‘Hold back’ is a phrasal verb which means ‘to stop someone or something from moving forwards; to stop someone from being as successful as they should; to stop something from progressing or developing as it should; to decide not to do or say something, or to make someone decide not to do or say something’. Some synonyms of hold back are intercept, obstruct, restraint, curb, etc.
Life and living can be tough. Even to those who one would look at and think they are enjoying themselves; life and living can be challenging at times.
Right from conception, out of several millions life cells who could potentially go on to become humans, life would have wasted them: giving chance to just one life or few.
As conception progresses, it is not all those that got to this stage that eventually see the light of the day.
At childbirth also, not all that get to this stage would be privilege to stay on for minutes, hours, days and months. It is a continuous battle we fight against all the odds of life. Such that we all need to always give praises to God for still being here.
There are several natural forces; human forces and supernatural forces that come to play either to hold one back or to hold one down in life, such that the struggle for man is usually the quest to go forward and to go higher.
In Physics, we learnt that there are natural factors/forces that seek to hold things back. For example:
Gravitational Force – force on any object due to its mass, it pulls objects down towards the centre of a gravitation body like the earth or moon.
Tensional Force – the force pulling at an object from opposite ends.
Drag Force – the force that resists the motion of an object, pulling it back in opposite direction. Etc
So also, are forces of man and supernatural beings that seek to either hold one back or hold one down in life.
While we all want to be better than who we are; the only way that can happen is when we progress forward; and we climb higher. It is my prayer for you today that nothing shall hold you back; and nothing shall hold you down in Jesus mighty name.
In Gen. 26: 1-33, the bible tells us about the story of Isaac, how he faced the brutal natural force of climate. Lack of precipitation culminated in a terrible famine. It was a time of setback for most people as food became short in supply; cash became worthless; even lives would have become cheap.
When Isaac assessed the situation, his inclination was to travel to Egypt and sojourn there till the famine and drought would be over. God however told him otherwise and asked him to dwell at Gerar, in Palestine amidst the drought.
It was here, where and when many people were counting their loss, that Isaac was counting his blessings. He planted his seeds in faith; God granted him moisture, his seed did not die, they did germinate surprisingly, bear fruits, and even yielded a hundred-fold return!
Isaac became the bread seller to the whole nation; he must have sucked up their cash due to higher demand and short supply of grain; buy and take many as servants; until he became an envy of the inhabitants of Gerar and their king – Abimelech.
12 Then Isaac sowed in that land, and received in the same year an hundredfold: and the Lord blessed him. 13 And the man waxed great, and went forward, and grew until he became very great: 14 For he had possession of flocks, and possession of herds, and great store of servants: and the Philistines envied him.
Due to envy and jealousy, Isaac was to later contend with human forces; wells that his father had dug before, as he began to re-dig them to support his large household and animal consumption of water; the Palestinians would chase him away as soon as his men reached an aquifer.
Isaac and his men would have to go to another place to dig again; yet they would chase them away. From Well Esek to Well Sitnah; they kept chasing him, until he got to Well Rehoboth and finally Well Sheba, where he finally settled and flourished.
King Abimelech; his Adviser and his Army Commander had to travel to meet with Isaac at Beersheba to make a covenant with him, not to hurt them; as they confessed that they saw of a certainty that the Lord was with him!
Isaac made a feast for them; they swore oaths and the people departed. From this point, Isaac became stupendously rich and powerful. Nothing could no longer hold him back nor down.
Sadly, the whole world is going through a time of setback due to this natural force of pandemic/plague. Our hearts and prayers go to those who have lost loved ones and livelihoods.
Nations are borrowing at an alarming rate as it has never been done before; governments are suspending recruitment; multinational corporations are scaling down; corporate organisations and wholesale stores are closing or laying off workers; self-employed businesses are closing down or hanging in the balance by government grants or loans; individuals and families are also cutting back on expenditures; etc. It had been a tough past year.
The word of the Lord I bring to you today however is that ‘nothing shall hold you back in Jesus name’. As the Lord lives, you will only count gains, blessings, increases, additions, multiplications, etc.
You will not just break-even; you will break forth and break out on every side. You will wax great, go forward, and grow, until you will become very great. You will have great possession of wealth and people; and you will be envied by many in Jesus name.
God will send ‘moisture’ to wet your seeds and soften your ‘ground’. The dew of Hermon will make your seeds to germinate. They will bear fruits. They will yield 100-fold returns to you in Jesus name.
May God make you a ‘bread giver’ to many. May God use you to preserve and sustain lives. May nations buy from you. May you become an envy of the rulers and the ruled around you in Jesus name.
May every human force that have risen against you due to envy, jealousy and hatred, come back to beg you to sign a peace treaty with them. May they use their mouth to say that you are greater than them and that God is with you.
May whatever any human force has stolen or seize from you be returned and restored to you miraculously by God.
In Gen. 37: 1-36, the bible makes us to know that Joseph was destined to rule, reign and lead in life. Certain human forces were however determined that it would not happen. That Joseph’s life would suffer setback, and that he would either die prematurely or live as a slave till death.
Joseph’s 10 older half-brothers were jealous to the point of trying to kill him; the nine of them eventually agreed to sell him to the Ishmaelites as a slave, so that he would go to Egypt and suffer.
On getting to Egypt, God granted him favour with his master (Potiphar); but Potiphar’s wife roped Joseph into trouble, and he was sent to prison for years for an offense he did not commit (Gen. 39: 1-23).
At the end of 13 years, God raised the head of Joseph from dungeon. He became the Prime Minister of Egypt. A ruler and leader predetermined by God; while his 10 brothers became part of his subjects who bow to him (Gen 41: 1-46).
39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath shewed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou.
41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt.
42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph’s hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck;
43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.
44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt.
Joseph was so blessed and honoured that his brothers could not recognise him, until he introduced himself to them, barely 13 years!
If you have been predestined by God to rule, reign or lead; no power or force will be able to hold you back in Jesus name.
Your life will not suffer any setback.
You will not die prematurely.
You will not live your life as a slave.
Those who have hated you and your downfall shall commit a major blunder that will enthrone you.
The Lord God will not abandon you. He will grant you favour all the way to the top in Jesus name.
Those who have planned to send you to ‘prison’ for no wrongdoing of yours will suffer defeat, shame and reproach. The ‘dungeon experience’ shall await them.
May God raise your head high.
May God elevate you in the social strata of life.
May those who have plotted your downfall come bowing to you.
May God so bless and prosper you that your accomplices of 10/15 years ago fail to recognise you again.
No human power will hold you back.
No human power will hold you down.
May the testimony about you be, “How did you manage to break forth?”
In Gen. 27: 41-46; 28: 1-5, the bible tells us that Jacob went to Syria to sojourn with his uncle – Laban for two reasons: to temporarily escape the wrath of Esau – his brother, having received the blessing from Isaac their father; and of course, to get married to one of Laban’s daughters.
When Jacob got to Syria, he declared his intention to marry Rachel to Laban – his second daughter, to which he agreed. Laban asked Jacob to serve him for 7 years as the bride price for Rachel, to which Jacob agreed as well.
But having seen the hand of God upon Jacob with how God has blessed him within that 7-year period; Laban thought of holding Jacob for a longer period.
So, on the day that was set for Jacob to receive his wife – Rachel; Laban organised the bridal party and set it for night-time; against the norm (parable of the banquet), and also make alcohol readily available. He then planted Leah – his first daughter in Jacob’s chamber, in the night. When Jacob woke up in the morning, he discovered that he had been duped by his uncle.
Laban said it was their custom not to marry out the junior before the senior, which he did not mention 7 years before; so, it was agreed that Jacob could do another 7 years of servitude for Rachel the second time (Gen. 29: 1-28).
So, Jacob served Laban for 14 years in order to marry Rachel, because of the love he had for her, those 14 years were to him as days. At the end of this 14 years, Jacob asked what Laban would give him so he could go back home. Laban however claimed the years Jacob had done was for marriage; if he wanted possessions, he would need to serve 6 years more.
At 20 years’ service, Jacob came to Laban again and asked to be sent forth; at this point, it became glaring to Jacob that Laban wanted to keep him indefinitely in Syria without fulfilling his Divine destiny in Canaan as God had told him; or he was bent on sending him away emptyhanded as he came.
God had to intervene for Jacob. Swiftly, God began to transfer the wealth of Laban miraculously to Jacob over a short space of time. Jacob became the owner of a great flock and many servants. Laban had to make an oath of peace with Jacob; having seen the power of God upon his life. He was able to return home to Canaan and re-ignite the Abrahamic covenant (Gen. 31: 1-55; 33: 1-20).
There is someone listening to me now, the reasons for your sojourn shall be fulfilled in Jesus name.
Those who have cheated you will regret their actions. What they have swindled from you shall be forcefully returned by God.
There is someone listening to me now, you have chased after something important for almost two decades now (20 years); in this 21st years, your miracle shall emanate in Jesus name.
This is your years of Divine release. Your year of liberty. Your year of freedom is here in Jesus name.
To another person, I am asked to tell you that those who have tried to trick you will suddenly find out they have actually tricked themselves.
To another person, I am asked to tell you not to be afraid. That you will not return empty-handed. God says He will arrange your compensation.
The ‘Labans’ will pay for holding you back.
No situation/circumstance will hold me back in life.
No power or powers will hold me back in life.
No principality or principalities will hold me back in life.
No ruler or rulers of darkness will hold me back in life.
No wicked spirit or spirits in the heavenlies will hold be back in life.
No human being or beings will hold me back in life.
No governmental organisation(s) or corporate body(ies) will hold me back in life.
No Non-Governmental Organisation or any other establishments will hold me back in life.
No power of self, ignorance, error or disobedience will hold me back in life.
Nothing in the heavens, on the earth, in the sea or in the deep will hold me back in life in Jesus mighty name.
Sermon delivered on the 28th of March, 2021.