The ungodly trinity [The worldly system 02] – Characteristics of this system

The ungodly trinity [The worldly system 02] – Characteristics of this system

“. . . don’t you know that friendship with the WORLD means enmity against God? …”

James 4:4 NIV

In a previous study I contrasted the world, the people in the world and the worldly system, stressing that the Believer’s enemy is the worldly system. The world (and the people) in itself is good; it is the work of God’s hands (Psalms 24:1; 104:24) and God loves the people of the world (John 3:16). But the world (the worldly system) as it relates to us is not good. That is, as we interact with this system, what it offers is corrupt.

This system is temporal, vain and vanishing. The fashion of this world will pass away (1 Corinthians 7:31; 1 John 2:17). No matter how hard you try to cling to it, like vapour, you cannot contain it for long; it will disappear. It is the reason why I am perplexed when people build edifice here at the expense of their soul.

The worldly system is in opposition to God; it is in enmity with Him. It is always contrary to what God wants. To befriend the world is to stand against God. The inventions of the world are done deliberately to counter, profain and make vain spiritual truths and godly virtues. The Believer must with the lens of Scriptures scrutinise all that the world presents.

This system is independent of God having no input from Him. It is without God and does not come from Him. It is evil, corrupt and lies in wickedness (1 John 5:19). Jesus testified of the works (or things) of the world that they are evil (John 7:7). Don’t be carried away with all the illustrious possessions this world presents; behind that coat is a venomous beast that devours. 

It is impossible to ‘fix’ or ‘repair’ this system in anyway. It will remain in existence as long as this earth and the Devil exist. That is why it would be judged and destroyed (John 12:31; Revelation 21:1). As children of God, we should arm ourselves with the consciousness that we are only passerbys here, our stay here being transient. The worldly system is an enemy we would continue to contend with till we cross the river and walk the streets of gold.

gidmedico

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The ungodly trinity [The Devil 02] – His Origin

The ungodly trinity [The Devil 02] – His Origin

“You were blameless in your ways from the day you were created. . .”

Ezekiel 28:15 NIV

The Scripture above you just read was referring to the Devil. Many folks move about with the notion that the Devil is infinite like God in the sense that he was not created, but just emerged as that mirror image of God; the dark side of God, God being the light. This is false! And it is for this reason we need to see from Scriptures how the Devil came into existence.

The Devil and demons were created by God as angels, as free will beings. Everything in existence was created by God (Colossians 1:16), God being the only being that was not created; that’s why He is God. As regards the exact time the Devil was created, no one can be certain. But from the Bible, his creation was before that of man, because we found the Devil present in the Garden of Eden and we can deduce from Job 38:4-7 that angels were eyewitnesses to some of God’s creative works.

Before his fall, Ezekiel chapter twenty-eight made us understand that the Devil was anointed as a guardian Cherub (Heavenly host or Angel), sort of an arch or ruling or chief angel. His name then was Lucifer (morning star or light bearer); he was the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty, being adorned with every precious stone. He performed his ministry on the mountain of God and walked on fiery stones.

Note that the Devil was created as a free-will being, just like man. In Isaiah chapter fourteen where his fall was talked about, the Devil was quoted to have said “I will ascend to heaven. . .” If he didn’t have a free will, he could not have made this statement. So by extrapolation, all angels were created free-will beings and chose to submit their will to the will of God.

The devil must have served God as an angel for donkey years. How many? The Bible does not say. But at some point he rebelled against God and fell (with other angels) from his elevated position, thereby earning the name Satan. We would look at his fall in another study.

gidmedico

The ungodly trinity [The Flesh 05] – Not making provision for the flesh

The ungodly trinity [The Flesh 05] – Not making provision for the flesh

“. . . and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.”

Romans 13:14 KJV

Many people wonder why they are more prone to, and frequently fall into sin. It’s likely because they are disobeying the above Scripture. You cannot be pushing a bar of chocolate into your mouth and yet you have no intention of eating it. You’ll definitely be regarded as a big joker. It’s the same picture that is created when you surround yourself with all that the flesh wants and yet you’re trying real hard not to fulfill the flesh’s desires.

The apostle Paul in Romans 13:14 by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit commanded us to be clothed with the Lord Jesus and not to make provision, allowance or room for the flesh, in order to win the battle against the flesh. It is a command. You cannot success in your battle against the flesh if you discountenance this command.

The apostle Peter puts it another way in his letter to the church. He admonished us to abstain from fleshy lust (1 Peter 2:11). In the same vain, Paul admonished the church and his son Timothy in 1 Corinthians 6:18 and 2 Timothy 2:22 respectively to flee fornication and youthful lust. 

What does the Bible mean by not making provision for the flesh? It means you should not feed yourself with things the flesh wants. You should stay away from a sinful environment. Deliberately starve your flesh of the things it wants. 

You make provision for your flesh by listening to vague talk and ungodly music, watching nude pictures and movies, remaining in a workplace where fraud and other corrupt practices prevail, having intimate friends that don’t care about God and that have a value system completely opposed to him. 

I have seen Believers that continuously watch romance movies and read romance books. When I try discouraging them from doing this they reply defensively saying they have no intention of practising what they are taking in and they won’t be affected by it. Then they later wonder why they struggle with lustful thoughts and eventually give in to fornication. They have their answers!

I believe when Jesus was saying in Mark chapter nine that if your hand or foot or eye offended you, cut it off! He wasn’t speaking literally, he was referring to this matter of not making provision or room for the flesh.

You may be tagged as religious. Don’t mind them, just obey Scriptures! Jettison those worldly songs, books, clothes. Distant yourself from those friends that don’t love God (but keep loving them). Avoid going to worldly parties, staying around people who fornicate, take alcohol, smoke cigarettes and take hard drugs. Surround yourself with godly things that remind you constantly of Jesus. This is what is meant by putting Jesus on and not making provision for the flesh.

gidmedico

The ungodly trinity [The Flesh 04] – Putting the flesh under

The ungodly trinity [The Flesh 04] – Putting the flesh under

“But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection. . .”

1 Corinthians 9:27 KJV

In a previous study I mentioned that in the believer, the flesh is relegated to the physical body and is not synonymous to the old man (which is a component of the flesh in the unbeliever – Romans 6:6), and that the old man (or the old sinful nature that cannot but sin) is done away with, to the intent that the body of sin (or the flesh in a believer) might be destroyed (rendered inoperative, put under). I would like to discuss how the flesh can be put under.

To put the flesh under is to yield your body as an instrument of righteousness unto God (Romans 6:13). It entails submitting your will to the perfect will of God. Other expressions can be used like “dieing to self”, “crucifying the flesh”, “denying the flesh” and so on.

It is important to note that “putting the flesh under” is a continuous process like the present continuous sense of the verb connotes. You never outgrow it. At salvation the flesh was put under or crucified. Galatians 5:24 says that if you belong to Christ then your flesh was crucified. But it doesn’t end at salvation, that crucified state of the flesh has to be maintained. How? By deliberately yielding to the Holy Spirit daily.

A pointer to the fact that no one really outgrows dieing to self is the testimony of the apostle Paul. He announces to us that he puts his flesh (or body) under, bringing it into subjection to the will of God. Writing to the church in Corinth in the first book of Corinthians 15:31, he reiterates that he dies daily.

The believer maintains a perfect walk with God by refusing to yield to the cravings of the flesh but rather yielding to or walking in the spirit. To commit sin is to yield to the flesh. So if one can continuously deny the flesh, yielding (or submitting) to the will of God per time, the same is a perfect man.

A christian practice that helps one put the flesh under is fasting. Fasting doesn’t change God, it helps you put your flesh under. By fasting, you deny yourself food (and/or water or any edible or thing you cannot do without). Since food is a basic need of the body, fasting throws a lethal punch at the body, rendering its cravings limp and tuning the spirit, thus enabling you to easily do God’s will.

If you discover that you’re in a period when you find yourself more predisposed to doing the cravings of your body, then it’s time to fast. It is good practice to have a regular fasting schedule; may be weekly, or monthly or as you’re led by the Spirit. But please, don’t get lost in the religiosity of fasting. Let fasting be a tool for subjecting your body.

The goal should be to walk in the spirit. In so doing, you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh. The flesh is a defeated foe, let it remain under your feet where it belongs. If it tries to raise its ugly head, match it.

gidmedico

WORD CLINIC 16: I miss wrapped gifts

WORD CLINIC 16: I miss wrapped gifts

When I was much younger, pre-teenage age, we kids all looked forward to Christmas day – we all knew its symbolism and all enjoyed the merriment. Then there was this other day after Christmas they called Boxing day. I remember thinking then as a kid “What in God’s name is this day all about! Are we meant to throw punches at each other? I thought these adults teach us in Church that fighting is wrong? Well, what is my own! Let me just enjoy the festivity. . .” In my house then, Boxing day was just an extension of the Christmas merriment. We visited more people, went to the amusement park and ate more delicacies. I can remember asking my dad about the significance of Boxing day. He rattled some explanation which didn’t make much sense to me then as a kid. But as I advanced in age and learning I must have picked up the meaning on the way.

There exist several theories as regards the origin and significance of Boxing day but what is common to all is that it is a day to give gifts. The term “boxing” must have been derived from Christmas-box. The sort of gifts given were boxed, packaged or wrapped. People usually started giving these boxed gifts before Christmas day into Boxing day. Some have the culture of piling their gifts and opening them on Christmas or boxing day. It’s with a lot of enthusiasm and wistful expectation that the unboxing of those gifts is done.

From my growing up days, wrapped gifts were not limited to Christmas. My parents were given to giving. They gave a lot of these ‘boxed’ gifts to people around during occasions and events like birthdays, weddings, naming ceremonies, the list been endless; and so in return, we got a lot of these wrapped gifts too. It was a taboo for my mum to go for a birthday or wedding without taking a gift along for the celebrant or couple. And so for me, it became the norm. That was why it was really awkward when I found myself many years later in the university around friends and folks that would come storming a birthday party empty-handed, screaming and demanding for birthday cake, drinks and food. The celebrant would almost empty his pocket organising a party only to retire at the end of the day with zero gifts; nothing to show he was special to those hungry souls who just depleted his feeding money for the month.

If this anomaly was limited to birthday celebrants I won’t have bothered much. But the wedding celebrants too have been getting their fair share. During one of my cousin’s wedding recently, I was disappointed when I saw the amount of gifts they were leaving with at the end of the reception. I tried matching the number of individuals that crowded the large auditorium and the gifts; the gifts were horribly small. I grew up to meet my parents’ wedding gifts. Their gifts were so numerous that it took them years to even unwrap some. They gave out some of them to others because of how abundant they were.

What happened to this giving culture? Why can’t people around you receive gifts (especially wrapped ones) from you anymore? I miss those wrapped gifts! I believe the culture should be restored. It’s an awesome way to show love and honour. Everyone should get a gift, including the rich. Away with the mentality that only the poor and needy deserve gifts. Everyone deserves love and everyone has a need – a desire to be loved. And your gift may just be that provision that perfectly meets that need.

I get this a lot: “Bro, I don’t know what to give? How do I know what gift this person will appreciate?” Note that the first principle in giving gifts is that what is more important is not merely what is given but the very gesture of giving. It’s a gesture of love. Next, you need to consider who you’re giving to; what needs that person has; what the person places value on; favourite hobby, colours, food and so on. Gender is also something to note. What ladies place premium on is quite different from what men value. Your gift can be quality and yet inexpensive and affordable.

In giving gifts I personally employ giving them in three categories all in one wrap, and this has worked very well for me. The gift types are usually a tangible (long lasting one) such as a book, another with a personal effect like clothing, wristwatch, perfume etc. and an edible. Wrapping gifts from each of these categories all in one wrap works really well. There’s a gift to always remember you with years to come, another to put on or meet personal needs and another to satisfy belly needs immediately. Over the years I even developed an additional culture of asking the Holy Spirit to lead me as regards which gift to give. I usually feel elated when the gift recipient tells me afterwards “Bro Gideon, your gift is just exactly what I need. How did you know?”

Let’s revive the giving culture. Don’t go to ceremonies empty-handed again. No matter how small, still give. And please don’t forget to wrap your gifts neatly, it’s the icing on the cake.

Happy boxing day!

gidmedico

WORD CLINIC 15: A virgin shall conceive? Are you kidding me!

WORD CLINIC 15: A virgin shall conceive? Are you kidding me!

Ahaz the king stood at the end of the aqueduct of the Upper Pool with his head bowed down. He needed seclusion in order to have an alone-with-God time. There were lots of things to think, ponder and prayer about and he couldn’t afford any intrusion. He had just narrowly won a battle with two great kings. But now his heart was weary after hearing that his kinsman with valiant men of war had teamed up with his earlier two enemies to attack him. He pondered deeply turning over all the possible military strategies in his mind; none seemed to be presenting a good prospect for victory. He bit his lips in discouragement. Why was he king over Judah at this time! God must have looked at him at this moment with a lot of compassion and decided to send help. That help was Isaiah the prophet.

Isaiah having received specific word from the Lord went with his son to the hideout of Ahaz on the road to the Launderer’s field. He walked down to the pool where the king was standing lost in thoughts. The prophet’s presence must have suddenly snapped Ahaz back into consciousness of his environment. He looked at the prophet and wondered how he located him, then immediately remembered that he was a prophet. Isaiah looked at Ahaz and saw that his countenance was fallen. The man had lost weight from worrying; the wrinkle lines on his face were more prominent. What a burden a king had to bear! With immerse empathy exuding from Isaiah’s heart and leaping out of his skin he held the king on his left shoulder and encouraged him.

He told Ahaz God’s specific word that the plot by Aram, Ephraim and Remaliah’s son to tear Judah apart will not happen, period. His duty was to stand firm in faith, if not there won’t be a performance of God’s word. Isaiah must have tried reading the mind of Ahaz. Ahaz must have thought “How am I sure this will happen? Do you know what I went through in the last battle? It was a narrow escape. Now the unbeatable indomitable and adept soldiers of Ephraim are going to be present.” So Isaiah proposed that the king asked God for a sign (even if it was out of this world) so that it would be easier for him to believe God. But Ahaz will form holier-than-thou by replying “I will not ask; I will not put the Lord to a test.” But God in His mercy defiled Ahaz’s position. He went ahead to give Ahaz a sign.

The prophet declared “. . . The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son and will call him Immanuel . . .” “What! A virgin will conceive? Are you kidding me!” Ahaz must have thought. He looked at Isaiah and wondered which was easier to believe: the initial word of God or the sign? How could a virgin conceive? It has never happened and from the little science they knew as at that time, it could never happen.

Several decades later, God brought to fulfillment this prophecy of Isaiah who was then thought to be nut. Mary was that virgin and Jesus was the son she conceived and delivered and we celebrate his birth this Christmas. 

Has God spoken any word to you? Has he left you any promise? Does His word look impossible and bizzare? He is assuring you just like He did Mary that “with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). If God said a virgin shall conceive and it happened, please if He says now that a camel will go through the eye of a needle, believe Him. He is God, and no word of His will fail. For the vision is for an appointed time, though it tarries according to your own timing, wait for it because it will surely come. It will not tarry according to God’s timing.

To every word that God has spoken to you and will speak to you concerning the coming year, react with faith like Mary saying with total submission to His will “Be it unto me according to your word”, and not with unbelief like Zachariah who became dumb for a season.

Merry Christmas!

We trust God for a time when technological advancement will afford us the luxury of sending Christmas chickens via the internet.

gidmedico

The ungodly trinity [The Flesh 03] – The Flesh verses the spirit; the ongoing battle

The ungodly trinity [The Flesh 03] – The Flesh verses the spirit; the ongoing battle

“For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. THEY ARE IN CONFLICT with each other, so that you are not to do whatever you want.”

Galatians 5:17 NIV

It would be considered great folly for someone to walk into a battlefield unaware that a war is ongoing. He is not likely to come out alive. The same applies to a Believer who lives his Christian life oblivious of the battle raging between his flesh and spirit; he is likely to fall a victim. This time, to his deceitful enemy – his flesh.

Galatians 5:17 puts it explicitly that the flesh and the spirit are in conflict. The Good News Bible calls them “enemies”. There is a war between both entities, which is not a tangible combat but a conflict of desires. What the flesh wants is opposed to what the spirit wants. And it doesn’t matter how grown spiritually you are, this conflicts would always exist.

When you wake up in the morning and you don’t feel like leaving your bed, but you have a nudging and knowing in your spirit that you’re to get up and pray; the former is the desire of your flesh while the latter is the desire of the spirit. What typically happens next is that you experience some minutes of struggle between what your spirit wants you to do and what your flesh wants. “Should I get up to pray or should I go on sleeping?” Then the rationalising starts. “But I prayed yesterday. . . I slept late . . . This body of mine needs rest. . .” The spirit interjects and says “But if you don’t get up to pray now you may not have ample time to do that later in the day. . .” You consider for a while what your spirit has just said, then begin to stand up. But your flesh throws another punch. You begin to feel a slight ache in your head and weariness in your waist and limbs. Then you succumb again and lay down back, saying to yourself “Let me just rest some thirty minutes more” And off you go. You wake up and it’s 7am. You jump up and head for the bathroom without been able to pray that morning. A battle just ensued between your flesh and spirit over whether you should pray or not. And sadly, your flesh won.

If we take a critical analysis of our daily activities, this battle constantly happens. From our choices to speak back when wrongly accused by our co-worker, to other choices like falsifying office records, looking at a woman lustfully, using insulting words when that careless driver ramps into the front of your car; the list being endless.

Jesus was not excluded from this battle. During his prayer in the garden of Gethsemane He gave us an incline into this conflict. Matthew 26:39 narrates it thus. “And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou will” Many Believers have thought that Christ uttered this prayer because he was weak. I don’t think so. He only expressed the ongoing battle between what his spirit wanted and the flesh. What he willed or wanted (which is actually what his flesh wanted) was not to go to the cross. What his Father willed or wanted (which is actually what His Spirit wanted) was to die on the cross for the salvation of mankind. So you see, His flesh was opposed to His Spirit and there was an obvious struggle. But Christ didn’t allow His flesh to triumph but yielded his will to that of God. 

This is the way of victory. It is called “walking in the Spirit”, “yielding to the Spirit”, “putting the flesh under” and so on. We will consider this more in another exposition.

gidmedico