The Sunday Conversation | With Pastor Luke Okoro | 22. 08. 2021
Galatians 2:20. Philippians 2 5-11.
5: Prayer and the Word.
When a believer is fully yielded to Christ, prayer and the study of the Word become a lifestyle. There are many BELIEVERS who open their Bible only on Sunday when they get to church. There are too many others who don’t pray unless in a group or when a serious challenge confronts them.
They also don’t add fasting to their Christian routine or discipline. It will be inappropriate and judgemental to conclude that these kinds of people are not believers.
They are no doubt, but the challenge is simply lack of Yieldedness.
When a believer yields to God , he will declare like Apostle Peter in Acts 6:4 that prayer and the Word of God must be given priority than any other thing. Despite the challenge posed by the alleged nepotism against the nonJews, the Apostles chose to devote time to prayer and the study and teaching of the Word. This didn’t mean they were indifferent about the complaint of the non Jews.
They were concerned, as the matter was settled amicably with the appointment of the seven deacons to supervise welfare matters.
Apostle Paul advises in 1 Thessalonians 5:17 that we should pray without ceasing, while Jesus in Luke 18:1 says that men must always pray and not to faint. When we fail at the place of pray, it’s because we have not caught the fire obtainable at the altar of Yieldedness.
In the same way , if we make God’s word secondary in our scheme of things, it’s because we have not died to flesh.
The Bible in John 5:39 tells us that when we think on God’s word, we have life. God told Joshua that he can only have good success when the book of the law didn’t depart from him.
In truth, believers begin to trust themselves when they stop praying and listening to God and His word. Job said, I have esteemed His Word more than my necessary food. (Job 23:12.). And the Psalmist noted, thy Word have I hid in my heart that I might not sin against thee. .The yielded believer is consciously aware of what prayer and the Word do to the life of the believer and is guided by this understanding.
They don’t just study God’s word to be approved before men; they also add pray and fasting to be constantly fervent in spirit in the service of the LORD.
6: Guided by Heavenly Agenda
In Acts 6:4, the Apostles could have been bogged down with the administration of food and welfare related issues– the soft side of Ministry work. But they were well aware that that was not their first assignment in the CALL they received of God. In Mark 3, the Bible notes that Jesus called the disciples to first be with Him, and thereafter, that He might send them to preach.
In Luke 10, we also read that Jesus sent His disciples two by two to preach the gospel, and gave them power over demons, and to heal sicknesses and diseases. This is the core of Ministry. Jesus also demonstrated this in John 9:4 when He declared that He will go about His Father’s business while it was yet day, because night will come when no man can work. At another place, Jesus said that the Father’s assignment required urgency.
Apostle Paul said that necessity was laid upon him to preach the word. He told young Timothy to preach the word in season and out of season. Why many believers do other things that are antithetical to the preaching of the Gospel and Prayer is because they are not guided or governed by Heavenly Agenda. The yielded believer knows that God has a timetable of events in the world. And that soon, the trumpet would sound for rapture – when TIME shall be no more.
He is governed by the reality of Hell and Heaven. And the need to pull several people out of hell- a dangerous destination that so many are wilfully yielding themselves to. The yielded believer has not time to settle for Church politics , favour seeking and idle talks that don’t add to the pursuit of eternal value or kingdom imperatives. Such BELIEVERS are intentional and deliberate in the choices they make. The Apostles were all professionals. They all had their different occupations. But, they became overwhelmed by the desire to turn many unto rightousness.( Proverbs 11:30) Today we are products of their choice. Are you so guided? Even Jesus was guided by this understanding when He went to Calvary. (Philippians 2 :5-11.)
7: Positioned for Leadership
We must not lose sight of the fact that yielded believers have given up what others are delicately and lovingly attached to. They have chosen to embrace the sovereignty of God over their lives. Indeed, such believers have no other ambition except the ambition God has deposited into their hearts and lives. When this has happened, God would naturally fire up such believers for higher calling, higher spiritual attainments.
When Elisha yielded to the call upon his life, he became the leader of the Prophets in Israel. When Apostle Paul gave up all other ambitions in Acts 9, he became a leader of the church to the Gentile world, even though he didn’t see Jesus physically and was also not among the ORIGINAL twelve. His yielding to the heavenly calling positioned him for leadership.
It would be a waste of spiritual giftedness for a believer to carry so much grace and power and be romancing their secular offices while souls are perishing. No. God will not advance a believer with so much grace and power only to warm benches in the church , clap hands and lead praise worships , play church politics or remain glued to their secular jobs because ‘it’s more financially rewarding to do so.
“God is always seeking for a man who would stand in the gap so that the people would not be destroyed. (Ezekiel 22:30). This is why a yielded believer is an asset, yes an automatic enlistment for leadership. Don’t forget that God searches the heart of men (Hebrews 4:13).
When you Yield to Christ, you are positioned to lead the people of God to fulfil mandate and destiny. You would be doing the church and the perishing world some grave Injustice if God has given you great grace and power, and you are sitting down somewhere counting money in business and in career. Some of us learnt it in a very hard manner.. but for the MERCY of God.
8: Love, Compassion and Forgiveness
‘Give them to eat’ was Jesus’ command to His disciples after He had finished ministering to the multitude for several hours in a lonely place. Apostle Paul made the rich churches in the Gentile world to contribute money and materials for the poor believers in Jerusalem. A yielded believer is loving compassionate and forgiving. Jesus’ teaching on forgiveness in Matthew 5:41-43 can only be received by a believer who is totally submissive to God. To go a mile with your traducer is a massive sacrifice, to go double miles can be an over- kill, to an unyielded soul. To love your enemy is difficult, more so, to pray for them. But when a soul is complete in obedience, these kingdom imperatives become a lifestyle.
Joseph didn’t just forgive his brethren. He nurtured them even after their father died. David didn’t just forgive Saul who made several attempts to kill him. He killed the man who claimed to have helped Saul to die. He also fed Saul’s grandson Mephibosheth, Jonathan’s son from the palace.
Yielded believers don’t harbour bitterness, anger and jealousy. They don’t threaten. They are not given to resentment or to denying others love, care and compassion — no matter the provocation and discontent from those in the contrary.
Yieded believers are considerate and compassionate. Their DNA is agape love- which loves without any recourse to self interest or ‘ what is there for me’ As Jesus loved, so also does the yielded believer loves.
Character defines anybody. Even so the believer in Jesus Christ. When a believer claims to have yielded to Christ, such claim can only be validated when people begin to see it reflected in the believer’s lifestyle. It’s said that a person is defined by his thoughts which become his words and words which become his actions, and actions which become his habits and his habits which make up the character. And character determines a person’s destiny. The character arising from a yieded soul goes beyond Charisma, Reputation and Achievements. So many people could have all these , but remain dangerous characters with their lying, pettiness, envying, bitterness and rancourius behaviors. These dispositions cannot be associated with a man yielded unto Christ because his character keeps on improving like the day break.
Jesus says, you are the light of the world and the salt of the earth. The yielded BELIEVER depicts what Jesus is saying to the church. May we walk in this reality in Jesus’name. Amen.
10: Embodiment of the Fruit of the Spirit
The yielded believer is a full representation of Jesus Christ. And to do this representation well, God will deliberately clothe such a believer with the fruit of the Spirit which are : Love, Joy, Peace, Long-suffering, Gentleness, Goodness and Faith as well as Meekness and Temperance. .
The truth about the Christian faith is that it puts it’s adherents on the peak of moral and spirituall ladder so that the nay sayers would have nothing to contend with in their lives . In fact, Jesus affirmed this when He said except our righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees, ‘you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God’ It takes Yieldedness to meet this requirement. Are you? God bless.
*Pastor Okoro can be reached on : 08051000462.