Welcome to May 2017

God knows that without Him, you can do nothing (Jn 15:5). He has made provision of mercy and grace to help you every time there is need (Heb. 4:16).

Whatever His will is, it is best thing that can happen to you. The will of God doesn’t always seem like it is good enough to many. So, they complain, murmur or outrightly depart from what they know as God’s thought.

I have a very good news for you. God’s will will not lead you to where His grace cannot carry you. That difficulty will soon melt in the presence of God’s grace.

If it looks like the trouble is persisting and mercy is delayed. Don’t be moved by the troubles; wait for the operation of His grace. It will definitely speak for you.

I have this spurring in my spirit to encourage this month.

EXPECT GREAT THINGS, AS GOD’S MERCY IS ABOUT TO EXPLODE OVER YOUR LIFE.

Welcome to May 2017, it shall be a great month for you.

Yours in His service,

Isaac Boluwatise

NB. Block your calendar for the next Higher Ground Rally. The date is Sunday, 18th June. Find the details at http://bit.ly/hgr0617

Higher Ground Rally Is Just Days Away

Many are about to receive a special visitation in a matter of days.
Hearts are about to be illuminated, enlightened, and encouraged 

Bodies are about to be healed under the ministry of the powerful word of God.

Gaps shall be bridged between your existence and God’s purpose for your life.

A higher ground of Kingdom relevance and existence to God’s glory awaits you.

All these and more according to your faith and expectations are going to be made real from 4:00 pm this Sunday, 26th February, 2017.

The venue for the event is The Emperor Place, Beside St. Raphael Divine Mercy Specialist Hospital, Ijede Road, Ikorodu, Lagos.

God is set to initiate the fulfilment of some of His plans for your life. These plan shall be seen by all around you to the glory of God.

Arrivals and Registrations of attendees and check-in for online preregistered attendees start at 3:00 pm.

Music shall be on before the clock hits 4:00 pm.

Departures from the venue shall be before the clock stikes at 6:00 pm

Registering online before the day is an advantage. It helps you to beat the queue for registration at the venue. Your confirmation happens just in a few seconds.

While admission is free, registration is required for everyone above age 16.

You, your friends, and loved ones can still register now at http://bit.ly/hgr0217

You can complete the registration in just few minutes.

Don’t forget to share this information with those who are significant to you. You will be glad that you carried them along.

Remember to pray with expectation in preparation for the event.

See you there on Sunday.

We Cannot Forget Our History Because of Our Situation

The contemporary church should not forget history. We are not an existential church that is autonomous with its teachings and policies. Our existence and operations are based on the truth once for all delivered to the saints. 
What did Jesus teach us to do while facing persecution? 

How did the apostles respond when faced with persecution? 

They actually faced it from the beginning. The government was not not friendly with them. Yet they grew mightily and prevailed with the gospel. 

Power, not just spiritual, belonged to Peter when they came to arrest him and his peer at the temple. He only needed to speak to the people who were awe struck with the words and the miracles. They could have mobbed the temple soldiers that came to arrest them. They chose rather to follow them like the sheep to its slaughter. 

Situation did not change Peter’s opinion. Little wonder decades down the line, he presented the death of christ not just as expiatory, but also as exemplary. 

He left us an example that we should follow in His steps – 1 Peter 2:20-23

But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God. To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps.

“He committed no sin,

and no deceit was found in his mouth.”

When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly.

If any teaching or response leads us away from what the Lord says, we might need to decide to whom our allegiance is. 

We are disciples only to Christ; we were won for Him and to Him is our allegiance. 

If ours is a living faith, our obedience to it is our defence of it. 

He who sits in the heavens, did not at any time order us to take to arms to defend his cause. We are not savages. 

What kept the Christian faith till date was not the defence of arms, but the obedience and the resilience of the saints who would not forget that He promised that He will build His church and gates of hell shall not prevail. 

What caused the faith to be overrun wherever if happened in history was not the failure of the promise but the nominal religion that they reduced the faith to in those places. 

This is what we should contend against; and to the great commission, we should commit ourselves. 

When Peter drew the sword, Jesus told him that those who live by the sword shall perish by the sword. 

He later taught his generation to be peaceful when faced with persecution. 

THE BLOOD OF THE MARTYRS IS THE SEED OF THE CHURCH.

The valiant in faith never resorted to sword in the history of the church. 

Our defence of the faith is ideological and spiritual. If we resort to sword, it is not for the faith, maybe for our space and for our lives. 

He called us to take up our cross and not our sword.

For those who were not nominal in history, they sustained in obedience to Christ. 

Matthew 16:24-26

Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it. What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

They choose to die willingly in the early church, knowing it was part of the package

Not all who says Lord, Lord shall have the attention of the master on that day, in spite of the accomplishments, only those who do (not those who rewrite) His will. 

We must sharpened each other in these trying times; we must uphold one another not to forget where our river flows from. 

To him who overcome, there is a crown. 

We Cannot Forget Our History Because of Our Situation

HOW TO CROSS SIGNIFICANT HURDLES INTO YOUR PROMISE 4

Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord stood firm … in the midst of the Jordan; …, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan. Josh. 3:17

 

So Jesus stood still …. Luke 18:40

Our emphasis has been on how you can cross over the hurdles before you.  The spiritually sensitive will admit that there is an ongoing significant work that God wants to accomplish on everyone, with none left behind. There is a Jericho ahead of you. He wants to get everyone there for His next operation. The world knows about you, but you haven’t seen anything yet. Where God is taking you is a place where through you He will create more awareness of Himself. A place where He will publish the victory of Christ vividly by what He is set to do in your life. He would not want to see anyone left behind in this corporate plan.

It has been pointed out that the key to crossing over life’s hurdles is in seeing the move of Christ or the direction of God’s word and presence. So, drawing from the typology of the Ark of covenant which prefigured Christ, it is important to be mindful of what ministers carry. The priest bearing the Ark provided the direction for the people to follow. In the text, it is clear that the priests bearing the ark set out before Joshua and his people, while the they crossed over opposite Jericho. In the New Testament, the Ark of the Covenant himself moves and around because of the people; whenever they see him, they have their needs met to move on to their next phase in life.

Significant for this administration of the word is that the priests who bore the ark stood firm until all the people had crossed completely just as the Reality Himself stood still to ensure that the disadvantaged was not left behind. CHRIST IS SET OUT CLEARLY BEFORE THE PEOPLE. He is the word and the presence of God. Every time we preach Him, what we are doing is bring Him, the creative, living, and the manifest word into people’s lives.

It is dangerous and wasteful to practise form or religion. 2 Tim. 3:1-5 portrayed what will characterise the last days. It shall be perilous times when there will be people having a form of godliness while denying the power thereof. The ministry of the word is not a form or ritual; neither the hearing of the word. Every attentive and careful hearing of the word should lead to seeing the operations of God and moving in response to the revelation and the prophetic instruction of the word (Phil. 4:9) so as to cross over to the next camp; victory; and possessions ahead.

HE ENSURES THAT EVERYONE CROSSES OVER INTO THE NEXT PHASE. As it was with them at Jordan, so it must be with us today. To cross cannot be by might nor by power, it must be by the operation of the Lord. The next phase is not necessarily according to human preference. For the Israelites, it was to cross over Jordan; For the multitude around Jesus, it was for their needs to be met in diverse ways. They could see him; they all followed him. They did because they knew that in following him they will have their needs met. For Bartimeus, it was to receive his sight.

EVERYONE MAY NOT BE SET TO CROSS OVER. The challenge is not the lack of desire to cross over, it is the inability to see. 2 Cor. 4:4; Matt. 13:14-15; the operation of satan – 2 Cor. 4:4; also known as ignorance – Luk. 18:35ff. Bartimeus represented others who are not set to cross, but will be glad to cross. FOR SUCH PEOPLE, THE ARK STANDS STILL. The Ark stands firm for everybody to cross over opposite Jericho. For them in Joshua days, the Ark of the Covenant stood firm, Josh. 3:17; For them during the life of Jesus on earth, He stood still – Luk. 18:40; for no one should be left behind. Is there anyone who suspects that there is a move going on but could not plug into it? Is there anyone who is not sure of what the spirit of the Lord is doing? The Lord is set to push you to the place of fragrance. 2 Cor. 2:14-17. He stands still for your sake, for He seeks to lead you in the triumph of Christ and to diffuse through you the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.

I CHALLENGE YOU TO ENSURE YOU DO NOT LET HIM PASS YOU BY: by clarifying what you are hearing; asking for the Lord’s help; resisting every force or element that seeks to quieten you; intensifying your desire to see as you cannot afford to be left behind as everyone crosses over to Jericho. God has sent this word to ensure that you will cross over to the other side.

HOW TO CROSS SIGNIFICANT HURDLES INTO YOUR PROMISE 3

…, “When you see the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, and the priests, the Levites, bearing it, then you shall set out from your place and go after it. Joshua 3:3

The promise from God grants you a window into the plan of God or points you through the scriptures to a future waiting for you. The promise is a settled plan with God. Every time God says I will, it is because he has- josh 1:2-3. His works are already finished …. Heb. 4:3. All that is needed from man for the realisation of the promise is not the effort of man but the faith of man in the finished work. The supply comes from the love/grace of God. The receipt is accomplished through or via the faith channel.

The Israelites were not going to cross Jordan because they have come to Jordan; they will because it was in the plan. They did not choose the route, God did. He knew what will be on the way before he commanded their entrance into the promise. Look at Matt. 8:18; 23-27. With God, there is no hurdle on the way. He only sees the route to the destination. We, however, see hurdles naturally just as the disciples saw the storm in Matt 8:24 and in Matt 14:22-33. We see the problems instead of the prospects, like Zerubbabel (Zech 4:7) until he saw from God’s perspective.

God wants us to see the solution: In Matt. 8:25, they looked to the Lord; In Matt. 14:27-30, he looked to the Lord; In Zech. 4:6, he looked to the word of the Lord and the spirit of the Lord. God has already settled it that Jordan shall be crossed.

The key to crossing the hurdle as planned was seeing the Ark of the covenant of the Lord and the priests bearing it, Josh 3:3.

The Ark of the covenant of the Lord – Ex 25:10-22, was the most important furniture in the tabernacle of witness. The tabernacle was constructed all because of the Ark and it was the first sacred object Moses was instructed to construct. It was a rectangular wooden case that was overlaid with pure gold. It has golden crown around its top. The lid on its top, separate, yet one with the ark, was known as Mercy Seat with the cherubim which cover the mercy seat. Inside it was the stone tablets of the ten commandments, the golden pot containing a measure of manna; and later, Aaron’s rod that budded – Num. 17:7-8.

It was part of Christ concealed in the Old Testament as types and shadows. The acacia wood speaks of the indestructible complete humanity of Christ. The gold overlay speaks of the divinity and glory of Christ. The golden crown around the lid signified Him as the King of kings and Lord of lords. The unbroken tables of the law speak of the perfect obedience of Christ. Aaron’s rod that budded was a pointer to Jesus’ confirmation to be the son of God and our eternal High Priest, through his resurrection. Rom 1:3-4; Heb. 4:14; The golden poles, represented the ever present and Living Saviour. The ark led their procession just as Christ leads his sheep. Jn 10:1-5. If the hurdles before us will be crossed, our eyes must be on Jesus.

The second part of the instruction is not about the priests but still about the ark. While every believer is a priest in the New Testament, the reference here is to the priests who bear the bear the Ark just like those who preach the word. No one is called to ultimately follow the preacher. The significance of the preacher is in the word he preaches. Ask every time what the minister is bearing. His words must publish Christ who is our redemption, the wisdom and the power of God.

Whether it is to cross your hurdle or to make progress into the future, look for the direction of the word. Your salvation lies where the word points to. When we behold carefully where the word points, we shall be wise unto salvation. The ultimate key to crossing your hurdle is Christ, the living word, who is in the midst of his church. He is our salvation; the wisdom and the power of God.

HOW TO CROSS SIGNIFICANT HURDLES INTO YOUR PROMISE 2

And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. Josh 3:5-6

To cross every significant hurdles into the promise like the crossing of Jordan will require the process of change: an admission of the current state; a foresight of what should be; and the embrace of the promise. Crossing the Jordan requires preparation and obedience to instruction

Crossing the hurdles requires personal consecration (separation from – habits, attitudes, cultures, and dedication to) for tomorrow, the wonders that God will do. A great social and spiritual misnomer today is the bid to transit into the future you are not holistically changed for. Change is spiritual, mental and material. Your life today will not adjust into the reality of the promise until you have the word of God for it. Remember always to identify where you are and juxtapose it with where you should be; Die to the reality of what is while longing for what should be; Awake within you to what should be and experience God raising you up to the new day of what should be, becoming what now is.

They crossed by following the lead of God’s word and presence and not miracles. The desire for miracles is good, but the understanding of God’s way is much better. God’s way is revealed by God’s word and when God speaks, it points you to the future. Faith however brings the promise into now. Until faith comes, it remains a hope which is always in the future. Their faith related with the significance of the ark of testimony and followed it.

Simple obedience births outstanding miracles. Jn 2:4. Note that there was no agitation in the new generation as it was with the old. They were only following instructions. They crossed Jordan in principle. They did not only have the direction; they were positioned to know what steps to take. Their act of faith required that there be space between you and the ark. It is mindful, not just of the destination, but of every steps.

Walking with God helps one to know His ways and this is superior to His works. God has given the word; we are to act on the word. The Joshua generation is an obedient generation who give attention to the word. Miracles will not accomplish what obedience should. God wants us to birth miracles by cooperation with Him. When we walk in His ways we shall see His works. In obedience, we shall see that the living God is among us. As we do what He has told us to do, we shall see a result that signifies the cutting off of the past and a leeway into the future. A proof that things greater than these shall be.

HOW TO CROSS SIGNIFICANT HURDLES INTO YOUR PROMISE

And Joshua said to the people, “Sanctify yourselves, for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you.” Then Joshua spoke to the priests, saying, “Take up the ark of the covenant and cross over before the people.” So they took up the ark of the covenant and went before the people. Josh 3:5-6

We all have promises that we go after, and we do if we press on to know the Lord. Hos 6:2; 1 Cor. 8.2. the more we press, the more we discover the promises/plans He has for us. Pursuit of God can be seen as the pursuit of His promises for His word is the same as He. The more the pursuit, the more the materialisation of the blessings in spiritual places in your material realm. God wants this to be. The more you have his seed for the earth, the more you will enjoy the rain of His grace.

The way this ongoing experience happens is in your response to the promises discovered. The response is usually a change of mind-set and an improvement in your walk. Rom 12:2.

The climate changes in from time to time and so we must recognise the demand on us per time. We are not the coming out generation, but the going in generation. The generation that takes over the land, promises that have been pending for long. To enter into these promises, there is the necessity of crossing the hurdles that those before were unable to cross. The typology of the experience of Israel according to 1 Cor. 10:1ff and Rom 15:4 is a great lesson for us.

Jordan was a significant hurdle in the way of these people. You will agree that this is not in any way an enemy coming against them. This was just naturally there from the past (in the order of natural order from your history into the future or matters general to everyone) and they must be crossed if they will ever get deeply into the promise. Everyone would in one way or the other have such hurdles. The good news is that the grace of God however is so abundant that there will be a way through them. Robert Frost made an interesting statement. He said, the best way out is always through. God amazingly took them through this predicament as He would do with everyone, no matter the predicament. 1 Cor. 10:13 affirms that with (in association with) the situation, God makes a way of escape.

Before considering the practicality of the crossing of the hurdle, it is good to remember that there was a crossing of another before now – the red sea. Looking at the differences and the distinctive of the two crossings respectively will also help us.

When they were to cross the red sea, they were full of murmurings and complaints. They were in a situation that overwhelmed or had power over them. It was necessary for Moses to calm them down and give them special encouragement (Ex 14:13-14) not to fear; but to stand still; so as to see what the Lord will do. The interest of God for them was that they will see the Egyptians no more forever. Their agitation was rooted in not being assured of that. Obviously, there was no response from them to the plan of God to take them all the way. Moses only calmed them down as faith is not built in a crisis situation.

The crossing of the red sea was all between Moses and God. God had settled the matter and Moses could believe that. God told him to instruct them to go forward while he (Moses) would carry out the work of faith by stretching the rod over the sea. This looks stupid just like “fill the water pots with water”; “go your way, your son is healed”; “go to the pool of Siloam and wash” etc. Miracles happens consequent to the obedience/agreement of faith.

They crossed the sea because the miracle had taken place, and that because Moses responded in faith to God. To cross the Jordan will be totally different from this. The Joshua generation were a people of the word. They relate with promises and instructions to see the will of God done in their lives.

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