Your Name Is In the Book!
By Minister Gbenga Ajanaku
New Wine Church, London
Foundation Scripture: Luke 4:16-21
Sunday 29th September 2013
Last week, in the message ‘Chosen Among the Elects’ we began to look at the life of Jeremiah and the challenges and sacrifices involved in being called by God. We understood the anatomy of choice and that it is God’s prerogative to provide an explanation as to why He has chosen us, or not as the case may be. We understood that we must embrace the will of God completely and that in order to be able to do this, we must be intimate with the word of God, to which the will of God is inextricably linked. We understood that each of us has a part to play in the realisation of New Wine Church as it is in the mind of God, as was revealed to Pastor Tayo Adeyemi in The Church I See and that we must fulfil destiny by doing what we have been called to do.
Last week, the focus was very much on God; today, I want to shift the focus to you.
The Bible makes clear that God is the Word and the Word is God. The writer of the Gospel according to John was writing to the whole of humanity and introduced God to us in John 1:1-5 which says, ‘In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made. In Him was life, and the life was the light of men. And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.’
Every interaction of God with Man is through His Word; every association with Man is through His Word. Every revelation of God to Man is through His Word. Before God reveal the picture of the future to you, before He tells you what your purpose is, before He gives you the vision of the particular direction He is taking you in, it is first, conceived in the mind of God. It is conceived in the Word. It may be revealed to you by way of a vision but when you embraced it, you embraced it in words. Your very being even, before you were born in the natural and came into existence, you lived in the mind of God and you lived as Word. In Genesis 1: 26 we read, ‘‘Then God said, "Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness.’ That is the Word. Our own Universe and indeed everything in it was created and sustained by the Word. Hebrews 1:3 describes the Son as ‘upholding all things by the word of His power.’
The Gospel of John says the Word was God; in the beginning He was with God. Let me submit to you that the Word is the living Word and everything we have is an expression of the living Word. When you engage with the Word, you engage with God Himself. The Word is beyond an idea; the Word is not a concept. The Word is not a notion; the Word is God.
So when God gave us the written Word, He gave us an accessible portion of Himself to behold. When God spoke to us, He presented an audible form of Himself to relate to and both forms of the personality of God, that is the Rhema and Logos, confirm the Living Word. Whenever God wants to engage with us He uses the spoken Word and the written Word as a medium of interaction with us. God gave us the Word in the written form known as the Bible so that we can know His mind for us and do His will for us.
Deuteronomy 29:29 says, ‘The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but those things which are revealed belong to us and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law.’ There are things which are revealed through God’s word. Question: How do you know those things that are revealed? First of all, the things that are written and the things that are spoken.
Everything that is written is written about you; your name is in the book. The book is a letter to you. People are reading your letter on a daily basis and you do not even know that the letter is in your name and addressed to you.
God revealed Himself to the world through the agency of the prophet Isaiah, giving an expression of Himself for us to relate to; putting Himself forward in narrative form. The Hebrew people knew about the promise of the Messiah. They knew that when the Messiah came, He would heal the sick, restore the lepers and open blinded eyes and that He would save the world. John the Baptist even announced the coming of the Messiah and prepared the people for His arrival. By the time that John the Baptist was undertaking his ministry to the people of Israel, the Messiah had already been born and was already in the midst of them but they did not know it. Luke 4: 16-21 recounts the moment when Jesus Christ walked into the synagogue. He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah and He opened the book, to what we know today as Isaiah 61. ‘He found the place where it was written: "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord." Then it is said that He closed the book and He sat down. At this point everyone set their eyes on Him as He said, ‘Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.’
Jesus knew the exact place where His name was written and once He had read the scripture, He closed the book and sat down. It was as if He was saying, ‘If you have been searching, search no more, if you have been wondering, let me take you out of your bewilderment. Today, what you see on the pages of this scroll, that is Him right here!’
Your name too is in the book, but can you find it where it has been written? There is something about you that is more than what we are seeing right now. There is a story about you that is yet to be told. Why did I say that? Because your name is in the book – but can you find it?
The bible tells us that the nation of Israel came under God’s judgment after numerous warnings from the Lord to refrain from idolatry and their blatant refusal to listen. The Lord therefore said in Jeremiah 25: 11-13 that the Israelites would be delivered to the enemy and would go into captivity for 70 years with the Promised Land left in desolation. However, despite God’s judgment, before the children of Israel actually went into captivity, God assured them with His presence and in Jeremiah 29:10, He promised to show them mercy and restore the Promised Land to them after 70 years.
In accordance with the prophecy, despite their resistance, the Israelites were taken into captivity and taken to the Babylonian empire. The bible records that a young man called Daniel was taken as one of the captives. At an early age however, he had determined that he would not defile himself by eating the foods dedicated to Babylonian idols. As Daniel grew, he distinguished himself and made the difference in the land. Daniel, being filled with the spirit of wisdom and being able to interpret dreams and explain enigmas, had upstaged all the astrologers and magicians and operated at the highest political levels serving a succession of Kings as Prime Minister. Despite his unrivalled success, he knew that there was still one big kingdom assignment he still had to fulfil.
The book of Daniel 9: 2-3 records as follows: ‘During the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, was studying the writings of the prophets. I learned from the word of the LORD, as recorded by Jeremiah the prophet, that Jerusalem must lie desolate for seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and fasting. I wore rough sackcloth and sprinkled myself with ashes.’ Daniel found himself in that portion in the book and knew that the time for the promise of God’s restoration had arrived. Much in the same way that Jesus had pronounced therefore, he must have said to himself, ‘today this scripture is fulfilled in this land’ and went on his knees in prayer and set about bringing the purpose of God to manifestation.
Elijah too found himself in the book. He knew the extent of idolatry in the land of Israel during the reign of Ahab and knew that God’s judgment was the inevitable consequence. We are told in 1 Kings 17 that Elijah turned up at the court of Ahab one day and pronounced that because the people of Israel had turned away from the Lord their God, there would be no rain in the land except at his word. He had found himself in the book and stepped up and pronounced judgment on Israel. Question: Had Elijah been a prophet in the land prior to 1 Kings 17? Yes. Had there been idolatry in the land until he pronounced drought? Certainly. Had there been rain in the land despite the idolatry? Very much so. Elijah found his genetic fingerprint in the book and accordingly, with no introduction and no warning, he stepped into Ahab’s court and declared ‘No rain unless I say so’! Heaven backed him up.
You may not see your name as Ian or Jane in the book. It is there however. There is a portion of this book that carries your genetic fingerprint, your DNA. It is your destiny. However it is far more than ‘God bless me and my family’: it is about the kingdom, the agenda of God. Unless you fulfil that assignment, the story will not be complete. Your name is in the book: go forth and find it!
Now Apply the Word HERE
Download the PDF of this message HERE