THE WILL OF GOD
This morning of Sunday, 25th of July, 2017 my soul searched and my spirit worked till it reached a point of speaking or writing on ANYTHING to the people of God.
From the tangibility stance we know that nothing means nothing. ‘It’ means Zero. And we know that Zero has no value. But it actually has a value in so much as -1 and -2 have values. So, zero is something. That is, nothing means something. If that isn’t true why will someone explain ‘it’ with a pronoun, ‘it’?
But ‘Anything’ is more complex. We quickly get the idea that it is something. We know it is not zero but it can actually be zero since it is anything. The word, ‘anything’ refers to an undefined or indefinite entity or thing. It simply means whatever. That is a conveyance of conformism or indifference. Whether the boss is choosy or insane, whether the thing is rational or not, simple or not- Sir, please, just anything.
IT’S NOT A DEAL
It’s a common thing that we often pray, “Father, accept my offering. Bless me in return, in folds,” and the minister will pray, “Lord, provide for those who bring their offering in multiple folds, have mercy and provide for those who don’t have but wanted to give.” We forget those who are not even willing to give- those ones need to change –they need a change of heart because sometimes they often have. And we always remind God that He has asked us to test Him with our tithe and offering. There is absolute nothing wrong or improper in this kind of attitude. It’s normal. It's very good. The truth, however, is that we must in our heart understand that belonging to God is not a matter of ‘God, watch my back and I will watch your back’ at all. It’s not I got your back and you’ve got mine. It’s never a contract of ‘God, meet my needs and I’ll serve you energetically.” He is worthy to be served. We do not need to say, “God if You want me to remain faithful then save my father, give me a husband, give me a child, give me a job, heal me, do this for me and that also. If You don’t do what I ask how can I continue to serve You?” Oh No! That’s not it! God is not a pitiable Deity to be served as a favour to Him.
HE IS JEHOVAH; HE IS YHWH; HE IS GOD
God is God. One of my lecturers when I was an undergraduate, professor Daramola always said God is God. He’d say that “how can we use an adjective such as good or excellent for God when we actually use those adjectives for men and things.” He’s right in his argument. God is God. But except in writing (in which ‘G’ is exclusive to the Almighty as in God) even the word ‘god’ may be used to refer to other entities or deities or mortals. There’s just no adequacy in man’s language or whatever language to describe God as He really is. We keep reaching and searching for words to use to magnify Him. He’s great, powerful, merciful, wonderful, dreadful, awesome, fearsome, mighty, worthy, fire, consuming, chiefly, high, excellent, Holy. Holy is supposed to be exclusive to God and it is. He, however, has chosen on His own to make us holy and to want us to be so. Holy is also used to describe things. The exclusive words then will be JEHOVAH, YHWH, ALMIGHTY, ELOHIM, ADONAI, YHWH SABBAOTH AND CHRIST and HOLY GHOST.
GOD CAN AND HE ALWAYS LOVES TO SAVE US
Although I said we need to know that He is God, forgive me, we actually have learnt and known that. We know that The Three Hebrews remain men of God even when they were being thrown into the fire not because they know God WILL save them. They want God to save them (they certainly trust Him and desire to be saved). They know He can. They don’t say He will. It’s a matter of ‘whatever He decides, so be it for us’ and we will not deny Him. And God saves them. Let us not get it wrong. There’s no point at which God is not willing to save us. It’s not just the reason why we fear and worship Him. God can and is always ready to save us. It’s His will that we have peace and be in safety always.
HE’S NOT BOUND BY OUR WORKS
He will help us. But we must know that He is not bound as much as He is bound. He is bound by His words and will. It’s as simple as that. He is not bound by our works. He doesn’t owe us even if we have worked greater that the Apostles. Shall he owe someone and not pay back? It’s about rewarding his servants. He’ll reward them. Apostle Paul may be chief among Apostles, perhaps. There is no just competition or combat for ranks. He works for God, daring deaths. And he has something unpleasant in his life or body. He prays to God to help him concerning that thing, whatever it is. He reveals to us, “For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:8-9).” His works does not make God compelled. How many of us can gladly take ‘no’ or ‘wait’ for an answer when we pray to God? Glory be to God for the Name of Jesus through which we can ask anything and receive it in faith. Does Saint Paul not ask in faith in the name of Jesus? He certainly does. But he rejoices after being told to ignore the pain and move on- working for God. He knows and is conscious of how it is in the case of the Three Hebrews in the book of Prophet Daniel. Anything I face, anything, God will always be my God. That statement is not going to bring problems my way. No. So, I am not afraid to say it that though He is killing me still I will trust Him. That’s the word of the righteous Job whose agony only increases by the quick and non-consoling assumption and judgment from his friends. Anything! God will be my God. He promises good things. Yes! He knows He has promised those things and He always remains faithful to do them. He is just ALWAYS GOD.
THE WILL OF GOD
Let us now see anything from two angles: The Will of God and the Will of Man. Since it’s indefinite, anything as a topic or focus needs to be delimited to get a guide. The Will of God is good. This time, we are not addressing the Will of God as what He wants to do for or to us but from the angle of what He wants to do with us. I like these words I picked from my catholic friends: Jesus I love you; yours I am; yours I want to be; do with me WHATSOEVER YOU WILL. They so much believe in The Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost that they make the declaration, “in the name of the father and of the son and of the Holy Spirit” a priority. I so much love to hear these declarations. It is amazing. These wonderful Christians always declare whenever they meet and now I boldly say, “Jesus I love You. Yours I am. Yours I want to be. Do with me whatsoever you will. It takes unquantifiable trust for a baby to laugh when the father or mother throws him up. The father catches him and throws him up again. As long as the child trusts the father he continues to enjoy whatever the father is doing with Him. But if he doubts the father and fear sets in he will panic and cry. Until you can be sure that by the grace of God, come what may you will not forsake Christ you are still in a deal with God not in service. It is Paul that understands faith and God’s good will. He, however says nothing shall separate me from the love of Christ- not the good things and not the bad things can make me reduce in my passion and zeal for my God, my Father. When God says, ‘come on, dear servant, move on, my grace is enough,” Paul just says, “Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:9).” Whether God takes it away or not He will serve God.
WHEN SAINT PAUL MEETS SUBMITS HIMSELF
We know the story. Apostle Paul is an educated man. He’s in control. He’s influential. He’s a horseman. He’s violent and religious. Simply put, he is a fanatic before he gets born again. “Oh chiefs, I must tell you that we need to do something about these rebels,” Paul would have said.
“What rebels?” they’d have asked him, earnestly.
“Sirs, you know them. They are the ones following The Way. They are multiplying and getting many followers. We must quell them wherever they’ve scattered. Let’s bring them bound to Jerusalem and kill them for God.”
The religious leaders who are deadly enough to focus on working against the name instead of rejoicing with the man that Peter and John healed through the Name of Jesus in Acts chapter three; the religious leaders who kill Jesus despite his innocence; the ones who hate Jesus intensely that they would rather choose a murderer than pardon Christ are the ones that Paul meet. They are very interested in Paul’s proposal and they approve it.
“tuka tuka tuka tuko tucho,” the horses gallop and everything goes well until a point on the way of Damascus. The Light Himself now shines and the favoured one on or to whom it shines cannot remain unbelieving.
God let your Light Shine. I love the song, Send the Light.” Send the Light, the blessed Gospel Light, let it shine from shore to shore in Nigeria, in Africa and in the World. Amen.
Then in Acts 9:5-6 we read, “And he said, Who art thou, Lord? And the Lord said, I am Jesus whom thou persecutest: it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks. And he trembling and astonished said, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? And the Lord said unto him, Arise, and go into the city, and it shall be told thee what thou must do. His vanity vanished; he now disregards the will of kings and friends; he disregards his fame, his works, his values and his worth in Judaism for the sake of ANYTHING GOD wants.
At this point Saint Paul’s eyes are close. Who can dare behold the glory Light of Jesus even in his opposition against Christ? Apostle Paul later opens his eyes and sees nothing. But one thing has happened in his life –salvation. He’s ready for anything that Lord will have him do. He is not going to worry about his sight as long as there are men that can lead him to the place the Lord has directed him to go. Instantly, obedience has begun without any questioning. We know that God tells Ananias that He will show Paul things that must come his way. “For I will shew him how great things he must suffer for my name's sake (Acts 9:16).”
Prophets tell him things that will happen to him. People weep for him. But Saint Paul is not going to renege. Success is the Always but when troubles come, in fire or in waters, no drowning, no getting burnt, God is with us. We just must continue to belong to God.
NO MATTER THE SITUATION
I remember when faced with situations so traumatic that I felt the need to remind God that it’s painful and disheartening. But I would laugh. After I graduated from the University I came home and there’s no money for the convocation. I borrowed from friends and brothers to pay for gown and certificate. I was working with a Security firm then and the salary was twenty thousand naira. I just started and would not have collected salary before the convocation. I was faced with considerations for shame or absence. If I stayed I will continue to wish I had gone. And as the departmental Best Graduating Student I would need to receive a prize or prizes. I thought the prize would be given that day. It wasn’t. I was perplexed. I almost felt like going back to become third best if I didn’t feel that way. I agreed with some friends to plan for necessary things together for celebration in the Fellowship but eventually we couldn’t do that. I was on my own. I didn’t allow anyone to follow me to Lagos. How could I? To do what and with what transport fare? I went to Lagos alone! If I have any picture of the day it would be the ones taken with phones. “Brother Samuel indeed!” the devil tried to invade my thoughts. Then I sang, “kinni ki n se o; kinni ki n se o; oro yi ko tele ye mi mo; Olorun mo n fe toni re o. kinni ki n se o?” The song does not ask why my situation was like that. It does not worry about the situation. I didn’t need to worry. I prayed and moved on. I prayed in faith to Him to provide and I was expectant. But the song only asks for direction, “Lord, I need your guidance, what should I do?” In other words, it’s not a matter of ‘God, won’t you provide?’ but a matter of God please talk to me. If I got the leading not to go I wouldn’t have gone. He led me. I followed. I went. It’s glorious. I have never felt that God didn’t do well for me on that Convocation experience. It’s a matter of belonging to God not a matter of doing business with God and talking of shares or bonds or stocks or return of investments. There is always a reward –abundantly –here and in the Heaven. God is God. Do with me whatever you will. That time, I used all my night shift to praise God and pray in tongues. I prayed about it I just didn’t lose God’s awesomeness at any time. I joyfully attended services in the church. I always say, “Nothing can steal my joy of salvation, nothing and never. In my story there are many success stories. This one trouble experience was tense. So, when people change a song and say, “when success comes my way I will praise the Lord,” they simply show that success is occasional in their lives. The singer composes, “What shall we do today? Today o I will lift up my voice in praise… no matter what I face, when trouble comes my way…” some now change it to, “no matter what I face, when success comes my way…” and that is what we are talking about. In their mind they want to reject the ‘do with me whatsoever You will’ and they want to design, ‘when I get pleased I will please you.’ They only ended up making success scared in their lives. But in our lives success is usual. No evil shall befall us. His thoughts are of peace towards us. I refuse to agree with evil. God forbids it. Amen. Of course He does. But still I will say, “Jesus I love you. Yours I am. Yours I want to be. Do with me whatever you please.” God is my father and I trust Him, ever. He will do with me what is good. For good only is His will. And His good is the best –for me, for you –for us. Will you follow God from now till the end no matter what His will is for your life? If the civil servants aren’t paid for a month or two will they just resign because of that? And God’s a super-loving and super-reliable Heavenly Supreme Government. Fear not! Well, say yes or no does not make it change as long as you are still His –he knows His own.
HE DOES WHAT PLEASES HIM
PSALM 115:3 But our God is in the heavens: he hath done whatsoever he hath pleased.
But Hezekiah prayed to God and God added more years to the king’s life. Yes, it pleases him to add more years unto Hezekiah. That’s it- Hezekiah’s prayer makes God willing to add more years.
Psalm 135:6 Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
But with Ahab’s humble dispositions some verdicts upon his reign changed. Yes, it pleases Him to postpone the verdict on Ahab.
Ecclesiastes 3:14 I know that, whatsoever God doeth, it shall be for ever: nothing can be put to it, nor any thing taken from it: and God doeth it, that men should fear before him.
Moses does not consider this truth. It’s just that in the end no energy is created and no energy is lost. It’s all ever as God has created it. The universe is complete in matter and spirit. No new thing under heaven? Yes, no new matter and energy is added. There can be reshaping or remodelling, creating from what is created. Science is from the knowledge God gives man whether man acknowledges it or not. Early scientists were Godly men and they revere God. No new creations but there may be new inventions and designs from what already is.
Jeremiah 1:7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.
It’s wisdom to use a parable like Prophet Nathan or to have a secondary assignment like Prophet Samuel in Jesse’s house. But just speak whatever I send you.
Now we shall look at ANYTHING from the mind of man. In the way man is created there’s a mind. Man has desires. And he has a soul that always enjoys satisfaction in abundance in Eden. As Man gets banished from Eden, the place of his satisfaction, man has to always want satisfaction and search for it and make attempt to create it for himself. Although God has wills for us which are not negotiable when revealed to us he permits us to choose to do whatever we want in certain regard.
Ecclessiastes 9:10 Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
The reason that is given in this text seems to be just that there’s no chance to do any work in the afterlife. But it’s not just that. It shows us that God has allowed us while on earth to work and do whatever we can do. One the one hand we find it –we look for what to do to get satisfaction depending on how large our minds are –and the minds are in levels in terms of ambitions. Anything we do, we will prosper. Wait, not just anything for killing, robbery are also nouns. No! Not all things, we can do anything safe anything that is ungodly.
Psalm 1:3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.
Verse one and two has made us to know that this verse three applies only to someone who first finds satisfaction in God’s word and will rather than in worldliness and ungodliness. Someone delighted in and doing God’s will is blessed when he’s inside or when he goes out. All his vessels and ventures are blessed already –by his act of loving God and following God’s will. Now, whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. Whatever such a godly man, a Christian and not just a moral person does is allowed and blessed. At times we tend to blame someone’s failure in a business on his not praying before starting. God please help us. What if it’s a matter of doing business with an ungodly partner rather than the kind of business? Who will delight in God’s word and not be prayerful? Anyone who delights in the word will be prayerful because it’s commanded in the world that we pray without ceasing. So, the kind of man that is free to do whatever prompts in his mind is the one whose mind is not far from God. There’s no way such a person’s choice will not prosper; whatever it is, be it fashion, plumbing, masonry, carpentry, Medicine, Banking, Teaching, Trading, Law and so on will prosper. The problem with us is that we don’t always know that digging the first well does not mean Isaac will own it. That Isaac loses the first well doesn’t mean he must stop digging well. There’s a difference between losing and failing. To lose is to not miss something or not get it. It means that one does not win. Good, because one doesn’t win doesn’t make one a failure. A loser can try again. In fact a no-hoper can always still try again. To fail is to not-succeed. To not succeed is not to be a failure. A failure is lost completely on a purpose and dream –giving up without getting to achieve. So, the fact that a business faces challenges doesn’t mean it’s not God’s will. I won’t say pray on something if you fail because whether you fail or not, whether you do something or do nothing prayer is part of holiness activities.
GOD CAN IMPOSE A CAREER OR CHOICE
There are people made for special purposes.
Exodus 36:1 Then wrought Bezaleel and Aholiab, and every wise hearted man, in whom the LORD put wisdom and understanding to know how to work all manner of work for the service of the sanctuary, according to all that the LORD had commanded.
This is a case of fulfilling purpose. People who have got specific purpose or instructions from God are different. They will not do something contrary to God’s purpose if they really delight in God. But others are free to do whatever their hands find to do. It must prosper by persistence.
Psalms 20:4 Grant thee according to thine own heart, and fulfil all thy counsel.
Psalm 21:2 Thou hast given him his heart's desire, and hast not withholden the request of his lips. Selah.
We must have confidence in God’s word when we pray. I have said that I prayed to graduate with First Class but I didn’t. Thank God for that. But I prayed to graduate as the Best Student in the Department and I did. I prayed that i won't search for job. Then about two years before my graduation The University resuscitated Graduate Assistant post for the best two in our Department. And after my set has graduated they just stopped that offer. Until resuscitation will happen another time, the GA offer paused after my set got it. I don’t have to look for job. I also was praying it with a minimum pay in mind. After that I got another vision, another desire, another focus, another ambition, a higher one. I prayed on it. I was sure of God with me that I didn’t want to take Unilag’s offer anymore and I still won’t look for job. If we have desires and we’re righteous then we have nothing to worry about.
If we’re in the Spirit of God we will in the Joy of Salvation pray and not get bored no matter the duration, the place, the posture, the position or the situation. It’s necessary to be regular in praying. Prayer is an Always-action of righteousness. Twenty minutes of prayer every day is better than five hours once in a week. This is because eating a plate of food every day is better than eating five plates of food at once in a week. The Word is food to the Spirit. Prayer also is. We often think prayer is an exercise in the spirit while the Word is the food. That’s perfect. And perfect it is also that the word and prayer are both food and exercise to our spirit because both are mutually inclusive. It’s unwholesome to choose one and reject the other. If we say prayer is an exercise then we must know that it’s not everyone that engages in exercise. Many are too busy for that. Busy none has been too busy to eat. Prayer becomes enjoyable as sweet meal if done regularly in the consciousness of God’s presence and promises. Oh what a wonderful privilege it is to pray to God.
In Matthew 7:7 and other texts we read that Jesus tells us to ask whatever and we shall receive. And James in the Chapter four of his epistle, verses one to three, shows us, from the point of Psalm 1:1-3 that we need to ask in righteousness. We pray in the Name of Jesus only.
John 14:13 And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
That’s our Lord telling us to ask anything in His name. We are free to ask for things that will give us peace and comfort and satisfaction: salvation of relatives, power, More of Holy Ghost, understanding, favour, success, health, wisdom, job, employment, safety, victory, heaven. I do not put money as something to be prayed for because I put success already. We are to do something to get money. It shouldn’t fall from the sky or come from an angel even if there’s any case of angel giving money or help to someone in human form –possibly. And God can use people to give people money. But apart from exceptions, we aren’t thinking of robbery or lottery or fraud or ritual. We’re to do something –something legal and we’ll prosper. We don’t need to ask for money. We can, however, pray to be rich or very wealthy. That’s a prayer from the understanding of doing something and being prosperous in whatever we do. Begin to pray. Ask! Pray on and ask for whatever.
2 Samuel 12:8 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.
That means we can actually desire more. There’s no limit. God knows how to put the check depending on the ability of his children but he won’t stop us from desires. The fact that a baby asks for a car doesn’t mean the father will buy him a real car. And the fact that the baby isn’t yet fit to drive a car doesn’t mean the father will tell him never to talk about a car. We’re children –God’s children.
We must worship God for who he is, for what He’s done, for what He’s not done, for what he didn’t do, for what He can but won’t do and for His love and promises. We know that prayer is the will of God. He wants us to ask him things. He knows our needs before we ask but we have to ask. And He’s unlimited. He’s of abundance and omnipotence. Hallelujah!
Samuel o. Kuye
Eric WordSmith (TFW, TER)