This message is intended to change someone perspective about attending service and for such a person to benefit from the blessings that do follow.
Strength is one of those things in life that fluctuates. Depending on one’sage, lifestyle: (nutrition and exercise), state of mind, etc. the physical strength of an individual can either be increasing or decreasing.
Science and nature teach us that we can find strength in certain things: food calories, sleeping, food supplements, exercise, etc. while these are true, there is yet another strength that comes from the presence of God.
Isaiah 40:28-3 1 Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? There is no searching of his understanding. He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall:
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.
This strength is more powerful than the physical energy, it actually controls the physical strength. It is called strength in the inner man, or spiritual strength.
Ephesians 3:14-16 For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man;
The spiritual strength can be gained mainly from prayer, fasting, the word of God, right standing with God and fellowshipping with other believers.
Luke 4:14 – And Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit into Galilee: and there went out a fame of him through all the region round about.
Joshua 14:10-12 – And now, behold, the Lord hath kept me alive, as he said, these forty and five years, even since the Lord spake this word unto Moses, while the children of Israel wandered in the wilderness: and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the Lord spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the Lord will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said.
God wants me to tell or remind us, as the case may be that this strength is usually available in Zion. But many of us are not taking advantage of it, which is the reason for this call to
You may want to ask what is Zion? Or where is Zion?
The bible tells us there are three types of Zion:
- The first one was originally a stronghold of the Jebusite, which later extended to the whole city of Jerusalem.
2 Samuel 5:6-7 –And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither. Never the less David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
- The second is the heavenly Jerusalem which is the city of God, where Jesus and His saints will dwell after this world has been done away with by God.
Revelation21:2 –And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
- The third type of Zion is any designated place where the children of God have chosen to gather together to honour God.
Hebrews 12:18-22 – For ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness, and darkness, and tempest, And the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words; which voice they that heard intreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more:(For they could not endure that which was commanded, And if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned, or thrust through with a dart: And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake:)
But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels,
Some characteristics of Zion are:
– It occupies a special place in the heart of God.
Psalms 132:13 –For the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation.
It is a place of deliverance, holiness and obtaining one’s blessings.
Obadiah1:17 – But upon mount Zion shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness; the house of Jacob shall possess their possessions.
In life, it is possible for one to go from weakness to weakness.
It is possible to go from weakness to strength.
It is possible to go from strength to weakness.
It is possible to go from strength to strength.
Which do you prefer? Strength to strength is only obtainable in Zion. For all of us here, this temple is our Zion.
The General Overseer told us how the Holy Ghost Services began. He was in London when God suddenly asked him what he wanted as a birthday gift. He told God that he wanted a miracle for every of his spiritual children. God told him to gather the people and He will bless them. That was how Holy Ghost services began. It has since then become a Zion where God manifests His presence.
I will borrow you one of my few secrets in life.
I don’t see going to church as just attending a service, I see it as an avenue to present myself before God on the day to answer yes to a register that only Him can mark.
I have this notion that at every specific hour of
When Jesus died and was buried, His disciples became fearful, timid, insecure and troubled. So as soon as Jesus rose from dead, He went to show Himself to them to boost their strength and faith.
John20:19 – Then the same day at evening, being the first day of the week, when the doors were shut where the disciples were assembled for fear of theJews, came Jesus and stood in the midst, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
Unfortunately, because Thomas was not there in the house. He was still weak. He didn’t believe it.
John20:26 – And after eight days again his disciples were within, and Thomas with them: then came Jesus, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst
At this point, strength came upon Thomas, as he saw the presence of the Lord.
When Jesus appears in a meeting. Peace and strength will surely be given. Guess what, that peace and strength will only be given to those present, the absentees were interceded for, God can show mercy. But not all the time we remember in
That has been my medicine over time. To the glory of God; I have not taken any pain killer for close to 25 years. As a human being, there are some service days that my head would seem heavier than my body; there are other days that my heart may seem heavy. My medicine has always been to appear before God in Zion, and guess what, my strength would have increased by the time I would be going back home.
It is based on a revelation I had as a child. So my time in service is a time to recharge in Zion.
It is also one of the
Exodus 34:23-24 – Thrice in the year shall all your men children appear before the Lord God, the God of Israel? For I will cast out the nations before thee, and enlarge thy borders: neither shall any man desire thy land, when thou shalt go up to appear before the Lord thy God thrice in the year.
The surprising thing to me is that Jesus even did it, even though He came to start a new dispensation in walking with God.
John 2:13 – He attended the Passover. And the Jews ‘Passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
John 7:10 – He went up for the Feast of Tabernacle. But when his brethren were gone up, then went he also up unto the feast, not openly, but as it were in secret.
A bible scholar might say, in today’s context, our body is now the temple of the Holy Spirit (I Cor. 16:19). I do agree.
Another scholar may say that Jesus even told the woman at the well of Sycharth at a time is coming and that it has even started when believers would not need to go to this mountain and that mountain to seek God, but that they that must worship God must do so in spirit and in truth(John 4:21-24). Again, I do agree.
However, that was in John chapter 4; it is the same Jesus that in chapter 7 had to leave wherever He was (possibly Galilee) and travelled to Jerusalem to appear in Zion. What Jesus was saying is that God must first be in you, before you go and join others who also have Him. You must have a relationship with God first, and then join
Guess what, a time will come after now again, where every believer will have to go to the earthly Zion to be in the presence of God (Jeremiah3:17).
Also on a few occasions, it was recorded in the bible that Jesus actually called the temple built by Solomon His Father’s house. We would think that God’s house
The combination of Jesus in the heart of all those who have Him produces a synergy that is called power and strength.
Acts 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.
Psalm 84 was written by David to express that longing and passion of the Jews to appear in God’s temple in Zion.
Some believed that David wrote Psalm 84 when he ran away from Absalom. Such that in verse 3, David was envious of ordinary birds who were
David went further to say that those who live on the temple grounds are so blessed. They don’t have to travel to praise God. They would be doing so perpetually. How close do you live to your Zion? How punctual are you? What time do you arrive when a prayer is called?
In every organisation and establishment, it is usually the roll call they do first. Do you always arrive in Zion before the attendance is marked? You may not see a teacher with a pen and paper calling out names. Yet He is there.
Again, my vision from childhood. An attendance is taken at every hour of prayer
So when next you are going to any temple to appear before God, ask them properly “what time does the service start?” And be sure you are there before that time, otherwise your effort for that day may have just been wasted, except something happened that is out of your control.
David went ahead to say that those who live far from Zion, for them having faith and trust to embark on the long journey, they will surely be blessed of God. Their strength will increase.
David mentioned few obstacles on their way as they journey to Zion (valley of Baca that turns to spring; and rain that turns into pools). What could be the obstacle that is not making you appear in Zion? God can turn it into your advantage, if you are willing and obedient.
The Christian pilgrim to heaven is not a sprint. It is a marathon. It is possible to get weary, tired and burn out along the way. Appearing in the temples at hours of prayers are our own rest stops. That is where and when we can re-charge and proceed on the next lap of our journey.
David then mentioned what the Jews would like God to do for them as they proceed on the journey and even when they get there: protect them from bandits; deliver them from bad terrain; save them from wild animals and grant them wealth.
David prayed that God would defend them.
Hear their prayer.
Be attentive to them.
These are all what we do ask God when we appear before Him in this Zion.
David challenged us by saying that he would rather be in God’s temple for one day than to be in false enjoyment somewhere else for three years. Though I know that there are lots of issues with church folks; even then, the hours spent in the worship of God in His temple, should be far more desirable and of higher priority than countless hours spent somewhere else.
David concluded in verse 11 by mentioning few blessings that follow those who longed and made efforts to appear in Zion:
God will be their sun and shield – light and protection (warm & comfort).
God will grant them grace and glory – favour and honour.
No good thing will God withhold from them.
Note that in David’s time, he could operate in the capacity of a priest, prophet and king. So he could worship God alone, hear from God on his own and he was the ruler over everybody, yet he longed to always appear in God’s temple at the hours of prayer, where the ministers of God, who
No matter how spiritual a child of God is, he/she must have an attraction to the place of God’s worship; he/she must have a passion to appear in the presence of God
It was said that King Louis XIV arrived at the chapel for service one Sunday and found no one except the chaplain. He was startled and asked why. The chaplain said: “Sir, I published it that you will not be attending today so that you can see those of your subjects who are serving God in truth and spirit and those who flatter you”.
If you appear in Zion often, the next level is when you come, what have you come for? Have you truly come to worship God or to do eye-service? Have you come for a different thing altogether than seeking the face of God? Whatever you seek is only what you will find. God cannot be mocked, whatever a man sows, the same he shall reap.
What do you do when you come? David was not bothered that he was the king, he would rather be a doorkeeper in the temple of God. What will you rather be? Sanitation? Singer? Or Gossiper? Busybody?
Are you helping to bring more people into the temple? Or are you helping to chase away the people already inside? Are you being a blessing to others? Or a stumbling block on others path.
When you think of coming to God’s temple, are joyous within you or are you sad? David said he was glad when they told him
Do you look forward to coming? Is there a longing or passion in your heart to come? If any of your answers is No, there is a disconnection you need to fix before you experience a total blackout (I Cor. 10:12).
Some of the reason why you should look forward to
A Holy Ghost impartation will take place.
A prayer point pertaining to your issue will be raised.
A testimony will be said that will boost your faith.
A deliverance ministration might happen that will liberate an area of your life.
Holy Communion may be served for you to dine with the Lord Jesus.
A song/hymn may be sang that will uplift your soul.
A bible passage may be read, that will speak to you directly.
A word of wisdom/knowledge may come for you.
A prophetic word may be released into your life.
A material gift may even be given to you.
If you didn’t appear in the temple on such a day, there is no way youwill receive what was obtainable.
I have discovered that life experiences and temptations are also tougher when you are going through it alone. But when you are in a fold, no matter the weight, the burden is easier to bear.
Jesus temptation was hard – alone in wilderness and hungered.
Jesus at Gethsemane was tough – the disciples were sleeping. God had to send an angel.
Eve in the Garden of Eden was woeful – humanity still suffers it for eternity.
Elijah and 850 prophets of Baal was energy sapping – Elijah could have committed suicide.
David was away from the company of his mighty men – led to his brutal sin of adultery and murder.
Hebrews 10:23-25 – Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.
When next there is a call to appear in Zion, and you know you ought to and you can be there, will you be present or will you be absent? It’s up to you. Let him that has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit has said to the church.
What is the root cause of what normally keep you behind to appear before God in Zion? You can ask God for help.
Put order in my life.
Increase my passion.
Let favour supersede labour in my life.
Chase lukewarmness away from me.
Sort my home out.
Boost my earning.
Increase my vigour. Etc.
The sermon was delivered on December 16, 2018.