BEING LIFTED UP
KUNLE SOKOYA, OLUBI JOHNSON AND GBOYEGA ADESIYAN
James 4:8-10 KJV: Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you. Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double minded. (9) Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep: let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness. (10) Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and He shall lift you up.
From the above scripture, we see that being lifted up is a function of 3 decisions we must make:
- Repentance – A decision to turn to what is right, or, to God’s Word in your heart (involves our will).
- Forsaking – Follow-up action to do what is right or God’s Word (includes our mind and emotions).
- Obedience – Submission to and practice of God’s Word and Will (Mt. 21:28-31) which includes humbling our flesh.
These three are what the John the Baptist ministry came to prepare in us (Mt 3:2) so we can be permitted to follow the Christ ministry into perfection. Sadly, John the Baptist himself did not do what he taught and was disqualified from inheriting the degree of greatness he was destined to in the Kingdom (Lk. 7:28).
Greatness in heaven’s kingdom (Rom. 14:17-18), or, the total dominion of God’s character of Love over our wills, minds, emotions and physical body is available on earth and not only when we get to heaven! Entering into the kingdom of heaven is true greatness. A man or woman whose life speaks of total obedience to God’s Word and Will is GREAT (Mt. 5:19). This is available to ALL men, God works through the obedience of spiritual fathers to minister Christ into the hearts of others by the power of the Holy Spirit; a spiritual chain reaction is created that never stops (2Cor. 3:2-3; 2Tim. 2:1-2).
Our Lord Jesus, by His life of absolute obedience (Lk. 1:32-33), His Father’s throne of greatness (Heb. 5:9) instituting an eternal kingdom of GREAT kings. God wants us to be great! He is determined to make and lift us up to be great. So we too can make others great under God!
We all begin at the same place. The seed of Kingdom of Heaven is the smallest seed (1Pet.1:23; Mt.13:32) BUT SHOULD NOT BE IGNORED. The seed of our success in this life, secular education, success at work), care for our families, success of our ministry and other legitimate seeds, are all initially, greater than the seed of the Kingdom (Lk. 14:16-20). However, as we grow in Christ, that least of all seeds grows into a mighty tree that overshadows every other (Mt. 13:31-32).
God the Father, who is the GREATEST OF ALL (Jn. 10:29) draws us to Himself through true sons, through spiritual fathers mature in obedience who reveal Him to us in more detail (Jn. 17:3)). As we grow by practicing the Word, we learn to discern the Father’s will, embrace and prioritize it (Lk. 2:49, 1Kg. 3:6-10) so finding favour with God (Eph. 6:2-3).
We must cultivate the habit of listening to and obeying our parents, natural and spiritual, whom God has positioned to lead us to Him.
Our duty is to respond in love to them and what they say and ensure our hearts are turned towards them in love and submission (Heb.13:7; 2Cor.6:-13; Mal.4:5-6). This is God’s pattern for our homes, for His Church, for Government and it is enforced by spiritual power from God himself (1 Kg. 17:1).
Our becoming great in God enables Him to bring men to Himself through obedient sons who are sitting on God’s throne, having inherited the Spirit without measure, and to establish His purpose in all Creation (Is. 11:9 KJV)
Ephesians 1:10 KJV: To be put into effect when the times will have reached their fulfillment–to bring all things in heaven and on earth together under one head, even Christ.
This grand plan hinges on our obedience to walk in divine Love (Jn. 14:21) so we are to be filled with the fullness of the Spirit without measure and dominate situations and challenges (Col 2:3).
God has waited patiently to harvest in the earth the precious fruit of Christ-like greatness He has given us His early rain the foundational principles of the Christ life that make us willing to obey and latter rain or the perfection principles that ripen the fruit of obedience (Jas 5:7, Heb. 6:1). We must now, in this season of the manifestation of the glory, establish our hearts in consistent obedience as He draws nigh!
God is seeking and lifting up those who turn from their will to His (Ex. 3:2-4), from their way to His (Is .55:8), from their timing to His (Lk 5:4-8).
We therefore must honour those in authority over us:
– Spiritual Fathers (Is. 51:1-4)
– Natural authority (Eph. 6:2-3; Rom. 13:1-2).
Consistent submission to them will bring promotion to higher levels of friendship with God. WE MUST CULTIVATE REVERENCE for authority in order to apprehend the fullness of God’s purpose in our lives and experience. Saul tore Samuel’s clothing and the kingdom was taken from him (1Sam. 15:27-28).
As born again children of God, we must correct our priorities. Obedience in love to the instructions of God through spiritual fathers should be our priority (Mt. 23:23). Self –examination of our hearts in the light of His Word to us (not condemning), confessing and cleansing our sins by the blood of Jesus and receiving life (Heb. 13:20-21) and looking for mercy to help us practice the word helps us produce obedience (2Cor. 13:5).
We must check our actions, motives, methods, means and timing in the light of the instructions of apostolic/prophetic fatherhood ministry! We must not read or listen to the Word in vain.
This works effectively when combined with frequent praying in tongues (Jude 20-21),
at least once every 6 hrs (Mk. 13:35, Dt. 6:6-7), at every hour (Mt. 24:42) and at every opportunity (when the Holy Spirit reminds us (1Cor. 14:18)) as well as during temptations (Mt. 26:41).
By doing so, we walk in ever increasing obedience to the instructions of apostolic/prophetic spiritual fathers through the wisdom and power of God by a consistent flow of the life of God. This obedience or walking in divine Love gives access to greater divine power to lift us up above situations and challenges, making us written epistles to men!