Divine Alignment – The Key To Manifesting Overflowing Abundance
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: John 10:10, John 10:1-6
Sunday 22nd January 2017
Today’s message, ‘Divine Enlargement – The Key To Manifesting Overflowing Abundance’ is the second message in the series: ‘Living In the Overflowing Abundance’.
Our foundation scripture for this series, in John 10:10 reads: ‘The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows)’ (AMPC).
There are no excuses to justify living below our privileges as God’s children as everything we need for a fulfilled life has been provided. However, in order to enjoy these blessings, we must be aligned with Heaven’s provisions. To align is to come to a place of agreement with God – a place of oneness, resulting in the receipt of that which has been supplied.
If we take a closer look at John 10:10 once more, we would realise that Jesus’ heart-cry is a call to the church to embrace the full life of abundance that He offers. He is the giver of life and the author of all that we need. We cannot do without Him. This abundance of life has little to do with our earning right. It is simply a result of God’s love for us.
The life that we have in Christ, initially lost by Adam in the Garden of Eden was restored when we received Jesus as our Lord and Saviour. Hence, we are not trying to obtain or have life – it is already ours. The Zoe life of God is ours. Here are some scriptures to confirm this: John 3:36 reads: ‘And anyone who believes in God’s Son has eternal life. Anyone who doesn’t obey the Son will never experience eternal life but remains under God’s angry judgment’ (NLT). John 6:47 reads: ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life’. 1 John 5:12-13 reads: ‘He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life’. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God'.
Everything we need like enjoy the blessings of overflowing abundance is already within us – healing, deliverance, victory, prosperity and wholeness is all ours. However, the life of God within us is of no use, unless we put it to work, and God expects us to live off the life that is within us. This is where the delight and pleasures of overflowing abundance begins.
Having understood this, here is the next question to ask ourselves. ‘How do I experience the life of God in every area of my life?’ The keyword is alignment. To answer this question, Jesus used the illustration of the sheepfold. Here is John 10:1-6 which reads: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door, but climbs up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice; and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. And when he brings out his own sheep, he goes before them; and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. Yet they will by no means follow a stranger, but will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers.” Jesus used this illustration, but they did not understand the things which He spoke to them.’
Here are some of the reasons why Jesus used this allegory to describe the relationship between Christ and the believers. (a) Sheep are dumb – they follow other sheep: they do not know what is right from what is wrong. (b) Sheep are directionless: they wander and can easily get lost. (c) They are defenceless: they get easily frightened; they cannot run as fast as they should in the face of danger and they cannot fight. (d) Sheep like the familiar and enjoy being in a comfort zone.
This is the way we are seen by God, when we try to do things in our own strength – dumb, directionless, defenceless and comfort zone people. Here is the reason why we need a shepherd to guide, guard, direct and defend us from all attacks – which is the role that Jesus plays in our lives. Only through Christ’s strength can we survive, succeed and thrive. For the sheep to enjoy life, it must totally depend on the Shepherd.
The total dependence of the sheep on the shepherd is a walk of faith. It is by faith that the sheep enjoys pastures green, streams of water to quench their thirst, rest from a long day of grazing and defence from all wild beasts, in other words: ‘overflowing abundance’. Here is the reason why the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 23: ‘The Lord is my shepherd; I have all that I need. He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams. He renews my strength. He guides me along right paths, bringing honour to his name’.
As long as the Lord is leading each of us like a shepherd, we will always have what we need. Our walk of faith unlocks the abundance that God has provided through the finished work of Christ.
Here are three truths about divine alignment in order to experience overflowing abundance:
(a) The sheep on its own does not have what it takes to experience overflowing abundance on its own: Here is the issue we are facing as Christ’s followers. Our struggles in life are related to our preference for our independence from Christ. We were not created to live this way. Overflowing abundance is rooted to our deep connection with Him all the time. There ought to be an alignment between our lives and that of Jesus, before overflowing abundance can become our reality.
(b) The significance of the sheep is in its total dependence on the shepherd: Only through walking by faith can a sheep truly experience the abundance already provided. As Christians, when we express our misgivings in the face of faith, we are liable to negate the blessings that are rightfully ours in Christ. Doubt is often the way by which the devil operates. However, in order to experience the blessings that we believe God for, we must be single-minded about that which God has already concluded for us (See James 1:6-8).
(c) The sheep will thrive, when it hears the voice of the shepherd and follows it – a walk of faith: As Christians, we are not supposed to follow our flesh, or popular opinion – we have been called to simply follow Christ. To follow Him however, we must deny our flesh, take up the cross and follow Jesus. Mark 8:34-35 reads: ‘Then, calling the crowd to join his disciples, he said, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will save it’. John 15:5-6 speaks about the oneness of the vine with the branch. “I am the Vine, you are the branches. When you’re joined with me and I with you, the relation intimate and organic, the harvest is sure to be abundant. Separated, you can’t produce a thing. Anyone who separates from me is deadwood, gathered up and thrown on the bonfire’ (MSG). This same oneness is important for the sheep-shepherd relationship in order for the sheep to hear and follow the voice of the shepherd. It is by following that the sheep is led to green pastures, and relegating to silence the voice of strangers.
As you follow Christ this year, I pray that indeed the fullness of the overflowing abundance that is already provided in Him will become your daily experience in Jesus name (Amen).
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