Watch unto Prayer
Yesterday, I stood at the door of our porch waving goodbye to my sister and her friend, who were about to be dropped off by our youngest son, after we had been commemorating her birthday. For some strange reason, I remembered the last time I saw my mother at her home in Satellite Town. She had stood by her porch too, and waved us goodbye. I never knew that was going to be the last time I would see her. All of a sudden I burst out into tears, and I was almost overcome by grief. To say that I miss her every second is an understatement.
In any case, as I was reflecting on the indescribable pain I feel over her TEMPORARY absence (I know I will see her again, in the name of Jesus), the Holy Spirit started speaking to me. He said “you think you feel pain now? How would you describe the pain that many would feel on that day when they would stand at the Gate of Heaven and hear the words ‘depart from me, I never knew you?” Wow!!! I believe this is the WORST THING that can happen to any believer, who has been running the race and hoping to make heaven, and then on that day, to hear those words. Well, I don’t even know what to say.
It is not surprising then that the Apostle Paul says in 1Corinthians 9: 24-27, “Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one receives the prize? So run that you may obtain it. Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable. So I do not run aimlessly; I do not box as one beating the air. But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified”. Those words are weighty, and well worth pondering over again and again.
Beloved, the days we live in are really precarious and every believer needs to be on the alert and to watch unto prayer. Even the things we behold in the household of faith beggars belief. And the heart of God continues to grieve everyday. Hence the Bible declares in 1Peter 4: 17-18 “For it is time for judgment to begin at the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? And IF THE RIGHTEOUS IS SCARCELY SAVED, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” And in Matthew 7:21, the Jesus says to us “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven”.
Dear friends, in 2Timothy 2:19, the Bible reminds us that “God’s firm foundation stands, bearing this seal, ‘The Lord knows those who are His’, and ‘Everyone who names the name of the Lord is to ABSTAIN/DEPART from iniquity” (sin, evil and all the works of the flesh – immorality, impurity, sensuality, idolatry, sorcery, enmity, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, divisions, envy, drunkenness, orgies, and things like this). And we are warned that “those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” Galatians 5: 19-21. Revelation 21:8 also suggests that “the fearful, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, whoremongers, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone…”.
Further, Romans 13: 8-14 says “Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbour as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbour; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armour of light. Let us walk properly as in the daytime, not in orgies and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and sensuality, not in quarreling and jealousy. But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to gratify its desires”.
Beloved, I rest my case, for there is nothing more to add. All I can do is pray that the Lord will help us to take a deep plunge into our hearts and help us to see if there’s anything that needs to be put right, so that on that day, ‘when the roll is called up, yonder’, you and I will be there, in the mighty name of Jesus. Amen!!!
Yours because He lives
Elewechi Ngozi M. Okike
(29 October 2014)