By Funmi Komolafe
Happy new week and welcome to the last Sunday in January 2019.
Let’s appreciate God for life. Only the living can praise the Lord.
Today, we are looking at the God of increase and its impact on our lives.
When something increases, in layman’s language, it simply means that it has moved to another level.
A simple dictionary meaning describes increase as “ becoming bigger or greater in amount”. An increase comes with joy. For instance if a man begins a business in a single room and suddenly people begin to see that business in a bigger apartment, he does not need to tell anyone that God has increased him.
His friends and enemies alike will see this and probably rejoice with hm. He becomes one that cannot be ignored.
I don’t know what you are trusting God for but I know that this year, you will be celebrated.
When a couple known to be without biological children become parents , people will come to rejoice with them. The couple that has been mocked will become the celebrated.
Or if a single man who has been named ‘ bachelor for life’ gets married, God has increased him.
There are several methods that God can use to increase a man. He can do this with material blessings or other ways.
God promised us increase in Deuteronomy 28 vs. 1-4 . Our emphasis is on verse 4 “ Blessed shall be the fruit of the body, and the fruit of thy ground, and the fruit of thy cattle, the increase of thy kine, and the flocks of thy sheep”.
Although there are conditions for these as stated in verse 1 of the same chapter. “ And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently unto the voice of the LORD thy God, to observe and to do all his commandments which I command thee this day, that the LORD thy God will set thee on high above all nations of the earth:”.
Our focus here is increase. In most cases, you have to sow to have an increase.
Let’s consider the life of a farmer. Assuming we have two farmers, both planted at the same time, one went regularly to till the land and water his planted seeds but the other planted and went away yet both expected harvest.
Who will harvest more? Of course it is the one who continuously watered the seedlings and uprooted unwanted weeds.
The same way, we need not expect increases from the Lord if we have nurtured our relationship with him. Did I hear you say but God created us all? Yes, he created us all but do we all have relationships with Him? Even in our family lives, it is not enough to be born of the same parents, a conscious effort must be made to nurture the relationship so that siblings grow up as friends and not rivals.
Ist Corinthians 3 vs. 5-8 “ Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but “ ministers by whom ye believed , “ even as the Lord gave to every man? I have planted , Apollos watered; but God gave the increase. So then neither is he that planteth anything, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase”.
For the above Bible quotation, it is clear that we cannot fold our arms, do nothing and expect an increase.
A person who is promoted at work automatically gets a pay increase. The one promoted cannot be the only one in that organization, he must have done something that singled him out for that promotion. Godly increase ushers in joy. It terminates sorrow. It puts an end to shame.
However, we must realize that increases not in line with God’s word, can bring sorrow.
A man who started from a humble beginning but received God’s blessing, becomes rich and decides to take a second wife or keeps many concubines , has deviated from the way God wants us to live and the consequence is sorrow.
Initially, he may have a feeling of enjoying the best of the world with these women but the truth is, none of the women would be totally loyal to him.
The story is told of man who became so rich that he began to marry all sorts of women. The more property he acquired, the more women he ‘married’. Within a short while, some of the women began to compete for his property even while he was alive.
The man realized this and he took ill. When he took ill, none of the wives was willing to look after him. He was pushed around. To shorten the story, he died.
Even before his burial, there was a vicious war in his family. The first wife held on to her marriage certificate calling the other wives, concubines.
Although, the man had a will, the women were dissatisfied and they began to eliminate one another’s children.
In the end, a man whose life could have been remembered for good to society, almost had his name wiped out.
Brethren, the point here is that for us to expect an increase from God, we must live according to his word.
God’s increase removes stagnation from our lives.
However, we must be prepared to nurture our relationship with God. A weekly Sunday service is not enough. Do you relate with God on your own? How many hours in a day do you mediate on the Word? Are you too busy?
Brethren, if you fail in any of these, do not expect an increase from God.
Job lost all his property, his children and all that he had when the devil attacked him but he remained committed to God .
See what his wife said to him when he lost all . Job 2 vs. 9 Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? Curse God and die”.
Job rebuked his wife and called her a foolish woman. He refused to yield to ungodly advice.
Although, Job went through very turbulent times, he stood firmly with God and the God of increase visited him. Job42 vs. 10-13 “ And the Lord turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends; also the LORD gave Job twice as much as he had before. Then came there unto him all his brethren, and all his sisters, and all they that had been of his acqintance before, and did eat bread with him in his house: and comforted him over all the evil that the LORD had brought upon him: every man also gave him a piece of money, and everyone an earring of gold.
So, the LORD blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning: for he had fourteen thousand sheep, and six thousand camels, and a thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand asses. He also had seven sons and three daughters”.
Fellow Christians, I don’t know what you have lost or that thing which you desire to have more. Is it children, riches, promotion or spiritual growth?
Whatever, it is God Almighty, the creator of heaven and earth that is able to increase you on all sides.
Keep faith, live your life according to his word and maintain a cordial relationship with God.
This is your year of testimony in Jesus name.