Hey! Thanks for stopping by at my blog. This is one of those days I don’t really have a ‘striking’ topic, so just allow me share some random thoughts with you. Like I always say, the thoughts aren’t necessarily deep stuffs but they are simple, sincere and heart-full. I have two different stories to share and I sincerely hope you relate with the thoughts and find a word (assurance, evidence, confidence…) that’s changes your perspective about living life based on the fullness we have received.
At a point in my church service as a worker, I was drafted into the protocol department – a department saddled with the responsibility of providing a hospitable and conducive environment for visiting guest ministers with the sole aim of making them feel at home outside their home. The unit ensures warm reception of guest ministers upon their arrival into the city – monitor them with phone calls till they get to the church, show them where to park their car(s), be on guard/standby to be ready to attend to their needs amongst other things. (*I know I’m actually boring you with my church operational manual for protocol department. Just bear with me. It’s a ‘light affliction’* LAUGHS!).
Around a particular season of the year, we had a run of programs and for a particular Sunday, we invited a renowned music minister. The Sunday morning was top-notch and the protocol department was at its best with clean black suits, sparkling white shirts and a red tie to make the outfit grand. And lest I forget, our black shiny shoes in all its glory completed our elegant look. (*We only needed a Bluetooth earpiece and a walking-talking to pass as your regular SSS/DSS official). We stood regal in front of the church premises waiting to receive this particular minister.
If you’ve ever had to work in the protocol department, you’d know how these guest ministers can be, when it comes to telling you their exact location. You’d call them and you hear words like “We are around your vicinity”, “We’ll be with you shortly”, “We are on our way” and a myriad of such words. The panoply of the variations of such words makes predicting their time of arrival a bit difficult, you just have to make sure you are alert at your duty post.
We eventually got confirmatory words that the guest minister was close, so we moved closer to the main entrance of the church so as not to miss the time of “visitation”, so that ours will not be the tales of “And God was here and we knew it not” (Laughs Out Loud!). While our eyes were fixed steadfastly at the entrance, the host music minister, obviously “surprised”, called our attention to the fact that the guest minister is already at the car park. Did He come with invisible chariots of fire? I said to myself. Our gaze were fixed at the main entrance of the church auditorium that it was practically impossible for us to miss him, yet, the guest drove in and “we knew it not”.
How did we miss him, despite our alertness and preparation? That’s the 64-million dollar question! The answer is: the minister arrived in a way we weren’t expecting. The guest minister and crew drove in a ‘normal’ commuter bus. The kind of regular buses that ply Lagos – Ibadan at garages (nothing special or significant about the bus). But in that “non-spectacular” bus was the “spectacular” man we have been waiting for. Personally, I think I expected a convoy of the “Mercedes E-class-es” of this world or the “Range-Rovers” of this world to announce his arrival. I’m very sure I wouldn’t have missed that.
…And a mighty windstorm hit the mountain. It was such a terrible blast that the rocks were torn loose, but the Lord was not in the wind. After the wind there was an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake. And after the earthquake there was a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. And after the fire there was the sound of a gentle whisper… (1Kings 19:11-13NLT)
This particular scripture has a lot of deep theological meaning but I won’t bother you with that. I think we can all relate to the story in our walk with God. There just comes a point in our lives, where we just want the spectacular. We want God to move in ‘mysterious’ ways…we want to hear his voice thunder and tear the ancient Iroko tree beside your house or you’d want the foundations of your building to vibrate. I think the dramatic appeals to everyone…it catches our attention. I think the dramatic revelation and manifestations are great, but silence does not always mean inactivity.
Elijah had called fire to consume burnt offering and the wood and the stones and the dust, and licked up the water that was in the trench (1Kings 18:38-40). Elijah had also called for a mighty and terrific rainstorm after there had not been rain for three and a half years (1Kings 18:41-45; James 5:17)…Elijah outran Ahab’s chariot (1Kings 18:46 *Ahab would probably have the fastest chariot in the whole kingdom*). I could go on and on. Elijah had seen God in the dramatic but this time around God was not in the wind nor the earthquake nor the fire. But in the sound of a gentle whisper…in the silence…God showed up. In the silent whisper, Elijah rediscovered God and knew He wasn’t alone. In the moment of depression, frustration in the wilderness…a pregnant whisper was all Elijah needed. Elijah had witnessed the spectacular, but it wasn’t enough to sustain him as he took to his heels when he heard Jezebel wanted to hunt him down. Elijah latching his heart to what God said in the silent whisper was all he needed. It’s not about the minister coming in ‘okada’ or convoy of ‘prado jeeps’ – the focus should be the MINISTER.
Now, moving from the sublime to the practical, I see the story holding a lot of truths in it. I think sometimes, just like me, we want the long convoy to be in procession to be persuaded the minister is in it. I think sometimes, we want to build our faith on the spectacular because it makes us feel good…it probably gives us some goose bumps and makes the hair at the back of our head tingle. I think, much more than that, the word in your spirit is all what God needs to do business with. I think this is a clarion call to quit chasing the spectacular – it is more beneficial to see Christ in the word than physically. The universe was created with words – and in those words, the power of God is displayed (Heb.1:3). We don’t have to be subject to what we can see, touch, feel and see…The ‘unseen’ came before the ‘seen’. Our lives and existence should be designed around the revealed word. The culmination of life and the pinnacle of our existence should be the word in our spirit irrespective of the theatrics.
It’s all so easy to get so caught up in the spectacular and lose focus on the person of Christ. Christ is the ULTIMATE miracle of God. The “spectacular” might sometimes be a distraction to the “spiritual”. There are lot of dramas going on around us. A lot of distractions around us trying to shift our focus from what really matters. I think there are a lot of man-made opinions posing as infallible truth. God’s word in your heart and on your lips should be the center of your thoughts. Goliath’s ranting didn’t stop David’s from declaring the counsel of God.
Imagine requesting for an elevator using the call buttons to get you to a preferred destination. The call buttons usually consists of an up and a down button that illuminates to indicate the request has been received and an elevator is on the way. The indicators are the evidence that your request has been received. When people try to talk you out of waiting for the elevator because it doesn’t look forth-coming, you simply tell them you have evidence (illuminated indicator). Your words should be in consonance with the evidence received while you remain expectant. Even if the elevator persists, the illuminated indicators and a beep that you received when you made the request gives you confidence and assurance. This affirmation (illuminated indicator) is the substance of the things hoped for (the elevator). I dare say, the word of God in our spirit man is our confidence. When life hits hard and people expect you to be shattered and broken, just show them your evidence. When besieged and all hell breaks lose, you remain calm not as a result of denying the situation, but because you have an affirmation in your spirit about the end of the matter that is more real and tangible than the boisterous wind.
Another quick story!
I had a transaction with someone recently via email. The terms of the contract were fully signed and sealed. All in my inbox. I also have words of assurance from both parties. At any point, I begin to doubt the deal made, I just go back to the mail because the mail has all the assurance I need, and the signatures of the parties involved reminds me of the potency of the deal. It doesn’t matter whether there was a loud ring when the mail came in or whether it was just a small beep…all that matters is I have an assurance that the deal is guaranteed.
Two important points I meditate on when I think about the infallibility of God’s word.
1. God’s word cuts through EVERYTHING, whether doubts… (Heb.4:12 MSG)
2. NOTHING (thoughts life, attitudes, emotions, will, marital, career, job) and NO ONE (administrations, governments, authorities, rulers etc.) is impervious to God’s word (Heb.4:12 MSG). They ALL respond to God’s word.
3. The consistency of the character and nature of He that has promised is my anchor. I’m not the performer, I’m just the believer. So, all I need do is lay claim on his faithfulness and rest.
Let me end with this:
God has said:
I will never fail you
I will never abandon you
I won’t give up on you
I am striding ahead of you
I won’t leave you
I’ll see the journey to the end
I’ll stick with you until I’ve done everything I promised you
I’m with you every step you take
So, I say with confidence:
The Lord is my helper
I have no fear
He’s my ever-ready help before the need arises.
God’s word revealed to me is my evidence! In that evidence, I find all the confidence and assurance I will ever need.