The WORD – Prevailed mightily !
A new year is upon us this day, one which God has given you and I the grace to enter in, and revel in His goodness and mercy, in the privilege of being able to worship and adore Him, with thanksgiving and praise. And, it is grace that takes you from where you are to where God wants you to be in your life. Every year, and every day that He adds to your life, is all by His grace that comes to you afresh and new each day, and the sufficiency of it, sustains you, and empowers you, guiding and leading you into all truth. Grace makes difficult things easy in your life. And, it is why you need more grace in your life. God never withholds it from you, for anyone who asks of Him, receives from Him. And, may the prophetic word of promise that comes to you this day, speak into your innermost being, to set you free from what you need to lay aside, as you await the unfolding of something new in your life, that comes to you from God. And, He is a good God, who has nothing bad to give you !
‘Behold, I will do a new thing’:
Do not remember the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth. I will make even a road in the wilderness, and streams in the desert. [Isaiah 43:18,19] It is the promise of God to you at the beginning of this year, as you begin the first month. God’s word counsels you, not to remember the things of your past, to dwell or ponder over it, for He has something that is new in store for you. And, where your responsibility lies, is in following the process that leads to an experience of it. For every promise of God comes with a procedure. And failing in keeping it will finding you losing out on what God has made available to you. It was what happened in the lives of the Israelites that saw them failing to enter the Promised Land, and through it, the promised rest of God. It is what the writer to the Hebrews points out to them.
For, indeed the gospel was preached to us as well as to them, but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it. [Hebrews 4:2] God gave them the land. He fulfilled His promise. But they could not experience it. And, you and I certainly do not wish to fit into that bracket. The God who has spoken the promise, is well able to fulfill it. And, it needs to come to fruition in your life. The steps to it, can be studied in the word of God, in the lives of the people in the early church, and especially Paul through whom God worked unusual miracles, and demons left those who were tormented. And it saw a marvelous increase and growth in those who put their trust in the Lord.
The word prevailed :
And the word grew mightily and prevailed. [Acts 19:20] The word of God proved to be superior, or had a powerful effect, as other versions of the verse render it, to increase, multiply and prevail. For, it is by speaking it that God does something, including the new thing that is His promise to you this day. In creation, when He spoke, ‘Let there be light’, there was light. It is the same in new creation too, when it is the word of God that speaks in your heart, to reveal the knowledge of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore, it is upon the word of God that you need to focus, in order to see your promise come to pass. For, it is the incorruptible word of God, and therefore it can never fail. What He says to you through His word can never return void, or without fulfilling the purpose for which it is sent.
God started with emptiness in the first chapter of Genesis, and finished with everything that was very good, as He spoke things into existence. In the same manner, you may find yourself empty handed right now, but the promised word of God when spoken by you in faith will see you with hands that are full and overflowing at the end of the year. And, even as the disciples stood gazing up at the sky, as the Lord ascended, one ought to be thankful for the two angels who appeared to disperse them, for the Lord was going to come back in the same manner once again, and meanwhile they had a great commission that had been entrusted to them ! Even today, God is in heaven, but He is also there in your heart, when you receive Christ as your Savior and Lord. And just as He spoke things into existence, it is His word that you need to speak out too.
Understanding the word ‘prevail’ :
‘And I say to you that you are Peter, that on this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it’. [Matthew 16:18] They are the words of the Lord, declaring that hell can never conquer His church. Whatever arises against it, the persecutions and trials can never destroy and make it cease to exist, is the truth established by Jesus Christ. And the church is the body of Christ, the children of God, which includes you and I, corporately together as a local church, and also you and I as a single entity. You are the church.
‘I will build My church’ :
You are the church, and as you progress or move forward, hurdles and obstacles will certainly come. It is then that the works of the evil one, the gates of hell cannot prevail or stop your progress, for the Lord Himself is your Builder. And therefore, His, word is going to prevail over your doubt, your fear, and it is why even when you are weak you can say, ‘I am strong’. For, the Lord is always strong; He never grows tired or weak. You may be helpless in your circumstance, but He remains your ever present help in times of need. You will overcome and prevail over what the enemy puts in your path of progress, for He that is in you is greater than he that is in the world.
Problems that arise will be beyond what you can overcome in your own strength. But, you will be able to say, ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me’, for He is your Builder. It can be compared to the event in athletics that is the 110 meter hurdles, where the runner certainly has to expect a hurdle periodically during the course of the race, for otherwise he would be running in the wrong event, or running the race in reverse. But the hurdles are meant to be overcome, to jump over, and not turn back. And in life, the problems that come will not stop you, but will only be the proof to show that He that is in you is greater. It is why the Lord will build you up.
How does the Lord build you up ?
The Lord will build you, your family, your church, your business enterprise, your emotions and relationships. He is in the business of construction. He is not the God who will take you on the path to destruction and bondage to the enemy. He is your Builder.
And, how does He construct ?
In the world you will observe that when it comes to human builders who are constructing buildings for various purposes, when it is about building and selling, the quality of construction, would be at a certain level. It will be good, but not the best in most cases. But, a house built as a personal residence will see a marked difference in the nature and quality of the inputs and accessories, starting right from the ratio of sand and cement ! How immeasurably more will be the care that that the Lord takes ! It would be incomparably greater ! The Lord has bought you with His precious Blood. You are His forever. ‘The Beloved is mine, and I am His’, can be your declaration too. You have no one who cares for you like He does. He has engraved you in the palm of His Hand.
Christ the Cornerstone :
It is all about Christ. He is the Cornerstone, the foundation upon which God builds you, to become a glorious palace, a display of His splendor, a temple of the Holy Spirit. And, how you become a God’s own dwelling place, is stated very clearly by the apostle Paul in his letter to the Ephesians, having been built on the foundation of apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief Cornerstone. [Ephesians 2:20] It stresses the need for right doctrine and prophetic teaching. For, every doctrine needs to be practical, and every practice needs to be doctrinal. It is the right application of the truth that builds you up. And, Christianity is not sub culture, but counter culture. The Lord has made it very clear that it is His peace that He gives to you, and not as the world does. [John 14:26]
1. Built up by the word of God :
But, you will always find a parallelism, or something that is very close to the truth, yet is not the truth, when it comes to the pattern and the practices of the world. It lays down the emphasis therefore, of sticking to the word of God, and a sound doctrine, in order to be built up in your life. It is not convenience, but conviction that ought to decide when, where and how you hear the word of God. For, change does not happen overnight. And new grace comes to you each day, and as and when you need it. It is why not neglecting the gathering of saints, is of very vital importance. [Hebrews 10:24] It is the Body of Christ, His church. And it is also a place where He builds you up, as you listen to the word that He speaks to you every week.
There is always the need to have patience, for His ways are higher, and very different from the ways of the world that demands and expects instant fulfillment and gratification of all that the mind of a man can come up with. With God, it is a step by step process and progress as He speaks to you continually in His word and in your prayer. Let it not dwindle therefore to merely putting forth your point of view, your terms and conditions, and what you think you need according to your own perspective, and not God’s.
Promise is more powerful than the problem :
Invariably, it is after you receive a promise from God about good things happening in your life, that you will see looming ahead of you, like a hurdle that you cannot avoid, a problem which is very contradictory to your promise from God. God will not give you the blue print for your life. And that again is for your own good, for you would not be able to handle it, and it is according to your need that He reveals things to you. And moreover, He will also give you the grace that is fresh and new, and the sufficiency of it will enable you to handle it with ease. Grace makes difficult things easy ! But, it would all be a step by step revelation of truth, as you believe in His prophetic promise to you and begin to move forward in the path that He has shown you. And in the course of it, if you are about to give up, you will find that God will step in just then to speak to His revelation truth that will take you to the next level in His plan for you. It is how God builds you up in your life, to make you what He has designed you to be.
GOD the Architect and Builder :
Abraham was able to look to the God Almighty in faith as the Architect and Builder of the city that He was yet to see. [Hebrews 11: 10] And, in his life, you and I can see displayed, how God wondrously called him out to bless him to be a blessing that all nations of the earth would be blessed through him, to receive the promise of the Holy Spirit, the source of all blessing even this day in your life and mine, and in every child of God. It was not an one act play though. There were twists and turns, in the journey that Abraham embarked upon; one that saw him being built up by God, that sees him now referred to as the ‘father of faith’. The second chapter of Genesis sees him beginning his relationship with God, as he is blessed by God to be a blessing. And then as he progresses in his walk with God, step by step God builds him up, speaking to Him very specifically at various points of his life subsequently.
And every time He spoke, God added something new to the revelation truth of his call of blessing. It was the revelation truth concerning being in a covenant relationship with God, the truth concerning substitutionary atonement, the truth of having a God who provides, as Abraham went through various experiences and years went by. All of it did not happen overnight. God was speaking and adding new revelation truth concerning his blessing, continually to Abraham. And, in the twenty fourth chapter of Genesis, Abraham was blessed in all things, is what is written concerning him, summing up how Abraham was built up by God.
There were doubts in him at times, when Abraham was about to give up, for there was no evidence of His promise from God being fulfilled. He was yet to see the birth of his promised son. And, at that point of weakness and doubt in Abraham, God speaks His word to build him up, by pointing to Abraham the stars in the sky, and assuring that so innumerable would his descendants be. [Genesis 15:5] It stresses the need for faith in the word that God speaks. For, faith is the evidence of things that are not seen. And, the evidence is the word itself, for it will never return void. God will speak into your life too, to reveal just what you need to know at that particular point of your life, to build you up. It has been said that Christians face peculiar problems in life on account of God’s word; but it is then, that He will speak powerful promises from His word, that are superior and powerfully effective, to render the problems useless and unable to prevail.
His grace comes to you day by day, what is suitable needed for that day, even as Hannah, visited her son Samuel at the temple, each year as he was growing up, with a little robe to give him. Needless to say, it would have been one that was suited to him in size, as the boy Samuel increased in stature. In much the same manner, God will clothe you in a rightful way, day by day, as you grow in the Lord. Grace is available to you today. And as He builds you up, you will see and experience that nothing that comes against you will prevail.
2. Built up by God and the word of His grace
He was the man who wrote almost half of the New Testament, and had nurtured them very personally. And, Paul was saying now to the Ephesian elders that he would not be seeing them again. It was a very emotional moment, when Paul comforted the Ephesians, with this blessed assurance, I commend you to God and the word of His grace that is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among those who are sanctified. [Acts 20:32] Though he would no longer be physically present, Paul was confident as he entrusted them all to the hand of God and the gracious word of God, that they would continue to be built up to receive their inheritance. It would be by receiving the grace of God and by the word of God abiding in them. Paul’s assurance is equally valid in your life too, when you find yourself in a similar situation. For, no matter who is with you or not, God is always at your right hand. And therefore, you will not be shaken, and nothing that comes against you will prevail.
David at Gilgal –
There were four hundred men who started out with David, in their pursuit of the enemy, the Amalakites, who had plundered him and his men, to carry away all their possessions, and taken their families captive. But, in the course of their journey, when they had to cross a river, two hundred of them out of weariness dropped out. But, David continued with the remaining to recover all. God was with Him, and in His strength David was built up, and his men were too. [1 Samuel 30:1-18] People may leave, but God will stand with you, and nothing will prevail against you.
Gideon’s victory –
In Gideon’s pursuit of the Midianites, it was a huge multitude that stood behind him in the beginning. But, a question of fear, saw twenty two thousand drop out ! It was still too many for the Lord God; and an even simpler test, as the men drank at the waters, saw just three hundred valiant men stand with Gideon. And, it was how Gideon and his men were built up by God, to prevail and overcome the enemy. Gideon’s morale would have taken a severe beating, if at the first hurdle thousands of his men had deserted him out of fear. Sometimes, God takes away people whom you do not need to stand with you, and it need not cause anxiety in you. But, at the same time, this should not lead you to doubt those who are standing with you ! For, God brings people who will stand with you, and He is always standing with you. And, a three hundred with God is much more powerful to prevail over what comes against you, than a thirty thousand, but without God.
Your responsibility –
It is God who by His spoken word creates, sustains, heals and restores all things on earth. And even in your life, it is the Lord who builds you up, so that the gates of hell cannot prevail against you. Where your responsibility lies, is in doing what Ezra did, the resolve that needs to come within you. For Ezra had prepared his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach statutes and ordinances in Israel. [Ezra 7:10] It is the knowledge of the word that also involves obeying what it says, that leads to your becoming what it says you will be, or receive from God what He is waiting to give to you. And, a resolve in your heart to obey needs to happen concurrently, along with the hearing of what God is speaking to you. It is obedience that takes you to the next level. And the prophet Jeremiah expresses the truth of scriptural obedience very aptly, to say, ‘Your words were found and I ate them; and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart’. [Jeremiah 15:16]
‘What you partake of, you become a part of’ –
The words of Jeremiah establish the above truth, and more importantly the truth of what takes place at the Lord’s Table in Holy Communion. It is as you partake of it, that you become part of all that He has accomplished on your behalf on the Cross of Calvary, to declare and also experience the truth, that by His Stripes you are healed. Meditating upon the word of God, as the psalmist declares, where you focus upon His word of promise to you, and not upon the problem that you may be going through, is also how what is new enters your life, and in the process eclipsing the old and the painful. But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on His law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by the waters that yields its fruit in season; an whatever he does prospers. [Psalm 1:2,3]
For the new to enter in, the old has to go. And it happens as you speak to God in prayer, to give to Him your problem, and receive in exchange from Him, a promise that will surely and certainly overcome it, even as you speak it out in faith, knowing that with God all things are possible. And, whether it is a problem that is big or small, it is an easy thing in the sight of the Lord to resolve it. And, when He opens a door, no one can close it. What He can accomplish in five minutes, is something that you cannot get done, even if you try for fifty years. And He is your God. It is the timing that is important, for He is the God who has made everything beautiful in its time. [Ecclesiastes 3:11]
How does it all come to pass ?
It is by not allowing the word of God to depart from your mouth, that you make your way prosperous and experience good success, is the counsel that Moses gives to Joshua. [Joshua 1:8] For, the word of God, in your mouth, has the same powerful effect, as God’s word in God’s mouth. And it is also why, no unwholesome word, one that is not in line with His word ought to be spoken by you. Even when what is contrary to your promise is what you are encountering, what can prevail over the negativities, is your confession of what God has spoken, the revelation, that will go on to change your reality. It is your faith that will change the facts that need to be renewed. It is what the writer to the Hebrews lays down, in a step by process that will lead you to a life where in the assurance of the Lord’s presence you can boldly proclaim, that the one who comes against you will not prevail over you. [Hebrews 13:5,6]
Word living in you –
Victory and strength to overcome and prevail over the evil one comes to you as you are built up continually and made strong by the word of God which abides in you and is alive within you. It is like the power of attorney document that you may have. And it is useful and valid only if the person who has given it you is still alive. Your God is alive ! And, whatever He has granted to you, in His word, is the power of attorney that has been given to you. So, use it ! For it is how you prevail over the enemy. I write to you fathers, because you know who is from the beginning; I write to you young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, And you have overcome the evil one. [1 John 2:14] The devil will not overcome you. Rather, you will be led in victory, from strength to strength, grace upon grace, and nothing can stand against you, because God is for you. Let the word of God abide and increase mightily in you, and as a result of it may it prevail mightily in your circumstance this new year. In prayer and worship therefore, look unto Him, giving thanks for the privilege you enjoy in being able to sit at His feet and hear His word, at the beginning of this year.
Inheritance that cannot be taken away –
Jesus says of Mary, ‘She has received an inheritance that cannot be taken away from her’. [Luke 10:42] He commended her for sitting at His feet, to hear His word. It is what you have done this day, and you have received therefore an inheritance. You will see the goodness of God in the land of the living.
Word of God will mightily prevail –
The word of God is going to mightily prevail in your life. It will overcome every fear, every doubt and confusion, the complex nature of your problem, and the wily scheme of the devil, because when the Lord builds you up, nothing or no one can bring you down. God will build you up this year. He will build your life, your family, your workplace, your relationships and emotions, and bring it all to fulfillment, as you live in the light of His word. And in the power of His word, your life will flourish. For, He is your strength, your wisdom, your righteousness, your holiness and redemption. And, as you offer yourself unto Him, giving Him your first and the best, may the blessing of God be upon you, and He is able to make all grace abound towards you, so that you having all sufficiency in all things, at all times will abound in every good work, to bring glory and honor unto His Name. In the Name of Christ Jesus Amen.
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