believer

SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE BELIEVERS

by Admin on

Written by Oluwatosin Fatade

A soldier does not encumber himself with civilian affairs, that he might please his commanding officer who has enlisted him.
Those who are at war have no time for frivolities or festivities. A soldier must be focused on his orders, strategy, opponent and territories yet to be conquered. If he does allow other issues to encroach his mind and attention, he might run into an ambush and suffer untoward loss if he is lucky to escape death.
Jesus declared explicitly to his followers that they were not of this world (John 15:19; 17:16). He also charged them to affect the world they are in by being salt and light to it (Matthew 5:13 -16). How do we affect the world we are in without being influenced by it, especially in the light of 2 Timothy 2:4? Where do we draw the line between being entangled with the world and seeking to affect it?

It is not just foolhardy to try to compartmentalise our existence into sectors of spiritual, mental, academic, financial, etc.; it is impossible. An attempt to succeed in such fragmentation usually ends up in a disaster.
It is always important to put all things into context and consider issues wholesomely. It is almost impossible to affect a system you are not a part of. It is clear from scripture, that God calls some to be certain things, not all.
Ephesians 4:11 KJV

And he gave some apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers.
But he has called all to be sons, priests, ministers of reconciliation; as many as receive him and believe on his name (2 Corinthians 5:18). Those he has specially ordained may have very little opportunity to be socially felt or seen directly, even as much as they are not prohibited from such.
Take Paul, for example, going by available records, it would seem all he had was a spiritual life from the time he became a believer. He went from mission to mission till the very end. But remember he made tents – that doesn’t sound like a crusade. There would have been other tentmakers, with whom he flowed and mingled, he most likely preached to them too anyway Acts 18:3; 1 Corinthians 4:12.
How about our Saviour Jesus? He was fully committed to his ministry in His adulthood. Before then, he was part of a family where he functioned as a child and prepared for ministry. In the course of His ministry, I would say He attended banquets at Zacchaeus’ and Lazarus’, or call it dinner Luke 19:5-7; John 12:1-2. Note that he did ministry at those social events. He paid tax (Matthew 17:25-27); observed Jewish festivals and did things we might tag charity were they done in our days – He fed 4,000 and 5,000 people; turned water into wine at a wedding Matthew 14:17, 21; 15:38; John 2:11; John 4:46.

Luke, one of Paul’s companions was a Physician Colossians 4:14; I don’t know if he had a private practice or worked for the government, or if he abandoned it altogether for ministry.
Joseph of Arimathaea followed Jesus, but certainly not like the other disciples, he wasn’t one of the 12 but was one of the disciples of Jesus Matthew 27:57.
The Ethiopian who Philip met at sea most probably did not go become a pastor after believing Acts 8.
Dorcas was a tailor or fashion designer, she even made clothes and garments for widows for free Acts 9:36-39.
In the Old Testament, Daniel was a top class politician, a man of God, whose relevance in governance spanned different dispensations and regimes. He didn’t compromise, but delivered service and justice to the people.
Joseph was prime minister in Egypt, he saved the world from what would have been a devastating plague of famine.

So, believer and soldier of Christ, if ye have been called or ordained as a minister over a flock or congregation, face it and do all God commands you. Be socially responsible, for that will be part of the wholesome package one way or the other. Wherever thou art as a believer who isn’t an ordained minister to preside over a congregation, be responsible and let your impact be felt strongly without forgetting that you are a minister of reconciliation and a priest of the most high God.

“The Christian shoemaker does his duty not by putting little crosses on the shoes, but by making good shoes”. – Martin Luther.

The Dominion Package – Part 2

by Admin on

Taking Charge

In the first part of this write-up (read here), I have given reasons and scriptural backings to emphasize that authority and dominion on earth rests with man. All authority and power belongs to God, and He has graciously called us men as partners to wield this authority while here on earth. It is one thing to have power and authority, another to be aware of it (Part 1 dealt with this) and yet another thing to know how to use or enforce such powers (let’s deal with this right now).

Word, Prayer, Fellowship

There’s nothing we have that we did not receive (1 Corinthians 4:7), including authority and power. It will be foolhardy to disconnect from a power source. Jesus Christ, God who became man did not begin his power-packed mission on earth until He had exercised himself by fellowshipping with the Father. He fasted, prayed, studied, and retreated (Matthew 4:1-2). While His ministry went on, he did not rely on his pre-ministry spiritual exercise but rather he continued daily in fellowship with the Father – rising up a great deal before dawn, he withdrew himself and prayed.

Matt 14:23 KJV And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone

Luke 6:12 KJV And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

Mark 1:35 KJV And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Put it to use

My father has a favourite saying as it concerns the Holy Spirit, “the baptism of the Holy Spirit is for show, it is power for service”. Jesus did not just possess authority and power, he used it. He didn’t organise a show or circus or an exhibition; rather he went about everywhere doing good – healing the sick, raising the dead, chasing out demons. Same as what the Apostles and early Christians did. You don’t receive authority and power just to hang it on a wall like a plaque or a medal, use it!

Acts 10:38 NLT And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with him.

Speak

There is power in the tongue, with it we will set the kingdom of darkness to flee. In creating the heavens and the earth, God spoke and things came to be (Genesis 1). God commanded Ezekiel to prophesy unto dry bones and they came to life when he did (Ezekiel 37); Jesus commanded the storm to cease and it obeyed (Mark 4:39), also told the devil to leave Him (who born the devil well make him no obey?)

Matt 4:10-11 NCV 10 Jesus said to the devil, “Go away from me, Satan! It is written in the Scriptures, ‘You must worship the Lord your God and serve only him.’11 So the devil left Jesus, and angels came and took care of him.

Rev 12:11 KJV And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.

Ps 149:6-9 KJV Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.

Pray in the Spirit

Be obedient to God, let Him teach and guide you per time. You have to rely on the Holy Spirit’s leading. Pray in the Spirit always. There will be times and battles our earthly frame cannot fathom or comprehend or even become aware of, but the Spirit prompts and helps us to pray even about things we don’t know details of. We win more battles without knowing it when we pray in the Spirit. When we pray in the Spirit, we are being pro-active, not reactive. Don’t let things happen to you first before you get down to praying to have it corrected. You can with the Holy Spirit’s help go ahead to fix things such that they go on in a proper way.

Purge yourself of all filthiness

There’s an hedge around you friend and believer, one should never break lest you let the devil in. Sin grants the devil access into our lives to mess with us, to torment us, to accuse and to distract. While God has indeed promised and granted us forgiveness of sins and for sins, going on further to sin hinders us from impacting maximally and functioning as we should. We will have to deal with guilt, sometimes, consequences of whatever sin committed, distractions from observers or followers. It is no wonder then that the scriptures classifies sin along with ‘weights’ as things that can slow us down and hinder us. Ever tried running with baggage? Sure it’s not an easy task, travel light!

Heb 12:1 KJV Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

2 Tim 2:4 KJV No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.

1 Cor 10:13 KJV  There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

If we’d use God’s map for our lives mostly, we’ll hardly miss road but God provides an escape route with every temptation, stop waiting for the elevator. Run my dear, run!

You have the power, use it, get better at using it, keep exercising yourself spiritually unto godliness, drop excess luggage and remember not to pick up the unnecessaries. Focus!

 

 

Oluwatosin Fatade

© 2016

NLT : Holy Bible, New Living Translation ®, copyright © 1996, 2004 by Tyndale Charitable Trust. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers. All rights reserved.

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