There is no one who won't find the book of Proverbs as thoroughly enjoyable and fascinating as I did when I first opened the pages of the book over 30 years ago. 30 years after the words of the writer are still illuminating, enlightening, and fascinating as they did back then! Proverbs has a way of communicating truths in a pungent form!
Also growing up as a child in the southwestern part of Nigeria, specifically Lagos, raised by Yoruba parents who are well versed in the proverbs of their culture, because every culture has it's own unique treasure of words and wisdom that are called proverbs, hearing proverbs from your parents and the elderly ones around you is a normal part of your upbringing. It is believed the best way to drive home truth is to use the relevant proverb. Really it is believed anytime you are short of words an appropriate proverb at that point will not go amiss! Sometimes all that my father needed to communicate certain things to me was just a line of a proverb that will lead me to deeper thoughts and understanding.
So God woke me up one day not with the proverbs of Solomon written in the Bible but one of the many ones I have heard from the mouth of my father and it is a deliberation on that proverb that has birthed our new series on POWERTALK today that I have titled WHEN YOU ARE AFRAID OF YOUR FATHER'S HOUSE.
That morning the predominant thought in my heart after a session of prayer was this Yoruba proverb that says A CHILD SHOULD NEVER BE AFRAID OF HIS FATHER'S HOUSE! And God asked me why are my children afraid of my house? David speaking in Psalm 23:6 said, "Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever". Psalms 23:6 KJV. If David had a choice he would love to dwell in the house of the Lord forever!
It was the same David that proclaims in Psalm 122:1, "I was glad when they said unto me, Let us go into the house of the Lord". Today in the wake of the covid 19 crises, not too many of God's children are in any way glad about returning to their father's house after the months long lockdown! Indeed many pastors have even said they will not be opening the churches even if the government makes a pronouncement to that effect.
It is no news that when President Donald J Trump declared churches as essential service and reopened for worshippers across the United states of America many pastors greeted the move as political and many insist the doors of their churches will remain shut. Bishop T.D Jakes went a step further to conduct a survey among members of their church if they are willing to return to their " fathers house". We all know what the result of that survey was, over 75% will rather stay at home than go to church. Now, never mind the data that shows all the nations that lockdown still saw the virus spread ten times more than nations who didn't lockdown! Still many prefer to remain fearful and remain lockdown! Well, this is Jake's church. A similar survey carried out in most churches around the world will probably reveal the same figures and results, children of God are afraid of their father's house!
There are probably three reasons why a child would be afraid of their father's house:
1) When you don't know who your father is. This is why the writer of Hebrew spelled out the basics of faith in Hebrews 11:6 says he "that cometh to God must believe that he is". That belief comes from a deep knowledge of who God is! Daniel 11:32 says the people that do know their God will be strong and do exploits. Our level of dependence, confidence in God is directly a function of how much we know him!
2) When you don't know the power, the authority, the safety, the covering, the blessings you receive from been in your father's house. Growing up as small chap their is that comfort you have that no matter what you do outside when you run back to your natural father's house you will get protection, covering and support from whatever is pursuing you or whoever is pursuing you from outside there. And Proverbs 18:10 did tell us that the name of the Lord is a strong tower the righteous runs into it and they are safe!
3) When you don't understand your Sonship status, the blessings, and the privileges it confers! This happens when you don't know if you are really a child of God! The songwriter said, " I AM NO LONGER A SLAVE TO FEAR, I AM A CHILD OF GOD". Knowing your Sonship status in God sets you free from the fears of men.
Romans 8:14-15 tells us:
"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father"
The Spirit of adoption which confirms our status as true children of God is forever free from the fears of the world and its bondage!
Should we return to church? Should the church remain close? Should we observe social distancing in the church? Should we comply with government directives or not? These are the many questions dominating our spiritual and political space. There are those who are for or against the above propositions and each one has responded according to their level of revelation. Yes it seems there are different voices coming from the body of Christ, it's all because we are operating at different levels of understanding and revelation! The parable of the sower shows that we can hear and read the same word and yet produce different spiritual results, the same spiritual experience does not translate to the same spiritual results or realities!
This is a kingdom of levels! Jesus speaking in Matthew 11:10 says the 'least' in this kingdom is greater than John the baptist. Paul acknowledged in 1 Corinthians 15:9-10 that at the beginning of his apostleship he was the least, however as at the time of penning that his levels had already changed! This is a kingdom of levels and what determines each one's level as you would have gleaned from what Paul wrote is GRACE and what determines the increase in GRACE is revelation according to what Peter wrote in 2 Peter 1:2, Grace is multiplied when revelation increase!
There are those who think opening the doors of churches will be the death of people. There are those who think if they go to church they will 'catch' virus! There are pastors who think their churches should remain close! These are a certain level! Yet there are those who on the higher end of the spectrum and maintains that "upon mount Zion, there shall be deliverance and holiness" and on this mountain "the house of Jacob shall possess their possession"! Each group is neither right or wrong, it's a matter of level for the just shall live by its faith!
Personally, I have decided to move to the highest level of revelation that there is in God and have the supernatural experiences that by reason of redemption should be normal with us! And this series is for those who want to move to such a higher level, for men and women who want to see Zion not just as an essential service provider but a spiritual center for the deliverance of humanity!
The subtle lies of the devil been spread today is to encourage us to accept the fact that the church is not a building! Really? Is it so or not? This series will help us find out, though I want to drop a scripture in respect of that but before I do let me say here that the deception of Satan is often coated with scriptures or some certain 'spiritual truths' for if deception is too obvious no one will fall for it, it's why deception has to be veiled and coated with that which makes sense and is acceptable to all! In my next installment of this article, I will cite instances of this. But let's conclude with the scripture in 1 Corinthians 14:23.
"If therefore the WHOLE CHURCH COME TOGETHER into ONE PLACE, and all speak with tongues and there come in those that are unlearned or unbelievers, will they not say that ye are mad?"
The whole church must necessarily come together into one place! The church is not the building but the church needs a building to gather! Even in the new testament age of the church, they were meeting both in the homes and in the temple!
To be continued!