Proactivity, A Key Factor In Remarkable Strides, by Brother Oluwatobiloba Akintokun
Text: Matthew 25:1-13
How many people judged these 5 virgins… this parable was so vivid to me growing up because of electric power scarcity… I was thinking at least one of the virgins should have carried 50 litres of fuel.
Proactivity is making the decision to do important things first, doing the important things first and committing to seeing them through.
A proactive person for example acts in advance to deal with an expected difficulty.
Scouts motto is Be prepared
Proactive vs. Reactive
Being proactive is a choice-action.
A proactive choice is primarily based on your values and your principles.
The opposite of proactive is reactive…. a reactive person makes choices detached from their values… primarily based upon desires, feelings, circumstances, conditions, and their environment.
When we reactively make decisions based primarily only on feelings we often sacrifice our values because of our feelings or desires.
Proverbs 22:3 (NIV)
The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and pay the penalty.
“A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 27:12).
12 Sensible people will see trouble coming and avoid it, but an unthinking person will walk right into it and regret it later.
“Before the 5 virgins new it, the groom had come and gone…
“Before Bro Christian knew what was happening he had reacted angrily and slapped someone…
“Before Sis child of God knew it, she had “over said” (i.e. said more than what was appropriate at that given time).
Some reactive people even personalise their response is a result of their anger…..their trouble……
I pray for you today, any pit or trap set for you by anyone you will not fall into it in Jesus name…
Anyone trying to push your button to get you to react negatively will not find your button in Jesus Name
Different kinds of people walking in pit fall scenario
• Some walk in, falls in, dust themselves and move on……… “A prudent person foresees danger and takes precautions. The simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences” (Proverbs 27:12).
• The ones that fixate so much on the pit they are incapable of taking action. Joshua 3 vs 13 said you need to watch and follow the priests carefully…. vs 4 said something along the lines of because this road I am taking you haven’t been through it before…. However, you have to take action…. You have to move.
Anything causing you to fear and not allowing you take action; God will silence them today in Jesus name.
Proactivity is learning from other people’s fall in that pit to avoid a fall.
For Example: Queen Esther: She was fine, beautiful however she was also prepared.
Imagine if queen Vashti was Jew…. the Jews would have had very little chance of being saved…
Queen Esther was proactive, a Jew who was married to King Xerxes, she had to make a weighty choice.
She had to take action…it needed prayer and fasting because she learnt the fate of the person that erred before her Esth. 4vs 16
Yoruba saying…. Ijafara ni ewu translates to (procrastination is undue risk or risky)
Proactivity is the enemy of procrastination; in fact, it eats procrastination for breakfast. Proactivity is doing things before you can even think about procrastinating.
Why is it important to be proactive?
Imagine Joseph was not proactive, he would not have been able to save his own family during famine (Genesis 41: 25-36) (Proverbs 6:6-8).
Having faith does not mean we do not need to plan. We must plan and prepare.
I am not talking about being anxious here, talking about planning; how and when is mortgage going to be paid off? How long do I intend to be in this job for? What do we do to this 10-bedroom house when all the kids are grown up and married?
I can’t pay interest only on this mortgage forever… what is my plan?
I can’t just be doing Sunday/Sunday church going …. what am I proactively doing to prepare for His return?
I was watching a Pastor and they said those “Christians” are still coming back to pray. Pray so that you don’t become a prey…get close to God now so that at least you know what and how to pray……
So that seemly small steps become remarkable stride we need to be proactive.
Choice is a critical element of being proactive.
The wise virgins who had filled their lamps with oil were ready when the bridegroom arrived whereas those who were ill-prepared were left out of the marriage feast (Matthew 25:1-13). Am I prepared for Christ’s second coming?
Because proactivity is decision linked, a very important decision to ask it what inspires my decision. What am I drawing my values from when I respond to issues? Do I even consider my values when I react, act or respond?
Matthew 25 vs 1 to 13
Like I said earlier it was easy for me and you to judge the 5 unwise virgins about not having enough oil in their lamps…
Do I have enough oil in my own lamp?
Peter says, 1 Peter 1:13 Therefore, your minds must be clear and ready for action. Place your confidence completely in what God’s kindness will bring you when Jesus Christ appears again.
We must prepare our minds, to act the way God commands in a given situation. Therefore, we must be proactive — we must act in advance, to deal with whatever situation we find ourselves.
The anger, habit, behaviour cannot keep dropping me in the pit like this!! I can’t just be having a cyclic situation.
What am I drawing my values from when I respond to issues? Do I even consider my values when I react, act or respond?
Jesus tells us we must be ready for His return.
The most proactive thing you can do in your life with your life…. seek ye first the kingdom of God
Mathew 6:33 (AMP) But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right—the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also.
Being proactive is very Christian. The presence of the Holy Spirit within a Christian’s heart brings God’s wisdom to enter our decision making process. It also means that we are able to move from being reactive to the situations and circumstances that come our way, to Holy Spirit filled human beings who can take charge. i.e. every step I take, every business you invest in, deals you negotiate, what you say when you evangelise, how you deal with your past, how you respond to life issues….
Holy Spirit is Key
You can be proactive and not have the Holy Spirit … there are so many accomplishments in quote that a human being can have… and not have God….
some verses that I read differently for the first time…
God said to Adam the day you decide to eat this fruit that’s the day you die. Gen 2 vs 17
When Adam was 130 years old, he had a son who was like him, and he named him Seth. 4 After that, Adam lived another 800 years. He had other children 5 and died at the age of 930.
Adam died more than 900 years before he died?
He had other children, cultivated etc.
In other words, it is not by your accomplishments, your earthly accomplishments are not a measure of how alive you are in God.
It is the condition of your heart that that God wants to do business with.
The most proactive thing you can do in your life…. seek ye first the kingdom of God.
We need to know that we need Power to take charge… Power to not be victim of circumstances; Power to subdue rather than being subdued. Power that makes you hunger for the things of God.
If you haven’t accepted Jesus as Lord and personal Saviour, you have an opportunity to do so today.
Romans 10:9 promises, “If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.”
If you have not yet begun your personal relationship with God, understand that the One who created you loves you no matter who you are or what you’ve done.
Holy Spirit fill me, overshadow me completely.
Power to walk away when another wants to take Your place in my life.
Grant me the wisdom to be proactive in the place of prayer.
By your grace and mercy help me to be prepared for Your coming.
The sermon, Proactivity, A Key Factor In Remarkable Strides, by Brother Oluwatobiloba Akintokun was delivered on February 12, 2017