DELAY AND LACK OF FAITH

 

QUESTION

Pastor Gavin, is lack of faith the cause of most delay to getting answers to our prayers? M. U, Warri.

Pst. Gavin’s response:

Lack of faith can be the cause of delay to getting answers to prayers. But it is not always the case.

Abraham had faith, but he experienced delay.

Daniel had faith and demonstrated his faith by staying in the place of prayer for days, yet he experienced a delay of 21-days before the answer to his prayer came.

These two facts and many others show that delay in getting answers to our prayer is not always because of lack of faith.

I always advice believers not to yield to the lies and voice of the devil that often say to them that they lack faith.

If you are born again, you have a measure of faith implanted in your spirit man.

“...according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.”  Romans 12:3.

Although you can grow your faith by continuously feeding on God’s word so as to do great exploits for the Kingdom, but having a small faith like a muster seed will always produce results.

“And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.” Luke 17:6.

Thus, when a believer is experiencing delay in getting the answer to a prayer, it does not always mean that he lacks faith. He could be experiencing delay, because the Lord will want him to develop some virtues or value system before the physical manifestation of the answer to his prayers.


THE HIGH MORAL LIFESTYLE OF CHRISTIANS

 


QUESTION:

Pastor Gavin, what is the need of living a moral life if we are saved by grace but not by works? F. A. Abuja.

Pst. Gavin's response:

We are not saved by our righteousness or level of morality; rather we are saved by God's grace. But after salvation, the proof that we are actually saved is the show of our high level of morality.

If any man claims to be saved but doesn't exhibit moral values or "outward righteousness", then he is not saved. This is because the proof of your salvation are the fruits of righteousness that you exhibit.

There are a lot of scriptures to back up this fact, but here are two of such:

“For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:10

“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.”  Matthew 5:16

Hence, when we are declared righteous by the sacrificial work of Christ on the cross, we are to move to the next level of producing fruits of righteousness through a moral lifestyle, living a holy life, bringing glory to God.

Any Christian that is still comfortably living in sin or living without a high moral value should re-examine his life. He may not be born again in the first place, otherwise, he may be backsliding already.

“Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:11 

Our high moral standard of living is a proof to the world that we’ve had an encounter with Christ.


COMING OUT STRONGER FROM CRISIS

 

By Gavin Aleogho

The reality of life is that life is not a bed of roses. Even though some persons may want to deny this reality in the name of faith, such individuals must be made to understand that faith is not the denial of reality.

We will all want life to go the way we planned, but the reality of life is that the unexpected happens. Nobody likes or wants the troubles and challenges that life brings, but it does happen. The unexpected happens. Families, individuals, businesses and corporations are often confronted with the storms of life.

It is one thing to experience the trials that life brings to an individual, and another thing for that person to come out a better and stronger person from the storm that confronted him or her.

Statistics show that many become deformed by the storms of life that comes to them. Instead of becoming a better person, they become bad, dejected, depressed, discouraged, demoralized when hit by the challenges of life.

In this short piece, I will love to share with you some short hints that will help you to come out stronger from any challenge that comes your way.

These keys are interrelated. If you can apply them, you are sure of coming out stronger and better from any crisis.

1. Keep your integrity

One of the virtues that many people lose during a crisis is their integrity. Your integrity is who you are when nobody is around and who you decide to become when nobody is looking at you. Losing your integrity during a period of crisis might have temporal benefits, but you are only doing that at the expense of the great glory that God has planned for you. Thus, time of crisis is not time to cut corners, give bribes, steal, sell your body or do the unimaginable for temporal pleasure. 

2. Get wisdom

Wisdom is the principal thing and by wisdom you can build back anything, including your life. It doesn’t matter how devastating the situation is. If you can acquire the right wisdom, you will bounce back. Thus, if you have failed in any venture, get wisdom and knowledge on how to build back your life.

3. Keep sowing                                                                                      

Many people stop sowing during the time of their crisis; that is the most dangerous thing you can do! You must know that you can only reap what you have sown or from where you have sow. Hence, crisis time should not be time to just fold your hands and wait passively on God. Rather, it is time to sow into your life, your business, your carrier and into others. Just ensure that you are doing something that you will reap from tomorrow.

4. Learn from your experience

If you must come out faster from any crisis, then you must quickly learn your lessons. You must learn from what you are going through and learn it fast. Don’t waste time, otherwise even though you come out from that crisis, it will only be temporal. If you must not repeat the same crisis, then learn from what you are going through and apply the lessons in your life.

5. Maintain your relationship with God

The worst thing you can do to yourself during a period of crisis is to go away from God. You will only be undoing yourself. You will agree that humanly speaking, it is impossible to come out from any challenge by your own power. You require external help when you are in a pit. What better help you will need than that of God who gives without any string attached? During times of crisis, don’t run away from God to look for help in Egypt, rather, let the crisis push you to seek the face of God the more. While you seek the face of God to change the situation, you will also need to wait for His appointed time.

6. Avoid the blame game

One of the worst things you can do to yourself in times of crisis is to play the blame game. Playing the blame game always leads to murmuring and complaining. And don’t forget that murmuring and complaining only plunge us deeper into the crisis. The Israelite that exhibited such an attitude never saw the Promised Land; they all died in the wilderness. Instead of playing the blame game, seek for reasons to be grateful to God about. This will give you energy to forge ahead. 

7. Develop patience and tenacity

Tenacity is your ability to stay put and stay strong despite the challenges you are facing. To exhibit tenacity, you must be a person that is patient. You must know that after you have prayed, you can’t determine the time the answer to your prayers will come. You need to be patient and tenacious so as not to give up before the answer comes.

8. Re-strategize

To re-strategize is to go back to the drawing board and re-plan; checking what is working as against what is not working. If you are not flexible with your plans, you will not be able to re-strategize. Re-strategizing will help you to know the best way to go and forge ahead.

9. Forget your past losses

The only thing you are allowed to pick from your past is the lessons from your experiences, besides that, you must learn to let bye-gone be bye-gone. You can’t focus neither can you move faster in life when you keep looking back. You have to bear your losses and forgive those who offended you so as to move faster and come out stronger from any crisis.               

10. Build relationship with people

You must be aware that God will use fellow humans to help you. This is the way God operates. He won’t come down by Himself to help you. This is why you should learn to build relationships even in times of trials. Don’t allow what you are going through to make you push your friends away. Despite all that Job’s four friends said about him, he never drove them away. Learn wisdom from that; a good relationship is your ladder to your next level.

WALKING IN THE SPIRIT

 

-ByGavin Aleogho

This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. Galatians 5:16 

Even after you give your life to Christ Jesus, the war between the flesh and the Spirit continues. The only difference is that, now, you have an advantage; you have an upper hand over the flesh. That is only when you yield to the Spirit of God in you.                  

After giving your life to Christ, the only way to consistently overcome the sinful desires of your human nature (the flesh) is to live step-by-step in the power of the Holy Spirit as He works through your spirit.

This is a walk of faith according to God’s word under the Holy Spirit’s control. For by our human’s strength we will not be able to successfully live victoriously over sin and temptation.

But if after giving our lives to Christ, we still decide to live our lives as the owner of our lives, by following the dictates of our flesh rather than the Holy Spirit, then we should be aware that we can’t please God that way. For the Christian life is a call to live according to the dictates of the Spirit of God. That is where the victory is.

Living based on the leading of the Holy Spirit helps you to avoid a lot of un-necessaries in this life. Un-necessaries like temptation, mistakes, errors, failures and unproductive ventures.

The Holy Spirit is given to us to help us live the Christian life stress-free. This can only be when we yield to the Holy Spirit in us.

And the sign that shows that we are walking in the Spirit is when we bear the fruit of the Holy Spirit as explained in Galatians 5:22-23.

Being led by the Holy Spirit is a sure way of living the victorious life in Christ. You can ask the Lord to help you to yield more to His Spirit today.

6 QUALITIES OF A HEALTHY CHURCH

 

-By Gavin Aleogho

1. A Christ Centered and Christ focused Church 

One of the basic signs of any healthy church is that it is centered on Christ. That is, a Church where everything is done to exalt Christ and bring people to Christ.

It is an error for any Church to be centered on man, spiritual gift, music or any other thing other than the Lord Jesus Christ.

The first Apostles made this their priority. Apostle Paul even wrote: For we preach not ourselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord; and ourselves your servants for Jesus' sake. 2 Corinthians 4:5.

Be wary of any place where the name of the Pastor in-charge is heard more than the name of Jesus Christ. Be wary of any place where glory and praise is given more to the Pastor or Prophet in-charge of the congregant during testimony time more than what is given to the Lord Jesus Christ.

This is something you should look out for when looking for a spiritually healthy Church.

2. Eternity focused Church

A healthy Church is not after earthly gains, but eternity focused.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 1 John 2:15.

A good Church should be preparing people for the life after now. It should not be focused on motivating her congregants to simply possess all they can get here on earth to the detriment of their soul.

What good is it for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul?

Mark 8:36 NIV.

This is not a call to make the believers complacent or earthly useless and irrelevant; rather, the motivating factor for our relevant here on earth should be because there is a life after now.

3. Breeding Ground for Saviours and Deliverers

And saviours shall come up on mount Zion to judge the mount of Esau; and the kingdom shall be the LORD'S. Obadiah 1:21.

A healthy Church is a place where believers are taught, build, equipped and released as saviours and deliverers into different spheres of life.

In this world, the Church is not an end in itself, rather, it is like a school where believers are trained and released to their different spheres of life where they Lord will want to use them to affect the world.

A healthy Church is not a place where we hid from the world. Rather, it is place where soldiers for Christ are recruited, raised and sent forth to industries, neighborhood, politics, business etc, to represent Jesus Christ. It should be a place where agents of positive change are raised and released to impact their world.

Indeed, like Obadiah 1:21 says, it should be a breeding ground for saviours and deliverers.

That is why our motto in Radiant Saints International Christian Centre is "saving lives, equipping and releasing the Saints to fulfill God's purpose." This I believe is the grand plan of the Master for His Church.

4. It should be the Pillar and Ground of truth

A healthy Church is founded on the scripture, on the very words of the Lord. A healthy Church should be the preserver and propagator of truth. It should be a place where you can find the truth and where the truth is being taught, preached and practiced.

“But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in THE HOUSE OF GOD, WHICH IS THE CHURCH OF THE LIVING GOD, THE PILLAR AND GROUND OF THE TRUTH.” 1 Timothy 3:15 (emphasis mine)

If nobody or no institution is saying the truth, the Church should be telling people the truth. A genuine Church does not propagate lies, myths or superstition.

The Church should be known for her forthrightness not for mendacity. If a Church cannot call out evil and sin, that Church is not worth going to.

If a Church is afraid of speaking the truth to her congregants because of fear of losing her members, that Church is not worth going to.

5. A Spiritually Powerful Church

And my speech and my preaching were not with persuasive words of human wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God.

1 Corinthians 2:4-5.

A healthy Church is not built on intellectual but on the power of the Holy Ghost. Intellectualism in itself is not bad. A healthy Church transcends the intellectual of man. It is built on the power of God and on the wisdom of God which is Christ Jesus.

Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. 1 Corinthians 1:24b

A healthy Church should be spiritually sensitive and spiritually powerful, getting her power from the Holy Ghost through her constant fellowship with the Son and the Father. She should be operating in such a power over and against ALL the host of darkness.

Don't set under a Church that is spiritually weak and insensitive. A Church is supposed to be exercising and establishing the victory that Jesus Christ won over the devil.

6. Restoring the earth back to God

A healthy Church busies herself raising sons who are in the business of restoring the different sphere of the earth back to God.

Like you know, there is corruption in the entire spheres of this life, due to man's fall.

The Church and her saints are the lights of the world and the salt of the earth; declaring God's truth and righteousness are our core responsibilities.

Winning territories of politics, media and entertainment, sports, business, etc back to God.

Come to think of it, of what good is a Church if her members are not representing Christ when they go out from the Church? What good is a Church if her members are not affecting the neighborhood they find themselves?

You might want to read: GENUINE CHURCH VERSUS PERFECT CHURCH




GENUINE CHURCH VERSUS PERFECT CHURCH

By Gavin Aleogho

Just like there are false ministers, false prophets and false Churches everywhere, it is good to know that there are genuine Pastors and genuine Churches everywhere too. It's your responsibility to discover these.

However, the fact that there are genuine Churches doesn’t mean that there are perfect Churches. There is no perfect Church anywhere! The Church of Christ in itself is not perfect, but it is going through the process of becoming perfect. Hence, there is no 100% perfect Church anywhere in the world. This is because the Church is managed by imperfect and fallible men, but owed by the Lord Jesus Christ who is perfect and infallible.

And because the Church is undergoing the process of becoming perfect the Lord gave different gifts to the Church: “For the PERFECTING of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” Ephesians 4:12 (emphasis mine).

This truth is seen right from the inception of the Church in the book of Acts where there were divisions among the brethren, all through the book of Corinthians down to the book of Revelation 2 and 3 where seven genuine Churches were addressed, of which only one of them was doing well.

This gives credence to the fact that a local Church can be genuine but it may not be healthy. Like the seven Churches that were written about in Revelation, only one of them was really healthy. Though, the rest Churches were genuine but they were not healthy.

If you are looking for a Church that will help you grow in your walk of faith, you must look beyond if a Church is genuine to knowing if the Church is healthy. This is very vital because the Church you attend will affect your walk with the Lord whether directly or indirectly. 

One of the things to watch out for in a healthy Church is her commitment to propagating and living by the truth as spelt out in the scriptures. That is why I always say that Doctrinal errors, heresies and false teaching of the gospel should never be tolerated in any assembly. That is, don't stay in any local Church where the truth is not being taught.

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