Excerpts of Pastor Idowu Iluyomade's Message at the December Thanksgiving Service on Sunday, December 2, 2018
UNDERSTANDING THE WAYS OF GOD
Some of us may be counting down to the remaining days of this year with mixed feelings because 2018 has been tough; but who are we to question God? The Bible says that in spite of all the horrors of Job, he worshipped God (Job 1:20). You are the clay and He is the Potter, He does according to the counsel of His will, and no one can question Him. Indeed, His name is ‘Ka bi o osi’ (God is unquestionable). You cannot question or query Him, He does, as He likes. When God does things in your life and you cannot understand or track Him, all you need to continue to do is to trust Him because He is a good God. On the Friday that Jesus was nailed to the cross, there were lots of tears, because nobody understood it, but on Easter Sunday, the story became clearer. On the third day, we knew why He had to die. He had to take our sins to hell, collect the keys of hell and death from the devil to rise victoriously.
Quit Washing Your Nets
Deuteronomy 32:3-4 says, “Ascribe greatness unto our God. He is the Rock, His work is perfect: for all His ways are judgment: a God of truth and without iniquity, just and right is He.” When you go through unexplainable rough patches, know that the secret things belong to God and the revealed things belong to us. In times like this, continue to trust Him because He is a faithful God without injustice, He knows and sees all things, nothing could have happened to you without His knowledge. Indeed, being the last month of the year, there should be some form of excitement in the air. Ecclesiastes 7:8 says “Better is the end of a thing than the beginning...” If you understand God, you will know that He loves to intervene when all hope appears to be gone. You may be saying the year is over, I have toiled all year and I have nothing to show for it, what else can happen? Some of us have started taking stock and washing our nets like Peter, who having toiled all night fishing caught nothing (Luke 5:2). Suddenly, Jesus stepped into his boat, told him not to give up rather he should “launch out into the deep, and let down his nets for a big catch.” God’s day starts in the evening when we are almost giving up. The day of God starts when all hopes appear to be gone (Genesis 1:5, 8, 13, and 19). December is the evening of the year 2018 and God keeps the best until the end. God says, ‘quit washing your nets, it is not over until you testify.’ In Luke 2:8, while the shepherds were counting their losses at night, of sheep that they could not get to sell in the daytime, suddenly, the glory of God appeared. In like manner, Lazarus reached the evening of his life; he died, and was buried and began to stink. Then on the fourth day; God stepped in. For somebody, your day is starting now, it is not over yet; this is your best month this year in Jesus Name. God is saying to those with a heavy heart:
“forget the past, I will do a new thing.”
“your debts will be wiped off”.
“your son is coming back home;
“it is your month of restoration.
“your healing will spring forth this month (Psalm 65:11-13 [NLT]). The best is kept until the end. God will use your testimonies to silence all your mockers in Jesus Mighty Name.
Such was the plight of Hannah (see 1 Samuel 1). She trusted God for a child for years, but God said not yet. In fact, the Bible says God shut her womb. Yet, Peninnah her husband's other wife was giving birth every year like a baby factory. This went on for over 10 ten years, and Peninnah kept provoking Hannah sore, but she was focused because she knew God was faithful. Elkanah took them to Shiloh where the Ark of the Covenant was placed (1 Samuel 4:4). Year in year out, she kept on going to Shiloh, but there was nothing to show for her faithfulness. You may identify with the burden of Hannah, the burden of coming and believing God every month that He will intervene in your situation; it is now years, but you still keep coming. God is telling you that you have not come to four walls of City of David, but “You have come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels. To the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel” (Hebrews 12:22-24). Hannah kept going to Shiloh every year until this particular day in verse 15-16, that she poured out her soul unto God out of the abundance of her issues and grief. In verse 17, God interrupted through His servant, Eli who said, “Go in peace: and the God of Israel grant thee thy petition that thou hast asked of Him.” Hannah went to church with bitterness of soul, but God gave her a picture of the Glory Ahead.
Remember, the words that God speaks is alive (Hebrews 4:12). God has spoken that you will see the ‘Glory Ahead;’ it shall become active and operational in your life in Jesus name. His Word is forever settled, and as you enter into 2019, there is ‘Glory Ahead of you!’ God will give you a new vision in Jesus Name. Everything around you may be crumbling, but Romans 4:17 [AMP] says we have a God who calls nonexistent things as though they exist and they will exist. Your darkness is turning into light in Jesus name; there is Glory Ahead of you!
What is Glory?
The easiest way to understand the meaning of glory is to look at the opposite. Proverbs 3:35 says the opposite of glory is shame, and disgrace. The opposite of glory is being unable to achieve your dreams. God has sent me to tell you that everything that causes shame in your life, and makes you to hang down your head in shame and gloom ends today in Jesus name. Hannah knew shame because Peninnah taunted her, but in the record of God, she was destined to have a special child. Thus, ‘glory means brightness, fulfillment in accordance with the plan and purpose of God for your life.
As soon as Hannah heard the glory ahead, she knew that it was an end to shame and reproach in her life. Hannah caught a glimpse of a better tomorrow, and verse 18 says, immediately, her countenance changed; she was no more sad. She saw into the realm of the spirit and looked beyond her present circumstance, fixing her gaze on God and His promise (2 Corinthians 4:18 [AMP, NLT]). Look beyond the issues weighing you down and see glory ahead!
A similar thing happened to Abraham in Romans 4:18-21 [AMP, NLT]. He hung on to God's promise when all hope was gone, Abraham did not consider the utter hopelessness of his own body or that of his 90-year-old wife. When there was no reason for hope, he held on to hope, being fully convinced that God was able to do whatever He promised. Do not consider the negatives, all you need is the promise of God to be the head and not tail. Look ahead; there is glory ahead! For somebody, God says, He will open the floodgates of Heaven for 14 days. Your testimony will be undeniable in Jesus name.
Isaiah 60:1-3 says, “Arise, shine; for thy light is come, and the glory of the LORD is risen upon thee. For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the LORD shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.” God is asking, "What do you see?" See the Glory Ahead! In 2 Samuel 6:14, David saw the glory ahead; he forgot everything and danced, praising God with reckless abandon. When his wife began to accuse him of dancing anyhow, he told her that he is dancing because God has lifted him high in 2 Samuel 6: 20-22.
For Hannah, the miracle began when her countenance changed, and within nine months, God manifested to her that which He wanted to do. You may have a heavy heart, you need to shed the worry and begin to rejoice by faith because God has given His word. God has promised that there is glory, and prosperity ahead.
Finally, Jesus was praying for His disciples in John 17:20-22, and He says, “Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word. That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in Me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me. And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one.” This suggest to us that for you to receive this glory ahead, you need to surrender your life to the King of glory who dispenses glory and has made awesome promises for you to fulfill your purpose in destiny. In addition, Colossians 1:27 says, “Christ in you, the hope of glory.” God wants you to shine, but you must first come into an agreement and covenant relationship with Him. You must have two birthdays to be guaranteed Heaven, the first birthday is when your mother gave birth to you, and the second birthday is the one Jesus Christ told Nicodemus in John 3:5 that “Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.” Heaven is assured if you have the two birthdays and you are walking righteously. That glory that God has declared can be yours too if you surrender your life to Him. If you are willing to repent and surrender your life to Jesus Christ, then pray this prayer right now: “LORD Jesus, I come to You right now. I know I am a sinner, please forgive me my sins. I plead the Blood of Jesus to wash me clean of all my sins. With my mouth, I confess that Jesus is LORD, and I believe that God raised Him from the dead. From today, I accept You as the LORD of my life. Please change my heart from a disobedient heart to a heart that obeys you, fill me with the Holy Spirit, write my name in the Book of life, and make me brand new in Jesus Mighty Name.”
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