By Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor
â€œAfter these things Paul departed from Athens and went to Corinth.
And he found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in Pontus, who had recently come from Italy with his wife Priscilla (because Claudius had commanded all the Jews to depart from Rome); and he came to them.Â So, because he was of the same trade, he stayed with them and worked; for by occupation they were tentmakers.Â And he reasoned in the synagogue every Sabbath, and persuaded both Jews and Greeksâ€. Acts 18: 1-4.
â€œSo Paul still remained a good while. Then he took leave of the brethren and sailed for Syria, and Priscilla and Aquila were with him. He had his hair cut off at Cenchrea, for he had taken a vow. And he came to Ephesus, and left them there; but he himself entered the synagogue and reasoned with the Jewsâ€. Acts 18:18-19
â€œAnd he went into the synagogue and spoke boldly for three months, reasoning and persuading concerning the things of the kingdom of God.
But when some were hardened and did not believe, but spoke evil of the Way before the multitude, he departed from them and withdrew the disciples, reasoning daily in the school of Tyrannusâ€. Acts 19: 8-9.
Let us look at these two words:
â€œÂ Â Â Reasoning
â€œÂ Â Â Persuading
â€œReasoningâ€ is from the Greek word â€œdialogomaâ€ and it means to mingle thoughts with thoughts in order to transform the mind. Do not forget that the word â€˜Repentâ€™ in the Greek is â€œMetaneoâ€ and it means a change of mind. Therefore, the area that actually determines everybody true positioning before God, is our minds, which is our soul region. This was why Paul aimed for the mind. Because our mind is the battleground where the devil fights people. That is where the true quality of a person is evaluated and determined. This is what determines the depth of a personâ€™s true Christianity.
The quality of our Christianity is not determined by how good we can preach or how many miracles we can work. The yardstick is how far our minds have been changed thus bringing us to a position where we can acquire the mind of Christ. It is the process of change, the process of reformation taking place in our minds that actually determines the true quality believer and what our true worth is before God.
When you are receiving the verdicts that comes from the natural realm and the verdicts that comes from the spiritual realm, you need to compare thoughts with thoughts, weigh them before making decisions.
â€˜Dialogomaâ€™ also means to reconfigure, to reform, to readjust the entire mind. It also means to construct the mentality that is in opposition to the prevailing mentalities. Therefore, Paul went to Ephesus, reasoning in the synagogues teaching in order to change the minds of people about God, His plans, purposes, who He really is and what He wants to do.
It is not by accident that God had to responded the way He did. The peopleâ€™s mind had shifted into a new realm so God could release extra-ordinary miracles in Ephesus.
â€œPersuadingâ€ is from the Greek word â€œPaitoâ€ and paito means to bring about a change of mind by the influence of intelligent communication, (to indoctrinate by intelligent communication).
We cannot change peopleâ€™s mind if we are on the same level of ignorance with them. We cannot change the mind by ignorant and foolish communication. We must have depths in ourselves, there must be intelligence, and there must be line upon line, precept upon precepts, reasoning, if we are to bring more people into this realm of faith. To bring mankind into true reformation we have to pray asking God to give us the wisdom for reasoning and persuasion, God need to upgrade our intelligence capacity, give us the wisdom to communicate, that people around us will see the intelligence of God in us. Then they will say, â€œI want this Godâ€. Note that many people are religious, if it is fasting many can do that, if it is prayer, many can also pray.
to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection.
Still others had trial of mockings and scourgings, yes, and of chains and imprisonment.
They were stoned, they were sawn in two, were tempted, were slain with the sword. They wandered about in sheepskins and goatskins, being destitute, afflicted, tormented-
of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth. Heb 11:35-39
WHAT CAUSES THE FINAL RELEASE OF GODâ€™S APPROVAL?
1.Â Â Â Appropriate conduct in the midst of the crisis: The way we behave and our response determines whether we get Godâ€™s approval or not. There are few questions that we need to ask ourselves. Questions like:
a. Did I behave well?
b. Did I respond right?
c. Did I conduct myself well as a community in the midst of the crisis?
d. Did I pray accurately?
These are the important things that God looks at before He can bear witness to and confirm
a human being as pleasing to Him or gaining His approval. It is also important to note that the issue is not getting the testimony right; the issue here is the process. These heroes of faith went through a process before they could gain the approval of God.
2.Â Â Â A complete alignment of our hearts and minds with the will and demands of God: This means a point in our life where we no longer struggle with God or question His demands and authority or rebel against Him. This is a noble position where every man must get to. This is a stepping away from your own preferences and aligning our heart and will to the demands and will of God.
These require from us a higher level of obedience.
3.Â Â Â The willingness to serve the purpose of God more than the requirement of Self.
Women received their dead raised to life again. And others were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtain a better resurrection. Hebrews 11:35
4.Â Â Â The world was not worthy of them.
of whom the world was not worthy. They wandered in deserts and mountains, in dens and caves of the earth, Heb 11:38.
These heroes of faith were weightier than the world, the word of God became life unto them, and they were much more profound and substantial than the systems around them. This is who God is making us to become in this season.