Sunday, September 30, 2018

Judah vs Moab

Please, never get to a place where food becomes of such vital importance that you consciously replace praise with food. The question is this; How far will you go for the sake of food? What and who are you willing to jeopardize just because of food? Do not get me wrong. Food is good and only good for the purpose for which it serves. However, when it becomes a primary focus to a place where lives and destiny are negatively affected, I call it idolatry and call on you to take a second look at the priority/priorities you place on food.
Listen, it was because of hunger that Elimelech decided for himself and his family to leave the house of bread and the place of praise to a land of idolatry.

This may seem so absurd until I take you to the book of Luke 4:1-2. When you look at the life of Jesus, you will agree with me that he understood what food can do to a person. Before Jesus began the ministry, we are told that he was led into the wilderness by the Spirit where for 40days he was tempted by the devil and he ate nothing during this time.

One may say, oh well, Jesus was fasting so there was no need for food. But if you know his story well, you also know that he was tempted to turn stones to bread. And he had the power to do so but did not.
I emphasize so much on food because it is one aspect that a son of God needs to come to terms with. Food should never be a determining factor in your life. By this I mean, do not consult food or food should not be the foundation of a destiny-defining decision. It is a very costly route to pursue.

So, Judah vs Moab? Symbolically, Praise vs Idolatry? Which would you prefer?
I encourage you to praise your way through your famine as you rely on His promises than settle for idolatry.

Temporal Decision(s) Can Lead To Permanent Change(s)

We saw earlier the reason why we believe that Elimelech did not mean to make his stay in Moab a permanent one.

Ruth 1:6 (NIV)
When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there.

Elimelek made a decision for himself and on behalf of his family to settle in Moab for a while. Perhaps, after the famine in Bethlehem, they will return. However, his decision was questionable because he left a place of potential fruitfulness to a place where idolatry was the order of the day. Moab was known for idol worship.
This was a costly decision because Elimelek did not get the chance to correct himself.
Decisions are never to be taken lightly or made casually. The outcome of any decision can bless you or leave you permanently broken.
For Elimelek, he died in Moab and his two sons died after about 10years of marriage. Elimelech did not even get a chance to see and enjoy the marriage of his sons.
Noami became a widow instantly and did not get to remarry. Ruth later got married to Boaz and we are not told about the future of Orpah.
Although not mentioned, it is a risk at your own expense to purposefully position yourself in the midst of idolatry versus when you are forcefully recruited to live in a land where idolatry is the order of the day.
That was the fate of Elimelech. He consciously decided to live in Moab.
This is significant because, as much as we see that there were physical repercussions, there could be possibilities that they could have suffered spiritually.
Here is our focus, do not allow temporal situations cause you to make temporal decisions which may lead to permanent changes be it in the physical and the spiritual.

Sunday, September 23, 2018

Decisions Made In the Wilderness Matter

By wilderness here, I mean – a place of dryness, a place of lack, a place of no results, a place of unusual silence, a place of unfruitfulness, a place of waiting, a place where your patience is stretched. The house of bread (Bethlehem) at this time, was experiencing famine (hunger) and as a result, a call for decision-making was prompted. The bible says,

Ruth 1:1 (NIV)
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.

Because of the wilderness situation, in his hometown, Elimelech made a decision for himself and on behalf of the family, to go and live/settle in Moab. It was a temporal decision and I say so because, when situations changed in Bethlehem later (Ruth 1:6), Naomi returned to Bethlehem but this time around, Elimelech was already dead. He died in Moab.

There is no doubt that Elimelech’s decision was influenced by the famine (the obvious existing conditions of Bethlehem at the time). Just maybe, if Elimelech had paused and reminded himself that although there is famine in the land, it does not permanently change the house of bread to a house of lack and perpetual hunger. Bethlehem remained Bethlehem even in a famine. Just maybe, if he reminded himself of whom his God is, he would have known that the king cares for his citizens even in a famine. Better still if he had paused and reminded himself that a place of praise (Judah) and potential fruitfulness (Ephrah) is better than a place of idolatry, he should have reconsidered his decision.

What is your wilderness situation? What does your famine look like? What is the decision or what are the decisions you have made or are planning to make as a result of the temporal famine you are experiencing? How far will you go because of the lack of food (hunger)? Elimelech made one decision as a result of famine and that decision cost his life and the life of his two sons.

Here is my encouragement to you, irrespective of your wilderness situation or famine;
-do not compromise in decision making (Elimelech left from a place of praise to a place of idolatry, because of famine). If where you are,  had once been a place of abundance, hold on to that potential, trust the Father for a change in your situation. Do not be misled by the temporal situation you see.

It is better to hold on to potential abundance and trust the promises of God than settle in an environment where idolatry is the order of the day. Moab was a land of idol worship. Amen.

Elimelech’s Identity Established

Even scripture was careful on how it associated the event that occurred when the judges ruled to the identity of Elimelech. I say so because, sand witched between the establishing of his identity in scripture, are the surrounding factors with great potential of affecting his identity and decision.

Ruth 1:1-2 (NIV)
In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.  The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there.
Emphasis Mine

Scripture was careful to not associate Elimelech’s identity with
-        The influence of the Judges rule.
-        The famine of the land.
-        The country of Moab where idol worship was the order of the day.
-        His decision to go and live in Moab with his family.

When it comes to decision making and identity; understand that societal factors press on every side of our identity but it is up to us to look at those situations in the eyes and say “yes” or “no”.
So, my question to you today is this, do you know who you are? Do you know whose you are? Have you identified the surrounding factors pressing on your identity and demanding a change that you will not otherwise make? Think about these questions, realign yourself and be determined not to compromise. Amen!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Who was Elimelech?

Family-wise, Elimelech was a husband to Naomi. A father to his two sons, Mahlon and Chilion.
They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah.
The name Elimelech in Hebrew means “My God is King”.
Ephrah means “Fruitful”.
Bethlehem means “House of Bread”.
Judah means “Praise”.
These details are very significant to the depth of understanding we are about to unveil in this teaching.
As we properly establish the identity of Elimelech, we need to understand that, although not specifically stated, the meaning of his name denotes that he honored God or at least had an understanding of the potential influence of God over a life– for his name means “My God is King”. When it comes to any and every decision made, our identity plays a major role. Your understanding of “who” you are and “whose” you are will influence the decisions you make. For Elimelech, he understood that God is his king. But when it came to making a decision, was God king over his decision making?

Another aspect of identity we see here is this – Elimelech came from a fruitful land, a house of bread and place of praise. Everything around him symbolized abundance and plenty. For the fact that it was not tangibly expressed at the time when his decision was made does not mean that it will never find expression. Amen.

These are very key points to note about the place of identity in decision making. The understanding of who you are and whose you are and the influence of the immediate environment affect decision making. When you profess God as King of your life, do you mean it? If so, how does his kingship affect your decision making? If your environment has potential of abundance and plenty, do you allow temporal lack to affect your decisions? I want you to think about it.

Destiny Defining Decisions - Introduction

Ruth 1:1-5
When it comes to destiny, our decisions play a major role and the outcome is defined by the decisions made in the process. It isn’t so much about the decisions versus what guides your decisions. Who guides your decisions? What factors do you consider when it comes to making decisions? Which values do take into consideration before making a decision or decisions? Do you have principles that you hold unto prior to making decisions in your life?

There is no insignificant decision. Neither are there small nor big decisions. Many wheels turn when “a” decision is made, regardless of how significant, insignificant, big or small the decision is. The outcome of a decision is what determines whether or not in your opinion the decision was big, small, significant or insignificant. For example, for most people, the prayer of salvation is best appreciated, after they begin living the kingdom life. However, on the day the decision was made, there was n’t much to look out for. Amen.

A decision about salvation, marriage, a contract, etc. determines destiny. So too is destiny determined when a decision is made to keep your sink clean, do your laundry and mow the lawn. We cannot undermine the power of decisions. Decisions have an impact on destiny. Think about it. Where you are in life today is as a result of a series of decisions you made or that someone made on your behalf. I bet you’ll agree with me that life is not an event lived by chance because an undecided mind is a decision made anyway.  

A great character in the bible by name Elimelech can be referred to as someone who made A Destiny Defining Decision for himself and his family. He is not mentioned frequently in the Bible, however, the lessons we learn from his life can forever, refine how we make decisions. We are introduced to Elimelech and his family in Ruth 1:1-5 (NIV). Scriptures say these about them.

In the days when the judges ruled, there was a famine in the land. So a man from Bethlehem in Judah, together with his wife and two sons, went to live for a while in the country of Moab.  The man’s name was Elimelek, his wife’s name was Naomi, and the names of his two sons were Mahlon and Kilion. They were Ephrathites from Bethlehem, Judah. And they went to Moab and lived there. Now Elimelek, Naomi’s husband, died, and she was left with her two sons. They married Moabite women, one named Orpah, and the other Ruth. After they had lived there about ten years, both Mahlon and Kilion also died, and Naomi was left without her two sons and her husband.

Let’s delve deeper into his life and learn more about destiny defining decisions.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Conclusion / Let Us Pray

In summary, we have seen some benefits when we allow God’s word to determine the seasons of our lives. In this series, we have seen that directions, supernatural provisions, satisfaction, protection, service, influence, accommodation are guaranteed when God’s word determines the seasons of our lives. We have also seen that God is glorified, we become a source of encouragement to others and our expectations and outcomes become clear.
Some of the requirements in order to be successful, include Love, Faith, Obedience, Understanding, and Vigilance. And lastly, we will not be discouraged because our challenges become stepping stones, we will encounter many aspects of His character in the process and we will function with confidence. And we will always remember that his word to us is very unique to us. Amen.

Therefore, Father, we say thank you for teaching us this season about the importance of your word in our lives using 1 Kings 17. I decree and declare that from this day forward your word to us is the final check before we proceed in any direction in life. We say “No” to confusion, “No” to stagnation, “No” to distractions, “No” to human opinions and “No” to being a non-entity in society.
Your word has been tested and proven to bring forth results therefore on the foundation of this truth about your word, we will guard every word received from you and implement it unaltered, protect it as we await the day and season of manifestation.
I decree and declare that your mind, your will and emotions will not get in the way when I receive the word from the Lord for me. I choose to surrender the directions of my life to you.
We receive grace, strength, wisdom, knowledge and understanding as we proceed.
We choose to allow your word to be the transforming tool of our lives.
As a way of expressing our agreement with you concerning your word to us, we will be prompt to obey at all levels.

Thank you Father. In Jesus Name we have prayed. Amen.

You Will Be Entrusted With More Responsibilities

I want you to see the progression of Elijah’s responsibilities from the time the drought was declared to the time He raised the widow’s son in verse 23. After the drought was declared, Elijah’s responsibility was to himself and no one else. But later progressed to the widow at Zarephath and her family.

Here is our emphasis. Can the Lord trust you? A word from the Lord through you to another is dependent on your submission and obedience to Him. This was clearly seen in Elijah’s life. 

It Is Unique To You

When you receive a word from the Lord about a situation, your best bet is to gain clarity from him and proceed by implementing. Some of the temptations that we may encounter in situations like this may include doubt, confusion, and comparison. When you interact with other sons and daughters of God, always remember that your relationship with the Father is very personal. Although you all may have a similar issue, the way the Lord will come through for you may not necessarily be the same way he will for the others.

A Man Born Blind
John 9:6-7 (NIV)
Having said these things, he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed the man's eyes with the mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.

The Two Blind Men
Matthew 9:29-30 (NIV)
 Then he touched their eyes and said, “According to your faith let it be done to you”; and their sight was restored. Jesus warned them sternly, “See that no one knows about this.”

Others got healed by being laid at His feet
Matthew 15:30-31 (NIV)
Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel.

Blindness is just one of many examples that can be used. Our point of emphasis is this, you and a circle of friends might be going through the same problem (for example, blindness). You all are candidates for healing, however, the word of the Lord to you as concerns your healing may not be the same for your friends although the end result is that you all will receive your sight. Amen.

So, do not allow comparison or doubt to rob you of the benefits that come with directions from His word. Amen

Sunday, September 2, 2018

You Should Function With Confidence

Throughout scriptures, we see examples of men and women of God whom God spoke to and as a result, they stepped out in faith knowing that the God who spoke will deliver. Just to name a few;

 Genesis 12:1, 4 (NIV)
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.
 So Abram went, as the Lord had told him; and Lot went with him. Abram was seventy-five years old when he set out from Harran
Emphasis Mine

What about Moses? He had a burning bush encounter (Exodus 3) after which he was given specific instructions on how to go and deliver the Israelites out of Egypt. He did exactly as he was told and despite the challenges, the end result was glorious.

Think about Noah; God told him to build the Ark, despite every challenge, he did s God had instructed and the end result was glorious.

Genesis 6:1, 5 (NIV)
The Lord then said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and your whole family, because I have found you righteous in this generation. 
 And Noah did all that the Lord commanded him.
Emphasis Mine

Time will not permit me to tell you the details about all the heroes of faith listed in Hebrews 11. This chapter contains a great list of individuals who permitted God’s word to determine the seasons of their lives and they prevailed. Amen!

These examples are necessary to let us know that we do have a cloud of witnesses. Men and women of God in the past allowed God’s word to determine the seasons of our lives and they succeeded. So, we can be learned from their experiences and be confident that because God’s character is unchanging we can be certain about our success if we permit Him to guide us. Amen!

You Encounter Many Aspects of His Character

In 1 Kings 17, many aspects of the character of our Father were demonstrated which are still relevant to us today.
When Elijah received the word from the Lord as seen in this chapter,
-The Faithfulness of God the Father was revealed in that Elijah saw the fulfillment of all that the Lord had specifically told him.
God told him to hide at the brook Cherith, drink from it and expect to be fed by the Ravens. It happened just as He said.
God told Him to go to Zarephath and a widow will provide for Him. It happened just as the Lord said.
-We see God in this chapter as a God of provisions. He provided for Elijah, the widow of Zarephath and her family. His provisions were not limited to food and water but also extended to protection and life.
-We see God demonstrate His resurrection power by raising the widow’s son from the dead.
-We also see His love being demonstrated. We understand that God is love and God has love and he demonstrates this love in many ways in this particular chapter. Love is patient and love is kind; these aspects are demonstrated when the Father patiently waited for the word he released to Elijah and the word He released to the widow through Elijah, to come to fulfillment. Amen!

When we do not allow Him to lead the directions of life, we rub ourselves from the one way of knowing His character. So, I encourage you to permit the Father to be all that He should be in your life.


There is an endless list of individuals in scriptures who served as instruments of change in the lives of others. The frequency of th...