TEXT: Hosea 10:12
“Plant the good seeds of righteousness and you will reap a crop of my love; plow the hard ground of your hearts, for now is the time to seek the Lord, that he may come and shower salvation upon you” (The Living Bible).
When we set our hearts to seek the face of God; to fast and be in his presence and to intensify our relationship with him, it starts from the heart. It is a time of heart softening. It is very easy to develop a hard heart. Every issue of life proceeds from the heart and that is why we need to always look inwards.
In Amos 5:4, seeking God is equated to living, “Seek me-and live”. It means anyone not seeking God is dying and not really living. Naturally, the world seeks after mammon the god of this world; everyone is in the rat race of seeking and chasing money. The world seeks power, fame, popularity, pleasure, pride of life, lust of the flesh, material acquisition (building the tower of Babel) and so on. Some of these things are legitimate in themselves. For instance, it is not a sin to make money, what is sinful is making money your god. This is where the catch is; you cannot serve God and mammon, whatever you are chasing has become your idol and whatever you chase will always be ahead of you. If you seek the lower things of this earth, you may get them, but you would have derailed from the original blue print of God for your life.
God didn’t create man to chase things; he created man after his image and likeness for worship; to value and reverence him and to do his will. It is distortion, seduction and deception that makes man abandon God in order to seek other things. Jesus captures it succinctly in Matt. 6:33, “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” Jesus is saying that the primary thing you should seek is the kingdom of God and his righteousness and other things will be given to you. What are you really seeking first in life? What is your priority in life? God is orderly and he knows where we place him in the order of things in our lives. What you are seeking is what people see first in you. Jesus left us with a rhetorical question in Mark 8:36, “What shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” The lives of many are structured in such a way that they will end up pursuing money to the grave and whoever chases money to the grave has missed God. This is the way of the world. Some people even enter into terrible agreements with hell just because they want to make it here.
There are three things you need to prioritize if you want to chase God: Money (career/business, profession and so on), family and God. This is the order of things in the lives of many but this is definitely not the scriptural order. Money is a store of value; a medium of exchange so you need it to run the family, some people even say that money is their life. Money is important but where do you place it in your heart? What is wrong is to seek money first. It is a twisted order when your place your career or other pursuits first. It is good to have money but don’t ever allow money to have you, never you let money take the place of God in your heart; be a God chaser and not a money chaser.
For some the order is – Family, money and then God; in both orders God occupies the third position. Some people run the model of – family, God and money; family occupies the first place in their heart. For some others it is God, money and then family. A lot of people run this model; they chase ministry, make a lot of money which they use to service their family. In this order, the family is the casualty. If the order is not right, something must suffer; some families have money but they also have issues which money cannot solve just because they put the place the family in a wrong place.
What then is the right order? – God, Family and money/business/career/ profession. If you get it right, God will bless you; God does not bless anything that is out of order. The blessing of God maketh rich and does not add any sorrow. Family is the foundation of the Church. God established family before the Church; some men of God forget this sometimes. It is very easy to pursue ministry and forget the family. Unfortunately, they pay dearly for this because the devil knows how to capitalize on it; steps in and begins to exert, leading sometimes to divorce. This happens because of the violation of the law of attention; your family needs attention and what you cultivate is what you will harvest. You need to learn to fence off the snake from every garden.
You must have a right standing relationship with God. If you are God focused, it will radiate through you. It is important for it to flow and the family altar will be a rallying point that connects your family to God; it will be a connection between heaven and your home, it will form a ladder through which angels will descend and ascend. The presence of God will abide in the home of those who enthrone God. One of the most difficult things to do today is to raise godly children in a sinful world. How can you do this if your family is dislocated? It is time to seek God; it is time to repair the family altar, it is time to give God the primary place in our hearts, it is time to enthrone God and bring other things to submission to his will. It is time to align with his purposive will for our destiny. It is time to seek God.
Symptoms of derailment from God
- Time to seek God is the time when you notice poor spiritual attitude, for example, praying with lack of feeling or faith, praying with a worldly mind. You know the importance of prayer but you pray without passion; your lips are praying but your heart is not involved. It is easy to get carnal even in the place of prayer. That is the time to seek God. When God is your focus; as you open your mouth, your heart is already connected. What you say will be what is flowing from the connection with God. God becomes so real to you that everything around you wanes.
- It is time to seek God when you notice lack of love for the souls of fellow men. A lot of things are going on in the Church today that are not soul based. We are not called to be empire builders; the Babylonian mentality has encroached into the Church. You don’t need the biggest auditorium before you can touch lives. How many cathedrals did Jesus build? Today, technology has made it easy to reach the world easily with the gospel. Let’s return to soul winning and transforming lives.
-Lord, please help me to prioritize; help me to do the right things at the right time and help me to have the right order of things in my life. Do not allow my life to be out of order, don’t allow my life to be out of sync with your programme in the name of Jesus.
-Help me to locate myself in line with your original blueprint for my life in the name of Jesus.
-Deliver me from poor spiritual attitude, help me O God and remove carnality far from me in the name of Jesus.
-Lord, restore to my heart the love for the souls of fellow men in the name of Jesus. Lord, recreate my heart to love the souls of men; help me O God to be a soul winner in Jesus’ name.
Look at your friends and relatives and remember how little compassion you have felt for them. You have stood by and watched them going right to hell. It is time to return to biblical Christianity. Don’t major on minor. The Bible says, “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever” Dan. 12:3. If you are not winning souls, you are not wise according to Prov. 11:30B.
- Lord, I bring repentance; I am sorry, I acknowledge that I have not done well in the area of soul winning. Please have mercy on me; I am sorry for neglecting the souls of fellow men. Everywhere around me is a ripe harvest, Lord I am sorry for not posting souls to my account in heaven, please have mercy on me and help me to return to doing your will right at the centre of your heart. May I never deviate again. Put the hunger for winning souls in my heart in Jesus’ name.
3. Lack of concern for unbelievers. If you don’t have concern for souls you cannot have concern for unbelievers.
4. The sin of hypocrisy. Do you deny yourself the luxuries of life in order to be able to be at the centre of God’s will? Are you willing or unwilling to subject yourself to any inconvenience in order to save the lost? Do you pray for them daily in private? Are you praying with the correct attitude? Hypocrisy is nothing but presenting yourself for who you are not. One of the signs that the Church is in dire need of revival is that many people no longer go the extra mile to do things that do not directly benefit them; at the back of the mind of many is ‘what is in it for me’. A lot of believers no longer go the extra mile to do things in the house of God. Something is seriously wrong. When was the last time you went out of your way to stretch; to leave your comfort zone in order to do the will of God? If there is any time to seek God; it is now! We need to break the fallow ground; soften our hearts which have become very hardened and so impervious and insensitive. A lot of believers are living in a kingdom that does not exist, meanwhile we are called to be seekers of God and his righteous kingdom. We need to repent.
- Lord, we are sorry, have mercy on your Church. Your Church is in dire need of revival and restoration, please remove every trace of hypocrisy, remove every trace of hardness of heart and insensitivity, remove every trace of pride and self arrogation that take people farther away from you.
- Father, please have mercy on your Church and help us to be broken. Help us O God to soften our hearts so that we can receive your word like children, act on your word and fulfil your mandate for our destinies. May we not miss you, in Jesus’ name.
- Help us O God to begin to pant after your presence for it is only in your presence can we find fulfillment. Help us to realize that we need you more than we even realize. Thank you faithful God, in Jesus’ name.
6. We need to return to God when there is neglect of family and private duties. Think of how you have lived, putting yourself before your family. What example have you set before them? A man who is not connected to God cannot give good leadership to his family. If you are not a God chaser there is no how you can direct your family to God; that was why God said I looked for a man and not a woman.
- Lord, revive every family altar; restore your love in homes. Revive every home that is sick in the name of Jesus.
- In any way that I have neglected my family, Father, I am sorry, forgive me and help me, empower me by your spirit never again to neglect my home in the name of Jesus. Thank you mighty God, in Jesus’ name.
Neglect to watch over fellow believers. If you neglect your family how can you watch over fellow believers? The attitude of fellow believers may want to hinder us from fulfilling this mandate, but we must not be discouraged; we must continue to pray for them.
5. Neglect of self denial. If you are not ready to deny self, then you are not ready to be a disciple of Jesus. Jesus said you must deny self and carry your cross and follow me if you want to be my disciple. What is the significance of the cross? Self denial. If you cannot deny yourself of little things, you will never be at the centre of God’s will. Without the cross, there is no Christianity. The cross is the symbol of God’s divine order made for humanity. Take me to the cross and I will find my way home. Anyone who misses the cross will not make heaven. Let’s return to the cross and let’s learn to visit the cross on a daily basis. Let’s learn to connect to God through the cross. Without the cross, there is no grace because the greatest display of grace is the cross. Without the cross, there is no glory; the greatest manifestation of glory is the cross. Without the cross, there cannot be dominion; the greatest display of dominion is the cross. There is the crushing power of the cross of Christ, let’s return to the cross. Let’s acquire sanctified feet that will bruise the head of the leviathan and crush the head of the serpent. May God move in our lives to return in the name of Jesus. Self denial is a major condition for discipleship.
- Lord, help me henceforth to stretch to do your will. Help me Lord, to return to true biblical Christianity in the name of Jesus.
- Lord, I return to the cross and I drop all my weaknesses in exchange for your strength. I drop all my foolishness in exchange for your wisdom; I drop all my defeats in exchange for your victories. I drop all my poverty in exchange for your prosperity. I drop all my failures in exchange for your success; I drop all my selfishness in exchange for your faithfulness. I drop all my neglects in exchange for your commitment in the name of Jesus.
- Grant me the grace O God to walk hand in hand with you. I ask O God that the flow of the precious blood that was shed on the cross will neutralize every evil flow and silence every contrary voice and position me to be fruitful in the name of Jesus.
- Grant me the grace O God to come out of this fast shining and glowing in Christ Jesus.
- Heavenly Father, I ask that you consolidate my walk with you; open my eyes to behold wondrous things from above. Where I am weak O God, strengthen me in the mighty name of Jesus.
- Search my record, where I have not done well this year, Lord, please I ask for augmentation; please, augment my efforts. Jesus I enthrone you as the Rock of my perfection, help me in the name of Jesus. Thank you faithful God in Jesus’ name. Amen!
TO BE CONTINUED…