Tag Archives: Equipped

5 Steps Towards Greatness (Part IV) – The Test

The pyramid of Khephren (Khafre)Having being equipped and prepared for the purpose to which we have been called, the final hurdle we all have to overcome prior to being chosen by God onto greatness is the test of our faithfulness and readiness. Even Jesus was not exempt from the readiness and faithfulness test. Indeed, the bible tells us that He was led into the wilderness by the Holy Spirit to be tempted (tested) by the devil (Matthew 4:1). It was not until after He passed that test in the wilderness that He was released onto His ministry. How do we know this? We know because the bible tells us that Jesus began to preach the gospel of the kingdom for the first time only after departing to Galilee –  after His wilderness experience (Matthew 4:17).

Just in case you think the Test only applies to Jesus who was both man and God, I want to assure you that this applies to ordinary men. Elisha was an ordinary man who was put to the test before he became a prophet. After calling Elisha to walk with him for years, Elijah suddenly told Elisha to no longer follow Him. In essence, Elijah was telling Elisha that their journey together was done (2 Kings 2:2)! I can only imagine what Elisha was thinking at the time. I imagine it may have been the following:

‘I can’t believe this guy. After I have served him faithfully for years, now he is just dumping me…especially after I left my family and my livelihood behind’.

Elisha could have chosen to depart in rage, BUT he did not and so passed the test of faithfulness. Later, when the sons of the prophets for lack of better words said ‘dude, your master is about to leave you man, why don’t you just go home?’ Elisha did not despair or say in his heart: ‘these guys are like top notch Christians, I will listen to them’. No! Instead, Elisha told them to hush their mouths (see 2 Kings 2:3)! See, Elisha was ready to follow Elijah wherever he went and so continued following him. For this, Elisha was rewarded with the mantle of prophet and a double portion of Elijah’s spirit.

What does all this tell us? It lets us know that a hefty reward is the end of our readiness to follow Jesus to wherever He leads us…even if it is towards the wilderness. It lets us know that a prize follows our dogged determination to stay faithful to Him no matter how great the temptation. Thus, we have to start taking a look at tests and temptation differently. Rather than wail and gnash our teeth at another attack from the devil, we ought to look at it as a last ditch attempt by a frantic enemy to keep us from the blessing that God wants to shower upon us. But here is the thing, the devil cannot stop us from greatness since we have been equipped with the Holy Spirit – the very power that conquered the grave and put the devil underfoot. Therefore, tests of the wilderness (where trials and tribulation abound) and of temptation should simply strengthen our resolve to push through by the grace (power) of God.

It is when we pass the readiness and faithfulness test that God says ‘okay, I can choose this one for his/her love for me does not flick on and off like a light switch’. You see, the bible tells us that many are called but few are chosen (Matthew 22:14). If we want to be chosen, we have to pass the test. In order to pass the test, we have to be equipped with the One who has never failed. In order not to fail at what we do, what we choose to do must be what God has called us to do!

Food for Thought: You have to pass the test in order to get the best

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5 Steps Towards Greatness (Part II) – Equipped

The pyramid of Khephren (Khafre)

Having called Jesus to partake of flesh and blood in order to reconcile mankind to Him, God did not simply leave Jesus to his own devices. He did not say “Alright Jesus, I called you and you have answered My call. Now, go do what I have asked you to do in your own strength”. No! God ensured He granted Jesus with the ability to carry out the purpose for which He was born; He empowered Jesus and equipped Him with the secret weapon of the Holy Spirit.

Just as there is no point in your boss telling you to cut a tree down without furnishing you with an axe or saw, there is no point knowing the purpose for which you were created without being furnished with the ability to complete your task. The same God who has called you will without fail equip you with the ability to carry out the task He has given you.

Therefore, we do not have to worry about how we can ever accomplish what at times may seem like the mountainous task before us. God knows we cannot do it on our own power; that is why He deposited the Holy Spirit inside of us to strengthen and empower us.

Even so, many of us ignore the very key to victory (the Holy Spirit) on our journey but instead ramble about the place trying to accomplish the purpose to which we have been called in our own power. Alas, this is akin to trying to trying to fight an enemy without putting on our armor; it is foolishness at best. Our failure to utilize the Holy Spirit or yield to the Holy Spirit’s direction is the primary reason we stumble and fall. Should we stumble and fall, unfortunately, too many of us start to question the call of God on our lives and we simply give up. In essence, we give up on God and spend our time chasing all those things that keeps us busy and may even bring us great material wealth but at the end of the day still leaves us empty!

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: To be great, we must utilize the tool of the Holy Spirit.

See,  since God wants us to accomplish His purpose His way, and the only way we can do this is by listening to the voice of the Lord spoken through the Holy Spirit within us (see John 16:13), we must always leave room for the Holy Spirit to operate in our lives. We must learn to obey that voice that tells us to act in a way that will NOT violate the principles, statutes, and character of God.

Lightbulb MomentLight-bulb moment: The equipping is God’s responsibility, but the use of the equipment is our responsibility.

Anything other than abiding in the Holy Spirit is folly! When Moses decided he knew better than God when he struck the rock instead of speaking to the rock, it ended up costing him the joy of entering into the promise land. When Solomon decided he was no longer going to heed the voice of the Lord not to engage in wedlock with non-believers, it ended up costing him the kingdom and his peace of mind. When the Man of God decided to take a detour from the path God had laid out in front of him, it cost him his life (see 1 Kings 13:11-30)!

Thus it is clear. We must refuse the urge to answer the call of God on our life in our own strength for doing this is dangerous business! Rather, we must allow for the equipping (empowerment) of the Spirit and then walk in step with Him as He leads!

“But the Lord said to me: ‘Do not say I am a youth’, for you shall go to all to whom I send you, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. – Jeremiah 1:7

Power Thought: My God who calls me will also give me the ability to fulfill my calling and lead me aright; He is with me and will not allow me to falter.

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