“Sit at My right hand, till I make Your enemies Your footstool.” (Psalm 110:1 NKJV)
Beloved, the Bible tells us of Pharaoh who devised a plan to hinder the Israelites growth for fear that they may join their enemies to fight against them and then escape. He decreed that all male children born to the Israelites be killed and when that didn’t work, he ordered that they should be thrown into the Nile River. But that mandate could not stop the man that God sent as their deliverer. Moses’ mother left him to float in the reeds at the edge of the Nile but he was rescued by Pharaoh’s daughter who asked the boy’s mother to be his paid nurse. And then… later, when the boy was older, his mother BROUGHT HIM BACK TO PHARAOH’S DAUGHTER, WHO ADOPTED HIM AS HER OWN SON… Many years later, WHEN MOSES HAD GROWN UP, he went out to visit his own people, the Hebrews, and he saw how hard they were forced to work… (Exodus 2:10-11 NLT).
Can you imagine that? Until the time Moses was old enough to embark on the task that God created him for, he grew in the household of the enemy. They fed him daily and sent him to the best of schools. He was educated in all the wisdom and culture of the Egyptians (Acts 7:22 AMP). Who knows, perhaps he may have had long talks with Pharaoh’s daughter (and maybe even Pharaoh) about things pertaining to life – those things formal education cannot teach you.
So, how does this apply to us? Every single plot of the enemy designed against us is training and equipping us for purpose. I’ve heard of people that lost their jobs because of the plans devised by their enemies only to end up opening their own businesses using the things they learned from their work experience. Most people only discovered their gifting’s through the battles they have fought and won in Christ. Many have written bestseller books based on what they experienced in life. So, most people only discover their purpose through life’s battles.
Joseph was sold into slavery by his brothers and then landed in jail because he was lied on by Potiphar’s wife but God used those experiences to train and elevate him. His enemies were His footstool. He also learnt valuable virtues like forgiveness which released him to move on from the past.
As for Jesus… ‘None of the rulers of this age understood it, for if they had, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory’ (1 Corinthians 2:8 NIV). Everything planned against Jesus was designed to fulfil the Master plan.
Beloved, you have got to get to that place where you start appreciating your footstool. Please don’t let pain or bitterness cause you to overlook the valuable lessons you are learning and the promotion awaiting you. Always remember that… God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them (Romans 8:28 NLT).
Delilah said to Samson, “Please tell me where your great strength lies, AND WITH WHAT YOU MAY BE BOUND TO AFFLICT YOU.” (Judges 16:6 NKJV)
What? Did I hear you right? Am I missing something? Why do you want to know? Beloved, will you hear someone make such a statement and not run for your life? Have you ever read Samson and Delilah’s story and wondered what must have been wrong with Samson? He falls in love with this lady and before you know it, she comes up with this classic love line in our feature text.
Delilah was not beating around the bush about it and it’s not like she makes such a statement and then turns around and says… I’m only joking. She tried this line on him three good times and on each occasion, he woke up and found himself bound. Still, he didn’t heed to the warning signs. Its either he felt he was invincible or he was indeed truly bounded (not blinded) by love.
Beloved, you can’t be in a relationship where you become too weak to do anything even when you know your life may be at stake; a relationship where someone has such a strong hold over you. The Bible says… And when she pressed him day after day with her words and urged him, he was vexed to death (Judges 16:16 AMP).
The King James Version says… HIS SOUL WAS VEXED UNTO DEATH. At that point, he didn’t care about his life anymore and so… he told her all his heart (Judges 16:17 KJV) and it was downhill from then on. Delilah was sent on a mission with an attractive price to be claimed when the job was done so she was relentless. He may not have known there was a price on his head but he wasn’t exactly ignorant. Three good times he woke up tied up… Come-on… He also knew the kind of relationship he had with God which he took for granted. Samson was enslaved and the life of a great man of God soon came to an end because He found himself BOUND IN A DANGEROUS UNGODLY RELATIONSHIP.
Beloved, do you feel bound in any relationship? And I’m not just talking of one kind of relationship. It could even be a business relationship. Do you know… It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. STAND FIRM, THEN, AND DO NOT LET YOURSELVES BE BURDENED AGAIN BY A YOKE OF SLAVERY (Galatians 5:1 NIV). You’ve got to take a stand. Why not ask the Lord to help you read the signs clearly? Start asking for strength to break free. There is power in the name of Jesus to break every chain so why not call on His name… if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free (John 8:36 AMPC).
THE TABLETS WERE THE WORK OF GOD; the writing was the writing of God, engraved on the tablets… When Moses approached the camp and saw the calf and the dancing, HIS ANGER BURNED AND HE THREW THE TABLETS OUT OF HIS HANDS, BREAKING THEM TO PIECES AT THE FOOT OF THE MOUNTAIN. And he took the calf the people had made and burned it in the fire; then HE GROUND IT TO POWDER, SCATTERED IT ON THE WATER AND MADE THE ISRAELITES DRINK IT (Exodus 32:16-20 NIV).
Beloved, to be honest, it doesn’t matter what anyone has done to you; Moses’ type of temper is some real temper that must be dealt with. How can you go about smashing things and forcing people to do the unspeakable?
I think the first thing to do is reflect on where this anger is coming from. Did Moses have issues? Neglect maybe? I was reading where someone said “it would seem reasonable to assume that his public outburst of anger… may indicate some repressed anger and resentment from his early years.”
Abandoned to your own fate in the river; growing up in the enemy’s house and watching their cruelty to your own people… including mummy and big sis… Was that why you committed murder? … One day, after Moses had grown up, he went out to WHERE HIS OWN PEOPLE WERE AND WATCHED THEM AT THEIR HARD LABOR. He saw an Egyptian beating a Hebrew, one of his own people. Looking this way and that and seeing no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand (Exodus 2:11-12 NIV). Something must have been eating away at him to lash out like that.
Beloved, repressed anger could be deadly so, if you think there are things eating you up from the inside, it’s time to take them to the Lord. You must know that it’s making your Christian walk and work harder. Apart from the fact that you may waste 40 years of your own in the wilderness which could be delaying your people’s/families breakthrough, also notice that the original TABLETS WERE THE WORK OF GOD; the writing was the writing of God. No effort of Moses. However, second time round… The Lord said to Moses, “CHISEL OUT TWO STONE TABLETS like the first ones, and I will write on them the words that were on the first tablets, WHICH YOU BROKE (Exodus 34:1 NIV). God didn’t fail to remind him.
Beloved, Moses didn’t get to see the Promised Land because of this same anger. Is your temper/anger preventing you from receiving what the Lord has promised you? You keep blaming the devil but we are told… When angry, do not sin; do not ever let your wrath (your exasperation, your fury or indignation) last until the sun goes down. LEAVE NO [SUCH] ROOM OR FOOTHOLD FOR THE DEVIL [GIVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO HIM] (Ephesians 4:26-27 AMPC).
How about doing some deep reflection and asking the Lord for healing?
And I gave thee thy master’s house, and thy master’s wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I WOULD MOREOVER HAVE GIVEN UNTO THEE SUCH AND SUCH THINGS. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? (2 Samuel 12:8-9 KJV)
I WOULD MOREOVER HAVE GIVEN UNTO THEE SUCH AND SUCH THINGS…
Beloved, on Sunday, I listened to a message where the preacher focused on this line and since then, I couldn’t shake it off. Our feature text is about David who had an adulterous affair with Uriah’s wife and then killed him to cover up his mess. However, the Lord was so disappointed in him; “I gave you everything a man could ever ask for and if that was not enough, all you should have done was say so and I would have given unto thee such and such things…”
So, what is ‘such and such things?’ The New Living Translation says… I would have given you much, much more. The Message Translation says… And if that hadn’t been enough, I’d have gladly thrown in much more.
Beloved, this tells me that the Lord doesn’t have a problem blessing you likesome of us religious people think. All He asks is that He has our hearts. The Bible says… For the eyes of the Lord move to and fro throughout the earth so that He may support those whose heart is completely His. You have acted foolishly in this; therefore, from now on you will have wars.” (2 Chronicles 16:9 AMP)
So, the Lord did His search and He found David and… of him He testified and said, ‘I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart [conforming to My will and purposes], who will do all My will.’ (Acts 13:22 AMP)
However, we now hear the Lord say… Why have you treated the word of God with brazen contempt, doing this great evil? You murdered Uriah the Hittite, then took his wife as your wife. Worse, you killed him with an Ammonite sword! And now, because you treated God with such contempt and took Uriah the Hittite’s wife as your wife, killing and murder will continually plague your family (2 Samuel 12:8-9 MSG).
Beloved, this must have been very disappointing for the Lord and it sure spoke volumes to me to the point where I had to say… Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT).
Beloved, the blessing of the Lord makes a person rich, and he adds no sorrow with it (Proverbs 10:22 NLT). So, let’s submit our hearts to Him, cut out the evil, the wickedness, the greed, the covetousness, the competitiveness, the wrong motives, the disobedience, the idolatry etc. and go after Him wholeheartedly so we can find out what His such and such things are
So they spread this bad report about the land among the Israelites: “The land we traveled through and explored will devour anyone who goes to live there. All the people we saw were huge. We even saw giants there, the descendants of Anak. Next to them WE FELT LIKE grasshoppers, AND THAT’S WHAT THEY THOUGHT, TOO!” (Numbers 13:32-33 NLT).
NEXT TO THEM WE FELT LIKE GRASSHOPPERS, AND THAT’S WHAT THEY THOUGHT, TOO…
Beloved, reading our feature text, the question I would have loved to ask these men that brought a bad report is “are you in the minds of other people to know what they are thinking about you or is this how you actually see yourself?”
One thing I have come to realise is that most times, we (and not the enemies we see in front of us) are our worst enemies. Please notice they didn’t say “THAT’S WHAT THEY SAID, TOO”. They said “THAT’S WHAT THEY THOUGHT, TOO… and my question is how did they know that’s what they were thinking if they weren’t thinking the same about themselves? Isn’t it funny how we sometimes reduce ourselves to nothing just because of what we think other people are thinking of us?
Beloved, what do you think people think about you? Does it really matter? Well, for a very long time I was a slave to WHAT PEOPLE THOUGHT… but not anymore. When you find your identity in Christ, what He thinks of you is what’s important and what you think about yourself is equally important.
What makes you think they think you’ve made a fool of yourself? Or that they think you are no good? Or they think you are rubbish? It’s all in your head! The real problem is not how people see you but how you see yourself.
These men said… Next to them ‘WE FELT LIKE’ grasshoppers.
Beloved, ‘WE FELT’… is a feeling and as Christians, we shouldn’t pay attention to those negative feelings like… fear… intimidation, worthlessness etc.
The Lord knew they were facing giants. It wasn’t a surprise to God but He said go and take over the land anyway. This was because He wasn’t sending them out in their own strength and I like how two of the men responded… Joshua… and Caleb… said to all the people of Israel, “The land we traveled through and explored is a wonderful land! And if the Lord is pleased with us, He will bring us safely into that land and give it to us…. Do not rebel against the Lord, and don’t be afraid of the people of the land. They are only helpless prey to us! They have no protection, but the Lord is with us! Don’t be afraid of them!” (Numbers 14:6-9 NLT)
Beloved, some saw giant’s while some saw HELPLESS PREYS. What made the difference? THE LORD IS WITH US!!! Your confidence should come from the Lord. Only then would you know that you are more than a conqueror (Romans 8:37) and that’s how you should always see yourself! Beloved, do you have some renewing of the mind to do? (Romans 12:2)
… Let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you THINK… (Romans 12:2 NLT)
Beloved, I just got back from Africa yesterday and I was telling my brother that the journey I’m on now with Lord is one where He is working on my perception; how I see things… how I think… because whether we like to admit it or not, we are limited by the boundaries we place on ourselves.
David wasn’t limited by size. He recognized that he had a big God who is able. He told Goliath… “You come at me with sword and spear and battle-ax. I come at you in the name of God-of-the-Angel-Armies… This very day God is handing you over to me… and everyone gathered here will learn that God doesn’t save by means of sword or spear. The battle belongs to God—he’s handing you to us on a platter!” (1 Samuel 17:45-47 MSG)
On the other hand, the 10 spies were intimidated by the size of the giants they saw and couldn’t possess their promise. They said…“We can’t go up against them! They are stronger than we are!”… Next to them we felt like grasshoppers, and that’s what they thought, too!” (Numbers 13:31-33 NLT)
Jeremiah, when called by God said… “I can’t speak for you! I’m too young!” The Lord replied, “Don’t say, ‘I’m too young,’ for you must go wherever I send you and say whatever I tell you. And don’t be afraid of the people, for I will be with you and will protect you. I, the Lord, have spoken!” (Jeremiah 1:6-8 NLT)
Moses also wanted to place limits on himself but God didn’t let him… Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.” Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? IS IT NOT I, THE LORD? (Exodus 4:10-11 NLT)
And then there was Jesus who wasn’t limited by money in the bank. He told Peter to go and catch a fish, take money out of its mouth and go and pay the tax collector (Matthew 17:24-27). Also, Jesus was able to feed a multitude of 5000 men with 5 loafs and 2 fishes. His disciples came to him with a problem but Jesus wanted to transform their minds so… Jesus said, “You feed them.” “With what?” they asked. “We’d have to work for months to earn enough money to buy food for all these people!” (Mark 6:37 NLT). Their thinking already limited them but Jesus said only 5 loafs and 2 fishes will do.
Also, when they ran out of wine at the wedding in Canaan, if it were us today, we would be running around in confusion; “How much have you got on you? Which shop is nearby?” But what did Jesus say? He said we don’t need all that, just bring me water (John 2: 1-11).
Beloved, do you need to change your perception on things? Remember… with God all things are possible (Matthew 19:26).
…“Come up here, and I will show you what must happen after this.” (Revelation 4:1 NLT)
Beloved, there was a time Jesus told His disciples… Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.” (Matthew 17:20 NIV)
Jesus told them that it only took ‘small faith’ to move the mountain but my question is; what if you’ve got faith and the mountain still remains where it is? What if you’ve joined your faith with others and it has become massive faith and the mountains still says there’s no way I’m moving from this position? What if Jesus doesn’t want you to remove the mountain because there’s something He wants you to see on top of the mountain? Remember The Transfiguration… Jesus took Peter and the two brothers, James and John, AND LED THEM UP A HIGH MOUNTAIN TO BE ALONE. As the men watched, JESUS’ APPEARANCE WAS TRANSFORMED so that His face shone like the sun, and His clothes became as white as light (Matthew 17:1-2 NLT).
Jesus led them up the mountain and there He was TRANSFORMED and they saw His glory (Luke 9:32). Also, on top of that mountain, once again, the Lord confirmed who Jesus was… a voice from the cloud said, “This is My dearly loved Son, who brings Me great joy. Listen to Him.” (Matthew 17:5 NLT)
Could this be why Jesus wants you to climb that mountain? Is there transformation taking place there? Does God want you to see His glory? Is God speaking and confirming things on top of the mountain? You will also find out that while Jesus was on earth, the top of the mountain was His favourite spot for prayer; a place where He connected with God… Jesus went up on a mountain to pray, and He prayed to God all night (Luke 6:12 NLT).
Beloved, are you facing a mountain that refuses to shift? Some mountains we face have their uses. Could there be something up there the Lord wants you to see? And it’s not like you would remain there forever. What I like is that it was Jesus that led them up the mountain and you will also find that they all came back down from the mountain after their experience (Matthew 17:9). You too are no exception. Jesus is with you. Ask Him for the direction you need. Ask Him to hold your hand and trust that you will definitely come back down from that mountain after seeing what the Lord wants you to see.
And as he thus proceeded with his defense, Festus called out loudly, Paul, you are mad! Your great learning is driving you insane! But Paul replied, I am not mad, most noble Festus, but I am uttering the straight, sound truth. For the king understands about these things well enough, and [therefore] to him I speak with bold frankness and confidence. I am convinced that not one of these things has escaped his notice, FOR ALL THIS DID NOT TAKE PLACE IN A CORNER [in secret]. (Acts 26:24-26 AMPC)
Beloved, in Acts chapter 26, Apostle Paul gives a full account of his life before his encounter with Jesus Christ and he ends with this remarkable statement… FOR ALL THIS DID NOT TAKE PLACE IN A CORNER…
Don’t you think it’s the most beautiful thing when the Lord takes a life that Satan thought was definitely his; a life that no one could possibly see how any good can come of it; a life that was written off and transforms it in front of everybody to see? God is such an expert at such. He takes that life and says… “don’t write it off just yet. You wait until you see what I can do with it. Even the person in question is going to be so surprised at how I can transform their lives”.
Apostle Paul himself once argued with the Lord. He said…“After I returned to Jerusalem, I was praying in the Temple and fell into a trance. I saw a vision of Jesus saying to me, ‘Hurry! Leave Jerusalem, for the people here won’t accept your testimony about me.’ “‘But Lord,’ I argued, ‘they certainly know that in every synagogue I imprisoned and beat those who believed in you. And I was in complete agreement when your witness Stephen was killed. I stood by and kept the coats they took off when they stoned him.’ (Acts 22:17-20 NLT).
Paul must have said, “Can’t you see all the evil that I did? They know all these about me and they are bound to think that there’s no possible way I can change”.
Hmmm… Satan is such an expert at messing with your mind if you allow him. He has a way of making you replay your past life over and over again in your head so you see yourself as unworthy but… if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new (2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV)
Apostle Paul was a different person now and everybody could testify to that fact because… ALL THIS DID NOT TAKE PLACE IN A CORNER…
Beloved, is your journey, process, stripping… on display right now? Well, some have the privilege of hiding theirs while others don’t. However, like Apostle Paul, there would come a time that it would give such joy to present God’s handiwork to the world. Just wait and see what God does with your life.