The Dangerous Pursuit of Happiness.
We are told by society to pursue happiness, to do the things that make us happy, to walk away from relationships and people who do not make us happy. Success coaches keep telling us to ‘do what makes you happy,’ but in spite of all these people are still very unhappy. Many people have destroyed everything of value in their lives because they pursue happiness, not purpose.
In Mark 10, Jesus told a young man to give away his wealth and follow him. You would expect that the rich man would trust that Jesus knew what was best for him and that would make him obey the instructions of the master without second thought. But contrary to all expectations the man rejected the advice given by Jesus. He held onto his money and walked away in sadness.
He was sad not because Jesus was mean to him but because Jesus told him the truth. Jesus told him what was best for him, yet he was unhappy. He was sad because he had a skewed perception of reality. He was immature in his understanding of life and the things that are of value to the Lord and the kingdom. The fact that he was unhappy does not mean that Jesus was wrong. It meant that the rich man had zero understanding of spirituality.
Money is good but on a scale of value, the will of God, the plan of God for our life, the agenda of God are more important than money.
God’s will is more important than our short term happiness.
God is more interested in your growth, in the development of your character, than in your happiness. God doesn’t want you to be happy at all costs and by all means. No. God wants you to grow. Some of you are so immature that God cannot entrust you to handle anything of importance in the kingdom. If all you are interested in is yourself, and how rich you can become, how do you expect God to place the destiny of Nations and destiny of millions of people in your hands? Continue reading
The bible says that our calling is holy. It means it is sacred. Something that is sacred should not be handled lightly or irreverently. Many desecrate their holy calling by substituting it with the pursuit of carnal things.
2 Timothy 1:9
Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,
What we have in Christ Jesus is a high calling. No pursuit or desire is higher than the calling we have in Christ. Paul said he pressed into his calling. If it were easy to obtain and fulfil his calling he wouldn’t talk about pressing into it. Many want to sit back and watch their calling come to pass. But they will end up frustrated. Nothing good in the kingdom will come to you without commitment, tenacity and a strong sense of purpose. We have to press in the place of prayer and study of the word. It is those who press in after The Lord who possess the blessings of the kingdom.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Paul prayed that the eyes of our spirit may be flooded with light, that we may have deeper understanding and clarity about our calling. This is a prayer we should all pray daily. When we have clarity about our calling we won’t fall into the trap of satanic distractions.
The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints,
The enemy will throw a spanner in the engine of your life to destabilise you. He will try to keep you unbalanced on your feet so you never stabilise enough to pursue your calling.
The enemy uses distractions to keep us busy doing something else while we do nothing about our real calling. These distractions may not be bad things, in fact many times they are good things, good causes, legitimate pursuits. However The Lord did not assign you to pursue these things. The enemy entices us with success, riches and fame in the secular world. He tells us that the whole world will worship us and be friends with us if we pursue these distractions. If we do not focus on God’s will and purpose for our lives, we will begin to give heed to satanic lies and begin to pursue distractions. Continue reading
Three decades ago as I watched Pat Robertson on the 700 club The Lord touched my heart. I joined brother Robertson in prayer and something broke in my heart. The yoke of rebellion that had held me bound was broken and I was set free. In spite of the issues I brought with me from the world, there was something very clear in my heart: I knew I was called to preach the gospel. It was as clear to me as daylight. Deep within me there was something which pulled me in the direction of ministry. At that time I was in the university but all I wanted to do was take the gospel to the world. Nothing else mattered to me. What I experienced was the stirring of a calling. While I didn’t fully comprehend the ramifications of the stirring in my heart, I prayed and asked The Lord to guide me to do His will.
A calling is what you have been assigned to do and accomplish for Christ in the kingdom. Every believer has a calling. When you accepted Jesus into your heart, you were not only delivered from darkness and translated into the kingdom of light, you were also brought into alignment with your calling. This assignment or calling is what you should focus on and pursue for the rest of your life. Your assignment can be in any area of life. It may be in business, politics, government, writing, arts, science, church, etc. Although it may involve making money but your assignment is not primarily about making money. You may be called to innovate, to invent, to birth new ideas, to create unique services and products in business. This will attract riches into your life. You must understand that everything in your life serves a purpose to please The Lord. The riches you attract in business are not just for you to live like royalty but to further the cause of Christ; for you to use to deepen and extend the reach, power and influence of the kingdom. Continue reading
The devil whispered to him, “go and start a church.” And he listened to the devil.
Those who are superstitious will be repelled by such a statement. Such people would think, ‘surely the devil wouldn’t encourage you to start a church because the church would be promoting the kingdom, helping people and blessing them.’ Well such thinking is faulty because it presupposes that the devil only uses ‘bad things’ to derail, distract or destroy God’s calling on the believer’s life. But the devil uses absolutely anything he can come up with to effect his agenda against the saints. The devil can tell you to do something which looks good in order to sabotage God’s true agenda for your life.
The devil can push Mr A to start a church while he abandons God’s assignment for his life which is to acquire 50,000 hectares of land in Osun state, grow cocoa, process, package and export it to Europe. If Mr A follows this ‘start a church’ thought planted in his heart by the enemy, he may think that he is ‘doing a lot for the kingdom,’ but in reality he would be causing harm to God’s plan. If his cocoa farm is not in operation, a certain number of people will not be employed by his company. Their families will not be taken care of by the money they would have earned by working at the farm. God would have to open different channels to meet the needs of those families. God would have to raise up another man or woman to pursue and effect His plan of starting the cocoa project. Continue reading
Someone sent me a prayer recently. It read, ‘May The Lord grant you the desires of your heart.’ Superficially it seems like a good prayer and many people will say a loud amen to it. But as I read that prayer I asked myself, ‘Do I really want The Lord to grant all the desires of my heart? ‘
We all have certain desires we want to see manifest in our lives. However, not every desire in our heart is from The Lord. The super spiritual among us may be questioning this. The truth is that no matter how spiritual and deep you may appear to be in the things of the Kingdom, there are still certain desires that are a product of that part of you that wants to do its own thing, have its own way, be its own boss, go its own way, build its own empire and generally do as it pleases. There is a part of you that wants everything it sees that is flashy, beautiful, attractive. There is a part of you that wants to be recognised by people, honoured by people, seen as a great man or woman. There is a part of you that is driven by pride, driven by covetousness and driven by a desire to satisfy your own lusts. There is a part of you that wants to own more and more property just for the sake of having material things. If you don’t know this, you are living in self delusion. Bottom line is that some desires in our hearts are dangerous to our spiritual health and walk with The Lord. Such desires can compromise our faith and sabotage our destiny. Their manifestation in our lives may cause us more damage than good and they may turn out to be a curse to us instead of being a blessing. Continue reading
1 Kings 18:19
Now therefore send, and gather to me all Israel unto mount Carmel, and the prophets of Baal four hundred and fifty, and the prophets of the groves four hundred, which eat at Jezebel’s table.
In the days of Elijah the Tishbite, there were three categories of prophets in the land of Israel.
The prophets of Baal.
The prophets who ate at Jezebel’s table
Elijah and the prophets of The Lord.
The prophets of Baal openly served their sex and fertility god called Ashtoreth. Their worship of this evil deity wasn’t hidden. It was known to all that these particular prophets were absolutely dedicated to the worship of Ashtoreth. These were evil men who didn’t even pretend to follow Jehovah in any way.
Then there were the four hundred prophets who ate at Jezebel’s table. Jezebel was the daughter of a king who worshipped Ashtoreth. She married Ahab king of Israel and brought her Ashtoreth/baal worship along with her. Jezebel was a wicked woman who loved to be in control of both the political and spiritual aspects of the kingdom. These prophets allied and aligned themselves with this wicked woman because of what she offered them. She offered them royal dainties from her table. She offered them a royal lifestyle powered from her throne of wickedness. These prophets ate whatever they wanted, whenever they wanted, however they wanted. There was unlimited provision at Jezebel’s table. There was no restraint whatsoever at Jezebel’s table. Eating at Jezebel’s table represents the unrestricted satisfaction of the desires of the flesh.
Those who ate at Jezebel’s table had certain characteristics. Continue reading