I am starting a new series on “Accessing Divine Help” and these series are based on my newest yet-to-be-released book bearing same title. This will run from now till 25th February and afterwards, I will release the book to be either free or very affordable (whichever works fine). The essence of this is to provoke believers into understanding how divine help has been made available and how they can access it. Each day, I will be posting a chapter from the book and if you follow this series, you’re simply reading the entire book with the audio teachings that accompany it.
Just imagine that a father signed a document indicating that he has handed over so many parts of his business to his son who is prodigal only in the terms that he can have access to these things when he comes back to him. Yes, this father has been taking care of his son regardless but doesn’t trust him to handle certain things till he comes to his senses.
Many years later, this supposed son comes back to his senses, switches loyalty back to his father only for him to receive a document that contains all that has been handed over to him and how to go about handling them.
This son has a lot of work to do; these works cannot be done by his father but him. The first thing he has to do is to take time and study the document, to understand the extents and limits of his jurisdiction, to understand what works and what doesn’t work but most importantly, to know what has been handed over to him.
If he stops half-way, he would only get half-way. Let’s say that he never got to the part that explains that he has rights to dismiss any unfaithful staff. When a staff starts to misbehave which may warrant his or her dismissal, he may ignorantly go to his father to say “I pray you father, what do I do about this staff that has been giving me a headache?”
What about if he never knew that he is a signatory to the bank and can make withdrawals when necessary and the business needs a new bus for marketers, he would go to his father to say “I pray you father, can we have a new bus for the marketing department?”
I will like to think I hear his father saying to him “Son, go and study the document, there are things you ought to know and it makes it easier for you.” If there is an enemy who lurks around as though he is a friend but understands the document more than the son, this enemy can probably use that document against the rightful heir.
Little wonders we saw Satan trying to use the words given by God to tempt Jesus who is God personified in flesh. Let’s look at that for a while:
“If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘He shall give His angels charge over you,’ and, ‘In their hands, they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone.’ ” Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the Lord your God.’ ” – Matthew 4:5-7 NKJV
The imagined story can be likened to our relationship with God. Many times we find ourselves in certain situations, we see ourselves taking wrong decisions and we get to that cross-road where we ask ourselves “Is everything okay?” Many times, the problem could be our perspective and other times it would be that we do not know how to access God’s help; we may not know how to open the gift box from God and search to see if what we need is already contained therein. The Bible says in 2 Peter 1:3
“…as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue.”
Somewhere else the Bible says
“Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.” Psalms 119:105
God has given us everything that we need to live this life even as regards to godly living and we have access to these things through the knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue. God’s word serves two purposes as we see in Psalms 119:105:
- God’s word serves as the lamp to our feet – This means that God’s word guides us as we take any step. Before we begin any step, before we start anything, God’s word is there to guide us. By the reason of God’s word, we can see where we are going and by the reason of same we can know if it is right to take that step or not.
- God’s word serves as the full headlight – God’s word shows us what the future looks like, aside from what we see right on our feet, the word of God gives us a full view of where we are going even before we get there so that we can be proactive. The coast may seem clear but we may be faced with a rock of ice ahead of us.
No wonder the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 23:4 “even though I walk through the valleys of shadows of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me…” God can lead us and at first, we see still waters but the full headlight may show us that ahead of us are valleys of shadows of death, we may see that ahead of us are mountains and the beautiful thing is that because we have seen these things, we wouldn’t get there shocked and overwhelmed!
We can access divine help by staying in the place of God’s word. If the help we seek is about salvation, we know that all of it has been dealt with in Jesus and we key into it by believing. However, even as believers, we can find ourselves in situations that are beyond our comprehension and when this happens, we can look at the word of God to know what God has said as regards those situations.
There is one way to discern and know when God is speaking and when our fears are speaking; whatever doesn’t align with God’s word isn’t from God and therefore we may not know everything God has said and everything God has to say but when God speaks we can know and when it is our fear speaking we can know. God’s word addresses our fears as the Bible says in Isaiah 41:10 NLT
“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
We see two things here:
- Don’t be afraid – The consciousness of God’s presence drives fears away, the reason we shouldn’t fear any evil is that God is with us. The word of God reminds us of God’s presence.
- Don’t be discouraged – The understanding of God’s character keeps us encouraged at all times regardless of where we find ourselves.
There are no special circumstances where God permits us to be afraid, there is no situation where God permits us to be discouraged. We know that God is with us and therefore fear should have no place! We have to stay motivated and encouraged every day knowing that God is mighty to save! We can look up to God’s victorious right hand and rejoice in it! This is what the word of God does, it saves us from fear, and it saves us from discouragement.
The easiest way to defeat a man is to get him into fear and to get him discouraged. We deal with fear by the knowledge of God’s presence and the believer in Christ Jesus doesn’t just enjoy God’s presence but also enjoys the indwelling of God by the Holy Spirit who the Bible calls our helper.
Yet again, it makes sense when we look at the Psalmist words again as he said: “even though I walk through the valleys of shadows of death, I shall fear no evil for thou art with me… thou prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies…” Let me explain this a bit:
The valleys of shadows of death means that you can sense the presence of death, you may even see the victims who are dead all around, you can hear the screams of those who are dying already; you can see blood of dead people everywhere and yet walk with confidence because of the knowledge of God’s presence.
While passing through this valley, God can make a table for you in the sight of death, in the sight of challenges and the sight of failure. This is because God is faithful to keep his words. The Bible says in Psalm 46:1-2 NLT
“God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble. So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.”
God is always in the mood to help, he is always ever ready! Some translations call him “our ever-present help.” Our situations do not take God unawares, it doesn’t surprise him and he doesn’t say “whoa! I didn’t see that coming!” God is ready even in our un-readiness. He is always ready in times of trouble and the Bible didn’t say “in some troubles” but in every trouble including the ones we got ourselves into.
God is mighty to save even in the situations that our carelessness got us into; he is mighty to save even when we orchestrated that problem out of ignorance. He is our ever-present help as he has said
“Then call on me when you are in trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.” Psalms 50:15 NLT
Many times we want to explain away the power of God, we want to give reasons why we aren’t experiencing the power of God which is already available in us, and we want to attach God’s manifest presence to the past but not to the present. He is the same yesterday, today and forever! If God did wonders in the days of Moses, did wonders in days of Jesus and did wonders in the days of the Apostles, why would ours be different?
To try explaining away God’s power is to present a weak or dead Church, we shouldn’t just be good at talking but in doing! We can’t have these mighty assurances from God and we live a beggarly life, we cannot have these awesome words from God and still tremble at the sight of a problem. When the problem presents how big it is, we should present how big our God is. In doing so we can’t exhaust the mightiness of God; he didn’t say we should explain his power away but that we should call on him when we are in trouble!
My sincere desire is to provoke someone into grasping the word of God, laying hold to it and believing it wholeheartedly. By the reason of the knowledge that comes from the word of God, we will not fear! This is what Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego knew and stood their ground saying in Daniel 3:17-18
“If we are thrown into the blazing furnace, the God whom we serve can save us. He will rescue us from your power, Your Majesty. But even if he doesn’t, we want to make it clear to you, Your Majesty, that we will never serve your gods or worship the gold statue you have set up.”
Look at that! It can only be the boldness that comes from the word of God. They were ready to be thrown into the fire because they believe God and his word! However, they submitted to whatever God’s will is even if it is unfavourable to them. They knew what God cannot do even though they haven’t known everything God can do. They trusted God so much that even if they had died in the fire; they would assume “this is God’s will for our lives.”
The word of God drives fear away and give us untold boldness! Faith breeds boldness and the Bible says concerning faith
“So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”
The word of God builds up our faith and this isn’t done in isolation of the word, we must stay in the place of the word of God long enough, we must dwell in the word! Sometimes, we need to switch off the TV, we need to disconnect from the busyness of life and stay in the place of the word of God.
One of the things I resolved some time ago was to stop paying TV subscriptions for some time because I don’t want distractions. Now, I am not saying it is wrong to pay-TV subscriptions; I just needed to discipline myself! I would have also done that to my internet if it isn’t one of the major channels through which I preach the gospel and also run some businesses through which God has been putting food on my table. We need to deal with every distraction and stay in the place of the word.
It may give a good feeling to lift our voices and cry “Lord give me faith” but here we see how to grow in faith; it is by hearing the word of God or studying them just as you are doing right now. The word of God builds a certain degree of confidence in us that we don’t get afraid of situations even if things turn bad! Oh yes, when it turns bad, it works for our good!
We may not be able to determine how God wants to do something, we may not be able to determine when God will do something but we know one thing, we can trust him! It is by the reason of this word that boldness comes and the Bible tells us in Hebrews 4:16
“So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.”
If God would save us from sin, is it from other problems that he can’t save us? We have already been given victory over the circumstances of this life, this victory may not be in the way we understand it but in Christ, we are victorious already! We come boldly to the throne of God’s grace because we know that we will find help every time.
If faith comes by hearing the word of God, we can say that fear comes by paying attention to our emotions, the words of others and the words coming from failures and challenges. The Bible says in 2 Corinthians 10:4-5
“We use God’s mighty weapons, not worldly weapons, to knock down the strongholds of human reasoning and to destroy false arguments. We destroy every proud obstacle that keeps people from knowing God. We capture their rebellious thoughts and teach them to obey Christ.”
Human reasoning and false arguments are obstacles keeping people from knowing God; they are also obstacles keeping people from trusting the word of God. By teaching people to obey Christ, we capture their rebellious thoughts and the same can be applied to ourselves in certain situations. When I am faced with overwhelming circumstances and my thoughts are beginning to wander in the wrong direction, I can capture my thoughts by subjecting it to the word of God.
God’s word changes the way we think, it changes our perception. By revelation through the word of God, we may understand that closed doors are pointers to better open doors; we may understand that rejections can deliver us from entering the wrong relationships, we may understand that the solutions we are looking for maybe in the problems.
These are things to note:
- God’s word serves as a guide, helping to make informed decisions.
- God’s word serves as a headlight that helps us see into the tomorrow.
- God’s word builds the consciousness of God in us.
- God’s word reveals the character of God to us.
- God’s word builds boldness and deals with our fears.
- God’s word keeps us encouraged and motivated at all times.