Work out what God has worked in
By Femi Aribisala
Some people love to read obituaries. When they open a newspaper, they go straight to the obituary pages or columns to find out who has dropped dead lately. But what about you, Christian Ojo? Have you read your own obituary lately?
The bible says that the word of God is sharper than any double-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12). This is because it tells us about life as well as about death. Indeed, the bible is full of obituaries. It says, for example:
“Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.” (1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
This says here lies dead and buried fornicators, adulterers, homosexuals, thieves, drunkards, and extortioners. But then it says these same people now alive, after having been washed and sanctified and justified in the name of Jesus and by the Holy Spirit.
Today, I want to do something slightly strange. I know that there are many people you don’t know, and sometimes it is necessary for someone to introduce them to you. But now, I want to introduce you to yourself if you happen to be a born-again Christian. I know you know the old you, but I have a feeling that you don’t really know the new you well enough.
You need to get to know the new you who according to God is created in true righteousness and holiness. (Ephesians 4:24). For we are the workmanship of God, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should do. (Ephesians 2:10).
What I want to tell you is this. You are not a caterpillar; you are a butterfly. You are not a turkey; you are an eagle. You are created to soar. You are ordained to arise and shine. (Isaiah 60:1).
One of the ugliest insects you are ever likely to see is the caterpillar. Can you imagine a caterpillar crawling up your skin? Yuk! First, I cannot understand why the caterpillar has so many legs.
But now think of the butterfly. Look how beautiful it is. Even Solomon, in all his splendour, was not clothed as intricately and as beautiful as it is.
Someone asked me the other day if I am smarter than Solomon. I was offended. How can I be compared to Solomon? I am certainly wiser than smarter than him. In the first place, I only have one wife, not 700 wives and 300 concubines. (1 Kings 11:3). In the second place, I have not ended up as an idol worshiper as Solomon did. I only worship the One true God in spirit and truth.
Read the manual
If someone should ask you how the new Q-led television is supposed to work, tell him to read the manual. It is completely different from the old model. The Q-led is a new creation. The same applies to the believer.
Jesus says to Thomas: “Blessed are those that have not seen and yet have believed.” (John 20:29). Jesus is talking here about the new creation. He is talking about the man who is born again. The born-again Christian is blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places in Christ. (Ephesians 1:3).
When Jesus was presenting the beatitudes on the Sermon on the Mount, He was describing the attributes of the new creation. (Matthew 5-7). Are you born again? Then I tell you, blessed are your eyes for they see, and your ears for they hear. (Matthew 13:16). You are appointed to dream dreams. You are ordained to see visions. (Joel 2:28).
Unlike the natural people who were listening to Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount but could not meet its requirements, the power of God has now given to you all things that pertain to life and godliness. (2 Peter 1:3). Jesus was preaching about turning the other cheek to people who could not turn the other cheek. He says blessed is this and blessed is that. But his listeners could not enter His blessings.
Not you. There is nothing that God requires of man that you cannot fulfil. This is because there is an anointing to do the impossible, there is an anointing to do the supernatural that God has now placed in you. That is why Paul declared that he can now do all things because of the anointing which gives him supernatural strength. (Philippians 4:13).
The new creation must look in himself and see that it is God who is now at work in him both to will and to do for his good pleasure. (Philippians 2:13). Stop looking around for things when God is with you. (Matthew 1:23). Stop looking for help when God is for you. (Psalm 56:9). Look into yourself, recognising that God who is in you is greater than the devil who is in the world. (1 John 4:4).
Who are you?
Do you really know what manner of spirit you are of? Do you know that you are greater than Elijah? Do you know that you cannot be compared to Elisha? Do you know that it is an insult for anybody to put you in the same category as Moses (who parted the Red Sea) or Joshua (who brought down the walls of Jericho) or Samson (who terrorised the Philistines) or David (who incidentally killed Goliath)?
Jesus affirmed that he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than any of these people. (Matthew 11:11). These people are all caterpillars. And there is a big difference between a caterpillar and a butterfly. If I did not know better, I would have said that they are not even related at all. So different is the beautiful butterfly from the ugly caterpillar.
I have discovered that some born-again Christians don’t know who they are. They know that they are new creations, but when they look in the mirror, they see their same old faces and think that they are still the same. But a child of God does not merely look at “mirror mirror on the wall” in order to see his natural face. A child of God looks continually into the mirror of the perfect law of liberty to behold his spiritual image. (James 1:23-25).
Stop looking at those vain pictures on your Instagram and Facebook pages. Start looking into yourself in the mirror of the gospel. Stop looking at the outside: start looking inside. Stop looking at others. Look at Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. (Hebrews 12:2).
Work out what God has worked in. (Philippians 2:12-13). Stir it up. (2 Timothy 1:6). Violently take it by force. (Matthew 11:12). Strive to enter in. (Luke 13:24). Seek and find. (Matthew 7:7). Run that you may obtain. (1 Corinthians 9:24). Sow, that you may reap. (Galatians 6:7). Lay aside every weight. (Hebrews 12:1). Give all diligence. (2 Peter 1:5). Take heed to the ministry you have received in the Lord. (Colossians 4:17).
You are appointed for good success.