GLEANINGS..."A weekly Devotional" by Gbile Akanni
- 23rd Nov., 2015
- 9th Nov., 2015
- 2nd Nov., 2015
WHY SIT WE HERE TILL WE DIE? - 10
"The Lord had gone ahead Of you"
“And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? And where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? But now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.”
Judges 6:11-13 KJV
From Gideon's response here one can note that he was at the 2Kings 7:4 stage, the stage of analysis. Someone at this stage may say, “That was how a pastor came the other time and even poured oil on my head and said that I should go and talk to my husband that everything is settled. I bought a bottle of oil and it was poured on my head and nothing happened.
One man said if I could just give my widow's mite … and I donated my whole salary and nothing happened. Do not use psychology on me, let us face reality.” Where is that woman? She is in the verse four stage.
Looking at the case of Gideon one can see that he was at this stage. He started analysing his current situation. The Bible says,
“And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Mid-i-an-ites: Have not I sent you?”
Judges 6:14 KJV
Gideon then went and gathered thirty two thousand soldiers. But God said, “The people who are with you are too many for me to deliver the Midianites into their hands…” (Judges 7:2). God had to show Gideon that they were useless people. He then first announced that those afraid of death should go back, and twenty two thousand men turned back. Imagine how Gideon must have felt as he watched twenty two thousand men turn back. Then the Lord said even the remaining ten thousand men were too many, “…bring them down to the water and I will test them for you thereof…” (Judges 7:4). Unless God tries the hearts of men you will not know what is in their hearts. When God brought them down to the place of trial, He found only three hundred men qualified for His use.
“And the Lord said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Mid'-i-an-ites unto thine hand: and let all the other people go every man to his place. It came to pass the same night, that the Lord said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand.”
Judges 7:6, 9 KJV
But he would not go until he passed his verse four stage (2Kings 7). And when he did that he only discovered that there was nothing to fear. The Lord God said, “But if you are afraid to go down...” Fear of what? Fear of death. Until the four lepers overcame the fear of death they could not arise. The fear of going bankrupt, the fear of losing out, and the fear of losing integrity will not allow you to arise. Gideon also needed to be made to rise up. God allowed him to go to the enemy's camp from where he heard someone telling a dream that made him realize that God had gone ahead of him. (Read Judges 7:13-15.)
Before the Lord tells you to arise, He would have fought His battle in the enemy's camp. By the time you get there, there would be nothing for you to do.
Gideon divided the three hundred men into three camps, each man carrying a trumpet, an empty pot and a lamp. Imagine the weapons of warfare the children of Israel carried to that war; a trumpet, (to be singing), a lantern which could make them readily visible to the enemy and then a breakable pot.
There was nothing in their possessive that resembled a weapon of war. The reason was because there was no man there for them to fight. God had already finished with the enemy. When Gideon and his men came to the outside of the camp at the beginning of the middle watch, they blew the trumpet and broke the pitchers that were in their hands while holding the lamps in their left hands. They then shouted, “the sword of the Lord and of Gideon. ” The Midianites were confused, and in their confusion they faced each other and killed each other. Gideon and his men did not need to fight.
When you overcome the stage of analysing and you take a step of faith to go as the Lord had directed you, it is then you will discover that the Lord had actually gone ahead of you. As soon as a man is able to take a step of faith, he would discover that God had finished the battle. Yours is to walk into an already prepared work.
The question is this, why sit you here till you die when God had already done something and perfected it in the past? You must quit analysing, complaining, and murmuring fearfully. The Lord says, ’Arise’ Why sit you there until you die?
WHY SIT WE HERE TILL WE DIE? - 9
"Nothing There to Hinder You"
Let us take an illustration from the story of Joshua to confirm that when the Lord asks you to do something, He must have gone ahead of you.
“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses' minister, saying Moses My servant is dead; now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, thou and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”
Joshua 1:1-2 KJV
Moses was already dead but God had to repeat the announcement of Moses' death to Joshua and the children because the reality of it had not dawned on them. They must have been sitting down mourning. They must have been recounting all that Moses did during his lifetime. Thus the children of Israel must have sat singing hopeless songs, songs of defeat, thinking of a man that was dead and buried. They forgot that a living dog is better than a dead lion. God therefore had to speak to Joshua to arise and go over the Jordan with the people of Israel. By the time God said this, Jordan had not broken into two; the rod of Moses was not in Joshua's hand either, since Moses died in a place where people could not get his rod. All that God gave him was a glimpse into what He had done on their behalf.
“And Joshua the son of Nun sent out of Shittim two men to spy secretly, saying, Go, view the land even Jericho… And before they were laid down, she came up unto them upon the roof, and she said unto the men, I know that the Lord hath given you the land, and your terror is fallen upon us, and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you. For we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea for you when you came out of Egypt; and what you did unto the two kings of the Amorites, that were on the other side of Jordan, Sihon and Og, whom ye utterly destroyed. And as soon as we had heard of these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, He is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”
Joshua 2:1, 8-11 KJV
That was Rahab the harlot speaking. Can you see the parallel between this scripture and the scripture in 2Kings Chapters 6 and 7? The children of Israel sat down mourning Moses because they were unaware of what God has done in the enemy’s camp. Just as the Syrians heard a noise of chariots and horses that frightened them, the Lord had also caused the people of Jericho, the giants, the Philistines to hear the dreadful news of the children of Israel. Rahab said,
“I know the Lord hath given you the land and that your terror is fallen upon us and that all the inhabitants of the land faint because of you.” Joshua 2:9
In the same way the Lord has given you the land. But you will not discover it unless you rise from your verse four and go to verse five. It is only there you will discover that there is nothing there that will hinder you from being what the Lord wants you to be. The harlot said,
“for we have heard how the Lord dried up the water of the Red Sea before you, when you came out of Egypt; and what ye did unto the two kings of the Amorites, Sihon and Og whom you destroyed. Even as we have heard these things our hearts did melt, neither was there any courage in any of us because of you.”
Who did that? It was the Lord.
Why are you sitting here when the battle is already fought and won? Why are you waiting to die, when God had already worked in His almighty power to secure you that land and to secure you the promise? Why sit you here? Rahab had to beg them to have mercy on her and her father's house. She interceded because she believed what God had already done.
When the children of Israel eventually went to conquer Jericho they did nothing; they only walked around the city wall. But verse four of fear and analysis does not normally allow a man to arise. The biggest obstacle to having a breakthrough is this crossing from the stage of analysis. Many people never crossed it until they died. But those who by the Word of God and by the ability of God took that step soon discovered that there was nothing there to fear after all.
Men that became something in the hand of God actually became something not by struggling or fighting. By the time they get to the end of verse five, they will discover there is actually nothing to struggle with. They only sit down to enjoy God's provision and see what the Lord had done.
“But with whom was He grieved forty years? Was it not with them that had sinned, whose carcases fell in the wilderness? And to whom sware He that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that believed not?”
Hebrews 3:17-18 KJV
Wherever God met men who refused to believe Him, who kept on analysing that the people in the land are giants who have twenty four toes, people that swallow the inhabitants of the land, God was grieved with them. 2Kings 7:4 is the analytical passage. Once you come to verse four, you need the help of the Holy Spirit to get you out of it otherwise you may die there. When the lepers rose they only discovered that there was no man there to fear.
And when Joshua and his people got across to Jericho they did not need to do much but only to march round the city seven times and to give shout at the end of the march. The wall collapsed and the city was theirs for the taking. Do you need to go to the school of combat to know how to do that? Or do you need sophisticated weapons before you could do this? They won the battle because the Lord had done something ahead of them.
In the stage of analysis, you will see mountains; you will see death hanging on your neck. Death will be saying to you, “I will kill you. If you dare take that step you will die.” Why will you sit here till you die? Stand up and face death. Prepare to die, and you will discover that the death you see will move back. As you move on, you will discover that it is actually not death but the shadow of death. It is just a shadow that is causing confusion over your life. Before God tells a man to arise, He has done the work. May God help you to believe that
WHY SIT WE HERE TILL WE DIE? - 9
"Rise Up Early to Obey God"
“...there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die? If we say, We will enter into the city, then the famine is in the city, and we shall die there: and if we sit still here, we die also. Now therefore come, and let us fall unto the host of the Syrians: if they save us alive, we shall live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians...”
2 Kings 7:3-5 KJV
Those lepers arose before the daybreak. Someone said the secret of obedience is early rising, before doubts will arise, and fear will grip the hearts. Gideon followed this same principle when God instructed him to do something; he had to arise in the middle of the night and do what day-light would not allow him to do. May the Lord grant you understanding and help you to rise up early to obey God.
The lepers arose early and before the twilight they were gone. They probably said, “Let us arise, and be gone before anybody will bring any other suggestion.” Many could not take steps of faith, steps to breakthrough and unto victory simply because they rose up late. They rose up when the fire extinguishers were already around.
There are some people, even Christian brothers, who are fire extinguishers; faith killers. They would normally say, “let us balance it. Do not go to an extreme, don't tempt God.” Before you know it, the light of faith that rose up in your heart in the night has been extinguished. Such people would tell you why they themselves have been sitting there. To them there is no man without problems; only death ends all problems.
But these lepers rose up in the twilight to go to the camp of the Syrians and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of the Syrians, behold, there was no man there. Something had happened; actually verse six had taken place before their verses four and five.
But you will never see divine intervention, divine provisions, God's eternal wisdom, God's ability to deal with your problems, to deal with your predicaments until you come out of verse four. The reason is that before God tells you to do something, He usually would have played His own part. But it will not become real to you until you play your own part.
The Bible says, "…behold there was no man there for the Lord had made…” 2Kings 7:5-6. The tense that was used here, the past perfect tense, indicates a work that was already completed, that is perfected in the past. Thus, God had already done His portion before the lepers arose. Every work, every provision, every divine intervention on our behalf and in our lives is in the past perfect tense. But you will never see it until you rise from verse four. There are wonderful things that God had already done on your behalf but they are in verse six. As long as you have not taken a step out of your verse four, you will not experience them.
When the lepers arose, it looked like a step in the wrong direction but God had already gone ahead of them. There was no man there; the terror and the death they were afraid of was not there anymore. The difficulty they anticipated was not there, God had in the past made the host of Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, the noise of horses and they had the notion that the king of Israel had hired the kings of Egypt and the kings of the Hittites against them. Therefore, they rose in the twilight and fled, left their tents, their horses, their asses and even the camp, as it were, and fled for their lives. Thus, before the lepers arrived at the camp, God had already done a work. The lepers were not aware of this. Even the lord upon whom the king of Israel leaned could say what he said because he did not know that there was a verse six that had already taken place. Note that even though verse four came before verse six, the action in verse six did not take place in verse six but in the past. It was only put in verse six because except a man leaves verse four he cannot know what has already been done by God on his behalf.
Why must you arise and refuse to sit down until you die? It is because the Lord had already done something that will turn your situation around. You must look at death in the face and say, “if I die, I die.” You will then discover that there is actually no death there. Those that actually arose and said, “If I die, I die” did not die. Esther and Moses did not die. Even if there was death there, the Lord would cause death to run away.
Mountains will become nothing because God had already done something. That is the ground on which I challenge you. Why sit you here till you die, saying you cannot do what God asked you to do? Why sit you here looking at the giant, looking at the situation around you and saying you will not be able to do it? Why sit you here when God had done something?
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Theme: “In The Day of His Power”
Date: Wed. 9th - Sun. 13th Dec., 2015.
Venue: Bethany Resort, Peace House Camp,
Km 21 Gboko-Aliade Rd., Mbahande, Mbayion, Gboko.