THF SUNDAY SERVICE
20TH MARCH, 2022
TOPIC: SUSTAINED VICTORY
TEXT: 1 Samuel 31: 1 – 10
PREACHER: Reverend Ebenezer Olawuyi
I am sure none of us would want to be an ex-champion. It’s terrible to be an ex-champion. Once a champion but no more a champion, it’s terrible. The worst thing that can ever happen to a man is to taste victory and to lose victory. Samson was such a threat to the Philistines but he came down and became a grinder, an entertainer of the Philistines.
I want to encourage you to attend the Teaching Hour on Wednesday. Those of you who were here last week Wednesday, I say thank you for coming and I am sure you were blessed. I expect that you will be here again this Wednesday. We will be looking at this character called Saul, but I want to bring up some things this morning from Saul particularly as we also roam round the Scriptures and see other examples.
Saul started in a very humble way. Saul was called and he became the first King of Israel. Israel as a nation started with the government of God as God Himself being their King – Theocracy. From theocracy, they moved to anarchy, a time in which everybody did what he wanted, anything he liked; there was no central government, there was nobody leading them, there was nobody controlling them, everybody just did what he felt like doing. After it came another leadership called the monarchy, where there is now the King. Saul happened to be the first King in that dispensation – the first king whose name should have gone into history, whose name should have been a reference point for good as the first King – what an honour!
As Saul was anointed, the first battle he went for with zeal was to fight against the Ammonites, one of the enemies of Israel. He heard the people of Jabesh Gilead send a message to come and help them. The Ammonites had given them a deadline that if they don’t subject themselves to them they will pluck their eyes away so that they become a reproach to the people, to everybody everywhere. The people of Jabesh Gilead told them to give them seven days and if there is nobody to help them, they will subject themselves to them (the Ammonites). They sent a message to Saul, the people of the land of Israel heard about it and Saul got to hear also, with great zeal, Saul took an oxen, cut it into pieces and sent it through the land of Israel and said, anyone who doesn’t join in this battle, so shall be done to his oxen. The Bible says everybody gathered round to fight against the enemy. The first battle he went for, he had an overwhelming victory over the Ammonites. God was with him, he was so victorious that the Ammonites were killed. The Bible say seven those of them who fled, none of them fled together as twos or threes, they were scattered because of the victory that God gave Saul.
This same Saul who started victoriously, see the way he ended his life. In the last stage of his life, he fought against the Philistines. The Philistines routed and destroyed the children of Israel. While Saul was fleeing, the Philistines were after him and he said, “Oh, let me not allow the Philistines, these uncircumcised people, kill me this way. He told his armour bearer, “Please, take your sword and pierce me, kill me.” The armour bearer said “No, I can’t do it,” he was afraid and Saul decided to kill himself – commit suicide – and fell on his own sword. The Bible says three sons of Saul were killed the same day. The armour bearer out of great loyalty to his leader also died with his master. It was a great mourning, great defeat for Israel that day. No wonder, David lamented him and said, “Let there be no dew in Gibeon, not in the valley, for there the blood of the slain Saul was shed” .He cursed Gibeon, that land, saying, “How can Saul die like a man not anointed with oil.” How will he die – a great king – this way? God’s desire is that you sustain your victory. I pray for everyone here this morning, none of you will be an ex-champion. Your story will not be, “He was once this; he fought victoriously, no demon dare go near him but now became oppressed”; that will not be your story in the name of Jesus.
How to have sustained victory, not just victory, but remember as I lay the foundation that this war we are talking about is not a physical fight, it is a spiritual fight, so you must understand the code of conduct, the principle of this warfare. It is not a physical fight, not the one that happened in the days of old where they brought up sword, fought, took chariots, no! It is a battle that involves the spiritual life. You fight it in the Spirit. The Bible says, “We wrestle not against flesh and blood,” not against the physical but against principalities and powers – you don’t see them. You wrestle against the rulers of the darkness of this world – you don’t see them. You wrestle against spiritual wickedness.
How can a man just say, “Oh, this Judge was the one who declared and put me in prison, therefore, I am going to pray (according to his own prayer) and I am going to lock him up in his house”. That was all and the Judge from that day when he got to his house, he never left his house, he was stooling and was about dying. Do you call that a physical battle? The man didn’t touch him, but there was something he did. We wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and powers and the rulers of the darkness of this world; against spiritual wickedness in high places. The Bible says our fight is a fight of faith. Paul said, “I have fought a good fight of faith.” He was also writing and said, “War a good warfare. ”This warfare we are talking about, I am laying a foundation that it is not physical, it is spiritual. The triumph that we are talking about is a spiritual triumph which manifests in the physical. So, how do you enjoy sustainable victory? I am going to bring up lessons from the past. I will illustrate it also with the contemporary situation. If you want to have sustained victory, understand that this battle is not physical. It is not physical, it is spiritual – you must understand that and you must know what to do to fight that kind of battle.
Look at what the scripture says in 2 Tim. 2:4 – “No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” We are soldiers. You need to know what you need to do to have victory and to sustain your victory, whether victory in your health, etc.
Can you imagine? A person slept in the night – there is nothing that happened to him, he was hale and hearty, nothing – and he woke up in the morning with pain in the head. Serious headache! He was tested for migraine, nothing; did all sort of tests. At the end of it all, it was discovered there was a tumour in his brain. How did it happen? He just slept in the night and something changed. There are things that happen. The Bible tells us that the things you see in the physical are controlled in the spiritual. You must know how to fight, you must understand the rules of the game.
How can you explain that a husband and wife who love each other… suddenly, a misunderstanding that cannot be settled came between them and before you know it, the marriage collapsed. How can you explain that the same man who said, “I can’t eat until I see my wife,” what then happened? I told you about it, a lady said, “I set fire in between the two of them and they cannot meet”.
There are spiritual battles, you’ve got to understand. If you don’t understand it, you may start with a victory but you will become the victim. I pray for everyone here this morning, none of you will be a victim. Amen.
Things you need to watch out for to ensure Sustained Victory
- Pride: Watch out! It’s an enemy that sneaks in quietly. Saul started humbly but was not conscious when pride crept into his life. 1 Samuel 9:21 (Saul’s beginning) says,
“And Saul answered and said, am I not a Benjamite, of the smallest of the tribes of Israel, and my family the least of all the families of the tribe of Benjamin? Why then do you speak like this to me?”
When Samuel said, “Are you not the desired of Israel? Everyone’s looking for you, you are the one that is to become the leader.” He said, “Look at me, who am I?” What a humble heart. He said, “Who am I? My family is from the smallest tribe in Israel – Benjamin and even my own family is the smallest in the Benjamin tribe. How come?”
In 1 Samuel 10:21-22 also, see his humility, “…and Saul the son of Kish was chosen. But when they sought him, he could not be found. Therefore they inquired of the Lord further, ‘Has the man come here yet?’ And the Lord answered, ‘There he is, hidden among the equipment’.” He was so humble to the extent that when they gathered together to pick him, they were to cast lot and the lot fell upon him to be the leader, the next king of Israel. When he discovered, he went and hid under clothes, so humble.
What is Pride? Pride is not recognizing or acknowledging God, either in word, in deed or in thought. The highest expression of pride is prayerlessness because in pride, a man feels he is self-sufficient. Pride is living a life of independence, that “I am self-sufficient without God; I am independent, I don’t need God,” while prayerfulness is an expression of helplessness, an expression of poverty without God, that is, “If God doesn’t help me, I am finished; if God doesn’t help me, where do I get help from? Is it from the threshing floor or the winepress?” That’s why you see a man who is proud, he doesn’t take God serious because he feels that he can do it without Him.
The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 3:5, “Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think of anything as being from ourselves, but our sufficiency is from God.” God hates people who think they are something without him. It’s inordinate self-esteem that is, you have an esteem which is higher than what God has created you to be. Excessive estimation of oneself. Unhealthy conceit of oneself, whether based on your importance or ingenuity, it could even be as a result of your beauty, strength, rank in life, career; it could be as a result of your education, family background, etc. You think in your heart and you feel so high. Pride is usually in the heart and it is expressed by action. One thing I have discovered is that you see it in children from an early stage. You begin to see the manifestation in young people, even the little children. That is why if you observe it and you don’t deal with it quickly, it becomes very difficult to handle it in the days to come.
Saul was a proud man, he demonstrated it. After his installation as King, one of the things that Samuel told him – “Go and wait for me”, he didn’t. He waited for seven days and when he didn’t see Samuel, he said “What is it? After all, what he can do, I can also do.” He went and offered sacrifice. As he was offering the sacrifice, Samuel appeared, asked him what he had done and Saul said, “It is because of the people, they were scattering and he felt that they should not be scattered,” he then decided to step into the role which was not his role. Pride! Pride! If you want to have sustained victory, you need to be careful, be conscious of pride. The Bible says in Proverbs 16:18 – “Pride goes before a fall; a haughty spirit before destruction”. You want to see a man who will lose in battle, see a man who is proud. See a man who will soon suffer loss – it’s just a matter of time – see a man who has an overestimation of himself; inordinate self-esteem. I am young on earth, I have not spend so many years on earth, but I have seen these words to be very true – “Igberaga nii saju iparun”. Be watchful!
You know why such a person will fail, never win a battle? Because, listen! If God is for you, tell me who can be against you? Nobody. That is what the Bible says in Romans 8:31. If God is for you, let them gather together, let all the witches… I tell people, don’t be too conscious of witches, be conscious of your relationship with God. Let them gather themselves together, let all the host of hell… one man with God is more than one million without God. That was why when Jonathan sneaked away from where the others were and went through the rock to the garrison of the Philistines with the armour bearer, they saw the Philistines and he said to his armour bearer, “Let’s go, there is no restrain whether God can save by few or by many.” God can save even with few. If He’s for you… that was what Caleb said, “Let’s go immediately and take over the land. These people will become meat for us if God is with us.” I tell you if God departs from you, you are a failure already.
James 4:6 says, “But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble”. He resists, push him back. God resists the proud. God is not for the proud, in fact, the proud person has not God. God resists him. You want to have sustained victory, be humble. Humility exalts. 1 Peter 5:5 – “…Likewise you younger people, submit yourselves to your elders. Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”
Sometimes you need to check your life regularly. I told you sometimes ago, I was in a program and it was a book dedication of my friend, a lawyer who was dedicating a book. There were a lot of dignitaries there. I had already prepared what to give. As I came in, the ushers immediately moved me to the front and the MC when he was calling people – the Senior Advocate of Nigeria, etc. He called me out and started hailing me. By the time he called me out, I only said I will buy the book and dropped something. Something that touched me, I gave it out. So, towards the end of the program, they were appreciating people that came in, and the woman who was doing that appreciated everybody, all the Senior Advocates, etc. She called people on my sides and at my back and appreciated them and I was wondering if they won’t call me also. It was embarrassing. She called them and hailed them, but I wasn’t called. And true, at the end of it all, she didn’t call me and she concluded. I was angry and felt like going to withdraw my money, but you know what, immediately, I heard “Pride, Pride, Pride” and I started saying, “God, I am sorry.” That money that day was a promissory note, I was almost thinking that I will reduce it, but immediately I heard the voice, I quickly transferred the money. Pride! Be careful, it creeps in quietly. God resists the proud, He gives grace to the humble.
I was in a meeting somewhere and one elderly man was the one who convened the meeting. The elderly man was almost 100 years old. I was seated in front of the man in the meeting. Another person came in who I was far older than, almost half of my own age. This person came in like 5 or 6 minutes late. The elderly man was seated, I was seated in front of him and this man just went and sat down. I was pissed off. What can a man become in life… some people are so proud. You see some young people raise up their shoulders like they are the ones feeding you, what Yoruba call “Ologun eru.” If you want to go far in life, you must learn to humble yourself. The Bible says let the younger people submit themselves to elders. In this generation, there is no longer elders. I teach the children in the school, when you are going through the staircase and you see an elderly person coming, stop! But the common thing among young people is that they may even slam you with their shoulders if you are not careful. Submit! Let the younger submit to the elders. If you want to go far and you don’t want God to resist you, check your life. Make sure you don’t allow pride inside of you.
There was a man in the scripture called Nebuchadnezzar. In Daniel 4:30, this man got so high, looked at his world, and spoke, saying, “Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for a royal dwelling by my mighty power and for the honour of my majesty?” What have you that you have not received? Proud of your beauty, your accomplishments in life, your rank? The Bible talks of a proud look, that is, there is a proud look. It reflects in the look also.
I have prayed for grace and I keep praying for grace. Anytime I go for evangelism, it’s like ‘don’t allow me to preach’ because everybody will be greeting me. My desire is that nobody will even recognize me. I don’t want to wear dress in such a way that in a program everybody will say the G.O. is here. I prefer to just sit down quietly, nobody knowing me. I pray for grace, I say, “Lord, help me”. I have seen people who started well and they crashed. Be careful! Rebellion is a manifestation of pride while submission is a manifestation of humility. Saul was so proud to the extent that he rebelled against God’s commandments. Samuel said, “Has the Lord a great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifice than to obey the voice of the Lord?… For rebellion is like the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness as idolatry” (1 Sam. 15:22-23).
God wants you to learn to submit. I keep saying submission is not the same thing as cooperation. Cooperation is when it is convenient for you, submission is even when it’s not convenient, you subject yourself to the opinion or authority of another person, that’s submission. Not only when it’s convenient. The Bible says, “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husband,” not when it’s convenient, I will submit, when it’s not convenient, I won’t, that’s not what the scripture says. Jesus submitted, it was not convenient but he said, “Not my will but your will be done.” “Father, if possible, let this cup be removed” but he was quick to say Father I submit, whatever is your will for me, I subject myself to your will and authority – that’s submission. Paul prayed three times that this thorn of flesh be removed from him but God said no, “My grace is sufficient for you.” He didn’t check out because of that, he submitted. He didn’t check out. Some will say, “Look, I can’t take it again, I am checking out.” You must learn to submit to the opinion and authority of others. Learn to submit. Learn from Jesus, learn from Paul. Even to God, sometimes you make request and it is as if the answers are not coming forth, do you check out on God? No.
If you want to go far, you must learn to be submissive. The younger must learn to submit to the older, the wives must learn to submit to their husband, everyone must submit to their leaders. You have a leader. The Pastor also has a leader, for example, there is the Christian Association of Nigeria, the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria – that’s our leader. Even in the nation, everyone submits to the Governor, the Governor to the President – that’s submission. I am going to talk more about submission as we go ahead. When you see a man who is proud, that man claims glory for everything he does. Nebuchadnezzar said, “See, what my hands have done by my mighty powers. Look at the royal dwelling built by my mighty power.” Let’s see what happened to him in verse 31 of that same Daniel – “While the word was still in the King’s mouth, a voice call from heaven: “King Nebuchadnezzar, to you it is spoken: the kingdom has departed from you!” He became an animal.
- Entanglement of the World: I keep saying why they take the military to the barrack is to cut them away from bloody civilians; weak and cowardly civilians. So, they put them in the barrack. When they are in the war front… there are a lot of military now, fighting. Oh! I love Ukraine, even the past President is there fighting, carrying gun, wearing military wear. People submitted themselves to fight. Even if everybody runs away, will the military run away? They can’t run away. Their families could have gone, but they are separated. That’s the work. I will look at this entanglement under two portions: Entanglement with the World and also Lust.
What brought Israel down in the war against Ai, was it not the Babylonian garment that Achan saw in Jericho? It was what he saw and God has said, “Utterly destroy. Only silver and gold should be brought to dedicate to the house”, but Achan took the Babylonian garment. He was covetous and he carried it. What brought Samson down before Delilah? Was it the eyelid of Delilah or that kind of thing that Delilah was carrying in the chest that was irresistible? Formerly, you know what happened to Samson? He would go in to see a prostitute and then go out to war, repeatedly, but this time around when he met Delilah, he never went out again. What did Delilah give him? How special was Delilah’s meal that he laid on the lap of Delilah. What brought him down?
Another question: what brought about the rejection of Saul? He destroyed everything but brought in those special sheep, goat and oxen and spared them, despite the clear command of the Lord – “utterly destroy” (covetousness) (1 Sam. 15:9). The scripture says in 1 John 2:15 – 17,
“Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life – is not of the Father but is of the world. And the world is passing away, and the lust of it; but he who does the will of God abides forever.”
Friends, if you want to be victorious, you have to deal first with the lust of the flesh. There is a way God expects soldiers to dress. Soldiers don’t wear agbada to the war front; you see them with their cap, helmet. You see their dresses with belt. There is a way to behave. Once you are a child of God, you have been enlisted in the army, you are a soldier. If you want to fight and win that spiritual battle, you must be careful of lust. Lust is a strong passion towards things that are not commanded or approved.
Today, sometimes you go to church and ask whether you are in the clubhouse or in the church. The Bible talks about the dressing of a prostitute, the attire of a prostitute (Pro. 7:10) and you know what, because people don’t want to hear it, pastors don’t talk about it again. There is a way a harlot dresses. You must know how to conduct yourself in the body of Christ. First of all, look at yourself in the mirror before you come to church and ask, “If Jesus meets me on the way, will he hug me and say, ‘Oh, beautiful daughter of mine’ or give me a dirty slap?” Dressing of a harlot: exposing the chest, cleavage, wearing slit to the extent that you begin to see the underwear, shorts into the church. Not even in the church alone for some say, “I don’t wear it to the church, but I can wear it outside”. Listen! If you want to fight and win, you must be careful of the lust of the flesh. As a child of God, you must be careful. This flesh must die!
The Bible says in Galatians5:16 – 17, the flesh and spirit are in war: “I see then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh, for the flesh lusts against the Spirit….”Some of you still enjoy the old life. You see, when somebody offends you, you say “If not that Jesus has changed your life…” you are still thinking about the past. You say, “In those days…” you still remember your misdeeds. The scripture says in 1 Corinthians 6:18, “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body.” If you want to win in this battle, run away from sexual immorality, it destroys you. What brought Samson down, a great champion that they plucked out his eyes, is it not sexual immorality? A great man, he was born in a very special way, the real first Nazarite, look at what brought him down. They plucked out his eyes and asked him to dance for them – he became an entertainer.
The other part of entanglement is worldly desires: material things. Some esteem material things above righteousness. They can give up their integrity and chastity, just because they want material things that will perish. Matthew 16:26 says, “What shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loses his soul?” Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”
What are you looking for? Give up material things. Not like God doesn’t want you to enjoy life. The Bible says, “I wish above all things that you may prosper and be in good health even as your soul prospereth”, but you must put the things of God first. Don’t give up your salvation because of the car you want to buy. Don’t give up your salvation because of the house you want to build, because of the land you want to buy. Don’t give up your salvation just because of promotion in your place of work. Don’t give up your salvation! It says, “hunger and thirst after righteousness”. If you want to have sustained victory, you need to watch out for the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes. Craze for material things, you need to be very careful.
- Relationships: In Luke 14:26, Jesus said “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.” What does Jesus mean by ‘hate’ here? Does it mean you should hate, No. It means that once you come to Christ, all other relationships become secondary. Jesus takes the first place in your life and becomes the lover of your soul, every other person including your spouse becomes secondary after Jesus. You must not love your spouse above your saviour; not even friends, colleagues, etc. You know one thing that brought down Saul was that he was always interested in pleasing people. “Did I not command you to destroy them? ”But in 1 Sam. 15:24, after arguing, he finally accepted what Samuel was telling him that he had violated the clear instruction of the Lord – “Then Saul said to Samuel, “I have sinned, for I have transgressed the commandment of the Lord and your words, because I feared the people and obeyed their voice.”
Anyone that you esteem higher than God in your life has become your idol. Even Jesus himself, the Bible says, when his mother came to look for him, he said, anyone who does the will of my Father is my father and mother? When Jesus was telling Peter about his final death and sacrifice, Peter said no, he won’t die. Jesus then told him that he was an offence to him because he doesn’t want him to do the will of his father and he was more interested in the will of man than that of God? Anyone that wants to raise his own will or the will of man above God in your life should be an offence to you.
I remember some years ago, we traveled to Owo in Ondo State and we decided to travel down to the village to check our parents. I got there and saw that my mother was sick, it was bad. My father said my mummy was sick and couldn’t eat and she was on bed. You know what, I am the last born and I loved my mother and my mother loved me. I got there and I saw my mum dying. It was already about 4pm and we were still traveling back to Ilorin which would take us about 5 – 6 hours. I told my mum that we should come to Ilorin together but she said no. I told her if I should stay behind – it was on a Saturday, the next day was Sunday – my heart was heavy, what will I do in the situation. At a stage when she said she was not going, we prayed for her, my heart was heavy but I needed to be in church. I left her behind and came to church. Jesus said, “If anyone wants to come to me, you must love me above your mother, father, friends, colleagues”, that doesn’t say you should not take care of your parents. I stopped traveling home for Christmas after I got ordained as a pastor, I never went for Christmas and New Year. If any day I wanted to go for Christmas, after service, on the 25th, if I had to go, I will leave here and travel to go and see her, not to stab church because I wanted to go and see my parents.
Pastor Adeboye shared a testimony which touched my heart. We all heard about the departure of his son. It happened on a Tuesday and Thursday was Communion Service and Friday was Holy Ghost Night. He said he had an option but should he stay at home and continue to grieve his son? By Thursday, he stood up and went to the Communion Service to conduct communion in church and on Friday, he went to lead the Holy Ghost Service. He would have stayed at home and be grieving but he said, “I have to make up my mind.” I heard about another example he had. He said at the early stage of the ministry, the Holy Ghost congress was at Ijebu-Ode, he traveled home to Osun State and he found his mother, like my case, dying. He said, in two days’ time was supposed to be the Holy Ghost Congress in Ijebu-Ode. He had a choice to stay behind, but he said “Mum, you know I love you but I have to go to attend to Jesus’ case now.” He prayed with his mum and his mum said, “I understand, I release you”. He said, thank God his mother released him. With heavy heart, he drove from Ifewara and went for the Congress, but do you know one interesting thing, before he returned that day, he already heard that God had touched his mother. That mother that was dying lived another 11 years. He said, God tested his faith.
You know, if you want to enjoy victory, you must be able to esteem the love of God above every other thing. The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 4:13 not to sorry like people without God. Anytime there is a challenge, you don’t shut the church and say you are sorrowing. The love of God must be so paramount in your life that nothing must be able to hinder you from the love of God. When you love God to that extent and make him the priority of your life, He will step into your case. When you put God at the centre point of your life and you step aside, then He will work on your behalf. You know Jesus even said that we shouldn’t think he came to put peace between fathers and mothers but he came to put sword, but today you see generations, even leaders sometimes, a generation in which people esteem the things of the world more than the things of God and this should not be so. As a Pastor, under normal situation, I should be with my parents every Christmas day, but if I leave the Church every Christmas day, that’s not leadership. You need to love God above every other thing including your father and mother.
Some years ago, my elder brother was at home and it was an issue that came up, I had to take a stand, “Look, it’s either I obey the word of God or I obey tradition.” I told my elder brother, you know this is my wife, I will not accept this in this house. I took my stand. But in these days what do you see? People will esteem traditions above the Word of God and the wife will become slave in the house. One day, my mum called me into the room that she wanted to see me, I went into the room and she started telling me some things. I told her, “Mum, you know I love you but anything you want to say to me, say it in the presence of my wife”. I would not allow anything that is contrary to the scripture. l don’t raise tradition above the will of God. Pastor Adeboye said God used her to test him, and it worked for him, it was a big trial of his faith. You need to love God above everything if you have to be victorious in life because God will test you and see how much you love Him.
Will you stop coming to church because you are grieved? Will you stop going to Bible Study because you are grieved? Will you stop praying because you have a challenge? Entanglement of the world. For sustained victory, you need to put a line of demarcation between…In Matthew 14:12 – 14, after the death of John the Baptist, the Bible said his disciples came and took his body and buried it and told Jesus. When Jesus heard it, he departed from there by boat to “…a deserted place by Himself. But when the multitudes heard it, they followed Him on foot from the cities. And when Jesus went out He saw a great multitude; and He was moved with compassion for them, and healed their sick.” – the ministry continued. After John the Baptist was killed by Herod, Jesus did not say “Let me stop ministry,” he went ahead. We are in the injury time that no minute can be wasted. We went on evangelism yesterday, and saw souls coming to the Lord. We can’t waste time! The Kingdom of God must advance, that was what Jesus did. He didn’t stay there and said for the next one week let me be grieving, He went and preached the gospel and healed the sick.
Jesus asked his disciples in Matthew 16 and said to some people who want to follow him that, “Birds of the air have place to stay, foxes have holes, but the son of man has nowhere to stay”. Somebody came to him and said, “Let me go and bury my dead,” what did He say? “Let the dead bury their dead, but you take your cross and follow me” (Luke 9:60). Was he saying that you should not take care of your parents? No. Let me tell you what happened there, in those days, what that man was requesting was that, let me go and stay with my parents for the next one year, taking care of them until they die, that was what he was saying, not that he wanted to go and conduct a burial service. God will not tell you not to go and conduct a befitting burial service for your parents. The man was saying, “Excuse me from this calling, let me go and stay for the next one year,” but Jesus said, “No. Let the dead bury their dead but you go and preach the Kingdom of God.” In verse 61 of Luke 9, another said, “Lord I will follow you, but let me first of all say farewell,” but Jesus answered and said, “No man, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
You must not look back! No going back! You have made up your mind, no going back, that is the call of discipleship! You must know what it means to be a disciple. If you want to be victorious in life, you must pay the price of discipleship. Pay the price; God will test you in little matters, he will give you an opportunity, test you with it, how will you take it? Not knowing where God was taking Baba Adeboye that day, look at where he is today. God spared the woman’s life for the next 11 years.
Let’s bow our heads as we pray!
Ask for grace not to break the ranks. To love Jesus above every other thing. Pray for Grace.
Pray that God will deliver you from every iota of pride that can hinder you.
Pray that God will deliver you from every lust of the flesh, lust of the world and the pride of life inside of you. Ask God to help you even in your dressing that you will not give a wrong impression to the Gospel. Pray for grace to separate yourself from the world and never to esteem any relationship above God.