Taking It Back, by Deaconess Helen Areola

Taking It Back, by Deaconess Helen Areola

Bible Text: Oba. 1: 17
But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.

Deliverance simply means to be set free. It means freedom.
Holiness means total devotion and obedience to God. It means without blemish.
To possess means to own, have, take control of something, have power over, take over, dominate, influence. (E.g. house, car, land, area, city, nation)

Possession is an act of having, holding, taking, owning and controlling something, or city, area etc. For example if I own a book or a car and I lend it to someone or someone takes it without my consent. The book or car is still mine, but it’s temporarily in the custody of someone else.
I decree that every good thing that the enemy might have taken away from you by deceit is hereby restored today in Jesus name. Whatever has kept you stagnant will be a stepping stone for your greatness in Jesus name. What seems to be the problem now will become testimony tomorrow in Jesus name. I decree by the name that is above every other name, your tomorrow is better than today in Jesus name.

The bible tells us in Genesis 1:28: To be fruitful and multiply, replenish, subdue and have dominion. We are to take charge on earth and over everything God has created. We are to control everything around us because God has designed it that way. Vs 31 says God saw everything that He had made was very good. So as children of God we own everything that belongs to our father.

Our theme for the month is uncommon inheritance. According to the dictionary Inheritance is the common term for property or any possession that comes to an heir. It is a gift you are entitled to by birthright.
We as the children of God have rights and easy access to our own inheritance by divine arrangement. But what happened? Why are we not where God wants us to be?
Jn. 10:10 says: The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Man fell and sin (devil) stepped in and robbed us off the free access to our inheritance, but Jesus came to reconcile us back to God. He came to restore us, to give us life and not just so we could have it but so we could have it more abundantly. What are we still waiting for?

The bible tells us in Matt.11:12 that from the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven suffers violent, and the violent taketh by force.
You have to be eager and force your way to breakthrough and take back what the enemy has stolen.

If we are to claim back all the good things the enemy has stolen from us we have to claim it by force. We have to hold on to the Word of God and be eager to succeed with it not giving up every time we fail or miss-out.

1. Fruitfulness.
By divine arrangement we are destined to be fruitful as we read in Gen 1:28. But the bible makes us to understand in Matt. 13:25 that while men slept the enemy came in and sowed tares. We have to be awaken both in the spirit and in the physical.
In Gen 21:25 Abraham took back the well that was violently taken away from him by Abimelech’s servant, Abimelech claims he knew nothing about it and Abraham claimed it back. He gave him sheep and oxen and made Abimelech to swear as a witness that the well belonged to him. Like Abraham we are taking back every of our belongings the enemy is withholding today in Jesus name.
In Gen. 26: There was famine in the land and God appeared unto Isaac and told him in Vs 3 “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and I will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father;
There was famine in the land and God appeared unto Isaac and told him not to leave.
God had already sworn to Abraham his father that his seed shall be great and because His word will not return unto Him void. When famine came the Lord showed up for Isaac. (When God speaks He honours His word, Let alone when He swear by Himself. His word will not go back to Him void).
Sojourn in this land, I will be with thee. If God be with a man nobody can be against that man. MAY GOD BE WITH YOU ALL IN JESUS NAME.

When God says He will bless you. It means He will make you fruitful. It means He will elevate you. I don’t know what you’re going through right now, but I know that there’s power in the word of God and I pray that
By the power in the word of God You are blessed in Jesus name. You are fruitful in Jesus name.
PS 30: 5b says “Weeping may endure for a night but joy cometh in the morning”
Whatever is tagged barren in your life, by the anointing of God under this roof today, is changing into fruitfulness in Jesus name.
Deut 11: 24 says “wheresoever the soles of your feet shall tread shall be yours”.
I decree today that every barren situation and every challenge you’re facing in this land shall become fruitful. Because of your presence in this land, the same way Isaac was known in Gerar you will be known in Leeds and in the whole of United Kingdom in Jesus name.

2. Prosperity
3 Jn.1:2 says “Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in good health, even as thy soul prospereth.
Prosperity is also our inheritance from God. Every gift that birth prosperity that the enemy has stolen from us, every dream and visions of prosperity that the enemy has stolen away… we are taking it back today in Jesus name.
Gen.26:4 says “And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed;

– To multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven means nobody can count the stars of heaven. When God multiplies your offspring as the stars of heaven it means you will enjoy prosperity at its fullness. That will be your portion in Jesus name. You will enjoy endless prosperity in Jesus name.
– To give to your offspring all this lands means you will conceive and give birth, and you will also witness your children giving birth and you will dominate and rule the land.
You are taking over your domain in Jesus name.
And in your offspring all the nations of the earth shall be blessed means You and your house hold will be a source of blessing to others in Leeds and beyond in Jesus name.
Ps. 23:5 ”thou prepares a table before me in the presence of my enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.
Your blessings will overflow to every nooks and corner of Leeds in Jesus name.

3. Good success
Gen.26:4c And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. It means you and your seed will not only be successful, but also have good success.
Jos. 1:8 “This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: For then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success”.
There’s difference between success and good success
Good success is our inheritance; you are taking back your inheritance today in Jesus name. From today your success will be steady and continuous. You will be successful in that job interview. Your application will be re-opened at the home office. You will receive good news in the name of Jesus.

4) Upliftment
Gen. 26:4b “And I will give unto thy seed all these countries”. That means God will uplift you, He will change your level. If we look around us we’ll see that most of us are from different countries. It only takes the grace of God to meet the criteria for settlement here in the UK.
It takes the mercies of God to inherit the good of the land you migrated to. But here we are by His grace.

This was also the story of Isaac. His family had no link with the land of Gerar. His father Abraham only followed the instructions that were given to him by God. And God established Isaac to the point that the people of Gerar were envious of him. That will be your testimony in Jesus name.
Ps. 3:3 “But Thou O Lord art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head”.
As the Lord God lives, you are coming up higher. You are lifted up; your level is changing for good in Jesus name.

5) Promotion
Gen. 26:3 “Sojourn in this land, and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, I will give all these countries, and I will perform the oat which I sware unto Abraham thy father”.
I will give you all this countries. That means God has given you the key of Leeds, the key to the United Kingdom. The one who holds the key to a store could be said to be in control or in charge of the store. God said take and have the key, occupy, control the city of Leeds. That is promotion. Whatever is holding you back from maximizing your potentials, God Almighty will destroy today and you shall take it back and be in control…. You shall function the way it has been designed before you came to this city in Jesus name.

Ps. 75: 6-7 “For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another”.
Every enemy holding back your promotion God will put them down today and set you up above them in Jesus name. The key to the door of promotion that the enemy has stolen, you’re taking it back today in Jesus name. Whoever is sitting comfortably on your promotion, may Jehovah God make that comfort zone uncomfortable for them in Jesus name. Receive accelerated promotion in your office in the name of Jesus.

6) Power over your enemies
Gen. 26:16 “And Abimelech said unto Isaac, Go from us; for thou art much mightier than we”.
Abimelech was the king of Gerar, he was a powerful man. By the time God was done with Isaac, power changed hands and Isaac became too strong for Abimelech to the point that he confessed, Isaac was mightier than all of them put together. The bible says
“Behold I give unto you the power to trend on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemies and nothing shall by any means hurt you”. LK 10:19. ”
God has given us victory over all the powers of the enemy.
If there be any way you have stumbled that has made the enemy to overpower you, receive empowerment to overcome in Jesus name. You are taking back your territory in Jesus name
From today you have become too powerful for any stumbling block in Jesus name.
Every storm raging over your life will admit and succumb to you in Jesus name.
From now onwards you are unstoppable in the name of Jesus. You are more than conqueror in Jesus name.

7. Good health or Healthy life
According to Gen. 1:31 “And God saw everything that He made and behold it was very good”. You were not created with sickness or disease. You were very good at creation.
Ex. 15:26 “If thou will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God and wilt do that which is right in His sight and wilt give ear to His commandments and keep all His statutes.. I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: For I am the Lord that healeth thee”.
Isaac enjoyed good health. The bible recorded how himself and his servants were digging and how they were getting waters in Gen.26:18. It takes good health and good strength to dig a dry land to the point of getting springs of water.

Ps.103:3 “Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases”.
As the lord lives, every health issue that represents a mountain before you shall crumble today in Jesus name. Whatever sickness the enemy has afflicted you with; God will remove it now and replace with good health in Jesus name. Isaac and his servants were never tired; you will not be tired in Jesus name. They were never weary; you will not be weary in Jesus name. Take back your good health today in Jesus name. Everywhere they dug, they found well, you will overcome every hard nock life in Jesus name.

1. Seek to know God more.
2 Chro. 26:5 “And he sought God in the days of Zechariah, who had understanding in the visions of God: and as long as he sought the Lord, God made him to prosper”.
Matt.6:33 “Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you”.
Ps. 63:1 “O God, thou art my God, early will I seek theism soul thirstieth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is”.

If Abraham had not known God, if he had not walked with God and had an intimate relationship with Him, he would not have received what God had sworn unto him. God would not have appeared to Isaac and told him not to move from Gerar. And if Isaac does not have any relationship with the God of his father, he wouldn’t have heard when God was speaking to him. We need to seek God more and be in right standing with Him.

1 Chro. 28:9 “And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imagination of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off forever.

It was a clear instruction from God to Isaac. Don’t go to Egypt. Egypt represents evil things in the scripture. That’s why Moses told the people of Israel in Exo.14:13b “…that the Egyptians they see today they shall see them again no more”. They needed to seperate themselves from the bondage they were in Egypt to access their inheritance (The promise Land).
Dan 3. Tells us about the story of the 3 Hebrew men. A decree was made by Nebuchadnezzar that at the sound of the trumpets everyone should bow and worship the gold statue, and at that time no one dares to disobey the king. But the 3 men separated themselves and stood out. They told the king that their God will deliver them and even if He didn’t, they would still not bow to the golden image. And God showed up and delivered them.
We need to stand out like the 3 Hebrew men.

Another example is Daniel in Dan 6: Daniel was preferred amongst His competitors and every one of them connived together to get rid of him. They convinced the king to sign a decree that no one should ask for petition from any god except the king and whoever does it shall be cast into the lion’s den. Daniel prayed to his God. Of course we know the end of the story. He did not compromise his integrity. He stood out even at risk of being killed.
Eph.5:11 say “Have no fellowship with unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reproof them”.

Whatever will not bring glory to God we should abstain totally from them so that the enemy will not use it against you.
Joseph would have missed out completely if he had yielded to Potiphar’s wife.
1st Thess. 5:22 “Abstain from every appearance of evil”.
We have to separate ourselves from whatever does not glorify God.

LK 11: 28b says “Blessed is he that hear the word of God and obey it”,
Obedience is a very important key. Isaac had a choice when God spoke to him. He could decide whether to stay in Gerar or move to Egypt. He chose to obey God; he didn’t let the present situation affect his decisions. He must have remembered how his father had obeyed God. I’m sure He inherited obedience from his father Abraham. Like father, like son.

Oba.1:17. To take back what belongs to you, you must live a holy life.
Matt.5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”.
Matt. 5:8 “Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God”.

5. Have courage.
It takes courage for Isaac to make the decision to stay back in Gerar. Prov. 28:1 “The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion”.
Humanly speaking, Egypt would probably be the best place for him in that kind of situation.
Jos.1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest”.

1 Pt. 2:2 says “As new born babes, desire the sincere milk of the word; that ye may grow thereby”. We must desire the word of God and believe in His word
Is 55: 10-11 says “For as the rain cometh down, and snow from heaven, and returneth not thiter but watereth the earth and maketh it that forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth, it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please and prosper in the thing where to I sent”.

Isaac stayed in Gerar because he believed the word that was spoken to him by God. “He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water” JN 7: 38
Isaac did not only believe, but he held on to God’s word and God prospered him.

In Conclusion
Isa.59:1-2 “Behold, the Lord’s hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear”.

God has made provisions for you. If there is any way you have strayed, ask Him for forgiveness and full restoration. Take back what is yours Jesus name.

Abraham dugged the wells before he died, but the wicked ones in Gerar covered all the wells and made Isaac to dig and dig hard before he could find them.
Job 5: 12. says “He dissappointed the devices of the crafty so that their hands could not perform their enterprice”.

1. Father every device, every plan of the enemy to shatter my inheritance, dissapoint and frustrate in Jesus name.
When men say it’s over, then God takes over, and when God takes over, then the battle is over. I don’t know what needs a solution in your life but you can mention it as we say this prayer….
2. Father take over every impossible issue in my life and grant me permanent solutions in Jesus name.
3. Father, every blessings, every gift, every inheritance associated with my name let it locate me before 2017 runs out in Jesus name.
4. Father beginning from today, grant me access to the well of victory. well of prosperity, well of good health…grant me access to the well of upliftment in Jesus name.
5. Oh Lord turn every set-back in my life to supernatural restoration in Jesus name.

The sermon, Taking It Back, by Deaconess Helen Areola, was delivered on October 15, 2017


May God Bless You Beyond Any Known Measure, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye

In my meditation, I came to the conclusion that everything in life occurs in levels and/or have a way they are measured. Whether they are tangible or intangible objects; whether they are aquatic, terrestrial or celestial objects or phenomena; there are levels or degree at which things occur.

One of the things that fascinate me in my elementary Geography is the unit of measurement of certain things like: line of equal atmospheric pressure (isobar); rainfall (isohyet); cloudiness (isoneph); sunshine (Isohel); temperature (isotherm); wind (isotach); etc. It was interesting to me that these phenomena can be measured.

As intangible as the concept of faith may seem to us, it can be measured.
Romans 12:3 – measure of faith
For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Mt. 17:20 – faith as a grain
And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Mt 15:28 – great faith
Then Jesus answered and said unto her, O woman, great is thy faith: be it unto thee even as thou wilt. And her daughter was made whole from that very hour.

Mt 8:26 – little faith
And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Luke 17:5 – increasing faith
And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith.
Even when Jesus wasn’t talking about faith; the disciples realised that to be able to forgive the same person several times in one day, they needed help to grow in faith.

Interestingly also, blessing occurs in levels. Either by what was pronounced and/or how it was said.
– Example of what was said.
In Gen. 27:1-5, Isaac asked his firstborn (Esau) to go and prepare venison for him, so he could bless him before he died.
Before this time (Gen. 25:31-32), Esau had sold his seniority (his birthright) to Jacob, his younger brother. So technically, the blessing of the firstborn (Uncommon inheritance) does not belong to Esau. Somehow, Rebekah overheard Isaac and told Jacob her favourite child what to do in order to obtain the blessing. God was not happy with Esau because he didn’t cherish the special inheritance accorded to him (Roman 9:10-13).

Eventually the specific blessing Isaac was reserving for Esau was collected by Jacob. Even though Isaac still blessed Esau, but all the parties involved knew that one blessing was greater from the other.
Genesis 27:27-29
And he came near, and kissed him: and he smelled the smell of his raiment, and blessed him, and said, See, the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lord hath blessed: Therefore God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine: Let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee: be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother’s sons bow down to thee: cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee.

May your life be like a field which The Lord has blessed.
May God give you the dew of heaven and the fatness of earth.
May you enjoy abundance of corn and wine.
People shall serve you. Nations shall bow to you.
You shall be lord over your brethren. May your siblings bow to you.
Everyone that curses you shall be cursed instead.
Those that bless you shall be blessed.

– Example of how the blessing was done.
It is believed in Israel and in biblical narrative that if an anointed servant of God blesses one by placing his/her right hand on the person’s head, the blessing received will be greater than if the same person put his/her left hand on the same individual.

In Gen. 48:8-20, Joseph presented his two sons before his father (Jacob), who could not see properly. The senior (Manasseh) was strategically placed on Jacob right hand, and Ephraim the junior to Jacob’s left. But when Jacob would bless them, he crossed his hands, putting his right hand on Ephraim and his left hand on Manasseh.
Genesis 48:18-20
And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
May your seed become multitude of nation. May your name be used as a blessing for others.

The bible reveals to us the position of where Jesus is seated in relation to that of His father. The bible makes us to know that Jesus is seated at the right hand of God.
Acts 2:32-33 – Peter sermon
Acts 7:55 – Stephen submission
Luke 22:69 – Jesus own word
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of God.
I Peter 3:22 – Peter repeated
Psalm 110:1 – David prophesy
Mark 16:19 – Mark was inspired to repeat.
May you enjoy the dividend of the blessing of Jesus sitting at the right hand of God.

Why is Jesus sitting at God’s right hand? The bible tells us the significance of God’s right.
Exodus 15:6
Thy right hand, O Lord, is become glorious in power: thy right hand, O Lord, hath dashed in pieces the enemy.
Psalms 89:13
Thou hast a mighty arm: strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand.
Psalms 118:16
The right hand of the Lord is exalted: the right hand of the Lord doeth valiantly.

I have tried to establish the biblical truth that blessing occurs in levels.
Where I’m going in essence is that God will bless you beyond any known measure.

1 Corinthians 2:9
But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

May you begin to enjoy such specially prepared blessings from now.
May unusual blessings become yours.
May this is too much kind of blessing come into your life? Like Peter – go away from me…
May people testify that your own blessing is just too different and that they have never seen it or heard it like your type before.
May the proportion of your blessing; the timing and the impact go beyond the prediction and imagination of men. May it leave people’s mouth open ajar.

Abraham was someone his blessing went beyond measure. He left home at 75 years with few belongings and no child.
In a space of 25 years, God had blessed him to the level at which he had two sons; thousands of livestock and over 400 servants. At 140 years when he sent his chief servant to fetch a wife for Isaac, his kinsmen were so astonished to hear that he then had a grown up son and to see the huge gift he sent just to get a bride for his son.
Rebekah that hasn’t met Abraham’s family before too could not resist the urge to go with the servant. She knew that there must be much more from where the gifts had come from.

May the testimony about you propel others to believe in the living God.
When people hear your story, may they want to hear more because of how sweet it will sound to their ears.
May your destiny experience a giant leap forward.
May where you are now be dwarfed by where you will be by this time next year.
Your next year must dwarf your today.

Right from when God began to use men to do exploits, the bible tells us that the hand of God will just come upon them, and the people were able to do the uncommon.
People like Jonathan, David, Samson, Jephthah, Elijah, all did wonders when the hand of God came upon them. It was during Elisha’s time, that we hear of double portion of anointing. It was an unusual inheritance.
In 2 Kings 2: 10-14, Elijah told Elisha that he has asked a hard thing, but if he should see him when he’s been taken away, it would be possible.
So it happened that God bless Elisha with such an anointing that was beyond his predecessors. So that even in death, Elisha’s carcass was still performing miracles!

There is someone here, you are trying to measure up to your predecessor, God says that is not your benchmark. You are going higher than that.
May God demonstrate His new move through you.

Elisha started the school of prophethood at the lowest level. While some started as sons of prophets, he being a child of a farmer, started as a servant of prophet. He was a laughing stock in the eyes of the biological sons of prophet.
In 3 years though, the difference was clear. Elisha graduated into being the master of all the prophets in the land and in the region (2 Kings 2:15).
2 Kings 2:15
And when the sons of the prophets which were to view at Jericho saw him, they said, The spirit of Elijah doth rest on Elisha. And they came to meet him, and bowed themselves to the ground before him.

There is someone here; God says He will make you a lord to your kind.
In 3 years from now, those that were highly placed than you shall come to call you ‘my master, my master’.
There will be a positive shift in the spiritual realm for you.
The mantle of uncommon inheritance will be placed in your hands.
Those who have gone ahead of you will come to bow to you.
Those who are mocking you now will come and ask you how you did it.
May the Spirit of God upon Elijah rest upon you.

Joseph was the 11th son of his father. Going by his position, he didn’t stand a good chance to Jacob’s estate. So that when he was relaying his dreams to his brothers, it wasn’t just an insult, it was unthinkable.
God however blessed him beyond any known measure.

There’s someone here, God says realistically your position doesn’t seem good, but He says, “I’m putting that aside, and I will fast track you”.
Another person is here, God says you are been looked at as an ordinary stone, what such people do not know yet is that you are a cornerstone. He says, I’m about to reveal that to them now.
To another person, God is saying that your time in the pit is over. Your years of slavery are gone. Your dungeon experience has elapsed. From now on, it shall be seasons of elevation for you; season of freedom; season of celebration and that of enjoyment in Jesus name.

Ephesians 1:3 – Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:
– Father, let all my spiritual blessings in heavenly places be made manifest in the physical.

Revelation 1:6 – And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
– Father, let my inheritance as a king and priest be vivid to all.

John 8:36 – If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
– Father, let my life be an evidence of someone you have make free indeed.

Romans 8:17 – And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint- heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.
– Father, let my suffering for you result in glorification with your Son.

The sermon, May God Bless You Beyond Any Known Measure, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on October 1, 2017


5 Things To Avoid In Order To Make/Experience/Enjoy Progress

5 Things To Avoid In Order To Make/Experience/Enjoy Progress, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye

Progress is something everyone desires, but not everyone wants to put in their best to achieve it. While prayer for progress is very important, prayer alone may not be sufficient to make it happen.

The word of God is filled with dos and don’ts. Instructions we must keep and things we must not do in order to succeed and make progress with our lives.
Example: Deut 28:1-end

Right from the Garden of Eden, God gave the first man and first woman instructions on what to do and what not to do in order that they might continue to experience a life of dominion, multiplication, fruitfulness and eternal bliss.

God told them to eat freely of every tree and herbs of the garden, including fishes, birds and other animals. He however told them not to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, that any day they eat of it, they shall die.
They eventually disobeyed and the sentence of death was pronounced unto man by God. Thank God for sending His Son (Jesus) through Who man can obtain eternal life.

As the children of Israel proceed to the Promised Land, God constantly told them the kind of land He was taking them to; what they need to do to get there and possess it; and what they must not do so as not to be slaves again when they get there.

A place that was filled with milk and honey; houses they have not built; wells they have not dug; vineyards they have not planted will be theirs if they are courageous and obedient: they must however hearken diligently to God’s words and must not follow after the gods of the natives. Most of the time, the Israelites failed.

I have observed in life that the forward journey is usually more tasking and longer than the backward journey. This is because the thought and effort to navigate through an uncharted course is harder than the effort to return the same way, which is now a bit familiar.
The power required to forge ahead is greater than the power required to go back.

It is harder to succeed than to fail.
To pass a driving test for example (whether theory or practical) is tougher than to fail. To pass, you have to do many things, to fail however; one doesn’t need to do much, other than to pay for it.

In the Army, we were thought that there are 4 phases of battle: Advance, Attack, Defence and Withdrawal. None of these phases is easy. Advance is however the toughest to bear.
When under Attack, the instinct to stay alive kicks in.
Defence is not too bad, though still hard.
Withdraw is deadly.

Making progress may be hard, but it is achievable. For that to happen, certain things must be avoided. So what are 5 things one must avoid in order to make progress in life?
1 – Avoid thinking backward.
We are essentially the product of our genes and our life experiences. If one continue to dwell on their past life experiences, or the deficiencies in their genome, such a person will not be able to move forward.
Whether one’s yesterday was tough or easy, the days ahead can still be better.

In Num 11:4-6, the children of Israel were going through the wilderness, the condition was challenging, they were eating only one kind of food daily (manna). It is true that if one eats one particular food for quite a while; one will get bored.
What they did not consider though was that what life would be like when they eventually get to Canaan.

They murmured and made God angry.
They showed ingratitude by mentioning different dishes they used to eat in Egypt. But they were slaves in Egypt! It meant they did not appreciate the cost of their freedom.
Many of them never progress to the Promised Land.

It is so easy to think backward when one is in a difficulty. Meanwhile progress is not made by thinking backwards.
What an extraordinary life Elijah lived! If I am to mention four prominent prophets in the whole of the bible, Elijah will be one of them. But at a time in his life, he actually thought, it would have been better for him to be a nobody in Israel rather than a mighty prophet.
He said of what importance was his life compared to those of his fathers (I Kings 19:1-4).
Meanwhile, we never heard anything about his father.

Stop thinking backward, if you want to make progress. Job suffered from this kind of thought.
Job 3:24-26 – For my sighing cometh before I eat, and my roarings are poured out like the waters. For the thing which I greatly feared is come upon me, and that which I was afraid of is come unto me. I was not in safety, neither had I rest, neither was I quiet; yet trouble came.

Think forward. Think of progress. Think of making advancement. Ask God to breathe on the thoughts. Implement the ideas that come to you in such thoughts. Watch how God will make you to progress.
Philippians 4:8 – Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

In Gen. 26:1-14, the bible tells us that there was sore famine in Canaan. Isaac was thinking backward to go and sojourn in Egypt like his father – Abraham. God however told him not to do so. He stayed in Gerar where God asked him to dwell; that became the catalyst to his huge fortune.

2 – Avoid looking backward. Looking back by someone who intends to go forward is very dangerous. The person will eventually crash in the direction their head is tilted.
In order to look backward, one will first need to reduce speed; that on its own is a negative movement. The actual act of looking backwards is deadly.

As Lot, his wife and their two daughters were led out of Sodom by angels, the instructions to them were “escape for your life; don’t look back; don’t settle in the plains; escape to the mountain”. Unfortunately for Lot’s wife, she looked back; she was turned to a pillar of salt.

Lot’s wife looked backwards to things that were already accursed. Things that were meant for destruction. Are you looking back to the way you used to live, when you were in Sodom? Or probably you were entrapped in your achievements of yesterday. Set new challenges for today and tomorrow.
Apostle Paul was someone whom God used to do a lot of things. His focus however was always to look forward and not backward.

Philippians 3:13-14 – Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.

Isaiah 43:18-19 – Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.

Luke 9:62 – And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.

What is the plough that you have put your hands on? Could it be, a course of study, a career, your marriage, your relationship, service to God … Don’t look back.

3 – Avoid drawing back. Life is full of challenges. Drawing back from them is not an option. It is a notable sign of defeat. One must confront every challenge until they either give way or become surmountable.
In wresting and boxing for example, the one that keep drawing back has given himself away as a weakling. It’s only a matter of time before they will be defeated.

In your secular pursuits, don’t draw back. What people don’t know is that drawing back is noticeable. It can be easily seen by onlookers. It does not help in progressing one in life. It will lead to demotion.

In order to grow spiritually and please God, you must not draw back in your walk with God and in your work for Him.
How is your prayer life? What about your reading of the bible? What about Evangelism? Many behave as evangelism is for evangelists alone.
You used to attend all fellowship before, but now you have forsaken most of them as the manner of some; it’s a sign of drawing back.

Hebrews 10:38-39 – Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. But we are not of them who draw back unto perdition; but of them that believe to the saving of the soul.

Those who believe to the saving of souls will make a move to go forth.
David became the most celebrated king in Israel’s history because he went forward to fight the Goliath of Gath. For 40 days the whole of Israel were drawing back from the giant, but not David.
1 Samuel 17:23-24 – And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them. And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid.
Confront your Goliath. Don’t draw back. Progress shall be yours in Jesus name.

4 – Avoid keeping back. It is the nature of man to grab everything and keep everything for himself. But true prosperity is not just being blessed but being a blessing.
The promise of God to Abraham was that he would be blessed and be turned into a blessing. Being blessed is stage 1; being a blessing is stage 2, it is a progressive trend.
Genesis 12:2 – And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing:

Isaiah 58:6-8 – Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke? Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.

1 Corinthians 4:7 – For who maketh thee to differ from another? and what hast thou that thou didst not receive? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?

Luke 6:38 – Give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom. For with the same measure that ye mete withal it shall be measured to you again.

Have you seen some children holding food and hiding it from adult? Such children will miss out on many gifts.

In Luke 5:1-10, Peter did not keep back his boat and energy. That made him to progress to the level of surplus.
In John 6:9-13, the little boy did not hold back his lunch box. That fetched his mother 12 baskets full of fishes and bread.
In Mt. 21:1-3, the owner of the donkey and colt that Jesus road to Jerusalem did not keep back, historians says they were later sold for exorbitant prices.

The worst person to keep back from is God. Don’t keep back from Him. Your first fruit, your tithes, your offerings must not be kept back. If you are faithful to God at your present level, God will make you progress to higher levels.

In Acts 5:1-10, Ananias and Saphira kept back. They didn’t enjoy what they put aside.
Some believers today keep back their tithes by claiming that the early disciples did not pay such. What such people didn’t realise is that tithe was not an issue in the early church, as they were paying 100% or close to that with good explanation; 10% was just too small for them.

Today, many even try to bribe God with a ‘nice offering’ and not pay their tithe. God however cannot be mocked! Never keep back from Him.

Many have extended their hands to be of help to strangers, not knowing that they were helping angels. By so doing, they have made great progress with their lives.
Abraham had Isaac.
Lot was spared from death.

The letter of Paul to the Galatians is a great lesson.
Galatians 5:7-8 – Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth? This persuasion cometh not of him that calleth you.
They already believed Jesus was the way to salvation; but later add circumcision, which is not the truth. You were doing what was right before, why add lies? That cannot be from God.

5 – Avoid going back. No matter how tough things may be or become. Going back is not the way out. As believers, there are many things that want to pull us back into the world; there are many other things that want to push us away from the faith.

Regardless of what these might be, going back should not be an option.
Success is never easy, failure is however not an option.
It is better to die while succeeding than to live in failure.

Thomas Edison successfully invented the light bulb at the 100 attempt. When he was asked how he felt having failed 99 times, he said he was only able to learn 99 other ways of doing it and has not failed once.
You have not failed until you have accepted it and settled for it.

– Christianity in the city of Thessalonica would not have been easy, Demas however could not handle the pressure, and he went back.
– Surviving in Jerusalem without the physical presence of Jesus was not easy; Peter and other apostles initially went back to fishing.
– Paul first missionary trip was not an easy one, John Mark turned back on the way.
– The teaching of Jesus was not an easy one compared to the Rabbis, out of 500 disciples, 488 went back.

Do you want to succeed in what you do? Do you want to make progress? Going back is not an option. The only alternative to progress must be progress.
May you progress in life in Jesus name.

Help me not to think backward
Help me not to look back.
Help me not to draw back.
Help me not to keep back.
Help me not to go back.

The sermon, 5 Things To Avoid In Order To Make/Experience/Enjoy Progress, by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye, was delivered on September 24, 2017.


Our Doctrinal Beliefs (Part 1)

Our Doctrinal Beliefs (Part 1)

Emanates from the Latin word doctrina:
• A codification of beliefs or a body of teachings or instructions; taught principles or positions held; or a body of teachings in a branch of knowledge or belief system.
• Oxford English Dictionary: A belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a Church, political party, or other group.

Types of doctrine
• a) Biblical doctrines 2 Jn 1:9; Jn 7:17
• b) Doctrines of devils 1 Tim 4:1
• c) Doctrines of men Mark 7:7;
• d) Church doctrines Acts 2:42;

• {A} Biblical doctrines
• Jn. 7:16-17 “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself”.
• 2 Jn 1:9 “Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son”.
• Examples: prayer requests; Salvation in the name of Jesus.

• {B} Doctrine of devils
• 1 Tim 4: 1
• Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
• Example: baptism of the dead, purgatory, etc

• {C} Doctrine of men
• Mark 7:7 “He answered and said unto them, Well hath Esaias prophesied of you hypocrites, as it is written, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. Howbeit in vain do they worship me, teaching for doctrines the commandments of men”.
• Example: Only circumcised men are born again, sinful to eat without washing hands, etc.

• {D} Church doctrine
• Acts 15:29 “That ye abstain from meats offered to idols, and from blood, and from things strangled, and from fornication: from which if ye keep yourselves, ye shall do well. Fare ye well.”.
• Examples: Registered members requirements, Priests not to marry, etc
• Usually stem from:
• Founders’ background, Basis for the establishment of the church, Founder(s) understanding of scriptures, Founders practices (good or evil), Desire to conform to changing cultures.

Some biblical doctrines highlighted below
• The Bible
• The Godhead
• Salvation
• The Devil
• About Man
• Repentance
• New Birth & Justification
• Sanctification & Holiness

• 1. The Holy Bible
• We believe that the Holy Bible: both Old & New Testaments are written by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.
• 2 Tim. 3: 16-17 “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works”.

2. The Godhead
• We believe the Godhead consists of three Persons (God the Father; God the Son & God the Holy Spirit) who is One Triune God.
• Mt. 28: 19 “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:”
• I John 5: 7 “For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one”.
• Mk. 12:29 “And Jesus answered him, The first of all the commandments is, Hear, O Israel; The Lord our God is one Lord:”

3. Salvation only in Jesus name
• We believe that Jesus Christ is God the Son, who came in flesh to save the world from sin (John 1:1-14).
• Acts 4: 10,12 “Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole. Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved”.

4. The Devil
• We believe that the Devil exists. He seeks the downfall of every man, especially believers. He brought sickness & death.
• He governs over a well organised army of demons.
• Rev. 12: 7-9 “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, 8 but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them[a] in heaven any longer. 9 So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him”.

5. About Man
• God formed man with the dust of ground; breathed into his nostril the breath of life; and man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). So that man comprises of Body, Spirit & Soul. Man is God’s ambassador on Earth.
• Lk. 23: 46 “Then Jesus called out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My Spirit.” And when He had said this, He breathed His last.”
• Lk. 12: 20 “But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided?”

6. Repentance unto God
• We are all born as sinners. The wages of sin is death. To live eternally therefore, one will need to repent.
• Rom. 3: 23 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.”
• I John 1: 9 “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”.

7. New Birth & Justification
• After confession and repentance of our sins unto God in Jesus name; we become new creatures/born again (2 Cor. 5:17).
• God then declares us justified/righteous by His grace as if we have never sinned.
• Rom. 5: 1 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ:”

8. Sanctification & Holiness
• Sanctification is the second work of grace by which the root of sin/Adamic nature is completely removed.
• Holiness is living a life that abstain from all appearance of evil and worldliness.
• John 17:15-17 “…Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth”.
• Heb. 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.”

Prayers points
• Father, help me to keep your doctrine.
• Father, let me not give heed to doctrine of Satan.
• Father, let my focus not be on doctrine of men.
• Father, grant me the willingness and passion to obey my church doctrine that are not contradictory to your word.
• Father, help me that none of your doctrine condemn me in the end.

The sermon, Our Doctrinal Beliefs (Part 1), was delivered by Pastor Samuel Obafaiye on September 10, 2017