Contending with Forces Against Your Being Lifted Up
Minister: Pastor Sunday Oloyede
John 12:32; Eph 2: 6; Ps 114:7
To be lifted up means to be in position of influence, advantage (by reason of height), authority, dominion and to be elevated. Jesus operates in this exalted position and the will of God is also for every believer to co-occupy this same exalted position with Jesus according to Eph 2:6 …. seated with Him in heavenly places far above principalities and power.
For Jesus to be high and lifted up, He contended with some forces. In this message, we shall be examining these forces and learn how He overcame them as follows:
1. Satan: The first force or person Jesus had to contend it was Satan. Reading through the bible, we discover that Satan launched major attacks on Jesus during two principal phases of His life: The first one was his attempt (through King Herod) to kill him at birth when he discovered He was going to be a shining star (Matt 2: 16-18 ); and the second phase of attack was when Jesus went to the wilderness to fast and pray having ‘discovered his purpose in life’ (Matt 4:1-11). It will interest you to know that Satan didn’t bother much about Jesus when he was working as a carpenter up till age 30. The truth is that Satan doesn’t bother much with failures or mediocre in life. Satan only feels threatened and launches attack on someone when he discovers your future is bright or the day you discover and start to fulfil your purpose in life. I am happy to announce to you that Satan failed in his first phase of attack on you because he couldn’t kill you at birth. If you are experiencing serious attacks from Satan now, it probably may be because you have recently discovered your purpose in life and Satan wants to derail you. He will not succeed in Jesus name. How did Jesus overcome Satan?
A. By living a life of holiness (John 14:30, Rom 6: 1; Heb 12:14)
B. By using the scriptures (refer to Matt 4:1-11)
C. Not being ignorant of the devices of Satan as he tries to outwit you (2 Cor 2: 11). The principal way is to repent from committing sins, restitute your ways and live a holy life (Is 55:7). Can you honestly declare as Jesus did that ‘the prince of this world has found nothing in my hands?’
2. Environment: The second force is being mindful of your environment. As a wise man said, your location determines your allocation in life’ There are so many people who are not fulfilling their purpose in life due to wrong location. If you trace the life of Jesus, you will notice that he was mindful of where he lived, otherwise He would have died untimely. He was born in Bethlehem, his parents moved him to Egypt so that he wasn’t killed, he came back to live in Nazareth, most of his ministrations were in Capernaum and He only visited Jerusalem occasionally when necessary to avoid being killed. When it was time for him to die, he set his face go to Jerusalem and this was very significant (because that’s where Prophets die- Luke 13: 33). I need to inform you that there are specific locations under heavens where you are destined to experience maximum fulfilment of your potentials. If you are outside these divine locations, your success will be limited because it will mainly be by your personal abilities and the mercy of God. There are examples of people in the bible whose location affected their destinies:
A. Elimelech (Ruth 1:1)-Relocated to Moab without seeking God’s face and dies untimely
B. Lot (Gen 13: 5-18 ) Chose location by sight and was almost consumed with Sodom and Gomorrah if not for God’s mercies
C. Isaac: Almost relocated because of famine in the land but because he hearkened to the voice of God, he prospered during austerity (Gen 26)
So we need to understand that our location should not be determined by
1. Physical eyes (like Lot)
2. Economic condition (like Elimelech)
3. Family ties: God told Abraham to leave his family to an unknown land (Gen 12)
We need to seek the face of God for direction regarding our location .
3. Natural Forces: The third force that contended with Jesus was natural laws/ forces but he overcame them. For example, he defied the law of gravity by his ascension, he defied the law of death by his rising up, he defied laws of physics by walking on water and so on. Jesus was a man accredited with miracles. Christianity is a life of miracles. We can’t achieve the greatness God intended for us unless He helps us supernaturally. Jesus prayed down miracles to have a miraculous ministry and that’s why he is renowned. We know of the story of Jabez in the bible who was born with a curse on him (through no fault of his) but he overcame when he discovered that prayers can wrought miracles (1 Chro 4:9-10) Namaan too overcame the embarrassment in his life through miracles. I pray that God will suspend all natural laws hindering your exaltations and perform miracles that will move you to your next level in Jesus name. You need to understand that Christianity guarantees you ‘good success’ (Joshua 1:8). You don’t need to be a Christian to be successful but to have good success, you must be a Christian experiencing miracles daily.
4. Your Association: The people you associate with determines where you will get to in life. Jesus prayerfully chose his friends (disciples) and they became his helpers of destiny. In Mark 4: , we read the account of four good friends who brought a sick man to Jesus by breaking the roof top. We have also read the story of King Rehoboam friends who gave him wrong advice causing the kingdom to be divided. How the do you identify good friends:
1. They identify with you in all circumstances
2. They love you for who you are and not what they can get from you
3. They are your helpers of destiny
4. They are not intimidated by your progress.
However, sometimes God brings few enemies your ways who can help you fulfil your destiny. Sometimes, your enemies aid you to pray more, fast more, work more and do more to fulfil your destinies. The enemies of Joseph (his brothers) helped him greatly to fulfil his purpose. (1 Cor 2:8)
5. Personal : Finally, Jesus himself played a major part in his exaltation. How do you see yourself? An eagle or grasshopper Christian? (Num 13:33 cf Is 40:31). Remove the term ‘impossible from your dictionary. A wise man said ‘there is no mountain anywhere except the one in the heart of men’. You need to understand that ‘The whole world stands aside for someone who knows where he is going’.
No one including Satan can derail a Christian (backed by the power of God) without your active or passive connivance.
Secondly, are you willing to pay the price for your lifting up? At the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus was confronted with sheer pain and anguish (physical and emotional) but he prayed ‘not my will but let your will be done’ (Lk 22:42). Are you ready to do the will of God? It is not easy, but it is possible with God helping you
The will of God is for every believer to be lifted up just like Jesus. Jesus was able to overcome the forces against his exaltation. Are you ready to overcome them too? The bible says ‘I can do all things through Christ who strengthen me (Phil 4:13)
Receive the grace to fulfil for your exaltation in Jesus name. Amen
Delivered by Pastor Sunday Oloyede on April 27th 2014