Scriptures For Meditation — 1John 3:8; Eph 6:10-18
Prevailing Over The Powers of Darkness
From our meditation of the past two days, we have seen that biblically speaking, the word “darkness” does not just refer to the absence of visible, physical light, but can often also figuratively or symbolically speak about—
• The Consequence of Satan’s dominion and power over a person, place or thing; or
• The Manifestations of The Works of Satan —
The Good News – 1 John 3:8; In Christ Jesus, we have the victory!
Not Just Against, But Also In and Through…
However, it is very important for us to realise that the consequence of Satan’s dominion and power, and the manifestations of his work, are not just talking about what he does against believers, but also what he works in and through believers, as he manipulates us to sin or walk in disobedience against God!
As the bible infers in the first part of 1John 3:8; the primary work of the devil that Christ came to destroy is the sin that holds us bound and separates us from God and makes us liable to the judgement and damnation of hell!
Rulers of Darkness
The second scripture Eph 6:10-19, tells us what our battle is, who our battle really is against, and what we must do to prevail over these evil forces — The Rulers of the darkness Of This World!
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this [present] darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) places. (Eph 6:23 AMP)
Ruler: Someone with authority, influence or power over a person, place or thing.
As we read in yesterday’s devotional, darkness is a usurper and can only exist or prevail whenever or wherever light is absent!
Jesus tells us in Matt 28:18, that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him; that also includes authority over the rulers or powers of darkness and all their works!
The bible enjoins us to — Put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. [Eph 6:11 NLT]
The Strategy of the devil against believers is to Hinder, Oppress, Obstruct, Intimidate, Discourage, Entice, Harass or Destroy.
Eph 6:13 Therefore, put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious].
Eph 6:14 So stand firm and hold your ground, HAVING TIGHTENED THE WIDE BAND OF TRUTH (personal integrity, moral courage) AROUND YOUR WAIST and HAVING PUT ON THE BREASTPLATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS (an upright heart),
Eph 6:15 and having strapped on YOUR FEET THE GOSPEL OF PEACE IN PREPARATION [to face the enemy with firm-footed stability and the readiness produced by the good news].
Eph 6:16 Above all, lift up the [protective] shield of faith with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one.
Eph 6:17 And take THE HELMET OF SALVATION, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God.
Eph 6:18 With all prayer and petition pray [with specific requests] at all times [on every occasion and in every season] in the Spirit, and with this in view, stay alert with all perseverance and petition [interceding in prayer] for all God’s people.
Ask the Holy Spirit to turn the searchlight of the truth of the word of God upon your life and let Him expose the areas where the works of Satan have held sway.
Let Him reveal the manifestations of the enemy’s work in his wiles against you; pray that the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary and the power in His Name and in His shed blood will avail and prevail on your behalf in those areas.
Pray especially also, for the Holy Spirit to reveal to you, the areas where you may have been giving room for the works of the enemy to manifest in or through your life.
Pray as David did in Ps 19:12-14 —
Who can understand his errors or omissions? Acquit me of hidden (unconscious, unintended) faults.
Also keep back Your servant from presumptuous (deliberate, willful) sins; Let them not rule and have control over me. Then I will be blameless (complete), And I shall be acquitted of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart Be acceptable and pleasing in Your sight, O LORD, my [firm, immovable] rock and my Redeemer.
Pastor Wale Ola
Scripture For Meditation — John 1:1-5
The Victory of Light Over Darkness
In yesterday’s scripture text (Gen 1:1-5), we read how darkness covered the whole earth at the beginning of creation, before God spoke into the darkness and created the light.
Darkness can be symbolic of:
• The Consequence of Satan’s dominion and power over a person, place or thing.
Luke 22:53; Eph 6:12; or
• The Manifestations of The Work of Satan — David had an experience of this when he cried out in Psalm 143:3-4 —
“For the enemy hath persecuted my soul; he hath smitten my life down to the ground; he hath made me to dwell in darkness, as those that have been long dead.
Therefore is my spirit overwhelmed within me; my heart within me is desolate.”
Darkness has a wide ranging connotation, and can also be a figurative representation of many undesirable things —
• Misery – Psalm 88:6
• Destruction – Isa 50:10
• Mystery or Confusion
• Attacks and persecution
• Obscurity- Isa 29:18
• Pestilence – Ps 91:1-7
When Darkness Lost It’s Power
The bible goes on to tell us that God at the beginning of creation, separated the light from the darkness and brought forth Day out of Night.
And now, through the victory of Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary, believers already have the victory over darkness in all its ramifications!
Darkness is a usurper –
A usurper is an illegitimate claimant to power; someone who takes a position of power or influence illegally or by force; someone that acts outside the scope of their given authority or jurisdiction.
As the bible records in Colossians 1:13 —
He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.
Consequently, Jesus tells us in John 8:12 — “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.”
This is our non-negotiable reality as redeemed children of God!
Darkness can only exist where light is absent –
The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it]. [John 1:5 Amplified Bible]
However, wherever the word or presence of God is absent, darkness prevails.
But we know, that the entrance of His word brings light and understanding [Ps 119:130]
Prayer Focus – Micah 7:7-8, Ps 18:28-29
“But as for me, I will look expectantly for the LORD and with confidence in Him I will keep watch; I will wait [with confident expectation] for the God of my salvation. My God will hear me.
Do not rejoice over me [amid my tragedies], O my enemy! Though I fall, I will rise; Though I sit in the darkness [of distress], the LORD is a light for me.” (Micah 7:7 -8 AMP)
“You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.
In your strength I can crush an army; with my God I can scale any wall”. (Psa 18:28-29 NLT)
Let’s petition the Lord for these, for the church as well as for ourselves:
• Let not darkness prevail over me; let not the power of darkness nor the works of darkness prosper in their wiles against me.
• Enlighten what’s dark in me,
• Strengthen what’s weak in me,
• Mend what’s broken in me,
• Bind whats bruised in me,
• Heal whats sick in me,
• Revive whatever has died in me that should be alive for your glory.
Pastor Wale Ola
In The Beginning, God…!
Scripture For Meditation — Gen 1:1-5
For this month’s fasting and prayers, we will turn to the very first few verses on the bible to remind ourselves of the Awesome Wonder that is the God that we serve.
Let’s look at a few key phrases in our scripture text:
1. God Created:
First, the bible affirms categorically, that God pre-existed and was preeminent from the beginning — He created the heavens and the earth!
The word create, means —To bring into existence or to fashion out of nothing, something which did not previously exist.
2. And The Earth Was Without Form
According to Strong’s Bible Concordance , The word form is taken from a root word meaning — to be empty; a vacuity, that is, (superficially) an undistinguishable ruin: – emptiness, void.
3. The Earth Was Void
Again from Strong’s we get the definition of the word void, meaning — to lie waste; a desolation (of surface), that is, desert; figuratively a worthless thing; adverbially in vain: – confusion, empty place, without form, nothing, (thing of) nought, vain, vanity, waste, wilderness.
4. And Deep Darkness Covered The Earth
The word Darkness, is taken from the root word meaning the dark; figuratively misery, destruction, death, ignorance, sorrow, wickedness: – dark (-ness), night, obscurity.
These opening verses of the bible introduce us to a state of being or existence that mirrors the situation that some reading this may be confronted with; the reality of the life that they are experiencing today:
A state of emptiness; an undistinguishable mess, a life that seems to be devoid of real meaning or progress!
Maybe you are experiencing a situation of confusion; a place of loneliness; a desert place where nothing seems to be growing or going right.
A dark place; a place of obscurity and hopelessness or despair?
Hear what the bible says in the middle of all these:
4. The Spirit of God Hovered
The word hovered is the same as the word to brood; He sat on the waters just as a mother hen would do, sitting on her eggs to incubate or hatch her young.
5. And God Said…!
God did not need any raw materials to begin or complete the work of creation
Everything that God created, He brought forth out of nothing but by the power of His spoken word and the breath of His Spirit —
He brought order out of chaos; He brought substance out of nothingness; He spoke into the darkness and created the light. Hallelujah!
Child of God, if that was all that God needed to create the heavens and the earth, it is definitely more than sufficient for Him to sort out your life!
Let’s begin this month’s fasting and prayers by doing as God did —
Let’s confront the darkness, void and desert places in our lives; let’s invite the Holy Spirit to come brood over our lives and our situations and let’s declare the word of God over and into them.
Let’s pray for the light of His Shekinah glory to come and illuminate every dark place in our lives so that darkness will give way to His light! (John 1:1-5)
Let’s speak to every chaos and contrary situations in our lives and in this ministry, to begin to conform to the will of God.
Let’s finish by mediating on Psalm 18 — May the Lord perform and establish all His good counsel concerning your life in Jesus’s Name. Amen.
Bread In The Desert Places
Scripture For Meditation — Mark 6:34-44; Ps 36:5-8
In the first of today’s scriptures, we see an elaboration from Mark’s account, of the story that we read earlier in Matthew 9:35-38.
Mark’s account picks up from where Matthew stopped his reporting of the events as things unfolded—
“When the day was now far spent, His disciples came to Him and said, “This is a deserted place, and already the hour is late.
Send them away, that they may go into the surrounding country and villages and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat.” (Mar 6:35-36)
The disciples’ attitude to the situation very much mirrors what many believers would probably also do, faced with the same circumstances—
There was a great multitude that had gathered; the day was far spent, the location was desolate and isolated, the people were hungry, resources were limited and provisions were scarce!
They came to Jesus with their considered solution to the dilemma (Mar 6:36) —
“Send the crowds away to go into the country and villages round about and buy themselves something to eat.”
But they failed to reckon with the heart of compassion of the Shepherd, and the Lord and the Husbandman of the gathered harvest.
The master will never send the hungry who have come unto him away, without their hunger being satisfied!
Hear His response to the disciples’ request:
You give them something to eat!
And that is the same thing that He is saying to us today.
Sometimes we can look at the masses of unsaved people before or around us and baulk at the enormity of resources needed to reach them in comparison to the often meagre resources that we have, and send them away to fend for themselves without their needs being met.
Troubled marriages, broken lives, frustrated destinies, depressed minds and bound souls, dysfunctional families and the like, and we send them away to go sort themselves out.
But Jesus is saying to us today:
YOU give them something to eat!
Get them to feed on the abundance of my goodness and the delicacies of my steadfast love and unending faithfulness!
What food do we have to feed them with?
As we host the community at the picnic in the park outreach today,
let’s look at them from God’s perspective, through the eyes of the Lord of the harvest and the heart of compassion of the loving Shepherd.
Apart from the physical food that we are offering to them, our spiritual gifts can be the food that many will really need to be fed with, as they wander in helpless hopelessness looking for a fix for their problems.
Let’s look and pray to be used by God to reach out to those weary souls that need a touch from Him —
That person that needs a word of knowledge that shows them that God knows their issues; the one that needs a word of wisdom that shows them the way of hope; a word of Prophecy that brings encouragement and comfort; and perhaps that individual that’s in need of a healing touch or miraculous intervention in their lives that shows them how much God truly cares about them.
Or just maybe all that is needed is simply to feed them with the joy of the Lord and the manifestation of His love expressed through us to them.
Pray that God will use us; use you to be a vessel of Grace to reach that one needy person today as the gifts of the Holy Spirit manifest through you.
That truly will be the most amazing and profitable thing that would happen today; when God feeds that hungry soul through you!
Pastor Wale Ola
Scripture For Meditation — Matthew 9:37-38; John 4:35
Yesterday in our devotional, we saw how Jesus’s heart was moved with compassion when He saw the lost souls that had gathered before Him —He likened them to sheep without a shepherd.
Continuing in the following two verses that we are meditating on today, Jesus brings His disciples into the narrative by using another analogy to describe the gathered multitude—
He saw them as a ripened harvest field.
That’s yet another way He expects us to look at and see the unsaved masses around us — a ripened harvest of souls ready to be brought into the Lord’s barn.
In other words, your workplace, the place of your business , the bus or train we ride on, the school we attend, the gym you go to, the neighbourhood that we live in, the friends that we hang out with, are all potential harvest fields.
But as Jesus observed to the disciples who were listening to Him –
The harvest truly is plentiful, but the labourers are few!
What should this statement mean to you as a disciple of Jesus Christ?
There was a real danger of the ripened harvest going to waste, because there were not enough workers available to do the work to bring them into the barn as they should.
A great work of spiritual harvest is needed to be done, but the laborers were few. The problem has persisted to this day, it seems; the need is always greater than the work-force.
There is a great multitude of unsaved souls out there, whose life’s experiences and situations have primed them ready for the good news of the message of salvation! Will we allow the harvest to go to waste as the ripened fruits rot in the fields?
What are we to do?
We are to do as Jesus instructed His disciples —
Jesus enjoined His disciples to pray to the Lord of the harvest to send out labourers into His harvest!
The word “send” as used in this context, properly means to thrust out, plainly implying the exercise of some degree of force, for it is an employment that is not normally pleasing to the flesh.
Who are these “labourers”?
The labourers are Gospel ministers; whose calling is a laborious one; whose business is to labour in the word and doctrine; to be constant in prayer; to show themselves willing workmen; who preach the word in season, and out of season; and diligently discharge the calling of the Great Commission to bring souls into the kingdom — These type of people have been few in all ages and generally speaking, unfortunately, there have been more loiterers than labourers.
Are you a loiterer or a labourer?
Pastor Wale Ola
• The first assignment is to pray for more labourers to be made available and ready for the work, and then for them to be sent out to bring in the Lord’s harvest. But we can only really pray this in sincerity if we pray with an ear open to hearing Him tell us, “You go into the harvest!”
Are you willing to pray like Prophet Isaiah did (Is 6:8)—
Also I heard the voice of the Lord, saying: “Whom shall I send, And who will go for Us?” Then I said, “Here am I! Send me.”
• Pray also, that he would send forth more skillful, faithful, wise, and industrious labourers into his harvest.
• Pray that he would raise up diligent workers in the conversion of sinners and the edification of saints; that He would give them a spirit for the work, call them to it, and succeed them in it
• Pray that he would give them wisdom to win souls; that he would thrust forth these labourers to bring in the harvest;
• Pray that He will increase the workmen so that more work can be done.
• Pray especially for the outreach on Saturday, that God will bless the harvest field, open the hearts of those He has prepared as His harvest, and prosper the work of the labourers to bring in the harvest.
• Pray that God will give us good weather and grant us favour with the people, and that they will be drawn to His presence as we gather in Jesus’s Name.
Theme — Sheep Without Shepherd
Scripture For Meditation — Matthew 9:35-36; John 10:14-16
What do we see when we look at the hordes of unsaved folk all around us everyday?
At work, in our neighbourhood, at school, on our daily commutes, maybe even in our families.
Very often as Christians, we tend to see them as “the unwashed masses” — a group of ungodly reprobates that we do the best that we can not to mingle with, or at most to preach at, as we let them know just how far from God, and how close to the damnation of hell they are!
But not so our Lord Jesus —
“But when He saw the multitudes, He was moved with compassion for them, because they were weary and scattered, like sheep having no shepherd.” Mat 9:36
Jesus looked at the multitude and the heart of compassion of the Shepherd reached out to them; He saw them as sheep without a shepherd!
Wandering without direction, in danger of being devoured by wild beasts, hungry, weary, untended and desolate; continually exposed to danger.
That is the true state of the unsaved folk around us, devoid of the loving care of the Shepherd of our soul, Jesus Christ; but do we see them the same way He sees them?
He didn’t judge them neither did He despise them; His heart was moved with pity and compassion as He looked at the multitude.
As a Bible commentator quipped:
Oh, that we might know more of that yearning for the spiritual welfare of the lost and dying. How we need to pray constantly:
Let me look on the crowd, as my Savior did,
Till my eyes with tears grow dim;
Let me view with pity the wandering sheep,
And love them for love of Him.
As we wait on the Lord in fasting and prayers this month, let this be our heart’s cry for the lost — that they might find a shepherd in Christ just as we did.
Let’s pray especially for the Picnic in The Park outreach this Saturday, that the Lord will gather these lost sheep unto Himself and into His sheepfold.
Pastor Wale Ola