Seven Crucial Matters In the Life of God's Champions
By Bishop Francis Wale Oke
Sword of the Spirit Ministries, Ibadan, Nigeria
Foundation Scripture: Romans 8:37, Genesis 17:1
Sunday 4th June 2017
God’s plans for us goes beyond our salvation – He’s ultimate purpose is that we become more than conquerors in life and destiny. Romans 8:37 reads: ‘Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us’. As God’s children who are ‘more than conquerors’ in all things, despite all the challenges that confront us – terrorism, global warming, globalization in our world today.
Here are the 7 things that are critical in the life of God’s children, who He has already designated as champions. If we pay attention to these 7 things, our lives will experience God’s abundance.
(1) Your Personal Relationship with God: Our relationship with God ought to be strong, genuine, down to earth and unwavering. Jesus gave us a litmus test to determine our love for God in Matthew 22:37, which reads: ‘Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ When God called Abraham and spoke to him in Genesis 17:1, which reads: ‘When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to Abram and said to him, “I am Almighty God; walk before Me and be blameless’. In other words, God was saying to Abram that if he paid attention to his walk with Him, he will look after every other thing. Abram obeyed God and reaped the reward for his obedience in his lifetime. That reward is still being enjoyed in the nation of Israel up till today, and in the lives of those that believe in Jesus too. By inference, it is obvious that if we follow Abraham’s example, God will take care of us – leading us to victory in life and confounding our adversaries. Exodus 23:22 reads: ‘But if you indeed obey His voice and do all that I speak, then I will be an enemy to your enemies and an adversary to your adversaries’.
(2) Your Health: This came as a bit of a surprise to me, when God spoke to me about this – I would have put my family and ministry before my health. God corrected me by explaining that if my health is poor, then I would be a burden to my family and everyone around me. Your presence around them would become a pressure instead of pleasure. Our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), hence it is our responsibility to care for our body circumspectly; preventively and curatively. Our lifestyles are programmable to live healthily and in longevity. Proverbs 22:3 reads: ‘A prudent man foresees evil and hides himself, but the simple pass on and are punished’. Eating healthily and making time to rest is very important. Genesis 2:1-2 reads: ‘Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done’. Every slight indication or signs of discomfort should be taken seriously – it should not be ignored. Your body has no duplicate, it is the only one you have to fulfil your destiny here on earth; take good care of it!
(3) Your Family: In Genesis 18:17-19, God spoke about Abraham saying: ‘And the LORD said, “Shall I hide from Abraham what I am doing, since Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I have known him, in order that he may command his children and his household after him, that they keep the way of the LORD, to do righteousness and justice, that the LORD may bring to Abraham what He has spoken to him.” Where Abraham succeeded, Adam failed. His first son was a murderer who killed his brother, as a result of which evil pervaded humanity, leading to the corruption of the entire world. Noah was God’s alternative to Adam – but he also failed. He was a drunkard, who cursed one of his sons. Genesis 11 records the story of the tower of Babel. In Abraham, God finally found a man who became a blessing to the whole world in Genesis 12. It is imperative that we look after our families. Every child must be carefully looked after. Every wife must respect and submit to her husband; and every husband must love and cherish his wife.
(4) Your Ministry: As Christians, we have all been called to be a witness for Jesus and to evangelize the world. Our Pastors and ministry leaders are simply called to equip us for this work. In speaking about ministry however, I am referring to our vocation, especially professionally. Here are 4 tests that we can apply to our ministry: (a) Whatever we do that brings glory to God (b) Whatever we do that blesses humanity (c) What we do that brings wealth and opportunities, and lastly (d) Whatever we do that brings inner satisfaction and joy. Deuteronomy 28:8 reads: “The LORD will command the blessing on you in your storehouses and in all to which you set your hand, and He will bless you in the land which the LORD your God is giving you’. Our vocation must be seen beyond the financial rewards it offers, but be regarded as a means of blessing the world around us. The quality of our work should also be a great witness for God, and an opportunity to witness about our faith.
(5) Your Wealth: Deuteronomy 8:18 reads: “And you shall remember the LORD your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day’. Wealth creation is part of our responsibility. Poverty is a reproach to redemption. Jesus was described as a rich king, who for our sakes became poor. 2 Corinthians 8:9 reads: ‘You know the generous grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that by his poverty he could make you rich’.
(6) Your Legacy: Proverbs 10:7 reads: ‘The memory of the just is blessed: but the name of the wicked shall rot’. Proverbs 13:22 also reads: ‘A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the wealth of the sinner is stored up for the righteous’.
(7) Your Glorious Eternity: We all know and are aware that we are going to heaven. Having settled the question of where, we should also settle the matter of how. Jesus made it clear that our choice of greatness or smallness in the kingdom is entirely up to us. Matthew 5:19 speaks about this. This is determined by how much we serve the Lord, and are a blessing to others. Matthew 6:33 reads: ‘But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you’.
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