LORD, IS THIS OF YOU?
The Acts of the Apostles, Chapter 16 accounts how the church at Philippi was established amidst difficulty, yet it was informed by direct, specific, verifiable confirmation of the Holy Spirit to all the principle actors in that scene namely, Paul, Timothy, Luke, Silas, Lydia and her entire household, a maid with the spirit and her pay master’s, a rowdy crowd of accusers, a Roman magistrate, a keeper of the prison and his entire household – whereby in every turn of the events, God uses different circumstances including opposition, to bring salvation.Notice that in Acts 16:31 Paul does not make demands or instruct the jailer to do anything special as a precondition to fellowship or salvation but points him to the Lord Jesus: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you shall be saved, and your house“. If he did, we don’t know. He merely gives a simple unadulterated message of grace.
God does not work in a predictable trajectory and patterns. A mission that makes us doubtful, gives us fear, unnecessary anxiety or frustrates our endeavours in the name of “serving” God, is most probably not of Him, but of our own efforts, in the flesh. For sure, if it is God’s mission He establishes it of a certainty with signs and releases His grace for it leaves no doubt. The example of God’s call and endorsements upon Paul in establishing the church at Philippi serves to prove that in four distinct incidents:
- The Lord facilitating manpower and resources. He brings Timothy and Luke to assist Paul in His own way and terms [Acts 16:1-10].
- The Lord provides means and directs our steps of whom to work with including shelter and subsistence and by connecting us to the right people and networks, effortlessly [Acts 16:11-15].
- The Lord uses easy and difficult circumstances and predicaments whose direct outcome and impact is designed to bear witness of His Word and work [Acts 16:16-40].
If it has taken too long and it is frustrating you, manifesting zero fruits, it is time to ask ourselves the fundamental question:
- Is it really God’s will?
- Did we hear the Spirit correctly or we prayed amiss (James 4:3)?
It is disheartening to hear “servants of God” on a radio station pleading with a government to consider them for stipends and raises questions as to who we are really serving. God does not play poker and He clearly does not demand of us what He, in the first place has not graced us! Our emotions change and we catch feelings as humans alternately depending on many factors. Apostle Paul was directed through clear vision and the Spirit of God. Where he tried to resist and work in the flesh or stubbornly, the Spirit of God opposed him [Acts 16:7] in various ways including grounding him with sickness. Ministry of the Word and the Message is not, a competition. Neither can it be personal business and attention seeking stunts!
The most important “feeling” and “emotional” experience is to have our faith FOUNDED and ESTABLISHED in the UNCHANGING WORD of God. Effective ministry is measured in turnover and principles of multiplication on account of how many people we are adding to the fold and discipling, but not necessarily what facilities we have built or type of programs we are running.
1 Peter 5:10-11 But the God of all grace, who has called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that you have suffered a while, restore, establish, strengthen, settle you.To him be glory and dominion forever and ever.
In Christ’s service,
Originally posted by Dann Matthews W’Obukosia