GLEANINGS..."A weekly Devotional" by Gbile Akanni
- 22nd June, 2015
- 15th June, 2015
- 08 June, 2015
COSTLY ASSUMPTIONS - 6
"Steps To Recovering Your Lost Relationship with Jesus 2"
- Do Not Act In Haste And Presumption- Always Be Properly Guided.
“…And they went a day's journey…”
Luke 2:44 KJV
How could you go on without being sure that Jesus was with you? They went a day's journey. Do you know the implication of that? Every day you move without being sure of Jesus, you take a step farther from reality. Each time you realize that you are not as spiritual as people are thinking about you, you must be sincere to yourself and to the people about it. When they ask you to lead a meeting, teach in Sunday school or accept a new position in your Church and you know you are still sinning [though secretly], be sincere and tell the truth about your life. If you cover it and go on to accept spiritual responsibility, you are going a day's journey without Jesus. Are you a fornicator and you are still teaching a Sunday school class? Do you want to kill yourself? Surely you do want to kill yourself! I see you going to sit on the platform when you are supposed to sit in the pew because of your life. Do you want to destroy yourself? You are going a day's journey out of God's presence.
Many men today have accepted good positions; they are now elders, deacons, or Choir Masters in Churches, but they have not yet overcome sin in their lives. They seem to be moving very fast in the hierarchy of Church organization and church activities. Seeing that it is becoming impossible for the simple Word of God to reach your life there, are you still going on? Surely you are already going a day's journey into the wilderness. Elijah took that kind of journey and it ended him in a terrible experience. He went a day's journey into the wilderness and that was the end of his ministry. [Read his story from 1Kings 17-2King 2]
My friend, where are you rushing to? If your life is not right with God, where are you rushing to? Can't you lock yourself up and kneel down and say: “God I will not let you go until you revive me. Lord Jesus, why am I like this? Why is my life getting confused? I will not let you go until you revive me”. Why are you continuing in this journey? It may be very costly for you to allow today to pass you by without making your life right with God. For a man to continue in hypocrisy for another week after going through this devotion, it will be very costly. For you to assume that God is with everybody including you is a costly assumption when you know that there is emptiness and dryness inside of you. Naomi cried out when she returned and people called her- 'Naomi' She said, “Don't call me Naomi again. I am Marah; my life is now empty and bitter. Why do you call me Naomi? There is no Naomi in me. All that remains in me now is Marah”. Can you make that an honest confession of your true situation before God that God may restore you? Or do you want to go on in this empty, endless journey unto the unknown? Why do you go on in the caravan? Why join that company of men to live in sin?
Joseph and Mary became aware that there was a void. They became aware just like some of you are becoming aware now and discovering that you have missed it somewhere; and they did something about it. The Bible says;
“…so they traveled a whole day before they began to make an anxious search for Him.”
When they discovered that Jesus was not there, they took a step- a good step, a step to search for Jesus. They decided to look for Him.
Stop right where you are now! Go on your knees and begin to cry to God in search for Jesus that has missed in your life for a while now.
And you who is just planning to take a step into something; you are about to give in for that relationship without an assurance from the Lord that He will be going with you, can you tear that letter, stop that phone call you plan to make, that email, or chat in which ever platform. You may have even given your word already, who told you that you cannot still change your mind? Say No! Or do you want to please man and offend God? Jesus has been waiting out there where you left Him, when you forcefully ejected Him from your life with disobedience. He has been weeping ever since then, waiting and longing for your return. You have travelled far, yes He knows that; but never mind, just go back to Him, dear friend. He will order your steps afresh and guide you on the right path for your life. Don’t waste any more time else some evil overtake you!!!
COSTLY ASSUMPTIONS - 5
"Steps To Recovering Your Lost Relationship with Jesus 1"
Having looked at how Mary and Joseph missed Jesus and the various issues we have noted as pointers or parameters to missing out, we will go to note the steps they individually and personally took to recover their lost relationship with Jesus Christ, I am trusting God that you will rise up to discover at what level you are missing out. Could it be your first love or your vision? It could even be your sweet communion with the Lord Jesus or a life of victory over sin that is missing. May be you lost the revelation of God, or the power of God that was mightily at work in you. Or perhaps it is the life of holiness, or your ability to hear God that has gotten lost in the midst of the crowd .We are trusting God to help you recover the lost anointing, the lost fire, and the lost zeal. Right now, several people only think and talk of what they used to be.
They talk about how Jesus was once upon a time real to them; how they used to pray, how God used to move, and how when they finish preaching, people used to cry and repent, but all they are recounting are past experiences- their own history.
Perhaps right now, you are also just walking into the greatest emptiness of your life and you are feeling that some things are not really the same again or that things have really shifted in your life, follow on to discover the steps to prayerfully take to recover and get your grip back on reality.
- Insist Always On Making Your Relationship With Jesus A personal Experience.
“For they supposing Him to have been in the company went a day's journey and they sought Him among their kinsfolk and acquaintances, as they found Him not they turned back again to Jerusalem seeking Him.”
Luke 2:44 KJV
They supposed that He was somewhere in the caravan and they traveled a whole day before they began to make an anxious search for Him among His relatives and acquaintances, as they did not find Him they returned to Jerusalem in anxious search for Him”
“But supposed Him to be in the caravan and went a day's journey and they began looking for Him among their relatives and acquaintances and when they did not find Him they returned to J erusalem looking for Him. [NASV]
“They thought He was with the others who were traveling with them. After traveling for a day, they started to look for Him among their relatives and friends. When they didn't find Him they went back to Jerusalem looking for Him.
Now, look at the way NASV put it, “they supposed Him to be in the caravan…” They thought He was somewhere in the caravan, with the others who were traveling with them. Many times, we forget to personalize our relationship with the Lord Jesus. We forget to pin down what is happening to us as individuals. But a company experience of your spiritual life cannot carry you far. If all you are doing is a 'caravan' experience, following the crowd, and being tele-guarded by others, watch out! If you have no personal experience with Jesus, no internal fire in your heart, I humbly, but firmly call you to order this moment. That kind of principle will not take you far. And this is because the Bible says each of us shall stand before the judgment seat of Christ to give account of our lives. We would not stand together, not as a Church or denomination, nor as a ministry group. In fact we will not stand together even as a family. Husbands and wives will not stand together. Each one of us will give account of his or her own life. A father will not give account for his children; children will not give account for their parents. And friends will not give account for their friends.
The greatest mistake that one may make is to assume that the group experience is one's personal experience. Are you talking of your fellowship, your Church, your group, your club or your company? They are not the real things to talk about. Talk about your life. Talk about how you are with Jesus today. Tell me how strong your spiritual life is. How consistent is your personal prayer life?
I am not here referring to Church prayer meetings, or the corporate night vigils that you always attend every week. I am not asking for the National prayer and fasting meetings that you have attended. My question is: what is your personal prayer life like? When last did you have a personal night vigil with the Lord Jesus? When last did you personally go out as an individual to obey the great commission? Or are you simply having a caravan experience with expert drivers, men that are driving you here and there most of the time with their own personal self-motives? I want to ask you right now- “they thought He was in the caravan? Do you imagine that Jesus is in your caravan? Have you met Jesus as your personal Lord and Saviour? Has He touched you? Has the cross of Jesus come to crush all the works of the flesh, the works of sin and all the works of the devil in your life? “Caravan Christianity” will carry you nowhere.
COSTLY ASSUMPTIONS - 4
"The Pointers To Missing JESUS- 3"
- When you do not insist on measurable and discernible impartations each time you contact Spiritual things.
“And when they had fulfilled the days, as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem; and Joseph and His mother knew not of it.”
Luke 2:43 KJV
Do you see a confirmation?
“When they had fulfilled the days…”
When they had finished the programme, and run through the custom or processes. Then, “…as they returned…” they fulfilled the days set by men and not God. They came to meet God but had already fixed when they will go back.
It bothers me that there are men and women in our generation today that are drifting up and down. Millions goes in and out of Churches and religious houses without a conscious experience or definite encounter with the Lord Jesus in their lives. And I also wonder how you are going and “returning…” yet you are “returning…” just as you went. Nobody was interested in what happened to anybody at the feasts or what definite things they got there. Nobody wanted to know if there was any spiritual experience or any definite touch of God in their lives. Nobody spoke about that. When they had fulfilled the days, they returned. It is just as men go to Church today; some just put on their goggles as if they are listening, but they are sleeping, waiting for the custom to finish. “And as they returned” - most men just go in and they come out. No difference, no touch, no definite experience.
Why are you going and returning without anything to show for it? Why are you no longer insisting on having a progressive, measurable, and discernible impartation as you move from day to day? Why for instance do you go into prayer when it does not bring any result to you? If you are sure you are walking with Jesus when you prayed and there was no answer, you should have asked, “Lord, why did I pray and you did not answer me? What was the problem in my life? Why did I cast out the demons and they refused to go?” That is how to be sure that the master is still walking side by side with you.
“And as they returned, the child Jesus tarried behind in Jerusalem…”
Joseph and Jesus' mother were unaware of it. He had been with them for 12 years and now He tarried behind in Jerusalem and they did not know. How could Jesus , the only object of their life, Jesus for whose sake Mary left all her glory, all that she could have been boasting about, that same Jesus tarried behind, and was missing from her company and she did not know. What could be the reason that “…Joseph and His mother knew not of it? You will note that in verse 41, the Bible says His parents, but in verse 43, the statement was particular. It pointed out that Joseph did not know and neither did Mary the mother of Jesus.
This implies that every one of us must bear responsibility for missing Jesus. Whether you are a husband or a wife, when you miss out Jesus from your life as an individual, God is going to call you by your name. It will not be correct to say, “My husband understands.” In the matter of not walking with Jesus, God is going to call you by your name.
Lord help me not to be carried away by the omissions of others, no matter how closely related we may be. Make me to always insist on a measurable impartation every time I come in contact with spiritual things. I want to tarry for as long as it takes for me to be convincingly touched. I do not want to merely go in and come out with the congregation as a routine or mere empty custom. Joshua used to go into the tabernacle with Moses in the wilderness, but would never come out with him. He learnt to tarry behind until he secure a personal touch from God; no wonder that God found him acceptable to take over from Moses.
Increase my level of importunacy, dear Lord. Teach me not to always be in haste while my encounter is yet to come. My relationship with you is personal and peculiar. I must never drift along with men and women who merely returned as they came. Let me discern when you are not finished with me so that I can wait to return only at your release.
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1. "Raising Agents of Transformation"
2. "Becoming Like Jesus" (Reprint)
Copies are available at Peace House Bookshops nationwide.
- New editions of our Journals -
"Livingseed - Vol. 19 No. 1: Sustaining A Progressive Pursuit of God"
"More than Rubbies - Vol. 13 No. 1: The Architect, The Builder and The Building"
are out. Copies available at Peace House Bookshops nationwide.
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