As I was in my study time, I read and began to meditate on Luke 14:33 which says “In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples”. Jesus tells us what it takes to be His disciple. It is not possible to gain entry into Harvard University without knowing the criteria for entry and once in, you will also need to know the criteria for success. So we come as we are. We all come as sinners. 1 Timothy 1:15-16 says “Here is a trustworthy saying that deserves full acceptance: Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners of whom I am the worst. But for that very reason I was shown mercy so that in me, the worst of sinners, Christ Jesus might display his immense patience as an example for those who would believe in him and receive eternal life”.
Once we come as sinners, God begins to work in us if we are open to receive. God does not force us to come nor does he impose change and transformation on us. Whether we transition from being the sinner who came to a disciple is totally a choice we make. There are many of us who have come to Jesus and we hang around Him but we have not become disciples. We came and rather than make the transition, we connected with others who shared similar sins like us and felt too comfortable to want change. So I became a Christian and found Sally in the Church and Sally likes to go dancing on Saturdays just like me. Sally and I start to go clubbing every weekend and we convince ourselves that as long as we do not fornicate with the men we meet at the club we are fine. Some weeks we are too tired to go to church the next morning so we sleep in. When Pastor mentions he has not seen me at church for a while, I lie to cover up. I love the Lord and I have accepted Jesus as my savior but He is not yet my Lord. Now I am torn between my love for clubbing and making a sacrifice to fully commit to attending church and growing in character. After all if I lie a few times about why I missed church, I can repent and Jesus is patient to forgive me.
This is only a small example of how the love of the world can affect whether we remain a baby Christian or transition into a true disciple of Christ. In order to become a disciple, we need to make a choice. We need to make a sacrifice. We will need to give up many things if Christianity is going to be more than just belonging to a social club that meets on Sundays. Are you willing and ready to give up not just some things but everything? Luke 14:33 is as crystal clear as it gets; Jesus is asking for you and I to give up everything!
What does giving up everything mean? Does Jesus want you to suddenly go homeless, without a car, to give all your clothes to charity and stop going on lavish vacations? Is He asking for you to stop having any type of fun in your life? Not at all. Jesus’ prescription for being a disciple is referring to a condition of the heart. There will be times in your walk when you may need to give up your car or house in obedience. Will you do it? Jesus will test you as you grow in your walk with Him. He will ask you to place your Isaac on the altar. Will you obey like Abraham did or is there something in your life that you cannot give up for Jesus? If He took away your spouse, all your children, your business, your job and even your health, will you curse Him and die or will you like Job say “the Lord giveth and the Lord taketh, blessed be His name”? Can the Lord trust you to ask for anything from you and know you will give it up and not forsake the faith?
The process of giving up everything is the breaking process. It is the road to obedience, humility and true surrender. This is the place where God can really trust you. This is the place where your pride is killed and you begin to walk in supernatural power yet you do not boast in yourself. Now you have become a disciple and where He leads you follow regardless of the cost. This is where God is calling us to be. In this place, Jesus is our all and in Him we have our being. In this place, we have become a living sacrifice and live for Jesus. Will you give up everything to be His disciple?
This will help many of you who may be trying your hardest to connect with a MOG or WOG that you admire. Maybe they flow in a powerful anointing and you desire to one day minister like them and so you want their time to disciple you. Maybe they pray and things happen, maybe they can do powerful spiritual warfare and cast out devils and you need their help in your life. Or maybe they can prophecy accurately and you really would like to be close to someone who can give you a prophetic word at any time.
Let me begin with this, if you follow my ministry you already know that I am not one who puts finances above the actual work of ministry neither do I take advantage of those who come to me for prayer just because they may be in a vulnerable place in their lives. Now that we have established this, let me share something very important about genuine servants of God who are truly working for the Kingdom. Even when a minister is sold out and makes many sacrifices to pray for you, counsel you and support you as much as they can, remember this:
⁃ The Minister may never ask you for money, they may not collect tithes and offerings from you but the ministry has needs and bills that must be paid. How do you think those bills are covered?
⁃ The minister has personal bills and likely has a home to take care of. If you keep taking the ministers time in prayer and counselling and never think of how to willfully support them, how do you think he or she manages to pay their personal bills?
⁃ If you keep calling and texting the minister, visiting them for prayer continuously, when do you think they have time to spend with their spouse and children. If you have been complaining about the minister not being accessible and attributed it to pride or their lack of care for you and other brethren, please repent now of your own selfishness. Do you want the minister’s family to be destroyed leading to divorce and wayward children due to an absentee mother or father who is out there busy pleasing others and meeting the demands of self centered believers?
⁃ If you keep taking prayers, deliverance, counseling and prophetic ministrations from the minister and you have never sowed financially into their ministry or Church and you do not volunteer to help with some ministry or church duties, how do you think it is possible to keep serving you and the community? Who should help to provide the same types of services you expect from the ministry or church?
⁃ If the minister cannot have quiet time to study, meditate and seek God because they must do part time jobs to pay their bills since you will not participate in supporting them, what type of anointing do you think the minister carries? This explains why many ministers are spiritually dry and therefore next time you show up, they will minister from their tired flesh and not from the Spirit of God.
⁃ When you continuously pester a minister for prophetic words, guess what? They will tell you what God had not said and then when it does not come to pass, you will be the first to gossip about the minister being a false prophet.
⁃ If a minister avoids you when you call or visit, could it be because you keep taking from them and never giving back? Is there any bank in the world from which you can keep making withdrawals and never making deposits? When the coffers become empty, what next?
Before you think a minister is proud, does not care, hard to reach, never answers calls, think about whether you have deposited anything into that ministry or church. Before you gossip about another genuine hardworking servant of God who is out there giving so much of themselves and getting very little sustenance from members like you, think again. There are many Pastors who are drained, penny less and discouraged because they are true servants of God who refuse to financially abuse the body of Christ but many members just keep taking from them without supporting them. Yes we cannot charge for the anointing, but a MOG or WOG needs to eat, wear clothes and pay bills in order to be available to serve you.
If you chase after false prophets who charge you for a prayer, deliverance or prophetic word, yet you cannot freely give to those true prophets who have been there for you, then check your heart. What are you truly after? You are contributing to the rise of charlatans in the body of Christ because some pastors have understood that unless they take advantage of you financially they may not have food on their tables or clothes on their backs. You are raising false prophets because many have understood that you keep putting pressure on them to Prophesy to you when they are tired and God has not spoken so they will lie to you to get an offering. Church of God, who has bewitched you? Wake up and take responsibility for the basic sustenance of those true MOG and WOG who care for you and watch over your souls. Do not push them to a place of desperation! Do not take from them until the reservoir runs dry and then abandon them. Do not expose ministers to the temptation of abusing their members financially just to survive. What makes you think that the minister must keep giving to you and keep loving you when you cannot love them also by being considerate of their time and needs?
1 Timothy 5:18
For the Scripture says, “You must not muzzle an ox to keep it from eating as it treads out the grain.” And in another place, “Those who work deserve their pay!”
One thing I have learnt in my many decades of life (too many to list) is that God made each human with a beautiful purpose no matter their current condition in life and therefore, if we stay connected to our Maker, follow His guidance and obey His word, we will get to our God ordained destination. It may be quick or it may take long but but you will sure get there if you follow God’s plan for you. When I was younger I wanted things to happen at my pace but now that I am older, I only want things to happen at God’s pace. it does not matter who goes ahead of me.
If I can pass some wisdom to those who may read this, trust God’s timing in your life, do not look left or right. Do not look at what others may be doing or failing to do. Everyone is in a different season of life. Do all you can to locate God’s blueprint for you and follow it. Some of us are meant to climb mountains while others are meant to navigate the seas, some will impact millions while others may impact a few. When all is said and done, God will judge you based on what He gave you and what you did with it. Notice it’s about what He gave you and not what He gave others. Life is not a competition! It is about commanding the space carved out for you by God. The space may be small just like it may be big. What matters is that you identify your own space.
God can suddenly raise someone who is humble to the top from nothing. God can also crush someone who was at the top with a big ego down to nothing. It is God alone who lifts man! I have learnt not to mock others no matter how low they may be today, tomorrow they may rise. I have learnt not to put down others no matter how blessed I may be today because we may exchange positions tomorrow. That person you judge as useless or beneath you may just be the angel God sent to take you to your next level. Hebrews 13:2 says Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
After you eat from a pot, do not scatter the remaining food and break the pot. The food may no longer taste good to you but that may be the only food that will nourish others coming behind you. The fact that your taste changed does not mean that the food is now bad.
Always build bridges. Without a bridge, you may never get to the other side alive. After you cross the bridge, be careful not to pull it down as you may one day come back that same way.
Honor those who walked that path before you. There are some things they know which may save your life. Their silence or what you may consider their weakness may actually be an act of wisdom and a strength. Learn from them even when what they are saying or doing does not make obvious sense. They know where all the traps are hidden on the road.
We all are messed up but for the transforming grace of God. I for one am nothing without God. Let humility, forgiveness and compassion reign in all our interactions with family and friends but even with these, godly wisdom is King!
Job 12:12 Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?