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ACTIVATING DIVINE PROVISION - REV. KOLA EWUOSHO
There are many benefits (provisions and blessings based on the finished work of Calvary) available to believers as a result of our relationship with God through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The blessings of Abraham are ours in Christ as Jesus bore the curse of the law. A lack of knowledge of these blessings and benefits has hindered many from enjoying what rightfully belongs to them. The enemy of our souls (Satan) has lied to many about how God operates and has taken advantage of their ignorance to steal from them many of the benefits they should be enjoying. Many are not enjoying these benefits and they attribute what they are experiencing to God, preventing or denying them of these benefits. The quality of knowledge we have determines the quality of decisions we make. Our decisions affect our actions, attitudes and eventually the outcomes of our lives. The choices we make affect the outcomes of our lives. We need not only to know what is available to us, but also what we need to do to bring about these benefits becoming an experiential reality. Our study is about learning how to activate the provisions we have in Christ. In this study we shall also see how we can be prevented from enjoying our benefits and privileges in Christ. There is a thief out there who is willing to steal, kill and destroy anything in sight. He is our enemy called Satan and he utilises things like our wrong thought processes or circumstances or evil influences around us to achieve his aim. We, on the other hand, have the God-given authority to stop, bind and resist him. God"s power will be released on our behalf to see that he is stopped in his tracks when we put up resistance in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
OUR MANY BLESSINGS, PROVISIONS AND BENEFITS IN CHRIST
Let us start with a general view of our many blessings and provisions. The book of Psalms captures many of such benefits that are available to us in God. We are the seed of Abraham so the blessings of Abraham belong to us. We have this access through our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. We have a part to play and God plays His part as we play ours.
Psalms 103:1-5 (AMP), BLESS (AFFECTIONATELY, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul; and all that is [deepest] within me, bless His holy name! Bless (affectionately, gratefully praise) the Lord, O my soul, and forget not [one of] all His benefits— Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases, Who redeems your life from the pit and corruption, Who beautifies, dignifies, and crowns you with loving-kindness and tender mercy; Who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age and situation] with good so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagle"s [strong, overcoming, soaring]
Our benefits include forgiveness of sins, healing for all diseases, redemption from corruption and being crowned with loving kindness and tender mercy, amongst other things. Through our Lord Jesus and His sacrifice on the cross, we have access to these benefits. We however need to appropriate them into our lives and situations otherwise they will not happen automatically. 'Not to forget" means 'to remember". In the Holy Communion, we are told to eat the bread and drink the cup in remembrance of our Lord Jesus and His sacrifice for us. What are we to remember? The benefits that are ours as a result of what He did for us. What we can remember we can re-live. As we remember these benefits we can experience them again and again.
The provisions we have in Christ include every blessing we see both in the Old Testament and the New. We are told we have a better covenant based on better promises. Christ fulfilled the requirements of the law for us so we can come into the benefits of the covenant.
In this study we want to see how we can walk in the provision of Divine Protection where we can count on God and His angels to watch over us in the light of the happenings around the world today
THE PROVISION OF DIVINE PROTECTION
Psalms 91 (AMP), HE WHO dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall remain stable and fixed under the shadow of the Almighty [Whose power no foe can withstand]. I will say of the Lord, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my God; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust! For [then] He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence. [Then] He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings shall you trust and find refuge; His truth and His faithfulness are a shield and a buckler. You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, Nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday. A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not come near you. Only a spectator shall you be [yourself inaccessible in the secret place of the Most High] as you witness the reward of the wicked. Because you have made the Lord your refuge, and the Most High your dwelling place, There shall no evil befall you, nor any plague or calamity come near your tent. For He will give His angels [especial] charge over you to accompany and defend and preserve you in all your ways [of obedience and service]. They shall bear you up on their hands, lest you dash your foot against a stone. You shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the serpent shall you trample underfoot. Because he has set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him; I will set him on high, because he knows and understands My name [has a personal knowledge of My mercy, love, and kindness—trusts and relies on Me, knowing I will never forsake him, no, never]. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.
Isaiah 54:17 (NKJV) No weapon formed against you shall prosper, And every tongue which rises against you in judgment You shall condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, And their righteousness is from Me, Says the Lord.
All these benefits belong to us as children of God, through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
MEDITATION, SPEAKING AND ACTING ON THE WORD
Like many provisions, we need to know and meditate on these provisions. This is the first step in appropriation of the provision.
Psalms 1:1-3 (AMP) BLESSED (HAPPY, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. But his delight and desire are in the law of the Lord, and on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God) he habitually meditates (ponders and studies) by day and by night. And he shall be like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water, ready to bring forth its fruit in its season; its leaf also shall not fade or wither; and everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].
Joshua 1:8 (AMP) This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.
The goals in meditation include to delight in God"s Word and to observe to do it. In the Hebrew language, it implies speaking to oneself so much so it becomes part of our imagination until it becomes a reality in our consciousness. In studying Psalm 91 we see that we need to dwell in the secret place of the Most High and abide under the shadow of the Almighty. For us, it is dwelling in Christ.
John 15:7-8 (AMP) If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honoured and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine.
Continuing our study of Psalm 91, it says I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust! We appropriate the provision by saying what the Word says about it. Words play a major role in our experience both in the spiritual and natural realms. Words are involved from our initial salvation experience to any other provision we have in Christ. There are different dimensions of saying; the first is to say to oneself, as in meditation, and the second is to say to mountains expecting them to move. One should not take the place of the other. The more we say to ourselves, the greater confidence we shall have to say to mountains to move, and they will obey us.
1 Peter 3:9-12 (AMP) Never return evil for evil or insult for insult (scolding, tongue lashing, berating), but on the contrary blessing [praying for their welfare, happiness, and protection, and truly pitying and loving them]. For know that to this you have been called, that you may yourselves inherit a blessing [from God—that you may obtain a blessing as heirs, bringing welfare and happiness and protection]. For let him who wants to enjoy life and see good days [good— whether apparent or not] keep his tongue free from evil and his lips from guile (treachery, deceit). Let him turn away from wickedness and shun it, and let him do right. Let him search for peace (harmony; undisturbedness from fears, agitating passions, and moral conflicts) and seek it eagerly. [Do not merely desire peaceful relations with God, with your fellowmen, and with yourself, but pursue, go after them!] For the eyes of the Lord are upon the righteous (those who are upright and in right standing with God), and His ears are attentive to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who practice evil [to oppose them, to frustrate, and defeat them].
Proverbs 18:20-21 (AMP) A man"s [moral] self shall be filled with the fruit of his mouth; and with the consequence of his words he must be satisfied [whether good or evil]. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and they who indulge in it shall eat the fruit of it [for death or life].
It is not enough to just speak, which we should do regularly; what we believe in our hearts also matters. There is a heart and mouth connection in the life of faith. For example, with regard to Salvation...
Romans 10:8-10 (AMP) But what does it say? The Word (God"s message in Christ) is near you, on your lips and in your heart; that is, the Word (the message, the basis and object) of faith which we preach, Because if you acknowledge and confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and in your heart believe (adhere to, trust in, and rely on the truth) that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart a person believes (adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Christ) and so is justified (declared righteous, acceptable to God), and with the mouth he confesses (declares openly and speaks out freely his faith) and confirms [his] salvation. Believing with the heart is involved with the confession of the mouth for our salvation to become an experiential reality in our lives. Everything we shall appropriate by faith will involve these two aspects of our operations: i.e. believe with the heart and confess with the mouth.
Mark 11:22-26 (AMP) And Jesus, replying, said to them, Have faith in God [constantly]. Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him and let it drop (leave it, let it go), in order that your Father who is in heaven may also forgive you your [own] failings and shortcomings and let them drop. But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your failings and shortcomings.
Our hearts need to be influenced by the love of God as we forgive everyone who has hurt us. The offence-free heart is more productive than an unforgiving heart. The unforgiveness in the heart will not produce God"s Word but will release whatever was in it in abundance i.e. offences! So the believing with the heart and saying with the mouth should include checking that the heart is free of unforgiveness. Faith works by love. The scriptures say we can speak to mountains of problems or difficulties and they will obey us. We also engage our words in order to appropriate the provision of divine protection in our lives. I dwell in the secret place of the Most High, I abide under the shadow of the Almighty, I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in Him will I trust. This must be said, regularly, believing this to be true from the heart of the one who says it.
The entire psalm can be personalised when confessing it. This is easier with the New King James Version. We start by saying I dwell in the secret place of the most High. Then He shall deliver me from the snare of the fowler Then He will set me on high, because I have known His name...He will deliver me because I have set my love on Him. The entire psalm can be so personalised as we speak it over our lives regularly. This is vital to appropriating this provision.
FELLOWSHIP WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
The final step is listening to the Holy Spirit of God who has been sent to help us in every possible way to experience all that God the Father has provided for us to be and to have John 16:13-15 (NKJV) However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you. All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you. John 14:26-27 (NKJV) But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
Romans 8:12-17 (NKJV) Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh. For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God. For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, Abba, Father. The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.
As we get more and more acquainted with God through His Word, we can understand the operations of the Holy Spirit as He wants to help us, guide us and lead us into all God has for us. He is our strengthener, stand by help, teacher and guide in this life. This starts by us recognising the inner witness at the new birth. Then through FELLOWSHIP, we recognise His voice as He speaks the things that are in harmony with God"s Word. He is interested in every subject in our lives; not just our religious life. He wants to teach us about how to succeed in marriage, in parenting, in making correct choices and leading us into every provision of God including divine protection. If we cultivate the habit of listening to Him, we shall enjoy the fullness of the Provisions we have in Christ. There have been stories of people who were impressed by the Holy Spirit to move out of a place just before calamity struck in the place. Others have heard instructions inside them that helped them avoid being destroyed by things that have happened. Many others too who did not listen or ignored what they heard have faced calamities that were avoidable. It is vital to cultivate intimacy with God by His Spirit to the point of understanding how to respond to His prompting
We need to know what has been provided for us. From healing to prosperity, to peace of mind, to protection; all are available to us in Christ. Then we need to build this awareness into our consciousness through meditation in the Word of God i.e. speaking and by using our imagination e.g. picturing the angels watching over us, as stated in Psalm 91.
Proverbs 4:20-27 (AMP) My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the centre of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life. Put away from you false and dishonest speech, and wilful and contrary talk put far from you. Let your eyes look right on [with fixed purpose], and let your gaze be straight before you. Consider well the path of your feet, and let all your ways be established and ordered aright. Turn not aside to the right hand or to the left; remove your foot from evil.
Attending to God"s Word implies taking attention away from other things. Keeping it in your sight implies carrying mental images of the reality of the Word. Guarding your heart means refusing to allow anything contrary to God"s Word to get a hold of your heart. Many things seek to hold people"s hearts, from offences to negative thoughts; just about anything but the Word of God. Whatever is established in our hearts has a hold on our lives. Luke 6:45 (AMP) The upright (honourable, intrinsically good) man out of the good treasure [stored] in his heart produces what is upright (honourable and intrinsically good), and the evil man out of the evil storehouse brings forth that which is depraved (wicked and intrinsically evil); for out of the abundance (overflow) of the heart his mouth speaks. Whatever you are experiencing day in and day out can be traced to what has been stored in your heart. Yes, your mouth will reveal what is abundant in your heart. Also whatever you keep saying will eventually register on your heart. Say what God says about you regularly (daily) and keep your heart with all diligence. Declaring the Word of God with authority also helps establish in your heart that He gives His angels charge over you. This is your part... know it, say it, think it and obey the leading of the Holy Spirit. Then leave the rest to the Father who watches over His Word to perform it. Praying regularly opens you up to the provisions of divine protection and can result in divine intervention for you not to fall into any trap of the evil one
God bless you