May The Lord Strengthen Thee out of Zion
By Pastor (Mrs) Anthonia Obafaiye –
The theme of the month of June is Strong and Courageous as spoken by God through His Prophet and I perceive in my spirit that God is saying to someone here today ‘Fear not for I will strengthen you, for I will never leave nor forsake thee’.
Brethren I took the liberty to look up the meaning of the words strong and courageous.
Strong means having the power to move heavy objects or perform other physically demanding tasks like Samson. But no one is stronger than our God, the one that sits in heaven and doeth as He pleases.
The word courageous means having courage, to be valiant and to be brave.
It also means the quality of the mind or spirit that enables a person to face difficulty, danger and pain.
Brethren of our own accord we can do absolutely nothing but I rejoice at the word of God in the Bk of Phillip. 4:13 which says ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’.
True strength and courage only comes from God, we can only have the strength and courage of God if we know Him and most importantly if He knows you and I. (2 Tim. 2:19)
The Bk of Isa 40: 28-31 makes us to understand that it is only in the place of waiting upon The Lord that our strength and courage can be renewed by God.
It is in the place of praise & worship to God ( for The Lord seekers those who will worship Him in spirit and in truth), a place of prayer, a place of reading, studying, memorising and meditating on the word of God, that we can draw nearer & closer to Him, and He likewise draws nearer & closer to us. Above all when we begin to put into practice His words that we have hid in our hearts then the more we will become like Him in everything He stands for.
Our main Bible reading will be taken from the Bk of 2 Kings 4: 17-37
Brethren this is an interesting story I must say, very inspiring and encouraging. We can draw so many life changing lessons from it.
Brethren this is a woman that I do not know how long she had been waiting for a child, because the Bible did not tell us how long she had been waiting but it made us to understand in verse 14 of 2 Kings 4 that her husband was old.
Then one day because this woman and her husband provoked God’s blessings by taking care of a Prophet of God (Elisha), he did not ask or command it, he just went about doing God’s business, but un-knowingly to Elisha this Shunammite woman was observing him as he came and went and perceived in her spirit that he was a holy man of God, and she took permission and consent from her husband and they made room for him in their home. So anytime Elisha was in town he had a place to retire and rest.
The Bible says in Matt. 10:41 whomsoever gives a Prophet a cup of water shall receive a Prophet’s reward, whomsoever watereth shall be watered also.
This barren woman became a mother of a son after so many years of waiting.
But Brethren we all know that the devil is a bad devil, the bible says in 1Peter 5:8 he walketh about like a roaring lion seeking whom he will devour, but my prayer is that he will not cast his eyes on us or find us to devour in Jesus mighty name.
The Bible makes us to understand that when this child was grown, when it was almost time for him to begin to reward the labour of his parents care over his life , in his prime, the devil struck and he fell ill and died on his mother’s knees.
This woman had the kind of strength and courage that can only come from God, the grace of God was indeed sufficient for her, she did not tell her husband, she took their son and laid him on the bed of the man of God and shut the door upon him, and went after the man of God.
She just took permission from her husband for the release of one of the young men and one donkey for her trip to go after the man of God.
Brethren the woman of Shunammite ran back to the source of her blessing, she knew that when she gets to where Elisha was she will make a connection with his God.
Brethren what do we do when things begin to fall apart in our lives( trials of faith), do we begin to murmur, do we turn our backs at God, do we begin to go our own way, do we begin to put our trust in man rather in God. The Lord will help us in Jesus name. For the Bible made us to understand that in this world we will have tribulations, but there is encouragement it says be of good cheer for I have overcome the world, so we are over-comers, being a born- again Christian is not a bed of roses it is hard work ( the Bible says we must begin to work out salvation with fear and trembling after we surrender our lives to Jesus) .
This woman believed that the God of Elisha can’t fail and will never fail.
She left home that day with a great faith that the God of Elisha, The God that blessed her even when she had given up hope waiting (because when the man of God told her that about this season, according to the time of life, thou shalt embrace a son, she did not believe, she said Nay, my Lord, thou man of God do not lie unto thine hand maid) would bring her son back to life.
She also had a positive confession in her mouth and her heart ( for the Bible says out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh) concerning her situation. She said All is well and It is well. The Bible says in Prov. 18:21 ‘Death and life are in the power of the tongue and they that love it shall eat the fruits thereof.
Brethren the woman of Shunammite confessed life for her son and she received him alive.
Brethren we must be careful of the words we utter out of our mouth, our words can either save us or enslave us. Brethren words are potent so we need to be careful the words we speak out, not only words but our thoughts as well for the Bible says as a man thinketh in his heart so he is, they say if you want to change a man, change the way he thinks.
My prayer is that God will give us the grace to season our speech with grace and salt so we know how we ought to answer every man.
May The God of heaven hear and strengthen us from Zion on the day of our trouble in Jesus name.
Excerpts of a sermon delivered by Pastor (Mrs) Anthonia Obafaiye on 30th June, 2013 at the RCCG Everlasting Father’s Arena, York.