The life we live is full of surprises. No human being has got life all figured out and sorted, such that certain things happen that take us by surprise and unawares.
There are, equally levels of surprise. There are certain surprises that could be fairly anticipated e.g. birthday present. There are other surprises though that one could not have imagined, e.g. a spontaneous gift.
The message I have from God today for someone here is that a little while from now; the question on your lips shall be “How did I ever get here?”
For example, thirty-one years ago, I remember that was the question I asked myself as I lined up on the parade ground at our passing out parade day in Depot NA Zaria. How did I get here was the question on my mind.
– Right from the recruitment process in my state;
– to the final selection at Zaria;
– to then surviving the rigorous 6 months training;
– Some of my mates ran away;
– some were dismissed;
– some became disabled from injury;
– 2 died in my set.
So, standing on that parade ground; shouting 3 hearty cheers to the parade review officer at the end of the ceremony, some of us became emotional for joy. It could only have been by the help of God.
There is someone listening to me right now, not far from now, your testimony shall be “Can someone please tell me how I got here?”
Psalm 126:1-3 –When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion (Jerusalem), We were like those who dream [it seemed so unreal]. Then our mouth was filled with laughter And our tongue with joyful shouting; Then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us; We are glad!
Popular psalms. A Song of Ascent. Sang as the Jews travel from their respective settlements to Jerusalem to sacrifice and celebrate before God.
Prior to this, the people of Judah had incurred the anger of God; and God made the Babylonians to take their princes and strong ones into captivity and left the weak ones behind.
The Babylonians later came back again a few years later and render Judah in ruins. The city of Jerusalem and the Temple were destroyed. All the precious things were taken away into Babylon.
The Jews would have thought the end has come for them; especially they knew that it was a punishment from the Lord. Decades down the line though, there was a sudden twist of fate.
The Persian empire overran Babylon, and strangely Cyrus the king of Persia released a decree for the Jews to go back home; He even helped them to rebuild the city of Jerusalem and the second Temple.
They did not have to fight to be free. It was shocking!
2 Chro. 36: 22-23 – Now in the first year of Cyrus king of Persia—in order to fulfil the word of the LORD by the mouth of Jeremiah—the LORD stirred up the spirit of Cyrus king of Persia, so that he sent a proclamation throughout his kingdom, and also put it in writing, saying, “Thus says Cyrus king of Persia: ‘The LORD, the God of heaven, has given me all the kingdoms of the earth, and He has appointed me to build Him a house in Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Whoever there is among you of all His people, may the LORD his God be with him, and let him go up [to Jerusalem]!’ ”
As the Jews made their way to Jerusalem each time to rejoice; they could only be asking themselves on the way, “How did we get here?”
It would have been like a dream to them each time. Their mouth was always filled with laughter, their tongues with singing.
Even the Babylonians and other surrounding nations around did testify that it could only have been Jehovah their God that had done such great things for them.
They too could testify that it was Jehovah that had done such great thing for them; whereof they were glad.
If you have suffered any loss, Jehovah will bring restore what you have lost seven-fold.
A special thing was carted away from you, it shall be brought back miraculously in Jesus name.
What is coming your way will be like a dream. It will seem so unreal, yet it’s real.
Something that will make your mouth be filled with laughter is coming your way. (There is a degree of laughter, or graduations of laughter – grin, smile, giggling, laugh, etc).
You have smiled for a long time. Your mouth shall be filled with laughter.
There is someone listening to me; you hardly sing. God will give you a surprise that will turn you to an incurable singer.
What will happen for you will be such that people around will testify that Jehovah has done a great thing for you; no wonder you’re glad.
The Bible makes us know that Mordecai was a Jewish exile in Susa, Persia. Because of war, he had lost close family members. He became the father to Esther a cousin who was orphaned.
God was however gracious to him from that low state, that he was able to be given work at the King’s palace, as a guard (great favour – could have been a security risk to the king).
From there, he was able to foil a coup which was recorded in the Persian Book of remembrance.
Somehow, by Divine orchestration, his cousin (Esther) became Queen Royal. One of the highest officials in Persia called Haman sought to kill Mordecai and the entire Jews in the kingdom; again, by Divine intervention, the plan was foiled; and suddenly Mordecai became the most powerful man in Persia after the king.
For Mordecai was great and respected in the king’s palace, and his fame spread throughout all the provinces; for the man, Mordecai became greater and greater.
God suddenly turned the captivity of the Jews around. The day they were supposed to be exterminated as a race; they were backed by decree to defend themselves; such that it was their enemies that were exterminated.
Esther 9:1-3. They even gave the figures of deaths to the king, and he still permitted them to slay more! Now in the twelfth month (that is, the month of Adar) on the thirteenth day when the king’s command and edict were about to be executed, on the [very] day when the enemies of the Jews had hoped to gain power over them [and slaughter them], it happened the other way around so that the Jews themselves gained power over those who hated them. The Jews assembled in their cities throughout the provinces of King Ahasuerus (Xerxes) to apprehend those who wanted to do them harm; and no one could stand before them, for the fear of them [and their God] had fallen on all the peoples. Even all the officials of the provinces and the chief rulers (satraps) and the governors and those who attended to the king’s business supported the Jews [in defeating their enemies], because the fear of Mordecai [and his God’s power] had fallen on them.
They had to set aside the following 2 days to celebrate and rejoice, and to become days of memorial for generations to come; as they could not fathom how they got to that point of salvation.
The 14th and 15th day of Adar (12 months) every year.
Esther 9:28 – So, these days were to be remembered and celebrated throughout every generation, every family, every province and every city; and these days of Purim were not to cease from among the Jews, nor their memory fades from their descendants.
There is someone listening to me, though you are a stranger in this land, God will make you very prominent and relevant.
There is another person, you have lost a number of close relations. Your life and living shall be a long-lasting testimony for your love ones that have gone.
Esther daughter of Abihail – we know nothing about Abihail but through Esther.
Mordecai son of Jair – know nothing about Jair but through Mordecai.
May your long life speak good remembrance for those that have lived and gone before you in your family in Jesus name.
May God put royal robes on your body. Put a royal crown on your head. Put a royal ring on your finger.
There is someone here, the time and day appointed by your enemies for you to mourn are hereby changed. They shall become your time and day of rejoicing.
There is another person, you will soon set a date for people to celebrate and rejoice with you on your victory over a specific ‘battle’.
There is another person listening to me, a good deed you have done for somebody a long time ago will be revisited soon. You will be surprised what that deed will yield for you. By the time you realise it, “How did I get here will be your testimony”.
The same thing can be said of Daniel in Babylon. A captive from Judah who used to be a prince. By the favour of God, he was selected among the royal Jews to serve in the palace of King Nebuchadnezzar.
Not too long, the king had a dream that would elevate Daniel in the 120 provinces of Babylon. He became the most senior president.
Daniel 2:46-49 – Then King Nebuchadnezzar fell face downward and paid respect to Daniel [as a great prophet of the highest God] and gave orders for an offering and fragrant incense to be presented to him [in honour of his God]. The king answered Daniel and said, “Most certainly your God is the God of gods and the Lord of kings and a revealer of mysteries, since you have been able to reveal this mystery!” Then the king promoted Daniel [to an exalted position] and gave him many great gifts, and he made him ruler over the entire province of Babylon and chief governor over all the wise men of Babylon. And Daniel made a request of the king, and he appointed Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego over the affairs of the province of Babylon, while Daniel was at the court of the king.
Daniel would have wondered what was going on. How did he get to that point where the king was bowing to him in obeisance?
In this Babylon, may God elevate you. Nobles will bow to you. May people revere your God.
Daniel reigned in the eras of Nebuchadnezzar, Belshazzar, Darius and Cyrus (95 years). You are going to reign for a long time to come.
In Genesis 41:38-41, the Bible tells us how Joseph was lifted from the dungeon and placed on the realm of affairs of Egypt. From Slave – Prisoner – Prime Minister. Just one dream changed his life.
So, Pharaoh said to his servants, “Can we find a man like this [a man equal to Joseph], in whom is the divine spirit [of God]?” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since [your] God has shown you all this, there is no one as discerning and clear-headed and wise as you are. You shall have charge over my house, and all my people shall be governed according to your word and pay respect [to you with reverence, submission, and obedience]; only in [matters of] the throne will I be greater than you [in Egypt].” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you [in charge] over all the land of Egypt.” Then Pharaoh took off his signet ring from his hand and put it on Joseph’s hand, and dressed him in [official] vestments of fine linen and put a gold chain around his neck. He had him ride in his second chariot; and runners proclaimed before him, “[Attention,] bow the knee!” And he set him over all the land of Egypt. Moreover, Pharaoh said to Joseph, “ Though I am Pharaoh, yet without your permission shall no man raise his hand [to do anything] or set his foot [to go anywhere] in all the land of Egypt [all classes of people shall submit to your authority].”
Your rising shall surprise many including yourself. Nothing spectacular about you yet; but your rising shall be.
God promised Saul of Tarsus who became apostle Paul that He would use him mightily and He did. At a point in apostle Paul’s life, he looked at his life and wondered how he got there.
Gal. 1:13-16 – You have heard of my career and former manner of life in Judaism, how I used to hunt down and persecute the church of God extensively and [with fanatical zeal] tried [my best] to destroy it. And [you have heard how] I surpassed many of my contemporaries among my countrymen in [my advanced study of the laws of] Judaism, as I was extremely loyal to the traditions of my ancestors. But when God, who had chosen me and set me apart before I was born, and called me through His grace, was pleased to reveal His Son in me so that I might preach Him among the Gentiles [as the good news—the way of salvation], I did not immediately consult with anyone [for guidance regarding God’s call and His revelation to me].
After the angel Gabriel spoke to Zechariah; he came close to his wife, very surprising to Elizabeth, her Tommy began to swell. There was no scanning machine to find out properly. How could she explain this? They were already struck in age. She actually had to go into hiding until she was very sure.
Luke 1: 24-25 – Now after this his wife Elizabeth became pregnant, and for five months she secluded herself completely, saying, “This is how the Lord has dealt with me in the days when He looked with favour on me, to take away my disgrace among men.”
There is someone here, between now and December, something uncommon and pleasant will happen to you.
You will want to hide it, but it will be impossible to hide.
You won’t have to say it with your mouth, the miracle will speak for itself.
The same thing happened to Mary, Elizabeth’s cousin. It must be very funny here for an angel to tell a virgin in a dream/vision that she would be pregnant without knowing a man; but it wouldn’t have been funny anymore when the tummy of that virgin began to grow, in a society where they stone such people to death.
The question that would be going through Mary’s mind would be “how did I get here?”
There is someone here, I’m asked to tell you that the Divine promises you have received, will now become a reality. If you are the one, say I receive it in Jesus name.
Anointing to walk into God’s arranged favour.
I will prepare a situation of favour for you, and I will make you walk into it.
The way you will know here is that you wouldn’t have arranged any part of it. It will just play out in your very eyes.
David was sent to check on the welfare of his brothers.
Joseph was sent to check on the welfare of his brothers.
Saul was sent to look for missing donkeys.
One thing here led to another in each case, before they knew it, they sat on the throne of favour.
A throne of favour has been prepared for you. God will make you walk into it and sit on it in Jesus name.
- Father, surprise me for good.
- Father, let my life be a surprise to many.
- Father, let my testimony be hard to believe.
- Father, make me glad by doing great things for me.
- Father, let the good deeds I have done in the past speak for me today.
- Father, let my tomorrow be such I would never have imagined.
This sermon was delivered on June 30, 2019.