​Avoiding the Sand of Competition in Running Your Vision Prt. 2

You need to be free to be who God has called you to be in and by Christ Jesus, irrespective of your color, race or creed; for He that called you is able to perfect you if you would trust Him and lean solely and most asurredly upon Him for stregth, motivation and succour Jer.17:5-8. Paul said it this way in 2Cor.10:12 :

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.

13  But we will not boast of things without our measure, but according to the measure of the rule which God hath distributed to us, a measure to reach even unto you. note

14  For we stretch not ourselves beyond our measure, as though we reached not unto you: for we are come as far as to you also in preaching the gospel of Christ:

Paul was saying that He and those with him refuse to compare themselves with other for those who do are just being fools because you can’t go beyond the measure of gift, calling or grace given you in every of your endeavour (this is not to say you don’t engage with it for finess) rather, you are to use this Grace given you, minding the giver who gave you and focusing at the task for which He gave it to you in the first place, then it would grow. 

We see Paul being an example of this, that when the grace was given Him to preach the unsearchable riches of God grace to the gentiles He conferred not with flesh and blood but focused solely on His caller and the calling to which he was called Gal.1:16. At the end it made him a successful apostle who fought the good fight of Faith and finished his course  on the earth in a grand style. You too can have the same outcome if you would run that vision Gods way.

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​Avoiding the Sand of Competition in Running Your Vision

Competition drains, only Grace makes. Whem you focus so much on being or not being like others, you burn out fast, but when you look to Jesus your caller, you are strengthened, renewed snd energized always. So to avoid the sinking sand in our visions and pursuits, we would br examininh thd followong:
1. The sinking sand of Competition Joel 2:

 7  They shall run like mighty men; they shall climb the wall like men of war; and they shall march every one on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks: 

8  Neither shall one thrust another; they shall walk every one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded.

There is something profound about this scripture, something unusually unexpected and yet orderly about it as against the world system where everyone competes frantically with the other person. Rather we see the Lord revealing His secrets to His army(His people). The very thing He reveals is truth because ‘Truth’ from the Lord is the highest form of reality there is; which has the power to make free and keep free, keeping us from the slippery edges of the world’s ditch and positioning us right in the middle ground and high way of success always.

By practically saying to His people; ‘mind your business, stay in your place and you’ll be fine’, God was assuring us that no hurt would come to us and that we would fulfill our course in grand style when we stay in our place in Him.

First, we should note that whatever endeavour we run, is not ours(in the full sense of it) but a God given vision of what He desires on the earth. Thus by entrusting us with this vision or task, He is making us vessels through which He wroughts His signs and wonders in the earth. For we are pencils in His hands, He writes in us and writes through us for others to see Phil.2:13. Thus every vision is to be pursued according to His will, way, approach timing and purpose. You see the enemy of harmony is strife, the enemy of peace is ranchor and ranchor stems from competition and the enemy of vision is rivalry. Competition sucks out your true identity in Christ, drains you of it and super imposes who you are not on you, in other to drown you in carnality and rob you of your divine nature 2Cor.5:12-17.

We are all parts of one whole body (Christ) and if we are to make the most of this life in our various callings and endeavours, we are to stay focused on the one who called us (Jesus Christ) and refuse the alluring of the competing world around us. When this is ensured and preserved, then we’ll see His glory manifest like never before, because when He is exalted His glory is seen.

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​The Sure Foundation on Which to Build your Vision Prt.2

The foundation we speak of is Jesus Christ for He is the rock and our believes, philosophies, strategies, core values and approches in carrying out the vision are the bricks. Now we see the certainty of this Rock in Rom 9:33 “As it is written, Behold, I lay in Sion a stumblingstone and rock of offence: and whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.”
Not Realising this truth, many have side lined their destinies by thinking they could lay another foundation apart from Christ which only leads and has indeed led many unto deaths and tragedies of many kinds. Others think they can lay their bricks apart from the foundation and make them much more important than He. My question to you is this; which side are you one? The God side of Grace or the law side of self righteousness(and self validation). For, by coming up with your own foundations and schemes, you wind up in a position exactly anti-God because you can’t serve God and Mammon (many people think mammon is all about money but it is not. 

Mammon is anything that ‘Has’ you apart from God. Meaning, a persons mammon could be his/her car, or house, or business or an ideology he/she holds so dearly that God cannot correct him/her about. That means the idea has you , rather than you having it under control by the Spirit of God in you. Many people wonder why God is so set against Mammon specifically. The answer is simple, its because mammon directly sets you against God by nursing pride in you. For when a thing has you, you are no more humble towards God, to let Him lead you in that area, rather you are humble towards that things to obey it’s requirements and command and we all know the stance of God when it comes to pride. He resists the proud and gives grace to the humble. We see in Deut.8:11-15, 2Chron.26:15-16, (and many more scriptural references that time wouldn’t permit us to share now) God revealing the flaws of man when they allow things to have them- the end result is usually self destruction.

You see All things were made for man(including Angels Heb.1:13-14) and NOT man for things, thus once things begins to have man immediately prides sets in which makes him an enemy of God because there is nothing we had or have now or would ever have that didn’t first come from God to begin with. Thus the Spirit said through James:

James 4:6 But he giveth more grace. Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.

Do you want to have great grace poured out in your business, career, ministry or any of your endeavours? then build your foundation on Jesus Christ and be pleased to see the unusual happen to you and the everything you lay your hands to do because when you make Him your sure foundation, scriptures says that you would never be ashamed rather you would be pleased to see the unusual happen towards you. For Jesus himself would go to work for you himself Isaiah 64:4. Peter experienced the wonder of this when he made Jesus th foundation of his business.

First at Jesus word he plunged into the deep for a draught and it was a great caught for him but then as he kept following Jesus, from a small town fisher man, God made him a big time international ambassador to the nations of the earth though he was an illiterate  Acts 1, Matt.4;18-19, Matt.16:18.

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​The Sure Foundation on Which to Build your Vision

Are you in search of the sure foundation upon which to build your long desired vision, dream, corporation or ministry? Search no more because a sure foundation has ‘Already’ being set for you, upon which you are expected to build according to pattern. We see this in:

Isa 28:16 Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behol​d, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. 

Isaiah received this revelation and had it written down in prophesy for the generations to come, to note and to know that God had a sure foundation in mind. This sure foundation came to be manifest in Jesus Christ according to 1Cor.3:

11  For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.

12  Now if any man build upon this foundation gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, stubble;

Thus if you are thinking about what theory, philosophy or corevalues would be best for this organization, look no further, for Jesus is your sure foundation. He is your solid rock upon which to build your house or business or career e.t.c. Any other foundation is a sinking sand because the things of this world are ephemeral, temporal and loosing value on a daily basis. Only the things of God appreciates in value on a daily basis, because they are new every morning. 

Jesus spoke a parable in Matt.7:24-27 about the difference in building your house upon the sand or on the rock. The two would certainly be under the same climate change and present to wade through the circumstantial happenings in the community but one came up better, stronger and still standing than the other because of its foundation. Please note that one would stand, because of its foundation, NOT because of its structure.

You know, its interesting to note that the one who built his house on sand might have used bricks and the one who built his house on the rock might have used wood. But notice, Jesus never said anything about what they used in building the house rather He focused on the foundation because in the kingdom of God, it didn’t matter the quality of blocks used when it came to weather conditions, what really mattered was the foundation. The question is,  was it strong enough to hold up the house or not? Was it strong enough to hold the entire structure in place(no matter how rickety it may seem?), was it strong enough to hold the house strong against th whether? The rock was strong enough to hold up the house irrespective of the wavering circumstances around but the sand wasnt!

This goes to tell us one profound truth, that in the kingdom of God, the foundation is more important than the bricks. Get the foundation right and the bricks would fall into place. This system is a linked pattern system which works by link chain. Its just like in mathematics; getting the formula right is what determines your end result. Get the right formula and it’s pattern and you are sure to arrive at the right answer. But get the formula wrong, it doesn’t matter how long you work your calculations, you would always end up with the wrong results over and again. This is a link chain that works with each other effortlessly. The foundation is the formula and the formula is the Key. His Name is Jesus.

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​Conditions by Which we Run Prt.2

4. We are to Lay Aside every weight and sin that easily limits us from running this Race Heb.12:1. This would include, weights of fears and anxieties that slows us down from running the race of faith in its fullest dimension. The sins of unbelieve Rom.14:23 and walking in the flesh rather than in the Spirit. This, Paul referred to in 1Cor.9:17 when he said, I keep my body under and bring it into subjection, Paul was saying that He kept his body under by walking in the Spirit Rom.8:13, 13:14 & Gal.5:16, because when you walk in the Spirit; following after the Spirit of Grace, you cannot fulfil the lust of the flesh. Thus Paul said sin shall not have dominion over you because you are not under the law but under Grace. As we yield to the Holy Spirit He empowers us over sin because we are under the Grace of God Rom.6:14 which teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts, thus teaching us to live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world Tit 2:12. This Grace accomplishes all these in us,  not by our own strength but by stirring us to yield to the Spirit of Grace.

Weights and sins slows down our pace in the race, but rather than focusing on the sin, we are to focus on Jesus Christ the author and finisher of our Faith Heb.12:2, who works in us both to will and do of His good pleasure Phil.2:13. As we expose ourselves to him without holding back, irrespective of our shortcomings, sins and weights would loose their grip over our lives, because it is the perfection of Jesus that swallows up every imperfection and shortcoming in and around our lives, making us bearers of good fruits unto righteousness John15:3-5 & Phil.1:11

5. We are to Run the Race with Patience- Heb.12:1 “… seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us”

It is through Faith and Patience you obtain the promise. If you run a 100metre race for instance and at 50metres you get tired of running, and quit; you have not obtained anything by so doing, rather you just gave up, as you didn’t reach the finish line. But when you focus on the finisher of your faith, (who is Jesus Christ our ultimate prize Heb12:2), with patience and you run the race of Faith, you are sure to get to the finish line and you are sure to obtain the promise. For His strength would perfect you and bring you through. Thus we are advised to be followers of them who through faith and patience obtained the promise Heb.6:12, because their secret was in looking to Jesus, the one who could never fail Rom.4:16-21

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C​onditions by Which we Run

Now that we have identified the Christian race as the Faith Race. It is important to understand the terms and conditions in this race, in other to have better understanding of the Spirit inspired words of Paul’s in 1Cor.9:24-28 .
1. The Faith Race draws assurance, hope and certainty from the Mercies of God and faithfulness of God- Heb.20:23, 11:11 & Rom.9:16 “So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that showeth Mercy”. This Faith race cannot stand alone, rather it relies and depends heavily on the sure (faithful) mercies of God through Jesus Christ to us, because without the mercy of the Lord, we can run without obtaining the promise but through the mercies of God to us in Christ Jesus we are sure to obtain the promise by focusing our faith on His unconditional Mercy towards us Rom.9:22-26 & 11:6-7. For Faith draws strength and assurance from the Mercy of God.

2. You are to run well by obeying the Truth about the Gospel of Grace in Christ Jesus Gal.5:7-“Ye did run well; who did hinder you that ye should not obey the truth?”. How do you know this is true? Well, Paul said it all in Gal.5:1 when He said, “standfast in the liberty wherein Christ has made you free and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.”  

Thus by this admonition we see that Paul was setting the pace for us to understand the pattern and ways we are expected to run the christian race different and separate from the old testament which was heavily dependent on the work of the law. Making it rather obvious that this race is heavily dependent on your obedience to Grace as we see in the succeeding verses of Gal.4: 2-7. Interestingly Gal.1:6-7 & 3:1-3 establishes this truth over and again.

3. We are to run well by holding fast the Word of Life(the words of Grace by Christ Jesus John 6:63 & 68) in sincerity and Truth Phil.2:12-16. 1Tim. 1:5 emphasizes the place of faith unfeigned 1Cor.5:7-8. Thus holding fast to the word of life 2Ti 1:13. Jesus is the one who has the words of life, thus paying attention to Him in His word, boosts our faith. Empowering us to run the faith race well with all sincerity and truth without falsehood. 

To be continued…

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Is the Christian Walk a Race? Prt.2

1Cor.9:24 (KJV) Know ye not that they      which run in a race run all, but one receiveth the prize? So run, that ye may obtain.

Paul according to 1Cor.9:24-28 was explaining the need to go all out in faith, setting ourselves against the flesh, in order to gain mastery of our Christian walk, obtaining the very things that has being prepared for us by God to richly enjoy from this earth unto heaven. For we see the elders all through the old testament obtain a good report in their lives through faith Heb. Heb.11:1-2, 32-33. 

Thus, we now understand that Paul was referring to the race of Faith, which was focused on obtaining the inheritance of God; which is, receiving the promise which God had prepared for us since the foundation of the world through Christ Jesus.

For the Christian life is a faith walk,  focused on Jesus and His word. Requiring that we strip ourselves of all the unnecessary weight of carnality (of self, doubt, fear and unbelieve) that so easily besets). Thus we run the race with one purpose in mind; that we may obtain Gods very best for our lifes. Seeking to obtain all that Jesus came to give us and even beyond our wildest imaginations.

We see more light shed on this truth in 1Tim.6:12 with Paul saying, “fight the good fight of Faith; lay hold on eternal life.”(see also 2Tim.4:7). He was referring to the power of Faith, in other to lay hold on the promises of God, not by competition but by faith. 

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