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Monday, 25 July 2011

Stone Achan!

“But the Children of Israel committed a trespass regarding the accurse things for Achan the son of Carmi, the son Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, took of the accurse things so the anger of the Lord burned against the children of Israel.”

“So all Israel stoned him with stones and they burned them with fire after they had stoned them with stones. They raised over him a great heap of stones still there to this day. So the Lord turned from the fierceness of His anger. Therefore the name of that place has been called the Valley of Achor to this day.”

    Joshua 7:1, 24-26

Achan and his subsequent demise truly epitomizes a nation or and individuals’ desire to do away with evil once and for all. Have you ever dealt with a situation and wished it never reared its ugly head again? It is similar to that of Achan and what he did but the implications were quickly realised and retribution swiftly passed.

God had always warned the nation of Israel regarding the spoils of war. Depending on the war, the people were either allowed to possess the spoils or refrain from it. God being a strategist understood that a young nation like Israel needed financial backing and often times will use war as a means of providing that need. Most of these accursed things were reserved under the name of God with the intention of it being used nationally when the need arose.

Achan had a problem which only exacerbated his situation; he was dealing with a spirit which has plagued many believers up until now- “the thievery spirit”. He was a thief who desired that which had been reserved for God. The spirit of thievery took over his senses when he saw the beautiful Babylonian garment, two hundred shekels of silver and a wedge of gold weighing fifty shekels. Though an individual’s doing, the crime became a national catastrophe and cost the nation in war. Achan’s inability to curb an insatiable desire created the worst generational curse that received instant justice. What did his sons and daughters do to be killed in cold blood? Nothing! Yet because of his inability to deal with this weakness in character, a whole generation was wasted.

The Israelites did not compromise when the Lord revealed the cause of their defeat. They dealt with the issue with severity. When Lazarus was commanded to come out of the tomb, he came out bound by grave-clothes. His motion was impeded as long as he was bound and was only free when it was taken off him. For leaders, I guess the greatest pain is to see someone struggle from that which they have been warned.

We struggle with generational curses and tendencies because the mind of a child believes that whatever the parent does is alright. My mother raised me and though old now, I still struggle with certain tendencies and “self -beliefs” passed on to me by her. This might not be necessarily true or applicable to my current life. I truly believe that if our parents had fought and buried some “Achans” in their lives, we probably will be free by now. I can go on and give you a list of casualties who had no one to deal with the “Achans” of their blood line.

The Israelites dealt with the issues of Achan first by identifying the problem and separating it. Then went further and stoned his entire family and possessions. They did not just end there but burnt him and his possessions and afterwards raised a heap onto it never to look back. It seems some of us have some stoning to do! Be it that unholy alliance, corrupt dealings, immoral sexual drives etc they all need to be taken through this process. It is only when we do this that consecration and victory over that which we use to struggle with will become real.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

“Wilt Thou Be Made Whole”

“When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case he saith unto him, wilt thou be made whole?
“Jesus saith unto him, Rise take up thy bed, and walk.”

                                                                                      John 5:6, 8

Thirty-eight years at the pool of Bethesda? Take a minute and think on what you could achieve in thirty-eight years. I believe others had come and gotten their healing whiles he laid there waiting on the stirring of the waters. We are not told how old he was before being brought to lie by the pool. When asked if he wanted to be whole, the lack of the help of man became his answer. He had “the people syndrome”! He blamed everyone may be from the mother or father through to the siblings and forgot that after blaming every one, he still had to find a way to get out of that place. Jesus wanted to free him but he was so enamoured with “the people syndrome”. It took the gracious mercies and love of Jesus to identify and deal with his problem.

First Jesus asked him – will thou be made whole? A question signifying that his healing had everything to do with how “whole” he could become. Wilt thou be made whole- an opportunity for every one of us to ask how bad we want God to consecrate us. Wilt thou be made whole- a desire of the almighty God to close the chasm of separation. The question I ask everyone reading this book is the same as Jesus asked the man by the pool of Bethesda- will thou be made whole? If you are willing to be made whole, read on.

The answer that followed from Jesus was shocking. He actually spelt out the problem of the sick man and the solution for it. Just when he had spent time thinking of people as being his problem, Jesus revealed his real problem- the bed on which he was lying. The man had become so numb to the reality of life and the power of God to change things that the deception of his bed had caught up with him. Jesus told him to take his bed and walk. If you knew that the lifestyle, attitude, relationship was blocking you from walking in the power of God. Would you give it up for God?

Sometimes we blatantly know what the problem is but because of the familiarity coupled with the fear of losing ground, we refuse to accept the bed as being the problem. If we underestimate the bed we lie on, we will struggle with consecration. I hope as you take time to read this book, you will have the audacity to confront the bed on which you are lying on, be ready to fold it and subsequently walk free. The journey of consecration begins from here! This is where it all starts!

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