Pursue Purpose with Determination
Pursue Purpose with Determination.
Forging forward, despite opposition.
Set your face like a flint, like Jesus,
En route Jerusalem to fulfill the vision.
There He endured the cross because of us.
There He finished His divine purpose:
For that reason He was born;
“Behold the Lamb born to take away our sin;
To take away the sin of the world.”
You too have a purpose; the reason you came;
The reason you were born.
Discover that Purpose.
Develop the purpose.
Pay the price for that purpose.
Pay the tax for that purpose.
Set your face like a flint for that purpose.
Discipline yourself for that purpose.
Sacrifice, deny yourself for that purpose
Be totally sold out, committed, devoted to that purpose.
Be steadfast immovable, always abounding
In regard to that purpose.
Face that Purpose resolutely, uncompromisingly,
tenaciously, adamantly and finish it like Paul:
“Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.”
“Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before,”
“I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.”
Paul pursued that purpose and finished well.
2 Timothy 4:6
“For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand.”
2 Timothy 4:7
“I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:”
2 Timothy 4:8
“Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.”
Pursue purpose like Esther
And finish regardless of weather
Set your face like a stone for the sceptre
And you will not be denied your harvest.
“Go, gather together all the Jews that are present in Shushan, and fast ye for me, and neither eat nor drink three days, night or day: I also and my maidens will fast likewise; and so will I go in unto the king, which is not according to the law: and if I perish, I perish.”
“And in every province, and in every city, whithersoever the king’s commandment and his decree came, the Jews had joy and gladness, a feast and a good day. And many of the people of the land became Jews; for the fear of the Jews fell upon them.”
Nehemiah fulfilled his purpose:
Rebuilding the broken down walls of Jerusalem.
“So the wall was finished in the twenty and fifth day of the month Elul, in fifty and two days.”
When David finished his assignment, he gave up the ghost.
“For David, after he had served his own generation by the will of God, fell on sleep, and was laid unto his fathers, and saw corruption:”
Jesus knew His purpose and completed His assignment:
How is it that ye sought me? wist ye not that I must be about my Father’s business?
“In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth.”
“I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do.”
“When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”
He gave us an example to follow like all others. We can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.
Let us pray:
Father, Your word says, “If God be for us, who can be against us?
Jesus said , “In the world you will have tribulation but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph.
Whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. The just shall live by faith. We have what it takes to finish and finish well God is working in us, both to will and to do according to His good pleasure. He who has begun this good work will complete it until the day of Christ Jesus. He will perfect it. I am looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.
Father God, I thank you for your plan and purpose for my life. Thank you that I am thoroughly furnished and equipped for this assignment. I have put my hands to the plough and will not look back.
I refused any distractions from dislodging my focus at the bull’s eye. I forget the past-both failures and successes, and I press on for what is ahead. I press on for the mark of the prize of my calling in Christ Jesus. I set my face like a flint, like Jesus, like Paul, like Esther, like Nehemiah. I thank you that I have what it takes to finish and finish well.
Thank you for Your Holy Spirit, my Helper, Standby, Intercessor, Teacher, Guide-the Anointing that lifts burdens and destroys yokes. It is forward ever and backward never, in Jesus’ Name. I am going from strength to strength and from glory to glory, because the glory of this latter house shall be greater than the former. God has given me increased grace and capacity and there shall be no more limits to my inroads and accomplishments. I will surpass every expectation, because You work in me, both to will and do of Your good pleasure. I am confident that You will do exceeding abundantly far above that which I can think, imagine, ask or dream of, according to the Holy Spirit’s power at work in me, in Jesus’ Name. Amen
Deer in Dire Straits (2)
28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.Ro8:28
I came across a story (an allegory) recently which spoke volumes to me as led by the Holy Spirit and I decided to paraphrase it in my own words and convey what the Holy Spirit birth in me. It is a story about a pregnant deer. You may have heard it before. If you have, please bear with me as I tell it my own way.
A heavily pregnant deer feels labour pangs and immediate searches for a safe haven to give birth. She wanders to a place where there is a flowing river. It looks peaceful- an ideal labour ward.
However, before settling down, the sky suddenly changes and lightning strikes, igniting a forest fire that begins to rage and advance ferociously, like the wildfires in California that recently killed over 70 people.
The deer looks left, and there was a horrible hunter with his bow and arrow pointing towards her, thinking he had found a game. She could not believe her eyes. She then turns right and there is a hungry lion, leaking its lips and genteelly advancing.
What would she do, jump into the flowing river and drown, fall prey to the horrible hunter or become meat for the hungry lion?
She was cornered on all fronts-the flowing river in front, the forest fire around, the horrible hunter on the left and the menacing hungry lion on the right.
Why are all these calamities happening all at once and to her and at that time when she is about to bring her precious baby into the world?
Is God against her?
What would she do?
How would it pan out?
Well, the deer thought, that all the circumstances threatening her, emanating, developing before her, were all out of her control. So she focuses on one thing in her control: giving birth.
Then suddenly, lightning strikes, sending darkness and blindness to the eyes of the horrible hunter, causing him to lose focus, and as he let go his arrow, he misses his target (the deer), but hits the hungry lion, and striking it dead.
Next, the sky changes, darkening and the heaven opens, heralding a heavy downpour that quenches the ferocious forest fire that was advancing, stopping it in its track.
Surprisingly, just as all hell broke loose, there is a great calm. The lion lies dead, the horrible hunter is blind, groping in the dark, paralysed and the fury of the forest fire is arrested and imprisoned.
The water of the deer bursts and she finds a safe place to bring her baby into the world.
How glorious, how marvelous, how wonderful! What a joyful end to the diabolical foreboding!
This scenario that greeted the heavily pregnant deer could be replayed to some degree in each of our lives from time to time. How you handle the situation will determine the outcome?
What lessons can we learn from this story?
The deer was confronted by adversities on all fronts. She did not orchestrate them. She had no control over them. If she had focused on any one of them, it would have been enough to give her a heart attack and “kill her many times” before the danger she faced killed her. Yes, she would have died many times before her time.
She was wise to focus on the one thing within her control: giving birth.
Worry is the interest we pay before troubles come. Why pay interest on trouble?
We are enjoined in the scriptures “Do not worry about anything. Pray about everything.” (Phil 4:6)
All things work together for good to those who love God. (Ro8:28)
All things are not good. But all things work together for good to those who love God. Just leave those things you cannot help, in the hands of God and see what the result will be in the end.
The Psalmist said, ‘I will lift up my eyes unto the hills. Where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not allow my feet to slip. He that keeps me does not sleep. He that keeps me neither slumbers not sleep. The Lord is My keeper. He is my protection on my right hand. He will watch over my soul. He will watch over my going out and my coming in from this time forth and forever. “
So yours is to lift up your head to Your Maker, Owner and Lover of your soul. He is your keeper and He is wide awake and He cares. He is like a doctor on call 24/7.
Yours is to trust, that you will not go under for going over.
Yours is trust that you will not rust or see decay. His word says,” You will not allow your holy one to see decay.” Say what He says.
Yours is to keep your focus on your purpose, your calling and Jesus.
Yours is to look beyond the natural and see the joy ahead and endure your cross like Jesus did and sat down at the right hand of His Father. He saw you and I and was able to go the extra mile and finished the deal for us; finished the course for us.
You too can. You are not alone. Remember, when He finished praying in the Garden, “Not My will be done but Your will be done.” Soon, an angel came to strengthen Him. Angels are on assignment for you too. Is it not written, “He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. They will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone?”(Os91:10-11) It is written, “They are ministering spirits called to minister to those who are heirs of salvation.” (Heb2:14)l
Know beyond any shadow of a doubt that God is working everything together for your good regardless of what is happening around you or to you.
Cast not away your confidence. (Heb10:35)
Just like the ingredients for baking a cake are not all delicious, so are the individual circumstances of your life not all appealing, but when God finishes mixing them together, out will come a “sumptuous divine cake” that will glorify Him.
As you focus on Him, He will fight for you like He turned the tables for the deer in our story. Yes, He will fight for you like He did for the Israeli test and you will hold your peace. (Ex 14) Your enemies will fight against themselves like the hunter’s arrow shot the hungry lion dead and the heavy downpour quenched the ferocious forest fire.
God is not dead, despite the tribulations that come your way. Often they have come to give you a mammoth testimony.
“The bigger the trial, the bigger the triumph”
“The bigger the test, the bigger the testimony”
“The bigger the battle, the bigger the breakthrough”
They may have come to take you to another level in life; a higher level at that. Do not bemoan them but fix your eyes on Jesus. See them as partners for progress.
Recall His goodness, His grace, His love and compassion. Thank Him for His nearness and protection and faithfulness.
You can also see the negatives issues orchestrated around you as distractions. Refuse to focus on them. Rather, look at the things that are unseen. Remind yourself that the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are unseen are eternal. Your light afflictions are just for the time being, fleeting, temporary, for a moment, and they are working a far more exceeding weight of eternal glory for you. 2COR4:16-18
Say to yourself, “There hath no temptation taken me but such as is common to man. But God is faithful, Who will also with the temptation and the distraction make a way of escape, that I will be able to bear.” (1Cor0:13)
Say to yourself, “If God is for me, who can be against me?” Ro8:31 Say to yourself, “shall tribulation separate me from the love of God? No! Shall distress? Shall persecution? Shall famine or nakedness or peril or sword? NO! A thousand times no. Ro8:33
I am fully persuaded that neither death nor life nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things threatening nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, shall be able to separate me from the love of God in Christ Jesus. (Ro8:37-39) Christ in me my hope of glory. Yes, even against hope, I will believe in the God of Hope. (Ro4)
Say to yourself, “I may be hard-Pressed but I will not be crushed. I may be perplexed but I will not be in despair. I may be knocked down but I am not knocked out or destroyed. (2Cor.4:7-9)
God is working everything together now for my good. Great is His love. His steadfast love never ceases. They are new every morning and great is His faithfulness. (Lam3:23)
Say to yourself, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil because You are with me. You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies and my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy abide with me all the days of my life.
You said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you until the end of the age.” I believe You, Lord. (Matt. 28:20)
You said,” God is my refuge and my ever-present help. Therefore though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea, I shall not be moved. Let the sea roar, be agitated, convulsed, I will be still and know that my Lord, He is God.” (Ps48:1-3) He will burn the chariots of my enemies in His fire. A fire will go before Him to burn up all His enemies.
Say to yourself, “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust. Surely, He will save me from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. His faithfulness shall be my shield and buckler and under His wings will I take refuge. I will not be afraid of the terror by night or the arrow that flies by day or the destruction that lays waste at mid-day. A thousand may fall at my side, ten thousand at my right hand, but the evil will not come near my dwelling. Only with my eyes will I see the reward of the wicked.”
I shall not lose my focus! I am pregnant and will not risk miscarriage. This baby will be born full term. This baby will not be aborted. He said “There shall be no miscarriage in your house-none will cast her young before her time.” (Deut28)
Say to yourself, “It is written, ‘Fear not. When you go through the waters, you will not drown. When you go through the fire, you will not burn.” This is my confidence. My God is good all the time. He said fear not. Be not dismayed. I am your God. I will help you. I will uphold you will with my victorious right hand of rightness and justice. He said,” Shall a mother forget her sucking babe? Even if she does, I will not forget you. I have engraved you on the palm of my hands. You are mine.”
“Shall I bring to the time of birth and shut the womb? Shall I cause to bring forth and stop delivery?”
And when you extol the goodness, faithfulness, power and sovereignty of God at such times, He will summon His power and show you His strength as He had done before. He will part the heavens and send lightning to strike any horrible hunter pointing his arrow at you when you are about to give birth to your vision. He will shoot His arrow and deaden the lion that is crouching and growling, seeing you and your baby to come, as Christmas-come-early.
Yes, He will command the rain to quench any ferocious fires raging around you. Like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego, no flames will hurt you. Even if you go through fires, you will come forth like gold. Any fires you go through will only refine you to get better and not bitter.
Your baby will be born, safe and sound and there shall be joy unspeakable, merriment, thanksgiving, and praise to your God.
So, my friend, regardless of your circumstances, begin bless the Lord.
Say, I will bless the Lord at all times. His praises shall continually be in my mouth. I will make my boast in Him. O taste and see, the Lord is good. Weeping may endure in the night but joy comes in the morning.
The darker the night, the nearer the day
My dawn is on the horizon.
Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not His benefits: forgiveness of sin, healing of all my diseases, deliverance from destruction, crowning with love and compassion, the satisfaction of my mouth with good things, renewal of my youth like the Eagle. And these are just the tip of the iceberg.
Glory be to the Most High!
He is God Above All
The Creator of all
Both Great and small-
All condemned in the fall.
He is God all by Himself –
He is incomparable
He is faithful, merciful, beautiful
Powerful, wonderful, awesome
Worthy, mighty, majestic, very great
Almighty, breath-taking, very high
He is love personified
The Best of the best
The excellent One
The Preeminent One
Greater than the greatest,
Higher than the highest,
Bigger than the biggest,
Stronger than the strongest.
Opposition Propels Promotion (2)
When you are in league with God; when you are a son of God; when you are blood – washed and blood-bought; there is more to you than meets the eye. Those who touch you touch God. You are divine property and territory. Those who play with you play with fire. Those who oppose you are working for you; they are propelling you to your promotion; in fact, they are promoting you, unbeknown to them.
Joseph was the son of Jacob, born in his old age, born to Rachel whom he loved but was barren until God heard her cry and opened her womb. She had suffered ridicule from her sister, Leah, also married to Jacob and had no problem in popping out children like popcorn. Rachel was despised, depressed and disdained because of her predicament. And so when Joseph was born, he became the apple of the eyes of Jacob. He loved him to a fault. He could do no wrong. Whilst others were sent into the forest to do the hard work, Joseph played games at home. He was treated like an egg and this aroused jealousy in the hearts of his brothers. They hated him. He was an offence to them. But it was not his fault that daddy loved him so much. In fact, he loved him to the point that he made a special robe of many colours for him. It was bespoke, specially embroidered and designed for him. It was undoubtedly expensive. Jacob spared no expense for this son that he waited for so long for.
Joseph innocently lapped up the love and attention of dad, not knowing that his brothers were plotting murder. The opportunity came when Jacob sent his beloved on an errand to go and give food to his brothers in the jungle.
They saw him coming with his flamboyant coat of many colours, and one of them said: “Behold, the dreamer is coming. Let us kill him and see what will become of his dreams.”
Joseph had dreamed in times past and had innocently told his brothers about the dream. The interpretation of the dream was obvious. He was going to be the top dog in the family. Everyone would be subservient. In fact, he dreamed twice and both dreams said the same, “You will be my subjects.”
This triggered their hatred and here in the jungle, he was at their mercy. They enjoyed the food he brought, yet plotted to kill him.
He was stripped of his coat and dumped into a pit. They then changed their minds about killing him and sold him into slavery to some merchants who were passing by.
The merchants took him to Egypt and sold him to a top army official, Potiphar. Joseph, the Prince in Jacob’s House was now a servant in a foreign land.
Jacob taught his beloved son was dead. His brothers brought back his coat smeared with blood. They told him they saw the coat abandoned and knew nothing about his beloved son. He was to come to his conclusion based on the evidence before him. He grieved and mourned for his son, feared dead, whilst they pretended they knew nothing and were innocent. Inwardly they were jubilant, thinking “Good riddance!”
But Opposition Propels Promotion.
Just as Rachel’s opposition and disdain in her promotion, so did Joseph’s opposition propel his promotion. But this will take some time for incubation before gestation.
Firstly, Joseph though shielded from chores at home, secretly learned to give his best to whatever he did and this stood him in good stead. He served Potiphar to the best of his ability and was in league with God. He surrendered his future into the hand of God and looked forward to a grandiose tomorrow as he saw in the dream, no matter how impossible it may now seem.
He served his master well, worked as if he was working for God. And whatever he put his hands to do prospered. Potiphar trusted him so much that he withheld nothing from him. He was a ‘king’ in the house, despite his official status as a houseboy. His master knew he was being blessed because of Joseph. He would not have any others house boy or servant.
Satan Gets Jealous
Your opposition may not just come from those around you-your kit and kin, your family or church members or colleagues at work. It could also come from the devil, directly or indirectly. Why? He is not happy when you are glorifying God in your service to man. So he will try to fault you, pull you down. He would want you to compromise your standard.
This was what happened to Joseph in Potiphar’s House. His wife saw that Joseph was handsome and cast a longing eye on him. She winked at him many times and dressed to seduce him but Joseph ignored her overtures. He knew it was a temptation and that the enemy of his soul was trying to get to him through this woman’s amoral flirting phase.
One day as he went to tidy her room, she seized the opportunity to grab him, “Lie with me, now!” she imposed.
Joseph left his coat with her and ran away.
She screamed loud, raised an alarm that caused the neighbors to come running down for her rescue. And as they arrived she pretended to be a victim, sexually harassed, violated and raped by her servant. It was her word against his and as she was in tears and looked emotionally wrecked, they believed her. Joseph’s defence fell on a deaf ear, like water on a duck’s back. He was condemned, though innocent.
When his master arrived, the drama was replayed, this time possibly made worse by neighbours who believed her and wanted this foreigner to get his ‘just’ desert. Everyone and everything seemed to be against Joseph, despite his integrity and purity and honesty. Satan had used this lustful woman to oppose his destiny. Potiphar reluctantly sent him to prison. His wife knew the evil she had orchestrated.
But God is not dead. The good work He begins in your life cannot be scuppered. He has the final word. All things work together for good to those who love God; to those who trust Him; to those who are in league with Him. He fights their battles. One with God is a majority. No weapon fashioned against them will prosper. They may as it was Joseph going down a ladder to oblivion, despite the grandiose dream of greatness they have, but that ladder will lead them up. How? God knows how. There is nothing impossible with Him and to Him.
So Joseph, the excellent man; the man who gave his best in Potiphar’s house and made him prosper is now in prison. Has he been abandoned by God? – Far from it. Was Joseph bitter? Definitely no. Joseph continued to be the best even in the prison. He repaid evil with good. He knew he was in a spiritual warfare and found ways to bless others. He looked beyond his troubles and cared for other inmates.
Are you similarly “incarcerated, cocooned, isolated or even imprisoned”?
Joseph in prison, remained excellent, magnanimous and exemplary. The chief prison warden could not ignore his distinction, even in prison. He knew he was cut out for greatness and he wasted no time in making him an overseer of other prisoners. So Joseph prospered also in prison. Promotion followed him despite the opposition from Satan using Potiphar’s wife.
Take a leaf from Joseph. Stop the blame game and leave your case with God.
Joseph went the extra mile. He saw some of his inmates sad in countenance and asked them what was troubling them. They told him about dreams they had the night before that caused concern. Joseph encouraged them to tell him the dreams to see if he could help them. He ignored the fact that it was a dream that triggered the opposition that catapulted him to a foreign land and now he was in prison, about to interpret a dream. Nevertheless, he was selfless and prayerful listened and had the meaning of the dreams from God. God used him to help others because he was open, surrendered and compassionate. The dream he interpreted, set him up for his uplift, his elevation, and promotion in the fullness of time. Yes, his opposition Propelled him into greatness, into his unparalleled promotion-from prisoner to Prime Minister, in a foreign land.
This is what my God can do. Are you in a similar predicament, impasse, malaise, pit, prison or dungeon? Give Him a try. Are you opposed, despite your integrity, purity, and honesty? Fear not. Be of good courage. The Lord is with you wherever you go; wherever you are. You will not go under for going over. It is not over until He says so. Stand to see your salvation.
Pay Day is coming, in fact, it is here. Receive it. And be expectant. The expectation of the righteous shall not be dashed.
Opposition Propels Promotion.
This is what will Greet you:
“And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.”
“And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;”
“And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.”
May my eyes see your beauty,
And my heart pant for You.
May my mind grasp your glory,
And my hands clasp your hand.
May my feet toe your pathway,
And my ears hear your voice.
May my mouth sing Your praise.
And my nose scent your fragrance.
May my will be intertwined with yours
And my passion be consumed with You.
May my love for You never wane
And my decision be Your choice.
May my life be lived for You
And my work waft your worship.
May my walk rhyme with Your word
And my testimony blaze your praise.
The God kind of man
Made in the image of God
Complete in Christ
Controlled by Christ
Constrained by Christ
Dwells in Christ.
The God kind of man
Born from above
Born of love.
The God kind of man
The God kind of man
Is born of the Word;
Full of the Word;
Feeds on the word;
Is fuelled by the word;
Walks by the word;
propagates the word,
Stands by the word.
The God kind of man
A man after God’s heart
The God kind of man
Sees through God’s eyes
Thinks God’s thoughts;
Has hands that are
extensions of God’s hands;
has feet that are
extension of God’s feet.
The Lord is My Light
The Lord is My Light and my Salvation
Of whom shall I fear? The Lord is the strength of my life. Of whom shall I be afraid?
When my enemies come to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. When they come in one way, they flee in seven ways.
God is working in me, both to will and do according to His good pleasure.
God is my Refuge and my strength and my Ever – Present help.
Let the sea roar and be agitated, I shall not be moved.
Angels are on assignment in my behalf.
God makes my wars to cease and burns the chariot of my enemies in His fire
He tells me, “Be still and know that I am God. I will be exalted in all your affairs. I will fight for you and you will hold your peace. I will take you places that are beyond your expectations and highest prayers.
“See, ‘Nebat’, look down from My throne room. See through My eyes. See, ‘Jericho’ is yours and all its mighty Men.
” See, Goliath is fallen. Cut off his head with the sword of the Spirit.
“See, the abundance of the seas and treasures of darkness, hidden riches in secret places are yours.
” See, the land has fallen in pleasant places for you and you have a goodly heritage.
“See, I have made you the head, more than a conqueror, a Victor, a king to reign on this life with Christ.
” Command and it shall be. Decree and it shall stand. Take dominion wherever you go. Establish My kingdom, My will, My mind in all you do and wherever you go.
” You are blessed to be a blessing. You are blessed in your going out and in your coming in. You are blessed to be a blessing to Your God, your world and your generation. You are blessed from the Crown of your head to the soles of your feet.”
The Reign of Kings (8)
I Am Reigning
I Am Reigning
And I am ‘kinging’,
Soaring on eagle’s wings.
In my night, I sing
The songs He gives.
I reign in all my affairs
Because I’m the head
And never the tail.
And so He puts me ahead.
I will never fail or trail.
He always lifts up my head.
My future is rosy and bright
My path shine brighter
And brighter, better and better
to the full light of day, as He said.
I decree and it stands
I lay up gold as dust.
I am fresh and Flourishing
Planted by the rivers of water
Amply nourished by the living water.
I’M Kinging! GLORY TO God.