14/09/17There is a higher place for you in God. No matter how great your relationship with God may be right now, there is a higher place for you to come to. No matter how much you have accomplished with and for God, there is more to be done. In this Kingdom, we never reach our zenith. We never come to a place where we can’t go any further. There are always more territories to conquer; more victories to achieve; deeper depths to plunge into; higher heights to climb to. That’s why people of God do not retire from serving God.
In God, there is always more. Proverbs 4:18 puts it this way:
‘But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day’.
If you are a believer in Christ Jesus, you are the just (the righteous) that this Scripture speaks about. The path which God has ordained for you to travel in this life is designed to be like the sun-light that appears at dawn and keeps shining brighter and brighter as the day progresses. In the Name of Jesus, I declare that this shall be your experience for the rest of your life.
The righteous fall but do not stay down
But you might say, ‘Peter, you don’t know the mess I am in. I haven’t had anything good happen in my life in a long time. I am so low that I can never rise to anything better. I can’t see any hope for me’. Well, the Bible is full of stories of people whose lives were so messed up either due to their own mistakes or circumstances beyond their control, but when they chose to believe God, their lives turned out great.
In fact, apart from the Lord Jesus, all the other greats we read about in the Bible had moments or periods in their lives when it appeared all was lost, but because they reached out to God, they got up and went on to achieve great things. Proverbs 24:16 says,
‘The godly may trip seven times, but they will get up again’ (NLT).
That means a righteous person may appear to have fallen completely but give them time, and they will rise again, and keep going! It is not over for a believer in Jesus until Papa God says it is over, and the good news is, because of God’s grace, God never says it is over for His kids. There is always hope for God’s people!
Elijah rose again
Take Elijah, for example. He was a fearless, no-nonsense prophet who had great power with God. 1 Kings 17:1 relates how Elijah announced to Ahab, the king of Israel, that there wouldn’t be rain in the land, until he (Elijah) said so! And it happened! After three years of severe drought, Elijah prayed to God again and rain fell. And that was after he single-handedly killed hundreds of prophets of the false god, Baal (1 Kings 18). I mean, this guy was a force to reckon with.
But just a short while after his great victory over the false gods, we find Elijah running away from Ahab’s wicked wife, Jezebel, who had vowed to murder the prophet in revenge for what he had done to Baal’s prophets. Elijah became so depressed that he asked God to kill him:
‘But he (Elijah) himself went a day's journey into the wilderness, and came and sat down under a juniper tree: and he requested for himself that he might die; and said, It is enough; now, O Lord, take away my life; for I am not better than my fathers’ - 1 Kings 19:4.
Elijah was so negative that he was saying things he very well knew not to be true, like he was the only prophet of God left in Israel (1 Kings 19:14). A man called Obadiah who worked for king Ahab had told Elijah that he had hidden 100 prophets of God in caves and fed them, so Elijah knew he wasn’t the only prophet of God left. But when people get depressed, they tend to forget all the good around them and just focus on the negative.
Years ago, the Lord told me that for a believer, even at the worst of times, there are always more good things happening in their life than bad ones. That is the truth! You never write off someone who believes in God because they do a few dumb things or because life takes a negative turn somewhere. Just having God in your life means you are an overcomer (1 John 4:4), no matter how terrible outward circumstances may be.
Get up and go on
An angel of God found Elijah moaning and sulking under a tree and told him to get up, eat and stop thinking of dying because there was more for him to accomplish:
‘And as he lay and slept under a juniper tree, behold, then an angel touched him, and said unto him, Arise and eat. And the angel of the Lord came again the second time, and touched him, and said, Arise and eat; because the journey is too great for thee’ - 1 Kings 19:5, 7.
Notice that the angel didn’t come and join Elijah in his self-pity. The angel told him to arise!
Child of God, stop that pitying yourself, mourning over the past, feeling hopeless, blaming God or people, etc. God needs you to cooperate with Him and that can’t happen if you decide to lie down in your mess and wallow in discouragement. Like David, you have to learn to encourage yourself in God (2 Samuel 30:6), even if everyone is telling you it is over for you, or blaming you for all the things that have gone wrong. The truth is that there are still lots of places for you to go with God. There’s more for you
You aren’t the first or the last
Look, if you have made some really major blunders, and everybody now says you are a scoundrel who isn’t even saved, I want you to know that you aren’t the first to undergo such and you won’t be the last. Read your Bible and you will quickly learn that many of the greats whom we so admire had their shares of blunders too. Abraham got a child out of wedlock; Isaac told lies about his wife; Jacob was a cheat; Moses killed a man; David committed adultery and murder; Peter denied the Lord; Paul persecuted the Church of Christ. But all these people who blundered made choices to rise again. They reached out to God and accepted His forgiveness. They placed their hands in Papa God’s and He accomplished amazing things through, in and with them.
And for some like Abraham, Moses, David and Peter, they discovered that even though they had messed so bad, God had not taken away their callings! Despite their big falls, God was saying, ‘You are still my man for the job I called you to do’. Yes, there were consequences for their failures, but over all, these men went on to do great things for God because they believed their mistakes didn’t mean the end of it all!
Qualified by the grace of God
No one has ever yet been used or blessed by God because they qualified based on their merits or perfect performance. Only Jesus was used by God because He deserved it. For the rest of us, it is only by grace that we get to go anywhere with God.
I get really weary of people who like to emphasize that unless we get our performance all perfect, God will never have anything to do with us. That cannot be true, because to begin with, Jesus didn’t come to help perfect people. Romans 5:6 declares: ‘For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly’ . Notice that Christ died for the ungodly, not for those who have it all together.
Jesus died for those who don’t measure up, and the truth of it is that we all don’t measure up to God’s standard. And that is why we do not have to depend on our good works to qualify to be blessed or used by God. We are to trust in His grace, and and that means we place out total trust in what Christ has done for us, not what we do for Him. Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross, Papa God qualifies us: ‘Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet (qualified us) to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light’ – Colosians 1:12.
By all means we must strive to do our best in our performance. Trusting in God’s grace doesn’t mean becoming sloppy in our behavior. No one who has been truly born again and has the Spirit of God dwelling in them will just go out and live like the devil. God has called us to holiness (1 Thessalonians 4:7). However, when we fail to measure up, like we all do sometimes, we must not let out failures keep us down forever. Learn your lessons, put things right where necessary, etc, but ultimately you must not allow life’s hard hits to stop your forward movement.
God has a plan and a future for you
The children of Israel messed up big time and as a result, they ended up exiled from their land. Life was tough and many of them began to lose hope of ever having a life of peace and dignity again. However, in the midst of all the despondency and confusion, God had Jeremiah the prophet write to them and tell them that they were still very much in His agenda. God had not forgotten or abandoned them just because they had failed. Papa God told them, ‘”For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope”’ - Jeremiah 29:11 (NLT).
In God, there is no such thing as everything being lost! There is always something remaining! On the back side of the desert, Moses thought all was lost. He thought he would never see his dream of freeing the children of Israel from slavery come to pass. But 40 years down the road, God came and told him that not everything was lost.
If you have been written off by man, God has never written you off, and He holds the last word. If everyone says you are not material for success because of your background or personality or something else, that is just human opinion. Don’t allow the opinions of people determine your destiny. Your life is in the hands of God who created you, and crafted you for accomplishment. Seek Him. He will make you a marvel.
Child of God, don’t give up now. Don’t stop moving forward. There’s more. Don’t give up on your life. Don’t give up on God. Don’t give up on your dreams. Don’t give up on the Church. Don’t give up on people. You owe it to God, to yourself and to others around you to keep moving. You have got to keep growing. You have to keep going higher!