I like adding life to lifeless lives that is why I cannot do without creative writing, because it is a way of touching some hopeless lives
Sometimes some of us do think that it is God that would complete everything for us and that we do not have a part to play in fulfilling our missions or “destinies” (as some call it) in life. We would think life’s fulfilment is like entering a cafeteria where we would be served without preparing the food.
But this over the times has been proved not to be true, as we all have a part to play in ensuring that we possess those things we aspire to possess, becoming fulfilled in life.
In this article I want to show us some few words in the scriptures that show that we equally have a part to play in whatsoever things we shall become in life, whether good or evil, but herein, I want to focus on the good (or positive) aspect.
In Subsistence: God Sends Prophet Elijah to the Brook to Live
After prophet Elijah’s prophecy that the people of the nation would experience the un-usual for some years, that there shall be neither rain nor dew for certain period of time, the length of years that this happened we got to know from the scriptures that it was three and half years, he was instructed by God that he should leave where he was for the brook to live there.
“But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land;” (Luk 4:25; 1 Ki 18:1; Jas 5:17)
The question that would readily come to our mind is that why was he sent to the brook to live? For the person who can say such word we shall be thinking that he would have been relying on something before saying that, I mean physical things, that maybe God has been telling him something akin to that ahead of then and he has been making provisions for the terrible thing that would happen. But from the accounts of the bible we shall discover that such never happened.
Now, again we may want to think that maybe God would simply be bringing things to him for being a faithful servant, diligent servant and he wouldn’t suffer, as the bible says, he has not seen those who trust in the Lord begging for bread, we would be thinking all would just be coming freshly for him on his bed without any issues while the people of the country suffer and he would be laughing them to scorn for rejecting and refusing Yahweh.
On the contrary however did we discover that this does not happen, he wasn’t just lying on his bed and being fed by the angels in his room, but he was asked to leave for a place. Where he was asked to leave for the bible calls the “brook Cherith”.
“Get thee hence, and turn thee eastward, and hide thyself by the brook Cherith, that is before Jordan.” (1 Ki 17:3)
On Brook Cherith
Brook in Hebrew word is “נחלה נחלה נחל”, Romanized form is nachal nachlâh nachălâh (pronounced as nakh'-al, nakh'-law, nakh-al-aw') which was said to be a stream, a narrow valley, a small river. And Cherith in Hebrew is “כּרית”, Romanized form is kerı̂yth (pronounced as ker-eeth') which means a cut.
Some Christian authors have said because Cherith in Hebrew means “cut”, that Yahweh sends prophet Elijah to this place to be really broken down, to be cut and molded by God to his nature the more. Well, I am neither to disprove that nor talk about it. I said this because from other accounts about this wonderful man of God we shall see that from the time past has he been having dealings with Yahweh, in fact the duration of his training in the wilderness would likely exceed three decades before he eventually come and deliver the message to the people.
On another note, this could be possible that he was sent there to have another experience that was different from his initial wilderness experience as we know that despite father Abraham’s 15 years of walking with God, God yet said to him that he was yet to be perfect and asks him to walk before him and be perfect.
“And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the LORD appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.” (Gen 17:1 compare with Gen 12:4)
This means, God may yet be seeing something inside of him that was yet to be in conformity with the person he wants him, Prophet Elijah, to become in successfully carrying out the task before him.
e-Sword in his commentary on where Prophet Elijah was sent to says, “many erudite men have raised doubts on those parts of the Inspired Word, which may, by the perverseness of their argument and the ingenuity of their surmise, be made to appear inconsistent with fact.
Why He was Asked to leave for the brook
From the above words we can answer the question that comes to our minds on why the great prophet was asked to live for the brook Cherith to live by saying that
(i) He was sent to live there because God wants to take him to a new level of understanding him,
(ii) He was sent to live by the brook because he has a part to play in his sustenance,
(iii) He was sent to live by the brook because he wants people to know that his own people shall never beg for bread,
“I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.” (Psa 37:25)
(iv) He was sent to the brook to live because he wants to prove his complete reliance, faith on him.
(v) He was sent to the brook to live because he has promised not to put his own to shame in the evil days
“They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied” (Psa 37:19)
(vi) He was sent to the brook of Cherith to live because he wants to “to deliver (his) soul from death, and to keep (him) alive in famine.” (Psa 33:19)
(vii) He was sent to the brook of Cherith to live because God wants him to laugh at destruction and famine, because it was possible that the people would be saying that he who has prophesied would equally not be left out of what would happen.
“At destruction and famine thou shalt laugh: neither shalt thou be afraid of the beasts of the earth.” (Job 5:22)
He fulfilled his part in ensuring that the word of God comes to pass on him as one of his servants in the world.
On our Faith
Some have considered the issue of faith to be a gift basing their words on the book of first Corinthians chapter twelve. Thus, since faith is a gift by God they reasoned and thus pass everything to the backyard of God that it is if God wills that he will make something happen, if he doesn’t will, he will not make it happen.
“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I would not have you ignorant.
“For to one is given by the Spirit the word of wisdom; to another the word of knowledge by the same Spirit;
“To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit;” (1 Co 12:1, 8 & 9)
It is a gift and the giver give his gifts to everyone as he likes as he wishes no one could question him they would say. Because of this they do not wish to take part in anything they hope, expect and want God to make all happen for them without them taken a part in it.
I want to here in say that faith could be divided into two mainly: the gift kind of faith and the other types of faith. The one that I am referring to here, falls under the purview of this other type of faith.
This other type of faith requires all to partake in the same. Let’s see what the author of the book of Hebrews said about this other type of faith.
“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” (Heb 11:6)
This other type of faith involves the followings as could be seen from this verse
1. Pleasing the Lord
In pleasing someone, it is a concerted effort on the part of the person to please the Lord. Two people in love relationship would, make it a point of duty to please their partner. After they have been married according to what Apostle Paul says in the book of 1 Corinthians, they must ensure that they continue to please each other else they would have problems at home, else they would divorce.
“Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
“The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.” (1 Co 7:3-4)
2. Drawing to God
Another word of notice on this faith that we shall see here is “for he that cometh to God”. Cometh here in greek is written as “προσέρχομαι”, Romanized form is proserchomai (pronounced as pros-er'-khom-ahee) which means approach, visit, worship, assent to, draw near. It is obvious that no one can say because I have phoned you, that means I have visited you. Phone conversation and or other social media conversation are different from visitations. Some old people have opined that the problem of people of this generation is that we have substituted social media for visiting. Visit is different from phone conversation because in visiting you will leave your comfort zone, leave your place to go to the person’s place.
Therefore, this author is saying a person who shall visit God in his abode, a person who shall go to God. Going somewhere requires an effort on the person’s part, going some requires activity on the person’s part. This type of faith requires an input from the believer.
3. Seeking Diligently
This kind of faith also requires seeking. Seek here is said to mean search out. It is like the parable shared by Jesus in the book of Luke that a woman has ten pieces of silver and losses one, he light candle and started searching for the lost silver.
“Either what woman having ten pieces of silver, if she lose one piece, doth not light a candle, and sweep the house, and seek diligently till she find it?” (Luk 15:8)
Our part in this kind of faith is that we shall diligently search out the Lord so that what he has in stock for us would become ours’.
In this part of the world some people believe in some local charms which they said it enhances Intelligent Quotients, thus such people after possessing something like this would abandon their books, would not study it but would be expecting to do well in the examination hall.
Some of them have forgotten that there are differences between kindergarten and secondary (high) Schools.
On another note, there are some believers here (this part of the world), who would be imitating some people, they would say the person despite spending hours in church or fellowships yet are making it academically, in fact some preachers have brain-washed some naïve people because they want youths in their nascent churches and ministries and would tell them lies, saying that if they can use their entire time for God, God would do theirs’ too and they won’t fail. They often use Daniel as examples for them that Daniel purported in his heart and he was ten times better than others. They forgot that though Daniel and the three others purported to follow God’s laws but that doesn’t stop them from studying the books of the Medians and Persians for which the king has separated them for.
We must be wiser than the devil and the enemies thus, apostle Paul while counselling one of his spiritual sons, Bishop Timothy encourages him to study to be approved.
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Ti. 2:15)
Study in Greek is “σπουδάζω”, Romanized form is spoudazō (pronounced as spoo-dad'-zo) which implies make effort, be prompt, be earnest, endeavor, labor.
If a Bishop could be encouraged to labor, to make effort at studying how much more those of us who are in academics setting. I think Apostle Paul should have said unto Timothy that he should labor to always go to the mountain to pray, he should always make effort to resort to the wilderness to commune with his heavenly father on the sheep he has committed into his hands, but he did not say this, what he says is “Study to shew thyself approved” unto God and by extension unto man.
He was saying that he should let his conscience be clean on doing the right thing for the progress and expansion of the gospel.
May I add this here too that it is worrying in my land that there are preachers who do not take time to study the word of God, that is why there are so many wishy-washy preachers all around, they take hook-line-and-sinker whatsoever any prominent minister of the Gospel has told them without seeking to know like the Bereans whether those words were true.
“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews.
“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Act 17:10-11)
As Pastors and or preachers, we are encouraged to study to show ourselves approved, as believers we are encouraged to show ourselves approved unto the Lord and men. As students we are encouraged to do the same thing, we shouldn’t ignore our books and after failing saying it is how God wants it. We need to be wiser than the enemies.
In our Relationship
To make our relationship work either spiritual or physical, whether love relationship or other relationship we should know that we have a major role to play. The place of communication should not be ignored neither substituted with other things, the position of studying the likes and dislikes of our partner should be paid attention to, for it is when we know our partner’s likes and dislikes that we can really say we have started relationship.
This proverb would be true of a partner who has studied his or her partner but for someone who hasn’t studied his partner how would the person know what his or her partner hates. This wouldn’t be done by God for us we are the ones who will do this by ourselves.
In our Careers (or Ministries)
We have a part to play in making appreciable progress in our careers and or ministries. Apostle Paul in his epistles to the Corinthians says, “covet earnestly the best gifts”. It means covet the best thing, covet to become the best in all your endeavors.
“But covet earnestly the best gifts: and yet shew I unto you a more excellent way.” (1 Co 12:31)
Greek word for covet is “ζηλόω”, Romanized form of it is zēloō (phonetic spelling is dzay-lo'-o) which means have warmth feeling for, desire, be jealous over.
We should desire to have some things in life, we should desire to take our careers, our ministries to enviable heights. And while desiring for something we shall keep those things in our hearts because we desire to have them, in addition to this we shall put those things into prayers. That is what God wants from us, that is what the apostle is saying here.
Take a cue from the incident that happened to the man called Zacchaeus in the bible, because he desires to see Jesus, he gave it all it takes to see him. That is what it means. When we desire for progress for us, when we desire to change our status, we shall give it all it legally takes to achieve the feat, a failure or initial set backs won’t push us back from achieving what is in our minds. Our limitations would be worked upon to ensure that we achieve our dreams.
We know from the documentations about Zacchaeus that there are several things that could have hindered him from seeing Jesus, he was short, mammoth crowd was before him, he was not liked in the society because of extortions and so on, but all those he never allowed to prevent him from seeing Jesus and when his desire was fulfilled he became saved.
Many because of some failures they couldn’t make progress again in what they wanted to do, those failures should be turned to our stepping stones. A man says, when we fail in a thing it means our preparation was faulty and we should go back to the drawing board, re-map our strategies and launch it again.
In Security: An incident happened in the book of Esther chapter two which points us to the fact that we have a part to play in the security of our lives, businesses, environments, and so on.
King Ahasuerus has been living in his palace and kingdom without issues and he believed all was well because he was satisfying everyone to the very best of his knowledge and thuse he never envisaged that there could be some people who ciuld be seeking for his death, there were people who could raise feet and leg against him, those who wanted to take the kingdom off him by force.
“In those days, while Mordecai sat in the king's gate, two of the king's chamberlains, Bigthan and Teresh, of those which kept the door, were wroth, and sought to lay hand on the king Ahasuerus.
“And the thing was known to Mordecai, who told it unto Esther the queen; and Esther certified the king thereof in Mordecai's name.
“And when inquisition was made of the matter, it was found out; therefore they were both hanged on a tree: and it was written in the book of the chronicles before the king.” (Est. 2:21-23)
Despite not knowing this, when the news about some people who wanted to overthrow him was brought to his attention he did not push the information aside to mean nothing as some people used to do, but he sets up panel to look into the matter and after the matter was discovered to be true he passed judgment on those people according to the law of the land.
Some people today do not pay attention to their security, all they would be saying is God is there, Holy Spirit is there, the angels of God are at work. Yes, they are at work but when an intelligent information is received it shouldn’t be swept under the carpet. Assuming Apostle Paul swept the news of his nephew under the carpet it is sure that he would be killed by the enemies.
“And when Paul's sister's son heard of their lying in wait, he went and entered into the castle, and told Paul.
“Then Paul called one of the centurions unto him, and said, bring this young man unto the chief captain: for he hath a certain thing to tell him.
“So he took him, and brought him to the chief captain, and said, Paul the prisoner called me unto him, and prayed me to bring this young man unto thee, who hath something to say unto thee.
“Then the chief captain took him by the hand, and went with him aside privately, and asked him, what is that thou hast to tell me?
“And he said, The Jews have agreed to desire thee that thou wouldest bring down Paul to morrow into the council, as though they would enquire somewhat of him more perfectly.
“But do not thou yield unto them: for there lie in wait for him of them more than forty men, which have bound themselves with an oath, that they will neither eat nor drink till they have killed him: and now are they ready, looking for a promise from thee.
“So the chief captain then let the young man depart, and charged him, See thou tell no man that thou hast shewed these things to me.” (Act 23:16-22)
This write-up is not talking about those pastors who use entourage and hired several guards to guard them. What I am saying here is that when we have information that our security is being threatened, or maybe the security of our children and other people we know is threatened, we should be proactive about it, after committing those to prayer if need be to contact the necessary authorities, security personnel of the country, or state or region we shouldn’t hesitate to do that, for by doing that we shall show that we are wise children of God.
From the few points shared here,
We shall discover that we all have a role to play in ensuring that what we aspire to become in life we become, God has his role to play no doubt about that, and he will not leave his roles without being attended to, it is some of us who ignore our roles in this matter but instead of acknowledging that we have ignored our roles, we often lay the blame at the feet of God and his Jesus, this shouldn’t be. It is true that God is all in all and he can do all things without our supports, but from the time of Adam and Eve has he been involving man in duties and what relates to man so that he would not look like authoritarian.
© 2020 OLUSEGUN