“On your marks… Set… Go!”
These words probably remind you of a competition, especially a race – a “running” competition.
One of the oldest running competitions in athletics and track & field sport events is the sprint. You may have witnessed one at the stadium or on TV or even participated in one yourself. A sprint is a race over a short distance, at top speed, while maintaining one lane on the running track. A professional athlete begins a sprint race by crouching (on his mark), leaning forward (getting set), and moving to an upright position then forward (to go) to the finish line immediately the starter gun is fired.
Apart from the athlete’s skills (stamina, breathing, leg length, speed, etc.), one thing is needed before the race begins – visualization. Before the start command is given, he must conclude the race in his mind; he must visualize himself getting to the finish line first. Nothing else must occupy his mind. Zero distractions! Those minutes before the race and the first few steps after the gun is shot are very crucial to his performance.
Sprints form a befitting analogy for each day in our lives. What do you find yourself doing first thing after you wake up or when your alarm rouses you out of your sweet sleep?
Where a lifetime could be compared to a marathon, a typical 12-18 hour day may be compared to a sprint. That means that the whole life of an individual is a series of sprints i.e. one day after another. We rest at night and wake the following morning to take another sprint.
How do you start your daily “sprint”? This has a strategic effect on your productivity and I think that many Christians today don’t pay particular attention to how they start their day. Jesus Christ was always “on track” and he practiced this principle. Mark 1:35 (NLT) says “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray.”
Now, here’s the problem: A lot of people start off their day wrongly. They miss the most important part of the day. They either rush to the bathroom (in a hurry to get out) or reach for their smart phones to check recent posts on Facebook, or latest replies on WhatsApp or new pings. (I have also made this mistake in the past.) That’s how to get a bad start to a precious new day.
Get in the habit of, first of all, being still before the Father. Stay quiet. Worship God. Pray in tongues. This will help you see what the Lord has for you for that particular day. Many times, I’ve stayed quiet, awake but still in bed, and God would show me what the day would look like or something strategic I needed to do or things I should have done better the previous day. It’s very important that we start each day well. The enemy knows how important this spiritual exercise is and that’s why he’s surreptitiously introducing a new culture into the body of Christ – one of seeking first for social media.
I encourage you, when you wake up in the morning, before you grab your phone and begin discussing with people; stay quiet – be still. Worship and reverence God aloud or in your mind, even before you start to pray. You will be amazed by the great things He will do in your life.
Make every day of your life productive by ensuring you get a good start each day.
You will win!
Tope S. Aladenusi
The lifestyle of many believers today can be likened to an organization’s Finance Manager who has a 2016 goal to donate all the company’s assets to a charity organization in his village. Why do I say so? Your response to these two questions may help determine where your loyalty lies: How many people made a decision to accept Christ last year because of your ministration? What is your plan and prayer regarding soul winning this year?
I Corinthians 6:19-20 (NLT) says “…You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price…” If we truly agree that we do not belong to ourselves, has the one who owns us influenced our plans for the year? The answer to this question can be determined by our current goals. Either our priorities are things we want to achieve for ourselves, which we are asking God to rubberstamp, or the ways God has revealed His intention to bless the world through us.
It may interest you to note that after salvation, believers got qualified for heaven (Philippians 3:20) but God left them here primarily because of what they have to give to the world. For God so loved the world that he gave ‘us’, so that other people can come to the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ through our interactions with them. This is the purpose of God for every believer and it is very clear in scriptures (2 Corinthians 5:18, Ephesians 4:11-12, I Peter 2:9). You are a gift to the world. Your time, intellect and resources should be spent primarily for the cause of Christ, and you are to use the platforms (work, school, sports, neighborhood, etc.) He has given you to make His power visible. For too long, people have seen us “working for God” in our own strength and wisdom, now its time for them to see Him working through us. This is the only way people get attracted to God’s kingdom, when they see His power at work doing what only He can do.
Although many of our New Year messages may have been centered on us, we can revise them by taking a cue from Jesus. Acts 10:38 (NLT) says –“And you know that God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power. Then Jesus went around doing good …”.The anointing, power and grace we have received from God is to enable us go around doing good. One of the finest way to measure this “good” is by how many saved people caused the angels in heaven to rejoice (Luke 15:7).
Beloved, I admonish you to take a second look at your goals for the year, and ensure that the “selfie goals” (if any) are upgraded to “Godie goals”.
Some weeks ago, I read eulogies on a woman who passed on in July; she was a pastor’s wife.
She died of cancer.
I am always eager to hear, read and see what people have to say about a deceased, for no morbid reason of course but to know the kind of person the deceased was. Each read also reminds me of the inevitable end of all flesh. However, this woman’s eulogies stood out for me for I have never seen such faith in a person as I deduced from what her husband wrote about her. After he had written such glowing things about her, he mentioned her last words; here they are.
“It is well. God is too faithful to fail. Praise God!”
These words struck me. No, they jarred me to an awakening reality- what kind of trust can one have to say these things with the last breath of life? And what kind of love shall one have for God, who allows so much pain and suffering, that one would still conclude that He is too faithful to fail?
I have been pondering fleetingly on this. She was dying, in excruciating pain with no hope except that the Great Physician would heal. From the first day of her six-month ordeal, I believe she had an unwavering faith. Oh the amount of communion she must have taken in faith, the bottles of anointing oil that may have been used to anoint her, the saints who must have prayed tirelessly through nights for days on end. Six months of this terrible disease with hope that was not evidently repaid and yet, “God is too faithful to fail”? How?
I cannot presume to say I have trust in and love for God half as she did. I have not yet seen God as I believe she did (and this is my doing because I believe God is as close to me as I am to him) but I know I want to love and trust the Jesus that she knew, to trust Him like she did. I wonder, is it the same Jesus I claim to know that she so loved and trusted to her death? Do I really love Him? Do I trust Him? Am I really who I say I am- His daughter? Her example pricks my heart.
I salute her and saints like her. Perhaps the true heroes are really not the miracle commanding saints (which we all ought to be ordinarily), the eloquent preachers or the compassion-filled givers. Perhaps the true heroes are the dying saints who still love Jesus, the suffering saints who trust Him to not fail even when it seems there is nothing but fail on its way.
Oh Jesus, can I really know You to trust that even when things fail and it seems You have failed me, I will still judge You too faithful to fail?
I believe I can as I continue to seek after you!
– Patience Pwanahakei Khobe
I recall a time in my university days, the then National Electric Power Authority (NEPA) of Nigeria did not supply power to our community for over 48 hours. There were complaints all over the streets and this formed a major discussion point in every nook and cranny. Then one evening while a group of us were all sitting under a tree for fresh air to get some relief from the overbearing heat in our rooms, power was suddenly restored by NEPA. We all shouted “Up NEPA” in a very harmonious way as though it was an orchestra. While the echo ceased, a friend looked at us, shook his head and said – “I wonder why you guys are celebrating over your right this way. It is totally out of place for NEPA to cut power supply without prior notification; we should be considering a protest if we were in developed nations, and not rejoicing over our rights in a way that makes it look as though NEPA has done us a favour.”
Wow! That statement resonated within me as I had equally been pondering on the attitude of many believers in that same locality at that time. It appeared we approached Christianity with the same attitude we had with NEPA. But the truth is that this issue is not isolated to that community alone. Many things we read in bible that should be seen in the daily life of an average believer is what we scream in surprise about, because they happen only once in a blue moon. It is sad that we live in an era where the exception has become the rule.
A man once came for one of our conferences and heard me give words of knowledge and the affected people walked to the stage; he also heard the testimonies of people that had been healed. He said if he had such gifts he would have started a church and he wonders what I was still waiting for. All attempts to teach him about supernatural knowing and healing that should be the natural tendency of all believers proved abortive; he just could not see that what he called exceptional was actually ‘the expected’ on a daily basis. A similar story is of a sister who was granted a visa to the UK and went to church to give testimony while rolling on the floor. Does she know that the earth belongs to her father in heaven and he has commanded her to go everywhere to preach the gospel? If we were truly aligned to purpose, who is that person on earth that will deny us visa? Some people even waste ministry time conducting anointing services for visa. Sister Faith passed an exam that every unbeliever in her class passed, and she closed her street to throw a big party. What was she expecting before then? How can the one who has access to the deep things of God be unable to comprehend the ephemeral things of the world?
I recall that a brother who has been a believer for over a decade once told me – this is my year of the supernatural, and I asked him, what have you been doing all these years? Living in the natural? Can a dog say – it is my year of barking or can a fish say it is my year to swim?
I like Galatians 6:16-17 (AMP) – “For neither is circumcision [now] of any importance, nor uncircumcision, but [only] a new creation [the result of a new birth and a new nature in Christ Jesus, the Messiah]. Peace and mercy be upon all who walk by this rule [who discipline themselves and regulate their lives by this principle], even upon the [true] Israel of God!” Wow! In this new dispensation where we ought to constantly regulate our lives in accordance with the rule of the new creation, excellence is the default setting; good health is natural; prosperity is our birthright; integrity is our touchstone; fulfillment is common place; and the supernatural is our lifestyle. How can we say “in Christ we live, move and have our being” and our lives are not constantly punctuated with the supernatural; Isn’t that a paradox?
Beloved, our new nature in Christ must be lived every time, every day; it ought not to be something we slip into, experience some remarkable results, scream in jubilation like “Up NEPA”, then slip out into something else. The supernatural is our lifestyle!
– Tope S. Aladenusi
I gained new insight on the importance of forming the right habits after an experience with my lovely wife, which I would like to share with you. Some time ago, she told me that I had not said ‘I love you’ to her for some days. So when I got to my office the following day, I called my wife on phone and started the call by saying ‘I love you’ to her 14 times. Hmmn! What’s this all about, she asked. I told her my reason – I do not want to bother saying ‘I love you’ in the next two weeks, so I decided to say it in advance. You need to have heard the way she screamed in protest.
It’s the same way you would react if I told you to take your bath 30 times today, so you will not bother doing so in the next 30 days … or to eat 90 meals today, so you would not need to eat for one month. It doesn’t make sense right? But why do we behave this way when it comes to spiritual matters and the things that have the greatest effect on our lives? Why do we study the word, pray hard and live right only in some seasons? Why are we committed to ministry only in some seasons?
I was praying recently and it was impressed on my heart that every person who has been a believer for at least 6 months ought to have developed these 5 habits: 1. Praise and worship; 2. Prayer; 3. Meditating on scriptures; 4. Witnessing about Christ; and 5. Giving to God’s work and the needy.
I have always known we should all be doing these things as believers but I did not appreciate the effect of making them our habits like I currently do. Habits are behaviour patterns we regularly follow until we do them unconsciously. So I asked myself how many believers are already operating in the ‘habit mode’ or ‘auto-cruise mode’ for these 5 things. Do we not do a powerful night vigil on a Friday and go to slumber for weeks? Many have reduced witnessing for Christ to something to be done on “evangelism day” or “fishing day” organised by the church. If we were to have a common sense rule that you only eat food after you have meditated on scriptures, how lean and weak will many of us be today? I’m sure many believers would be dead from hunger by now.
The good thing is that you can reverse any negative trend and start forming powerful habits that will make you live a purposeful life. Romans 12:21 (Phillips) says “Don’t allow yourself to be overpowered with evil. Take the offensive—overpower evil by good!” Whatever habit we want to develop, we have to be ready to take the offensive and stay with it consistently until we do it unconsciously. The same way we brush our teeth in the morning without any motivation, whether we are tired or not.
Psychologists say it takes about six weeks for a habit to develop. Many have never been successful at several things because they’ve never made it past the six-week barrier without missing a day. We recently started discussing forming some powerful habits at our monthly Christ Lifeline Fellowship, and I am so excited by the testimonies many have been sharing. For instance, to form the habit of prayer, we started out by giving ourselves the task of praying in tongues at least 30 minutes every day at a fixed time, say 5.30am.We also assigned everyone to a buddy that will check on them daily to ensure they did it. Some have been praying in tongues at least 30 minutes daily for 2 months straight. They are now on ‘auto-cruise mode’ and have started seeing the manifestation of fruit of prayer in their lives. Some others have been able to operate at the required level – praying without ceasing. In a similar manner, you can turn your life around in a few weeks.
Beloved, I’m sure you don’t wish to emulate me who said “I love you” 14 times so as to skip saying it for 14 days, because I was on a ‘silly mode’ that day. I want to encourage you today to have a program to get these 5 things (praise and worship; prayer; meditating on scriptures; witnessing about Christ; as well as giving to God’s work and the needy) into ‘habit mode’. It may be difficult initially, but after some weeks, it will be more difficult not to do them. Don’t try to do them in advance or make up for them. Always make a conscious effort to daily exhibit actions that are suited with your new nature in Christ.
Tope S. Aladenusi
Make walking in the Spirit a lifestyle …
I recall playing games with my relatives when I wanted to introduce my fiancee (now my wife) to them. I had two pictures for the game; one tucked in my right trouser pocket and the other in the left pocket. After discussing my conviction to marry her and how wonderful she is, they were really eager to see her picture. Unlike today that we could have so many pictures on our phones to display, it was novel at that time to have a phone take and store pictures. So I dipped my hand into my right pocket and brought out the picture I took with a missionary who was about 5 years older than me. We had taken this picture looking exhausted after returning from a missionary trip in Niger state, Nigeria. Her dress was rugged for the mission trip, while her hair was covered with a headscarf and of course there was no makeup on her face. I handed this picture to my relatives while I fastened my gaze on their faces. I could not believe the conversation that ensued.
There was a deep silence in the room, then after a few seconds one of my relatives sighed and asked – “are you sure this lady is the will of God for your life?” While I was thinking of the best way to respond, another mentioned – “well, I really don’t know what to say”. I was perplexed by the expressions of disappointment I got that day and I had to quickly tell them that was the wrong picture. I brought out the picture of my wife dressed gorgeously in her Sunday best, taken by a very good photographer. “Wow!” Their faces came alive as they were hugging me and confirming to me that … “yes, this looks like ‘the will of God for you’”. Although I should have been happy at such a rousing acceptance, I was very sorrowful, because this is a classic example of how believers of today may miss the move of God in their lives when they make judgments based on outward appearances.
Our generation favours the spectacular, but spiritual things are not always spectacular. Many people miss out on the great things God wants them to do just because those things show up in unassuming ways, just as Jesus Christ was born in a manger. If we must always make miraculous decisions that will bring about powerful outcomes in our lives and on those around us, we must train ourselves to identify and follow the nudging of God in our hearts, even when they don’t appear spectacular. You will agree that some things may be attractive today, but detestable tomorrow. Therefore, we need to learn to see with our inner eyes.
Prophet Isaiah described the lifestyle of people that will walk with God under the new covenant when he said in Isaiah 60:19 “The sun shall be no more thy light by day; neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee: but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory.” Believers in Jesus Christ have been wired to make miraculous decisions based on following the Lord’s prompting and not what their physical senses perceive. The light from the sun and moon helps us see spectacular things around us, but Prophet Isaiah is saying that our guiding light is from within. That means even if there were 1000 women in a dark hall and we were led by the Holy Spirit to identify Tope’s wife among them, all believers ought to get it right even if they have not met her before. This will not happen because they saw a picture or they were aided by the light of the sun, but because of the everlasting light within that brings constant illumination on ALL issues of life. Hallelujah!
Philippians 2:13 says “For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure”. He helps us to make the right decisions and produces the right actions that agree with His planned destination for us. We do not need to wait for a spectacular loud voice before we say God has spoken. We need to train ourselves daily to constantly understand how He nudges our hearts to take the right decisions. That is the way of the Spirit we have been wired to live. When you want to make a decision, don’t consult Google first. Stop looking for a ‘big bang’ sign. Start paying attention to the nudging of God in your heart even for small things like choosing which road to take when driving – He is already at work in you. Learn to listen to God’s nudging in your heart and the corresponding actions you take to that effect will catapult you to greater heights. It doesn’t matter the number of options around you, as long as you train yourself to pay attention to God’s voice and follow what He tells you to do, you will make miraculous decision that will translate to supernatural experiences in your life.
– Tope Aladenusi
Overcoming the biggest enemy of miraculous decision making
One of the most startling verses I have ever read in life is – Matthew 6:24 where Jesus Christ said “No one can have two masters … you cannot serve both God and money” (NIV). I was astonished by this verse because I was expecting to read something like “you cannot serve both God and the devil”. So finding money take such a position was surprising. I later gained better understanding of this concept of the wrong attitude towards money in I Timothy 6:10 (NIV) – “for the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil”.
What is the “love of money” and why did Jesus Christ place serving money as the major hindrance to serving God?
Serving God involves living a life that pleases Him and doing what He wills. It means allowing God to control your time, decisions and actions. When you serve God, your biggest passion is about having more of God’s attributes in your life.
Serving and loving money is the complete opposite; it involves living a life obsessed with the accumulation of money in the pursuit of pleasure. It is a desire to pursue money primarily for your usage, identity and security. Money is neither moral nor immoral. It is our attitude towards money that matters. That is why the “love of money” (not just “money”) is what the bible talks about as a root of all kinds of evil, and this is the biggest enemy to making miraculous decisions.
How do you know if you are currently plagued with the ‘love of money’ disease? Some of the symptoms include lying, stealing, gambling, cheating, corruption and murder in an attempt to gain more of it. Many people today do all these and even more to increase their potential to get more money. However, the love of money disease has more subtle symptoms – for instance, preaching, listening to or searching out money-making messages over other messages that will help or aid spiritual growth. Have you noticed that most messages in some Christian circles today are centred on money (or “making it)? A person’s prayer life is also a pointer – either there is insufficient time devoted to prayer due to work pressures (the job that brings money), or when we even pray, the prayer points are focused on what God needs to do to bless us materially. Even giving to the work of God primarily to receive more money or to avoid the devourer from touching what you already have is another symptom of the disease. A believer with a heart of genuine service to God gives because he loves God and His work, and not primarily to avoid devourers.
Let’s face it, the love of money has eaten deeply into today’s church, and that is why we do not make miraculous decisions or operate in the miraculous like God wants. The love of money will make you cruise in another realm that is far below the realm of the Spirit. It wants to make you operate at a disastrous level, when you should be at a miraculous level. Judas Iscariot made a disastrous decision to betray Christ because of the love of money; Paul made miraculous decisions because he dealt with this widespread weakness – for instance, rather than stay in Jerusalem where there were established structures and generous donations (like some pastors would do today), he went to the gentiles based on God’s leading. Today, we have a miracle in our hands – he wrote most of the New Testament books. At some point, he was taking donations to the churches in Jerusalem that initially had more money. Paul wrote to Timothy in I Tim. 6:17 “(KJVA) “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy”. Paul admonishes us to still put our focus and trust in God, no matter the material blessings we have.
Several years ago when I began to study this plague and how to overcome it, I stumbled on 2 passages that really helped me. Romans 12:21 talked about overcoming evil with good, while Luke 18:18 – 23 describes the story of a man who claimed to have kept all the commandments of God since he was young yet asked Jesus what he needed to do to inherit eternal life. When Jesus told the man to sell all he had and follow him, the man went away sorrowful. If Jesus had given you a similar instruction, what would your response be? Can you give out all you have and start afresh with God? I recommend answering this question sincerely at least once every year.
I recently shared my experience in obeying God (and learning from Romans 12:21) by giving generously to support the ministry, how I set “giving goals” each year and how God has been helping me to fulfil the goals even if it means emptying my bank account. To my utmost surprise, within one week of discussing this, many brethren who attended that meeting came to ask me for money to the tune of over four million naira. Apart from reminding them that during the message, I said my account became empty for the particular example I shared, I became more aware of how deeply this plague had eaten into the body of Christ. It appeared that the message was lost and the money became the new focus. Please do not let it happen to you after reading this!
Leaders are often required to make challenging decisions that affect not just their destinies, but the destinies of several people they lead. When our hearts are saturated with the love of money, then all kinds of evil decisions that will indirectly destroy our lives and that of our followers will erupt. The Message translation of I Timothy 6:9-10 reads “But if it’s only money these leaders are after, they’ll self-destruct in no time …” Let’s consciously address the ‘love of money’ in our lives so we can always make decisions that bring about positive and powerful events in our lives and those of our followers.
– Tope S. Aladenusi
How do you make miraculous decisions?
One good question to ask in order to answer the question above is – how do we make up our minds? If we are able to ascertain the inputs in our decision making process, as well as the processing of the inputs that bring about an output called decision, then we can take charge of the input and processing phases of the process of making up our minds. With that, just like the computer, the output of this process can be predictable.
The computer was modelled after man. It has the input unit (e.g. keyboard, scanner, etc.), the processing unit (memory, processor, etc.) and the output unit (monitor screen, printer, etc.). Thus, if you type “Jesus” in MS-Word (a word processor), you will see “Jesus” on your screen. The output can be further processed by applying different formats and fonts. You cannot type “devil” on your keyboard and “Jesus” will appear on the screen even though you were shouting Jesus at the top of your voice as you were typing. Unfortunately that is the way I see many Christians behave today, including pastors. The inputs to the lives of many are largely controlled by the devil, but we want to shout the name of Jesus in prayers and vigils, and we want Jesus-like results to show in our lives. It doesn’t work that way.
When you want to make up your mind on any matter, your mind considers its frame of reference from its reference catalogue and takes a position. This “reference catalogue” can be summarised as all that we have been exposed to over time via our input units (eyes, ears, skin, etc.). The inputs to our decision making includes the knowledge our souls have been exposed to (books, movies, conversations, messages, bible, etc.); our background and experiences in life; the people we have associated with (friends, family, mentors); our environment (community, church) and feelings; as well as The Holy Spirit of God. The things you exposed yourself to yesterday are currently influencing your decisions today and the things you expose yourself to today will influence your decisions tomorrow. Therefore, in order to make miraculous decisions, we must ensure we take control of the birth place of decision making – the soul, and put appropriate measures in place to ensure that we feed it with the right inputs. Proverbs 4:23 (MSG) says, keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts.
Knowledge greatly affects your decision making. Research shows that the soul can store up to fifteen trillion facts; therefore everything you have gone through in life is siting somewhere in your soul’s reference catalogue. You reference them consciously or unconsciously during decision making. When I was young and unmarried, I saw that many marriages were failing and because I did not want to get into something that would fail, I made a decision not to get married in life. I wanted to be like Apostle Paul in the bible. By the time I got into the university, I told my friends that I was never going to get married. My past experiences influenced that decision. Eventually, I got married before most of my friends because that decision was changed; it was influenced by something higher than my past experiences. It was influenced by the Word of God.
Sometimes the facts you reference during decision making (e.g. your background like my example above) are beyond your control, but you can get into a “resetting and editing mode” when you get born again. You can put those facts under subjection to the Word of God. You can take them one by one and evaluate them with the message and revelation of Christ. This must be done consciously so that when next your soul makes reference to that fact, there is another link (further reference) to the Word because you have updated your catalogue or “database” (soul) during your time of meditation.
I like what Romans 12: 2 says – And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
We must consciously renew and keep our minds/souls guarded from useless information. Check the movies and books/articles you expose yourself to. Your life is not a garbage can so you should not be a dumping site for anything anyone conjectures up anywhere in the world. You have to be very selective with your inputs if you must be effective with your outputs. Don’t join those who say they while away time by lousy “gisting”.
If we must make miraculous decisions, we must take control of what goes into our souls and let the Word of God be the major influence of the decisions we make in life. If we don’t consciously get the Word to reset, edit and refresh our souls, then we are unconsciously allowing the devil to do so with the negative exposures we have had.
– Tope S. Aladenusi
Positioning yourself to always make miraculous decisions
In the last post of this series, we described miraculous decisions as the act of making up one’s mind by the power and purpose of God. This will in turn bring about some positive and powerful events in your life; it will make you live within the boundaries of God’s plan for your life. We also emphasised that when we gave our lives to Christ, we took a decision and a miracle occurred – we instantly received the life of God in our spirits. It is important we continue to live our lives in the same manner. We got born again by a miracle, we ought to constantly live in miracles the same way a fish that is born in water will need to remain in water to survive and thrive.
Today, we will discuss one sure way to take control of your conscious and unconscious decisions (and most decisions are unconscious anyway e.g. the decision to look downwards, touch your nose, drive your car in a particular way, etc.). We need to ensure that we make the right long term decisions or set the right long term goals for our lives. This is because this helps regulate other smaller short term / medium term decisions, whether consciously or unconsciously made.
A student in the university who is determined to graduate with a first class honours grade knows that his/her friends can make or mar the academic goal. The time spent doing things that are less important can hinder his/her progress just as the time spent studying helps make progress towards the desired goal. Hence, the decision to achieve academic excellence will help him/her regulate the conscious and unconscious decision-making pattern while on campus.
What are your long term goals in life? Some leaders have decided to impact their generation in a uniquely indelible way before they die, while mentoring others that will outperform them. Some others have set in their hearts that no one in their ministry or organisation will ever beat “their records”. Once we make our long term decisions, whether good or bad, we get into an auto-cruise mode such that our unconscious decisions and other smaller conscious decisions start regulating themselves to achieve that big long term decision. This is why we must know our purpose in life, because long term decisions help us know what our lives are about and clearly states what we want to achieve in life.
Jesus Christ said if your eye is single, then your whole body will be full of light (Mat 6:22). The Bible records in Hebrews 12:2 that Jesus endured the cross because of the joy set before him of having many sons for God. That long term decision regulated his life, and here is what He has to say about something that should be our life goal:
John 7:17 (AMP) – If any man desires to do His will (God’s pleasure), he will know (have the needed illumination to recognize, and can tell for himself) whether the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking from Myself and of My own accord and on My own authority.
I love this verse. It elucidates that taking that “big” decision to always do God’s purpose gives the necessary illumination we need to recognize consciously or unconsciously the right things to do, which includes knowing whether Jesus is of God or not. This is one deep secret to making miraculous decisions. In fact our greatest miracle took place when we aligned with God’s will by accepting the salvation of Jesus Christ. The next big step is to decide to live entirely for God and His purpose.
The truth is that many born again persons, including leaders in the church do not have this long term goal. If their hearts are searched deeply, their long term goals are things like – I will make it in this life (by which they mean, I will also be influential and popular in this life); or I will never suffer again and ensure my generations never experience poverty, etc. As nice as these may sound, they are too small to replace our life goals because a decision to live for the purpose of God overtakes such goals, allowing us to experience the love and prosperity of God.
Being born again, this is the next most pivotal decision to take. Will you genuinely take it today if you have not– to live for God’s purpose and pleasure all the days of your life? With this, you are uniquely positioned to always make miraculous decisions.
Great leaders are great decision makers. Look around you today and reflect on the life of any great leader you know; they are usually labelled great because of some profound things they do which are consequences of some decisions they had made at some point in their lives.
Pastor Enoch Adeboye is regarded by many as one of the most influential leaders in our day. His level of influence as a pastor and church leader has been the subject of debate in many quarters. But the interesting thing is that he used to be a full time lecturer before making the decision to go into full time pastoral and evangelistic work. I’d like you to imagine Pastor Adeboye today still as a full time lecturer in the university? There is no doubt that his identity and destiny today is greatly determined by the decision he made yesterday.
As leaders, each second is an opportunity to steer our lives in the right direction by making decisions we are conscious or unconscious about (Research shows that our minds can handle 15,000 decisions in one second, so most of our decisions are unconscious and we need to learn how to take charge of them). We cannot afford the risk of going too far too fast only for us to realise that we have been on the wrong road. Imagine if Apostle Paul remained a Pharisee? Or if Samson did not make the decision to rollick or frolic with Delilah? Imagine if we avoided make all the wrong decisions we make today in our ministries, families, careers and marriages?
Leaders are often required to make challenging decisions that affect not just their destinies, but those that they lead. I personally believe that as believers, we should train ourselves to constantly make miraculous decisions that will bring about positive events in our lives and of those who follow us.
So this series is not just about making decisions, but about making miraculous decisions. Why miraculous decisions?
Colossians 2:6 (AMP) says “As ye have therefore received Christ [even] Jesus the Lord, [so] walk (regulate your lives and conduct yourselves) in union with and conformity to Him.
When we gave our lives to Christ, we took a decision and a miracle occurred – we instantly received the life of God in our spirits. It is important we continue to live our lives in the same manner of miracles as we did when we got born again – by a miracle. The same way a fish that is born in water will need to remain in water to survive and thrive, we ought to constantly live in miracles. Also, just as a baby in the womb needs food, water and oxygen to survive, and the same is needed for a child to be sustained towards healthy living, believers must thrive in the same thing that brought about our emergence as Christians. Interestingly, any time our will aligns with the will of God, a miracle occurs even though it may not be spectacular. We cannot claim that we live, move and have our being in Christ, and our decisions and actions are not constantly punctuated by miracles. That is a paradox!
Decisions drive actions; just as you had to make a decision before reading this article. Decisions determine destiny; you are where you are today as a result of the decisions you made in the past and where you will be tomorrow will also be a result of the decisions you make today. As leaders, knowing that our decisions have consequences on other people’s destinies should ensure that we make miraculous decisions like we have been wired to do.
What is a miraculous decisions? It is the act of making up one’s mind by the power and purpose of God. This will in turn bring about some positive and powerful events in your life; it will make you live in the boundaries of God’s plan for your life. Making miraculous decisions will make you live a fulfilled life and position you as an excellent leader after God’s heart.
We will discuss how to make miraculous decisions in the subsequent editions of this write-up.
Tope S. Aladenusi