Inspirational Articles > Prepare ye the way of the Lord
‘...Prepare ye the way of the Lord ...’          

 

Marching On!

Dear friends, thank you all for the encouraging testimonies and good reports concerning the Millennium Echo. All the glory must go to Him, who was, and is, and is to come! There is nothing He cannot do for those who would dare to step out in faith, believing His Word. By His grace, the Millennium Echo will continue to march on, and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. Amen!

 

 

How quickly the first quarter of the year has gone by. God is awesome! We bless Him for the daily mercies we enjoy and for His love, which endures forever. These things cannot be taken for granted.

 

 

In the last issue of the Millennium Echo, we were looking at how all types of fear  prevent us from being who God meant us to be. The fear of what people will say, think, etc, stops us from being obedient to the call of God on our lives. The command is that we ‘go into ALL the world and make disciples of all men”. We also considered the fact that God has made us ‘watchmen’ over our cities, homes, neighbourhoods, work places, etc.

 

God’s Grief

 I don’t know why, but my heart is really burdened as I write this particular issue. I believe the Holy Spirit is really grieved because of the way many of us hinder the flow and the spirit of God through our life-style. The point is that, although many of us profess to be saved, ‘born-again’ and baptised with the Holy Spirit, our lives speak otherwise. How can we give out what we do not have? How can a Christian fulfil the Great Commission, who lives contrary to, and insensitive to, the Word of God?

 

Ministry of Reconciliation

In IICor.5:17, the Bible says, ‘if any one is in Christ, he is a new creation, old things are passed away, and behold all things are become new’. It also goes on to

say that ‘all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and committed unto us, ‘the 

ministry of reconciliation’. In other words, God has called us to help bring the world back to Himself. Unfortunately, rather than help get the world reconciled to God, many of us have helped to push the world farther away from God, through our witness. In other words, they do not like what they see.

 

Early Christians

This reminds me of how I came to know the Lord over 31 years ago, shortly after the Nigerian Civil War. Time and space would not permit me to go into too many details. However, I’d like to say that I came across a group of Christians whose lives challenged me very much. They were different. As a matter of fact, they epitomised Chapter 4 of the Book of Acts. They reminded me so much of how it was in the days of the early Apostles who were first called ‘Christians’ at Antioch. Why? They were like their Master, Jesus. They followed in His footsteps, living an exemplary life, and the sense of unity that was amongst them was incredible.

 

When I met this group of Christians in 1970, I desired what they had. This led me to committing my life to Christ. Since then, there has been no looking back. Praise the Lord! This is not suggesting that I’ve consistently been an ‘angel’ ever since. That is far from the truth. However, the issue is, where I had been weak in the past, by the grace of God, I’m determined to be strong; where the devil had knocked me down a few times before, I am determined that he wouldn’t succeed anymore. Like David, I can declare that it is good for me to have been afflicted, that I might learn His statutes. Paul also said, that the things that had befallen him led to the furtherance of the gospel. Therefore, I am determined to learn from my past mistakes, and to use them as stairways to greater heights in God. As I endeavour to forget the things that are behind, and to press on to the things that are before, I am determined to ‘live soberly, righteously and godly’ in this evil world. I want to be an effective witness, not only through my words, but much more, through my actions. I have learnt that my ‘adversary the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour’, and I am determined through the special grace of God to resist him.  We can also learn from the example of Peter that we need not wallow in our fallen state. After he publicly denied Jesus, Peter repented, and he never remained the same, especially after the out-pouring of the Spirit on them at Pentecost. He it was who wrote that ‘Christ has left us an example, to follow in His steps (IPet.2:21)’. We need to live in the consciousness of what Jesus has accomplished in our lives by His death and resurrection.

 

Godly Example

In 1Tim.4:12, Paul said to Timothy ‘let no man despise your youth; but be an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity’. He also gave a similar admonition to Titus in Titus 2: 7-8, where he said ‘in every way be an example of doing good deeds. When you teach, do it with honesty and seriousness. Speak the truth so that you cannot be criticised. Then those who are against you will be ashamed because there is nothing bad to say about us’. What do we find these days? Very bad examples in the Body of Christ. The world looks at our lives and example and say, ‘if this is what Christianity is about, I want NOTHING of it’. How do we expect to fulfil the Great Commission of going out to make disciples of all men when we ourselves are not disciplined? Jesus said in Matt.10:25, ‘it is enough for the disciple that he be as his master’. He queries how we can call Him Our Lord and not do the things He asks us to do? He said, ‘if you continue in my word, then are you my disciples INDEED’ (John 8:31). Listen to what Jesus said about Himself, ‘He who sent me is with me: the Father has not left me alone; for I do always those things that please Him’ (John 8:29).

 

We need to ask ourselves, whether we do those things that please Him. The Bible went on to say in John 8:30 that ‘as He (Jesus) spoke these words, many believed on Him’. Why did they believe what He said? I think it was because they could see that He lived by what He professed.

 

The World’s Bible

Christians are the ‘Living Bible’ for the world to read.

 

We do not only witness by what we preach, but much more, by what we do. People are watching our every step – in our homes, neighbourhoods, places of work, etc. They are watching to see whether our lives match what we say.

            

For example, Jesus said, ‘all men will know that you are my disciples if you love one for another’. If the world cannot see the love of God manifested in us, why would they want to come to us? If we have nothing better to offer to them than what they already have in the world (selfishness, self-centredness, hatred, malice, slander, evil-speaking, etc.), why would they want to come to us?

 

Nobody can have the love of God and keep it to himself. It is not possible. Jesus was always moved with compassion whenever He saw the multitudes. His heart always longed after them.

 

The Carnal Mind

The Bible says that ‘the carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God’. Until our minds are renewed and we continue to ‘grow in grace, and in the knowledge of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, we would remain fruitless and barren. Hence Peter admonishes: ‘add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge self-control and to self-control patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are in you and are multiplied, they will stop you from being barren and unfruitful in the knowledge of Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ’. (IIPet.1: 5-8).

 

Paul warns that those people who are ruled by their sinful selves cannot please God’. How can we expect to please God if we walk after the flesh? The carnal mind lacks spiritual discernment and cannot understand the language of the Spirit. And, until our minds are renewed, we would lack the sensitivity and discernment in the Spirit that will make us effective witnesses. And since our minds will be more focused on worldly pursuits, we would lack the passion for winning souls, and fail to realise that all those around us, who are unsaved, are on their way to hell.

 

Father, Help Us!

Father, we need your help. Please come and renew our minds and help us to be willing to take steps of faith, so that through our obedience and godly example, we would be able to take the world for Jesus. Amen!

 

Remain gloriously blessed

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© 2014 Ngozi Okike