Many today accept the name of Jesus Christ but not the life of Jesus Christ. When I say ‘The life of Jesus Christ,’ I mean ‘God’s kind of lifestyle’. God’s kind of lifestyle says that no matter the situation you are in as a Christian, you can be happy even when there is nothing to be happy about on the outside. In other words, God’s kind of lifestyle is a lifestyle based on positive faith: that is, positive thinking, positive talking and positive acting.
As Christians, how many of you would say “Thank you Lord for healing me”, whereas you are still in pain? How many of you would say, “Thanks you Lord for blessing me”, whereas the signs of poverty are still there? How many would say “Thank you Lord for setting me free”, whereas you are yet to obtain real freedom? Today, when you are sick and it is time to pray, you pray for healing. When you are poor and it is time to pray, you pray for blessing. When you are blessed and it is time to pray, you give thanks to God. Everybody is exposed to things which are not consistent with God’s word. If these things control your feelings and your feelings control your faith, you can be a Christian, yet controlled by satan’s devices.
Our proof text shall be taken from the book of John 11:32, 38-41. This is all about Mary and Martha at the graveside of their brother, Lazarus. “When Mary reached the place where Jesus was and saw him, she fell at His feet and said, ‘Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died….’ Jesus, once more deeply moved, came to the tomb. It was a cave with a stone laid across the entrance. ‘Take away the stone’, He said. ‘But Lord’, said Martha, the sister of the dead man, ‘by this time there is a bad odour, for he has been there four days’. Then Jesus said, ‘Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?’ So they took away the stone. Then Jesus looked up and said, ‘Father I thank you that you heard me’.” Here the two sisters, Mary and Martha were unable to see beyond the death of their beloved brother. What they could see was a dead body that was inside the tomb for the past four days, but Jesus, being under the control of the Holy Spirit, saw beyond the grave; beyond the grave, there was life.
As a Christian, when you keep looking at things from the outside, like Mary and Martha, you cannot have a right judgment. Mary blamed her situation on Jesus, even by saying, ‘Lord if you had been here, my brother would not have died’, as if Jesus was the one responsible for the death of her brother, Lazarus. Mary failed to understand that as Christians, God chooses what we go through; we choose how we go through it. In other words, we are responsible for what we give our attention to. Since we are responsible for what we give our attention to, it is unnecessary to blame our situation on anyone. As Christians, our situation may look painful, yet it is not unto death but to the glory of God.
Now, let us look at Jesus prayer. He said, ‘Father I thank you that you have heard me’. This is a prayer of thanksgiving. Naturally, the situation did not call for thanksgiving, but for crying, weeping and mourning because the dead body was on the ground. But Jesus being under the control of the Holy Spirit, was not influenced by the happening around Him. This means that when you are under the control of the Holy Spirit, nothing can discourage you; nothing can overwhelm you and nothing can influence you because the Holy Spirit is the best influence.
Are you under the control of the Holy Spirit? If you are under the control of the Holy Spirit, you would do things as if Jesus were the one doing them. You would speak as if Jesus were the one speaking. You would teach as if Jesus were the one teaching. You would pray as if Jesus were he one praying. Whose control are you under? In Matthew 7:20, the Bible says, “By their fruits you shall know them”. This mean a Christian must be known by the fruit of the Spirit; this should be his trademark. But what is happening among Christians today? We profess affinity or closeness to Christ according to the flesh, while we are unchanged in the heart and life. Many people say, “I’m a Christian, I’m born again, I gave my life to Christ 25years ago…” If you say you are a Christian, this means you are a divine image bearer of God; you mirror Jesus and your life comes from Christ. Unless this claim is tested in a real situation, your claim will remain suspect.
In 2Kings 6:15, we can see how the servant of Prophet Elisha was tested in a real situation. “When the servant of the man of God got up and went out early the next morning, the army with horses and chariots had surrounded the city. ‘Oh, my Lord, what shall we do?’ the servant asked. ‘Don’t be afraid’, the prophet answered. ‘Those who are with us are more than those who are with them’. And Elisha prayed, ‘O LORD, open his eyes so he may see’. Then the Lord opened the servant’s eyes, and he looked and saw the hills full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha” (2 Kings 6:15-17).
This is a clear picture of the difference between those who are controlled by their situation and those who are under the influence of the Holy Spirit. When Elisha’s servant saw the chariots of the enemy surrounding the city, he was forced to cry out to his master, “Oh, my lord, what shall we do?” but Elisha, being under the control of the Holy Spirit, was not influenced by the happenings around him. Looking at his situation on the outside, the servant became afraid and his situation became bigger than what he could handle. Truly, what was on ground called for fear, panic and anxiety but Elisha saw beyond the visible. I mean he saw beyond his immediate situation.
Today, many people believe in God but not in the times of trial because there is a giant in their lives that requires conquering. The name of that giant is ‘fear’. When we talk of fear, fear exists in many forms: fear of loss, sickness, poverty, rejection, disappointment etc. Are you under the control of fear? Let me tell you: Fear is a destructive tool that has robbed millions of a victorious life in Christ Jesus. Fear prevents you from making important decisions in your life. Millions have surrendered to their fears while their heart dreams of a miracle. Do not let this happen to you. What is your situation right now? You need to know that your situation cannot destroy you as a child of God but the fear of your situation can! When you are under the control of fear, your god will be god of fear. When you are under the control of doubt, your god will be a god of doubts. However, when you are under the control of the Holy Spirit, even when you walk through the valley of the shadow of death, you shall fear no evil because your god will be “The God that rescues.” As you have read this message, always remember, no matter what you are going through, as a Christian, the way you handle matters. Nothing happens for nothing and nothing happens by chance. Whatever the situation you are in as a child of God is for a purpose. For this reason, don’t let your trouble weigh you down. Look beyond your trouble. Beyond your trouble is the solution. Jesus Christ is the solution. As from today, stop talking about your problem because He will not leave you without a solution….TBJ SCOAN
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