Today I want to start by stating something that may sound like a cliché, especially for us believers.
That everything our God does is for a reason. Everything in His design has its own end. His commands, His deeds… everything that has its origin in God has an object, and a reason for being how and where it is. It’s supposed to exhibit something; to tend to something with a higher purpose. His deeds are ordained to answer to His original design for them. But our capacity for freewill often makes us miss out on this design.
And so for the next ten days, we’re going to look into this purpose, and more so with regards to the abundance that we’re launching into the deep for, this year. We need to know how we’re supposed to behave when we get to that level. Because God isn’t going to bless us for the mere sake of it or simply because we asked for it? There’s a purpose beyond our own interests. God expects something of us at that level?
And so to start off on our series this month which we’re calling the Test of Abundance, we’re going to look at a text we read last month on DAY 3 of Launching in to the Deep: Luke 5:4-7. And Luke says, towards the end of the text, that after they had launched into the deep as the Lord had commanded, they caught a great multitude of fish and called out to those in other ships. They beckoned unto them to join in and load the fish into their own boats. And this is where I want us to put our focus on because therein lies the perfect domino effect of a believers life. They needed a catch, and the Lord gave them a condition, a command to launch into the deep. And they obeyed and got their hearts desires.
But does it end there? No! Verse 7 carries a test. The Test of Abundance whose results are hinged on how they do in that test.
And Simon knows better than to keep everyone else from the limelight. He knows better than to hoard the blessings all to himself. He beckons the other ships to join in!
And this is where we fail most as believers. We pray for blessings, we pray for abundance, and the Lord is gracious enough to invite us into His secret places of abundance. He opens the seasons of abundance to us. But what do we do with it? We fail the test! We get excited. We become selfish. We forget how we were in the previous season and those who’re where we were back then. We want the limelight all to ourselves.
We want everybody to see how different things are for us that we forget there is a higher purpose for what God bestows upon us. We forget that everything that has its origin in God has a purpose. An original design to which we must subscribe.
And I want us to reflect and ask ourselves today; Are we failing the test? Are we missing out on the end goal of our blessings?
What is the purpose of what God is doing for us? May we learn to look beyond the edges of our own needs this year. To notice and beckon unto the next man or woman to join in on what the Lord is going to do for us this year.
When I was a Sunday school teacher, I had a dream where I saw before my eyes a structure like a table that had the shape of Kenya, comprising very fertile soil that had terraces with many eggs lined up like in an incubator, waiting to hatch. One of the children in my Sunday school class was with me. A lady who stood next to me asked me, “Does this child know how to talk?” I responded in the negative. Pointing at the eggs she told me that even if the child doesn’t speak, she should be told all the prophecies about the revival God was saying would break out in Kenya because when they grow up they will remember.”
Around the year 2012, God had given a prophecy that Kenya will be the lighthouse of Africa and the springboard of revival to the whole world. God wanted the children to be informed of these great plans as they would also be involved in the revival that would run for the next 20 years. As represented by the incubated eggs, the children are the future of the church and God wants them to be molded in godly ways by their parents because there is no time to repeat to them when they are grown the things God taught their parents. The eggs also showed the revival that was about to hatch in kenya as prophesied. The bible fully supports this as in the scripture below: 13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. 15 Assuredly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will by no means enter it.” 16 And He took them up in His arms, laid His hands on them, and blessed them.
(Mark 10:13-16 NIV Bible)
Our small church in the village in the 20s would hold missions in the church or attend conferences in other churches that would invite us to minister a whole week in which we would hold morning devotional prayers, go for door to door evangelism , hold open air crusades and hold revival services in the evening from seven to nine. As our church didn’t have many members, we always allowed the children to carry out various tasks and even sing in the services. We would also go with them for outside missions.
Later, God opened for us international doors of evangelism. The first one was in Rwanda but we had planned to leave behind the children because of the high cost of travel and other logistics like acquiring the passports. Amazingly, through revelations, God insisted that He wanted them onboard. We had no choice but to obey our master. We carried eight children, one of them barely a year old. God loves children and this became clear to us when we travelled in a bus that was half full from Nairobi to Kampala Uganda. The children played in the back cabin of the bus and it looked like we had hired the bus. We involved them in the Rwanda mission and they were really joyous.
While we were there the women marveled at our going with children to every service and they opened up to us that they never carried their children to church. In fact the only children in those services were from our side. They had always thought children a bother and therefore would always leave them at home. They promised to be taking children with them to church and for sure they kept their word because when our pastor visited the church later, she found many children in the church service. That’s when it dawned on us why God had wanted us to go with the children. Their presence would prove to the church that children are useful in the house of God. 15 But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant 16 and said to Him, “Do You hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes. Have you never read, ‘Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise’?”
(Matthew 21:15-16 NIV Bible)
God wants children to be part and parcel of the church ministry. One time I had the mandate to program the leaders of church and fellowship service. Sometimes I would lack someone willing to conduct the service or prayers and I would end up taking double or multiple roles. One time God impressed upon me that any time an adult declined to lead in the service, I should call upon a child to do it. God always released His grace at such times and the child in question would do a good job and therefore get motivated.
Another time we went to Uganda for a mission and again God required we carry the children. We managed to get fare from Kenya to Uganda but were left with nothing for the return fare. The very last day of mission was on a Sunday and still we hadn’t garnered any money for bus fare back to Kenya. Then a miracle happened during the Sunday service! The Sunday school from Kenya was presenting and one by the name Vickie struggled to release herself from the aunt. She was at the age of crawling. The struggle was so fervent that the aunt surrendered and the child crawled to the altar. She stood up holding onto one of the other bigger children, cried for the microphone and as the others sang, she too mumbled only God knows what. This action excited the church so much that they started blessing the Sunday school group with lots of money that they threw to the altar. That’s the money we used for fare back to Kenya; provided by God through a child. I don’t want to imagine what would have happened had we left the children behind. Then He took a little child and set him in the midst of them. And when He had taken him in His arms, He said to them, 37 “Whoever receives one of these little children in My name receives Me; and whoever receives Me, receives not Me but Him who sent Me.”
(Mark 9:36-37 NIV Bible)
In another instance, some children from a neighbor in our plot would visit my son in our house but sometimes I would send them away because they were violent and had vulgar language, of course picked from the mother who had a habit of insulting them. God warned me against sending them away and required I teach them that fighting and insulting are bad. When I did this, I would come from work and the children would run to me saying, “Mama Edmund, umuthi nii ndinarumana” ‘Edmund’s mother, I didn’t insult anybody at all today. The mother would also hear such testimonies from the children and she too stopped the insults and later got born again. We should receive all children especially our children’s friends, and if any has a wayward behavior, we should try to correct it as well as pray for them and their families.
Moreover, a child namely Victor was always last in academic performance in my son’s class. Their teacher employed a strategy where she marched the bright with the low performers. My son was marched with Victor. When my son told me this, I was struck by the name Victor and wondered how your name can pronounce victory yet you be last in performance. We prayed for Victor with my son because we realized his intellect had been stolen by the devil, the greatest thief of all thieves. After sometimes as my son continued supporting Victor in studies, Victor’s performance shot up to an extent that in one paper, he defeated my son who was always top of the class. The Lord had delivered him from intelligence snatchers. God cares about our children’s performance in school.
During this period of the Covid 19 pandemic, I dreamt having gone to my friend’s home and marveled at seeing her children’s complexion turned yellowish. I was shocked when she told me that since Covid 19 broke out, five months down the line, the children had remained indoors. I told her that is very wrong because they needed vitamin D for the strength of their bones. I advised her to be taking them for a walk outside every now and then. In other words, God is concerned with how we bring up our children; it should be healthy in all aspects.
God really cares for children and they are always in the deep of His heart. He expects us to not only love and hold them with tender care but also involve them in relevant events in the kingdom of God. Peoples’ Problems is my Business
On the third day there was a wedding in Cana of Galilee, and the mother of Jesus was there. 2 Now both Jesus and His disciples were invited to the wedding. 3 And when they ran out of wine, the mother of Jesus said to Him, “They have no wine.” 4 Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does your concern have to do with Me? My hour has not yet come.” 5 His mother said to the servants, “Whatever He says to you, do it.” (John 2:1-5 NKJV Bible)
Jesus’s time to serve has come but this understanding has been understood by the mother only. Therefore, Jesus goes to the wedding to enjoy and then go home just like everybody else. However, His mother who has all along known the ministry to which Jesus is called knows that it’s the time for Jesus to start His work. She therefore goes right ahead and calls on the disciples to follow Jesus’s instructions.
When Jesus realizes the weight of the matter described by the mother, He executes it out rightly, and thus accomplishes His first miracle of turning water into wine; choice wine that was better than the one they had drunk, therefore solving a problem in people’s lives of inadequate refreshments in a wedding; which if not solved, could have blurred the mood of the day as well as cause embarrassment on the part of the host. He not only brought a solution to a societal problem but also brought glory to Himself and His disciples put their faith in Him.
In the same way, in the last three days I have been going to the Ministry of Lands because an elderly friend of mine require my assistance in pursuing a leasehold for her land. This friend of mine has had spinal problems and therefore I assist her here and there to pursue errands. Therefore, initially I thought it would be a smooth ride; we finish with the requirements, get the leasehold and go home!
Fortunately or unfortunately as it turned out, we did not have an easy time. The land officer was attending a land board in a different place and nobody knew when he would come. We therefore waited the whole day to no avail. In the evening, we were so frustrated that the zeal I had to help was drained; therefore I wasn’t willing to take my friend the following day unless we were sure the land officer would come. My friend had left behind her contacts so that they would call her when the officer came.
That night I heard in my spirit someone telling another or others, “Kai tutangithii twendie mugunda ucio?” ‘Why can’t we go and sell that land?’ These words brought me to full alertness. The situation in the country is such that there is so much corruption surrounding land; some people even acquiring counterfeit title deeds or leasehold and then selling peoples’ land. I therefore knew there were some rotten things the devil was planning. I prayed fervently until God assured me of victory and His mercies through a song He put in my spirit, ” Mtetezi wangu, yuaishi leo, mtetezi, wangu yu hai” That is, ‘My redeemer lives’ I thus called my friend and we agreed to go the following day without waiting for the call from the officers.
The next day wasn’t easy either. We waited from 9a.m.to 1 p.m. yet the officer hadn’t come. I then remembered a dream where I had seen the actual building where we were. In the dream, the building had been depicted as being so dirty with muddy waters on the stairs and I was to wash it clean. This made me realize the reason why God wanted me there. My business was to wash away the spiritual dirt that overshadowed the Ministry of Lands. People use stairs to go to the offices for services. In a government office, except for the legally set charges, the services should be offered free of charge as the officers are paid by the government. The process (stairs), of acquiring these services has; however, been marred by grand corruption: bribery, favoritism, delayed services etc.
I thus repented for all the frustration, oppression and even bloodshed that have ever been meted out on the innocent people by corrupt greedy officers who ask for bribes before they serve you and also relatives who, led by their selfishness, plan and execute annexing of their land with that of their brothers and sisters. The innocent souls cry to God day and night and this grieves the Holy Spirit thus making that institution appear dirty in the eyes of God.
After thorough prayer of repentance and deliverance, the officer came at 1p.m.and we were served promptly. In the third day, we waited in another section of the ministry and we were served in the evening 6pm. just because we refused to offer bribes.
I realized that whenever God takes us, there is both our business and God’s business to be carried out. If you don’t recognize this, you go through uncalled for trouble that makes you wonder why you are in the kingdom of God yet still struggling. We work in partnership with God. We should command the kingdom of God with its power to every place we go and as a result it will be easy for us.
In a nutshell my dear brethren, we carry the river of life that should go cleansing the dirty evil society we live in. We must manifest the healing, delivering and saving power of the kingdom of God to His creation. Just like Jesus, our main task is to go into the world to deliver God’s creation, as exemplified by the scripture below: 18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. 19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. (Romans 8:18-22 NKJV Bible)
This will in turn bring glory to God and cause spiritual breakthrough in our lives. You clean better than anyone else!
Which Work do you do in the church? Is there some work you despise and think others should do it but not you? Before I got born again, I thought some work like cleaning the house was lowly and therefore I left it to my house help. I made a mistake of carrying the same attitude to the church upon getting saved.
There is this one Sunday when I found my lady pastor and her husband cleaning the altar seats as well as sweeping the earthen floor in our village church. I didn’t find anything wrong with them doing the work, though I wondered where they had been on Saturday for they should have done it then to avoid consuming time for church service. I dismissed them as disorganized and time unconscious. Of course I could see my lady pastor feeling embarrassed that they were cleaning as the church members sat waiting for them to finish and begin the service. Little did I know that the work of cleaning the house of God was mine. I had a bachelor degree and teaching in high school; so, I couldn’t imagine that such work can be done by people of my calibre.
After feeding on the Word of God and attending a seminar( actually, God spoke to me in a dream that I should attend that seminar for it was being hosted by a different church, and there we were taught about being faithful stewards even in tough times), I became alert about serving God. This commitment was also prompted further when I started experiencing dreams of the church and it’s compound being dirty. I started cleaning it every Saturday and any time I failed to clean, I would be shown in a dream the dirty compound and that would require I wake up early on Sunday and do it before service.
When I left that church after relocating to another town, I prayed to find out in what area I should serve in the church; and again, God impressed upon me in a dream that part of the work I should do there was cleaning the church. Of course there was a lady employed to do the work but God wanted me there. The take was that I would wash the church and in turn God would show me revelations, some pertaining to the church, others personal and others concerning other individuals. After washing for one year, God showed me in a dream that it was time to pursue my masters degree; a promise He had made to me some 6 years back. Thus, doing God’s work opens for us doors of blessings that the devil has closed for along time.
I later moved to the city and this time round I didn’t want to continue washing the church because I was doing my masters at the university, therefore I thought that I should be relieved of the task. So, I didn’t ask God about it. I then had a dream where I was told that I am tired of cleaning the altar. I ignored this for sometime but when other dreams persisted on the same I had to pray for the Grace of God that I accept the task. It was impressed upon me in a dream that I am the one who washes the church thoroughly, better than anyone else. Actually, my personality is such that I am conscious of even the finest dirt and I always go out of my way to clean it, even in contexts outside the church.
Any time I wasn’t available and someone else washed the altar, God would show me in a dream some places not attended, that were dusty, and sure enough, come Sunday, I would see traces of dust in various places, and of course feel embarrassed.
When churches were closed due to the novel Covid 19 epidemic, I too decided to take a leave in washing the church altar, but then I saw in a dream, the church altar having black ant soil on the edges of the carpet, and this impressed upon me that I had to continue washing. And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, 12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, 13 till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ;
(Ephesians 4:11,12 NKJV Bible)
In short, there is a task that God wants to entrust a particular person with because God has endowed them with the right skill or God is pleased only when it’s done by that person. Some work is prestigious and can even make one a celebrity, but others are usually looked down upon but God expects us to attend them diligently without complaining. But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay, some for honor and some for dishonor. 21 Therefore if anyone cleanses himself from the latter, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified and useful for the Master, prepared for every good work.
(2 Timothy 2:20 NKJV Bible)
This photo of Irene was taken on Saturday, the 16th of May, 2020, during the washing of a local church altar I challenge you to find out what work God wants you to be doing and God will not only release His grace to do it but also bless you out of it. I completed my Masters in Linguistics but I continue washing the altar of God, and God loves it that way. Sanctify yourself for God’s work even when people don’t acknowledge you, because, more importantly, God will honor you. God bless you as you search out the service God wants you to render in His kingdom. Dead Ministries The Power of the Cross of Jesus Christ The Great Commission