‘Be patient therefore, brethren , unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Grudge not one against another, brethren, lest ye be condemned: behold, the judge standeth before the door. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering affliction, and of patience. Behold, we count them happy which endure.
Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord; that the Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy’ James 5: 7-11 In dealing with crisis situation we need to learn the important rules of engagement. As this is the most important turn. When things start happening inside the human heart, things begin to change on the outside, depicting that there is a change within. Herein lies the battle between principalities and powers. “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” Eph 6:12. One of the things that satan will enjoy doing is to distract us so that we fight and expend so much energy in what we term spiritual warfare.
By doing this we miss the real target, which is the transformation of the souls of individuals because the goal of the gospel is that men should be saved and come into the knowledge of the truth; not only are they to be saved and their spirits get renewed in their being born again but that there is a complete salvation of their souls. We come into the fullness of the stature of Christ and become mature Christians. So when we speak about “wrestling with principalities and powers”, we should remember that the bible tells us “the weapons of our warefare are not carnal, they are mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds” The target is pulling down strongholds, so you may ask what are strongholds? “Casting down imaginations and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God and bringing into captivity every thought”. This shows that the battle is inside man, the battle of the mind,. “And having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience, when your obedience is fulfilled” 2nd Corint 10: 6. So you can get people involved in things externally without any change occuring in them internally, because the weapon for transformation of the soul is on the inside.
A person can be involved in a lot of exaggerated spiritual activities while the strongholds that shape the behavioural pattern and in turn regulates what goes on within their lives are left unchallenged as these spiritual activities have little effect in the course of their lives. Like the bible says in the book of James, we should be patient unto the coming of the Lord that shall be as the former and the latter rain. The Bible also describes the quality of events and the degree and dimensions of the things that God will do in the life of a person when Jesus Christ appears in the life of any man. “Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ” 1st Peter 1:13. Christ is going to be revealed in our lives, He is always going to show up for us as long we are “patient unto the coming of the Lord”. We need to establish that in whatever situation that may arise in our lives we have to take our minds off the suffering or affliction and focus solely on the Lord. It is the Lord that determines the end game of whatever challenges we face in the situation on ground.
It is understandable that there are times when people might grieve, go through pain be withered or cast down, like Paul says in the scriptures “we are cast down on every side…” but he says after some time, wake up and understand that the end is what truly matters, meaning you have to focus on what the Lord has planned. When we realize that the Lord is full of mercy, we invariably start to seek the end of the matter because of the reassurance that God is at the end of all issues that may arise. We in turn must make a shift from basing our thoughts on the things going on to the end result. Again Paul said ‘our light affliction which is for a moment will produce an eternal weight of glory’ and there is only one way that will happen- while we look not to the things that are seen but we start looking at the things that are not seen, for the things that are seen are temporal. So we should take our eyes off the things that are seen right now and we fix our gaze upon the things that do not readily appear unto men.
Pastor ‘Poju Oyemade