The reward of faithfulness
In every action of man either towards God, his Creator or his fellowman, there is repercussion, which is either positive or negative, depending on the nature and the motive behind the act. God is the righteous Judge giving to everyone according to his/her actions towards his/her maker.
When one faithfully obeys the Creator’s command, there is a good reward for the obedience. Any man who must serve God the Maker in a pleasing manner, must live by faith. In the Bible days, there were tremendous blessings, unimaginable rewards for our father of faith, Abraham for always adhering tenaciously to God’s commandment in his lifetime. The Bible records how the floodgate of blessings opened for Abraham in Genesis 22:1-3 thus: “And it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am. 2 And he said, Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac, whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of Moriah; and offer him there for a burnt offering upon one of the mountains which I will tell thee of. 3 And Abraham rose up early in the morning, and saddled his ass, and took two of his young men with him, and Isaac his son, and clave the wood for the burnt offering, and rose up, and went unto the place of which God had told him”.
When Abraham was at the ripe age of 75, God made a promise of a child to him. The fulfilment did not come until after 25 years. The child was born to Abraham, when he was 100 years. Then, 15 years later, God instructed him to use the only son as a burnt sacrifice. No man at age 100 has hope of bearing a child again. So, telling a man at this age to kill his only son is tantamount to telling him to close his lineage, as sacrificing the only son is cutting down the only family tree. Fortunately, Abraham obeyed. Hence, in verses 9-12 of the same chapter, the Bible records thus: “And they came to the place which God had told him of; and Abraham built an altar there, and laid the wood in order, and bound Isaac his son, and laid him on the altar upon the wood.10 And Abraham stretched forth his hand, and took the knife to slay his son.11 And the angel of the Lord called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.12 And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me”.
Abraham was not joking, for as long as the instruction to use his only son, Isaac, for a burnt offering is from God, it must be obeyed to the last letter. This is clear demonstration of faith in God, believing that God gave him the child, and so only God had solution to how He would fulfill the promise of making him the father of multitude. His children would be as many as the sands in the sea shore and stars in the sky. God restrained him from carrying out the instruction and then made a promise in verses 15-18 of the chapter under review saying, “And the angel of the Lord called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time, 16 And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: 17 That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; 18 And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice”. This demonstration of faith earned Abraham the blessing of being the father of the faithful. The response from God offered complete package of material blessing, fruits of the womb, protection, and even long life. These are the result of faithfulness. Many people lack fear of God; hence do not have faith in their Creator.
As Abraham honoured God by faithfully obeying His command, God blessed him in turn. It is just the same way God made it clear that, if we obey His voice, He will answer our prayers and we in turn offer praises to Him. The Bible says Psalm 50:14-15, Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High: 15 And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. At any point in time, God is prepared to bless us, if we should faithfully serve Him through thanksgiving and praises. We should not relegate God to the background by failing to fulfil our promises to Him. The things of God should be the first priority of every Christian. Bible makes clear in Matthew 6:33 saying, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you”.
There are people who lack faith in God, making them dishonour God. Such people do not care about the things of God. If they make vows, they renege on their payment or pay when they must have settled other pressing needs. Such people are not righteous in the things of God. The just shall live by faith. God does not renege on His promise to the people that faithfully honour and serve Him. The Bible says in Proverbs 28:20, “A faithful man shall abound with blessings: but he that maketh haste to be rich shall not be innocent”. As Christians, we should faithfully depend on God for provisions and protection. In things of God, we should not be in a hurry. Abraham waited for 25 years before the fulfilment of the promise of a child that God made to him. When he passed the test, God blessed him in all things. We should show faith in things of God, as it is a mark of honour. God demands honour from His creatures. And that is why the Bible laments in Malachi 1:6 saying, “A son honoureth his father, and a servant his master: if then I be a father, where is mine honour? and if I be a master, where is my fear? Saith the Lord of hosts unto you, O priests, that despise my name.
And ye say, Wherein have we despised thy name”? God demands honour and faithful service to Him. It is rather unfortunate that people take God’s honour to other things. When you place your business or your work above the things of God, you are disrespecting God. People who talk evil against the church or men of God are not respecting God. All these are as a result of lack of faith in God. It is, therefore, important that we should reverse our steps to emulate the virtues Abraham demonstrated. When we consider that whatever we have comes from God, then we should not withhold it from Him. As we serve our God, give willingly to the work of God, demonstrate faith, etc, God will bless us and we will make Heaven at last in Jesus name.
Testimony Of The Lord’s Doing
Delivered From Spirit Of Insanity
In Isaiah 53: 5 the Bible says, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed”.
OUR God is the greatest Physician, Who intervenes and heals at the right time, by removing the shame and the stress from His people. It is in keeping with this that He healed me of spirit of insanity that tormented me for years. By Divine ordination, I hail from Ghana, but I became an Igbo woman by marriage, as I got hooked to an Igbo man, who is a member of another church. We are living in a certain compound here in Lagos.
As a professional caterer, I usually wake early in the morning to cook the food to sell in the market later in the day. One fateful morning, as I came out to do my normal cooking, I perceived an odour that resembled that of a perfume. I was so uncomfortable that I had to call my husband. He came out, but could not perceive the odour. Since, he could not understand the purpose of my calling him out, he went back into the house.
Unfortunately, from that day, I started experiencing hotness in the body and head. There were times I would be in pains, and I would be feeling as if I should remove my clothes and go naked. When I could no longer bear the problems, I shared the case with another sister, who also came from Ghana. She took me to one native doctor. On getting to the man, he gave me a calabash and said I should speak into it whatever I wanted. I put my mouth into the container and said I had not come to harm anybody, but that I wanted to be healed of the hotness in my body and head. But after this visitation to the native doctor and all we did, there was no improvement on my health.
I returned to the native doctor, but he simply told me I would be fine. All this time I was visiting the native doctor, my husband had no idea, because if I had told him, he would send me out of his house.
There is a woman living in our compound that worships at the Lord’s Chosen. I hated the ministry with passion, simply because they make a lot of noise during their evangelical outings. I always picked quarrel with the woman, just because she is a member of the Lord’s Chosen. One day in a dream encounter, I saw where Chosen evangelists were singing, sharing handbills and inviting people to their programme. One small boy told me to join them, that he would help me. I still refused to join them.
Few days later in the physical, the hotness of the body was very serious, so much so that I wanted to remove my dress and run out of the compound. Then one boy (Chibuzor by name) had to stop me from going out. He told me to go to the woman that goes to Lord’s Chosen for help. When I went back, my husband thought I had removed my dress in the public, but I told him I did not. Then I went to the Chosen woman and requested for the handbill of the ministry, where I could see the Pastor’s photograph, adding that if I put it under my pillow that I would sleep.
She was surprised to see me going to her to request for handbills. She happily gave me the handbills, which I placed under my pillow. And that night, I slept like a baby.
The woman gave me an invitation to a crusade and I attended. On that day, I was surprised to hear the testimonies. I used to think the ministry was occultic. When the General Overseer came out, he mentioned many sicknesses in the course of his prayers, declaring the victims healed. My case was the last he mentioned. In his declaration about my problem, he said, ‘you that lady they sent spirit of death and madness to you, but now I declare you healed.’ I claimed my healing and immediately, I felt as if cold water was poured on my body. Then I became uncomfortable again, and felt pressed. I asked an usher to show me the rest room. On getting there, something that looked like a lizard or something like that came out of my body. Something very dark came out of my anus almost tearing it. From that point, I became healed, and the hotness of the body and head stopped. Today, I am healed.
However, my people continued to fight me. And even my mother was against my not wearing make up, earrings and necklaces. She said many unpleasant things against the church, but I ignored them. And now God has healed me. God has granted me genuine salvation in this ministry, and I am happy for all He has done in my life. May the name of the Lord be glorified!
Sister Blessing Oyoyo.