By Femi Aribisola
HEROD was a Jew and not an atheist. However, when Wise Men came looking for little Jesus, he inquired of the chief priests and the scribes where the Messiah would be born. He was told it would be in Bethlehem, according to the scriptures. Herod believed. Nevertheless, determined to frustrate the will of God, he ordered all young male children in Bethlehem to be killed. Herod’s days became numbered.
Jonah was a prophet of God. But when God told him to call the people of Nineveh to repentance, Jonah would have none of that. He did not just refuse to go to Nineveh; he decided to go in precisely the opposite direction. He took a ship headed for Tarshish. He ended up in the belly of a fish.
My will be done
Many of the difficulties and problems of a believer are those he brings on himself. When he gets bogged down, it is because he is not relying on the resurrection power of Jesus. We are not called to walk in the light of our conscience. We are specifically enjoined not to lean on our own understanding. We are called to walk in the light of the word of God.
When we do anything from reason or from a sense of duty, we can always back it up by argument. But when we do anything by obedience to the Lord, there is no argument possible. That is why true believers are easily subject to ridicule. When a Christian walks in obedience to God, he is often a fool for Christ.
James says: “My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.” (James 1:2-4).
But because we do not know what the word of God says, or because we do not believe what it says, we despair when we fall into temptations. Some even jump to the ridiculous conclusion that God does not love them anymore.
Rejoicing in the word
When the disciples of Jesus were arrested by the Jewish Council and flogged for preaching Jesus, they departed from their persecutors rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for the name of the Lord. (Acts 5:41 ). Jesus had fore-warned them that: “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.” (Matthew 5:11-12).
The disciples rejoiced because the word of God tells them to do so. We should also rejoice in similar circumstances today because the law, the prophets and the epistles tell us to do so. Thus James says: “My brethren, take the prophets, who spoke in the name of the Lord, as an example of suffering and patience. Indeed we count them blessed who endure. You have heard of the perseverance of Job and seen the end intended by the Lord- that the Lord is very compassionate and merciful.” (James 5:10-11).
For every temptation Jesus has an answer: “it is written.” We cannot resist the devil successfully unless we know what is written. Eve was deceived because she did not know the word of God. The devil told her God does not want her to be like God. But the word of God would be written saying: “you are Gods and all of you are children of the most high.” It would also be written: “His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us by glory and virtue.” (2 Peter 1:3).
The devil told Eve if she ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil she would surely not die. But it would be written: “the soul who sins shall die.” (Ezekiel 18:4). Poor Adam and Eve, they did not have the scriptures. But the word of God exists and has always existed and will always exist. (Remember this: Jesus is the word of God).
Resisting the devil
Realising that Jesus knew what is written, the devil tried to distort the scriptures by saying to him: “If you are the Son of God, throw yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give his angels charge over you,’ and, ‘in their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’” (Matthew 4:6). But Jesus had a ready answer: “It is written again, ‘you shall not tempt the Lord your God.’” (Matthew 4:7).
God does not want his children to be ignorant; therefore he tells us vital things beforehand. In this life, some people are going to die, some are going to fail, some are going to be broke, some are going to be divorced, and some are going to be raped. What about you? What is going to happen to you?
Only the things written in the book of life will happen to a believer. Indeed, some will die, but believers will not. It is written: “whoever lives and believes in Jesus Christ shall never die.” (John 11:26). The names of those appointed to death are written in the book of death. But the believer’s name is written in the book of life. It is written in the book of the abundant life: ““God did not appoint us to wrath, but to obtain salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Thessalonians 5:9).
Only the purpose that God has purposed will take place in the life of the believer. How do you know the purpose that is purposed? It is written. Theophilus, (lover of God) your life is following a script written by the most High. You are pre-destined to glory.
Catch the revelation. God does everything by the book. He does everything by the word. Who is the word? Jesus. In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God. All things were made by him and without him was not made anything that was made.
God made everything by the word. That is why God fulfils every promise by the word. God fulfils every promise by the book. Every promise of God is fulfilled in Christ and by Christ.
Kings and king of kings
King Ahaseurus could not sleep. What does a king do when he cannot sleep? He reads the scriptures. Who is a king? A king, of course, is the believer. So King Ahaseurus says: “bring me the book.” “Bring me the book of the records of the chronicles.”
King Ahaseurus is a king in the Old Testament. He is the shadow of the substance of the King of Kings, King Jesus. King Ahaseurus says: “Bring me the book of the records of the chronicles.” King Jesus says: “bring me the book of life.” And what does he find in the book? It is written about you: “This is my beloved son, in whom I am well pleased.”
That is the portion of the believer, in the name of Jesus.