December 11, 2022

Faith, a Yardstick to Maintain Answered Prayers

Faith, a Yardstick to Maintain Answered Prayers




11th December, 2022

Topic:                         Faith, a Yardstick to Maintain Answered Prayers

Preacher:                   Reverend Ebenezer Idowu Olawuyi

Text:                           Luke 8:49 – 56; Hebrews 11:32 – 40



Hallelujah! Amen. I welcome you to the First Sunday after the Unusual Encounter. We thank God for the success of the programme and will spend more time to thank God this morning. After Unusual Encounter, the Lord told me to share with you the things you need to do to ensure that those things God has done for you come to manifestation. They are already done, you know; all your prayers have been answered (Mark 11:24). Do you know that all the things you asked for are already done? But where are they?

The whole of the Book of Hebrews tells us that the secret of the people who triumphed was Faith. The summary of the Scripture is Faith, that’s why Hebrews 11:6 says, “But without faith, it is impossible to please God.” You can never please God without Faith because God himself operated in Faith. The Scripture says the world was not made from the things we see but from the things which were not seen. Now, that’s faith. Faith is something that you do not see, yet you believe it exists. You have asked things from God and the Bible says when you ask, believe that you have received and you have them. These things are already done in the Spirit and the things of the Spirit controls the physical; the unseen controls the seen. When you become a Christian, you will begin to learn how to walk in the Spirit because we have been trained by culture, environment, etc. to depend on what we see. However, when you become a believer, one thing you have to learn is how to walk in the Spirit without seeing that which God has given you. It is difficult but it is a training that you’ve got to learn.

Towards the conclusion of Hebrews 11, from verse 37 downwards, the Scripture says, “They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword… and all these, having obtained a good testimony through faith, did not receive the promise.” It takes faith to still hold on in spite of all the things that these people had gone through, however, they did hold on because they saw something which others did not see. Just as one man said many years ago that there are many people with eyes but only few people see. They have physical eyes but no spiritual eyes.

This morning, I want to stir up your faith in God. After you have asked God, your prayers have been answered but they are in the Spirit realm – in the realms of the unseen; you can’t see them but they are there. When I see people walk in doubt and flesh, they can’t go far that way; it reflects in everything. That’s why the Scripture says in 2 Corinthians 4:13, “And since we have the same spirit of faith, according to what is written, ‘I believed and therefore I spoke,’ we also believe and therefore speak.” Your faith is reflected in the words of your mouth. From what you are saying, one can always measure your faith. Some enjoy sickness, they love to say ‘sickness’ in a bid to call for pity.

Listen to this, whatever you tolerate, God has no business removing it. Whatever you are comfortable with, why would God remove it? Whatever you are not angry with and that does not give you pain – pain in the sense that you are sad and ashamed of it, God has no business dealing with that issue. Again, whatever you tolerate, God has no business removing it. If you see someone who is rich, instead of you to trust the Lord to take you there, you begin to run the person down, saying that you are satisfied with poverty and that at least, you are going to heaven, then, God has no business removing the poverty because you are comfortable with it.

What I am saying is this: what you have asked for is already done but they are in the realms of the Unseen. Faith is going to the realms of the unseen and bringing down from the realms of the Unseen into the realms of the Seen, that is, you go into what you have not seen and bring them into the realm of the Seen. The Scripture says you already have them but what do you do with them? You keep on bringing them as if they are with you until they come to manifestation. Once you keep living as if you have not seen them, you can never see them coming to reality. I am happy for some of the testimonies that I have heard; so many who have not fasted for a long time, fasted during this Unusual Encounter and they said nothing happened to them and they did not break down during the programme. But for someone who does not fast and keep saying their problem is Ulcer, they enjoy it and so, God does not have any reason to remove it.

I was a patient of ulcer… there are some sickness that some people trivialize, however, ulcer is a very terrible sickness that can kill you. When you see me put my hands in my pocket then, what do I take out? Magnesium trisilicate (a medicine) and I put it in my mouth without anyone knowing. I had to eat at least 1 or 2 hours because the doctor said my stomach must not be empty. But, I was not happy. I was a Christian and I was shameful because the brethren were coming to my house to greet me. I was ashamed and was not like some people who enjoy falling sick and would even be angry that they were not visited. Not that you should not speak up when you are sick but you should not be comfortable with it. Sometimes, you need to tell people so that we can pray along, but don’t be comfortable with it, be angry. Don’t be satisfied with that situation; the day you get angry with that situation, heaven will arise for you. The Scripture says some women received their dead raised to life again through faith (Heb. 11:35). The Bible tells us in the Book of Hebrews to look at some people who by faith, fought and won and put the armies of the aliens to flight.

In our devotional yesterday, a man, the ruler of the synagogue came to meet Jesus to tell Him that his daughter was sick. The man had to forgo his status in the society as one of the rulers of the Pharisees. He was a ruler of the synagogue, a Pharisee and you know, the Pharisees hated Jesus, didn’t want him and were always criticizing him. So, for this man to swallow his pride and come to Jesus, he had been pushed to the wall. He didn’t care about what would happen when the other Pharisees hear about it. He humbled himself and the Bible says, he fell down at Jesus’ feet. Jesus was ready to go but along the way, somebody intercepted him – the woman with the issue of blood. And after, instead of this man to say to Jesus that the woman’s case was not urgent like his, because it was not a matter of life and death but that of reproach, he was at rest with Jesus. He was confident that his case would be sorted out – that was a demonstration of his faith in Jesus. When Jesus was rounding off with this woman and about to go and see the daughter of this man, a news came in Luke 8:49 – “…Your daughter is dead. Do not trouble the Teacher.” Friends, after Unusual Encounter – I am telling you this ahead of time – after all your fasting and prayer, get set for distractions. Watch out for distractions and storms but you won’t be drowned, it won’t destroy you.

You remember the testimony of Bishop Idris who said why he was at the hospital at that time, the news that kept on coming to him were the news of people who had cancer and died. Why that period? It was orchestrated from the pit of hell and the aim was to bring down his faith. Knowing that he can’t conquer without faith – “This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.” You can’t conquer without faith. The goal of hell was to hit him so that fear would grip him and he would lose confidence in God. Maybe, after Unusual Encounter now, the devil will start bringing news that you have never heard before to you but don’t let your faith shake. Even in the pharmaceuticals or medicine, they usually talk about the odd number. They can tell you that 99 people would likely react to this drug but at least 1 person will not react. Why can’t you fit yourself into the 1? Why must it be the 99? Some people just quickly conclude that it would happen to them, everybody would react but you can be the one who won’t react. The odd. You can be that odd – the 1%. They can tell you that out of 1000 people that they administered the drug to or the animals they gave the drug to, only 2 reacted and by statistics, that is highly insignificant. Why can’t you think that you will be among the 2? I say to you, “Your expectations of the Lord will not fail. If everybody dies, you will be among the few that will survive.”

They told the ruler of the synagogue that his daughter was dead and they shouldn’t trouble the Master. See the trick from the pit of hell, it was even from his house that the message came. Listen, if your miracle dies, but your faith does not die, you will have your miracle back. Hebrews says, By faith, “Women received their dead raised to life again.” In the story of the Shunammite woman in our devotional today, the son of her old age, a miracle child died but because the faith of the woman did not die, what happened? She had her son back. Can I say this to you? Let everything around you die but let not your faith die. That is the goal of the devil concerning you – to allow your faith die. Be conscious of this: Everything around you may die, but don’t let your faith die. They could have taken it away but you will recover them all like David. What has gotten out of your hand has not gotten out of your life. What left your hand has not left your life, you will get them back. You will get your health, children, finances and glory back, Amen.

Don’t fear! The goal of the enemy is to dampen your spirit and make you look morose and unhappy – to attack you, that is his strategy. He knows faith is a weapon; “They subdued kingdoms through faith, put the armies of the enemies to flight through faith… By faith, Moses kept the Passover and the sprinkling of blood, lest he who destroyed the firstborn should touch them.” The enemy knows that the secret is faith and so, he aims to attack faith. But the Bible says, we know the strategies of Satan. Friends, don’t shake, be immovable and steadfast. Whatever you see, don’t let it determine your faith, let God’s promise concerning you determine your faith.

In Luke 8:50, Jesus told the man not to be afraid: “But when Jesus heard it, He answered him, saying, “Do not be afraid; only believe, and she will be made well.” Those thoughts that come to your heart and begin to scare you about the future, don’t be afraid, believe God. You may not be able to know tomorrow but there is someone who knows tomorrow and is able to handle it. Don’t be afraid, believe.

The Shunammite woman kept on saying, “It is well.” Your confession is so important. Your confession is a reflection of your belief. Don’t joke with what you say and you can’t pretend about it. Some people try to pretend but you can only pretend for the first time, you cannot hold it up. Matthew 12:34 says, “…For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks”; it is what is in you. That’s why I keep on telling you, friends, to load yourselves with the Word of God. Let the word of God fill your heart because what is inside you will reflect in what you say. The Scripture says, whatever a man sows is what he will reap. Your words are seeds, do you know that? The Scripture says in Proverbs 18:21 that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue.” In this mouth are instruments of death or life, depending on what you choose to use it with. For example, you have a husband who is not pleasing you and you keep on saying negative things concerning him, you will definitely see what you are saying and this goes for the wife also. Proverbs 18:20 – “A man’s stomach shall be satisfied from the fruit of his mouth;” Proverbs 13:2 also confirms this: “A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth…” You will eat well and your life will be good. Some people don’t have good words in their mouth. Can a fountain produce bitter and sweet water? Some people, when they curse somebody, you won’t believe they are Christians and would wonder where the words are coming out from. This only shows how dirty, corrupt and evil that mouth is because you are just a product and reflection of what is inside of you. If you soak your life with the Word of God, it will reflect in what you say out of your mouth. “A man shall eat well by the fruit of his mouth,” so, your words are seeds, speak good into your future. The Shunammite woman said, “It is well” and truly, it was well. It was only when she got before the Prophet that she poured out her heart. When you leave the presence of God, don’t carry a morose face and say dirty, dead things, however, when you come to God, tell God to change your situation.

Let your faith reflect in your words. As you have prayed and fasted, please, don’t contradict your prayers by the words of your mouth. Don’t be moved by what you feel or what people say, be moved by what God says. Be careful, the devil will come to attack and bring storms but don’t see negative things. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.” Hold fast to it – to the confession of your faith. You will see the end of that affliction, amen.

Why I am saying this is to prepare you ahead of time. If I tell you storms won’t come after prayer and fasting, I am deceiving you. Prayer and fasting do not insure you against storm. Jesus was in the boat, a whole son of God, but the storm came. Storms are challenges, shakings that will come but they can only shake, they won’t swallow you up. You won’t perish in that storm, they will only make you stronger and you will ride on them to higher places. Storms will come in different places; it may come in your health, academics, marriage, ministry, finances, business, etc. but don’t worry, just know that this storm is not there to destroy you but for you to ride on it to the next level. The word of the Lord after the 40 days of prayer and fasting is to take us to the next level. The storms that will come will take you to the next level. In any area of your life, know that the storm that comes is to take you to the next level. Don’t get discouraged.

I want to leave you with this other point: Your faith is a reflection of the people around you. There are who we call Fire Extinguishers and there are Fire Lighters and Igniters. Your faith is a product of the people around you. Jesus was intentional about this and that was why he sent some people out when it got to that time in Luke 8:51. Don’t say it doesn’t matter; one way or the other, they have a way of influencing your faith. The actions and words you hear and see everyday, indirectly have a way of influencing you. If you want to overcome and grow your faith, be conscious and deliberate about it. Let it be people who will stir you up that surround you.

The testimony of Bishop Idris was so great; spend time with your children and build them up because they will grow to pay you back for a time is coming when you will need those children to minister to you. I remember greetings from Bro. Ajiboye who followed the program abroad and a lot of our members did follow us also and commended the Media Department for the good sound. When Tomiwa was in KG, they were having a challenge in the house, Tomiwa got home and said to her Mummy, “Why are you worried? Let’s pray about it and trust God that God would do it.” Tomiwa was around 3 years old then. Parents, train your children, a time is coming when you will need them. Young people here, don’t let anybody despise your youth. The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12, “…be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Who tells you that you cannot minister to your parents? Wake up in faith, believe in God, maybe the solution to the challenges your parents are passing through are in your hands and you are thinking of yourself as a small boy.

Look at the testimony of Bishop Idris’ son; surround yourself with people who will remind you to believe in God and tell you to remember this and that when the time comes. I remember a similar case many years ago. Before our boy, Ibu went to study in the University in Manchester, he was on vacation with his mummy in the U.S. when his letter of admission came. He called me and I told him to come home back to the University of Ilorin where he was still a Fresher then and that when he finishes his degree, he can go back to study abroad. I asked him where I would get the money but he told me to trust God that God would provide. I called his mummy and told her to warn him because I am living my life gently and could not start going around to borrow money, that he should come home and by the time he finishes here in Ilorin, God would have provided. He then told me that was I not the one who preached about a son and his father who prayed for rain and when they were going out, it was the son who told his father to take their umbrella because there was going to be rain? At that time, I was quiet. By the time he came back from vacation, we were only talking with one of our family friends and I even told her to speak to him to convince him not to go. However, instead of her to join me to chastise him, she was excited and said, “Praise God, that’s good.” The next day, the woman brought 500,000 naira and that was the opening door. The next thing, one of my sons heard about it and brought 250 pounds. Before you knew it, the school fee was almost completed. That was the faith of a young boy.

God can use you to minister to your people but you are looking at yourself as a small boy? The Bible says in 1 Timothy 4:12, “Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” God can use you in that situation of your mum. God can just drop a word into your mouth that would solve that problem.

In summary, surround yourself with people that can help your faith – Fire Lighters and Igniters, not Fire Extinguishers that would create fear in your heart. Be careful about the people around you.

Rise up, let’s pray.

  1. Thank God for He will make a way for you. Thank God for your healing and that you will see the end of that affliction. Thank God for you are coming out of that situation stronger and better; that you are recovering all that you have lost. Tell God that you believe Him, even though you can’t see it; that you believe He has your interest at heart. Thank Him for you are coming back to full recovery and are bouncing back in your health, finances, etc.

Lord, I am asking that you would encourage your people. Let their faith be boosted and intact. I speak into their lives that everything they have asked during the Unusual Encounter programme come into their hand and there be the fulfillment of those promises. All the strategies of the enemy to destroy them are frustrated in Jesus Name. Help your people to be watchful, vigilant and not ignorant of the devise of the enemy. Amen.

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