resources entrusted to us by God and men, so that we may repent of it and release ourselves into God’s increase and abundance.
- Prayers that God will honour His word in our lives and see to it that we experience miracles of increase and multiplication in every area of our lives where we have been faithful in managing the things He has given us.
- Thanksgiving to God for answer to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Let nothing be wasted - 25th September 2021

“When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, "Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted." So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.” (John 6:12-13NIV)

From the teachings and practices of our Lord Jesus Christ we see that God is very much concerned about how we use not only our gifts but also resources. And our demonstration of diligence and faithfulness in managing or using what we have is one of the things that He considers before entrusting more resources to us. Don’t forget that the earth is the Lord’s and everything in it (Ps 24:1). So, everything we have belongs to Him. We are just stewards of these things.

That being the case, we should naturally expect Him to be watching to see how wise and profitable we are in using whatever He has entrusted to us. And as He makes clear to us in Scriptures, it is only those among us who prove themselves wise, diligent and profitable in using what He has entrusted to them that He will consider as qualified to have more. His actual words are, “I tell you that to everyone who has, more will be given, but as for the one who has nothing, even what he has will be taken away.” (Luke 19:26NIV)

Did you see that? Those who show themselves as trustworthy with the resources God has given them will be given more, so that they may have an abundance. But those who do not show themselves as trustworthy in using what He has given to them will have even what they have taken away from them. So, if you are decreasing instead of increasing in the earthly resources that God has committed to you, however little they may be, you need to ask yourself if you are being faithful in using them or not. See, it is not every situation that people are in poverty because of Satanic attacks or even because of their stinginess to God or men. In most situations, people are in poverty because they are not faithful and diligent in handing the resources God has given to them.

For example, many people are wasteful in the way they manage even the little resources they have or have access to. From the way some people use tap water in their homes or neighbourhoods, you can tell that they are wasteful. You do not have running water in your house. But in God’s mercy, He allowed a neighbour to put some taps of running water out for you in front of his house. And how do you manage it? Wastefully! Foolishly! Yet you expect God to give you more resources. How is that going to happen? Have you not read in the Scriptures that the one who would not manage other people’s things well does not deserve to be given anything to call his own? (Cf. Luke 12:16)

Also, if you look at the way some people eat, you can tell that they will most likely end up being poor in life. For instance, I personally knew a woman who was doing odd jobs and who ought to be taking out time to cook at home before coming to work. And that would, of course, have reduced the amount of money she spent everyday on food. But she would not do that. Instead, she would go and buy meals that would cost her more money than she should be spending. So, as it was to be expected, she was regularly in debt.

In like manner, what many labourers, commercial drivers and company casual workers in our country today spend on single meals is something that even some organisation executives would not dare spend. You need to see the chunks of meat or fish on some people’s food. And you will start wondering whether they are the richest people on the face of the earth. Yet they are not. The problem is that they are just wasteful.

Now God does not reward or encourage wastefulness. And we see an illustration of this in what our Lord Jesus said to His disciples in our opening bible text. After miraculously feeding well over five thousand people who had come to His meeting on one occasion, He told his disciples to gather the pieces of food left over and allow nothing to be wasted. So, even though the food was miraculously provided by God, our Lord Jesus did not see that as an excuse to have it wasted or used anyhow. No wonder God honoured Him on another occasion by enabling Him to yet again miraculously feed about four thousand people, without counting the women and children (Mark 8:1-10).

But why did He not allow the food that was left over in that meeting to be wasted? First, it was to show that He valued very much what God had provided. Second, it was to save what was left for future purposes or to share with others in need. It, then, follows that if we too value God’s provisions for us, we would not waste them. Also, if we are thinking about tomorrow, when we may not have what we have today at all or in abundance, and if we are thinking about other people who do not have access to what we have, we will not waste whatever God gives to us. And if that is the way we are functioning, God will see to it that miracles of increase and multiplication do not cease in our lives.

But if we are wasteful, reckless, selfish or irresponsible with what He has given us, however little it may be, we are only showing ourselves as individuals that cannot be trusted with more. And regardless of how much we have today, a time is coming when we will certainly suffer for our wastefulness and irresponsibility. So, please take note of this and adjust yourself accordingly.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for enlightening us on how wastefulness could block the flow of His provisions into our lives.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see those areas of our lives in which we are wasting His provisions for us and shutting the doors of our lives against the abundance He wants to send to us, so that we may do the needful in them without delay.
- Prayers that our hearts will be enlightened by God to recognise every form of unfaithfulness in us in the way we use the resources entrusted to us by God and men, so that we may repent of it and release ourselves into God’s increase and abundance.
- Prayers that God will honour His word in our lives and see to it that we experience miracles of increase and multiplication in every area of our lives where we have been faithful in managing the things He has given us.
- Thanksgiving to God for answer to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Restrain evil -18th September 2021

“And the LORD said to Samuel: "See, I am about to do something in Israel that will make the ears of everyone who hears of it tingle. At that time I will carry out against Eli everything I spoke against his family — from beginning to end. For I told him that I would judge his family forever because of the sin he knew about; his sons made themselves contemptible, and he failed to restrain them. Therefore, I swore to the house of Eli, 'The guilt of Eli's house will never be atoned for by sacrifice or offering.'"” (1Sam 3:11-14NIV)

Regardless of how low our place may be in life, there is none of us that will not get some chance to lead people at one point or the other in his lifetime. It may be in our family, neighbourhood, office, school, church or elsewhere in the world. But we all will get our chance to be a leader in one capacity or the other.

Now one of the main jobs of a leader is to restrain evil. In other words, he is to use his position, authority or power to prevent wickedness from reigning or spreading where he is. Paul, speaking about this to the Roman-brethren, says, “For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.” (Rom 13:3-4NIV)

Did you see that? Every leader, regardless of the capacity in which he is leading, is a servant of God, as far as providing leadership for those under him is concerned. So, this does not mean that everyone occupying a leadership position in life is a child of God. Rather, it means everyone occupying a leadership position is allowed to be there by God to serve His purpose. And in order to fulfil that purpose, as Paul shows us, one of the things he must be willing to do is restrain wickedness where he is exercising his leadership authority and powers.

How do you restrain wickedness? First, it is by making righteous laws or policies that will condemn and discourage wicked acts. Second, it is by enforcing those laws and policies whenever wicked acts surface. Unfortunately, though most leaders do not have problems with making righteous laws and policies to restrain evil, they often have problems with enforcing those laws. In other words, most people in leadership position often don’t punish wickedness appropriately and adequately, even when their own laws say that they must do so. And because this is the case, wickedness is filling our world unrestrained (Ecc 8:11).

But why would someone in a position to restrain evil not want to do so? Sometimes, it is because of fear, fear of losing their popularity or the favour of some people or fear of being persecuted. Then there are times that it is greed that keeps leaders from restraining evil. When a leader has been bribed to turn blind eyes on certain evil going on under his watch, he will most likely not do anything to curb it. Also, there are times that is partiality that prevents leaders from restraining evil. When a leader takes his relationship with certain individuals more seriously than his God-given duty of restraining evil, he may find himself aiding them to do evil or helping them to escape the punishment that comes with doing evil. (Cf. Deut 16:19)

At any rate, whatever our reasons may be for allowing evil to go on unrestrained under our watch, God will not take us as guiltless. As we see in our opening bible text, He said that He was going to judge Eli the priest because he failed to restrain the evil that his sons were carrying out against the people of God. This man was in a position to punish those young men for all the atrocities they were committing against the priesthood and the sanctuary of God. But because they were his children, he was soft in dealing with them. Yes, he rebuked them from time to time. But he did not remove them from office. And that was partiality.

So, though he was a good man, God judged his family line in some very serious ways. He took away from them the blessing of long life and prosperity, which they had been enjoying, and confirmed this by killing those two sons of his that were involved in the matter. Therefore, because Eli would not restrain the wickedness of his children, when he had the power to do so, he allowed the curse of untimely death and fruitlessness to settle on his family line. (Cf. 1Sam 2:30-36 &4:11)

Why am I showing you this? It is to let you know that we all, as leaders in various capacities, have a duty of restraining evil where we are. We have a job of using our position to restrain stealing, cheating, oppression, immorality, slothfulness and lawlessness of any kind. And if we all, especially those of us who are children of God, will commit ourselves to doing this, it won’t be long before our society is healed and made sane. But if we will not do this, even if we are good people, we, like Eli, will be opening ourselves and perhaps our family members to God’s judgment. Who, then, knows how He will judge?

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for opening our eyes to see a major responsibility of ours in life, the responsibility of restraining evil.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and restore us wherever we or anyone close to us is suffering because of our failure to judge or restrain evil.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every form of evil that we are in a position to restrain where we are, so that we may restrain it.
- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with the wisdom and boldness that come from the Spirit of God to always adequately and appropriately use our position to restrain evil wherever we are and regardless of what opposition we may be faced with.
- Prayers that God will remember us with favour for all our efforts towards restraining evil in our land and reward us accordingly (Neh 6:19&13:31).
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Nothing was done for him -11th September 2021

“That night the king could not sleep; so he ordered the book of the chronicles, the record of his reign, to be brought in and read to him. It was found recorded there that Mordecai had exposed Bigthana and Teresh, two of the king's officers who guarded the doorway, who had conspired to assassinate King Xerxes. "What honor and recognition has Mordecai received for this?" the king asked. "Nothing has been done for him," his attendants answered.” (Est 6:1-3NIV)

The bible says, “When the sentence for a crime is not quickly carried out, the hearts of the people are filled with schemes to do wrong.” (Eccl 8:11NIV) And this is a trustworthy saying, worthy of full acceptance. However, it is not only when the sentence for a crime is delayed that people’s hearts can become filled with schemes to do what is wrong. Even when good deeds are not adequately and appropriately rewarded on time, people’s hearts can also become filled with schemes to do what is wrong.

What I am saying is that when people begin to have a feeling that their sacrifices or efforts towards making an office, a community or organisation move forward don’t amount to anything before those who are in a position to commend or reward them, they may become discouraged and begin to watch things go bad without saying or doing anything. Perhaps you too are having the same feeling right now where you are. Everything happening there seems to be pointing to the fact that all the sacrifices and efforts you have made for the place to become better will most likely go unrewarded. So, you are resetting your mind to change your attitude and begin to give less than you can actually deliver or to start cheating or robbing the system.

But I want you to remember the word of God that says, “Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.” (Gal 6:9-10NIV) Did you see that? We are not to give up on righteous living or on doing good, even if men will not praise or reward us for what we are doing. In fact, according to Scriptures, our focus in doing what is right and good must never be to win the praise of men but the praise of God. That is because if our focus is on winning the praise of men, we will certainly miss the praise of God. (Cf. Matt 6:1-2)

In any case, why are we told not to give up on doing good? It is because God will see to it that we are duly rewarded for doing so, if we do not give up. So, it is clear that it is only those who do not give up on doing good or on doing what is right that will reap a harvest for doing so. Those who get tired and quit doing what is good and right will not reap anything but regrets. That is because God has an appointed time for rewarding every good and right thing people do. And until that time comes, the appropriate and adequate reward we are expecting won’t come, regardless of what we or others do to make it come. If anything comes at all, it is most likely something that will destroy us. So, what we need is patience and persistence in doing what is good and right. (Cf. 1Pet 5:6)

Now we have an illustration of these things in the case of Mordecai and his good act of saving Emperor Xerxes from an assassination attempt. As the account goes, there was a time that two of this Emperor’s guards got so angry with him that they plotted to kill him. But somehow, God allowed Mordecai to know of the plot and also gave him the wisdom to report it before it could be hatched. So, they were both arrested and executed. And though this account was recorded in the daily court record right before the Emperor, nothing was done for Mordecai. (Cf. Esther 2:21-23)

Just think about it. This man saved the Emperor and his empire from death and collapse. Yet nothing was done for him. The case was just noted, recorded and closed. So, everybody forgot about it. But God, who knows everything about our lives, did not forget about that incident. And interestingly, He did not move or compel Xerxes at that time to reward Mordecai for what he did. Why? It was because He knew that was not the right time for the man’s reward. So, whatever reward he got then would not be appropriate or adequate.

But when the right time came, God made the king so restless that he began to search his court records to see if there was anything he was supposed to do that he had not done. And he did find one thing he was supposed to do that he had not done. That was the rewarding of Mordecai for saving his life and his kingdom. So, as God would have it, it was Mordecai’s greatest enemy, Hamman, that this king saddled with the responsibility of honouring him before all men. (Cf. Esther 6:1-12)

Now this honour came to Mordecai at a time that he and his people, the Jews, were about to be exterminated, according to Hamman’s plot. So, in a great way, God used it to humble Hamman and to also frustrate all his wicked expectations concerning His people. And as the story further shows, while Hamman was utterly destroyed, Mordecai, from that time forward, only rose and rose in that empire until he became second in importance only to Xerxes. (Cf. Esther 6-10)

But what if this man’s reward had come earlier than this time? Would it have worked in saving him and his people from destruction? Most likely not! What is this telling us? It is telling us that God knows exactly how we are to be rewarded and when we are to be rewarded and fully enjoy our reward and not be destroyed by it. Indeed, there have been people who got rewarded or elevated for certain good things they did and were destroyed or brought to ruins because of it. Why? Those rewards or promotions came at the wrong time; they came when they had no capacity to handle them. If we too do not want to have the same experience, we must patiently wait on God to reward us for doing what is good and right in His sight at His own time. And when that is the case, our rewards will not come with pains, sorrow or regrets.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a just and loving God, who will never forget our good works and labour of love.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to always be patient in doing what is good and right and also not to seek the praise of men in anything we do, so that we will not miss God’s rewards for us.
- Prayers that, in every area of our lives that we are due for elevation or payment for our good deeds, God will bring about circumstances that will make this happen.
- Prayers that God will see to it that all those who are in a position to reward or commend or promote us for our good deeds but who will not do so have no rest in their minds until they do what is right for us.
- Prayers that God will keep us from taking any step that will make rewards that we are not due for come to us and destroy us.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will rid our lives of anything that is corrupting any good thing we are meant to be enjoying in our lives with pains, sorrow or regret.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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IGNORANT AND YET PUNISHED - 4th September 2021

“Then God said to him in the dream, "Yes, I know you did this with a clear conscience, and so I have kept you from sinning against me. That is why I did not let you touch her.”” (Gen 20:6NIV)

One of the things we are shown in Scriptures about God is that He is a God of justice, a God who cannot be bribed in any way, a God who does not show partiality, even in dealing with His own people. He once said to the house of Israel, “You only have I chosen of all the families of the earth; therefore I will punish you for all your sins." (Amos 3:2NIV) Why was God going to punish these people for all their sins? It was because, as His chosen people, they were well acquainted with His will but would not do it. So, He said to them, “Because I have chosen you and shown you the right thing to do but you would not do it, I will punish you.”

What is this showing us? It is showing us that even though we are God’s beloved people, if begin to disregard His instructions for living and act as we please, He will not hold back His justice but give it. The case of Ananias and Sapphira is a good illustration of this. Though they were God’s children and blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, when they tried to introduce deceit into His church, He judged them with death. Why? It was because He wanted people, both those in the church and those outside it, to see Him as a just and impartial God. And as a just God, it is not only those who are not His children that He must deal with in justice; He must also deal with His own children in justice. This is why Scriptures show us that His judgment usually begins in His house. (Cf. Acts 5:1-11; 1Pet 5:17)

Furthermore, because God is a just God, He also acts in justice even when people ignorantly do wrong things. Of course, in giving justice, He may not judge an ignorant sinner in the manner that He will judge a wilful sinner. But He will surely judge him as his wrongdoings deserve. That is why our Lord Jesus says, “That servant who knows his master's will and does not get ready or does not do what his master wants will be beaten with many blows. But the one who does not know and does things deserving punishment will be beaten with few blows. From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked.” (Luke 12:47-48NIV)

For example, in our opening bible text, we see God judging King Abimelech for ignorantly taking Sarah, Abraham’s wife, as his own wife. And as He told this king, He was actually the one that kept him from sleeping with Sarah and so sinning against Him. Why did He keep him from doing so? It was because his conscience was clear and he did not have any intention of deliberately doing what was wrong. So, if our conscience is clear and are hearts are not bent on doing evil, God is able to keep us from sinning against Him or from falling into the traps of sin.

But if our hearts are not right but are bent on doing evil, God may have to leave us and allow us to face the consequences of our actions. This is what we see in the case of David’s adultery with Bathsheba. God did not keep him from committing this sin. Why? It was because his heart was not right on that occasion. He was simply bent on doing evil. He had been told who Bathsheba was. She was the wife of one of his men, Uriah. So, he did not approach her to sleep with her because he was ignorant of who she was but because he allowed greed, recklessness and lack of self-control to take charge of him on that said day. And he was severely punished for doing so. (Cf. 2Sam 11-12)

So, it is important that we maintain a pure heart and conscience before God in all our dealings and not be bent on doing deliberately doing what is wrong. Otherwise, God may not hold us back but allow us to fall and get punished for our stubbornness.

Then we must also not think that being ignorant or having a good conscience before God will always keep us from getting punished for wrongdoings. As we see in King Abimelech’s case, though he acted in ignorance, that is, on the basis of Abraham’s lies, in taking Sarah as his wife, God still punished him and his household for a while. He shut the wombs of all the women, including the slaves, in his palace. And their punishment would have been worse, if God had not kept him from sleeping with Sarah. (Cf. Gen 20)

But why did He have to punish him at all? At least, he acted on Abraham’s lies. He had to punish him, first, because he too did not do his homework well before taking Sarah as wife. If he had done his homework well, he would have been more curious to know why a pretty ninety-year old woman like Sarah would have no husband. Second, God had to punish him because justice must be given whether people are ignorant of the implications of their acts or not. Otherwise, laws and righteousness cannot be established anywhere.

So, as good as it is for us to have a good conscience before God, it is not enough to keep us from falling under God’s judgment. This is why we must always labour to educate ourselves more and more in the will of God. Otherwise, we will often find ourselves ignorantly doing things that will expose us to His judgment. And whether His punishment is small or great, it is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God (Heb 10:31).

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for enlightening us about the justice of God and how not to fall under His judgment.
- Prayers that God will keep our hearts and consciences right before Him always, so that we may be kept from ignorantly or deliberately doing anything that will bring us under God’s judgment (Ps 19:13).
- Prayers that God will continually rid us of any form of ignorance that may make us take steps that will expose us to God’s judgment.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and open our eyes to see areas of our lives in which we are being judged or punished for our ignorance, so that we may do the needful and be restored.
- Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Improve your work results -
28th August 2021

PRAYING WORKFORCE
28th August 2021
Improve your work results

“A dull axe requires great strength; be wise and sharpen the blade.” (Eccl 10:10TLB)

Recently, while I was going through my daughter’s work with her, we came to a topic on hand-held tools and their importance. And among the things said about the importance of such tools is that they make work easier and faster. Then it is also said that they reduce stress and improve the quality of work results.

But then, as Solomon would have us understand in our opening bible text, having or using tools does not always make our work easier and faster, reduce work stress and improve the quality of our work. If we are not using the right quality of tools, the quality of results we will be getting and the amount of time we will be taking to get it may not be anything to write home about.

So, he counsels us to pay attention to the quality of tools we use for our work, whatever the work may be. His words are, “Be wise and sharpen the blade.” Why? It is because the quality of tools we use for our work will not only determine the speed at which we deliver results but also the quality of results we get. What is that telling you? It is telling you that if you want to improve the quality of results you are getting at work or in your business and also have plenty of time at hand to rest and perhaps do other good things for yourself, you need to improve the quality of tools you use.

See, it does not matter how much you desire to be able to achieve the quality of product or services certain individuals or organisations are achieving, if you would not invest in getting the quality of tools, raw materials or staff they are using, your dreams won’t come true. You can pray and fast or do vigils about this, if you like. It won’t change anything. That is because prayer and fasting are not the solution that the word of God has proffered for this kind of problem. The solution it has proffered for it is that you improve the quality of tools, equipment or personnel you are using. So, get better tools, equipment and personnel and get the right quantity of them.

Then, when Solomon says to us, “Be wise and sharpen the blade,” he is not only referring to the need for us to get better tools; he is also talking about the need for us to sharpen our skills or increase our learning. That is because better skills or more education can improve the quality and even quantity of our work results. Of course, that we have better skills or higher education does not necessarily mean that the quality of our work will be better. Our attitude towards our work or business also has some roles to play in that.

But regardless of how passionate, dutiful or committed we are to our work or business, we cannot deliver beyond the level of our skills or education. And where people are rewarded based on the quality of work done or knowledge possessed, our reward will definitely be affected. So, if we want to increase our ability to EARN AND SAVE more money, we also need to work on our skills and education. In other words, if getting more education is what will qualify us for more money or higher positions where we work, then, we should go for it. And if there are newer, better and faster ways of doing our job or business in order to make it more lucrative, we should endeavour to learn them.

Again, this is not all about prayer and fasting. It is good to pray and fast about our jobs or businesses, especially when we need direction, favour or protection. But prayer and fasting cannot take the place of possessing the right amount of knowledge, education or skills. That is one of the reasons we have more unbelievers as leaders of many of our organisations and industries than believers. While these unbelievers are getting more education and working hard to increase and improve their work skills and relationships, most of us who are believers focus on praying alone.

But prayers alone cannot move us forward in our workplaces or businesses; we also need to increase and improve the quality of our work results. So, I want you to begin to take steps towards accomplishing that right away. Begin to carefully look at those areas of your work or business where you need to improve yourself or improve things, so that you can increase your earnings there or expose yourself to more opportunities to do bigger things. And this is not something God will do for you. It is what you will do for yourself.

Now you may say, “But I do not have the money to get better tools, equipment and staff or more training and education? What, then, do I do?” That is where prayer comes in. Tell God those areas of your work life where you need improvement and ask Him to favour you to make it happen. And He surely answer you. He may not bring you all the money you need to do these things all at once. But He will surely see to it that all that concerns you is eventually perfected, if you will maintain your trust in Him and keep relating to Him with patience.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and for all the abilities, skills and education He has enabled us to possess.
- Prayers that God will open your eyes to see those areas of your work or business in which you need to invest in better tools, personnel and education or training, so that you can access more resources or attain greater heights in life.
- Prayers that God will open doors of resources and relationships to you that will enable you to improve the quality of your work results.
- Prayers that God will cause His favour to mightily overflow on your behalf, so that wherever you are being rewarded below what is right, you will receive appropriate and adequate adjustments without delay.
- Prayers that God will cleanse your life of any wrong attitude or behaviour that is limiting you at work or in your business.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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What are you doing with your words? - 21st August 2021

“Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit — you choose.” (Prov 18:21MSG)

All through the Scriptures we are admonished to tame our tongue and not allow it to just say anything that comes to the mind. That is because there is power in words. Remember that it is by His word that God created the universe, the things that are visible and those that are not visible. Also, it is by His word that the present order of things will be destroyed with fire. So, words can create, and words can destroy. (Cf. Heb 11:3; 2Pet 3:5-7)

What, then, have you been using your words for? Have you been using them to create a world of peace, rest and fruitfulness for yourself and others around you? Or have you been using them to destroy your world and the world of others around you?

I know that human words have great limitations, for they cannot accomplish anything beyond the authority and power of those who speak them. Nevertheless, the word of God tells us that our words are still potent enough to either destroy our world further or recreate and make them new. That, in fact, is the point Solomon is communicating to us in our opening bible text. He says words kill and words give life. He also says words can either be poison or fruit.

Did you see that? Your words can kill or give life to your body, marriage, business, relationships and so forth. It all depends on what they are filled with or made up of, poison or fruit. Many, for instance, complain today that things are not going well with them in their marriages, businesses and other life relationships. But when you listen to them and see what words they use in relating to the people in their lives, you will understand why things are so bad and difficult for them and nobody seems to want to help them. Their words are not words of life. Their words are not words that can build their homes, relationships or businesses or fill their lives with peace and joy. Instead, they are caustic, poisonous and proud words that will gradually and ultimately destroy every good thing in their lives.

Jesus once said to His disciples, “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.” (Cf. John 6:63) Did you see that? Our words are spirit. So, they can move and act. But in what direction will they move? And what sort of actions will they carry out? It all depends on what they are filled with. If, like the words of Jesus, they are filled with life, then, they will give life to our lives and world and make them beautiful, regardless of how empty and unproductive they may seem at the moment. But if they are filled with poison and death, then, even if our lives and relationships are the best around, it won’t be long before they are utterly ruined and destroyed.

So, if you want your life and world to be full of joy, peace, rest, progress and fruitfulness, then, begin to carefully and consciously watch your tongue. Yes, begin to watch what you say with your mouth and what character you will fill your words with. Don’t just say anything that comes to your mind; rather, say only those things that are consistent with God’s righteousness, peace and joy. This will be the difference between life and death for you; it will be the difference between success and failure for you.

Then watch what you will fill your heart with. Yes, watch what thoughts you entertain in your heart. That is because your mouth will always speak from the overflow of your heart. So, if you fill yourself with dirt and poison, that is what your tongue will give out. And if you fill your heart with grace and goodness, that is also what your tongue will give out. It is now up to you to choose what you will fill yourself with, dirt and poison or grace and goodness. (Cf. Matt 12:34-37; Luke 6:45)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the gift of speech and also for teaching us by His Spirit not to abuse this gift.
- Prayers that the Spirit of God will cleanse our hearts of every evil and unclean thought that has been polluting our tongues and using them as instruments for ruining our lives and world.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught by the Spirit of God to tame our tongues in righteous and productive communication, so that we will henceforth only use them to build our world and not to destroy it.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will uproot from our lives every seed of poison and death we have planted with our mouths, seed that is producing the fruit of pains and sorrow in our lives.
- Prayers that God will lead us by His Spirit to speak words of life and healing into every relationship of ours that we have damaged with our tongues, so that such relationships can begin to bring forth life and health for us.
- Prayers that God, in accordance with His word of truth, will totally frustrate every word spoken or written against us that is working against our peace, joy and progress (Job 5:21; Is 54:17).
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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SELF-CONTROL – A WALL OF DEFENCE - 14th August 2021

“Like a city whose walls are broken down is a man who lacks self-control.” (Prov 25:28NIV)

The bible is full of stories of people who got into one form of trouble or the other because they lacked self-control. One of such stories is that of King David and Bathsheba. As the account goes, one evening, while David was walking around on the roof his palace, he unexpectedly saw a woman that was bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. And since he was the king and had the authority to summon anybody, he lost no time to find out about the woman and to bring her to himself. (Cf. 2Samuel 11)

Now was David totally wrong to find out about the woman? No, he wasn’t totally wrong to do so, though it was lust that drove him into doing so. Then was he even wrong to want that kind of beautiful woman for wife? No! At least, at that time, there was no law that said that he could not have as many wives as he wanted, if he had the means to take care of them. But when he found out that the woman, Bathsheba, was already married, married to one of his own warriors, what was he supposed to do? He was supposed to destroy whatever desire or affection he was already nursing for her, for the law of God to them says, “You shall not covet your neighbour’s wife.” (Cf. Ex 20:17; Deut 5:21)

However, because of lack of self-control, David, a man after God’s own heart, on that occasion abused his power as king and committed adultery with the wife of another man. Not only that, he went on to murder the woman’s husband, in his attempt to cover up his sin. And that is one of the things that lack of self-control often results in – an abuse of something. It may be an abuse of power, an abuse of privileges, an abuse of sexual passions, an abuse of strength or an abuse of resources.

Whatever it is, lack of self-control will make us abuse something. It will make us use what we have in ways that are wrong and destructive. And where that is the case, there are certain doors of our lives that will naturally open for afflictions of various sorts to come in. That is why Solomon, in our opening bible text, tells us that a man without self-control is like a city whose walls of defence are broken down.

What is that telling us? It is that self-control is a defence. Of course, it is not a physical defence that one can see. But it is a defence, a powerful spiritual defence that prevents unnecessary afflictions from coming into people’s lives. And once it is not there, there is no speaking of what problems may creep into our lives and ruin us.

As we in David’s case, the moment he allowed lack of self-control to lead him into adultery with Bathsheba, an unwanted and disgraceful pregnancy showed up. Then, in trying to solve this problem, he became a murderer. And though God was merciful to him and did not kill him for his sins, He told him in very clear terms that what his lack of self-control had opened the door for death and disgrace of different kinds to gain access into His house. His actual words in expressing this are:

“Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.' "This is what the LORD says: 'Out of your own household I am going to bring calamity upon you. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight. You did it in secret, but I will do this thing in broad daylight before all Israel.'"” (2Sam 12:10-12NIV)

And things happened in this man’s family exactly the way God had said that they would happen. Death and disgrace came into his family. And that was because other members of his household unconsciously started following his example and exhibiting lack of self-control in dealing with one another. So, first, his first son, Amnon, raped one of his sisters, Tamar. And in response to that, he was killed by the lady’s brother, Absalom. Afterwards, this same Absalom plotted a rebellion against his father, David, and took over his kingdom. And right in broad daylight, he raped his own father’s wives before he went on to meet his untimely death. In short, 2Samuel, chapter 13 through 19 is set forth to show us some of the major consequences of the collapse of the spiritual walls of defence of David’s household.

But what brought all these evil things on David and his household? It was his lack of self-control in dealing with another man’s wife. And what originally led him to be tempted with that situation in which he could not control himself? It was his being in the wrong place at the wrong time. As the bible makes clear, David was not supposed to be around in town at all during that period that he saw Bathsheba. It was a period in which kings used to go to war. But instead of going at that time, he chose to send his army generals. And by hanging around at home, he was exposed to a situation that prevailed over his ability to control himself and had to pay very severely for it. That is telling me that being in the wrong place at the wrong time or being with the wrong people in the wrong place and at the wrong time may expose us to situations in which we lose our self-control.

In any case, whatever the reason may be, if we should lose our self-control, no one can say for sure what magnitude of problems will freely flow into our lives and ruin us. But we can look around us to see what lack of self-control is doing to people or has done to people. And if we will look carefully, we will be able to see all around us people whose lives, homes, businesses, careers, body parts or some other things that money cannot buy have been lost or ruined because of their lack of self-control. Perhaps we too can point to certain problems or sufferings that came into our lives because of our lack of self-control in some areas of our lives.

What all this means is that we cannot and must not joke with self-control in our lives. And thanks to God, for He has given us His Holy Spirit to enable us bring forth the fruit of self-control. So, we have no excuse for not being able to tame our tongues, appetites and emotions. All we need is to continually ask God to strengthen us by His Spirit in us to control these things, and He will answer us and do so. But are we going to do so, or are we going to keep making excuses for not putting our lives under the control of the word of God and His Holy Spirit? (Cf. 2Tim 1:7; Tit 2:11-12)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for opening our eyes to see how important it is to be self-controlled or self-disciplined.
- Prayers that God will be merciful to us and enable us to rebuild every wall of defence in our lives (defence against poverty, disgrace, sickness, broken home and so forth) that has collapsed because of our lack of self-control.
- Prayers that God will keep our feet and lives away from places and associations that can make us lose our self-control and misbehave, so that none of the walls of protection He has built around our lives will be broken down.
- Prayers that our hearts will always receive strength from the Spirit of God to be self-controlled in all our relationships and dealings in life and not to yield to our feelings or emotions.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Accept your limitations - 7th August 2021

“The LORD said to Moses: "Bring me seventy of Israel's elders who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Tent of Meeting, that they may stand there with you. I will come down and speak with you there, and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and put the Spirit on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people so that you will not have to carry it alone.”” (Num 11:16-17NIV)


One of the things we must keep in mind, as we journey through life, is that regardless of how much God has blessed us, regardless of the measure of wisdom, skills, education and so forth He has enabled us to possess, we still have limitations. In other words, there are things we cannot do by ourselves or for ourselves and others without the help or support of other people. And the earlier we recognise this and function accordingly the better for us. Otherwise, we may end of destroying ourselves while trying to do by ourselves things others could do for us or end up failing in certain areas of our lives where we could have been successful.


As we see in our opening text, there was a time God told Moses to bring Him a number of the elders of Israel, so that He may appoint and anoint them to help him carry the burden of ministering to the people (Num 11). But that was not the first or only time Moses would be told such things. As we also see in the bible, once, when his father-in-law visited him and observed the way he was attending to all the Israelites alone, he called him aside and told him plainly that he would soon injure himself and the people, if he would not appoint some gifted leaders to help him. And that was because the people were many, already in their millions. So, there was no way he could do the work of leading them alone and not eventually hurt himself and them. (Cf. Ex 18)


Now did he listen to his father-in-law’s counsel? Yes, he did, according to the bible. He appointed a number of people to help him in settling disputes and administering justice in the land. However, as we can infer from our opening bible text, he did not get enough assistance for himself. He just kept on doing many things all by himself until he arrived at his breaking point and got so frustrated that he pleaded with God to kill him.


But what exactly went wrong? Well, at some point, the people he was leading began to complain about their meals. They got tired of eating manna every day and wanted some meat or fish in addition. And so bad was the case that each of their families stood at the entrance to their tent and began to cry. Imagine that. They were crying because of their so-called hardships in the wilderness. (Cf. Num 11:4-10)


That, of course, got God angry and Moses troubled. So, perhaps for the first time, the situation made this man of God acknowledge his limitations. The situation made him see that even though he was mightily anointed of God to lead the people, the job was too much for him to handle alone. Therefore, he said to God:


“Why have you brought this trouble on your servant? What have I done to displease you that you put the burden of all these people on me? Did I conceive all these people? Did I give them birth? Why do you tell me to carry them in my arms, as a nurse carries an infant, to the land you promised on oath to their forefathers? Where can I get meat for all these people? They keep wailing to me, 'Give us meat to eat!' I cannot carry all these people by myself; the burden is too heavy for me. If this is how you are going to treat me, put me to death right now — if I have found favor in your eyes — and do not let me face my own ruin."” (Num 11:11-15NIV)


Who did Moses blame for his frustration? God! But was He the one responsible for it? No! Indeed, it was God that appointed him to lead the people, as many as they were. But it was not He that told him to carry the burden all by himself. Why, then, did He not tell him before to delegate and give room for other gifted people among those he was leading to help him? Well, He told him. He told him through the mouth of his father-in-law. He was the one that did not fully appreciate his limitations and get help accordingly.


Therefore, God had to wait until he fully appreciated and accepted his limitations before He told him the solution. And observe that His solution to Moses’ problem was not death but more leadership. Moses, like many today, wanted to run away from the problem by dying. But would his death or disappearance have solved the problem at hand? No! It most likely would have created more problems for the people.


At any rate, God told him that death was not the solution to the problem at hand but more leadership. That means the reason the people began to complain and grumble in the first place was that they were not getting enough spiritual leadership. Moses and whatever leaders that were on ground to help him were not enough to give the people the right amount of spiritual education they needed to always stay on the same page with God. So, even if God solved the meat problem, and He actually did solve it, there would still be more similar problems in the future, if more spiritual leaders were not provided for the people. That was why He asked Moses to bring Him seventy elders, so that He may appoint them to join him in the work. And after that, this man of God never complained again that the work was too much for him or that he was tired or frustrated.


In like manner, regardless of how dutiful, diligent, smart, wise, educated and blessed of God you may be, you need to accept your limitations and get help where you can sense that you need it. Don’t work yourself to frustration, illness or death, all in the name of wanting to appear responsible, when you could get others’ support for free or at a very cheap rate. And don’t limit yourself in life, business, ministry and so forth by trying to do everything all by yourself, when you could have your coast amazingly enlarged through the support of others.


Therefore, if it is stinginess that is preventing you from sharing your work, get rid of it. A little share of your profit that you give to get other’s support is a little price compared to your health or well-being. And if it is pride or an ugly desire to take all the credit for your success that is driving you to frustration or limiting the scope of your success, deal with it right away. Sharing your success with more people on the great heights of life is a little price to pay compared to working alone and remaining at the bottom of the leader. So, go for all the help you can get to make your life and work easier and more productive, as long as it is legitimate and righteous help.


Let us pray:


- Thanksgiving to God for opening our eyes to see the need for us to learn to reach out for others’ help and support instead of allowing ourselves to be ruined by our life’s burdens.

- Prayers that God will open your eyes to see all the areas of your life in which you need the help and support of others to be at peace or to come out stagnation and accept your limitations in those areas.

- Prayers that your heart will be cleansed of every wrong attitude that is keeping you from getting help at all or getting the right amount of help you need in your life.

- Prayers that your eyes will be opened to recognise all the helpers God has appointed to support and make your life and work easier, so that you may embrace them and allow them to do the will of God in your life.

- Prayers that God will put your affection in the hearts of all the people He has placed in your life to support you to experience great peace and fruitfulness in life, so that they may fully devote themselves to supporting you.

- Prayers that you will be favoured to receive forgiveness from all the helpers of your life that you have chased away through bad habits or behaviour.

- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.


By Johnson O. Lawal


Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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AS IF YOU WERE NOT AWARE - 31st July 2021

“Rescue those being led away to death; hold back those staggering toward slaughter. If you say, "But we knew nothing about this," does not he who weighs the heart perceive it? Does not he who guards your life know it? Will he not repay each person according to what he has done?” (Prov 24:11-12NIV)

A number of years ago, a colleague of mine at work used a software that was deployed by the IT unit of our establishment to credit some people’s accounts with their salaries. Unfortunately, the software malfunctioned and credited accounts of some other people of a particular government office who had no business receiving the money sent. And you know what? They started spending the money without even making any findings about its source. That is to show you how wicked, heartless and selfish humans can be.

At any rate, when it was discovered that the software had malfunctioned and that those that deserved the money sent through it did not get it, the management held my colleague, who had done the transfers responsible for what had happened. But was it really his fault? No! Did he create the software that malfunctioned? No! Did he input wrong account numbers or figures when using the software? No! On the contrary, he did everything right and expected to get appropriate results. But that did not happen because the software failed him.

Who, then, should be held responsible for that? You guess is as good as mine – those who created the software! But that did not happen. Instead, my colleague was told to first go and source for money to pay those who should originally have received the lost money before the management would take any step about the matter. So, he started looking for money, as they had said.

When I heard about it, I was upset and brought up the matter during one of our briefings. I asked our managers to know what steps they had taken about the case, since it came up. I did that because they were in a position to defend the young man before the management and make them see that they were prosecuting the wrong person, while the real offenders were freely moving around and not taking any responsibility for the failure of the system they created. And it was after I had spoken up like that that they woke to see that they were already failing in their duty.

Why am I bringing this up with you? It is to call your attention to what Solomon says in our opening bible text, which is that when you are in a position to save or help someone from any kind of distress, do so and do not ignore them or act as if you were not aware. As long as we are in this world, there will always be circumstances that are set towards harming, disgracing or destroying people. And if those who are in a position to save or help anyone that is about to be harmed, disgraced or destroyed would not act as though it were none of their business, the person may end up experiencing salvation.

For example, the circumstances that surrounded how Lot left Abraham were not really pleasant, even though Abraham handled everything with maturity. Yet on the day that Lot and his family members were taken captives, along with the people of Sodom, Abraham did not sit still, when someone escaped to tell him. Instead, he got up, mustered his own people and went to deliver his nephew and his family. And God made him succeed in doing so. (Cf. Gen 14)

But Abraham could have ignored the news he had heard and said, “Good for him! What was he doing in Sodom in the first place?” Or he could have pretended that he did not hear or know anything about it and allowed the man and his family to live the rest of their lives as slaves. And would that have been a secret to God? No! God would have known what He did and would also have rewarded him accordingly. Then maybe we would not have known or heard anything about him in the history of God’s holy saints of old.

All of this why Solomon, in our opening bible text, wants us to know that just as God is watching and guarding our lives, He also wants us to do the same for anyone around us that may find himself in a position of weakness or vulnerability, a position in which he may be ruined, if he does not get our help on time. The person may not be our friend, family member, neighbour or colleague at work. In fact, the person may even be an enemy of ours. But inasmuch as God has placed us in a position to help them, we must not ignore their situation or act as if did not know about it.

Now helping people like this is not always about giving them money. In fact, in many cases, it is simply about speaking up for them where they have no voice or intelligence to speak or using our office, influence, prayer or counsel to protect them from injustice, robbery, corruption or seduction. If we, then, ignore them at such times or act as if we did not know what they are going through or as if we had no power to assist them, God, who has our lives and ways in His hands and sees our hearts, will deal with us accordingly. Exactly how He will deal with us in such situations is not something I can or anyone else can say. But from what we see in Psalm 82, where He accuses certain leaders of His people of not using their authority and power to maintain justice in the land, it is clear that ignoring those who need our help may open the doors of our lives, homes and even society to confusion and chaos. It may even make us die like people who do not have God as their Father.

Therefore, wherever you are in life, however low or high the place may be, keep it in mind that God will, from time to time, count on you to help certain people out of trouble. And how you fare, then, will determine what sort of experiences you too will have in your life. My prayer is that you will never again fail God in any of such times, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for always opening our eyes to see what He expects of us in life, so that we will not miss and get into trouble.
- Prayers that our eyes will never again be blind to situations in which God wants us to give helping hands to others and save them from their distress.
- Prayers that God will cleanse our hearts of every form of bitterness, anger or a desire for vengeance that is keeping us back from giving helping hands to those that He wants us to help.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy wherever we are experiencing confusion, chaos, barrenness, stagnation or death in our lives because we refused to help certain individuals He had wanted us to help and also bring an end to all such evil experiences.
- Prayers that wherever people that are in a position to help us or speak for us are ignoring us, God will step in and bring about circumstances that will wake them up to do what is right.
- Prayers for everyone that is at the moment in distress and is being ignored by those in a position to help them that God will send marvellous help to them from His throne of mercy and rescue them, even to the shame of those who will not help them.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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GOD’S DISTINCTION -24th July 2021

“And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” (Mal 3:18NIV)

Why would God say to His people, the Jews, that He was going to make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who served Him and those who did not? It was because they were already accusing Him of not treating the righteous any differently from the wicked. Look at the words God uses in expressing their allegations, as recorded by Malachi:

“You have said, 'It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the LORD Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape.'" (Mal 3:14-15NIV)

Did you see that? These people are saying that there is nothing to gain in serving God and in being faithful to His requirements. Why? It is because they are looking at the prosperity of the wicked and comparing themselves with them. And when you begin to compare your life or progress with that of the ungodly people around you, who are probably your peers, colleagues at work or neighbours, you may end up losing your mind. Yes, when you look at the flashy or extravagant lives they are living and the things they have accomplished in what seems like no time, you may want to go crazy, throw away your confidence in God and join them in whatever nonsense they are doing.

To say the fact, there are children of God today that have given up on their faith because they felt it was limiting them or preventing them from becoming accomplished persons in life. I am saying there are people who are used to be known as children of God but who are now engaged in all kinds of evil things, even money rituals, because they wanted to come out of poverty and a life of struggling at all cost. Such people gave up on God and on righteous living because they felt it was not worth it.

But that is not a new thing. For example, Asaph, in one of his psalms, says, “Surely God is good to Israel, to those who are pure in heart. But as for me, my feet had almost slipped; I had nearly lost my foothold. For I envied the arrogant when I saw the prosperity of the wicked.” (Ps 73:1-3NIV) Did you see that? This man also lost himself to wickedness, when he became envious of the prosperity of the wicked. And he would have had his soul destroyed, if he had not visited God’s sanctuary and had his mind renewed with the word of God. Then he realised that the wicked, with all their prosperity and accomplishments, are standing on slippery ground, and it is only a matter of time before they are totally swept away by destruction. (Cf. Ps 73)

So, do not envy the wicked or their prosperity. That is because, at some point, they will certainly perish with their prosperity. But the man who does the will of God will live forever, even if he gains nothing of this earth.

More so, as God says to us in our opening bible text, He will yet again make a distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve Him and those who do not. That means He will surely create circumstances that will show the world that He does not always treat the righteous and the wicked alike – there are times that He does things that will show everyone that it pays to be righteous, that it pays to serve Him.

For instance, when He was going to set the nation of Israel free from Egypt, He made some distinctions in the way He treated the two nations. And that is revealed in the fact that when He brought a terrible plague on Egypt that destroyed their livestock, not one of the animals of the Israelites died. And when He killed all the firstborn of both men and animals in Egypt, not one person lost their life among the Israelites. (Cf. Ex 9:1-7; 11:4-8)

So, the Lord knows how to make a clear distinction between His people, who are faithfully serving Him, and the ungodly who are wallowing in their errors. Instead of becoming envious of the prosperity of the wicked, then, all we need to do is ask Him to fulfil His word concerning us and begin to make a clear distinction between us and the ungodly around us, so that they may know that it pays to serve Him and to walk in His righteous.

Now consider these words of comfort and encouragement, so that you may know how to pray to experience a life of distinction wherever you are and get the ungodly to become envious of you, instead of you becoming envious of them:

"But as for you who forsake the LORD and forget my holy mountain, who spread a table for Fortune and fill bowls of mixed wine for Destiny, I will destine you for the sword, and you will all bend down for the slaughter; for I called but you did not answer, I spoke but you did not listen. You did evil in my sight and chose what displeases me." Therefore this is what the Sovereign LORD says: "My servants will eat, but you will go hungry; my servants will drink, but you will go thirsty; my servants will rejoice, but you will be put to shame. My servants will sing out of the joy of their hearts, but you will cry out from anguish of heart and wail in brokenness of spirit.” (Isa 65:11-14NIV)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a God of justice, who knows how to make a clear distinction between those who love Him and those who hate Him.
- Prayers that God will restore your soul wherever you have gone astray as a result of being envious of the prosperity of the wicked.
- Prayers that your heart, henceforth, will always be strengthened by the Spirit of God never to throw away your confidence in God, which will surely be rewarded, regardless of what circumstances life may throw at you.
- Prayers that God will begin to fulfil His words concerning you in every area of your life where there needs to be an obvious distinction between you, His child, and those who do not know Him.
- Prayers that God will use every distinction He makes with your life to lead many around you to repentance and obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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When wisdom is not enough - 17th July 2021

“Here is another bit of wisdom that has impressed me as I have watched the way our world works. There was a small town with only a few people, and a great king came with his army and besieged it. A poor, wise man knew how to save the town, and so it was rescued. But afterward no one thought to thank him. So even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.” (Eccl 9:13-16NLT)

When you read the writings of Solomon, that is, with the mind of the Spirit of God, you will not fail to see that he understood how this world works. Without doubt, he was a very wise man. In fact, the bible says that the wisdom God blessed him with was as measureless as the sand on the seashore (1Kings 4:29-34). And having tasted the reward of being wise, he counsels all men to price wisdom above all things, saying “Wisdom is the principal thing. Therefore, get wisdom. And though it costs you everything you have, get understanding.” (Cf. Prov 4:7)

So, if you sense that wisdom is lacking in your life or in the way you are handling certain matters of your life, do not hesitate to seek it. And the only place to find it is in God. Yes, the only way to be wise in life is to take God seriously and to also count on Him to make our hearts wise. (Cf. Job 28:28; Ps 111:10; 1Cor 1:30; James 1:5-8)

But then, this man, Solomon, as he investigates life and how to make sense out of it, discovers that wisdom is not sufficient for us to win people’s respect or attention. There are some others things we must have as well, if we want the people of this world to take us seriously. And one of them is wealth.

Now is wealth better or greater than wisdom? No! Yes, as Solomon equally points out elsewhere in his writings, both money and wisdom can shelter us from all kinds of life’s problems. However, wisdom is better because it is able to preserve the life of the one who has it, even where money has failed. (Cf. Ecc 7:12)

Nevertheless, as we see in our opening text, Solomon counsels us not to desire wisdom alone but to desire along with it money. Why? It is because, as far this world is concerned, people often take more seriously rich foolish people than poor wise people. And he gives us an illustration to support this. He speaks of a situation that he personally witnessed. It was that of a poor man that used his wisdom to save a town from a mighty king that had come to attack it. But after that incident, nobody remembered that poor man. They just totally forgot about him and all that he did for them.

Therefore, Solomon says, “Even though wisdom is better than strength, those who are wise will be despised if they are poor. What they say will not be appreciated for long.” And is this not the reality? Well, I myself can confirm that it is the reality, not just in the world but even in the church of God. See, I have been in assemblies where brethren that are full of the Spirit of God and wisdom to edify God’s people don’t have a voice at all. Nobody listens to them or takes them seriously. Why? It is because they don’t have money.

I am saying that I have been in assemblies of God’s people where your money has to speak for you before you can even book an appointment with your pastors. And I have also been in assemblies where people who have no character whatsoever can become anything, even a pastor, as long as they are rich and are willing to use their money for the church. Is this supposed to be happening in the church? No! However, that is the way the world works. And as long as the church keeps trying to function according to the ways of the world, such things will not stop happening among us.

Now then, if in the church of God, we see many taking money more seriously than wisdom or righteous living, what do you think the case will be among those of this world? Even worse! And this explains why we have many rich fools in leadership positions all around the world today. See, people are not going to listen to you or accept you as their leader just because you are wise; rather, they are going to do so because you have enough money to do things that will get their attention and make them believe you can deliver, even where you lack the capacity to do so.

Why did many come from different parts of the world to listen to Solomon? Was it just because he was wise? No! It was also because he was exceedingly wealthy. He had the money to entertain them and capture their attention. He had the money to do things that made them wonder what manner of man he was. So, they had no choice but to take him seriously.

In like manner, if we too want men to take always take us seriously wherever we are, we need to understand that we need more than wisdom, knowledge, education, ideas, character or creativity. We also need to be rich in earthly things. But our wisdom, knowledge, education, ideas, character or creativity on its own cannot make us rich. Otherwise, it would have made us rich already. (Cf. Ecc 9:11)

The only one that can make us rich, truly rich, is God Himself. And not only can He make us rich, He is also interested in doing so. At least, He made Solomon rich, that is, besides the fact that He made him wise. If we too will put Him first in all things in our lives and take His instructions for living seriously, He will make us not only wise but also rich, so rich that we can be generous on every occasion. That way, there is nowhere we go or find ourselves, that people will not take us seriously. (Cf. Matt 6:33; 2Cor 8:8-11)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for making it possible for us to know how the world works through His holy Scriptures, so that we may gain insight into how to be relevant in life.
- Prayers that God, who has made Christ Jesus wisdom for us, will cause this wisdom to fill our hearts through and through, so that we will never again do anything foolish in life.
- Prayers that God, in accordance with His word, will so enrich us with the things of this world that in all things, at all times, having all that we need, we may be generous in every situation.
- Prayers that God, out of the fullness of the person of Jesus Christ, will abundantly furnish our lives with everything that will make all the things He has blessed us with shine forth, so that those of this world will take us seriously instead of despising us, irrespective of where we find ourselves.
- Prayers that God will keep our hearts right before Him all the time, so that we will never price any earthly thing above Him or above His righteousness in our lives or affairs.
- Prayers that God will lead all His assemblies where they have allowed money to take the place of the Holy Spirit in their affairs to repentance, so that His judgment may cease in their midst.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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FRUITFUL IN THE LAND OF YOUR SUFFERING -
10th July 2021

“The second son he named Ephraim and said, "It is because God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering."” (Gen 41:52NIV)

The stories of the lives of many people are not too different from that of Joseph of bible days. The only difference may be in how their stories end. For Joseph, everything started well. He grew up in his father’s house, where he was loved, cherished, respected, honoured and adequately taken care of. Also, he grew up with great and lovely dreams and visions of a beautiful and honourable future. So, he was a young man that was full of life and hope. (Cf. Gen 37:1-11)

But soon enough, he realised that the future he was hoping to have would not come to him as easily as he had thought, that is, if it came to him at all. And that was because his brothers spoilt things. They got so envious of him that they sold him into slavery – they sold him to a situation that was capable of making him and his dreams disappear forever. (Cf. Gen 37:12-36)

Nonetheless, Joseph held fast to God. He did not give up on God because God would not give up on him. So, even as a slave boy in Egypt, precisely Potiphar’s house, where he had been taken, he took advantage of God’s favour on his life to excel. And it was not long before he became a very important person in his master’s house – he became the manager of the man’s entire household. (Cf. Gen 39:1-6)

Unfortunately, Satan still would not let him be. He began to stir up his master’s wife to seduce him to do something that would make him remain in slavery forever. But because this young man would not let go of the fear of God, even in a foreign land and among idolaters, he did not yield to her. And so he had to pay the price, which was imprisonment. He was imprisoned like a common criminal and made to partake in the fate of wicked people. (Cf. Gen 39:7-20)

Yet Joseph would not give up on God because God would not give up on him. So, again, he took advantage of His favour on his life to also excel in the prison. And it was from this prison that God led him out and caused him to be so favoured that he became the second-in-command of the king of Egypt at age thirty. That means, according to bible records, he went through about thirteen years of pains and sorrow both as a slave and prisoner before his dreams came true. (Cf. Gen 39-41)

At any rate, God, by His divine power, fulfilled all this young man’s beautiful dreams of greatness for him. Not only that, He built a home for him and gave him wonderful children. And in showing appreciation to God for this, he named one of his sons Ephraim, which means God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering. Think about that. In the same place where this young man lived both as a slave and prisoner, he was exalted to the highest known office that the king of Egypt could give anybody at that time, the office of a prime minister.

In like manner, the same God who made him fruitful in the land of his suffering can make us fruitful and productive too, even in the land of our suffering. Perhaps we too started out in life with great and lofty dreams, only to have things messed up for us through some unexpected situations that seemed to be bent on taking everything away from us. However, as long as there is life in us, we don’t need to give up on God, for He too will not give up on us.

See, irrespective of what we have gone through or are going through, God is still able to fulfil all our beautiful and precious dreams for us, if we won’t give up on Him or give up on ourselves. Yes, He is able to make you a king in that same place where you have functioned as a slave or prisoner and make you a boss where you have been a messenger. So, don’t give up on Him. Also, do not give up on yourself. You will be giving up on God and yourself, if you, for any reason, should give up on excellence, righteousness, diligence, faithfulness, purity or anything upright. And that is what will give Satan an opportunity to frustrate your God-given dreams and lock you up in a life of wandering.

Now I am sure you do not want to give Satan any opportunity to steal or frustrate your dreams of a great and beautiful life. Therefore, hold on to God and remain faithful to His ways of righteousness. And though you are at the moment locked up in a dungeon of failure and it seems your life will never amount to anything meaningful forever, He will locate you there and bring about circumstances that will bring you out and set you among princes in that same place where you have been abused, hated, rejected and oppressed. Do you believe this? If you do, go ahead and give thanks and pray.

- Thanksgiving to God because all power belongs to Him, the power to lift up and the power to cast down, and because He cares enough for us to use His power to make our dreams come true.
- Prayers that God will create in you a fresh hunger and thirst to witness a realisation of all the beautiful and righteous dreams He has given you, so that your trust in Him will be renewed.
- Prayers that God will keep your heart faithful to Him and also patient with Him, regardless of what you have gone through or are going through, so that you will not miss the time of His visitation for your lifting.
- Prayers that God will strengthen you to always function with character and diligence, regardless of the position you are now or may still find yourself in life.
- Prayers that God, by the power with which He has everything under control, will fulfil all your dreams for a beautiful, meaningful, fruitful and productive life, so that you may truly reign as a king in all the places you have suffered and lived in pains as a slave.
- Prayers that God will show you mercy in every area of your life where your lack of patience, diligence and trust in Him has given Satan an opportunity to steal or frustrate your dreams, so that fresh opportunities to realise those dreams may be brought to you.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Be safety conscious - 3rd July 2021

“Whoever digs a pit may fall into it; whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Whoever quarries stones may be injured by them; whoever splits logs may be endangered by them.” (Eccl 10:8-9NIV)

In everything we do there is a need for us to be cautious, careful and considerate. Yes, in everything we do we need to be safety conscious. That is because we may end up endangering ourselves or others through our carelessness or lack of caution or consideration. And that is the point Solomon seeks to communicate to us in our opening bible text, using various illustrations.

First, he says the one that digs a pit may fall into it. Why will anyone want to dig a pit? The reasons may be plenty. But when you dig a pit, make sure you cover it or leave a notice around it to warn others of the danger it may pose to them. In short, when you do anything, however good or beneficial it may be, that is capable of injuring you or someone else, one way or the other, make sure you do all you can to secure it. Otherwise, you yourself or one of your loved ones may end up being the one that will suffer for it. And there have been many victims of things like this, some of whom you too may know.

Second, Solomon says whoever breaks through a wall may be bitten by a snake. Why will someone want to break through a wall? There may be various legitimate reason for wanting to do so. It is not only thieves or burglars that may want to break through a wall. Anyone may want to break through a wall for various good reasons. It may not even be a physical wall that we need to break through. It may be the wall of a system or an organisation that we want to break through, for very good reasons.

At any rate, the point that Solomon is making is that inasmuch as we do not know what lies at the other side of whatever wall we are breaking through, we need to be cautious and prepare for surprises. Otherwise, we may get bitten by a snake. And there have been many good people who became victims of such things. They meant well. But in trying to break through certain walls of oppression or injustice, they got bitten by snakes that were lying in wait for them. And that was because they did not work with caution and prepare for surprises or sudden attacks of the wicked.

Third, Solomon says whoever quarries stones may be injured by them, just as whoever splits logs may be endangered by them. Every job has its own level of risks. So, it will only be wise of each of us to know the level of risks our jobs may expose us to and do all that we can to protect ourselves. And that is what Solomon is saying here. Know the risks of your job and guard yourself against them. Know the risks of the tools you are using and protect yourself against being hurt by them. Take seriously all the safety precautions of your work place or environment. And don’t try to manage something that should be repaired or totally discarded, especially when it could endanger your life or health, even when someone is insisting or threatening you to do so. Otherwise, when the harm has already been done, no amount of compensation or apology may be sufficient to take care of it.

Now, of course, ultimately, it is only those that God keeps safe that will be safe (Psalm 127:1). So, regardless of how careful, cautious, considerate or safety conscious we may be, if He does not keep us safe, we won’t be safe. Therefore, don’t ever put your trust in whatever steps you are taking to keep yourself or others around you safe. Instead, put it in God. Otherwise a day will come when you will see the folly of trusting in yourself instead of trusting in God.

All this, however, does not mean we are not to do all that is within our capability to stay safe from injuries, pains and hurts that could have been avoided. And interestingly, it is the same man (Solomon) that tells us that unless God keeps a city safe, the watchmen lie awake in vain that is also telling us to be safety conscious. So, be safety conscious and also considerate in all that you do. That is because you may not be the only one that will be endangered through your carelessness or lack of caution or consideration; someone else may be. With what soap will you, then, wash your name clean, when people begin to hold you responsible for the harm that has come to others? So, watch yourself.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is always concerned about our safety and that of the people around us.
- Prayers that God will cause you to always function with soundness of mind in handling every matter of your life, so that you or others will not end up being victims of your own creation.
- Prayers that in dealing with difficult situations and people, God will always instruct your heart on steps to take to avoid their traps or sudden attacks.
- Prayers that your heart will be taught and strengthened by God to never take safety precautions lightly wherever you are and in whatever you do, so that you may always be protected from needless troubles and harm.
- Prayers that God, in His love, will comfort and fully restore anyone that has suffered or that is suffering in any way because of your carelessness or lack of caution or consideration.
- Prayers that you will be shown mercy wherever you are experiencing sorrow or suffering because of the part you play in the affliction of others or because of you are a victim of your own carelessness, lack of caution or consideration.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Refuse to partake in it -
26th June 2021

“The word of the LORD came to me: "What do you people mean by quoting this proverb about the land of Israel: "'The fathers eat sour grapes, and the children's teeth are set on edge'? "As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, you will no longer quote this proverb in Israel. For every living soul belongs to me, the father as well as the son — both alike belong to me. The soul who sins is the one who will die.” (Ezek 18:1-4NIV)

It is true, as pointed out in the bible, that God punishes the children and their children for the sins of their parents to the third and fourth generations. But that is not all that is said about Him in the bible. It is also said that he maintains love to thousands of those who love Him and forgives wickedness and rebellion. It is evident, then, that the major reason people and their children get ultimately punished for their sins by God is their unwillingness to repent. (Cf. Exodus 20:5-6 & 34:6-7)

Unfortunately, because many do not understand this, they allow certain generational sufferings to persist in their lives. But you need to understand that you do not have to suffer at all for the sins of your parents or ancestors. No, you do not have to get punished for their errors or function under certain curses placed on them because of their misbehaviour. That is because it is not the will of God for you to suffer for their sins, if you yourself are not living in sin.

Now that is the point God is making to His people through Ezekiel in our opening bible text. Clearly, some of them have been functioning with the mindset that they won’t be the ones to suffer for their wickedness but their children after them. Just imagine that height of wickedness and selfishness. These people were so wicked and selfish that they did not mind making a mess of the future of their children after them.

We still have such parents today. They don’t consider tomorrow at all when they act. So, they invite on themselves troubles that are too big for them alone to carry and that generations after them must also partake in. This explains why poverty, barrenness, premature death and some terrible illnesses are reigning in some families today. Certain members of these families that are probably no more messed up and brought trouble on them.

In any case, if you happen to belong to such a family, life does not have to go or end for you the way it has been for others. That is because, as God tells His people through Ezekiel, it is the soul that sins that will die. That means He will never punish a righteous child for the sins of his parents or ancestors. In fact, He explains and stresses this fact all through the eighteenth chapter of the book of this prophet.

Therefore, as God’s child, one that He has made righteous through His Son, Jesus Christ, you can stand on what He has said and reject every generational problem. I mean that you can, on the basis of what God says through Ezekiel, keep declaring this:

“I refuse to be a part of whatever curse of poverty, sickness, barrenness or death that is at work in my natural family. Yes, my ancestors sinned and brought trouble on the family. But since God has said that I will not be punished for the sins I did not commit, I refuse to partake in any punishment that is associated with their sins. Not only that, Jesus Christ already paid for my sins and their sins and made me a member of a new family, the family of God. And in God’s family, poverty, premature death, barrenness and sicknesses have no place. So, I cannot experience them any more than God can.”

And so shall it be, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

But then, here is a word of caution for you: you also need to make sure you are not living in sin, having been saved already and brought into God’s family. Otherwise, your confession of these words will not accomplish what you expect or think it will accomplish. Remember that the bible says that we cannot continue in sin and expect God’s grace to abound. So, watch yourself. (Cf. Deut 29:19-21; Rom 6:1)

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for rescuing us from the dominion of darkness and bringing us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
- Thanksgiving to God for sending His Son, Jesus, to take care of all our sins and even the sins of our parents and ancestors, so much so that He is no longer counting them against us or pressing that we should pay for them.
- Declarations in the name of Jesus that the hold of sicknesses, diseases, barrenness, premature death, poverty or anything that is associated with the sins of your ancestors and that is trying to reign in your life or home is broken totally over you and your family.
- Prayers that God’s favour will speak for you in whatever area the sins of your family or ancestors are making people to work against you or to hate you.
- Prayers that you will be kept by the Spirit of God from taking any step that will result in generational trouble for you and your home.
- Prayers that the Spirit of God will lead you to repentance in whatever ways you are opening the door of your life for generational troubles to come in and afflict you.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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FREEDOM FROM AN UNYIELDING OPPRESSOR - 19th June 2021

“That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people: "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."” (Ex 5:6-9NIV)


What let Pharaoh to give the kind of cruel order that we have in our opening text concerning the children of Israel? It was the fact that Moses, their God-given representative, asked that they be given freedom from their many years of hard labour, hard labour without proportionate reward.

So, it is not a new thing for leaders to get angry and act even more wickedly because those under them are asking for better living conditions or for freedom from a life of slavery and shame. It is also not a new thing for employers or bosses to get upset because their workers are demanding for better work conditions or for remunerations that are commensurate to the labour they are offering.

Pharoah got upset and decided to make life more bitter for the children of Israel because Moses demanded for their independence, according to the will of God. So, if certain people (leaders, employers, bosses or guardians) are at the moment making life more bitter or miserable for you, just because you are demanding for better living or work conditions, do not consider your case peculiar. The children of Israel went through similar or even worse things under the hand of Pharaoh when they were in Egypt.

In fact, the case of those Israelites was so bad that they lost all hope of ever being set free to live independent and enjoyable lives. So, the bible says, even when Moses assured them that God was definitely going to set them free, in spite of the cruelty and stubbornness of Pharaoh, they would not listen to him or believe him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage (Ex 6:1-9). And why would they not listen to Moses or believe him? It was because they knew the kind of person Pharaoh was.

See, this particular Pharaoh was not just a wicked and cruel ruler; he was also one that was given to witchcraft and sorcery. At least, from what we see in the book of Exodus, this man had all kinds of sorcerers, enchanters and magicians around him, who were there to oppose anyone that may want to attack him spiritually. Besides, if you will carefully read the dealings of Moses with this king, you will not fail to see that he did not think of himself as an ordinary man but as a god-man. That was why he kept on acting stubborn, even when his sorcerers and magicians had made it clear to him that he was up against the living God and could never win. He just wanted to see for himself how far this so-called God would be willing to go to set them free. (Cf. Ex 7-10)

So, if God had not delivered the Israelites from the hands of this man, no one would have been able to deliver them from his hands. That is because he was ready to use everything in his power – his military force, witchcraft, sorcery, divination and so forth – to keep them in perpetual bondage to himself and his people. Therefore, even if they could stage a protest or embark on strike actions, options that were not available to them at all, they still stood no chance to be set free.

Really, we should be thankful today for the various forms of liberty people now enjoy in the various countries of the world. And that is why, in some cases, we can conduct peaceful protests or embark on strike actions, if we are dissatisfied with our governments, employers or bosses at work. But we need to understand that unless God Himself gives us liberty or make life better for us, all our agitations, protests or fights will never amount to anything.

Don’t miss my point here. I am not saying it is wrong for people to conduct peaceful protests or use any means approved under the laws of their land to fight oppression or injustice of any kind. Rather, what I am saying is that it is wrong for us to put our trust in these things, which, unfortunately, is what many of us have been doing. We think if we protest long enough or embark on strike actions long enough, the yokes of oppression will certainly be broken off our necks. But we are wrong. These yokes will not be broken unless God himself breaks them, as He did for the Israelites.

To say the fact, the leaders, employers, bosses or guardians that many of us are dealing with today are most likely not different from the Pharaoh of Moses’ day. Like him, they too are willing to use anything within their reach, including witchcraft, sorcery, divination, thuggery, manipulation and so forth, to keep us in bondage. But if, instead of putting our trust in men, institutions, protests or any human means for deliverance, we will put it in God, He will at the right time vindicate us, set us free and give us the beautiful life our hearts desire. And He will do this for us, even if He has to perform a thousand miracles for us, because He cares much for us (1Pet 5:7).

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us and is willing to use His power to set us free from every form of oppression.
- Prayers that God will teach and strengthen our hearts never again to trust in the arms of the flesh for our experience of freedom or better work or living conditions but to trust in Him.
- Prayers that God will hasten His works and set us free from every form of oppressive leadership that is robbing us of peace, joy, initiatives and fruitfulness in life.
- Prayers that just as God rewarded the children of Israel for all their centuries of hard labour in Egypt, on the day that He brought them out, He will also begin to reward us for all our hard and diligent labour that people, governments and even institutions have refused to pay or reward us for.
- Prayers that God will frustrate and turn into nonsense every form of witchcraft, sorcery, divination or enchantment that is being used to keep us in poverty, fear or stagnation in life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be led to repentance without delay wherever we too are oppressing people, so that we will stop hindering our own liberation from hard and unprofitable living.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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FREEDOM FROM AN UNYIELDING OPPRESSOR - 19th June 2021

“That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people: "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."” (Ex 5:6-9NIV)


What let Pharaoh to give the kind of cruel order that we have in our opening text concerning the children of Israel? It was the fact that Moses, their God-given representative, asked that they be given freedom from their many years of hard labour, hard labour without proportionate reward.

So, it is not a new thing for leaders to get angry and act even more wickedly because those under them are asking for better living conditions or for freedom from a life of slavery and shame. It is also not a new thing for employers or bosses to get upset because their workers are demanding for better work conditions or for remunerations that are commensurate to the labour they are offering.

Pharoah got upset and decided to make life more bitter for the children of Israel because Moses demanded for their independence, according to the will of God. So, if certain people (leaders, employers, bosses or guardians) are at the moment making life more bitter or miserable for you, just because you are demanding for better living or work conditions, do not consider your case peculiar. The children of Israel went through similar or even worse things under the hand of Pharaoh when they were in Egypt.

In fact, the case of those Israelites was so bad that they lost all hope of ever being set free to live independent and enjoyable lives. So, the bible says, even when Moses assured them that God was definitely going to set them free, in spite of the cruelty and stubbornness of Pharaoh, they would not listen to him or believe him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage (Ex 6:1-9). And why would they not listen to Moses or believe him? It was because they knew the kind of person Pharaoh was.

See, this particular Pharaoh was not just a wicked and cruel ruler; he was also one that was given to witchcraft and sorcery. At least, from what we see in the book of Exodus, this man had all kinds of sorcerers, enchanters and magicians around him, who were there to oppose anyone that may want to attack him spiritually. Besides, if you will carefully read the dealings of Moses with this king, you will not fail to see that he did not think of himself as an ordinary man but as a god-man. That was why he kept on acting stubborn, even when his sorcerers and magicians had made it clear to him that he was up against the living God and could never win. He just wanted to see for himself how far this so-called God would be willing to go to set them free. (Cf. Ex 7-10)

So, if God had not delivered the Israelites from the hands of this man, no one would have been able to deliver them from his hands. That is because he was ready to use everything in his power – his military force, witchcraft, sorcery, divination and so forth – to keep them in perpetual bondage to himself and his people. Therefore, even if they could stage a protest or embark on strike actions, options that were not available to them at all, they still stood no chance to be set free.

Really, we should be thankful today for the various forms of liberty people now enjoy in the various countries of the world. And that is why, in some cases, we can conduct peaceful protests or embark on strike actions, if we are dissatisfied with our governments, employers or bosses at work. But we need to understand that unless God Himself gives us liberty or make life better for us, all our agitations, protests or fights will never amount to anything.

Don’t miss my point here. I am not saying it is wrong for people to conduct peaceful protests or use any means approved under the laws of their land to fight oppression or injustice of any kind. Rather, what I am saying is that it is wrong for us to put our trust in these things, which, unfortunately, is what many of us have been doing. We think if we protest long enough or embark on strike actions long enough, the yokes of oppression will certainly be broken off our necks. But we are wrong. These yokes will not be broken unless God himself breaks them, as He did for the Israelites.

To say the fact, the leaders, employers, bosses or guardians that many of us are dealing with today are most likely not different from the Pharaoh of Moses’ day. Like him, they too are willing to use anything within their reach, including witchcraft, sorcery, divination, thuggery, manipulation and so forth, to keep us in bondage. But if, instead of putting our trust in men, institutions, protests or any human means for deliverance, we will put it in God, He will at the right time vindicate us, set us free and give us the beautiful life our hearts desire. And He will do this for us, even if He has to perform a thousand miracles for us, because He cares much for us (1Pet 5:7).

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us and is willing to use His power to set us free from every form of oppression.
- Prayers that God will teach and strengthen our hearts never again to trust in the arms of the flesh for our experience of freedom or better work or living conditions but to trust in Him.
- Prayers that God will hasten His works and set us free from every form of oppressive leadership that is robbing us of peace, joy, initiatives and fruitfulness in life.
- Prayers that just as God rewarded the children of Israel for all their centuries of hard labour in Egypt, on the day that He brought them out, He will also begin to reward us for all our hard and diligent labour that people, governments and even institutions have refused to pay or reward us for.
- Prayers that God will frustrate and turn into nonsense every form of witchcraft, sorcery, divination or enchantment that is being used to keep us in poverty, fear or stagnation in life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be led to repentance without delay wherever we too are oppressing people, so that we will stop hindering our own liberation from hard and unprofitable living.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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FREEDOM FROM AN UNYIELDING OPPRESSOR - 19th June 2021

“That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people: "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."” (Ex 5:6-9NIV)


What let Pharaoh to give the kind of cruel order that we have in our opening text concerning the children of Israel? It was the fact that Moses, their God-given representative, asked that they be given freedom from their many years of hard labour, hard labour without proportionate reward.

So, it is not a new thing for leaders to get angry and act even more wickedly because those under them are asking for better living conditions or for freedom from a life of slavery and shame. It is also not a new thing for employers or bosses to get upset because their workers are demanding for better work conditions or for remunerations that are commensurate to the labour they are offering.

Pharoah got upset and decided to make life more bitter for the children of Israel because Moses demanded for their independence, according to the will of God. So, if certain people (leaders, employers, bosses or guardians) are at the moment making life more bitter or miserable for you, just because you are demanding for better living or work conditions, do not consider your case peculiar. The children of Israel went through similar or even worse things under the hand of Pharaoh when they were in Egypt.

In fact, the case of those Israelites was so bad that they lost all hope of ever being set free to live independent and enjoyable lives. So, the bible says, even when Moses assured them that God was definitely going to set them free, in spite of the cruelty and stubbornness of Pharaoh, they would not listen to him or believe him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage (Ex 6:1-9). And why would they not listen to Moses or believe him? It was because they knew the kind of person Pharaoh was.

See, this particular Pharaoh was not just a wicked and cruel ruler; he was also one that was given to witchcraft and sorcery. At least, from what we see in the book of Exodus, this man had all kinds of sorcerers, enchanters and magicians around him, who were there to oppose anyone that may want to attack him spiritually. Besides, if you will carefully read the dealings of Moses with this king, you will not fail to see that he did not think of himself as an ordinary man but as a god-man. That was why he kept on acting stubborn, even when his sorcerers and magicians had made it clear to him that he was up against the living God and could never win. He just wanted to see for himself how far this so-called God would be willing to go to set them free. (Cf. Ex 7-10)

So, if God had not delivered the Israelites from the hands of this man, no one would have been able to deliver them from his hands. That is because he was ready to use everything in his power – his military force, witchcraft, sorcery, divination and so forth – to keep them in perpetual bondage to himself and his people. Therefore, even if they could stage a protest or embark on strike actions, options that were not available to them at all, they still stood no chance to be set free.

Really, we should be thankful today for the various forms of liberty people now enjoy in the various countries of the world. And that is why, in some cases, we can conduct peaceful protests or embark on strike actions, if we are dissatisfied with our governments, employers or bosses at work. But we need to understand that unless God Himself gives us liberty or make life better for us, all our agitations, protests or fights will never amount to anything.

Don’t miss my point here. I am not saying it is wrong for people to conduct peaceful protests or use any means approved under the laws of their land to fight oppression or injustice of any kind. Rather, what I am saying is that it is wrong for us to put our trust in these things, which, unfortunately, is what many of us have been doing. We think if we protest long enough or embark on strike actions long enough, the yokes of oppression will certainly be broken off our necks. But we are wrong. These yokes will not be broken unless God himself breaks them, as He did for the Israelites.

To say the fact, the leaders, employers, bosses or guardians that many of us are dealing with today are most likely not different from the Pharaoh of Moses’ day. Like him, they too are willing to use anything within their reach, including witchcraft, sorcery, divination, thuggery, manipulation and so forth, to keep us in bondage. But if, instead of putting our trust in men, institutions, protests or any human means for deliverance, we will put it in God, He will at the right time vindicate us, set us free and give us the beautiful life our hearts desire. And He will do this for us, even if He has to perform a thousand miracles for us, because He cares much for us (1Pet 5:7).

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us and is willing to use His power to set us free from every form of oppression.
- Prayers that God will teach and strengthen our hearts never again to trust in the arms of the flesh for our experience of freedom or better work or living conditions but to trust in Him.
- Prayers that God will hasten His works and set us free from every form of oppressive leadership that is robbing us of peace, joy, initiatives and fruitfulness in life.
- Prayers that just as God rewarded the children of Israel for all their centuries of hard labour in Egypt, on the day that He brought them out, He will also begin to reward us for all our hard and diligent labour that people, governments and even institutions have refused to pay or reward us for.
- Prayers that God will frustrate and turn into nonsense every form of witchcraft, sorcery, divination or enchantment that is being used to keep us in poverty, fear or stagnation in life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be led to repentance without delay wherever we too are oppressing people, so that we will stop hindering our own liberation from hard and unprofitable living.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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FREEDOM FROM AN UNYIELDING OPPRESSOR - 19th June 2021

“That same day Pharaoh gave this order to the slave drivers and foremen in charge of the people: "You are no longer to supply the people with straw for making bricks; let them go and gather their own straw. But require them to make the same number of bricks as before; don't reduce the quota. They are lazy; that is why they are crying out, 'Let us go and sacrifice to our God.' Make the work harder for the men so that they keep working and pay no attention to lies."” (Ex 5:6-9NIV)


What let Pharaoh to give the kind of cruel order that we have in our opening text concerning the children of Israel? It was the fact that Moses, their God-given representative, asked that they be given freedom from their many years of hard labour, hard labour without proportionate reward.

So, it is not a new thing for leaders to get angry and act even more wickedly because those under them are asking for better living conditions or for freedom from a life of slavery and shame. It is also not a new thing for employers or bosses to get upset because their workers are demanding for better work conditions or for remunerations that are commensurate to the labour they are offering.

Pharoah got upset and decided to make life more bitter for the children of Israel because Moses demanded for their independence, according to the will of God. So, if certain people (leaders, employers, bosses or guardians) are at the moment making life more bitter or miserable for you, just because you are demanding for better living or work conditions, do not consider your case peculiar. The children of Israel went through similar or even worse things under the hand of Pharaoh when they were in Egypt.

In fact, the case of those Israelites was so bad that they lost all hope of ever being set free to live independent and enjoyable lives. So, the bible says, even when Moses assured them that God was definitely going to set them free, in spite of the cruelty and stubbornness of Pharaoh, they would not listen to him or believe him because of their discouragement and cruel bondage (Ex 6:1-9). And why would they not listen to Moses or believe him? It was because they knew the kind of person Pharaoh was.

See, this particular Pharaoh was not just a wicked and cruel ruler; he was also one that was given to witchcraft and sorcery. At least, from what we see in the book of Exodus, this man had all kinds of sorcerers, enchanters and magicians around him, who were there to oppose anyone that may want to attack him spiritually. Besides, if you will carefully read the dealings of Moses with this king, you will not fail to see that he did not think of himself as an ordinary man but as a god-man. That was why he kept on acting stubborn, even when his sorcerers and magicians had made it clear to him that he was up against the living God and could never win. He just wanted to see for himself how far this so-called God would be willing to go to set them free. (Cf. Ex 7-10)

So, if God had not delivered the Israelites from the hands of this man, no one would have been able to deliver them from his hands. That is because he was ready to use everything in his power – his military force, witchcraft, sorcery, divination and so forth – to keep them in perpetual bondage to himself and his people. Therefore, even if they could stage a protest or embark on strike actions, options that were not available to them at all, they still stood no chance to be set free.

Really, we should be thankful today for the various forms of liberty people now enjoy in the various countries of the world. And that is why, in some cases, we can conduct peaceful protests or embark on strike actions, if we are dissatisfied with our governments, employers or bosses at work. But we need to understand that unless God Himself gives us liberty or make life better for us, all our agitations, protests or fights will never amount to anything.

Don’t miss my point here. I am not saying it is wrong for people to conduct peaceful protests or use any means approved under the laws of their land to fight oppression or injustice of any kind. Rather, what I am saying is that it is wrong for us to put our trust in these things, which, unfortunately, is what many of us have been doing. We think if we protest long enough or embark on strike actions long enough, the yokes of oppression will certainly be broken off our necks. But we are wrong. These yokes will not be broken unless God himself breaks them, as He did for the Israelites.

To say the fact, the leaders, employers, bosses or guardians that many of us are dealing with today are most likely not different from the Pharaoh of Moses’ day. Like him, they too are willing to use anything within their reach, including witchcraft, sorcery, divination, thuggery, manipulation and so forth, to keep us in bondage. But if, instead of putting our trust in men, institutions, protests or any human means for deliverance, we will put it in God, He will at the right time vindicate us, set us free and give us the beautiful life our hearts desire. And He will do this for us, even if He has to perform a thousand miracles for us, because He cares much for us (1Pet 5:7).

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us and is willing to use His power to set us free from every form of oppression.
- Prayers that God will teach and strengthen our hearts never again to trust in the arms of the flesh for our experience of freedom or better work or living conditions but to trust in Him.
- Prayers that God will hasten His works and set us free from every form of oppressive leadership that is robbing us of peace, joy, initiatives and fruitfulness in life.
- Prayers that just as God rewarded the children of Israel for all their centuries of hard labour in Egypt, on the day that He brought them out, He will also begin to reward us for all our hard and diligent labour that people, governments and even institutions have refused to pay or reward us for.
- Prayers that God will frustrate and turn into nonsense every form of witchcraft, sorcery, divination or enchantment that is being used to keep us in poverty, fear or stagnation in life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be led to repentance without delay wherever we too are oppressing people, so that we will stop hindering our own liberation from hard and unprofitable living.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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When you are the judge - 12th June 2021

“Jehoshaphat lived in Jerusalem, and he went out again among the people from Beersheba to the hill country of Ephraim and turned them back to the LORD, the God of their fathers. He appointed judges in the land, in each of the fortified cities of Judah. He told them, "Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for man but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict. Now let the fear of the LORD be upon you. Judge carefully, for with the LORD our God there is no injustice or partiality or bribery." (2Chron 19:4-7NIV)

Among the reasons God gives leaders to people everywhere is to establish, maintain and promote justice. In fact, in his letter to the Romans, Paul tells us that every leader, especially a government leader, is God’s messenger, sent to do good to those who do what is right and to punish those who are wicked (Rom 13:4). So, if you are a leader in any capacity, at home, in an organisation, society or school, in a government establishment or even in a church, God is counting on you to give and strengthen justice among those under your care.

See, ever since the fall of man in the Garden of Eden, he has become prone to all kinds of evil desires and tendencies. And unless he is recreated and possessed by the Spirit of God, there is every tendency that he will destroy not only the people around him but also himself. So, there must be in every place people and systems that will judge evil and also reward good. In other words, people must always know that there is justice where they are. Otherwise, they will sell themselves totally to evil and move God to step in and destroy them.

Why did God seek to destroy man from the face of the earth in Noah’s day? Was it just because evil was prevalent all over the world? No! Of course, evil was prevalent everywhere in the world. In fact, God’s own testimony of the situation was that all the thoughts of men at that time were only evil. But was that simply the reason He wanted to destroy them? No! The reason He sought to destroy them was that evil was not being judged – there was no justice in the world. (Cf. Gen 6:1-7)

As Solomon tells us in his book, Ecclesiastes, when we are slow to use our position as leaders to deal with wickedness or evil or when we totally refuse to deal with it, people will become emboldened to commit more atrocities (Ecc 8:11). Even those who have been acting honourably and behaving themselves may become bitter and give themselves to doing evil, when they observe that there is no justice where they are. And where that is the case, God will have to step in at some point and judge everybody Himself, in accordance with His righteousness.

Now how God will judge in such situations is not what anyone can say. In the days of Noah, He judged with floodwaters that destroyed all men, animals, birds and vegetations. Only the family of Noah was spared. Also, in the days of Lot in Sodom and Gomorrah, only he and members of his immediate family were spared. Others, including his disobedient wife, were utterly destroyed, when God decided to judge them for the wickedness that they would not judge.

Therefore, as King Jehoshaphat admonished the judges serving under him, consider carefully what you do in that position that you are and with the authority that is now yours. That is because God has permitted you to be there in order that you may represent Him in establishing, maintaining and promoting righteousness and justice. And with Him there is no favouritism or injustice or bribery. So, do not allow these things under your watch. Do not allow wickedness or evil to be strengthened or encouraged under your leadership. And do not allow good to be ignored or to go unrewarded when you are in a position to acknowledge and reward it. Otherwise, at some point, God, who is always watching you, will have to step in and do what you are refusing to do. Then, even you, will not be able to escape His justice.

Remember that Paul says if we will judge ourselves, we will not come under God’s judgment (1Cor 11:31). It is when we refuse to use our position to give justice here on earth that God will have to step in and do the needful. Will you, then, do the right thing now with your position? Or will you wait for God to step in and do what you are refusing to do? Well, the ball is in your court, and I counsel that you play it wisely.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a God of justice and also of mercy and we can always run to Him for mercy or justice, anytime we need it.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will lead us to repentance in every area of our lives in which we are using our positions to strengthen wickedness instead of using it to promote justice and righteousness.
- Prayers that God will be merciful to us and end whatever affliction we are now experiencing as a result of our refusal to punish wickedness or reward good, when we were in a position to do so.
- Prayers that God will restore and do good to all the people that have become victims of our failure to give justice, when we were in a position to do so.
- Prayers that our hearts will receive whatever measure of strength and boldness we need, right from this moment, to always establish, maintain and promote justice in every sphere of our lives.
- Prayers that God Himself will rise for us and give us justice in every area of our lives where we are being cheated.
- Prayers that God will attend to every form of injustice going on in this country at the moment and give justice to all those who are being oppressed in the land, regardless of where they are or who they are.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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MIRACLES THROUGH THANKSGIVING -  
5th June 2021

"Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to his disciples to set before the people. He also divided the two fish among them all. They all ate and were satisfied, and the disciples picked up twelve basketfuls of broken pieces of bread and fish. The number of the men who had eaten was five thousand.”
(Mark 6:41-44NIV)

“He told the crowd to sit down on the ground. When he had taken the seven loaves and given thanks, he broke them and gave them to his disciples to set before the people, and they did so. They had a few small fish as well; he gave thanks for them also and told the disciples to distribute them. The people ate and were satisfied. Afterward the disciples picked up seven basketfuls of broken pieces that were left over. About four thousand men were present. And having sent them away, he got into the boat with his disciples and went to the region of Dalmanutha.” (Mark 8:6-10NIV)

There are all kinds of principles that are being taught all across the world to people today about advancement, wealth creation, success and so forth. And while some of these principles, which could also be found in the Scriptures, can be of tremendous benefits to anyone who would religiously practise them, if they are not applied along with a heart of thanksgiving to God, they may never work. Even if they do work, whoever is practising them will most likely miss the blessing of satisfaction, which only comes from the hand of God (Ecc 2:24-26 & 5:19-6:2).

In our opening bible texts, Mark shares with us a sure principle of experiencing a multiplication or increase of whatever we have, however little it may be. And it is the principle of giving thanks to God. As the texts show, our Lord Jesus, on two different occasions, performed miracles of multiplication before His apostles and the Jews. He took what was little and absolutely insufficient for the need at hand and multiplied it. And the result was so amazing that what He got was more than sufficient for the need to be met.

How did he do that? How did the Lord succeed in feeding about five thousand men, without counting the women and the children, with five loaves of bread and two fish and still have twelve basketsful of broken bread and fish left over? And how did He succeed in feeding about four thousand men, without counting the women and the children, with seven loaves of bread and a few fish and still have seven basketful of broken pieces of the meal left over?

Well, as the accounts reveal, the only thing that He did, which His disciples who were there and watching saw, was that He gave thanks to God for the meal. Yes, what was available was not just small, it was also insignificant to be considered for use, when the number of those to be fed was taken into consideration. Yet Jesus looked away from what was available and also from the need to be met to God, who has the power to make something out of nothing.

Now Jesus did not look to God for the purpose of bringing Him complaints about how what He had was nothing or could accomplish nothing. Rather, He looked unto Him to thank Him for what He had, even though it could be summarised as nothing. And as soon as He did that, He went on by faith to begin to work with what He had. He shared what He had with His disciples, little as it was, and told them to go ahead and share it among the people. Then they also, even though they could not understand what was going on, took what He had given them and by faith began to share it. As they did, they realised that it was multiplying in their hands. And before they knew it, everybody not only had their own share of the meal but also more than enough of it to satisfy them.

What is the point of all this, then? It is that we can release supernatural power for multiplication, increase, advancement and satisfaction on our lives and affairs through thanksgiving to God. How, where and when this will work in our lives is not something anybody but God may be able to speak of. But if we will learn to thank God for everything we have, however little it may be, and for where we are, however horrible or insignificant the place may be, He will certainly see to it that we experience miracles of multiplication, increase, advancement and satisfaction when we need them.

Observe that Jesus did not perform miracles for multiplication of food everyday and in every situation. And that was because it was not everyday or in every situation that He needed them. But as we see in the bible, He was someone that was always giving thanks to God, in spite of the situation, good or bad (Luke 10:21; John 11:41-42). Therefore, God always saw to it that the miraculous followed Him everywhere He went.

In like manner, if we too will learn to always give thanks to God, as taught in the Scriptures, that is, in spite of the situations of our lives, His supernatural power for the miraculous will always follow us wherever we go. All we will need is to just work by faith with things the way they are, just as Jesus did with those few loaves of bread and fish. And at the right time and in the right moment, miracles for multiplication, increase and advancement, with satisfaction, will surely happen for us. That way, we will be able to experience speed for accomplishment and greatness that is far beyond what hard work, smartness, diligence and other great principles for success can accomplish.

Do you, then, want this kind of speed in your life? Do you want those miracles that will result in speed for accomplishment and greatness in your life? Or do you want everything to be based on your hard work, diligence and so forth alone? Well, what I want is for God to continually perform for me those miracles that will speed up my accomplishment and greatness in life. And since the key to experiencing this is thanksgiving, I will learn to give Him thanks all the time. What about you?

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for enlightening us about the power of thanksgiving and the need for us to give ourselves to giving Him thanks always.
- Thanksgiving to God because even in your present situation He is able to fulfil all His good intentions for your life.
- Thanksgiving to God for all the gifts He has endowed you with and also for the education and skills He has enabled you to acquire.
- Thanksgiving to God for all the lives He is touching and blessing through you and for all the wonderful things He is doing in those lives.
- Thanksgiving to God for all the things you have, big or small, and for His provision of these things.
- Thanksgiving to God for the gift of enjoyment and satisfaction that He has bestowed upon your life, home and works.
- Thanksgiving for miracles for multiplication, increase, accelerated progress, healing and fruitfulness that are already taking place in your life and affairs and for those great testimonies that you will share with men this year.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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ON WHAT FOUNDATION ARE YOU BUILDING? -
29th May 2021

"Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash." (Matt 7:24-27NIV)

One of the things we are consistently shown in the Scriptures is that we cannot build our lives or anything that concerns them to be what they ought to be without taking the word of God very seriously. In fact, our Lord Jesus, once when dealing with a temptation of the devil, told him that the consistent position of the Scriptures is that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God (Matt 4:1-4). That means we have no life apart from the word of God. And if we try to live our lives without His word, we will find out someday that we have not really lived – we have simply wasted our opportunity to live.

So, we need to take the word of God seriously. And how do we do this? First, it is by listening to or reading His word. That means we need to know what He is saying about every matter of our lives. As long as we are in this world, we will keep hearing all kinds of things about the various situations of our lives. People with very analytical and critical minds will never stop bombarding us with all kinds of views, thoughts and principles about how to live or what to do with our lives in different situations. But the only one with the final word on every matter of life is the author of life itself. And that person is God. So, regardless of what others are saying, it is what He says that we should be most concerned about.

But then, knowing the mind of God about the various situations of our lives is not sufficient; we also need to act accordingly. Until we start acting according to what He is saying to us, our lives will not be built up or go in the direction they should go. And that is what the Lord intends to show us through His words, which we have in our opening bible text There He plainly tells us that it is not the one that merely hears His words that will experience what He says but the one who hears and acts of what He has heard.

As He further points out, in every area of our lives where we hear and act on His word, we can be likened to a man who is building his house on a rock, a firm foundation. So, when we are faced with life’s trials or challenges in that area of our lives, and there is no area of our lives in which we will not encounter one form of challenge or the other, we will be able to stand – that area of our lives, be it marriage, business, health or anything else will not collapse.

Yes, the challenges we are faced with may come so strong, giving us the impression that the word of God will not sustain us. But it is a lie. His word will always win. His word will always sustain us, for it is the same word that is sustaining this whole universe (Heb 1:3). But in whatever area of our lives we fail to act on His word, whether through ignorance, negligence or outright stubbornness, whatever we think we have done for ourselves or are doing for ourselves in it will certainly collapse, when we are faced with challenges there.

So, one thing is very clear from what the Lord shares with us in that bible text. And it is that challenges and trials are inevitable in this life. We cannot totally avoid them or run away from them, unless we get out of this world. That being the case, we need to build our lives to be able to withstand them. But if we are not building on the foundation of His word, it does not matter how smart, sound, bold or determined we may be in confronting our lives’ challenges, we will not be able to stand. And note this: whatever we are building without the word of God may not collapse today or even in fifty years’ time. But a day is coming when we will see with our own eyes that there is no support for what we have built. So, it definitely has to come down.

This is the explanation for the collapse that many marriages that have been for decades are experiencing today. It is also the explanation for the moral collapse that many who have tried for years to live upright lives are now experiencing. When people fail to build on the foundation of the word of God, whatever they are building will certain collapse someday. It is only a matter of time.

Now perhaps your life or certain areas of your life are already collapsing or have totally collapsed, and you don’t seem to know why. You need to check your attitude towards God’s word in those areas of your life. See, there are many today who are constantly reading their bibles and other Christian materials and also attending church meetings where they are taught the word of God. Some even go regularly for counselling sessions with some men or women of God to be shown the mind of God about various issues of their lives. Unfortunately, they will not just act on all that they are learning or being shown. Such people won’t be able to experience victory in those areas of their lives in which they won’t act on what the word says.

In like manner, if you too won’t act on God’s word in any area of your life, you will not be able to experience the victory of Jesus in it over the challenges that are arising there. And one thing we must also note is that our failure in an area of our lives may result in our failure in other areas of our lives as well. So, let go of whatever it is you have been acting on to build your life or to deal with the challenges of your life, as long as it is not the word of God. Then go back to His word and start acting on it. That is the only way you will be able to stand in the face of life’s trials, however enormous or terrible they may be. And it is the only way you will be able to rebuild whatever part of your life that has collapsed.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for not leaving us in the dark but for making His mind about every matter of our lives known to us through His word.
- Prayers that God will take hold of our hearts and make them realise that there is nothing we can successfully build or protect without His word, so that our hearts may always seek to know His mind in all things.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see all the areas of our lives in which we are not building according to the word of God, so that we may repent before the trials of life will bring down whatever we think we are building.
- Prayers that God will strengthen us with might in our inner man not to give up on acting on His word in any area of our lives where it seems that His word is failing us (though His word can never fail us), so that we may eventually witness the victory He has already obtained for us.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will urgently intervene in every part of our lives that has collapsed or that is about to collapse because of our failure to handle it according to His word, show us what we must do and also strengthen us to do it.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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MANAGE YOUR AFFAIRS WITH CONSIDERATION FOR OTHERS
22nd May 2021

"If a man uncovers a pit or digs one and fails to cover it and an ox or a donkey falls into it, the owner of the pit must pay for the loss; he must pay its owner, and the dead animal will be his. "If a man's bull injures the bull of another and it dies, they are to sell the live one and divide both the money and the dead animal equally. However, if it was known that the bull had the habit of goring, yet the owner did not keep it penned up, the owner must pay, animal for animal, and the dead animal will be his.” (Ex 21:33-36NIV)

If we look carefully at the laws God gave to the children of Israel, we will observe that all of them were given to protect them from destroying themselves or from doing things that will make Him destroy them. As we see in the bible, God is perfect in all His ways and also self-sufficient. So, there is nothing we can do to ourselves or others that can harm Him in any way, just as there is nothing we can do to ourselves or others that can make Him any better than He is already. We are always the direct or indirect objects of our righteousness or wickedness. (Cf. Job 35:6-8)

Since that, then, is the case, whatever instructions God gives us about living should be taken seriously by us. That is because He is not the one that will suffer the consequences of our disobedience to His instructions; we are the ones that will suffer them.

At any rate, we see that it is because God cares about us and does not want us to destroy ourselves that He gives us instructions for living. If He, then, cares about us like this, should we also not care about ourselves and one another? We should.

To say the fact, all the human relationship laws that God gave to the nation of Israel were given to them to teach them how important it is to take human life and all that concerns it seriously. For instance, in our opening text, we have laws that show the relevance of managing our affairs well, so that they will not end up becoming a channel through which others are afflicted or destroyed. As one of the laws says, if a man digs a pit or uncovers one and fails to cover it and someone’s animal should fall into it and die, that man must be made to pay for his carelessness. And if he is to pay for unintentionally doing something that results in the death of an animal, do you think his punishment would not even be severer, if it were to be a person that dies as a result of his carelessness?

Also, another of the laws says that if someone has an animal that is in the habit of injuring other people’s animals with his horns and someday kills another person’s animal by so doing, the owner will have to pay for his failure to keep his animal under check. And if he has to pay like this for what his animal has done to another person’s animal, do you think his punishment would not be severer, if it were a human being that was the victim of his poor management of his animal?

In like manner, though we are not under the laws binding these Israelites, the things said to them were written down for our admonitions, as pointed out to us in Scriptures (Rom 15:4; 1Cor 10:11). So, these things apply to us as well. More so, since we are operating under the commandment of love, we are expected to treat matters that concern people and their welfare with even a greater level of seriousness and sincerity. That means we too must learn to manage our affairs well, with consideration for others, so that they will never serve as a channel through which Satan will afflict them or hinder their progress.

What I am saying is that we don’t need to have an animal that can gore people before we begin to take these instructions seriously. And we don’t have to leave a pit or well uncovered before we do something that will endanger another person’s life or progress. There are so many things we can do that can endanger another person’s life or progress, if we are careless or thoughtless in handling them. Do you know that if, for instance, we handle people’s financial or academic records carelessly, we can put them in trouble or keep them stagnant for years, if our errors are not detected on time? Yes, we can.

Also, if we handle our vehicles or whatever machines or tools we use carelessly, we can endanger other people’s lives or properties. For example, there are people who now have disabilities in their legs because certain health officers did not handle them well when injecting them when they were but babies or children. And some of these people have had life rough for them because of this. People have also died in their sleep because of fumes coming from some neighbours’ generators or because of some naked wire foolishly or carelessly left by certain handlers of electricity. Examples of things like this are just too numerous to count.

Now what we have done may not be found out or punished by men for various reasons. But what about God? Will He also overlook what men overlook or miss, when we are dealing with matters of justice? Certainly, He will not. And we really cannot tell how He will judge. If He was willing to punish the whole nation of Israel with three years of famine during the reign of David because of the sin that Saul committed against the Gibeonites in ignorance, we cannot tell when and how He will judge us for carelessly, foolishly or arrogantly doing things that bring pains, destruction, shame or stagnation to others. (Cf. 2Sam 21:1-14)

So, pay attention to your affairs and see to it that you do not consciously or unconsciously do or create something that will certainly lead to the destruction or pains for others. Then, if, for some reasons, your actions or inactions should result in pains for someone else, don’t just say, “At least, I did not do it deliberately. So, he should understand.” That is an unrighteous attitude, which God will be willing to punish any time. Instead, show genuine sympathy and see what you can do to comfort the person, not only because of possible punishment or consequences but also so you could have a clear conscience before God. And God who sees your heart will show you mercy accordingly and also bring comfort to those who have suffered for your sake. (Cf. 1Chro 21)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all His righteous instructions given to us to keep us safe from ourselves and from His wrath.
- Prayers that God will cleanse our lives of every attitude of carelessness and stubbornness that is locked up in our lives, causing us to do things that put others in danger.
- Prayers for God to show us mercy in all the areas of our lives where we are in pains because of the trouble we unconsciously, foolishly or arrogantly brought on others.
- Prayers for comfort, relief and restoration for everyone that is now suffering because of our carelessness or stubbornness in handling certain matters of our lives.
- Prayers that God will take hold of our hearts with His wisdom and, henceforth, guide and strengthen us to manage all our affairs in ways that we will not put ourselves or anybody in trouble.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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WHAT ARE THEY SAYING ABOUT YOU? - 
15th May 2021


“Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent. Finally these men said, "We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God."” (Dan 6:3-5NIV)

Whether we are aware of it or not, people are always watching us. That means it is not only God that is watching us to see what we are doing in life; men are also watching us. Of course, there are limits to what men may know or find out about us, regardless of how hard or closely they observe our lives. But we must always keep in mind the fact that they too are watching us.

So, our focus, as children of God, must not only be on doing what is right before God but also doing what is right before men (2Cor 8:21). That is because this is one of the things that will determine what testimonies they will share about us. Remember that our Lord Jesus says, “Let your light shine before men that they may see your good works and praise your Father in heaven.” (Cf. Matt 5:16) Did you see that? Our lives need to be open before people so that they can see that our works are good and not evil. Those watching our lives, whether in our workplace, school, neighbourhood or church must not be in doubt about the kind of life we live and the kinds of things we do. Instead, they must be able to tell that we truly belong to God and that all our words and actions are righteous, even if they do not like us or even if they will be willing to say something contrary to what they really know to be the truth about us.

Now, that, as we see in our opening text, was the case with Daniel, when he was serving under King Darius. First, we are told that this man distinguished himself in handling his official duties. That was why the king sought to place him over the whole kingdom. If we too want to be promoted where we work or want to have more people patronise our business, we need to distinguish ourselves in handling our work. Yes, if God does not promote or elevate a man, no amount of hard work or diligence will promote him. However, if people will not also work hard and diligently, no amount of praying to God will result in their promotion. That is because God does not promote laziness or slothfulness.

In any case, because the king sought to place Daniel over the whole kingdom, the wicked and ruthless among his officials began to look for a way to make sure that did not happen. Why? It was because they knew that Daniel’s leadership would expose all the wicked things they had been doing in their various offices and bring them to shame. So, you see that it is not a new thing for people to go against righteous leadership because of their fear of judgment. And if you are in a situation in which people will not accept your leadership because of your righteousness, don’t give up or join them. Instead, draw wisdom, strength, inspiration and courage to rely on God for absolute victory in that situation from this account given in the bible about Daniel.

At any rate, those wicked government officials began to look for anything, however little or trivial it may seem, that they could use against Daniel, as far as his conduct of government affairs was concerned. But they could not find a thing. Finally, they gave up and said, “We will never find any basis for charges against this man Daniel unless it has something to do with the law of his God."

Did you see that? Those wicked people testified that they would never be able to find any basis for charges against Daniel unless it had to do with his religion. That is amazing. That means the man made sure everything that had to do with his office was handled diligently and righteousness and with openness. He made sure he did not get himself involved in anything that people could not openly see or speak about. So, even the wicked people in King Darius’ administration could not blackmail him or slander him in any way. He had a great and undefiled testimony among them as a good, righteous and godly leader.

Now what about us? What kind of testimony do we have in our workplace, business centre, school, neighbourhood or religious assembly? Do we have a testimony among the people there as good, righteous, upright and godly or as wicked, ruthless, undependable, immoral and greedy? As I pointed out before, people may not like us for any reason and every reason. But if our lives are open and upright before them, they won’t be able to deny it. And that is what God wants from us, for that is what brings Him praise.

So, let us not be found saying, “I don’t care whether people say evil things about me or not; I only care about what God says about me.” We ought to care about what people say concerning us as well and not just about what God says or thinks about us. We ought to care about these things because God wants us to care about them. And God wants us to care about them because He does not want us to do anything, even if it is something good, that will make men blaspheme is glorious name. What people are saying about us, then, matters to God, even if it does not matter to us. Therefore, we should watch our words and actions carefully to see that they all are bringing praise to God.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the position we are today and for those greater heights He plans to take us from here.
- Prayers that our hearts will be flooded with divine wisdom, knowledge and understanding to always handle our jobs or whatever is entrusted to us excellently, so that when people are looking for someone to promote or entrust with more rewarding projects, they will consider us.
- Prayers that our lives will be cleansed of every manner of laziness, slothfulness, wickedness, greed or immorality that is bound to keep us in stagnation in life.
- Prayers that God will equip us with everything needed for all our words and actions to continually bring Him praise and honour wherever we find ourselves.
- Prayers that, just as God frustrated all those who sought to destroy Daniel because of his devotion to righteousness, He will also frustrate all those who are seeking to destroy us because of our devotion to the truth and righteousness.
- Prayers that God will set us right and wash us clean wherever we have brought or are bringing His name to disrepute, so that the testimonies people have about us in such areas will begin to change for good.
- Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers and for all the testimonies that will follow.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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WHEN WHAT YOU NEED IS JUST SOME GOOD COUNSEL - 
8th May 2021

“Moses' father-in-law replied, "What you are doing is not good. You and these people who come to you will only wear yourselves out. The work is too heavy for you; you cannot handle it alone. Listen now to me and I will give you some advice, and may God be with you. You must be the people's representative before God and bring their disputes to him. Teach them the decrees and laws, and show them the way to live and the duties they are to perform. But select capable men from all the people — men who fear God, trustworthy men who hate dishonest gain — and appoint them as officials over thousands, hundreds, fifties and tens. Have them serve as judges for the people at all times, but have them bring every difficult case to you; the simple cases they can decide themselves. That will make your load lighter, because they will share it with you. If you do this and God so commands, you will be able to stand the strain, and all these people will go home satisfied." Moses listened to his father-in-law and did everything he said.” (Ex 18:17-24NIV)

There are certain events that are recorded in the bible that would probably not have been recorded in it, if it had not been the Spirit of God that moved the writers of its books to write down the things they wrote. One of them is the visit of Jethro, Moses’ father-in-law, to him. What was so special about this man’s visit to Moses that it had to be recorded? A man, with his daughter and grandchildren, misses his son-in-law, goes to visit him and then he throws a party for him. How does that bless anybody? (Cf. Ex 18:1-12)

Well, of course, that is a blessing to me, for it shows me that if we all are going to throw away our prejudices and relate to people in love, we can build good relationships with our fathers-in-law, mothers-in-law, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law, brothers-in-law, sisters-in-law and so forth. Moses and Jethro were from two different nationalities and religions. Yet because Moses was his son-in-law, Jethro treated him kindly all the forty years that he spent with him as a fugitive (Ex 2:15-22). And even after he had left him to do the Lord’s work, the man was still concerned about his welfare and so paid him a visit. That is how it should be. But in most cases, it is not like that.

At any rate, this account is not put in the bible to merely show us the kind of affection Moses and his father-in-law had for each other. Rather, it is put there to show us how God used Jethro’s visit to set Moses right and made him more effective and efficient in the work He had given him. As it further shows us, the very second day that Jethro came was the day he noticed that something was wrong with Moses’ leadership. Yes, he was a prophet of God and also a good and righteous man, who loved his people and wanted the best for them. But his leadership style was wrong. It could not effectively and efficiently care for all the people. In short, it was bound to wear him and the people out at some point.

So, as we are shown in our opening text, Jethro lost no time in showing this man of God what was wrong with what he was doing and what he needed to do, if God would permit him, to serve God and the people better. And as we are also shown, Moses listened to him and do as he had been counselled. This, of course, made the work lighter for him and also made it possible for everybody that needed leadership help among the people to be helped. (Cf. Ex 18:24-26)

Now what if Jethro had not visited Moses at that time and pointed out to him what was wrong with what he was doing and the way out? He probably would have carried on in his error and made a mess of his ministry or die before his time. And what if Moses had not listened to that man? What if he had dismissed his counsel as that of a pagan priest that knew nothing about the living God? His pride would most likely have accelerated his destruction and the destruction of his ministry.

What, then, is the point of all this? It is that there may be times that God needs to send certain people into our lives to show us what we are missing or what we need to do to increase in fruitfulness, usefulness or profitableness in life. It may be in our job, business, marriage or ministry that we need the good counsel or instruction of such people. Whatever the case is, it will be wise of us at such times to look beyond our relationship with such people or their status or handicaps to whatever truth God is using them to draw our attention to.

But if we allow pride or sentiments to make us turn down a good counsel, which probably would have been the difference between failure and success for us, it is only a matter of time before we have ourselves to blame. To say the fact, what some of us need at this time to get to higher grounds in our businesses, jobs, ministries or homes may not even be more prayers, more miracles or a greater diligence. It may just be one word of counsel that will open our eyes to certain simple things we can do that will bring everything home to us. And perhaps God is already using someone to speak to us and show us what needs to be done. But our pride or sentiments won’t just let us take them seriously. We need to humble ourselves right away and act on the good counsel that is freely coming to us. Otherwise, we may never experience the lifting we so desire.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all our legitimate relationships and the blessings of His Spirit we have been enjoying through them.
- Prayers that our hearts will be made humble and taught to build all our relationships to be a blessing and not a curse to us.
- Prayers that God will clear the way for all the people that have the right word for our promotion, advancement or healing to come to us and give us what we need.
- Prayers that our hearts will always be kept wise and humble to recognise, receive and act on good and godly counsel, irrespective of whom God is using to speak to us.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and set us right in every area of our lives where we are stagnant because of our refusal to act on the good words He sent to us.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

 

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WHAT QUALITY OF COUNSEL ARE YOU GETTING? - 1st May 2021

“But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him.” (1Kings 12:8NIV)

Regardless of how intelligent, godly and capable we may be in life, none of us is self-sufficient. Only God is self-sufficient. So, we will often need the support of other people to experience true success in life and also sustain it.

Now there are different ways people can support us and different forms that their support can take. But regardless of how devoted people are to us in supporting us, if they are not supporting us with good counsel, all their support for us will sooner or later amount to nothing. This, of course, goes beyond hiring or selecting counsellors for ourselves. This is about having in our lives people that we can always count on to give us excellent and godly counsel.

Solomon, for instance, in his proverbs, says, “Where there is no counsel, the people fall; But in the multitude of counselors there is safety.” (Prov 11:14NKJV) Unfortunately, this is not in every case true. I mean that it is not about the number of counsellors that you have access to; rather, it is about the quality of counsel that you are getting from them. That is what will determine whether they will help you in obtaining and securing what God wants you to have in life or lead you to lose everything He has given you or intends to give to you.

As we see in the bible, when Rehoboam, son of Solomon, just became king, he was confronted with the difficult task of either doing what will keep the people loyal to him or what will make them abandon him. And he decided to seek counsel, which was a very wise thing for him to do. So, first, he met with the elders who had served with his father to hear what they would counsel him to do. And having drunk from the immeasurable wisdom of his father, those men were able to tell him the right thing to do. They told him that the way forward was for him to make himself a servant-leader to the people, and he would always have their loyalty. (Cf. 1Kings 12:1-7)

Unfortunately, because he lacked the ability to differentiate between wise counsel and foolish counsel, he rejected the counsel of those wise elderly men and decided to consult with the foolish young men who had grown up with him and had been nothing but ‘Yes’ men and errand boys. And it was these foolish young men that counselled him to ignore the plea of the people and act tough like the Pharaoh of Moses’ day, who kept acting arrogantly towards God, even though it was clear that he was fighting an already lost battle. (Cf. 1Kings 12:8-11)

Now, of course, the counsel of those old men was not good because they were old; rather, it was good because it was good. And the counsel of those young men was not bad because they were young; on the contrary, it was bad because it was bad. So, it is not someone’s age or position in life that makes their counsel good or bad; rather, it is the measure of wisdom, knowledge, understanding and insight that they possess that makes their counsel either good or bad.

In any case, though Rehoboam had just become king, in just few days into his reign, he lost a greater part of the kingdom he had inherited from his father because he followed some foolish counsel (1Kings 12:12-20). We too can lose what God has given to us or intends to give to us, if follow foolish or ungodly counsel. And we will most likely be following foolish or ungodly counsel, if the people we often or always seek counsel from are foolish or ungodly people.

Then, even if the people we are taking counsel from are godly people, and if they should, for any reason, give us some ungodly counsel, if we lack discernment, we won’t be able to tell. And this may put us in trouble or make us lose God’s provisions for us. See, it is not every counsel that people will bring to us that is good for us or that we can follow. And if we do not have a discerning heart, people, especially those that we love and trust, may mislead us into doing something we will regret for the rest of our lives with their counsel. Therefore, one of the prayers we should learn to offer is that God will make our hearts discerning always, so that we will never follow any foolish or ungodly counsel, regardless of where it is coming from.

Let us pray:


- Thanksgiving to God for choosing us for great and wonderful things in this life.

- Prayers that our hearts will always be made wise to recognise where and when we need counsel and go for it, instead of walking in self-deception or pride.

- Prayers that our hearts will be taught by the Spirit to always choose our counsellors and confidants wisely, so that we won’t end up being victims of the counsel of foolish or ungodly people.

- Prayers that God will grant us a heart of discernment, so that we will always be able to tell a fine, sound and godly counsel from a foolish, ungodly and destructive one.

- Prayers that in every area where are suffering because we followed some foolish counsel God will show us mercy, heal us and also restore to us all that we have lost as a result of this.

- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will always see to it that we do not lack in our lives godly and wise counsellors that will support us to obtain and enjoy in this life all that He has prepared for us.

- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.


By Johnson O. Lawal


Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

 

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WHEN YOU NEED TO THROW THEM OVERBOARD - 
24th April 2021

“Then they took Jonah and threw him overboard, and the raging sea grew calm.” (Jonah 1:15NIV)

As we see in the Scripture, sometimes, God’s solution to a problem may seem harsh or evil. But unless we do as He says, we will never be free from whatever trouble we may have found ourselves in. For example, in our opening Scriptures, we see that Jonah had to be thrown overboard by the people he was travelling to Tarshish with in order for them to know peace and be safe. Yet he was a true man of God. (Cf. Jonah 1)

Who could have thought that the only way for those people, who had lost all their goods to the raging sea that wanted devour them, to be delivered was to throw a man of God into the sea? No one! But that was their only way out. And Jonah himself knew it.

But how did this man of God become the reason those sailors and the travellers with them were going to lose their lives and everything else they had with them, including their ship? It was through his deliberate disobedience to the word of the Lord. His disobedience to His word made him liable to destruction. Therefore, anyone that kept company with him long enough was bound to share in his trouble to some degree or the other.

It is just like the case of Achan of Joshua’s time. His disobedience to God’s word made him liable to destruction. But it wasn’t only him that his disobedience made liable to destruction but the whole assembly of God’s people, the entire nation of Israel. It was so bad that God said to Joshua about the matter, “Unless you get rid of that which is devoted to destruction among you, I will not be with you; and you will remain liable to destruction.” And that was exactly how it was. They had to get rid of Achan, his family members and all the items that brought trouble on the whole nation, which he was keeping, before they could experience any further victory or progress. (Cf. Joshua 7)

What is all this telling us? It is that the people and the things we associate ourselves with matter a lot. Paul says, “Do not be misled: bad company corrupts good character.” (1Cor 15:33NIV) But it is not only our character or manners that can be corrupted through our association with the wrong people or things. Our peace, prosperity and joy can equally be corrupted or taken away through it. This is why we need to continually commit our ways to God, so that He may keep us from embracing the wrong people or things in our lives.

Note this: People or things don’t have to be altogether bad before they can be an instrument through which Satan will begin to afflict us. Jonah did not look like a bad person to those sailors that took him on board. In fact, he was a good man and true prophet of God. Yet, because of a singular act of disobedience to God, he became a walking trouble.

Therefore, that someone is a prophet or leader in the church does not mean he cannot be the reason for the problems you are facing. Or that someone is a dear friend or family member does not mean they cannot be the door through which Satan is coming into your life to oppress you or steal from you. And when God has shown you that that is the case or when He is prompting you to examine your relationship with them, you need to take His word seriously and also pray for His guidance on what to do to them or with them.

Then, when what you are to do has been made known and clear to you, waste not time to do it. Yes, it may be hard. The sailors that threw Jonah overboard were not happy to do so or smiling when they were doing so. It was a hard thing for them to do. What about those who stoned Achan and his family, including little children? Was it easy for them to do? No, I don’t think it was an easy task for them to carry out. But what had to be done had to be done.

And that is how it must be with you. If there are items or things God has said that you had no right to keep or own, get rid of them, regardless of how precious or costly they may be or who gave them to you as gifts. That is because such items cannot be sanctified by your prayers and the word of God (1Tim 4:4-5). So, get rid of them.

More so, if it is someone you have to send out of your life, then, send them out, unless they are your spouse or any other person God has not permitted you to be separated from without fulfilling certain conditions (Mark 10:1-12). Even if that is the case, if it is a spouse or a family member that has become the reason you are being afflicted in your life, you need to seek God’s face on what to do to them, for them or with them. And you can be sure that He will answer you (Jer 33:3). Just be sure that you do not keep with you or around you things that God wants you to throw overboard. And may the Spirit of God fill you with discernment all the time about this, so that you can be free from every form of trouble that has come into your life through your association with people or things.

Finally, perhaps you too are the reason for the problems certain people are facing in their lives, marriages, jobs, neighbourhoods and so forth. You need to admit it and stop making yourself available to be used by the devil. Yes, be like Jonah and get out of their way. Otherwise, God will not look upon you with kindness for being the reason an innocent person has to suffer or lose their worth, home or life. So, be warned.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for loving us enough not to keep us in the dark about those things that can ruin or hurt us.
- Prayers that God will fill our hearts with revelations about every relationship or association with people or things through which Satan is afflicting us or stealing from us and also with revelations of the exact things we need to do with them to experience His salvation.
- Prayers for courage, strength and wisdom to take the right steps about everything God is revealing to us concerning the channels through which the enemy has been cheating and afflicting us, regardless of what these channels may be.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened quickly to see all the ways we are being used by the devil to afflict others, so that we may repent before it is too late.
- Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers and also for the testimonies that will follow.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to pastor@abcministryng.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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HOW NOT TO ACQUIRE TROUBLE - 17th April 2021



“In Ahab's time, Hiel of Bethel rebuilt Jericho. He laid its foundations at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest son Segub, in accordance with the word of the LORD spoken by Joshua son of Nun.” (1Kings 16:34NIV)


In the popular Korean TV series, ‘City Hunter’, Lee Jin Pyo is fond of saying, “Money must not lie fallow.” And by that he means that money is an instrument that one must learn to use to get what he wants and not something to foolishly hide away. But then, one can actually use his own money or resources to acquire things or relationships that will torment him, hurt him or destroy his life or soul. That is why it is not enough for us to be asking God to give us more money or to enlarge us to be able to access more money in life; it is equally important that we are asking Him to also fill our hearts with wisdom and discernment to always use whatever measure of money He gives us in ways that we won’t destroy ourselves, the people in lives or other things we have with it.

As we see in our opening text, during the reign of that wicked king of Israel, Ahab, a man by the name Hiel embarked on a great project, the project of rebuilding the ancient city of Jericho. Evidently, this man was wealthy. In other words, he had a lot of money to throw around. Otherwise, he would not take on such a grand project. Also, this man must have been a true developer. Only true developers think of doing such things that will benefit not only themselves but many others.

So, frankly, nothing was wrong with what Hiel thought of doing to Jericho. The city was in ruins, and he decided to rebuild it. And think of how his doing that would have helped the economy and livelihood of many of the people living in and around that place at the time. Think also of how that would have solved housing problems for many of the people there. In addition, think of the boost in the security of those there, seeing that the city would be walled and those coming in and out of it could be well monitored at its gates. So, to say the least, it was not only Hiel that would benefit from the rebuilding of Jericho; several other people would also benefit from it.

The problem, however, was that Jericho was not meant to be rebuilt at all. And that was because it was under a very potent and active curse. Who placed a curse on it? It was Joshua the man of God. Jericho used to be a great city until God delivered it into the hands of Joshua, who was the leading the army of the nation of Israel at that time. In fact, it was God Himself that brought down the great walls of the city. Otherwise, there was no way Israel could have conquered it. At any rate, when they were done sacking the city and everything in it, Joshua said of it:

“Cursed before the LORD is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: "At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations; at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates."” (Josh 6:26NIV)

Did you see that? Jericho was not meant to be rebuilt. And if anyone would rebuild it, it would cost the person more than money or human labour; it would also cost him the lives of two of his sons. So, even though Hiel had a good thought for Jericho and also the money to actualise that thought, it was a wrong place for him to invest in, as long as the curse on it remained.

What, then, was he to do? He had three options. The first was for him to stay away from Jericho totally and avoid all the problems associated with it. The second was for him to seek God’s face on what to do to remove the curse on the city, so that his rebuilding it would not come with trouble. The third was for him to ignore as fables the story of the curse on the city, rebuild it and face the consequences. Unfortunately, the third option was what Hiel chose. He rebuilt the city and faced the consequences, losing two of his sons, as Joshua had said would happen.

Now I am sure the main lesson of the story is very clear, which is that we can use our own money to buy sorrow, pains, miseries, misfortunes, sicknesses or even death. Some of us may be able to relate to this well. We used our money to acquire something and felt that was all. But before long, it became a channel through which we lost more money or through which a good relationship was ruined or through which a life was lost. And it may even be that we did not enjoy the thing at all. Yet it cost us all kinds of good things apart from money.

Well, if we don’t want to have such experiences again or to never have them, first, we must learn not to go for things just because we can afford them but because they are in line with the will of God for us. It is not everything we can afford that is good for us or meant for us. So, if the word of God has said that something is not for us, then, we should never go for it, simply because we can afford it. Otherwise, it is trouble that we will find at the other side.

Second, we need to learn to commit everything we want to do or acquire with our resources into the hands of God, even if nothing is said against it in the bible. That is because it is not everything that looks good to us that is actually good for us. Some so-called beautiful things are actually carrying in them satanic traps that will lead to our destruction. And it is only by trusting God with everything we are doing that we will be able to escape such traps. (Cf. Prov 3:5-8)

Finally, we need to learn not to ignore warnings, whether directly from God or from people, about the things we want to do or acquire. Of course, that we have received warnings about something does not mean that it is not meant for us at all. Rather, it means that we need to be cautious and take steps against doing something that will cost us more than we are bargaining for. And my prayer is that the Spirit of God will strengthen your heart to take this admonition seriously in all your dealings, so that you will never again have to use your own money or resources to acquire trouble for yourself.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for always giving us understanding through His word, so that we may know how to walk in this life and not stumble.
- Prayers that God will, in His mercy, move in every area of our lives and end every experience of pain, sorrow, sickness or death that is associated with the properties we have acquired or inherited, the jobs we are doing or the relationships we are in.
- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened to always take the word of God seriously about what is good for us and what is not good for us, so that we will stop going for things or people that will end up destroying us.
- Prayers that God will fill our hearts with wisdom and discernment always, so that we will, henceforth, only use our money or resources to promote goodness and peace of mind in our lives and relationships.
- Prayers that our ears will never be deaf to sound warnings or spiritual counsel that is meant to keep us out of trouble in handling our lives’ affairs.
- Thanksgiving to God for the wisdom to pray according to His will and for His generosity in answering us.

By Johnson O. Lawal

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HE KNOWS HOW TO EXALT YOU - 
3rd April 2021




“Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” (Heb 4:16NIV)

It is as clear as daylight that Nigeria is fast becoming one of the most dangerous places to live in today in the world. And if we fold our arms and do nothing, things can only go from bad to worse. But can we do anything at all? Do we even have any answer for the horrible state of insecurity we have been plunged into or for the high rate of unemployment and poverty that is staring us in the face? Yes, as children of God, we do. But our answer to these things does not consist in embarking on strike actions in our workplaces or in hitting the streets with placards that carry all kinds all threats and warnings against the government or in staging a bloody revolution that will get rid of all those that are considered to be the enemies of the nation. Those are weapons of the world. Rather, it consists in using weapons provided by God for us to wage war against evil. (Cf. 2Cor 10:3-5; Eph 6:10-18)

Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying that strike actions and peaceful demonstrations are wrong or cannot at all play a great role in changing the situation of things in our country. Nothing is wrong with embarking on strike actions under our laws. And if it is by doing so that we will get certain people to do their duties to the nation, let us go for it. Then nothing is with peaceful demonstrations under our laws. And if it is by hitting the streets and peacefully making our displeasure with the leadership of our country known that we will get certain people to wake up from their sleep and begin to do what we are paying them to do, so be it.

But how effective can these things be? There have, especially in recent times, been many strike actions from different labour unions across the country, just as there have been all kinds of peaceful protests against the inability of our leaders to give us a safe and enabling environment to live out our potential. But how much have we accomplished with them? Have things gotten any better for us because of these things? Has our nation become safer to live in because of them? We know what the answer is, and it is ‘No’.

Now, of course, I know there are also those who think what we need is for the different major ethnic groups in the country to go their separate ways. But is secession what we really need? Can we guarantee that it is going to make all our problems go away? How many countries today that are products of secession are actually doing great in all ramifications? Yes, there are times that secession is unavoidable and people just have to embrace it. But secession in itself does not guarantee a better life to anybody. The only one that guarantees a life of rest and meaning to those who come to Him is Jesus Christ. (Cf. Matt 11:28-30)

What I am saying is that the only one that cannot fail us, where strike actions, peaceful protests, secessions and even bloody revolutions fail us is God Almighty Himself. And that being the case, He is the one all of us should go to for salvation and help in this hour of need of the nation. Thankfully, He has said that we all may approach Him in Christ Jesus with freedom and boldness to obtain mercy and find grace in our time of need (Heb 4:14-16). And this is a time of need for us. Like never before in this country, we all need peace, rest, good jobs, abundant food, qualitative, quantitative and affordable education and health services, good transportation systems and many other things that make life easy and enjoyable for people.

Therefore, let us all approach God on behalf of our nation and our people for mercy and help. And we can be sure that He is going to answer us, show us mercy and deliver us from all the forces that are seeking to destroy us. Remember that James says, “Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective. Elijah was a man just like us. He prayed earnestly that it would not rain, and it did not rain on the land for three and a half years. Again he prayed, and the heavens gave rain, and the earth produced its crops.” (James 5:16-18NIV)

Why does James tell us these things? It is to let us know that each of us is also in a position to approach God on behalf of our nation and change things, just as Elijah did. Elijah asked for rain for his country, and God answered him, even as one man. We too can ask Him, even as individuals, for rain, peace, rest, fruitfulness and so forth for our nation, and He will answer us. But are we going to ask Him for these things? Are we going to let our concern for our country drive us to pray to God for her? Or are we going to join those who are saying, “If it wants to get worse for this nation, let it get worse for her. I don’t really care, as long as my family and I and fine?”

Whatever our answers to these questions are, let us remember the word of God that says, “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jer 29:7-8NIV) Did you see that? Our overall prosperity is to a great degree tied to the prosperity of our nation. So, if our nation does not prosper, there is no way we will be able to enjoy the prosperity God has planned for us the way we are supposed to enjoy it.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a loving and merciful God, who forgives iniquities and pardons wickedness.
- Prayers that God will be merciful to Nigeria, because of His Son Jesus Christ, and forgive our many sins, sins that are destroying us everyday and making our national life more and more miserable.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes, individually and as families, to see every way in which we are daily contributing to the misery of this country and lead us to repentance.
- Prayers that God will give us this year great weather and climatic conditions that will be favourable to everyone.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will move through this nation and destroy all the evil influences that have taken over our leadership and rendered it totally useless in making life enjoyable for the masses.
- Prayers that God will expose, frustrate and disgrace all those who have yielded themselves to be used by the devil to torment this country and keep it in the chains of poverty and distress, regardless of who they may be.
- Prayers that God, in His compassion, will clear the way for all the people He has raised for the salvation of this nation to take charge and do what He has sent them to do for our good and glory.
- Prayers that in the day that this country rises again in glory, we will not be missing and our place will not be taken over by others.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for the testimonies that will follow.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)


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HE KNOWS HOW TO EXALT YOU - 
3rd April 2021



“That day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.” (Josh 4:14NIV)

It is not a strange thing to find people doing all kinds of things to promote or advance themselves in life. People have murdered, stolen, lied, joined secret societies, organised rebellions and done other kinds of atrocious things in order to exalt themselves or move themselves from where they were to where they felt they ought to be in life. But when all has been said and done, people who do such things will certainly realise that they have not exalted themselves at all but have instead destroyed themselves and, perhaps, other people or things.

I am sure you remember the story Absalom son of David and of how he exalted himself to be king in place of his father. This young man, while his father was still alive, cleverly staged a rebellion that saw his father fleeing for his dear life. But did he enjoy the kingdom that he seized? No, he did not enjoy it at all. Instead, he not only lost it but also lost his life along with it. In addition, what he did brought upon the land an unnecessary civil war, causing many innocent lives to be lost in the process. (Cf. 2Sam 15-18)

In like manner, all around the world, many are daily losing their souls, lives, marriages, body parts, children, reputation, wonderful relationships and so forth in the process of exalting themselves. Not only that, many are destroying several innocent lives and even great nations, organisations and systems because of their unclean passion to exalt themselves at any cost, even to positions not meant for them. And all this is happening because people are failing to acknowledge the fact that the only one that can truly exalt us without bringing any form of confusion and sorrow along with our exaltation is God Almighty. (Cf. Ps 75:6-7)

Now perhaps the reason you too are suffering in certain areas of your life or have made others suffer is that you did your own thing to exalt yourself instead of allowing God to exalt you. I want you to know It is not too late to admit your sins and turn to God for salvation and restoration. How He will get you out of that wrong place you have put yourself in life is entirely up to Him. But if you will humble yourself before Him and admit that you missed it and have caused yourself and others untold pains and hardship, He will forgive you, cleanse you and show you the way to restoration. And in fact, when He is done with you, you will be amazed at how He has taken you from where you were to the very place you are supposed to be in life.

See, God is not against our exaltation. That is because He actually made us to experience exaltation with ever-increasing glory in life (2Cor 3:18). So, He is never against our exaltation or our desire to be exalted. However, He never wants us to exalt ourselves but to humble ourselves, so that He can exalt us at the right time and using the right means (1Peter 5:7). There are God’s seasons for exaltation for every man. And it is only those who humble themselves before Him that will never miss any of the seasons for their exaltation. But those who act arrogantly towards Him and try to do things their own way, even though the things they are doing are good and honest, will always fail to recognise their time of visitation and exaltation.

Then, apart from the fact that God knows the right time to exalt us, He also knows what to do to exalt us. That means the means through which we are exalted are also very important to Him. That is because they are part of the things that will determine whether we and others enjoy our exaltation or not or whether the purpose for which we are exalted is fulfilled or not. If we use means like rebellion, murder, treachery, blackmail, slander, theft or any other ungodly means to exalt ourselves, even though we have done so at the time God has set for our exaltation, we will still have things messed up for us. But if we allow God Himself to work things out, in accordance with His good purpose, then, our exaltation will come with rest, joy and fulfilment for us and others around us.

In our opening text, it is reported that God exalted Joshua on a particular day in the eyes of the Israelites. And because it was He that exalted this man, the people revered him all the days that he lived among them as their leader. So, Joshua was not revered by the people because he was merely their leader; rather, he was revered because God did something that gave him honour in their eyes. And what did He do? He gave him instructions that divided the River Jordan before them, so that they could cross it to the other side on dry ground. That miracle alone made the people know that he, as their leader, was not someone they could take lightly. So, they began to take him more seriously and to honour him. (Cf. Joshua 3&4)

Now, as bible accounts show us, Joshua had served Moses for decades before this happened. In fact, Moses had already died before his exaltation came. But what if he had attempted to exalt himself before this time? Would it not have been a disaster? Certainly, it would have been a disaster. We even have an example in Korah, Dathan and Abiram, who tried to exalt themselves among the Israelites and ended up being swallowed up by the ground (Num 16). So, only God knows what would have become of Joshua, had he tried to exalt himself. But because he humbled himself all the time that he was with Moses, serving him as his personal assistant, God exalted him at the right time and also made sure he stayed exalted throughout the remaining years of His life.

In like manner, God wants to exalt you to and will surely exalt you, if you will humble yourself before Him and allow Him to do it at His own time and in His own way. So, wherever you are now, however lowly the place may be, humble yourself there and don’t think of yourself more highly than you ought to. And don’t ever take any ungodly means to get anything or any post for yourself. Others may be doing this around you, but don’t do as they are doing or join them. The end of people who do such things will never be good. Just humbly rest yourself in God and wait for Him. And in due season, He will exalt you and also keep you exalted for life.

Let us pray.

- Thanksgiving to God who loves us and has made us to experience a life of ever-increasing glory in this world.
- Prayers that our hearts will be instructed to always see God and trust Him as the only one that can truly exalt us in life.
- Prayers that we will experience God’s mercy, forgiveness and restoration in every area of our lives where we have foolishly exalted ourselves and messed things up.
- Prayers that God will keep us from yielding to any satanic temptation or prompting to take steps about our exaltation in life that will ruin us and even others.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and strengthened to always walk in humility before God, so that we will never again miss any of the seasons of our exaltation.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will visit us right away with exaltation in every area of our lives in which we are already due for His lifting up.
- Prayers that our hearts will be kept from indulging in any form of pride that may cause God to pull us down or change His mind about our exaltation in life.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for the testimonies that will follow.


By Johnson O. Lawal 

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WAIT FOR HIS TIME - 27th March 2021

"He has made everything beautiful in its time…” (Eccl 3:11NIV)

One of the things most of us find difficult to do is life is to wait. Whether it is to wait for someone, an event, some resources or a position, we just don’t like to wait. That is because we want everything and everyone to run according to our schedule or timing of things. But that is absolutely impossible. I mean that it is impossible for everything and everyone in this life to move at our pace or according to our own timing of things. That is because we are not the creator of life or the ones in charge of life. The creator and author of life itself is God. Therefore, it does not matter what we and other creatures of His hands do, things will always go according to His own timing and never according to ours.

Now, of course, we are never happy when things do not go as we have them laid out or as we would want them to go. But if we will learn to trust God with our lives, He will, as Solomon tells us in our opening bible text, make everything beautiful for us at the right time. See, there is time for everything, as Solomon equally tells us in that great book, Ecclesiastes. And it is to the degree that we function with this mindset that we will access and enjoy God’s provisions for us and also attain the place He wants us to attain in life.

One of the reasons many are anxious today is that they are unwilling to function according to God’s time for their lives. The things they want for themselves may not be bad or evil. But they are unwilling to wait for God to supply these things at the time He has set for them. Why? It is often because they think time is going to run out on them, and they will never have their desires satisfied. And why do they think like this? It is because they are looking at the circumstances of their lives and other people’s lives instead of looking unto God. So, they give themselves to all kinds of things in order to have what they want and end up destroying much good and, sometimes, their own very lives.

Why did Moses end up being a murderer? It was because he was in a hurry to save his people, the Israelites. As the bible points out, he had sensed in himself that God was going to use him to save his people (Acts 7:25). And God, indeed, was going to use him to save them. But was Moses ready at age forty to save them? Obviously, he was not ready. Yes, he could see that things were really getting worse by the day for his people and that they needed help urgently. But it was not time yet for them to be saved by God.

Now one of the things that showed that it was not yet time for them to be saved was that the one God was going to use to save them was not ready. He had not yet learnt at that time that his own power, might or intelligence could not save his people. So, he messed things up and had to run away for his life. It took him another forty years of his life, forty years of living as a fugitive and lowly shepherd, before God considered him ready for the task. I mean that this man had to come to an end of himself and see himself as totally unfit for the task of setting his people free before God saw him as ripe for the job. And it was then that his going back to Egypt to save his people was really beautiful and fruitful. (Cf. Acts 7:23-36)

Similarly, there are times that we are just not ready to handle what is coming or what we so desperately want to have or protect. And God knows this and expects us to patiently walk with Him or wait for Him until the set time. But if we foolishly and impatiently take matters into our own hands and act before we are ready, then, the results we will get will definitely show us that we should have waited for God.

Also, what about King Saul, the first king of Israel? What made God seek another person to replace him as king? One of the reasons was that he did not know how to work with God’s schedule. On one occasion, when he was supposed to wait for Prophet Samuel to come and carry out the sacrifice they needed to perform before going for a battle, he got impatient, when Samuel did not come at the set time, and carried out the sacrifice himself. Yes, it was true that Samuel did not keep to time on that occasion. It was also true that the circumstances were not at all favourable for Saul, for all his men of war were already deserting him. But what needed to be done was something spiritual, something beyond his understanding. So, he should still have waited for Samuel instead of allowing the things he could see and feel lead him to act before God’s own time and at the cost of his kingship. At any rate, because of his impatience, he lost the kingdom he was trying to preserve. (Cf. 1Sam 13:1-14)

In like manner, many are daily losing what they are trying to keep or win because they will not learn to wait for God. Waiting for God, of course, does not mean we are to sit down, fold our arms and do nothing about the matters of our lives. No, that is not what it means. God Himself does not want us to be idle. Instead, He want us to get busy with whatever legitimate things we can do for ourselves, based on the abilities, resources and people He has endowed us with.

However, He does not want us to rely on ourselves, other people or anything we are doing for our advancement or safety in lives. On the contrary, He wants us to solely rely on Him for everything. And when we have done all that is within our abilities to do for ourselves, in accordance with His grace at work in us, we should allow Him to do that which only He can and must do for our lives to experience the promotion, prosperity, fruitfulness, peace, rest or salvation that we desire. And this is what Peter means, when he says, “So humble yourselves under the mighty power of God, and at the right time he will lift you up in honor.” (1Peter 5:6NLT)

Did you see that? There is a right time for you to have or enjoy everything meant for you in this life. And as long as God is the one in charge of your life, He will not bring anything to you or take you anywhere before the right time. You may seek to take for yourself what you believe to be yours before the time set by God. Other people may also seek to do the same for you. But as long as the time God has set for you to have whatever it is you want is not ripe, even if you get it by pressuring Him to give you or by using some worldly or satanic means, your possession of it will ultimately not give you the satisfaction or joy you want. On the contrary, it may be the very thing that will ruin your life, joy or peace. Therefore, as Peter says, humble yourself under the mighty power of God, and at the right time He will lift you up in honour or give you that thing your heart is so much yearning for.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for He has got everything about our lives well planned out.
- Prayers that God will set our hearts at rest and cleanse us of every form of anxiety that is driving us to impatiently go for ungodly means in meeting our needs or gratifying our desires.
- Prayers that God will restore us in every area of our lives in which we are foolishly running at other people’s pace.
- Prayers that our hearts will always receive strength to look beyond the circumstances of our lives unto God, so that we will not take any foolish steps that will make us ultimately lose what we want to keep or have.
- Prayers that God will strengthen us to always walk with Him with patience in every area of our lives where we need further equipping or education in order to be able to successfully manage or enjoy what He is giving us or the position He is taking us.
- Prayers that we will receive God’s mercy and restoration in every area of our lives where we are now suffering because of our impatience.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal 

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Destroy laziness and ignorance - 20TH MARCH 2021



“I passed by a lazy person's field and by the vineyard of someone with no sense. Thorns had grown up everywhere. The ground was covered with weeds, and the stone walls had fallen down. I thought about what I had seen; I learned this lesson from what I saw. You sleep a little; you take a nap. You fold your hands and lie down to rest. Soon you will be as poor as if you had been robbed; you will have as little as if you had been held up.” (Prov 24:30-34NCV)

The bible is very clear about the fact that none of us can accomplish anything good in life, either for ourselves or others, without God. It is also clear on the fact that we cannot receive anything good and perfect in life and enjoy it, if God does not give it to us. This is why we all must put Him first and take Him very seriously in all that we do. It is why we all must take praying to Him about our success in life very seriously. Otherwise, all our labour and effort to be great and relevant in life or to make sense out of living will ultimately amount to nothing. (Cf. Ecc 2:24-26; Is 26:12; Matt 6:33; John 3:27&15:5; James 1:17)

However, everything about enjoying our lives and the beautiful things of this life is not resting on praying to God alone. Of course, we are taught in scriptures to take praying to God about our lives and even our world very seriously. But that is not all we are taught to do. We are also taught to take life very seriously in order to be able to access and enjoy God’s provisions for us in it. This is why we all must be involved in one legitimate labour or the other and be devoted to handling it seriously. Or else, our praying, fasting, giving or any other spiritual service we may be involved in will not be able to give us access to the kinds of resources we need to enjoy life.

Now, in our opening text, Solomon shows us two major reasons people, even children of God, may end up being poor and miserable in life, even though they are born into wealth and affluence. The first of them is laziness. According to him, if we are lazy, it is right before our eyes that our job or business or whatever it is that God could have used to channel the resources we need in life to us will become useless and unproductive. In other words, what ought to have been a channel through which God’s blessings will be flowing to us will not be one. Instead, it will be a channel through which insults, shame and pains will flow into our lives.

Therefore, this wise man warns us against laziness and procrastination. He warns us against sleeping, resting or playing when we are supposed to be working. Yes, He warns us against putting off what we are supposed to be doing now to some other time. Mind you, when Solomon speaks of ‘a little sleep’, ‘a little nap’ and ‘a little folding of the arms to rest’, he is not saying it is wrong for us to sleep or rest at all. Rather, he is saying that it is wrong for us to use the time that is meant for serious work for idleness of any kind. And according to him, functioning like this will simply open the doors of our lives for poverty to come into them like robbers and take away from us every good thing we have or that might have been ours. So, deal with everything that has to do with idleness and procrastination in your life, for it can only work against your prosperity.

But then, as Solomon points out in that text, being lazy is not the only thing that may keep us in poverty or plunge us into a life of lack; being senseless or ignorant may also drag us into an entire lifetime of lack and misery. For example, there are people that are hardworking and diligent in handling their jobs or businesses but who are still in poverty or in a terrible financial mess because they lack understanding. Some lack of an understanding of those things they need to be doing or things they should not be doing in order to take their job or business to great heights. And instead for them to go for more knowledge and understanding along their line of job, business or trade, they are adamant and unwilling to learn. So, they keep doing the same things they have been doing and in the same ways they have been doing them. But such people are not going to get different results, regardless of how long they stay or how much energy or resources they put into using the same old and ineffective principles.

For some others, it is financial intelligence that they lack. These ones do not know how to put the resources they have, however little they may be, to meaningful and profitable use, so that those resources will keep increase in their hands and not diminish. And instead for them to admit that they need help in managing their resources and seek it, they may change their job or business, start an additional business that they have no capacity to handle, resort to undue rationing of what they have, something that may introduce some other problems into their lives, or give themselves to borrowing or smart begging. But such people may never come out of their financial misery, as long as they refuse to gain the financial sense they need.

Therefore, apart from separating your life from every form of laziness or idleness, you also need to constantly give yourself to learning those things that will make you increase in fruitfulness and usefulness. Yes, learn those things that will make you get promoted in your line of job or get better results in your business or trade. In addition, learn those things that will make you better in handling resources and even people. That is because it is not only money that you need to enjoy life; you also need people. And if you will give yourself to doing these things, with God on your side, there is no way you will not rise above whatever degree of poverty that Satan has conferred on you.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for being on our side all the time, so that our stay in this life may be meaningful and enjoyable all through.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see every area of our lives in which we are idle and admit that we are idle in them.
- Prayers that we will be cleansed of every habit of slothfulness or procrastination that is limiting us in life or keeping us in misery.
- Prayers that God, in His kindness, will begin to generously supply whatever is lacking in our knowledge and understanding of how to excel in our jobs, businesses or trade and in the use of our resources.
- Prayers that we will be made to experience restoration and times of refreshing in every area of our lives where we are suffering because of our laziness or procrastination in the past.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of being able to pray and receive answers from Him.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Don’t wear yourself out - 13TH MARCH 2021


“Don't wear yourself out trying to get rich; be wise enough to control yourself. Wealth can vanish in the wink of an eye. It can seem to grow wings and fly away like an eagle.” (Prov 23:4-5NCV)

King Solomon warns us in our opening text not to wear ourselves out trying to become rich but to learn to control ourselves. And why does he say this? First, it is because there is nothing of this world – wealth, position or fame – that lasts forever. In fact, just a little alteration of life’s circumstance may make you lose them. For example, Job, who was referred to as the greatest of all the men of the eastern part of the world of his time, lost everything he had laboured all his years for, including his children, in one day (Job 1). Also, Lot, who was a very wealthy man by every standard of the world of his time, lost everything he had used all his years to work for in just one day (Gen 19).

Now both of those two men were righteous people, as shown in Scriptures. Yet they lost everything, their wealth, position and influence, in one day and became as poor as any poor person of their time. What, then, became of their hard and diligent labour? Nothing! In fact, if God had not restored someone like Job, he would have gone down history lane as one of those great and mighty men that went from grace to grass. And is that something any one of us prays for? No! But when we consider the fact that there is nothing of this life that cannot be lost, we should show some wisdom and self-control in our quest to become wealthy, powerful or influential.

The second reason Solomon says what he says in our opening text is to let us know that we can actually wear out or ruin ourselves while trying to become rich or successful in life. Yes, we can lose our lives, our health, our reputation, a wonderful relationship or even God while labouring to become rich or successful. What, then, is the point of becoming rich or successful in life, when we do not have a sound body to enjoy our success? Or what is the point of becoming rich or successful in this life, when all the good people in our lives no longer want to have anything to do with us and our names are like a terrible odour to them? And what is the point of gaining the whole world and then losing our souls and an eternity with the living God?

By the way, that we lose our health, some wonderful relationships or God while trying to become rich or successful in life doesn’t even mean that we will become these things. If God Himself does not permit us to become rich or successful, we may only wear ourselves out trying to become rich or successful in vain (Ps 127:1-2). And some of us may be able to cite examples of people who fall into this category. I am talking about people who lost themselves, some great relationships or their faith in God while they were trying to become something in life and have now been abandoned to deal with their miseries all alone.

Now I am sure we don’t want things to end up that way for us. Therefore, we need to take Solomon’s counsel very seriously. And what is his counsel? It is that we must not wear ourselves out, lose our souls or destroy our relationships, all because we want to gain the things of this world. In other words, we must never allow our passion to have something of this world or to become something important in this world to take over our lives and drive us to destruction. Instead, we are to show caution or restraints in everything we do. That means we must learn to force ourselves to stop whatever we are doing and set ourselves right, when we can see that it is preventing us from taking God seriously, from taking a good care of ourselves or from giving adequate and appropriate attention to the people God has placed in our lives. And my prayer is that the wisdom to order our lives right and not destroy ourselves in our quest to become relevant in this life will fill our hearts and daily find expression in us, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for He loves us and has everything about our lives under control.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see all the areas of our lives where we are already destroying ourselves, our relationship with Him or our relationship with other good people in our lives because of certain things of this life that we badly want, so that we may repent without delay.
- Prayers that God will grant us insight to see those things that whatever additional effort, time or resources will commit to them will not yield us any better result, so that we will be saved from experiencing labour loss over them.
- Prayers that we will be healed and restored in every area of our lives in which we are suffering because we have hurt our faith, our lives and our relationships through our lack of self-control.
- Prayers that we will be cleansed of every corrupt desire or passion that may be working in us and driving us to ignore the truths that God has shown us and go for things that will ultimately destroy us.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for His health that will continually reign in every part of our lives.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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What about the good old days? - 6TH MARCH 2021

“Do not say, "Why were the old days better than these?" For it is not wise to ask such questions.”

(Eccl 7:10NIV)

If I remember correctly, and I do remember correctly, all the school fees I paid for my tertiary institution education was not up to what I now pay as school fees for a term for my eldest child. Why? It is because a lot has changed in the world since that time and, in fact, the ongoing change is not about to stop. And if I should permit you too to say something about this, I am sure you would have quite a lot to say about the ‘good old days’.

But then, Solomon, in our opening text, says it is not wise for us to be talking about the good old days and comparing them with our ‘now’, regardless of what our ‘now’ looks like. Why does he say this? It is because by talking about the ‘good old days’, we are giving ourselves an excuse not to make the most of today. And think of the number of people who are already infected with the ‘good old days’ syndrome. I am talking about individuals who are always using the fact that yesteryear was better than today as their excuse for remaining in poverty or sickness or for not being responsible in certain ways in their lives.

Indeed, there are situations or things that point to the fact the world was a better place many years ago than it is today. In the same vein, there are situations and things that point to the fact that the world is a better place today that it was many years ago. For instance, certain means of transportation that people used many years ago are definitely not what we want to use today. I mean that you don’t want to go to Abuja on a camel and use like a week or more to get there, when you could get there in an aircraft in the next 40 minutes, depending on where you are taking off from.

What about the means of communication being used even some years ago, as compared to what we now use? The other day I was chatting with one of my brothers in church and saying certain mobile phones that sold for around N70,000 about 17 or 18 years ago are no better in functions than some of the mobile phones that now sell for around N4,000 or N5,000. Will you, then, like to keep using your 2004 Samsung or Motorola flip phones instead of an android phone, just because it cost you a fortune to buy it when you bought it? I am most sure you won’t.

So, though there may be a lot of reasons to say that yesterday’s world was better than today’s, there are equally a lot of reasons to say that today’s world is better than yesterday’s world. In the light of this, Solomon says don’t speak about the good old days – it is foolish and a waste of time to do so. What should we do, then? We should work with whatever day we are living in as it is, instead of making excuses for failure, poverty and irresponsible living.

To say the fact, there is no day that is not loaded with some measure of evil. That is why our Lord Jesus says, “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matt 6:34NIV) Did you see that? Each day has enough trouble of its own. That means the so-called ‘good old days’ had their own troubles as well. And if we will be sincere with ourselves, we will admit that this is true and that, for certain reasons, we really would not like to be back in those old days.

So, as I already said, instead of comparing the past with the present, we should make up our minds that we are going to make the most of whatever day we find ourselves in, using the grace of God. Yes, we should make up our minds that we will take hold of the grace of God to be a master of our circumstances.

Look at what Paul says about this: “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:15-16NIV) Did you see that? Paul says make the most of every opportunity because the days are evil. In other words, this man of God acknowledges the fact that we are living in evil days, days in which all kinds of things are working against us and seeking to destroy us. Nevertheless, he says these evil days are also days of opportunities. And if we will count on God for wisdom, He will open our eyes to see these opportunities and also enable us to take advantage of them.

For example, when Paul was writing these things to the brethren, he was in the prison (Eph 4:1&6:19-20). That means he was in a real bad day. Yet he did not resign from life because he was in the prison or give himself to reckless living. Instead, he used the time he had there to preach the gospel of Jesus to those with him, to pray for the brethren and to also write letters to instruct and encourage them in the will of God. That is what it means to make the most of today instead of talking about the ‘good old days’.

Also, consider Joseph’s stay in Potiphar’s house and the time he did in the prison. Those were indeed bad days for him, days spent in slavery and away from the love and comfort of His family. Yet he did not waste his life talking about the ‘good old days’. Instead, he settled down to work and make the most of that season of his life. And did it pay off or not? It did. (Cf. Gen 39-41)

So, we too need to stop looking back to the so-called ‘good old days’ and start applying ourselves to make the most of today, counting on the grace of God. I mean that we need to refuse to use the present situation of things in our world today as our excuse for staying in poverty, sickness or failure of any kind. Instead, we should make up our minds to work with the circumstances of our lives the way they are, good or bad, by the power of God and experience prosperity, health and peace. As long as we are ready to do this, God also will be ready to make all things work together for our good and occupy our hearts with gladness. And remember that the man whose heart is occupied with gladness hardly thinks about the ‘good old days’ (Ecc 5:19-20).

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is the author of our past, present and future and so we can trust Him to fulfil His good purpose for us, regardless of the seasons of our lives.
- Prayers that we will be strengthened in our inner man by the Spirit of God to get up from whatever mud of discouragement we may have found ourselves and confront the situations of our lives with the word and wisdom of God, instead of making excuses.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see what to do to make the most of the current situations of things in our world and in our lives to prosper greatly and live happily in the will of God.
- Prayers that God will occupy our hearts with gladness every new day we come into, so that we will never again have to wish our today were better than yesterday.
- Thanksgiving to God for privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)Share on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest

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He forgot him - 27TH FEBRUARY 2021
 


“Now the third day was Pharaoh's birthday, and he gave a feast for all his officials. He lifted up the heads of the chief cupbearer and the chief baker in the presence of his officials: He restored the chief cupbearer to his position, so that he once again put the cup into Pharaoh's hand, but he hanged the chief baker, just as Joseph had said to them in his interpretation. The chief cupbearer, however, did not remember Joseph; he forgot him.” (Gen 40:20-23NIV)

One of the things we learnt from the story of Joseph’s stay in the prison is that if God does not put it in people’s heart to help us, it does not matter how much good we have done to them or for them or how much promises they have made to us, they will still not remember to do anything good for us or to us. In fact, they may even decide to pay us back with evil for the good we have done for them or to them.

As the account goes, Joseph, while he was in the prison, was fortunate to meet two among the most powerful of Pharaoh’s officials. I am talking about Pharaoh’s own cupbearer and baker, individuals who were directly responsible for what he ate and drank. Now exactly how they offended their master we are not told. But their offence was so great that he put them in prison. And Joseph, because he had proved himself to be someone that the prison warden could trust with anything, was fortunate to be the one that he assigned to attend to them. This, of course, was something that he did not take for granted at all; instead, he it used to build a great relationship with them.

We also must learn from this. Relationships matter a lot. You may not be in a position of advantage today. But how do you relate to those who are in such positions around you? Are you envious of them, thinking you should have been where they are and they where you are? Do you despise them for being in such lofty positions, even though they don’t seem to know anything? Or do you treat them with the respect due them, knowing that a man can receive nothing except God has given it to him? And if you should find such people in a state of misery, how will you treat them?

Well, how you treat them may determine what God will use them to do for you. That is what we see in Joseph’s case. He did not despise those men because their master got angry with them and put them out of office. Instead, he sought ways in which he could comfort and help them. And when they both had dreams that terrified them greatly, he was the one that cheered them up and told them the meanings of those dreams. Of course, it was only one of them that his dream favoured – the other person was not favoured at all. But that was not Joseph’s fault; rather, it was God’s decision to make things go the way then went. (Cf. Gen 40)

Now the disturbing part of the story was that this official, Pharaoh’s chief cupbearer, that was favoured by Him and that, I am sure, must have promised Joseph heaven and earth before he left the prison, totally forgot him for two good years. But this man heard Joseph’s story while he was in the prison, the story of how he was unjustly imprisoned. And the young man even personally pleaded with him not to forget him, when he was eventually restored by his master (Gen 40:14-15).

Nevertheless, he forgot him. And if God had not stepped in two years later and created a circumstance that made him remember him, he may have never remembered him till he himself would die. But then, when he did remember Joseph, he did not say, “Oh, it is already too late. How am I going to face him? Or what excuse will I give him for forgetting him for two full years? Let me think of someone else that can help my king.” Instead, he acknowledged his sin to Pharaoh and everyone in his court and recommended that Joseph, a prisoner and foreigner, be brought before Pharaoh to interpret his dreams for him. That, of course, was how Joseph was set free and made second-in-command to Pharaoh himself. (Cf. Gen 41)
What, then, is the point of all this? It is that we must learn not to forget people’s kindness towards us but always think of how we may repay them in line with the will of God. That is because God may have used them to help us, so that He may in turn use us to lift them up. And in fact, we may the very door some people need to go through to attain that height God wants them to be in life. But if we get forgetful, if we become carried away in our own comfort and prosperity, certain individuals that ought to have been lifted in life may end up dying in their low states. And God will not hold us guiltless for this.

Think about this. Even that pagan official of Pharaoh could tell that it was a sin for him to forget Joseph the way he did (Gen 41:9). Unfortunately, many of God’s people have become so short-sighted that they can’t even tell that they are in error by forgetting to repay certain acts of kindness done to them by others. This, of course, does not mean we are to allow people to turn us into their puppets or blackmail us to do anything they want, good or bad, because they once helped us. Rather, it means we are to learn to show gratitude to those God has used to help, lift or protect us in one way or the other by helping them in whatever way we too can.

Now we have an example in David, who remembered Jonathan’s love and kindness to him, and made his son, Mephibosheth, eat everyday at his table, like one of his own sons, even though the young man was crippled. He even protected him from death once, when God’s judgment fell on his grandfather’s, King’s Saul’s, house. (Cf. 2Sam 9 & 21:1-9) We too can act likewise and should act likewise. Yes, we should learn to think carefully and prayerfully about all the people God has used to do us good, so that we may know in what ways we too can repay their kindness and be of help to them.

But if we will not pay attention to this, we may block the flow of certain blessings of God into our lives or someday incur His wrath and end up like Nabal, Abigail’s husband. Or, if God does not show us mercy and step in for our protection, we may end up being cruelly treated by those that have shown us kindness that we are refusing to help. Remember that even godly David wanted to destroy Nabal’s household because the man would not repay his acts of kindness with kindness. And it was Abigail, the man’s wife, that God used on that occasion to stop him. But the fact is that many have been destroyed or brought down with witchcraft, sorcery, slander and so forth because of things like this. So, don’t ever overlook any act of kindness that you are in a position to repay, for the cost of doing so may be too much for you to bear. (Cf. 1Sam 25)

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all the people He has used to lift, help or protect us, so that we may be alive and well today to enjoy His goodness.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught the proper way to relate to everyone God is bringing our way in life, so that we will not foolishly upset, despise or insult those He has sent to lift, help or protect us.
- Prayers that God will bring about situations that will cause all the people He has appointed to lift us from where we are to where are supposed to be to remember us and do His will concerning our lives.
- Prayers that we will be forgiven and shown mercy in every way that we have failed to appropriately repay people’s acts of kindness to us and in every way we have failed to use our position to help those that God wanted us to help.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see all those that we need to repay their acts of kindness and to begin to do what is right for them.
- Prayers that our eyes will not be shut to needs of everyone God has put us in a position to help, so that we may help them without delay.
- Thanksgiving to God for the revelation of His will to us, so that we may pray and receive accordingly.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Do not neglect His work -

 

“This is what the LORD Almighty says: "These people say, 'The time has not yet come for the LORD's house to be built.'" Then the word of the LORD came through the prophet Haggai: "Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?" Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. You have planted much, but have harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it." This is what the LORD Almighty says: "Give careful thought to your ways. Go up into the mountains and bring down timber and build the house, so that I may take pleasure in it and be honored," says the LORD.” (Hag 1:2-8NIV)

As revealed in Scriptures, one of the ways God’s people can keep devourers out of their lives and affairs is to take His work seriously. No, we all cannot be preachers, but we all, regardless of our vocation in life, can be involved in God’s work. That is because the work of God is not all about preaching; rather, it is all about causing people’s lives to be conformed to the likeness of His Son Jesus Christ. Accomplishing this, of course, will come with a lot of preaching. But preaching alone won’t do. Those being preached to also have to be followed up, prayed for, counselled and comforted when they are troubled and sometimes supported with resources.

So, when we are talking about doing the work of God, a lot is involved. And every child of God must open his eyes to see what part of this work He has been gifted or graced by God to take on. This is why Paul says:

“In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, speak out with as much faith as God has given you. If your gift is serving others, serve them well. If you are a teacher, teach well. If your gift is to encourage others, be encouraging. If it is giving, give generously. If God has given you leadership ability, take the responsibility seriously. And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, do it gladly.” (Rom 12:6-8NLT)

Can you see that every child of God has been blessed with one gift or the other to do His work, even if it is just to serve His people food in their meetings, and bring about the fulfilment of His purpose in the lives of others? But are we using these gifts to do His work? And we don’t need to get to a church meeting place to use the gifts or resources God has given us to do His work. Jesus, for instance, did not need to get to a synagogue or the Temple of God in Jerusalem before He did God’s work. He did it wherever He found Himself, in the streets, in the house, at meal tables, by the well, on mountain tops, by the seashore, inside boats and so forth.

In like manner, the Lord’s apostles and disciples of old also did God’s work wherever they found themselves, even in prison rooms (Acts 16:25-34). They did not always wait until they got to church meetings before they did His work. Therefore, none of us has any reason for not being actively involved in God’s work. None of us has any acceptable excuse for not increasing every day in our commitment to doing His work. That is because we can do it wherever we find ourselves, regardless of how busy we may be.

But if we will not take His work seriously and instead focus all our attention on our personal affairs alone, we may just be opening the door for labour loss and discontentment to come into our lives. For example, as we see in our opening text, the Jews that God had brought back to Canaan from exile stopped taking His work, the building of His temple, seriously at some point. All them just focussed on building their businesses and houses. And their excuse was that the pagans around them and the officials of their Persian overlords were hostile to them and their religion.

However, God would not take that excuse from them. That was because if the hostility of those people would not stop them from developing their businesses and building fine houses for themselves, it wouldn’t also stop them from building His Temple. So, the reason they would not build His temple was that their heart was not in doing so.

Unfortunately, what they did not know was that their abandoning of God’s work was the reason they were experiencing labour loss in their lives; it was the reason they were not experiencing satisfaction from their hard labour. Many of them were working hard, as God pointed out to them through His prophet Haggai, but there was not much to show for it. They were just labouring in vain. And things would only get worse for them unless they repented and began to take the work of God seriously.

Now perhaps the reason we too are experiencing labour loss in all or certain areas of our lives is that we are neglecting the work of God. We are working hard, but we cannot just see or enjoy the fruit of our labour. Or we are working hard, but things keep happening that are stealing the fruit of our labour. The Lord is reaching out to us now and saying, “Repent and return to doing my work that you have neglected, and I will be pleased with you.” And if we too will obey, just as the Jews of Haggai’s day did, we also will begin to experience a mighty flow of the blessings of God that have been blocked in our lives (Haggai 1:12).

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for counting us worthy to be His children and to be partners with Him in blessing the whole world.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every area of our lives in which we are neglecting God’s gifts or opportunities to do His work and bring about the fulfilment of His purpose in people’s lives.
- Prayers that our hearts will be awakened and strengthened to take very seriously whatever responsibility God has given us to do in His kingdom, so that we will no longer open the doors of our lives for devourers to devour the fruit of our labour.
- Prayers that as we take God’s work seriously, He, in His mercy, will shut every door in our lives through which the enemy has been stealing from us and making us unhappy.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Your elevation is tied to it - 13th February 2021


“Again, it will be like a man going on a journey, who called his servants and entrusted his property to them. To one he gave five talents of money, to another two talents, and to another one talent, each according to his ability. Then he went on his journey. The man who had received the five talents went at once and put his money to work and gained five more. So also, the one with the two talents gained two more. But the man who had received the one talent went off, dug a hole in the ground and hid his master's money.” (Matt 25:14-18NIV)

The parable in our opening bible text was originally told by our Lord Jesus Christ to show His disciples how important it is for each of them to take seriously whatever God has entrusted to them, so that they may profit with it. Otherwise, they won’t be getting His praise or promotion; instead, what they will be getting is His punishment.

Now the first thing to note from the parable is that each of the man’s servants was given something to work with. So, there really was no excuse for any of them to idly move around, doing nothing. The second thing to note is that the man gave each of these servants whatever he gave them in accordance with their ability. In other words, this man knew their skill sets and abilities; he knew what each of them was capable of doing. And that was what determined how much resources or responsibilities he entrusted to them. Therefore, he was not expecting any of them to compare himself with another but to take whatever he had been given and get to work with it.

That, of course, was exactly what his first two servants did. Each of them took what he what he was given, put it to work and multiplied it. The man that was given two talents did not get slothful in using it because he was not given as much as the one that was given five talents. And the man that was given five talents would not complain that he had been given too much to work it and so deliver less than his capabilities.

Unfortunately, the third servant acted completely differently. Instead, of taking what he had been given seriously and working with it, he decided to bury it somewhere. Why? As he pointed out when his master came back and began to appraise all of them, it was because he was afraid of failure. Think about that. It was fear of failure that kept that servant from using the money he was given to do anything. And that fear so robbed him of initiative that he could not even think of putting the money in the bank, so that he may get some interest on it from the bankers when his master came back. (Cf. Matt 25:19-20)

What, then, was he doing, all the time his master was away? Whatever it was, it was not relevant, even he was successful at it. It was not relevant because his master was only concerned about the job he gave him and not the job he did not give him. And because he failed at what he was given, he was judged as lazy, worthless and wicked, someone that was only fit to be locked up in a dungeon, a place of weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Now, even though this parable was originally told to teach us something about how we will be judged on the Lord’s Day, it is also to show us how God expects us to handle the various abilities and resources He has given us and the various skills, education or jobs He has enabled us to acquire. And how does He expect us to handle these things? First, He wants us to appreciate whatever He has given us and take it very seriously, however little, small or insignificant it may seem to us or others. That is because our promotion, elevation and advancement in life are connected to all those things He has given us and also enabled us to acquire. So, if we do not appreciate them and take them seriously, the progress we are seeking or praying for in life will never come to us.

Second, God wants us to get creative and busy with using the abilities and resources He has given us and the skills, education or job He has enabled us to acquire, instead of comparing ourselves with others. When you compare yourself with others, you will either begin to give less than you are capable of or to do something you have not capability for. Either way, you are going to end up in trouble. So, even if you think that what you have at the moment is less than what you can manage or handle, prove it by doing something meaningful and productive with it.

Ask yourself, “What can I do with this money, skill, ability, education or job I have now? How can I make the most of it to move forward in life?” When you start reasoning like this, putting your mind and hand to work, it won’t be long before God leads you to see the gold in what He has given you and how you can use it to move from where you are to where you are meant to be in life. And as you get diligent in using it, you will begin to see yourself being recognised by men and being elevated by God.

Third, God never wants us to allow fear of failure to dominate us and keep us from using what He has blessed us with. On the contrary, He wants us to fan into flames whatever He has given us, for what He has given us is not the spirit of fear but the spirit of power, of love and of a sound mind (2Tim 1:6-7). So, don’t be afraid of using your abilities, skills, education or money for legitimate commercial purposes. That is because GOD HAS NOT PROGRAMMED YOU TO FAIL BUT TO SUCCEED. If what you need, then, is more knowledge, counsel or training, get it. But don’t allow fear to paralyse you. That servant could not get the praise and promotion of his master because fear would not let him use his head. Don’t let that happen to you. And may God strengthen your heart to take these things I have shared with you seriously, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the various abilities, resources, skills, training and education He has given us or enabled us to acquire.
- Prayers that our hearts will be cleansed of everything that is making us despise the gifts of God in our lives.
- Prayers that our minds will be renewed to recognise and appreciate even the smallest of the abilities, resources, skills and education we have, so that we may begin to apply ourselves to use them.
- Prayers that our minds will be infused with divine intelligence to see how to make adequate and appropriate use of everything God has blessed us with for our elevation in life.
- Prayers that we will be cleansed of every kind of envy or jealousy that is limiting us in usefulness and productiveness or that is driving us in crazy arrogance to do things we are never meant for.
- Prayers that our lives will be rid of every form of fear that is paralysing us in life and keeping us in barrenness in a land that is flowing with milk and honey.
- Prayers that God will grant us speed of accomplishment and miracles of multiplication and elevation in every area of our lives where we are showing diligence in using His gifts in our lives.
- Thanksgiving to God for the blessing of knowing what to pray for and for answers to all our requests.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Get your priorities right - 6th February 2021

“As the king passed by, the prophet called out to him, "Your servant went into the thick of the battle, and someone came to me with a captive and said, 'Guard this man. If he is missing, it will be your life for his life, or you must pay a talent of silver.' While your servant was busy here and there, the man disappeared." "That is your sentence," the king of Israel said. "You have pronounced it yourself."” (1Kings 20:39-40NIV)


One of the things anyone that is involved in any legitimate labour must learn to do is prioritise. There will always be all kinds of things calling for our attention. But we need to understand that it is not everything that deserves our attention. Only those things that add value to our lives, that move us nearer to our goals and that make us increase in efficiency, effectiveness, fruitfulness and usefulness deserve our attention. And it is such things we must learn to give more and more attention to.

Unfortunately, many in the labour force today do not know this. So, often, they equate being busy for being fruitful and productive. But it is possible to be busy and not productive. It is possible to be busy and not efficient. Oh yes, it is possible to be busy and not move your organisation or business forward. And the bitter truth about this is that God and people will not reward us for being busy; rather, they are going to reward us for being productive. Even if you are running your personal business, it will not reward your busyness; rather, it will reward your effectiveness and efficiency in running it.

There was a time I did not know this. So, I was not pleased with the management of the place where I was working then. I was not pleased with it because I felt it was not rewarding my hard labour and busyness as it ought to. But the truth is that even though I was at that time always busy and working hard, my hard work and busyness were not achieving the set targets. And that being the case, there was no way I could be rewarded for results I was not getting. Yes, sometimes, my boss would pity me and give me so bonuses to encourage me. But the fact remains that he was not under any obligation to do so.

Perhaps you too are like that. You are angry and bitter because your organisation is not rewarding you enough for your hard work and busyness or because your business is not yielding you results that measure up with the investment of your time, energy and resources in it. First, you need to stop being angry and bitter, for it is against the will of God for you to function like that and will only keep you blind to what you are meant to see. Second, you need to tell yourself the truth about your hard work and busyness. Are they really accomplishing the desired results? If they are not, then, you need to find out why. Could it be that you have been busy with the wrong things? Or could it be that the investment of your energy, resources, skills and time is in the wrong things?

As we see in our opening bible text, the man of God that was speaking to King Ahab in parables clearly noted that he was given the responsibility of securing a captive and also told what the consequences would be, if he should lose him. He was told that he would pay with his life. Unfortunately, the man got himself so busy with other things that he did not know when the man he was told to secure escaped. And that was when he realised how important it is to prioritise.

Many of us too don’t often realise how important it is for us to prioritise, to identify those things that are really important for our advancement, promotion, fruitfulness and increased usefulness until we lose something very dear to us or are faced with great failure or are denied some rewards by those we work for. This ought not to be so. So, we need to constantly identify and separate ourselves from anything we have been busy doing that is not moving our lives forward or making us realise set targets, regardless of what sentiments or love we may have for it. Then we also need to settle down to identify those things that are able to aid our fruitfulness, advancement and increased usefulness in life and in all our legitimate labour, so that we may occupy ourselves with them. And God is able to empower us to do these things, if we will call out to Him.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for taking interest in everything that concerns our lives and fruitfulness.
- Prayers that God will cleanse our hearts of every form of bitterness and anger arising out of dissatisfaction with our jobs or businesses, so that we will be clear-minded to receive revelations for our advancement.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see every wrong thing or relationship we have been busy with, which is not contributing anything to our fruitfulness or progress in life.
- Prayers that we will be filled with the wisdom and understanding required for us to separate ourselves from every wrong thing or relationship we have been occupied with that is limiting us in life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be taught to get our priorities right in life and in whatever labour we are involved in, so that we will occupy ourselves only with those things that will promote our fruitfulness, progress and usefulness in life.
- Prayers that as we get our priorities right, God will cause His favour to overflow in our lives, so that people will recognise our diligent labour and adequately reward us for it.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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How not to labour in vain - 30th January 2021


“Unless the LORD builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat — for he grants sleep to those he loves.” (Ps 127:1-2NIV)

King Solomon was the one who wrote the words of the Psalm above. And though he was involved in all kinds of great projects, including the building of a magnificent temple for the Lord and an imposing palace for himself, he still concluded that unless the Lord builds whatever we are building, our labour is going to be in vain. In other words, if God Himself does not build whatever we are building for us, by causing His blessing to be on them and to work in them, whether it is a business, a home, a church or even a house, all our effort in building it can only end up in vain. So, it will either be that we won’t succeed at all in building it or that we will succeed in building it but not enjoy it.

Perhaps you can readily think of projects, training or education that you invested a lot of time, energy, skills, resources and devotion in acquiring but which you could not succeed at or which you succeeded at but have never really enjoyed the fruit of it. Or you may even have around you projects, buildings or facilities that some individuals some years ago invested a lot in but which are just lying fallow now. Nobody is using them or enjoying them. They are now nothing but a waste of labour. Why? It is because the blessing of God is not at work in them.

Also, as the king and protector of his great country, one who was in command of a great and formidable army, Solomon said unless the Lord Himself keeps safe whatever we are trying to protect, it will not be safe, even if we get the most ferocious, brave and talented warriors to protect it. And what is the point of labouring to have something that we cannot keep? Is that not a waste of labour?

Furthermore, this man goes on in that Psalm to show us that rising up very early and staying up late, working hard to get food can only result in a life without rest, if God does not bless our effort in doing these things. That explains why many today keep labouring and yet what they are getting is never sufficient to give them rest in their lives. Yes, everybody can see them rising up early to do all kinds of hard work. Yet there is not much to show for this in the quality of life they live. They are just labouring in vain. So, they just have to labour more and more. And they may eventually continue like that till their old age and still never know rest.

Now what point is Solomon trying to communicate by saying these things to us? It is simply that we should learn to totally rely on God for guidance, fruitfulness, enjoyment and rest in all our labour. We should never think our hard work, smartness, training, education, resources or passion is enough to make us succeed in our labour, protect the fruit of our labour and also enjoy the fruit of such labour. If God does not cause His blessing to rest on what we are doing and work through it, it will all be a waste of labour. It will not bring us comfort or rest in life.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the skills, intelligence and strength that we have to do any kind of labour.
- Prayers that God will lead us away from everything we are investing our time, energy, skills, devotion and resources in that will never profit us.
- Prayers that God will guide us this year into only those legitimate endeavours that are consistent with His purpose for us, so that we will be investing our labour on the right things.
- Prayers for God, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, to cause His blessings to fully find expression in all our legitimate labour, so that they will result in fruitfulness, comfort and rest for us.
- Prayers that God, in His great mercy, will shut the doors of our lives against anything or anyone that may seek to devour the fruit of our labour this year.
- Prayers that God, in His lovingkindness, will restore to us this year all the fruit of our labour that the enemy has stolen from us and also cause us to begin to truly enjoy them.
- Thanksgiving to God for the wisdom to pray according to His will and receive answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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How to improve the quality of your life -
23rd January 2021


“Noah, who was a farmer, was the first man to plant a vineyard.” (Gen 9:20-21GNT)

When the story of what became of Noah after the flood is told, people’s focus is often on the fact that he got drunk and lay naked in his tent. While we cannot diminish the relevance of the lessons taught by this righteous man’s drunkenness, we must also not overlook the lessons of hard work, diligence and excellence taught by the man’s life.

As it is clearly stated in the bible, Noah and his family just survived a worldwide flood that destroyed all men, animals, birds, plants and whatever civilisation the world had at that time. So, to a great degree, they were all on their own. That means they had to get for themselves whatever they felt they needed to live and enjoy the remaining days of their earthly life. It was on them to build houses for themselves to stay in, for there was none available again. It was also on them to create jobs for themselves, jobs that would fit their circumstances, for there was no government or organisation to create any for them.

Therefore, Noah, as the head of this new world, took the lead and began to create a new civilisation. How? First, he went into farming, something I believe he had been involved in before the flood. Second, he became creative with farming, planting a vineyard. Not only that, he went ahead and tried brewing. Yes, he got drunk while trying some of the wine he had produced. But that was an accident. He did not get drunk because he wanted to; rather, he got drunk while he was testing what he had newly created.

Now we are not told exactly how long it took Noah to come up with these great ideas of cultivating a vineyard and brewing wine from it. But it must have involved a high level of serious application of the mind, diligence and hard work. And these are the very things we also need today to make life better for ourselves and our world. We need to be willing to continually apply the minds God has given us to use the resources He has put at our disposal to solve our common problems or make life easier for us. We also need to fall in love with hard work and diligence, instead of always seeking to have something for nothing.

Unfortunately, what we see today is that most people do not want to use their head at all and take advantage of the abilities, skills, resources, education or training God has enabled them to possess to create a better life for themselves and others. They will rather depend on the government, some organisations or some relatives to determine how much of life they will enjoy. That is nothing but laziness of the mind. And the best it can give people is a life of average, one in which you ration everything throughout your entire lifetime.

Then we have those who claim to be waiting on God. And that is their excuse for being jobless and being irresponsible in many ways. While every one of us is expected to count on God for everything we need in life, we must also understand that God Himself is counting on us to make intelligent use of all that He has made available and is making available to us. And unless we choose to use what He has given to us or provided to aid us to continually improve the quality of our lives, there is nothing He can do for us.

Read history, and you will see that most of the inventions of men that we are now enjoying did not come because those who invented them were waiting for help from anywhere; rather, they came because those inventors decided to use their minds and whatever resources that were available to them to provide solutions to the problems they were confronted with. So, if we truly want a better quality of life for ourselves here in this world, let us do away with every form of laziness in our lives, whether in the use of our head, the use of our skills, the use of our education or the use of our resources, however little or much they may be, and get serious and busy with life.

But we won’t do this as long as we think the government or some organisation or relative will come to our aid. Therefore, since we have God with us, in us and for us, we need to stop waiting for help from men and start looking at what legitimate things we can do to move ourselves forward. Yes, it will be great, if we receive men’s help for speed to accomplish great things. But even when man’s help is not coming, God is able to take us to very great heights, if we too will begin to wisely and diligently use what He has given us.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all the various gifts and abilities He has given us and for all the skills and training He has enabled us to acquire.
- Prayers that God will cleanse us of every form of laziness or idleness that is associated with the use of our minds, so that we may begin to apply them in critical thinking to create profitable things and solve problems.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to recognise everything He has already made available for us to enjoy a better quality of life and also teach our hearts how to make adequate and appropriate use of them.
- Prayers that God will lead us away from every form of undue dependence on men, so that we will not be inactive where we are supposed to be active.
- Prayers that God will cause His blessings to rest on all our legitimate endeavours and steps of faith and cause them to result in increased fruitfulness and a greater enjoyment of life for us.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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What you are in serious need of – An understanding of the times -
16th January 2021


“From the tribe of Issachar, there were 200 leaders of the tribe with their relatives. All these men understood the signs of the times and knew the best course for Israel to take.” (1Chron 12:32NLT)

Among the people that God used in establishing the kingdom of David were certain two hundred leaders of the tribe of Issachar with their relatives. And what distinguished them from other valiant men that were with David was the fact that they understood the times and knew the right thing for the nation to do and the right time for them to do it. So, the king was never clueless, regardless of what challenges the nation was faced with. He always knew what to do.

It is, however, unfortunate today that most of the leaders of our nations do not labour to have among their advisers individuals who understand the times and also know what things they should be doing and the time they should be doing them. It is no big wonder, then, that they are clueless about what to do in order to make their countries safe and also increase in fruitfulness and productiveness.

But then, it is not only our country’s leadership that need to understand the times and also know the best course of action to take to make the most of them. Every one of us needs to understand every change in life’s seasons and what to do with them in order to keep increasing in fruitfulness and productiveness and to also stay safe and happy. That is why Paul says this to us: “Be very careful, then, how you live — not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Eph 5:15-17NIV)

Did you see that? These are indeed evil and terrible days, for they are the last days of man here on earth. Nonetheless, they are also days of opportunities. And it is only those who are functioning by the wisdom of God that will know and understand what to do during these days to stay safe, productive, healthy and happy.

As we all well know, many people are upset and confused because of the current financial and security crises of our nation. These things are really affecting them and making them lose control of their lives and affairs. But you don’t have to be like them. You don’t have to lose your mind, your life, your peace, your marriage, your health or any good thing God has blessed you with because you are ignorant of how to handle this season. What you need is to stay in touch with God, in prayer and in His word, so that He may fill you with wisdom, knowledge and understanding about how to make the most of our current national crises and stay victorious over them.

Look at Isaac, for example. He was once confronted with some years of famine in Gerar, where he was living. And the first idea that came to his mind was to run away from Gerar to Egypt and start his life afresh there. But because he was in fellowship with God, He told him not to do so but to stay where he was for a while and that He would bless him there. And the man obeyed and stayed. Therefore, God opened his mind to see that farming was the way to go and tremendously prosper. (Cf. Gen 26:1-6)

Now from what we see in the bible, Isaac’s father was not a farmer but a livestock keeper (Gen 13:1-9). So, the young man must have been raised in the business of rearing livestock. But when he was confronted with a new season, God, in His wisdom, led him into a new business, farming, and made sure he was so successful at it that all the people around him were amazed and also afraid of him (Gen 26). And this same God can fill our hearts with an understanding of these days of national security and financial crises and what to do with them and in them in order to thrive and prosper exceedingly. All we need to do, as I earlier mentioned, is to take our fellowship with Him in prayer and in His word very seriously. But are we going to do this? I pray that we are enabled by God Himself to do so.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because of His love for us and His commitment to taking care of us, regardless of what seasons of life we are confronted with.
- Prayers that God will encourage and strengthen our hearts not to throw away our confidence in Him because of the many challenges of these last days but to vitally stay in fellowship with Him.
- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with a clear understanding of the times we live in and with the wisdom of the Spirit of God to do with them things that will result in our peace, fruitfulness, safety and happiness.
- Prayers that God will keep us from taking any step that seems wise to us in handling whatever security, financial, marital or health challenge we may be faced with but which will eventually make things worse for us.
- Prayers that God will provide the various leaders of our governments and organisations that are confused about what to do to keep this nation together with people that understand the times and also know the right course for us to take to come out of our many problems.
- Prayers that every leader in this country, who because of their selfish interests, is deliberately rejecting wise counsel that will save and lift up this nation will be replaced by God this year.
- Thanksgiving to God because He will do much more than we have asked for, in accordance with the working of His power in us.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Humble yourself for His elevation -
9th January 2021


“Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.”
(1Peter 5:6NIV)

As long as we are in this world, there will always be greater things to do and greater heights to attain. So, regardless of what position we are occupying now, there will always be somewhere higher for us to go. That being the case, we must be careful not to function wherever we are as though it were our bus stop, using our authority, position, influence, skills, talents or resources anyhow. Otherwise, it may actually end up being our bus stop.

In our opening Scriptures, apostle Peter instructs us to humble ourselves under God’s mighty hand, so that He may lift us up at the right time. And from what he says, it is clear that the one that lifts people up or promotes them is God. So, if He does not promote you, no one can promote you and nothing you do will result in your promotion or elevation.

Then from what this apostle says, we can see that God knows the right time for everybody’s promotion. He knows the right time to take us from where we are to where we are supposed to be. So, if we are not yet due for promotion, He will not promote us. That is because He is not only interested in promoting us; He is also interested in our being able to handle our promotion and enjoy it. That is why He will only promote or elevate us when it will suit us and realise His good purpose, which agrees with Solomon’s words that say, “He makes everything beautiful in its time.” (Cf. Ecc 3:11) If we, however, try to promote ourselves through any means before the time He has set, it is trouble and shame that we will ultimately find as our experience.

But then, can we trust God to promote, elevate or enlarge us at the right time? Yes, we can trust Him. That is because He is a faithful, reliable and impartial God, who never fails to keep His promises or fails to give to people what they deserve (Deut 10:17; 1Cor 1:9; 1Thess 5:24). So, if we are due for elevation, He will not fail to elevate us. And if we are due for expansion, He will not fail to expand us.

However, there is a way we too must learn to relate to Him, so that He won’t leave us where we are or even demote us, when He is supposed to elevate us. And in what way are we to relate to Him? We are to relate to Him in humility by taking His instructions seriously and honouring Him with our lives. As it is made abundantly clear in Scriptures, it is those who humble themselves that God elevates. Those who exalt themselves and walk in pride towards Him and towards men can only expect Him to oppose and pull them down. (Cf. Luke 18:14; James 4:6; 1Pet 5:5)

See, it is not only the devil that can oppose people or pull them down; God can also oppose or pull them down. And one main reason He will do this is that they are proud. Why was Satan removed from the exalted place that God put him among the angels? It was because of pride. Why was King Saul’s kingdom taken away from him and given to another? It was because his heart became lifted up and he felt he no longer needed to take God’s instructions very seriously. Why was King Nebuchadnezzar given the mind of an animal and sent away from his kingdom for some time? It was because of pride. And why was Herod the king struck dead by an angel of God? It was because of pride. (Cf. 1Sam 15; Ezek 28:17; Dan 4; Acts 12:19-23)

So, pride can make God oppose us and refuse to lift us up. It can make Him remove us from a position of advantage, allow us to be afflicted or even end our very lives. This is why we must see to it that we allow no form of pride or arrogance in us, as we relate to Him and to the people in our world, great or small. Otherwise, what we will be experiencing in our lives will be stagnation and retrogression, instead of promotion or enlargement. And no amount of prayer for elevation or hard work will turn things around for us.

Therefore, let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God because He is a faithful and impartial God, who is ever watching to lift us up at the right time.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see whatever area of our lives in which we are walking in pride towards God or men and our hearts will be strengthened to repent of our pride without delay.
- Prayers that God, as we humble ourselves before Him, will put an end to every experience of barrenness and retrogression in our lives and homes.
- Prayers that God will show us mercy and restore us wherever we have been experiencing physical sufferings, mental depression or any form of satanic oppression because of pride.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy and faithfulness, will look on us with favour this new year and begin to lift us up wherever we are due for elevation.
- Prayers that God, all through this new year, will enable us to keep our hearts right before Him, so that we will not allow any form of pride that will hinder and limit us in them.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Labour loss is not His will for you -
2nd January 2021


“They will build houses and dwell in them; they will plant vineyards and eat their fruit. No longer will they build houses and others live in them, or plant and others eat. For as the days of a tree, so will be the days of my people; my chosen ones will long enjoy the works of their hands. They will not toil in vain or bear children doomed to misfortune; for they will be a people blessed by the LORD, they and their descendants with them. Before they call I will answer; while they are still speaking I will hear.” (Isa 65:21-24NIV)

We know what it means to give ourselves, our time, our skills and our devotion to something and not receive any profit in it. We also know what it means to put so much into gaining something and eventually lose it to some unexpected circumstances or not enjoy it at all. That is what is called labouring in vain or labour loss.

Now there are many who are experiencing this in almost every area of their lives. They are working hard every day, so that they may increase in resources or influence and be able to make life better and more enjoyable for themselves and maybe their family. Yet, through some twist of circumstances, there has not been much to show for their years of hard labour. It is not improving the quality of life they are living or the quality of enjoyment of life they are having. And this has brought frustration and depression into their lives. It has even led some to run away from their responsibilities or to take their own lives.

Perhaps you too have observed that your labour of many years has not brought much visible or tangible improvement to the quality of life you are living. You need to know that it is not the will of God for things to be so with you. So, don’t accept it as normal or ignore it, even if that is the case with many around you. And don’t allow it to ruin your character, destroy your relationship with God or people or drive you crazy. Instead, take the situation up with God in prayers, and He will answer you and put an end to every form of labour loss you may be experiencing.

Look at our opening Scripture. What is there is a revelation of God’s will for us in all our legitimate labour. And as He clearly shows us, it is not His will for us to labour over anything and not enjoy it at all, neither is it His will for us to labour over something and it is some other people that will be enjoying the fruit of it. In fact, it is not His will for us to have children that we will not enjoy or to even pray in vain and not receive answers.

Since that, then, is the case, we must not accept any form of labour loss in our lives, beginning from this new year. Instead, we must continually ask God to fulfil His promise to make us fruitful with our labour and to also make us enjoy the fruit of our labour for long. And as we learn to do this, we will begin to see a mighty release of His power for true enjoyment in every area of our lives.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for the gift of this new year and for His commitment to making us prosper and enjoy our prosperity.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to every area of our lives in which we have been labouring in vain or experiencing labour loss, so that we may take our stand against Satan’s activities in them.
- Prayers that God will totally frustrate all that Satan is doing to make us labour in vain over our jobs, businesses, academics, family members, ministry or anything else this new year.
- Prayers that the doors of our lives will be shut against every devourer that has been devouring the fruit of our labour and leaving us empty.
- Prayers for a mighty release of God’s power that is for us who believe in our lives for true enjoyment of every beautiful thing we have and the fruit of our labour all through this year.
- Prayers that God will cleanse our lives of every wrong attitude or relationship that is causing us to labour in vain or that is devouring the fruit of our labour.
- Prayers that God, in His mercy, will separate us from any form of labour we are involved in that is bound to be fruitless, regardless of our love or passion for it.
- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers and for the joy of His Spirit that will fill our hearts all through this year.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2021, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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I recommend enjoyment -
26th December 2020


“So I recommend enjoyment — a person can do nothing better under the sun than eat, drink and enjoy himself; this is what should accompany him as he does his work for as long as God gives him to live under the sun.” (Eccl 8:15CJB)

It is interesting to find that God is not against man’s enjoyment. Yes, He wants us to work. But He also wants us to enjoy ourselves. He wants us to be able to take delight in whatever we do and enjoy the profit that comes from doing it. And that is why Solomon, in our opening text, says, “I recommend enjoyment.”

Now I know there are Christians who think something is wrong with being happy and enjoying ourselves. These ones think to enjoy life is to lose touch with heaven. So, all they want is to live righteous and blameless lives before God. And of course, living a righteous and blameless life before God is very important, for that is what we have been recreated in Christ Jesus to do. However, the bible does not say that the kingdom of God is about righteousness alone; rather, it is says, “The kingdom of God is about righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. And the man who serves Christ in these things is pleasing to God and approved by men.” (Cf. Rom 14:17)

Did you see that? God does not just want us live in righteousness before Him; He also wants us to live in peace and joy. God wants our lives to be peaceful and joyous. In other words, He wants us to enjoy living in this world, even though it is a world that is full of chaos and all kinds of evil things. Yes, He wants us to enjoy our bodies, homes, husbands, wives, children, parents, jobs, possessions and so forth. Since this, then, is the will of God for us, we too should want what He wants for us. I mean that we too should want to be joyous in life and enjoy every moment we take.

But then, there are two major things we need to keep in mind as we seek to enjoy our lives in this life. The first is that true enjoyment is a gift from God, for the bible says without Him who can eat or find enjoyment (Ecc 2:24-25). That means all our effort to make ourselves happy and enjoy life will prove abortive, if God Himself does not give us happiness and enjoyment. This is why we must learn to look unto Him always for our peace, happiness and enjoyment.

The second thing we need to keep in mind is that we can ruin our lives in our attempt to enjoy ourselves, if we will not stay within the boundaries of the word of God. For instance, King Belshazzar, once while trying to enjoy himself with his officials, got into trouble with God and received a death sentence. Why? It was because he allowed his desire for enjoyment to lead him into using articles meant for the house of God for His party and into giving the praise that belongs to God to gods that do not exit. (Cf. Dan 5)

In like manner, many have lost their lives, parts of their bodies, very important relationships or even jobs because they got carried away while trying to enjoy themselves. Some have even reduced everything about life to fun. They just want to have fun. So, they are restless if they cannot get some moment of fun. And because of this their lives have become miserable and worthless.

But that is not what God wants for us. Though He wants life to be fun for us, He does not want us to lose our minds, our lives or our souls in the process of wanting to have fun and enjoy life. So, He warns us through Solomon, saying, “Young man, it's wonderful to be young! Enjoy every minute of it! Do all you want to; take in everything, but realize that you must account to God for everything you do. So banish grief and pain, but remember that youth, with a whole life before it, can make serious mistakes.” (Eccl 11:9-10TLB) Did you see that? Even though we are free to enjoy every moment we take in life, God will still someday hold us accountable for everything we do, even in the name of enjoyment.

Not only that, even though we have a whole life before us to do great and mighty things with God, we can waste everything. And we will waste everything, if we will not stay within the boundaries of the word of God in handling our desire for enjoyment. Therefore, while it is good and in keeping with the will of God for us to enjoy life, we must also watch ourselves so we don’t mess up our lives in the process of wanting to enjoy life.

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for loving us enough to want us to enjoy life.
- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened to love and embrace everything God wants for our good and enjoyment in this life.
- Prayers that God will mightily release into our lives all that is required for us to enjoy ourselves, our relationships, our labour and the fruit of our labour.
- Prayers that God will frustrate the devil in every area of our lives in which he has been robbing us of enjoyment or using those things that are meant for our enjoyment to make us suffer.
- Prayers that our hearts will continually be filled with the wisdom required not to mess up any opportunity or privilege God gives us to enjoy life.
- Prayers that we will be set right wherever we are abusing those things given to us by God for our enjoyment, so that we will not end up messing up things for ourselves or for others in our lives.
- Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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He did his work well -
19th December 2020

“Now Jeroboam was a man of standing, and when Solomon saw how well the young man did his work, he put him in charge of the whole labor force of the house of Joseph.” (1Kings 11:28 NIV)

Often God’s people make the mistake of thinking prayer, fasting, giving or devotion to some church activities can take the place of diligence in handling their work, whatever it may be. So, once they are given to these things, they expect God to favour and lift them up in their workplace or business, regardless of what they do there. But as good as these things can be, they are never a replacement for honest and diligent labour.

Yes, God wants us to be devoted to prayer, knowing that there is nothing, great or small, that we can accomplish without Him. Also, He wants us to be generous and rich towards Him and other people in our lives, so that His provisions may continually overflow into our lives. Then He wants us to continually increase in our devotion to His work, so that He can through us keep blessing many.

However, we must never think we can use our devotion to these things to manipulate or blackmail God to promote us at work or enlarge our business. If we will not bring hard work, diligence, excellence and honesty to bear on whatever work we are doing, God will not be pressured or manipulated to give us the promotion or enlargement we do not merit. Yet we may see Him lift up or enlarge individuals who do not take Him seriously at all but who are handling their jobs or businesses with diligence, thoroughness and honesty.

My point, at any rate, is that God does not sponsor laziness, slothfulness, incompetence or dishonesty. And He does not expect any leader anywhere to sponsor, encourage or compensate it. Otherwise He will take such a leader as unjust. Look at our opening text, for example. Why did King Solomon put Jeroboam in charge of all the labour force of the house of Joseph? It was because he did whatever was committed to his trust well. So, Jeroboam’s promotion had nothing to do with the fact that he was a prayerful person or a great giver to the work of God or a close friend of Solomon or a very nice person; rather, it had to do with his diligence and competence. And as the account of his life that is given in the bible further shows, God Himself chose to make this young man king over the ten tribes of Israel because of these same qualities that were in him – diligence and excellence (1Kings 11:29-39).

If we too, then, want God to keep lifting us up and enlarging whatever legitimate venture we are involved in, we need to cultivate the culture of doing our work well and with excellence. Yes, we need to discipline ourselves to handle whatever we are doing with diligence and honesty. This, of course, does not mean that our diligence and honesty can take the place of God’s favour. No, they cannot. But they are things that God must see in our lives before He can justly elevate us. And this is the consistent position of the Scriptures.

So, stop expecting God’s favour to work for you, when you will not handle your work, whatever it is, with seriousness, diligence and faithfulness. Instead, discipline yourself to handle whatever you are doing well and thoroughly, so that God may lift you up in due season. Also, stop trying to use your relationship with people to manipulate, threaten or blackmail them into giving you a position or business privileges you do not merit. Doing that is synonymous to leading people to act unjustly and sin against God. And remember that the bible is clear about how God will treat everyone that allows himself to be used by the devil to cause others to sin. So, watch yourself. (Cf. Luke 17:1-3)

Now let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for loving us enough to teach us the way to experiencing advancement in life.
- Prayers that God will teach our hearts to embrace and love diligence and honesty, for until we love and embrace these virtues, we will not cultivate them in our lives.
- Prayers that God will expose us to circumstances and relationships that will enhance diligence and excellence in our lives.
- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see every area of our lives in which we are using our devotion to certain spiritual functions as a cover up for slothfulness or laziness, so that we may repent and begin to do what is right in them.
- Prayers that our hearts will never be lured to think that our diligence or excellence at work can take the place of God’s favour, so that we will not foolishly be taking credits for any measure of progress we see in our lives and open the door of our lives for satanic afflictions.
- Prayers that our hearts will gain the discipline required to reward those who work for us or under us justly and not with sentiments, regardless of who they are or what relationship they have with us.
- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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My own vineyard I have neglected -
12th December 2020

“Do not stare at me because I am dark, because I am darkened by the sun. My mother's sons were angry with me and made me take care of the vineyards; my own vineyard I have neglected.” (Song 1:6 NIV)

There will always be people and circumstances that will want to have our attention, our time, our skills, our devotion and even our resources. But the truth is that it is not everyone or every situation that deserves our attention, time, skills, devotion or resources. In fact, we were not created to be able to give our attention, time, skills, devotion or resources to everyone or every situation. If we, however, fail to realise this and allow ourselves to be dragged into every situation or to attend to everyone who wants us to attend to them, we may end up having certain parts of our own lives neglected and messed up.

See, the only one who has the ability to respond to everyone and every situation with everything He represents and not lose Himself is God. And we must never try to take His place in anybody’s life or in any situation. There are things that are beyond our abilities to handle. And we must recognise and accept those things, regardless of whatever sentiments we have about handling them. Otherwise we may end up having very important aspects of our lives or families messed up or endangered in our attempt to help other people solve their problems.

In our opening text, a woman that is eventually discovered to be a lover of Solomon gives the reason she became dark in complexion. And what reason does she give? It is that her brothers made her take care of their vineyards. So, it was while she was taking care of her siblings’ business that her skin was tanned? That, of course, may look like a small thing. But it was really something that could affect her love relationship. Yes, it was something that could make some suitors turn away from her.

Another issue this lady raises is that she could not take care of her own vineyard because she was busy taking care of her siblings’ vineyards. And that is something that is totally unacceptable. It is unacceptable for anyone to be busy taking care of other people’s affairs, when their own life is in trouble. This lady was compelled by her brothers to manage their own vineyards, so that they could profit from them. But at what cost? At the cost of her own vineyard!

Now is anything wrong with helping one’s siblings with their business or anything? No! There are people in our lives that we have the duty of supporting or taking care of, according to the word of God. And our parents, siblings, spouses and children are among such people. It will be wrong of us, then, to neglect them or abandon our duties towards them. Otherwise our so-called faith in the Lord Jesus Christ will be no faith at all. (Cf. 1Tim 5:3-8)

However, even in fulfilling our duties to those of our blood, we must not go beyond what God has given us the ability to do or allow our own lives or homes to get ruined in the process of supporting them. The reason we are able to fulfil our duties to the people in our lives or help them is that we have a life. Once we stop having a life, then, there will be no duty to fulfil. Also, the reason some of us are able to throw our homes open to support others is that we have a home. But once we stop having a home, such supports will stop being available.

So, we need to be wise in the way we discharge our duties to people and in the way we support them, especially if we want to be able to keep supporting them and fulfilling our duties to them for a very long time. It is never the will of God for us to neglect our lives or our duties to ourselves because we want to appear responsible before others. I have heard stories of people who ended up not being educated because they were helping some uncle or aunty to take care of their own kids. So, while their lives were being ruined, some people’s children were being built up. That is wrong and contrary to the spirit of the word of God.

God never says, “Love your neighbour more than yourself or before you love yourself.” Rather, He says, “Love your neighbour as yourself.” That means you must be able to love and care for yourself first before you can truly love and care for your neighbour. So, take your life very seriously. And don’t allow your desire to grant some people’s wishes make you destroy important aspects of your own life. If you, however, do so, then, take responsibility for the consequences and never complain about them. (Cf. Matt 22:29)

Let us pray:
- Thanksgiving to God for His care for our lives and affairs.
- Prayers that God will enlighten us to know the true measure of the abilities He has given us in life, so that we will never again play God in any situation or go for things that are beyond us.
- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see those areas of our lives that are suffering because of our undue involvement in other people’s affairs and also teach us what steps of wisdom we need to take in those areas.
- Prayers for God, this year end, to grant us rest from every wrong burden that we have bent our necks to carry, so that we may go into a new year refreshed to devote ourselves only to the right things.
- Prayers that God will lead us to repentance wherever we have placed burdens that we should be carrying on others in our lives and are making them to suffer, so that all such people may experience rest.
- Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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He will turn it around for good -
5th December 2020

“When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept. His brothers then came and threw themselves down before him. "We are your slaves," they said. But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.” (Gen 50:15-21NIV)

When Joseph’s brothers made that decision to sell him into slavery, they thought that would be the end of whatever great plans God had for him. But was that it? No! As the account goes, when the young man got to the house of his Egyptian master, he began to experience God’s favour. And he was so favoured that his master put everything he had under his care. So, in a sense, he became the manager of that man’s household and began to enjoy privileges and benefits that most slaves of his class could not enjoy. (Cf. Gen 39:17)

But then, as though Joseph had not experienced enough misfortune in life, his master’s wife also began to hunt him with sexual temptations. And when she saw that he was determined not to be involved in any kind of nonsense with her, she framed him up for sexual assaults. That was how he ended up in the prison.

Now, naturally, being in the prison for no crime he had committed should have been the end of Joseph. It should have been the end of all his dreams of becoming anything significant in life. But because he did not give up on God and on himself, at God’s own appointed time, he was brought out of the prison, not to go home empty-handed but to be the second-in-command of the king of Egypt himself and the saviour of the world of that time from seven long years of famine. And years later, as we see in our opening text, when he was discussing with his brothers who sent him on the dangerous journey that led him to where he was, he could only say to them, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”

Think about that. Every evil thing Joseph’s brothers did to harm him was turned around by God for his good and for the good of many people. Also, the evil that his master’s wife did to him, causing him to be imprisoned, when he had done nothing wrong, was turned around by God for his good and for the deliverance of many. But why was God able to do this for Joseph? Why was He able to turn all the evil done to him around for his good?

First, it was because he too did not throw away his faith in Him – he never stopped believing in God. And so, however terrible his circumstances were, he continued to experience His favour. Second, it was because he did not give himself to irresponsible living. See, that God has great plans for someone does not mean that those plans will be automatically fulfilled. If the person does not take life seriously, they may end up dying without experiencing a fulfilment of God’s plans for them. Joseph knew God had great plans for him. But he too took life seriously. He put himself to work wherever he was and acted with diligence and righteousness in all that he did. That was why God was able to turn all the evil done to him by people around for his good.

In like manner, God is able to turn all the evil that has been done or that is being done to you by enemies of progress around for your good. But you too, like Joseph, must never give up on Him. Don’t throw away your confidence in Him because the circumstances of your life are unfavourable. That is because He will, at the right time, turn those unfavourable circumstances around for your good. Not only that, don’t give up on yourself. Don’t start living irresponsibly because you are not yet in that great place you desire to be in life. Otherwise you will miss God’s visitation when the time is ripe.

Then, when God has eventually brought you to the place of His purpose for you, don’t use it for vengeance. Instead, forgive and forget. And He will honour you even more.

Let us pray:

- Thanksgiving to God for all the beautiful plans He has for us, which He will bring to fulfilment in His own good time.
- Prayers that God will strengthen our hearts to remain true to Him, regardless of the circumstances we may find ourselves in life.
- Prayers for strength of character to handle whatever is committed to our trust diligently and faithfully, regardless of where we are.
- Prayers that God will continually keep us safe from anyone that Satan may want to use to make us settle for anything less that the best He has prepared for us.
- Prayers that, without delay, God will take every evil thing people have done to us that seems to have slowed us down in life and turn it around for our good and elevation.
- Prayers that we will not be occupied with the wrong things, when God visits us for elevation.
- Prayers that our hearts will always be filled with love for forgiveness, so that we will never use our position of advantage to hurt anyone who has once done us evil.
- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.

By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions

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Haven’t you any fish?  - 29th November 2020 

“Afterward Jesus appeared again to his disciples, by the Sea of Tiberias. It happened this way: Simon Peter, Thomas (called Didymus), Nathanael from Cana in Galilee, the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together. "I'm going out to fish," Simon Peter told them, and they said, "We'll go with you." So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing. Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. He called out to them, "Friends, haven't you any fish?" "No," they answered. He said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they did, they were unable to haul the net in because of the large number of fish.” (John 21:1-6NIV) 

Some years ago, I, along with a brother, worked on the computer all through the night on a report that was to be submitted the following morning. But to our surprise, when we switched on the system the following morning to go through the document and print it, it was nowhere to be found. Whether it was a virus that messed up with it or it was something else, we really could not tell. So, all that we did in making that report ready was an effort in futility. And the money we used in buying fuel to run the generator that we used all through that night was also a waste. We just had to start the work all over again. You can imagine how sad and frustrating it must have been for us and our other colleagues who were waiting for the report. Now I shared that with you to let you know that there are times that people may be faced with frustration in their workplace or on a particular job or project they are handling. And that may be because they cannot see results that measure up with the amount of effort, time or resources they are investing into it. 

Anything, of course, can be responsible for a situation in which one labors hard and smart and yet does not see results that are satisfactory. Whatever the reason may be, I want you to know that if you are faced with such a situation, all you need is for the Lord Jesus to step into the matter for you. And you will receive a miracle or miracles of fruitfulness in that same place where you have been struggling to get results. Look, for example, at the account we have in our opening bible text. A few of our Lord’s apostles went out one night to fish. And among those who went were Peter, James and John, who were themselves professional fishermen. So, naturally, that outing was supposed to be a very interesting and fruitful one. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a very boring and fruitless outing, for though they labored all through the night, they could not catch a single fish. Just think about how frustrating that must have been for them. But just as they were coming to the shore early in the morning, the Lord showed up at the shore and asked them a very simple question, which was, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?” And though they did not know at that time that it was the Lord that was speaking to them, they did not ignore His question or shut Him up for asking them that kind of question, when they were all tired and unhappy. 

Also, they did not pretend that all was well and lie to Him, though they did not know at the time that the one asking them questions was the very one that would deliver them from their unfruitful labor. Instead, they answered Him quickly and truthfully too. Then, to their surprise, the Lord told them the exact place to throw their net in order to find fish. And once again, without arguing with Him, they did what He told them to do, even though they did not yet know it was He that was speaking to them, and the result was astonishing. For the moment they threw their net where He asked them to throw it, all the fish that seemed to have gone on vacation before came back to find it. And the number of fish they caught was so large that they could not haul their net into the boat. Then, interestingly, their net did not break but was able to sustain the fish they caught till they brought them all to the shore. So, their effort that night did not end in futility after all. And that was because our Lord Jesus stepped in on time. 

What a mighty God He is! Now this Jesus that stepped into the situation of these apostles and saved them from what would have been a fruitless endeavour is still the same today and forevermore. And if we will call on Him to save us from whatever form of fruitless labor we are involved in, He will surely answer us, for the bible says, “Whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Cf. Rom 10:13) Mind you, the apostles did not call on Him to save them or help them before He demonstrated His love for them, stepped into their situation and saved them. And why did they not call on Him? It was because they did not know that He was anywhere around them. But we know through the Scriptures that He is always with us. In fact, He has promised to never leave or forsake us but to be a very present help in our time of need (Ps 46:1; Heb 13:5-6). 

So, we don’t need to wait until we spend an entire night or day, an entire week, an entire month or an entire year in futile labor before we call on Him. We can call on Him right away and expect Him to answer us. And if you do think you have wasted enough time, energy, resources, skills and devotion on that business, project or job that has refused to yield you any good fruit, begin to call on Him now, and you will not be put to shame. -

-Thanksgiving to God because He is always with us and always interested in our well-being and fruitfulness. 

- Prayers that we will never get so carried away by our challenges or trials that we will forget that God is ever with us and ever in love with us. 

- Prayers for God to open our eyes to see all those areas of our lives in which we are unknowingly laboring in vain, so that we may reach out for Him to save us. 

- Prayers that we will be cleansed of whatever attitude we have that may keep us from recognizing God’s hour of visitation in our moment of need, so that we may take full advantage of it for our salvation, fruitfulness or elevation. 

- Prayers that our hearts will be taught the exact thing or step we need to take to experience the breakthrough or success we need in our lives to move from where we are to where we are supposed to be. 

- Prayers that as God makes us fruitful in our endeavors, He will also secure the fruit of our labor for us, so that we will not lose them to devourers or fail to have the power to enjoy them. 

- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Handling earthly possessions - 21st November 2020 

 “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life.” (1Tim 6:17-19NIV) 

The instructions given in the text above to Timothy on some of the things he is to teach to the rich people in his assembly are actually not for rich people alone but also for every child of God that has this world’s possessions, to one degree or the other. Therefore, all of us ought to take them very seriously and see to it that we are applying them in our lives, for they are showing us how God expects us to relate to the things He has given us. Now the first thing we are told here is not to be arrogant because of the things we have. And indeed, there are many today who relate to others with pride because of what they have. These ones are not even millionaires. 

In fact, some of them are in debt and are doing a lot of things on credit facilities. But because they work with certain reputable organisations or have certain earthly goods, they look down on those who don’t seem to have as much as they do and sometimes oppress them. Why? It is because they think their power and intelligence got for them what they have. But the bible makes it very clear to us that there is nothing we have that we have not received from God. That being the case, we have no reason to boast about anything we have or have done. Otherwise we will be opening the doors of our lives for afflictions of various forms to come into them. And only God knows how many people that are being afflicted today because of the pride in their lives. Only He knows how many He Himself has personally brought down because of the pride in their lives. (Cf. Deut 8:10-20; 1Cor 4:7; James 4:6) 

The second thing that we are told in that text is for us not to put our trust in earthly riches but in God. Why? It is because all these earthly riches are uncertain. That you have plenty of them today does not mean that you are going to have plenty of them tomorrow. Not only that, they cannot solve any problem God has not solved or make life more enjoyable for anyone, if God does not make the person’s life enjoyable. So, don’t ever put your trust in them and drive yourself crazy in your quest for them. And don’t ever reason like those who think they can solve all of their lives’ problems with money or buy the free gifts of God (and there are many of them) with it. Such people, like Simon the sorcerer of bible days, will ultimately perish with their money (Acts 9:18-23). 

But the man who puts his hope and trust in the God, who is the owner of all things and freely gives us all things for our enjoyment, will never be put to shame. The third thing we are told in the text we are examining is to be good and generous with the earthly goods God has given us. No, we all may not be millionaires. But we all can be generous with what God has given us, however little they may be. One of the things John the Baptist emphasized in his preaching to the nation of Israel was generosity. He said even the person that had only two shirts could practice generosity by giving one of those shirts to someone who did not have any (Luke 3:11). 

And by doing this, they will be laying up treasures for themselves in heaven. In like manner, we too need to learn to look beyond this plane of life. Everything does not end here and will not end here. There is an eternal home for all of us. And God wants us to always remember this in our dealings so that we can invest there. How, then, do we invest there? How do we convert these earthly goods that are bound to perish into something of eternal value? It is by willingly and generously sharing them with those around us that are in need. We must always remember that it is not everything we have that we need or that we cannot do without. And whatever those things may be that we can do without or that we do not need should go to those who truly need them. That way, we will be laying up treasures for ourselves in heaven, where thieves do not break in and steal and where moth and rust do not destroy (Matt 6:19-21). 

Now let us pray:  

- Thanksgiving to God for every good thing we have received from Him and for all the things He has enabled us to accomplish in life. 

- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see every area of our lives in which we are walking in pride and giving room for satanic afflictions and hindrances. 

- Prayers that we will be set right in whatever way we are unconsciously relying on the things we have or have accomplished to advance in life or to make life better for ourselves instead of relying on God. 

- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with the spirit of generosity, so that our eyes will never be blind or our ears deaf to the needs that God wants us to meet in the lives of others around us. 

- Prayers that we will be taught by God what it truly means to lay up treasures in heaven, so that we will not invest or manage our possessions in ways that will not yield eternal profit for us. 

- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers.  

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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That you may be financially independent

- 14th November 2020 

“Make it your ambition to lead a quiet life, to mind your own business and to work with your hands, just as we told you, so that your daily life may win the respect of outsiders and so that you will not be dependent on anybody.” (1Thess 4:11-12NIV) 

Why does God want every one of His children to be involved in one form of honest labor or the other, as we are shown all through Scriptures? One of the reasons is that they may not be unduly dependent on anybody. Of course, we know that there is none of us that is self-sufficient. Only God is self-sufficient and all sufficient. So, at one time or the other, we all will require the support or help of other people to get on in life or to move from where we are to where we are supposed to be. And nothing is wrong with that. But there is such a thing as undue dependence or reliance on others. This is a situation in which, having come of age, we still find it difficult to do or get anything done in our lives without having to rely on some other people. Those people may be family members, friends, colleagues at work, neighbors, church members or even some organisations or societies. 

We just must take from them or borrow from them before we are able to take care of ourselves. And this is wrong. It is totally contrary to the will of God for us. The will of God for us, as we see in our opening text, is that we will not be unduly dependent on anybody. And when we are not unduly dependent on those in our lives or around us, they will respect us. When they see that we are taking care of ourselves, paying our bills, fulfilling our responsibilities to our spouses, children, family members, the neighborhood we live in and even the government, without disturbing them or harassing them for money every now and then, they will hold us in very high esteem, even if we are young. But if all the time we are begging around for money to do one thing or the other or borrowing from everyone we see around or making excuses for failing to bear our financial obligations to our families or society or doing everything on credit facilities, it is only a matter of time before we lose our respect everywhere. And that will not in any way bring glory or praise to God, who wants us to bring Him praise through our daily life. 

So, to keep us from becoming individuals that have no honour or respect where we live or among our family members, Paul tells us in our opening text that each of us must make it their ambition to live a life that is not unduly dependent on anybody. That means it must be your target. It must be something you desire. In short, you must detest being an unnecessary burden to anybody in your life or around you. And don’t miss my point here. I am not saying you must become arrogant and start refusing help from those around you because you want to become financially independent. No, that is not what I am saying. All of us need one another for help and support in various ways. In fact, there are some among us that will need others to support them for a reasonable period of time before they are able to stand well on their own. And such people must learn to make the most of this support when it comes, so that they won’t end up becoming a parasite, an unnecessary burden in the lives of those supporting them. 

But how will that be accomplished? How are we going to get to that point in our lives where we are financially independent and winning the respect of everyone around us? Paul answers this for us in the text before us. First, he says do all you can to lead a quiet life. In other words, don’t live your life trying to impress anybody. Otherwise you will often find yourself spending on things that are not profitable for you, things that will not make life better or easier for you. And when you are eventually ruined, it is still those same people that you are trying to impress that will first despise you. Second, Paul says mind your own business. Do you understand what that means? Well, it does not mean you are not to be involved in other people’s lives at all or to show that you care about them. You are to do that, for it is the will of God that you do so. But don’t unduly insert yourself in other people’s lives. Otherwise you will often find yourself bearing burdens you are never meant to bear and wasting your time and life on taking care of occasions or problems that are never yours to solve. 

That is besides the fact that you may find yourself being entrusted with information that you have no capacity to preserve or handle. Then you may just find yourself someday becoming an object of ridicule among those who love or respect you. Third, Paul says work with your own hands. In other words, earn the bread you eat. Get involved in some legitimate labor that God can use to make enough resources to take care of you and others in your life available to you. And if what you are doing at the moment is not making enough resources available to do that, find something else that you have abilities for to do in addition. Don’t just sit down and say, “At least, I am working.” God does not just want you to work; He also wants whatever legitimate thing or things you are doing to make enough resources available for you to take care of yourself and others that you are supposed to be responsible for. This may take you a while to figure out. 

But if you desire to be like this, as God wants you to be, and will pray to Him and put your mind to work too, it won’t be long before the coast becomes clear for you. 

Therefore, let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for loving us and for always wanting us to experience liberty in our lives in all ways. 

- Prayers that God will cleanse our lives of every desire, hidden or obvious, to live a parasitic life, a life that hurts those in our lives or around us through its demands. 

- Prayers that we will be filled with wisdom and understanding to recognize the helpers God has sent to us and not to waste the help they have been sent to give us. 

- Prayers that our hearts will be taught and strengthened to desire and labor by the Spirit of God to be financially independent. 

- Prayers that God will truly educate our hearts on how to live a quiet life and to mind our business, so that we will stop getting involved in unprofitable things and relationships. 

- Prayers that our eyes will be opened to see what legitimate things or combination of legitimate things we need to be doing in order to have enough resources to live life as God wants us to live it and to daily win the respect of all those in our lives and around us. 

- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers. 

By Johnson O. Lawal Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church 

--This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Agents of God or of the devil

7th November 2020 

“Satan rose up against Israel and incited David to take a census of Israel.” (1Chron 21:1NIV)

 Why are we instructed in the bible to pray for our leaders? One of the reasons is that we may conduct our lives and affairs in peace and godliness (1Tim 2:1-2). Leaders are always powerful and influential people. They may not know how powerful and influential they are. But if they will take out some time to consider the extent to which their actions or inactions affect the lives of those they are leading, they will begin to appreciate how powerful and influential they are and perhaps be inspired to start leading with care and caution. In any case, because of the power and influence that every leader possesses, they stand as agents that can be used either by God to make life pleasant and interesting for many or by the devil to make life miserable and terrible for many. 

This is why we must always pray that God will clear the way for those who fear Him to occupy our various leadership positions. It is also why when we have an opportunity to elect a leader, we must consider godliness in anyone whom we want to choose above all things. Otherwise they may end up being ready tools in the hands of the devil to afflict us. For instance, in our opening text, we are told of a time in which Satan rose up against Israel. Think about that. Satan rose up to oppress and afflict the nation of Israel. Why? We are not given any reason in the account. But the truth is that Satan needs no reason to rise up to afflict anybody. He is never our friend but an enemy (1Pet 5:8). 

So, he may take notice of us any time and decide that he is going to oppose or afflict us. Well, as we are told above, at some point during the reign of David, Satan rose to afflict the nation of Israel and succeeded in doing so. But how did he go about it? It was by moving their leader, David, who was a man of God, to do something contrary to the will of God, something that would make God punish the nation. And that was exactly what happened. Because of David’s foolish decision to take a census of the nation of Israel, against God’s will, the whole nation was punished for it. Seventy thousand men fell dead in less than three days, for God sent a plague on the land. (Cf. 1Chro 21) 

 Now if Satan could use David, a man after God’s heart, as an agent to afflict Israel, is it a godless and immoral man that he won’t be able to use? Why do we have so many bad and wicked policies and laws in force in different parts of the world today, laws that are making poor people poorer still and driving immoral and hopeless people to early graves? And why do we have all kinds of injustice taking place unchallenged in most of our institutions and organisations today? It is largely because most of our leaders are ready instruments in the hands of the devil. He and his demons are the ones inciting them to say and do things that will hinder the progress of many and also open the door of our land for all kinds of afflictions to come on us. But if we will learn to pray to God for our leaders, He knows what to do to break the power of the devil on their lives and take over their minds to do things that will bless us all.

 And understand that a leader does not have to be a Christian for God to use him to do what is right. For instance, He once used Cyrus, who was a pagan king, to set His people, Israel, free from captivity. Actually, the account says that the Lord moved this man to issue an edict about the freedom of the Israelites. (Cf. Ezra 1) He is still able to move the leaders of our governments, companies, schools and even religious assemblies to make decisions that will result in our prosperity and peace today. Also, God has the power to change or punish any leader that has become a problem to the well-being of those that he is leading. And we have examples in the bible of how He dealt with powerful monarchs like Pharaoh, Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar and Herod for their insolence, pride and brutality. He is still able to do the same on behalf of His people, if they will petition Him against the evil in the leadership of their country, cities or workplaces. 

Therefore, let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for appointing leaders over us in every place so that there will be order in our lives and our land. 

- Prayers that God will break the hold of the devil on every government leader in this country and frustrate whatever evil policy or law he has used them to formulate or enforce.

- Prayers that every leader in our various organisations that is operating under demonic influences, influences that are making them to say and do things that injure their workers, will be set free from those influences.

 - Prayers that God will frustrate and disgrace every leader in government, over towns or cities or over institutions or organisations that is employing sorcery or witchcraft to suppress and oppress those under him 

– prayers that their witchcraft and sorcery will become totally impotent and useless, to their shame. 

 - Prayers for God to move across the nation and across our various organisations and businesses and begin to replace arrogant, brutal and unprofitable leaders that are bent on oppressing and impoverishing those under them, so that our people everywhere will know peace and prosperity. 

- Prayers that in every area in which any of us who is a leader is being used by the devil to hurt or hinder those under us, we will experience salvation and be set right before it is too late. 

- Prayers that God will cleanse all our hearts of all sentiments and dullness that make us choose ungodly people, who are prone to be used by devil, whenever we have opportunities to elect or select leaders. 

- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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He will make a distinction

- 31ST OCTOBER 2020

 “Then the LORD said to Moses, "Go to Pharaoh and say to him, 'This is what the LORD, the God of the Hebrews, says: "Let my people go, so that they may worship me." If you refuse to let them go and continue to hold them back, the hand of the LORD will bring a terrible plague on your livestock in the field — on your horses and donkeys and camels and on your cattle and sheep and goats. But the LORD will make a distinction between the livestock of Israel and that of Egypt, so that no animal belonging to the Israelites will die.'" The LORD set a time and said, "Tomorrow the LORD will do this in the land." And the next day the LORD did it: All the livestock of the Egyptians died, but not one animal belonging to the Israelites died. Pharaoh sent men to investigate and found that not even one of the animals of the Israelites had died. Yet his heart was unyielding and he would not let the people go.” (Ex 9:1-7NIV) 

When you read the words of our Lord Jesus that say, “God causes His sun to shine on both the good and the bad and also sends His rain the righteous and the unrighteous,” you may conclude that God makes no discrimination at all in the way He deals with those who belong to Him and those who do not belong to Him (Matt 5:44-45). But that is not true. Yes, there are situations in which God treats both those who belong to Him and those who do not belong to Him alike. But it is not every time that He does this. There are times that He makes a distinction in the way He treats those who love Him and those who do not. For example, as we see in our opening text, He once made a distinction between what His people Israel experienced and what the nation of Egypt experienced. 

In fact, He announced in advance that He was going to treat these two nations differently, even though they were living together. And that was exactly what He did. The terrible plague that came on all the animals of the Egyptians and killed them did not at all go near the livestock of the Israelites. As the men that Pharaoh sent to investigate found out, not even one of the animals of the Israelites died. So, under certain circumstances, God’s people can expect Him to treat them differently from the way He treats those who do not believe in Him. He Himself once said to His people through Prophet Malachi, “And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not.” (Mal 3:18NIV) 

And why did He say this to them? It was because they had been saying, “It is useless to serve God. It did no good to obey his laws and to show the LORD All-Powerful that we were sorry for what we did. So we say that proud people are happy. Evil people succeed. They challenge God and get away with it.” (Mal 3:14-15NCV) Think about that. Those people were saying that there was no gain in serving God and living uprightly before Him. And that must have been because of their experiences in life. They had been seeing wicked people prospering in their wickedness, without God punishing them, and righteous people being pushed down, suppressed and despised, without God coming to their aid. So, they began to think that it would probably be better for them to give up on righteousness and join the wicked in lying, in stealing, in cheating and in doing other kinds of terrible things that they do to advance themselves. But God said to them, “No, you are mistaken. I don’t treat the righteous and the wicked alike the way you think. There are times that I make distinctions. It is just that you have not been paying attention. 

But now I am going to do things that will make you see for yourself the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve me and those who do not serve me.” Now maybe you too have been reasoning like those Jews, who thought God never discriminates between the righteous and the wicked. And it is possible that this thought has been affecting your devotion to God and to the practice of righteousness where you are. So, you have started compromising bit by bit. Things that you would naturally not do before or that you would frown at before, you now do or tolerate. And this is all because you are envious of the prosperity of the wicked. You can see the liars, the swindlers and the immoral people around you thriving and doing big things, when you, despite your devotion to righteousness, do not seem to be advancing at all – everything just seems to be stagnant for you. Well, the word of the Lord is coming to you at this moment, saying, “Do not pay attention to the prosperity of the wicked or become envious of them. That is because they are standing on slippery ground. So, their destruction will come when they least expect it. But if you will remain steadfast in my righteousness and stay true to me, I will make sure you experience prosperity where others are failing, joy where others are sad, peace where others are troubled and exaltation where others are brought down.” 

And how should you respond to this? First, respond with thanksgiving to God. 

Second, respond with prayers, asking God to bring to fulfillment His good word concerning you without delay. 

So, let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for His unfailing love for us in midst of life’s trials and adversities. 

- Prayers that our souls will be restored to God’s righteousness and truth wherever we have gone astray as a result of our envy of the prosperity of the wicked. 

- Prayers that our hearts will be strengthened to stay true to God and faithful in practicing righteousness wherever we are, even when it does not look like it pays to do so. 

 - Prayers that God will bring to an end in our lives and homes every experience that is contrary to His good purpose for us. 

- Prayers that God will begin to bring about circumstances that will produce obvious distinctions of prosperity and enjoyment of His favour between us and those who do not know Him in our world. 

- Prayers that as God begins to separate us from the unbelievers in our world in uncommon experiences of His divine favour, they will be drawn to Him to receive salvation. 

- Thanksgiving to God for His indescribable gift of life and for answers to our prayers. 

By Johnson O. Lawal Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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Helpers who make dreams come true

- 24TH OCTOBER 2020

Helpers who make dreams come true “Then Moses said to the Israelites, "See, the LORD has chosen Bezalel son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah, and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts — to make artistic designs for work in gold, silver and bronze, to cut and set stones, to work in wood and to engage in all kinds of artistic craftsmanship. And he has given both him and Oholiab son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan, the ability to teach others. He has filled them with skill to do all kinds of work as craftsmen, designers, embroiderers in blue, purple and scarlet yarn and fine linen, and weavers — all of them master craftsmen and designers.”” (Ex 35:30-35NIV) 

When God was giving Moses the task of building Him a tabernacle, He told him specifically to ensure that it was built according to the pattern he was shown on the mountain (Ex 24:40). So, there was a design for the project the man was to carry out. And he was the only one with it. 

However, he did not have all the skill-set required to carry out the work. Even if he did, there was no way he could possibly do all that was meant to be done, for the work was enormous and complex. Therefore, to make up for that, God chose certain individuals to work with him, Bezalel and Oholiab. Not only did He choose these men to work with him, as we see in our opening bible text, He also filled them with His Spirit, with skill, ability and knowledge in all kinds of crafts and with the ability to teach others. Moses’ job, then, was to show these men what to do and see to it that they did it according to God’s demand. And their job was to use the skills and abilities God gave them to make happen whatever Moses told them about the building of God’s tabernacle. 

Well, after all had been said and done, it is reported in Exodus 40 that Moses handled everything about the building of that tabernacle just as God had commanded him and finished the job. And to show that God approved of what he did, He filled the tabernacle with His glory. But remember that all that would not have been possible, if Moses had not been provided with men of abilities who helped him to realise the vision God had given him. In like manner, there are visions and dreams you may never be able to realise in this life, if you are not provided with the right people to help you realise them. 

Perhaps the reason you are stagnant or unproductive in handling certain things in life at the moment is that you do not yet have people with the right abilities and skill-set to help you move forward. Yes, perhaps the reason the glory of God is not yet mightily manifesting in your work the way it should is that the right set of persons have not joined you. And if you would not ask God to quickly do something about this and provide the right set of helpers and workers for you, you may live all your life just dreaming of what great things you could do but never doing them. 

Also, why are you not shinning forth with those skills and abilities God has given you the way you could have been shining forth with them? It may be because you have not been led to the right place or person God wants you to be using them to support or work with. Why do we have the names of Bezalel and Oholiab in the Scriptures? It is because they used their skills and abilities in working with Moses. And until you too begin to use your skills and abilities in the right place and in supporting the right persons, you may remain at the bottom of the ladder in life throughout your entire lifetime. 

I know you don’t want that, neither do I. This is why we must talk to God about leading us to the right persons and places to use our abilities and skills to support and also about leading to us people with the right abilities that are needed for our dreams and visions to come true. 

Therefore let us pray: 

- Thanksgiving to God for all the wonderful dreams and visions He has given us to do great and mighty things in this life. 

- Thanksgiving to God for all the great abilities He has given us and all the special skills and education He has enabled us to acquire. 

- Prayers that God will lead us into a wonderful relationship with all the people He has blessed with the right skill-set and abilities to help and support us to realise all the visions and dreams He has given us. 

- Prayers that we will be separated from every work relationship that is hindering the manifestation of the glory of God in our lives and over our labour. 

- Prayers that God will lead us by His divine power to the right people that He wants us to use the abilities and skills He has given us to work with, help or support. 

 - Prayers that doors will be opened to us by God in every place where the gifts, abilities and skills He has given to us will shine forth to His glory and praise. 

 - Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

By Johnson O. Lawal Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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God’s principles for peace and prosperity  

- 17TH OCTOBER 2020

 “Also, seek the peace and prosperity of the city to which I have carried you into exile. Pray to the LORD for it, because if it prospers, you too will prosper." (Jer 29:7NIV) 

 From what the Lord says in the bible text above to His people in exile, it is clear that He takes delight in our prosperity, regardless of where we are. In other words, whether we are living in our own town and among our own people or we are living as strangers in another land and among a people of another culture, He wants us to prosper. In like manner, whether it is our personal business we are handling or we are employees in another person’s business, God wants us to prosper. 

However, there are habits that result in prosperity, as God further shows us in the above text. And if we do not cultivate these habits, we may never experience the prosperity we desire and seek. Now what are those habits we need to cultivate to experience prosperity, regardless of where we live or work? 

Two major ones are mentioned in the text above. 

The first is to seek the peace and prosperity of where we live and work. 

The second is to continually pray for the peace and prosperity of the place in which we live and work. And why is it important that we devote ourselves to doing these two things? It is important because our prosperity and peace are hinged on the prosperity and peace of that place where we live and work. Remember that it is God Himself that is saying these things to us. It is God Himself that is telling us that we cannot rise in our experience of prosperity and peace above the experience of prosperity and peace that our land and places of work have. 

And can’t we see illustrations of this all around us today? We can. Why do many today want to go and live or study in countries like USA, Germany, Japan and so forth? It is because those countries are known as prosperous countries. But why are they as prosperous as they are now? They are because the people living in them are working for their prosperity and peace. They all may not know God or believe in God. But they do not know that if they are going to prosper and enjoy peace in their individual lives, then, each of them must commit himself to working for the prosperity and peace of their land. So, they build businesses that will not just take care of them but that will also take care of others. 

Then when they are given any job to do, they do it in ways that it will not upset the peace of those who benefit from it or result in a waste of the money of the people paying them to do it. In addition, they keep thinking hard to come up with ways to simplify life for everybody. Therefore, though they may not know or honor God, He still causes them to enjoy prosperity and peace because they are practicing His principles for prosperity and peace. Unfortunately, the same things cannot be said of us in a country like Nigeria. 

Yes, we too desire prosperity and peace in our land. But many of us are not given to doing those things that will result in our experience of these things. What I mean is that we are selfish in the way we go about seeking prosperity and peace for ourselves. So, when we pray for peace and prosperity, it is for ourselves alone and not for our land and our places of work. And when we work, it is for our own peace and prosperity and not for the peace and prosperity of the place we live and the place we work. But that will never work. 

For instance, we cannot be stealing from our workplace or handling our responsibilities there with levity and expect to truly prosper and experience peace in our lives. Our prosperity and peace are tied to the prosperity and peace of that place where we work. And as long as we are killing it or weakening its ability to be productive, effective and efficient, it is our own prosperity and peace we limiting. Also, we cannot be running away from our duties to the community or town or state in which we live and expect to prosper and experience peace. When it is time to pay tax, we run. When it is time to pay for electricity in the house we live, we vanish or turn it into a fight or steal it. 

Or when it is time to pay for security or any developmental project in our neighborhood, we just find a way to excuse ourselves. Yet we want to prosper and have peace and are also probably attending night vigils for this to happen. We are just joking. The kind of prosperity and peace we seek will never happen, as long as we continue like this. See, if we truly want to prosper and enjoy a great measure of peace where we live and work, then, let us start working and praying to promote peace and prosperity there. 

Let us start putting our minds to work to see how we can make things better and easier for everyone where we live and work. Also, let us change the culture of allowing things to go bad or get ruined because we think they don’t belong to us but to the state or to our workplace. Then let us stop offering selfish and narrow prayers of prosperity that do not believe in our collective prosperity. 

And as begin to take these things seriously, God will definitely show us mercy and cause us to enjoy the blessings that follow the practice of His principles for peace and prosperity. 

 Let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for taking delight in the peace and prosperity of our land and in our peace and prosperity too as individuals. 

- Prayers that God will open our eyes to see everything we are doing that is not promoting peace and prosperity where we live and where we work and also strengthen us to desist from these things. 

- Prayers that God will forgive us and cleanse us of all the unrighteous things we have done that are contributing to the poverty, disgrace and developmental stagnation that our land and our workplaces are now experiencing. 

- Prayers that our hearts will be filled with revelations of those things we can do to promote the peace and prosperity of our various workplaces and our country as a whole. 

- Prayers that God will expose and frustrate in all our workplaces and communities all those who are bent on upsetting our peace and hindering our prosperity through their activities. 

- Prayers that God will cleanse the workforce of this nation of all forms of dullness of mind and cause us all to begin to function with creative and analytical minds, so that we can generate more and more systems and facilities that will make life easier and better for the nation as a whole. 

 - Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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Understanding unity

- 10TH OCTOBER 2020

“Now the whole world had one language and a common speech. As men moved eastward, they found a plain in Shinar and settled there. They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." But the LORD came down to see the city and the tower that the men were building. The LORD said, "If as one people speaking the same language they have begun to do this, then nothing they plan to do will be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and confuse their language so they will not understand each other." So the LORD scattered them from there over all the earth, and they stopped building the city. That is why it was called Babel — because there the LORD confused the language of the whole world. From there the LORD scattered them over the face of the whole earth.” (Gen 11:1-9NIV) 

 The story of the tower of Babel given to us in the bible teaches us two major things. The first is the power of unity. As the account goes, there was a time in the world during which all men spoke only one language. But it was not the fact that they spoke one language that they were able to accomplish what they accomplished in building the tower of Babel; rather, it was because they were united in purpose and in mind. Speaking the same language is a good thing, for it makes it possible for us to communicate our thoughts, desires, visions and even concerns to others in ways that they can understand us and work with us. 

However, it still does not guarantee that people will work or labor with us to accomplish our dreams or visions. This explains why we have groups, organisations and institutions in which, though the members speak the same language, they are not accomplishing their visions or experiencing any real development. There is no unity of mind and of purpose among them. In the case of the people who worked on the tower of Babel, even God recognized their unity and said if they continued in that same spirit, there was nothing they planned to do that would be impossible for them to accomplish. That, of course, does not mean that they, like God, would be able to do anything they wanted, just because they were united. 

Rather, it means that they would be able to do anything that is within the capability of the human mind and potential. So, if you want that organisation or institution or group or family you belong in to go from conquest to conquest in accomplishing its visions and set goals and maximize the potential of everyone in it, then, strive to promote unity of mind and of purpose there. Also, if you want that business, company, group or family you are leading to keep accomplishing every good thing it sets out to do and enjoying the very best of the people in it, then, labor to promote unity of mind and of purpose among your people. 

Emphasize the relevance of unity to them all the time. Reward those who excel in maintaining and promoting unity of mind and of purpose among them. In short, make unity your watchword. Now do not be among those who stir up fights or divisions or rebellion where you are or among those who deliberately set up those under them in opposition against one another, as a way of preventing rebellion among them. That is diabolical. And even though it may work for you for a while, ultimately, any form of disunity that is promoted in your business, workplace, group or family, whether it is your creation or another person’s creation, can only limit and ruin everybody there, creating a platform for other forms of evil to spread among all of you. Remember that any kingdom or house that is divided against itself cannot stand (Matt 12:25). 

The second thing the story of the tower of Babel teaches us is that unity against the counsel of God is disastrous. Indeed, God recognized the unity of the people building this tower, but He also disdained their reason for building it. Unlike what many have proposed, they were not building the tower because they wanted it to be a link connecting the earth to the throne of God in heaven. No, that was not their idea or plan. And that was even beyond human capability. What they wanted, however, was to erect an imposing and magnificent tower that would be a point of attachment for all men, keeping them from spreading over the face of the earth to replenish it. 

They wanted a building project in which everyone would be a stakeholder and would never want to move away from because of their sentiments and love for it. But what was God’s purpose for humanity? No! His purpose for us when He made us was for us to fill the whole earth and replenish it (Gen 1:26-28). So, when men began to work on this tower, they were setting themselves directly against God’s purpose, even though they were united. In other words, their unity was not to promote God’s cause but their own desires and pride. And in order to show them that His purpose could never be thwarted, God’s stepped into the situation and confused their language, so that they could no longer be united. That was how that project was abandoned and the people spread out from Babel over the face of the earth. 

 Therefore, though unity is important and is a powerful force for making people fully express their potential, it will only have the blessing of God, when it is used to promote His cause and righteousness. But the moment we begin to unite ourselves with others to do evil or to work contrary to the purpose of God, we can only expect Him to judge our so-called unity and throw us into confusion. So, don’t team up in unity with anyone or any group of people to do any kind of evil, for confusion will certainly be the payment you will get for doing so. And no one can tell what such ‘confusion’ will take away from your life and affairs. 

 Now let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for giving us the capability to dream and to have visions. 

- Prayers that our hearts will be taught the relevance of unity in laboring with others wherever we are, so that we can realize our potential to the full. 

- Prayers that God will breathe on us and all those that are working together with us in our workplaces, personal businesses or families the spirit of unity, so that we all may learn to function together with unity of mind and of purpose in all that we do. 

- Prayers that God will rid each of our lives of every attitude or culture that is contrary to unity and that is making it possible for our lives and our relationships to be tormented and ruined through of forms of confusion and evil. 

 - Prayers that God, by His divine power, will separate us from every union we are a part of that is working toward doing evil to others, so that we will not partake in the judgment of the wicked.

 - Prayers that our hearts will be enlightened on how to use unity to promote growth, development and advancement wherever we are, so that leadership doors to great things in life may be opened to us.

 - Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

 Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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The midwives were God-fearing 

- 3RD OCTOBER 2020

“Then the king of Egypt spoke to Shiphrah and Puah, the two midwives who helped the Hebrew women. "When you help the Hebrew women give birth," he said to them, "kill the baby if it is a boy; but if it is a girl, let it live." But the midwives were God-fearing and so did not obey the king; instead, they let the boys live. So the king sent for the midwives and asked them, "Why are you doing this? Why are you letting the boys live?" They answered, "The Hebrew women are not like Egyptian women; they give birth easily, and their babies are born before either of us gets there." Because the midwives were God-fearing, God was good to them and gave them families of their own. And the Israelites continued to increase and become strong.” (Ex 1:15-22GNT) 

It is not an uncommon thing for employees, apprentices or anyone who is involved in one form of legitimate labour or the other to be confronted with situations in which they are commanded, pressured, manipulated or threatened to do wickedness. And how they respond to this may go a long way in determining what doors of favour God opens for them or closes against them. As we see in our opening text, there was a time that the king of Egypt became so jealous of the population growth of the nation of Israel that he began to seek all kinds of means to reduce their number. And in his desperation to do this, he summoned the two chief midwives attending to the Hebrew women and commanded them to kill all the baby boys that were born to the Israelites and spare only the girls. 

Now this king, evidently, was a very brutal and callous one. So, you would most probably need to have more than one life to disobey his order in any way and still escape with your life. Nevertheless, the bible says because these midwives of the Hebrew women were God-fearing, they did not obey this king’s order. Why? Were they not aware that disobeying him like this could cost them more than their jobs but their very lives as well? They were aware. Why, then, did they still disobey him? Was it because they just felt what he was asking them to do was wrong and inhuman? No! Rather, it was because they had the fear of God in their hearts. In other words, they were thinking of God all the time. 

They were thinking of what He would think of them and how He would judge them, if they should carry out their king’s act of wickedness. This, of course, means that they saw Him as one greater, more powerful and to be taken more seriously than anyone, including the king of Egypt. And because these women acted in the fear of God in this matter, He, according to the bible, rewarded them by giving them families of their own. What does that mean? Well, it means that God settled them in their own homes with great husbands and wonderful children. Remember that what led to the king’s instruction in the first place was his fear of the growing population of Israel. That is to suggest that the Egyptians at that time were having problems raising homes full of children. In other words, though the bible does not affirm this, we can safely assume that there was widespread barrenness or infertility among the Egyptians. 

But because those midwives feared God and would not team up with the king of Egypt to take innocent lives, He made them experience fruitfulness where others were experiencing barrenness. Now perhaps you too are faced with a situation in which you are being urged, instructed, threatened or manipulated by your boss, colleagues at work, business partners or trade union to harm, cheat, lie against the innocent or do anything that is contrary to the righteousness of God. The Lord is saying to you, “Do not listen to them or obey them. Instead, walk in my fear and do what is right.” Yes, you may have been told that you would lose your job, if you would not follow suit, or that you will be attacked and injured. Or it may even be that you have been promised certain rewards, if you will do as you are told. 

Nonetheless, don’t listen to them or yield to their threats or manipulations. Then do not be enticed by the wages of wickedness you have been promised. Instead, walk in the fear of God and do what is right, keeping it in mind that the bible says, “My son, if sinners entice you, do not consent.” (Cf. Prov 1:10) And will it be all easy for you to do this? No, it may not at all be easy. You may in fact be putting yourself in arms’ way by choosing to disobey men in order to honour God. But you can be sure of this very thing: as long as you honour God and walk in His fear, He also will honour you where others are being disgraced. But if, out of fear or because of the wages of wickedness, you choose to obey men and do evil, even though you know clearly the will of God about the matter at hand, you can be sure that you will someday be visited with His judgment. Remember the case of Ahab, Jezebel and Naboth. Ahab wanted to buy Naboth’s inheritance, but the man told him it was not up for sale. 

And though this made him sad and angry, he did not do anything about it. However, his wife, Jezebel, felt it was an insult for Naboth to refuse his king in the manner he did. So, she decided that she was going to deal with him and take the land anyhow, in fact, without paying for it. And that was exactly what she did. She used the king’s seal of authority to write letters to instruct the so-called elders and nobles of the city in which Naboth lived to set up him with the sin of blasphemy and have him killed. That was how an innocent man was killed and his property taken. (Cf. 1Kings 21:1-16) Now did God keep quiet about that? No! He moved in quickly to pronounce judgment on Ahab and his wife Jezebel that they would die miserable deaths and that their household would be utterly consumed. And if Ahab had not immediately humbled himself before God, he would not have received the little measure of mercy he eventually received. 

But think about this: even though Ahab was not the one that killed Naboth, he was judged by God for receiving the benefits that came with the man’s death and for not dealing with his wife and the people she used for that act of wickedness. (Cf. 1Kings 21:17-29) You can, then, try to imagine what must have become of those that Jezebel used for that act. Or do you think they escaped God’s judgment? Absolutely not! So, don’t ever allow anyone to use your brains or skills or position to do evil to others. Instead, always be determined to walk in the fear of God, regardless of what it might cost you. And the Lord, whom you have honoured with your life, will definitely pay you back in unspeakable ways. 

Let us pray:

 - Thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and for the privilege of being useful and relevant in various capacities in this world. 

- Prayers that God will continually strengthen and embolden our hearts never to yield to the pressure or manipulations of men to use the skills or intelligence or position He has given us to do evil. 

- Prayers for God to turn our hearts away from every form of unjust profit, however enticing it may be, so that we will not have our lives or homes ruined as a result of the wages of wickedness. 

- Prayers for God to fill our hearts with boldness and strength to repent wherever we have made ourselves and our abilities available to be used by people to do wickedness. 

- Prayers that as we repent of the evil acts we have allowed others to use us for, God will show us mercy and rescue us from the consequences of all those evil things we have done. 

- Prayers for God to send His angels to aid and protect us in every situation in which we have made up our minds to walk in His fear and not allow ourselves to be used to act contrary to His will. 

- Thanksgiving to God because of the honour He will continually bestow on us and for the experiences of His favour He will be giving us, as we too honour Him in all our work relationships by doing His will. 

- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280)

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RECOGNIZING and meeting needs  

- 26TH SEPTEMBER 2020

 “The company of the prophets said to Elisha, "Look, the place where we meet with you is too small for us. Let us go to the Jordan, where each of us can get a pole; and let us build a place there for us to live." And he said, "Go." Then one of them said, "Won't you please come with your servants?" "I will," Elisha replied. And he went with them. They went to the Jordan and began to cut down trees. As one of them was cutting down a tree, the iron axhead fell into the water. "Oh, my lord," he cried out, "it was borrowed!" The man of God asked, "Where did it fall?" When he showed him the place, Elisha cut a stick and threw it there, and made the iron float. "Lift it out," he said. Then the man reached out his hand and took it.” (2Kings 6:1-7NIV) 

As human beings, one important ability we must possess is that of being able to identify our real needs. That is because unless we identify what our needs really are, we may not take any serious steps towards meeting them. And if we are not taking any serious steps towards meeting our real needs, then, what are we spending ourselves, our time, our energy, our skills, our resources and our devotion on? We are most likely spending them on things that will not add any real value to our lives. 

And that is a sure way to make life more and more difficult or terrible for us and even some other people in our lives. In the bible story above, the prophets that were with Elisha identified a need of theirs that needed to be met urgently. And it was that the place in which they were meeting was too small for them. Perhaps the place was enough for them when they first started using it. But at some point, they could tell that it had become too small for them and that they needed somewhere bigger and more spacious. So, they told Elisha, who was their spiritual leader at the time, of the need for them to move to a bigger place. And he agreed with them about the reality of the need that needed to be attended to. 

Now what are your own real needs? Do you know them? Have you been able to identify them? What exactly do you need for you to experience more peace in your life? What you do need to stop rationing everything in your home? What do you need for you to experience progress in your business or promotion in your work place? Or what do you need to increase in relevance or effectiveness where you are now? Is it more space that you need or more resources or more skills or additional jobs? Do you know exactly what you need to move from where you are to where you are supposed to be in life? You need to know what your real needs are. 

But then, knowing what your real needs are is not enough; you also need to take appropriate and adequate steps towards meeting them. Those prophets did not just identify their need and talk about it; they also took honest and legitimate steps towards meeting it. They did not wait until they started having health crises, disorderliness or any other kind of problem that is associated with overcrowding a place before they made a move towards getting a more spacious place. You too need to know what appropriate steps you need to take towards meeting your needs and then take them. Otherwise something good may become bad or something bad may become worse, right under your watch. In any case, as you commit yourself to taking appropriate steps towards handling your needs, whatever they may be, also learn to keep spiritual companions and to regularly carry them along concerning your life affairs. And when I am talking about spiritual companions, I do not necessarily mean preachers, though they are not excluded. 

Rather, I am talking about people who know and love God, who are daily living in the light of His word, who you trust and have free access to and who also truly care about you. But why do you need such spiritual companions in your life? It is because you never can tell at what point you may need a miracle that only their spiritual support will make happen. When those prophets that were with Elisha were going out to meet their need, they invited Elisha along. Why? Was it so that he may join them in carrying wood, axes, saws and so forth? No! They did not need him for that or anything related. Even if he had wanted to join them in such things, they would not have allowed him to do so, seeing that he was their spiritual leader. 

Therefore what they needed from him was not something physical or natural; rather, what they needed was his spiritual companionship. And because he cared about them, he did not refuse them but went with them. So, when the iron Axehead they had borrowed fell inside the river and they were devastated about it, not knowing what to do, it was this man, Elisha, the spiritual companion they had taken along, that God used in performing for them a miracle of recovery. But what if they had not invited him along? How would the story have gone or ended? Only God knows. 

Now you too may not know at what point the spiritual companions in your life will prove invaluable. But make sure they are there in your life and that you carry them along about matters of your life, as you deem fit. And may the Lord continue to fulfill all your good desires and steps of faith by His divine power, in Jesus’ name. Amen. 

Let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and for soundness of mind for each of us to relate to life appropriately. 

- Prayers that God will open our eyes to recognize all the real needs in our lives that we are not seeing or doing anything about before we get into trouble because of them. 

- Prayers that our hearts will be taught what necessary steps we need to take to access God’s provisions to meet every true need of our lives. 

- Prayers that God will lead us all into true spiritual companionship that will always profit our lives and help us experience more and more of God’s goodness. 

- Prayers that God will cause us to experience miracles of recovery of all the good things we have lost in our lives that we still need (for it is not every good thing we have lost that we still need in our lives).

 - Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for all the testimonies that will follow. 

By Johnson O. Lawal 

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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Take time to consider the cost  

- 19TH SEPTEMBER 2020

"Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, 'This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.' "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, any one of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.” (Luke 14:28-33NIV) 

One major lesson that the above bible text teaches is that being a disciple of the Lord Jesus Christ requires thinking and evaluation. It requires that we think carefully about what it might cost us and what demands it might make on us before we sign up for it. Otherwise, at some point, when challenges that are associated with being His disciples begin to come to us, we may just turn our back on Him and lose a glorious eternal future with Him. In like manner, running a business, handling any project or becoming a part of an organisation in life also requires that we think clearly about it before we start. 

Everything is not about praying. It is good we pray about whatever we do, for this will open doors for God’s favor and blessings to flow on our behalf and also separate us from unnecessary problems. But prayer is never a substitute for thinking clearly and planning carefully and thoroughly about whatever we want to do. And we need to let this soak in us. Unfortunately, for many of us, once we just see that someone we know is doing well in a business or job or that they are carrying out a project that seems interesting or delightful, we too want to do a similar thing, especially when think we have prayed or consulted some men of God about it. We will not take out time to research and find out how well they are doing with the business or project or whether they are doing well it at all. 

Actually, it is not every business that looks great on the outside that is really great and profitable. There are many businesses today that everything about their success is plastic; there is nothing concrete to it. And there are also many businesses and projects that are being run on loans or grants. If you, then, go into such businesses without making proper findings and evaluations about them, you may end up regretting it. Also, many are too lazy or impatient to take out time to find out what measure of commitment a business, job or project they want to embark on will require of them. Is it something that will allow them to remain responsible in all their legitimate relationships or something that will paralyze their effectiveness in other areas of their lives in which they are supposed to be responsible? 

There are many today that have become irresponsible parents or spouses or believers because they started some projects or businesses or because they took some loans or because they became a part of an organisation without thinking carefully about the cost. And now their lives and homes have become miserable because they failed to think, evaluate and plan before they got involved in whatever they got involved in. Perhaps you too have become a victim along these lines. You are now in a serious financial mess or marital trouble because you failed to carefully evaluate the viability of a business or project you started or the overall profitability of a job you took on. It is not too late for God to rescue you. 

Therefore, let us pray: 

- Thanksgiving to God for making His wisdom available to us through His word to guide us through life and save us from all kinds life’s trials. 

- Prayers for God to grant us a sharp presence of mind to properly evaluate whatever job or business we are in and whatever project we are handling or about to handle, so that we will know what steps to take to profit with it. 

 - Prayers for God to cleanse us of every form of laziness or impatience that keeps us from thinking clearly, consulting adequately and planning properly before we invest our lives, resources and skills in things. 

 - Prayers for God to rid our lives of every motivation to do business, get jobs or start projects that is born out of jealousy or envy instead out of a true need and a possession of the competence required to meet the need. 

- Prayers for God to safely lead us out of every wrong venture, business or project that we have gotten involved in and that is making a mess of our lives or rendering us useless in other areas of our lives. 

- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers. 

By Johnson O. Lawal 

Copyright © 2020, Reality Desk, a ministry of Alaythia Bible Church --This material is the sole property of Reality Desk. It may be copied for personal non-commercial use only in its entirety free of charge. All copies must contain this copyright notice. Please direct any questions you may have to alaythiabiblechurch@gmail.com/alaythia4all@gmail.com or call: 08037592851 (WhatsApp Number: 07085711280) 

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Thriving in the midst of adversity 

- 12TH SEPTEMBER 2020

 “Then a new king, who did not know about Joseph, came to power in Egypt. "Look," he said to his people, "the Israelites have become much too numerous for us. Come, we must deal shrewdly with them or they will become even more numerous and, if war breaks out, will join our enemies, fight against us and leave the country." So they put slave masters over them to oppress them with forced labor, and they built Pithom and Rameses as store cities for Pharaoh. But the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread; so the Egyptians came to dread the Israelites and worked them ruthlessly.” (Ex 1:8-13NIV) 

 As brief as the passage above is, it is impregnated with some vital lessons for life. And the first is that we must study to always get ready for ‘change’, any kind of change. The Israelites came to stay in Egypt during the time that Joseph was the administrator of the entire land. And at that time, he was second only to the king. So, his people enjoyed the best that Egypt could offer. But were they supposed to stay in Egypt permanently? No! They were only supposed to be there for a while, at least, till the famine that brought them there was gone. Unfortunately, as God had earlier told Abraham that it would be, they settled down to live in Egypt because of God’s favor on Joseph and forgot that a day may come when things would turn against them (Gen 15:12-14). 

And that day surely came. A new king who did not know Joseph at all came to power in Egypt and orchestrated what would end in years of torture, pains and adversity for the Israelites. And if God had not been merciful to them and come to their aid, they would at some point have ceased to be known as a nation. So, if life is sweet for you where you are today and everything is going in your favour, don’t get carried away and become irresponsible with the use of your time, skills or resources. Instead, always think of how you can wisely use whatever advantage you have now to stay relevant in life and to create a better future for yourself and those around you. That is because ‘change’ may come when you least expect it. A single policy from the government or from the organisation you are a part of may throw you off balance and take away from you certain privileges you have enjoyed for years. 

What, then, are you going to do with your life? Will you still remain relevant at that time, or will you become a victim of circumstances? 

So, don’t eat with your ten fingers now. 

Learn to save. 

Learn to invest.

 And learn to cultivate abilities and skills that will always keep you relevant, regardless of how crazy or bad things get in your world. That is one sure way to thrive in the midst of adversity. 

 The second lesson from this passage is that no matter what form of adversity life may throw at us, God’s favor is able to make us thrive in the midst of it. The Israelites were brutally treated and oppressed by their landlords, the Egyptians. I mean that the Egyptians deliberately planned and worked to frustrate them, keep them in poverty and decimate their number. Nevertheless, as the account shows, the more they oppressed them, the more they multiplied and spread across the land. And that made their Egyptians dread them. But why was this so for the Israelites? It was so because God’s favor was on them, causing them to get stronger and wiser and to increase in number, regardless of what evil was done to them. 

And eventually that favor took them out of Egypt and established them in their own land, a land flowing with milk and honey. Now perhaps you too are living or working where everyone seems to be hostile to you, not because you are wicked or irresponsible but because they are just jealous of your prosperity. Don’t give up or lose your character. Instead, learn to pray, as Moses prayed for the Israelites, that God’s favor will continually abound towards you (Ps 90:17). 

And His favor will so abound towards you that regardless of what level of oppression you are faced with, you will thrive. All your enemies will just see that the more they try to harm you, the more you will rise and prosper before their eyes. And would you not like to see this happen to you? I am sure you would. 

 So, let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God because He is a God who sees everything and who is able to make all things work for our good.

 - Prayers for God to fill your heart with wisdom to always make the most of the opportunities and privileges you have now to stay relevant in life and to create a better future for you, your home and others around you. 

- Prayers for God to open your eyes to see the right areas to invest your time, resources and skills, so that you will no longer waste or underutilized them. 

- Prayers that God will restore your soul in all the areas where you have gotten carried away in irresponsible living before it is too late for you. 

- Prayers for God to cause His favor to overflow without limit over your life and through your life, so that regardless of how hostile those in your world may be to you, you will always rise above their wickedness. 

- Prayers for God to take you from where you to where you are supposed to be in His plan of rest and prosperity for you. 

- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for testimonies that will follow. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 


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Prayer changes things

- 5TH SEPTEMBER 2020

 “Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, "Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain." And God granted his request.” (1Chron 4:9-10NIV) 

 One of the things that the story of Jabez of bible days teaches is that it is not a new thing for the circumstances of ones’ birth to put him in a poor and vulnerable place in life, a place where he is always a victim of the wickedness and hostility of evil doers. Jabez, right from the time he was born into the world, had had pains and miseries following him. As we see in the above bible text, the reason his mother gave him the name ‘Jabez’ was that she gave birth to him in pain. What kind of pain would that be? Was it labor pain that she was referring to? It could not have been that. Most women experience labor pain to one degree or the other. And his mother would have been used to that, as the account suggests that she already had other children before him. So, when said that she gave birth to him in pain, she must have been referring to something deeper than labor pain. She must have been referring to those unspeakable pains that are associated with stagnation, death, poverty and unproductiveness. 

 In any case, as Jabez himself grew up, he realized that, just as his name carried the symbol of pain, his life was also experiencing pain. Exactly how long he lived, experiencing pain in his life, we are not told in the bible. But we are told that at some point he decided that he was no longer going to embrace pain as normal for his life and that he was going to do something about it. And what did he do about it? He cried out to God. Why? It was because, as an Israelite, he had been raised to see God as the creator and owner of life. So, for him, if there was anyone that could change his situation and take away the pain in his life, it was God. 

 Now Jabez’s prayer was very simple and clear. First, he asked God to bless him and enlarge his territory. That means he was tired of taking the small fragments of the good things of this life – he wanted an abundance of every good thing. Second, he wanted protection from everything that was producing pain in his life, whatever it may be. And did God answer him when he presented his requests to him or not? As the account goes, God answered him. God did not say, “That is your destiny, Jabez. Just embrace it.” Instead, He moved on his behalf and set things right for him. 

So, the man ended becoming more honorable than all the other members of his family. And that is, in fact, why we have his name and his story in the bible. In like manner, even if the circumstances of our birth or of the nation we are a part of have forced on us certain degree of pain, poverty, stagnation, barrenness and uselessness, we too can approach God, as Jabez did, and ask Him to change things for us on the basis of what Jesus Christ has done for us. None of us has to accept pain, stagnation, barrenness or emptiness as a normal way of life. 

We can approach the creator and owner of life to change things for us. And if we do so out of an honest and humble heart, standing in the name and righteousness of His Son, Jesus Christ, He will certainly hear us, move on our behalf and set things right for us.

 So, let us pray:

 - Thanksgiving to God because He is always there for us to bring our life’s challenges and trials to. 

- Thanksgiving to God because through our identification with Christ Jesus we can have experiences that are different from what the natural men in our world are having. 

- Prayers that God will create a dissatisfaction in us for every situation that is not consistent with His purpose for our lives, so that we may approach Him for mercy and favor to change them. 

- Prayers that God will deal with every source of continual pains and sorrow in our lives and cause us to experience His victory, rest and joy instead. 

- Let us make declarations in the name of Jesus that our lives are permanently separated from every negative thing we have been experiencing as a result of family relationships or natural place of birth. 

- Prayers for God enlarge our lives with an abundance of all good things, so that we will stop rationing everything we have. 

- Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

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Grace to abound in prosperity  

- 29TH AUGUST 2020

 “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.” As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge the harvest of your righteousness. You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God.” (2Cor 9:9-11NIV) 

 One of the reasons many gripe, complain or even quarrel with others is lack of enough resources to act responsibly in their relationships. Here is a responsibility you are supposed to handle, and you know that it is actually your responsibility to handle. But you do not have the means or resources to handle it. Yet you are receiving pressure and perhaps threats from those who know the responsibility is yours to handle. What are you going to do? For some, quarreling or fighting everybody around them is the way to deal with this kind of problem. For some others, running away from home or taking their own lives is the only way out. Then there are those who will resort to stealing, extortion, prostitution, killing, kidnapping or money rituals. But none of these ways will work or produce results that will not ultimately hurt or destroy those who use them. That is why you must never attempt to use any of them to handle your lack problems. 

 What, then, must you do with your lack problems? What are you to do with the bills that are staring you in the face and that you must handle? Or are you simply to allow them to make a mess of your life or reputation? No! What you need to do is to learn to take them to God in prayers. James, in his epistle, says this: “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:1-3NIV) 

 Did you see that? Fighting, killing, quarreling and so forth will not take care of your needs. They will only create more problems for you. But offering prayers to God from a pure and sincere heart will see to it that whatever those needs of yours may be are taken care of. 

So, train yourself to always present your needs to God, regardless of how little or big they may be, instead of complaining to men, fighting men or using ungodly means to meet them. And you will never be disappointed. More so, what God really wants for all of us is to function in a place where in all things, at all times, having all that we need, we will be able to do any good thing we desire to do. And that is what Paul is speaking to us about in our opening text. There he tells us that God is able to make all grace abound to us so that in all things, at all times, having all that we need, we will abound in every good work. In other words, He is able to bring us to a place where we will not just have more than enough for ourselves; we will also be able to always contribute to the needs of others and lead them to praise Him. 

Just think about that. I mean you should think about how beautiful it will be for you to always have enough for yourself and also to always be able to generously help those who approach you for financial assistance. Well, that is the realm God wants us all to function from. But how will He bring us there? It is, as Paul further says, by increasing our resources to work and enlarging the harvest of our labor. 

So, it is clear that we must be diligently involved in some legitimate work that God can bless and enlarge in order for us to have access to overflowing resources. But if we are lazy or are doing nothing at all and yet are expecting a mighty flow of resources into our lives, we are deceiving ourselves, for we are giving God nothing to work with in enriching us. And if we do not change our ways, we may live in poverty for our entire lifetime, even though we could have lived in plenty and been a blessing to many. 

 Now let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for His love for us and for His desire for us to continually live in plenty. 

- Prayers that God will strengthen our hearts to abandon all those foolish ways that we have been taking to meet our needs and become financially independent, so that we will not eventually ruin our lives and those of other people close to us. 

- Prayers for God to heal and restore us wherever we are suffering as a result of the foolish steps we have taken in the past to meet our needs or solve our lives’ problems.

 - Prayers for God to lead us all to those enterprises, jobs or businesses that He can use to increase our resources and bring us to that place where in all things, at all times, having all that we need, we can do anything good that we have in mind to do. 

- Prayers for an overflowing of God’s grace and favor on all our legitimate enterprises, so that they will become bigger and bigger in our hands.

 - Prayers that our lives will be thoroughly rid of every kind of lazy or slothful attitude that has been hindering the flow of God’s provision of resources into our lives.

 - Prayers that as God is enlarging our store of resources, we will not be blind to or shut our hearts against the needs of others that He will want us to meet.

 - Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 Johnson O. Lawal 

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Kept safe to enjoy God’s goodness 

 - 23RD AUGUST 2020

 “Now the king had put the officer on whose arm he leaned in charge of the gate, and the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died, just as the man of God had foretold when the king came down to his house. It happened as the man of God had said to the king: "About this time tomorrow, a seah of flour will sell for a shekel and two seahs of barley for a shekel at the gate of Samaria." The officer had said to the man of God, "Look, even if the LORD should open the floodgates of the heavens, could this happen?" The man of God had replied, "You will see it with your own eyes, but you will not eat any of it!" And that is exactly what happened to him, for the people trampled him in the gateway, and he died.”” (2Kings 7:17-20NIV) 

 There are two major lessons that the account we have in the bible text above teach us. 

The first is that accidents can happen while people are involved in their legitimate endeavors. And there are times such accidents may result in the loss of people’s lives or the maiming of their bodies. To say the fact, only God knows exactly how many that have died or been rendered useless for their entire lifetime because of work related accidents. Look at the case above, for example. This man was actually out for his legitimate duty as a very close officer of the king. Nevertheless, by accident, he was trampled upon by the people he came out to serve and died. Yes, it was his untamed tongue that invited the curse of death into his life. All the same, his death was an accident, an accident that came while he was doing his job. So, it is possible for a person’s job to become a channel through which affliction or death will enter his life.

 The second lesson from the account is that it is possible for people witness a breakthrough into success, abundance or promotion while doing their legitimate jobs or businesses and not enjoy it. The man in the above account was evidently one of the officials of the King of Israel that had been going about seeking solutions to the problem of famine that the land had been facing. Unfortunately, as Prophet Elisha had told him, when God eventually solved this problem, he only saw the goodness of it with his eyes; he did not taste any of it. And many have experienced similar things. They labored hard to win some contract, get promoted or access more resources to be able to enjoy life better and do bigger things. But somehow, by some twist of events, they lost their lives or got into some trouble that was bigger than their gains before they could have any chance of enjoying what they had worked for. 

So, it is one thing to work hard to witness much good or plenty; it is another thing to be enabled by God to enjoy it. 

Now let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of being alive today to learn from Him truths that can keep us safe in our legitimate endeavors and also lead us into full enjoyment of His provisions for us.

 - Prayers that God, in His mercy, will continue keep us from saying things or taking steps that may or will result in the maiming of our bodies or our death, as we go about our legitimate endeavors.

 - Prayers that regardless of the degree of risks our legitimate labor may expose us to (and every form of labor has its own measure of risks), we will continually be kept safe and sound by God. 

 - Prayers that God will see to it that our jobs and honest endeavors will not be a channel for any kind of satanic afflictions for us or our families.

 - Prayers for a mighty release of God’s power for us to enjoy the fruit of all our honest labor and for us not to take any step or do anything that will deny us the enjoyment of any good thing we are allowed by God to witness or experience (Ecc 5:18-:6:6; Luke 12:16-21). 

- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for the testimonies that will follow. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

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Success in all you have in mind  

15TH AUGUST 2020 

 “When Solomon had finished the temple of the LORD and the royal palace, and had succeeded in carrying out all he had in mind to do in the temple of the LORD and in his own palace, the LORD appeared to him at night…” (2Chron 7:11-12NIV) 

 One important thing that the Scripture above teaches us is that success in all our endeavors is achievable. Just take a careful look again at what is said about Solomon in the text. It is said that HE SUCCEEDED in carrying out ALL HE HAD IN MIND TO DO in the temple of the Lord and in his own palace. And observe that it was not only in doing those things that pertained to the worship of God that this man succeeded; he also succeeded in handling those things that pertained to his own life. 

That means it is not only in matters of our service to God that we can experience complete success; we can also experience complete success in handling the matters of our own lives. In any case, if Solomon could succeed in carrying out all he had in mind to do, then, we too can succeed in carrying out all that we have in mind to do. We just need to know how to do so. 

And how do we do so? First, it is by putting God first and seeking to please Him in all that we do. Solomon succeeded in all that he had in mind to do because his delight was to please God and make Him happy with everything he did. If we too would put God first and seek to please in all we do, we will not desire wrong things or conceive wrong and unrighteous ideas. Then He will lead us to the right endeavors for us and keep us from wasting our lives, time, energy, skills and resources on unprofitable ventures. Yes, the road may be rough and difficult. But as long as we put God first and seek to please Him in all our dealings, He will make sure we are brought to the place of abundance and success. That is why the bible says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Ps 37:4NIV) 

 The second thing we need to succeed in all we have in mind to do is to rely solely on God for all that we need to succeed. Solomon says, “Unless the Lord builds the house, the laborers labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain.” (Cf. Ps 127:1) This shows that the secret of his success was in his total dependence on God. If we too want to succeed in all that we do, then, we must not just set our affection on Him and on pleasing Him; we must also totally depend on Him for all – wisdom, knowledge, understanding, resources, people and so forth – that we need in our endeavors. This is why we must learn to pray. 

 The third thing we need for success in our endeavors is success mentality. One of the reasons many fail in almost everything they do is that their mentality is wrong – their minds are programmed to fail. So, even before they start anything, they are already thinking of how it might fail or how they may lose everything. And if they are in a job, all they will see is what is not working there; they won’t see what is working or what they can make work. But as long as you function with this kind of mentality, it will be hard for you to succeed at anything. Solomon did not start building that temple and his own palace, thinking that the projects would fail. Rather, he set out expecting that he would succeed. And since he was doing the will of God and also trusting Him for success, he eventually succeeded. 

So, get rid of your failure mentality, if you have it, and start thinking success. Then, as long as your heart is right with God and your endeavors are legitimate and righteous, He will guide you into success. 

 Lastly, we need to cultivate the act of being thorough with our planning and diligent with our work. Read about Solomon’s work on the temple and his palace and you cannot fail to see that he was thorough with their planning and excellent in handling their execution. It is, however, unfortunate that many today, even believers, want success but don’t want to think hard, work hard and give excellence to their labor. Yet they expect God to reward their slothfulness. That is not going to work. So, if you want true success, set your affection on God, trust Him absolutely, think success and work hard too. And God will crown your effort with success.

 Now let us pray:

 - Thanksgiving to God for His love for us and for His desire to see us succeed in life. 

- Prayers for God to train and strengthen us to continually set our affection on Him, so that He may guide us into what is best for us and keep us from wasting our lives on unprofitable ventures. 

- Prayers for God to teach our hearts to be absolutely dependent on Him for all that we need to be successful in our service to Him and in all our legitimate endeavors. 

- Prayers for God to cleanse our lives of every kind of mentality that is comfortable with failure or that sees nothing but failure in all things, so that we will stop working against our own progress.

 - Prayers for God to train our hearts and minds to be thorough and excellent in our thoughts, plans and actions, so that whatever we set out to do will attract the praise and reward of men.

 - The prayer of Paul for the Thessalonians, which says, “With this in mind, we always pray that our God will make you worthy of his call. We also pray that through his power he will help you accomplish every good desire and help you do everything your faith produces.” (2Thess 1:11GW)

 - Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

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You have a master in heaven -8TH AUGUST 2020

 “Masters, provide your slaves with what is right and fair, because you know that you also have a Master in heaven.” (Col 4:1NIV)

 It is easier to recognize and address injustice and wickedness in others than it is to recognize and address them in us. That is why in a country like Nigeria, for instance, we complain all the time about the injustice and wickedness among our leaders and want them addressed. But hardly do we say anything or do anything serious about addressing these same things among those of us that they are leading. Is it only in the high places of our country that we have wickedness and injustice? No! These things are almost everywhere. They are in many of our offices, organisations, factories, business centers and schools. They are also in our various neighborhoods, religious assemblies and even homes. And to tell you the truth, until we begin to address them appropriately and adequately among us, we will have no moral right to ask God or anyone else to address them among our leaders. 

 What does our Lord Jesus say about this? He says, “So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.” (Matt 7:12NIV) Did you see that? How would you like your leaders or employers or elderly ones to treat you? That is the way you should treat those that you lead or those that are serving you or those that are younger than you. If you don’t want those who have one form of authority or the other over you to abuse their authority and use it to hurt you, steal from you or corrupt you, then, don’t use whatever form of authority you too have over others to do the same. 

 Look also at what Apostle Paul says to us in our opening text. He tells all those who are masters in their own rights to provide their slaves with what is right and fair. Yes, these slaves are their properties. So, in a sense, they can do with them as they please. But Paul says, “No, don’t do with these people as you please, just because you have authority or power over them today. Instead, put yourself in their shoes and treat them the way you would love to be treated, with fairness and justice. That is because you too have a master in heaven that is looking at you. 

And you can be sure that He will also treat you as your actions towards others deserve.” In like manner, in dealing with those that work for us, serve under us or anyone that we have one measure of authority or the other over, we should do so with fairness and justice. We ourselves don’t like it when we are treated unfairly and unjustly, regardless of who does so. Sometimes, we even revolt when we are so treated. Why, then, do we forget this when we are dealing with others? Why do we always seek to pay those who serve us less than their service demands? Why do always think of ripping off those who sell things to us, all in the name of wanting a good bargain? Or why do we stand in the way of advancement of those who work with us or under us for any reason at all? Yet we want God and others to treat us justly and fairly. 

And there are times we even want them to reward our slothfulness or failure. Now all this is wrong, which is what the Spirit of God is saying to us. And until we repent of them, we may never experience the kind of progress or breakthrough we desire in our lives. 

So, let us pray:

 - Thanksgiving to God for calling us out of darkness into His wonderful light, so that we may walk through this life and not stumble. 

 - Prayers for God to open our eyes to see all the areas of our lives in which we are relating to others in injustice and wickedness, so that we may repent and begin to do what is right and fair in all our dealings with men.

 - Prayers for God to visit all the people that are down or suffering in one way or the other because of our acts of injustice or wickedness towards them and comfort and lift them up, so that their cry will no longer go up to Him against us (James 5:4). 

- Prayers that as we humble ourselves before God and begin to treat others with fairness and justice, He will show us mercy and lift us up in every area where we are down or are being oppressed.

 - Prayers for God to rescue everyone among the workforce of this nation that has become a victim of oppression or injustice and lift them up from they are to where they are destined to be in life. 

- Prayers that God will remove every leader in this country and in our various organisations and enterprises that is arrogantly bent on oppressing and harassing those under them and replace them with those who will treat their people with justice, fairness, love and respect.

 - Thanksgiving to God for giving us a place in His presence to pray and receive answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal  

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Will He consider you ripe for promotion?  - 

1ST AUGUST 2020

 "Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?” (Luke 16:10-12NIV) 

 One of the reasons Joseph ended up becoming what he became in Egypt was the way he handled other people’s businesses and affairs. Look at what is said about his conduct in Potiphar’s house: “Joseph found favor in his eyes and became his attendant. Potiphar put him in charge of his household, and he entrusted to his care everything he owned. From the time he put him in charge of his household and of all that he owned, the LORD blessed the household of the Egyptian because of Joseph. The blessing of the LORD was on everything Potiphar had, both in the house and in the field. So he left in Joseph's care everything he had; with Joseph in charge, he did not concern himself with anything except the food he ate…” (Gen 39:4-6NIV) 

 What a marvelous testimony! Yes, Joseph was favored by God in order to be recognized by his master, Potiphar. BUT HE TOO COMBINED DILIGENCE AND LOYALTY WITH GOD’S FAVOR. So, his master had no problem at all entrusting all his possessions in his care. It was only his wife that he did not entrust to him. Just think about that. Also, when Joseph eventually found himself in the prison for a crime that he did not commit, he did not allow his prison conditions to change his work attitude. Instead, he proved himself to be someone that could be trusted with people and resources. And this is what is said about his time there: “Joseph's master took him and put him in prison, the place where the king's prisoners were confined. 

But while Joseph was there in the prison, the LORD was with him; he showed him kindness and granted him favor in the eyes of the prison warden. So the warden put Joseph in charge of all those held in the prison, and he was made responsible for all that was done there. The warden paid no attention to anything under Joseph's care, because the LORD was with Joseph and gave him success in whatever he did.” (Gen 39:20-23NIV) Did you see that too? It was not just God’s favor that made the prison warden put Joseph in charge of the prison; his diligence and faithfulness to people were also responsible. And these were the same things that God used in setting him above the whole land of Egypt. 

It is unfortunate, however, that many today, including those of us in the church, cannot be trusted with people or resources. And that, apart from the irresponsibility of many of our leaders, is one of the reasons many are jobless and many others are living in poverty, without anybody willing to help them. See, there are people who have money to establish companies that could adequately take of hundreds or thousands of workers. But they are not just comfortable doing so because it is difficult today to find faithful and diligent individuals to commit such companies to. 

There are also those who have free legitimate money that they can use to help others in establishing their businesses. But they will not do so because it is hard to find diligent and faithful hands to entrust resources to and not regret it. Then what about those who are already employed in one place or the other? How many of them can be trusted by their bosses or employers to give their best and their loyalty to their workplace in managing people or resources? Very few and, in many cases, none! Yet everyone wants to be promoted and also get a pay raise as regularly as possible. 

The question they don’t ask themselves is, “If God, who sees everything, should assess me, will He consider me ripe for promotion or for a pay raise?” Well, I want you to consider the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in our opening text and meditate on it, as we pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God for the gift of life and for His favor that is continually resting on us.

 - Prayers for God to open our eyes to see all the areas of our lives in which we are acting in unfaithfulness, laziness or slothfulness, so that we may seek His forgiveness in them and also repent of our unfaithfulness, slothfulness or laziness. 

- Prayers for our hearts to be taught diligence and loyalty in all our relationships with men, so that we will no longer waste God’s favor or shut the door of His favor against us.

 - Prayers for God to move the heart of everyone around us that is in a position to help us or lift us to begin to do so without delay. 

- Prayers for God, in His mercy and favor, to move on our behalf in every situation in which we are already due for promotion, expansion or increase in resources and see to it that our lot is secured and that we are not cheated or robbed of what is ours. 

- Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

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God’s FAVOR on your skills  -25TH JULY 2020

 “Bless all his skills, O LORD, and be pleased with the work of his hands...” (Deut 33:11NIV) 

 It is one thing for one to be skillful, talented or highly educated; it is another thing for his skills, talents, abilities or education to be appreciated and given appropriate and adequate recognition and rewards. For instance, Joseph of bible days, without doubt, was a man of great abilities. But if God had not favored him to the extent that Potiphar, the jailer in the prison he was sent to and the Pharaoh of his time recognized his abilities, he would not have amount to anything in Egypt. (Cf. Gen 39-41) 

 I am sure you must have come across these words of Solomon at one time or the other: “I have observed something else under the sun. The fastest runner doesn't always win the race, and the strongest warrior doesn't always win the battle. The wise sometimes go hungry, and the skillful are not necessarily wealthy. And those who are educated don't always lead successful lives. It is all decided by chance, by being in the right place at the right time.” (Eccl 9:11NLT) 

 Did you see that? Being a person of abilities does not guarantee anybody a successful, meaningful, profitable and enjoyable life. If God’s favor is not working with you, leading you to the right place at the right time and causing people to recognize your abilities and be willing to reward you adequately and appropriately for them, those abilities you have, however great they may be, will not take you anywhere. Use your life as an example. Is it all the abilities or skills that you possess that those around you have recognized and are willing to reward you for? Or consider the education you have received. 

How adequately or appropriately are you being rewarded in life for it? It is a fact that there are many people with great or special abilities and education in our world today, including us, who can turn things around for good. But, for obvious reasons, their abilities are not being recognized or given any serious space to shine. Then we see that many with abilities also don’t often place the right kind of value on what they have. Therefore, they waste or underutilized them. And the result is that many of our countries, communities, organisations and so forth are not experiencing the kind of growth and development they could have been experiencing. 

 In any event, if we don’t want our abilities, skills and education to go to waste, not profiting us or our world, we must learn to offer the kind of prayer Moses offered for the tribe of Levi in our opening text. He asks God to bless their skills and to be pleased with the works of their hands. What are the jobs of these Levites and what skills do they have? They are priests and teachers in Israel. 

So, Moses, in other words, wants God to bless their teaching and intercessory skills. And this is so that the people will recognize the relevance of what they are doing and be blessed through it. Then, they can appropriately and adequately give to support them. Now we too can pray along this same line and expect God to answer our prayers and cause people to begin to respond adequately and appropriately to all His wonderful endowments in our lives. 

Therefore, let us pray:

 - Thanksgiving to God for all the special gifts, abilities, skills and education He has given us the grace to possess. 

- Prayers for God to open our eyes and help us begin to place the right kind of value on all the gifts, abilities, skills and education that we have, so that we may stop underutilizing them. 

 - Prayers for God to instill in us the right measure of discipline, character and wisdom to use our gifts, abilities, education and training in ways that will make other recognize them and be inspired to reward us for them or to begin to use their own abilities too. 

- Prayers for God’s favor to rest mightily on us and lead us to the right places and the right people that will make room for us to flourish with our gifts, abilities, skills and education.

 - Prayers for God to cause His blessings to rest on all our skills, abilities and education and make them attractive to those who are in a position to clear the way for us to make the most of them and be adequately and appropriately recognized and rewarded for using them. 

- Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for miracles of recognition, expansion and multiplication of resources for us all. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal 

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Are you making life hard for yourself? - 18TH JULY 2020

 “This is all that I have learned: God made us plain and simple, but we have made ourselves very complicated.” (Eccl 7:29GNT)

 Why is life so hard for some people? Why is it so difficult for them to take care of themselves and their immediate families? Is it because God is not at all concerned about them or because Satan is just too much for them to handle? First, the bible makes it very clear to us that God is concerned about all men, whether they are good or bad, and always wants the best for them (Ezek 18:23; Matt 5:45). 

So, if life is hard for anyone, and he is unable to understand it or handle it, God is not to blame. But if such a person will truthfully reach out for His help, He will answer and save him, regardless of the enormousness of his troubles or afflictions (Ps 34:4-6&19-20; Rom 10:11-13). 

 Second, Satan can only be too much for those who do not know Christ and also those who know Christ but who won’t rely absolutely on Him in handling their lives’ issues. Our Lord Jesus makes it very clear to us that He has given us authority to trample on all the dangerous and wicked beings of this life and to overcome all the power of the enemy and that nothing shall by any means hurt us (Luke 10:19). And as long as we put on His whole armor and are using His weapons of righteousness, we will be able to resist the devil and frustrate his works, whatever they may be (Eph 6:10-13; James 4:7). 

 Now since God truly cares about us all and wants the best for us and Satan can never be too much for us to handle, as long as our trust is in God, life should never be complicated for us, regardless of its challenges and trials. And if it is complicated and difficult for us to handle, then, we need to search ourselves with the light of the word of God to know in what ways we have been our own enemies. As Solomon tells us in our opening bible text, all the complications we see in our lives today are not God-made but man-made. It is true that Satan can make life hard and complicated for people. But as I already pointed out, as long as we are counting on God, there is nothing Satan throws at us that we won’t be able to walk in victory over. 

The problem, however, is that a lot of times we ourselves put our hands in things that will make life hard and difficult for us. For instance, I have, in recent times, seen and heard of individuals who are complaining bitterly at the moment because they lack resources to take care of their basic needs. And it is not because they are not working hard. They are working hard. But some of them have two or more wives and their children to care for. Also, some of them are carrying very expensive smart phones around, phones that are not making them any money but consuming the little they have in meaningless phone calls and internet browsing.

 In addition, some of them don’t know how to say ‘No’ to anything their eyes see – they must just have what others have, eat what others are eating, give their children what others are giving theirs, take from their spouses what others are giving their spouses or do their parties the ways others are doing theirs. How, then, will life not be complicated for them? See, in order to fully enjoy the goodness and power of God to the full in your life, you must learn to keep your life simple. This does not mean that you are not to enjoy the good things of this life or use quality things. No! Rather, it means you are not to put any undue or unnecessary burden on your life or on the lives of those close to you. 

There are things we will do or get in this life that will not add anything to our fruitfulness or usefulness or to the overall quality of our lives, even though we give our arms for them. And there are also things that doing them or possessing them will only introduce greater troubles into our lives, even though they seem highly pleasurable or appealing. Those are the things, for the most part, that make our lives hard, unpleasant and complicated. And until we recognize these things for what they are and say ‘No’ to them in our lives, our lives may never be at peace till we leave this world, even if we are Christians. 

 So, let us pray: 

 - Thanksgiving to God because He cares about us and because we can always cast our anxieties on Him, whatever they may be. 

- Thanksgiving to God because of the authority He has given us in Christ Jesus to resist the devil and frustrate his works in our lives and in our world. We are not helpless or hopeless.

 - Prayers for God to fill our hearts with the patience and humility needed to learn from Him all those things we are doing in our lives that are making life hard and complicated for us and our loved ones.

 - Prayers for God to rid our lives of whatever passion, love or devotion we have for anything that is bound to ruin our lives (1Kings 11).

 - Prayers for strength of character to say ‘No’ to unprofitable activities, facilities or pleasure, regardless of how enticing it may seem. 

- Prayers for God to bring in order and direction into every area of our lives in which we have made a mess of things. 

- Thanksgiving to God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers.  

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 When you are your own enemy  -  11TH JULY 2020

 “What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don't they come from your desires that battle within you? You want something but don't get it. You kill and covet, but you cannot have what you want. You quarrel and fight. You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.” (James 4:1-4NIV) 

 Why have you not been able to attain that height you desire to attain or feel you ought to have attained in life? Why have you not been able to accomplish certain dreams of yours or possess certain things you believe you ought to have had, even though you are working hard? Is it because circumstances of life are so contrary to you or because God is unfaithful? 

 First, one of the things we must keep in mind is that, regardless of how difficult or dangerous life’s circumstances may be for us, God is ever faithful (Deut 32:4; Ps 146:5-6). He is never going to abandon His own or forsake them to be destroyed. Rather, He will always be there to do whatever is necessary to give them victory and peace of mind in whatever situation they find themselves. That is why the writer of the book of Hebrews says, “God has said, "Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you." So we say with confidence, "The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?"” (Heb 13:5-6NIV) 

 Then, regardless of how difficult the problems or challenges of our lives may be, they are nothing before God. He once said to Prophet Jeremiah, “I am the God of all mankind. Is there anything too hard for me?” (Cf. Jer 32:27) So, as long as we trust Him with our lives, are yielded to Him and relate to Him in patience, there is no problem we are faced with that He will not handle for us. If we, therefore, are not experiencing progress in our lives or victory over the challenges of our lives, we must know that the problem is never with God or even with the greatness or stubbornness of those challenges. 

Often, the problem is with us. As Apostle James shows us in our opening text, when, instead of presenting our needs to God, we go about solving our problems or accomplishing our dreams through fighting, quarreling, killing, swindling, cheating, seduction, witchcraft or any of the wicked ways that men take to sort themselves out in life, we will not realize our goals. Even if it seems that we have realized those goals, we will soon enough discover that, in realising them, we have created more and bigger problems for ourselves and that the satisfaction we seek has eluded us. 

 Also, as he further shows us, even when we are praying to God about our needs, challenges or dreams, as long as our motives are wrong, as long as our reason for wanting whatever we want is to oppress, boast or corrupt others, we will not receive anything from His hand. So, if we want real success, progress and victory over life’s challenges in our lives, the kind that comes with rest of mind and joy, we must watch the methods and approaches we take in life and also watch our motives. Otherwise our lives will never be free of unwarranted pains and sorrows. 

 Now let us pray:

 - Thanksgiving to God for being a faithful Father and Creator who we can always count on to handle our lives and all our challenges and opportunities for us.

 - Prayers that God will open our eyes to see all the wrong methods and approaches we are taking in life to solve our problems or advance ourselves, so that we may drop them.

 - Prayers that, as God is opening our eyes to see all those wrong methods and approaches we are taking to handle our lives’ issues, our hearts will be made humble and strengthened to do the needful about them.

 - Prayers that God will cleanse our hearts of every wrong and corrupt motive that is hindering our prayers and preventing us from receiving God’s favor and experiencing His supernatural lifting. 

- Prayers for God to put an end to every experience of sorrow and pains in our lives, experiences that are associated with wrong steps and approaches that we took in the past about our lives’ challenges or dreams.

 - Prayers for God to comfort and heal all the people we have hurt or are hurting in our attempt to advance ourselves or fulfill our dreams at all cost and also touch their hearts to forgive and pray for us, so that we may experience an opening of all the doors of favour that have been shut against us because of them.

 - Thanksgiving to God for answers to our prayers and for the testimonies that will follow. Johnson Lawal 

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PRAYING WORKFORCE 4th July 2020 Give him no space to work

 “Don't give the devil any opportunity to work.” (Eph 4:27GW) The bible is very clear about the fact that Satan is man’s chief enemy, and he is continually looking for someone to devour (1Peter 5:8). 

This is why we are warned in our opening bible text not to give him any opportunity to work in our lives. Unfortunately, out of ignorance of what the word of God teaches on how to handle life, many are continually giving Satan opportunities to work in their lives. So, they are constantly having problems that should never have been a part of their experience. 

 See, even though Satan is a thief, devourer and murderer, there are things he cannot mess up in our lives, if we do not give him any opportunity to work in them. But when we keep taking steps that will give him a space to work, he will certainly come into our lives and work. And trust me, before we wake up from our slumber, much good may have been destroyed already. 

 For instance, there have been people who were sacked in their work places not because some witches got to them but because they mismanaged funds entrusted to them or because they were slothful. So, they were the ones that opened the door for Satan to come in and mess up their lives. 

And there are many of such people today who have not been able to get their lives straight since they were out of job. Also, there are businesses that are not doing well today not because life’s circumstances are against them but because the attitudes of their owners are wrong or because they have no skill or ability to handle what they are doing. 

So, Satan capitalises on their bad manners, lazy attitude or ignorance and uses it to frustrate them out of business and, sometimes, out of life. For some others, it is in their homes that they are giving Satan a chance to work. It may be that they spend so much time with their jobs or businesses that they barely have time to care for their spouses or children. So, the enemy seizes the opportunity and begins to use it to upset things for them. Or it may be that they are continually going for things that are beyond their financial capability, all in the name of ‘taste’ or ‘quality’. 

And the enemy has been using that to keep them in financial bondage and disgrace. Unless they wake up and shut the door against him, they may remain financially handicapped for their entire lifetime. In any case, my point, all along, is that it is important that we watch our lives to see that we are not our own enemies, that we are not the very ones calling the devil to come and mess up things in our lives. 

 Now let us pray: 

 Thank God for making His wisdom available to us through His word so that we can always order our lives in the right direction. 

Pray that God will open our eyes to see all the areas of our lives in which we have opened the door for the devil to afflict us and make us experience things that are contrary to His purpose for our lives. In other words, pray that God will show us those things we are doing or not doing that Satan is using to afflict or punish us in our lives, homes, businesses and other endeavours. 

Prayers for God to teach us what to do to shut Satan out of every area of our lives in which he is working and messing things up. 

Prayers that God will separate us from all the things that we have no ability, skill or resources for that we are forcing ourselves to be involved in. 

Prayers for God, by His divine power, to bring comfort, restoration and order into every area of our lives in which Satan has worked and destroyed things. 

Prayers also for our hearts to be strengthened with the patience that is required to experience God’s restoration wherever we need it in our lives. 

Prayers for everyone on this platform that is in one form of financial bondage or the other that God will make them experience His liberty, starting from the new week we are taking. 

 Prayers for everyone on this platform that is seeking better job opportunities or better business patronage that God will favour them mightily and guide them into His best for them.

 Thanksgiving to God because we can trust Him to do much more than we desire or have asked for. 

 Johnson O. Lawal  

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 PRAYING WORKFORCE 27th June 2020 Take your work seriously

“It pleased Darius to appoint 120 satraps to rule throughout the kingdom, with three administrators over them, one of whom was Daniel. The satraps were made accountable to them so that the king might not suffer loss. Now Daniel so distinguished himself among the administrators and the satraps by his exceptional qualities that the king planned to set him over the whole kingdom. At this, the administrators and the satraps tried to find grounds for charges against Daniel in his conduct of government affairs, but they were unable to do so. They could find no corruption in him, because he was trustworthy and neither corrupt nor negligent.” (Dan 6:1-4NIV) 

 One of the truths that are made very clear in Scriptures is that nobody, however intelligent, smart, devoted or gifted they may be, can experience true success in life without God. People, of course, may ignore God and get so many things done for themselves and others. But a day will come when they will realise that all they have done apart from God is nothing. This is why we are taught in Scriptures to trust in the Lord with all our hearts, to acknowledge Him in all our ways and to never rely on our understanding, intelligence, influence or power. Then He will direct our paths into His rest and best for us. (Cf. Prov 3:5-6; John 15:5) 

 But then, people can also misrepresent things and think once they are praying to God and are religious to some degree, advancement, promotion and progress will automatically start happening. And when these are not happening, they get apprehensive or frustrated and start blaming God for not being faithful or people for working against them. It is true that people may yield themselves to be used by the devil against our progress. But as long as we have God with us, who is always faithful, no one can successfully go against us and prevail. We, then, are the ones to be careful not to limit God in our lives by being lazy, irresponsible or unfaithful. And that is one of the things we learn from the story of Daniel of bible days. 

 Now Daniel, as we see in his book, was one of the captives brought by King Nebuchadnezzar to Babylon. Yet this man ended up becoming a leading official of this king and a number of other kings after him in that strange land. 

But how? First, it was by taking God seriously. Even though he lived, studied and worked among pagans and ungodly people, Daniel never abandoned his faith in God. And because of his faith in God, he would not allow himself to be defiled in any way or succumb to any pressure or threat not to worship Him, even if that would take him into a den of lions. But that was not all. 

As we see in our main bible text, Daniel also took his work very seriously. He was diligent and trustworthy. And he was not negligent or corrupt. Therefore, King Darius fell in love in with him so much so that he wanted to set him above his whole kingdom. (Cf. Dan 1:8-16; Dan 6:5-28) 

 What does this teach us? It teaches us that praying, fasting, giving or being religious in any way is not sufficient for us to experience promotion or progress in our workplace or business; we also need to take our work or business very seriously. There are attitudes to work that will never attract promotion or progress to us, regardless of how prayerful or religious we may be. So, if we will not handle our work, business or whatever we are doing with diligence and trustworthiness and without lazy and corrupt practices, our religiosity will not make God look the other way and promote us. 

This explains why, sometimes, some unbelievers rise faster at work or do better in business than their believing counterparts – they take their work seriously. And if you too want to keep experiencing God’s promotion and progress in all your endeavours, don’t just pray, fast, study Scriptures or give; also work hard, diligently, faithfully and without corruption. 

So, let us pray: 

 Thank God for the gift of life and for whatever abilities, skills or education we have today and are able to put to use, for without Him we could not have possessed any of these things. 

Pray that our eyes will be opened to see every wrong attitude or approach we have towards our work or business that is hindering our promotion, progress or expansion, so that we may yield ourselves to God to cleanse us of it. 

Pray that the Spirit of God will equip us with every right attitude and mentality that will open doors of progress, advancement, expansion, promotion and favour to us in all our legitimate labour or enterprises. 

Pray that our hearts will be taught by God to recognise and begin to put to adequate and appropriate use whatever skill, ability or education we possess at the moment that is needed for our progress or promotion. 

Pray that our hearts will be kept devoted to God, regardless of whatever degree of accomplishment we experience in life, so that we will never at any time start seeing our hard work, diligence or faithfulness as the reason for our success. 

Thank God for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 By Johnson O. Lawal        

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 PRAYING WORKFORCE 20th June 2020 

What is required to open some doors

   “Then the word of the Lord came to him: "Go at once to Zarephath of Sidon and stay there. I have commanded a widow in that place to supply you with food." So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, "Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?" As she was going to get it, he called, "And bring me, please, a piece of bread." "As surely as the Lord your God lives," she replied, "I don't have any bread — only a handful of flour in a jar and a little oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it — and die." Elijah said to her, "Don't be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small cake of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. For this is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the Lord gives rain on the land.'" She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the Lord spoken by Elijah.” 1Kings 17:8-16NIV 

 The story of Elijah and the Zarephath woman is one of the most popular bible stories. Even some who are not believers in Christ Jesus at all know it. And one of the reasons is that preachers often use it to pressure people to release what is in their hands, however little it may be, to them. While it is true that God’s people are expected to be generous to preachers of the word of God, we must also be careful not to yield to any pressure or trick from any so-called man or woman of God to give what we are not convinced in our spirits to give (2Cor 9:7).

 Now I said that because a careful look at the story shows us that God had already spoken to the woman about ministering to Elijah before He sent him to her place. So, when he told the woman to prepare a meal for him, he was not telling her to do something that she did not know she was supposed to do. She knew in her heart that she was supposed to take care of him already. It was just that she was reluctant because of her little faith in God to take care of her, if she should give in her poverty. But the moment she heard the word of God again from Elijah’s mouth, she lost no time in doing the will of God. 

And that was what opened the door of constant food supply to her and her son all through those three and a half years of famine that the land experienced. More so, when death came to claim her son, it was Elijah, the same man of God she had been taking care of, that God used in restoring him back to life. (Cf. 1Kings 17:17-24) 

 What, then, is the main point of this story? It is that there are times that certain provisions or help that we need will only come as we obey God’s voice about helping or supporting certain people in some specific ways. And don’t miss my point here. I am not saying that God needs us to help somebody before He helps us or blesses us in any way. No! God does not wait for people to be good to others before He does them good, as our Lord Jesus clearly teaches (Matt 5:45). 

That, however, does not mean that He does not differentiate at all in doing good. There are times, as shown us in Scriptures, that He differentiates between the righteous and the wicked in doing good (Malachi 3:13-18). In like manner, there are times that He requires us, His people, to carry out certain acts of kindness in order for certain doors of opportunities, favour, provisions or protection to be opened for us. And unless our eyes are opened to see such acts of kindness we need to carry out (which may not even require the use of money) and our hearts strengthened to carry them out, we may not experience the victory we want in some areas of our lives, regardless of how upright and diligent we may be in life. 

That is the main lesson of the story of Elijah 

So, let us pray: 

 Thanksgiving to God for loving us enough to guide us into His best for our lives. 

Prayers for God to fill our hearts with divine revelations about all the kinds of help and support that we are supposed to be giving to others in our lives or our world, so that all the doors that need to open for us through the giving of such helps will be opened for us with speed. 

Prayers for forgiveness and mercy in every situation in which we have failed God by refusing to help those that He has commanded us or sent to us to help. 

Prayers that as our eyes are opened to know those that God wants us to give help to and to know the kind of help He wants us to give to them, our hearts will also be strengthened to take the necessary steps of faith we need to take to help them, regardless of our conditions. 

Prayers that God will bring about circumstances that will wake up all those He has appointed to open certain doors of favour, provisions, promotion or safety for us but who have totally forgotten us to begin to do the needful for us, without delay (Gen 40:23). 

Prayers for God to clear the way for us to receive in full all the support He has appointed for us to get this year for our elevation. 

Thanksgiving for answers to our prayers and for all the great testimonies that will follow.

 Johnson O. Lawal

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PRAYING WORKFORCE 13th June 2020 God – The source of all true enjoyment

 “Then I realized that it is good and proper for a man to eat and drink, and to find satisfaction in his toilsome labor under the sun during the few days of life God has given him — for this is his lot. Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work — this is a gift of God. He seldom reflects on the days of his life, because God keeps him occupied with gladness of heart. I have seen another evil under the sun, and it weighs heavily on men: God gives a man wealth, possessions and honor, so that he lacks nothing his heart desires, but God does not enable him to enjoy them, and a stranger enjoys them instead. This is meaningless, a grievous evil.” (Eccl 5:18-6:2NIV)

 The first thing Solomon tells us in the above bible passage, and he says this by the Spirit of God, is that it is a good thing for one to labour, get results and then sit down to enjoy the fruit of his labour in this life. Unfortunately, there are many who, though they are working hard every day and in many ways, think it is wrong for them to enjoy their lives. So, they get comfortable in their poverty and suffering. 

And one important question one ought to ask such people is, “Why are you working at all?” While it is true that people may have a totally wrong concept of enjoyment in life and even destroy themselves in their attempt to enjoy life or have fun, God is not against the enjoyment of our lives. On the contrary, the bible tells us that He gives us all things for our enjoyment (1Tim 6:17). But then, how do we access true enjoyment of our lives and labour? 

Solomon tells us in the above bible text that the ability to truly enjoy our lives and the fruit of our labour, to any degree whatsoever, comes as a gift from God and from God alone. As this wise man further points out, it is possible for one to have great riches, influence, power and prestige in this world and still be miserable in his life. And some of us can point to certain individuals that we know whose lives are illustrating this reality. They have almost all the things that anybody could hope to have in life. They have money, great possessions, influence and even people in their lives. Yet they are occupied with circumstances that will not allow them to enjoy these things. 

That, actually, as Solomon rightly puts it, is a grievous evil. Besides, in our own lives, we may be able to place our fingers on certain things we have, things that ought to have made life easier or more enjoyable for us. These may be material things, special skills and abilities or relationships. But even though we have these things, they have not been able to add any serious value to our lives or give us the kind of enjoyment we had hoped they would give us. We might even, out of annoyance, have given out some of such things to others or abandoned them. But what is the problem? 

It is, as Solomon shows us, a lack of the ability to enjoy. If God will not release to us the ability to enjoy our lives, possessions or relationships, whether because of our pride, ingratitude, greed, selfishness or any other sin, there is nothing we can do by ourselves to enjoy them (Luke 12:16-21). But if He releases it into our lives, oh, I tell you, there is nothing we have or do that will not give us pleasure, however little or insignificant it may be. 

Therefore, we are not going to be talking about the good old days, as many do today, for we are going to be enjoying our today. In short, we will just be too occupied with gladness to think about the failures of the past or those things that did not work in our lives. 

 Therefore, let us pray: 

 Thanksgiving to God for giving us the privilege to know Him, the giver all of good and perfect things (James 1:17). 

Prayers for God to cleanse our minds of every wrong thought or attitude towards the enjoyment of life. 

Prayers for God to separate us from everything we are involved in or connected to that is preventing us from accessing His ability to enjoying our lives, our relationships and the labour of our hands. Since the ability to enjoy life is a gift from God and not a function of man’s righteousness or holiness, let us offer prayers that God will, because of His favour given to us in Christ Jesus, cause this gift to be operative in every aspect of our lives, homes and relationships, so that there will never again be anything good we have that we won’t be enjoying. 

Prayers for God to keep our lives forever occupied with His joy, so that we will never again be troubled about the failures or mistakes of our past. 

 Thanksgiving for the privilege of praying and receiving answers. 

 Johnson O. Lawal     

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PRAYING WORKFORCE  6th June 2020 

God’s supernatural help is available – Call for it

 “The wife of a man from the company of the prophets cried out to Elisha, "Your servant my husband is dead, and you know that he revered the Lord. But now his creditor is coming to take my two boys as his slaves." Elisha replied to her, "How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?" Your servant has nothing there at all," she said, "except a little oil." Elisha said, "Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Don't ask for just a few. Then go inside and shut the door behind you and your sons. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side." She left him and afterward shut the door behind her and her sons. They brought the jars to her and she kept pouring. When all the jars were full, she said to her son, "Bring me another one." But he replied, "There is not a jar left." Then the oil stopped flowing. She went and told the man of God, and he said, "Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left."” (2Kings 4:1-7NIV) 

 One of the main lessons of the account given in the Scripture above is that righteous people can experience financial disgrace or enslavement. So, that you are righteous or upright does not mean that you will automatically be financially independent or rich in material things. If you are lazy, for instance, and will not engage yourself in some honest or legitimate endeavour, you may live all your earthly life in poverty.

 Also, if you are ignorant of how to use resources or skills or how to build work or business relationships, you may not experience financial liberation in your entire lifetime, even though God’s favour is mightily resting on you. And if care is not taken, you mass the poverty in your life on to your descendants, as the story above shows. Another thing the account teaches us is the need to call for help when we need it and to call at the right place. There are many today who need to reach out for help but who will not because of pride or fear that others may find out that they are in a deep mess. But will you rather call for help and be saved or remain quiet and perish in your predicament?

 Also, there are many today, who know that they need help but who are seeking it where it does not exist, just as there are many who need help but who don’t know the kind of help they need. And what all such people that I just described need is to open their hearts to God in prayers, so that He may grant them the boldness, humility and wisdom that they need to get the kind of help they need. Furthermore, we learn from the account that God’s supernatural power for multiplication and increase is always available for any who will reach out for it. What He will use to make people experience His power in this way is not what any of us can say. It may be something we don’t even consider to be significant, as in the case of the woman above. 

But when He breathes on it, it becomes the channel through which our lives are given rest and liberty in prosperity. 

 So, let us pray: Thanksgiving because of the love of God for us and His watchful eyes over our lives and everything that concerns us. 

Prayers for our hearts to be strengthened to function with wisdom and character in all our business relationships, so that our conduct will not bring shame to the name of the Lord or to our family members. 

Prayers that God will fill our hearts with the true knowledge of the kind of help or support we need in our lives to