PRAISE REPORT

“No one will be able to stand against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you” (Josh 1:5)

I just received a message from a sister in Christ. This is her testimony: She works in a good company. She is a born again committed Christian. She is very good and faithful in her job. She has favor with her boss. But the boss’ secretary, an older woman has been a trouble maker since she got her employment there. She has been working there for many years. She is very negative, manipulative and intimidating. Many fear her, what she will say or do.

When this sister told me to pray about this situation, I told her that it may be possible the secretary is a witch; that she used occult means to stay for so many years in that job. I told the sister that the light of God upon her disturbs the evil woman. I advised her to use prayer as a weapon. I told her to just greet her “Hi or Hello” (as they greet in the US) and never to say “Good morning Ma” to her again. For that will mean to strengthen a wicked woman who can never be her mother. We prayed together that this woman will either repent, give her life to Christ or that she will leave that office. That prayer was about 6 months ago.

The sister just told me that the woman was sacked today. After almost 20 years of being the ‘queen’ of the company, she will be there no more.

This testimony is given to the glory of God, to the shame of the devil and for the encouragement of the brethren all over the world.

This is God’s promise: “God is just: he will pay back trouble to those who trouble you and give relief to you who are troubled” (2Thess 1:6, 7)

The word ‘trouble’ means persecution, wickedness and oppression. The word relief means to be free from unnecessary burdens, to be delivered, to be able to relax, to work less with greater results and more benefits. That blessed freedom is your portion!

Dear Child of God! These are facts: God hears and answers your prayers! Pray in all situations! Believe God and His prophets! Trust God for your deliverance, breakthrough and success! God loves you! God will help you! Wait and be patient! Help is on the way! Serve God the best you can! Just be ready to give God all the glory! You shall have many testimonies too! In Jesus name, amen!

DECEPTION DEFEATED (3)

“Then Joshua called for them, and he spoke to them, saying, “Why have you deceived us… Now therefore, you are cursed, and none of you shall be freed from being slaves…” (Josh 9:22-23)

Here we see how the Gibeonites deceived the children of God. This is a warning for all! This is the reality: true believers can be deceived and backslide for a time. But please observe that the victory of the enemy can never be complete! There are three major successes the Gibeonites may have wanted, but failed to achieve. The first is that they could not turn back the Jews; they were not able to send them back to Egypt. Secondly, they could not expel the Jews out of the Promised Land. Lastly, they could not stop the progress and destiny of the people of God. Israel continued to do great exploits and finally occupied the Promised Land. At last, Joshua calls the deceivers ‘cursed’ and slaves forever.

The Bible offers us the greatest encouragement. The only way the devil makes the Christian fall into sin is thru deception. No true child of God will sin openly and willfully. A believer may be deceived and fall into sin. For a time, he becomes a backslider. But even so, just like with the Jews, he will not lose its eternal salvation. A backslider loses the joy of his salvation, the sweet fellowship of the Holy Spirit and great opportunities or rewards for ministry. These are serious losses. But no believer will ever become an unbeliever again and ‘go back to Egypt’. They cannot be uprooted from Christ. Nothing shall separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus! If the devil likes it or not, our destiny as children of God shall be fulfilled! This is what I believe!

God works in all things for His glory and for the good of His people. This is how hope: God is never deceived. God will chastise His children. He will eventually bring them back to the Cross and the journey to give glory to God continues. A righteous man or woman may fall seven times but will surely rise again (PV 24:16). This is the promise of God!

Dear Child of God, be encouraged! Even if you fall, you shall rise again. The devil may steal your money or your joy but he has no power to send you to hell! You shall fulfill your destiny! For God’s name and reputation is at stake in your life! God is faithful! God can never lose any battle! He is able to complete and perfect your testimony! For His glory alone! In Jesus name, amen!

DECEPTION DEFEATED (2)

“But the children of Israel did not attack them, because the rulers of the congregation had sworn to them by the Lord God of Israel. And all the congregation complained against the rulers” (Josh 9:18)

This is the story of how the Gibeonites deceived Joshua and the other leaders. Disappointed, the people of God complained against their own rulers. They were ready to attack the city of Gibeon, to conquer it and take the booty. But Joshua stopped them because of the covenant of friendship they made with the Gibeonites. Even if it was the result of manipulation or deception, they could not cancel the covenant once made. Then the people ‘complained’. In Hebrew, the word means to murmur, to be stubborn or to carry a grudge. The people grumbled the whole night, refusing to move and co-operate the next day. To complain it means to accuse someone of causing pain and grief. Complaining is the beginning of rebellion.

This is a great lesson: deception among the leaders will result in disunity and rebellion among the followers. The devil attacks the leaders for a greater damage. He knows that “If the shepherd falls, the sheep will scatter”. Spiritually speaking, if the pastor of a church is deceived, the congregation will become obstinate, unteachable and difficult. It is the same if a husband is deceived. The marriage will be damaged; the wife and children shall rebel against his authority. This is a very important lesson for all, especially for us in positions of leadership. As pastors, as parents, as teachers, we have a greater responsibility to watch and pray!

Please remember the story of the Gibeonites, how they deceived even the mighty Joshua. Never underestimate the ancient skill of the unbelievers to lie and deceive! If you are not spiritually alert, the false brethren are able to use magic or occult means to manipulate your emotions! Pray in English! Pray in your language! Pray in tongues! Trust not your wisdom or your experience! Trust only God!

Please believe this word: It is possible to live a life free of deception! Pay the price to be a good mature leader! Then your congregation or your family will learn to trust you as their mentor! That is indeed a great gain for all! To the glory of God!

PRAISE REPORT

For the past 24 hours three married women in our church have informed me that they are pregnant. All three had medical problems and declared ‘infertile’ by the doctors. I rejoice with them. It also means that our congregation is fruitful, for by the mouth of two or three witnesses, every truth is established. It is a wonderful privilege to be pastor to a living church. God bless Father’s House Bible Church Warri, Nigeria! Praise the Lord!!!! To God be all the glory!

For all who pray to be parents, this is the Word of God: “And the Lord will make you abound in prosperity, in the fruit of your womb…” (Deut 28:11)

LIVING BY FAITH

bushmen
“For we live by faith, not by sight” (2Cor 5:7)
When preaching about living by faith and not by sight, the example of the Bushmen in the Kalahari Desert of Africa is a very god example. They really live ‘like the birds’. They do not farm or store their food. They hunt animals or gather fruits to eat. They live in temporary shelters and are ready to move on any day. They usually possess only what they can carry. The only concession most Bushmen have made to the modern era is wearing clothes. The desert is a very harsh environment. For a stranger, there is no food available. They are very good in reading ‘the signs of the times’. They know much about animals and how to hunt them. They use poisonous bow and arrows. They cook or fry the meat in the fire. They are very artistic. They draw in the caves scenes of their daily life. Most of them are pagans. They need faith daily to survive.
They do not look good to our ‘civilized’ eyes. They do not look like they can teach us anything. Is there any lesson?
What is the lesson? If we as Christians have such faith, we shall never complain about any hardship. We shall trust God daily for our daily bread and make much progress in life.
“Dear Lord, increase our faith! In Jesus name we pray, amen!”

THE SIN OF PRAYERLESSNESS

“As for me, far be it from me that I should sin against the LORD by failing to pray for you. And I will continue to teach you the way that is good and right” (1Sam 12:23)

This is what Samuel told the people of Israel, after they rejected Jehovah as their God and Samuel as a prophet. To pray is the mark of a true believer. You do not pray to please men You pray because of your relationship with God.

The Gibeonites succeeded in convincing the Jews that they can be good friends (Joshua 9). The people of God agreed to make friends with them. God commanded them not to make any covenant of friendship with the Canaanites for their will lead them astray (Deut 7). The reason why they fell to deception is that they did not pray. They did not ask the counsel of God. Lack of prayer is the main reason why believers are deceived. The devil deceives many into friendships or marriages with unbelievers. This form of deception is more common than you imagine.

The lesson here is this: always pray about everything! In things big or small, remember to acknowledge God. If ever you have been deceived, repent also of the sin of prayerlessness. Be careful especially in times when you ‘fall in love’, when you make commitments to ‘nice’ strangers. Pray that God will reveal the truth, for only Him knows the hearts of all men. “The righteous person is cautious in his friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray” (PV 12:26)

This is my testimony: I love to pray! Prayer to me is like oxygen for my lungs, like food for my stomach. If God answers me or not I will continue to pray. Sometimes is easy and sometimes is hard. But I can never stop praying! Even if the devil begs me on his dirty knees, even if circumstances are difficult, I shall continue to build up my prayer life. For I do not know of any other way how to live my life! I cannot forget to pray, for prayer has become a part of me! To God be all the glory!

DANGEROUS FLATTERY

“A man who flatters his neighbor spreads a net for his feet” (PV 29:5)

Religious flattery is a common tool of deception used by the devil. Flattery is defined as insincere praise. It is a lie designed to make you proud and to weaken you spiritually. This flattery is a snare to cage your soul. Your mind, emotions and will shall be restricted if you allow flattery to poison your soul.

I read somewhere that the great preacher Charles Spurgeon was congratulated at the end of a Sunday service by one of the elders in his church who said to him: ‘Pastor, this is very good preaching! This is the best sermon you have ever preached!” The old wise man of God answered: “This is exactly what the devil whispered into my ears few minutes ago”.

What is the lesson? What should you do when people ‘compliment’ you, when they tell you that you are beautiful, that you sing well or that you preach wonderfully? Always be ready to give God ALL THE GLORY (not part of it) for any success He grants you to experience in life. Then you are free from the dangerous snare of flattery. Then you shall grow from strength to strength and shall do exploits! You shall be humble and wise! God’s favor shall be your portion! In Jesus name, amen!