Take Your Place
By Pastor Michael Olawore
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: 1 Samuel 9:1-27; 10: 1-22
Sunday 15th March 2015
As we continue the series, 'I Am Exceedingly Fruitful' today, I would like to share a message with you that I have simply titled, 'Take Your Place'. We've agreed that you've been created to make an impact, to make a difference and to change your world. You've have been chosen to be exceedingly fruitful and productive.
From our foundation scripture in 1 Samuel 9 and 10, we read the story of a man named Kish, whose donkeys strayed away. His tall, handsome son, Saul was saddled with the responsibility by his father to look for the missing donkeys. So Saul, in the company of one of his father's servants began the journey to look for the donkeys and they eventually arrived at Ephraim where Samuel, the prophet was staying. Meanwhile God had spoken to Samuel the previous day that Saul will travel into Ephraim and he was to be anointed as the king of Israel. When Saul arrived, Samuel delivered God's message (which also included the news of the recovery of the missing donkeys) and anointed him king. He then instructed Saul to join him in Gilgal a week later, so that he could be presented to the whole nation of Israel as King. Samuel then called a national convocation before God, to present Saul formally to Israel. Now here is 1 Samuel 10: 20-22: 'So Samuel brought all the tribes of Israel before the LORD, and the tribe of Benjamin was chosen by lot. Then he brought each family of the tribe of Benjamin before the LORD, and the family of the Matrites was chosen. And finally Saul son of Kish was chosen from among them. But when they looked for him, he had disappeared! So they asked the LORD, "Where is he?" And the LORD replied, "He is hiding among the baggage" (NLT).
Saul had been chosen by God as the maiden king of Israel to lead and deliver the nation from the oppressive rule of the Philistines, but at the point when he was to be announced and presented, he was nowhere to be found. Conversely, if our lives will count for something and make an impact in our world, then we need to show up – unless you show up, you cannot make a difference or change the world. So the question to ask this glorious Mother's Day is this: Where are you? In your walk with God, your ministry, your marriage and family life, your finances, your career and your community – Are you making the difference you were called to make?
Did you notice that the whole nation of Israel was waiting for Saul, but sadly he had disappeared? Is it possible that there are nations waiting for you to emerge and become all you were called to be? Could God be waiting for you to show up and make a difference? After Saul could not be found, Samuel asked God where Saul could be – He was hiding among the baggage. Is it possible that the reason why our world has not experienced the impact of the productivity of God's chosen rulers and kings for these times is because the anointed ones are hiding among the baggage? You were not created to hide away – instead you were mandated to emerge, manifest and excel. Unless you emerge from among the baggage, it becomes impossible to excel and become exceedingly fruitful.
This baggage could be spiritual, emotional, economic or relationship. Sadly, many of us are still dealing with the baggage that Christ has already paid for on the cross. You've been called to rule as king and live a life of abundance and relevance – why are you hiding among the baggage? You have no reason to keep holding on to the baggage that God's grace has already delivered you from.
Here are four types of baggage that God's grace has delivered you from:
The Baggage of Past Hurts: It is detrimental and unproductive to continue living in the past. It is futile to continue giving away the latent glory of the future to the pain of the past. It is possible that you may have experienced immense pain in the past from the actions of your loved ones, and this may have hugely contributed to your decision to hide away. However, you cannot continue to live like this, at the expense of fulfilling God's awesome mandate for your life. You were born to reign and not to hide. The pain you may have experienced should not stop you from living a life of fulfilment and impact. You cannot afford to allow your pain to dominate you; otherwise you will be putting your Manasseh before your Ephraim. Manasseh represents yo ur deliverance, while Ephraim represents your productivity. Sadly, many of us have decided to wait to be delivered from our troubles before we get busy being productive. I want to encourage you to step out and be productive. Joseph almost got this wrong when he brought his two sons to Jacob for his parental blessing – He desired that Manasseh be blessed before Ephraim, as Manasseh was his first born son (Genesis 48: 12-20). However, God's strategy and order is completely opposite to this – In the place of your fruitfulness and productivity emanates your deliverance. When you get busy being creative and industrious, your deliverance will ensue swiftly.
Some of us are hiding from our walk with God. You've given apathy and indifference an opportunity to take over your relationship with God. You cannot afford to be lukewarm and unconcerned about your Sonship and friendship with God. You must reinvest your time in solitude and prayer as before, and resume encouraging your fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. Some of us have stopped devoting our time and effort to improving our marriages, and it has now become bland and insipid. You have stopped giving your best to your spouse and children, as a result of the difficulties and pain of the past. God wants you to leave the pain you are bearing where it belongs – in the past, and move forward. Here is 2 Corinthians 5:17: 'This means that anyone who belongs to Christ has become a new person. The old life is gone; a new life has begun!' (NLT). When you begin giving your best, you as an individual also begin to enjoy the benefits of the maximum impact and fruitfulness that you have hitherto been deprived of. Apostle Paul went further in Philippians 3:12 saying: 'I don't mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection. But I press on to possess that perfection for which Christ Jesus first possessed me'. Regardless of what you may have experienced in the past, you must make a decision to press on and leave those bygone days behind. God's Grace has been provided to ensure that you do not live, looking behind, but to move forward.
The Baggage of a Questionable Background: Here is I Samuel 9:21; 'Saul replied, "But I'm only from the tribe of Benjamin, the smallest tribe in Israel, and my family is the least important of all the families of that tribe! Why are you talking like this to me?" From this scripture we can deduce that Saul did not think much of himself. He evaluated himself and concluded that his family was the smallest and least insignificant of his tribe, despite his height! Have you ever been there, where you've asked yourself, 'How can I make a difference, or change the world?' This was Saul's dilemma as he contemplated the task of leading the nation of Israel. One of the major obstacles to becoming fruitful and productive is your self-image and self-perception. Gideon experienced this same obstacle when he was addressed by the Angel in Judges 6. He also hid away in the winepress, preferring to thresh wheat at the bottom of the press, rather than lead the Israelites to their victory and deliverance. Your self-perception also determines how others see you, and ultimately your productivity. Have you also been hiding? Remember that God's grace has redeemed you, so rise up in confidence and live out those God given dreams within you. You must see yourself in the light of who God has created you to be – His image and His righteousness. Philippians 4:13 reads; 'For I can do everything through Christ, who gives me strength' (NLT). Recognise that you have a new identity and uniqueness in Christ.
The Baggage of Offence and Unforgiveness: It is self-destructive to nurture offence and unforgiveness. Offense from the root word 'offend' is a combination of two words - 'off' and 'end'. This is simply cutting oneself off from your end or ultimate destination – a disconnection from the future. Instead of nurturing offence, always find a positive way to explain life to yourself. Unforgiveness is like an unseen force that holds you to the offence that triggered your displeasure. Unforgiveness hinders God's flow of life within you, and brews up anger of events that happened years ago, as if it happened recently. I declare that instead of malice, offence and unforgiveness, you will experience exceeding fruitfulness, productivity and excellence in every area of your life! You will make it to your destination in Jesus name!
Hebrews 12:15-16 reads: 'Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many'.
The Baggage of Poor Self-worth: Your difficult experiences in life, has the tendency to redefine and limit you. Those negativities often want to deprive you of your boundless self-worth – experiences such as a financial crisis, the loss of a loved one, trauma and stress, failure, rejection and divorce and so much more. These experiences have one thing in common; to hide you away from realising your true self-worth. However, it is for you that Christ was revealed – He is not just Lord and Saviour, but He is also your New Beginning! Leave the past behind and embrace this New Beginning that Christ is to you. Put behind you that inclination to hide away among the baggage – hurts and pain, crisis and troubles that you may have experienced in the past. Embrace the new things that God has in store for you.
Just like Saul was called to rule and reign, you have also been mandated to do likewise. You are a royal priesthood, called out of darkness into the light, to show forth God's praises. Rise up and take your place in your home, your ministry, your family and in the every area of life.
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