By Uche Izuora
Uche is a Nigerian message bearer serving in Sudan.
The will of God can wait and does wait for the willing son, who continually wills to shed his own wills to ensure that God’s will is done on earth as it is at home. Whenever God’s will is understood, aligning with and pursuing it, comes naturally for any Spirit-filled man in any generation.
This perspective is the corner stone of this article. It is key therefore to narrow our view of God’s will for the Message Bearer to a single objective. This will save us from dabbling into definitions and explanations that could generate unnecessary debates and stir us away from our primary focus.
His Will reveals His Glory
From the Garden of Eden to Gethsemane, we observe in the Scriptures, a God that insists on being known, being followed and worshiped, even if it means raising up stones in the place of men to do it.
We cannot but acknowledge that this God is One, who is both central and supreme in His affections; such that nothing and indeed nobody competes with God for the preeminence and pursuit of God’s glory in His own heart. To attempt a discussion on discerning God’s will outside His glory, is an effort in futility.
As Message Bearers we speak freely about world missions and engaging the harvest. We feel duty bond to make disciples from all nations. But I strongly suggest that we pause a while and seriously consider why and how that Command glorifies God.
We must determine whether our various spiritual activities really or rarely honor God. We can never properly discern God’s will without understanding His glory in the light of His will.
The striking harmony between God’s will and His glory is everywhere in the Scriptures. An awesome illustration of this is seen in Ephesians 1; where the phrase, “…to the praise of His glory…” occurs three times.
From this chapter we see God’s plan to pour out five key acts of grace on mankind. Election, Predestination, Adoption, Redemption and Sealing by the Holy Spirit.
Note Paul’s comment as regarding these demonstration of God’s love relative to His will and Glory,
“…all things are done according to God’s plan and decision; and God chose us to be his own people in union with Christ because of his own purpose, based on what he had decided from the very beginning.” (Eph 1:11 GNB)
If this scripture ended here, it will be okay. But what we see in verse 12 is essential to this discussion. “Let us, then, who were the first to hope in Christ, praise God’s glory!” It is all about His glory. Everything is aimed at ensuring God gets full credit as He brings His will to pass from age to age.
So, regardless of which generation is confronted with God’s agenda for the redemption of man, one thing stands out; the salvation of man reveals the majestic splendor of God’s glory and greatness.
Fundamentally, God’s matchless desire to be glorious in all things and worshiped by and through all things reached its apogee when He raised Jesus Christ from the dead.
Since then, each time a soul surrenders to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, God’s glory is revealed, His Kingdom comes, His fame resonates and His will is done on earth. We must not only discern this truth but also embrace and broadcast it.
Stepping up and Stepping Out
It is really a step-up for one to align his pursuits or career with God’s plan, which is to bless all nations as they get to know Him through our witness of Jesus Christ. In fact, no step in the upward direction remotely comes close to this one.
We are invited to participate in the gracious and glorious work of reconciliation. In order to effectively engage ourselves in this noble mission, we get to partake of God Himself in an exclusive way.
As far as God is concerned, we cannot play the role He’s carved out for us without a direct and deliberate connection with His person. The Lord Jesus said,
“I tell you the truth: the Son can do nothing on his own; he does only what he sees his Father doing. What the Father does, the Son also does… I can do nothing on my own authority; I judge only as God tells me, so my judgment is right, because I am not trying to do what I want, but only what he who sent me wants.” (John 5:19,30 GNB)
Having read these words several times, I still continue to wish I could say them of myself all the time with all honesty. That is, acknowledge God by asking what will accrue to Him in praise and glory in all my choices as He demands in Proverbs 3:6.
It’s with a humble attitude I wish to add the rest of that scripture, “…and He will direct your paths.” God’s gift of Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit to the believer, the Message Bearer, is profound. Jesus emphasized His coming several times with thought provoking scriptures.
Once, He said, “…he shall lead you into all truth…” quite similar to the; “…he shall direct your paths” in verse 6b of Proverbs 3. A step-up is a step towards discerning the role of the Holy Spirit and letting Him do His job with and within us.
Any step-out without the Holy Spirit is foolish and certainly prideful. Since the Holy Spirit is so critical to the assignment we most times assume to be our call (seeing that He was there from the start of Christ’s ministry and birthed the Church), we must give full attention to Him as we plan to pursue God’s will.
We must understand as Jesus understood when He said,
“Whoever is willing to do what God wants will know whether what I teach comes from God or whether I speak on my own authority. Those who speak on their own authority are trying to gain glory for themselves. But he who wants glory for the one who sent him is honest, and there is nothing false in him.” (John 7:17-18 GNB)
This implies that a Message Bearer cannot have His own message. No matter how eloquent and gifted he may be, he should be fully persuaded in himself that, “…for without me, (as Jesus said) ye can do nothing.” I tend to interpret this Scripture to mean- whatever I did or am doing or will do, without the direction of the Holy Spirit is NO-THING… useless… rubbish.
This is what the Lord Jesus is teaching and we need to grasp it if our stepping out will be fruitful.
Our aim must be to bring glory to God in the nations regardless of ourselves. This was Jesus’ perspective when He said, “Whoever wants to serve me must follow me, so that my servant will be with me where I am.
And my Father will honor anyone who serves me… Now my heart is troubled—and what shall I say? Shall I say,
‘Father, do not let this hour come upon me’? But that is why I came—so that I might go through this hour of suffering. Father, bring glory to your name!” Then a voice spoke from heaven, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again.” (John 12:26-28 GNB)
I see from this discourse, the heart of a man, though overwhelmed by the enormity of the challenge of the cross and its consequences (which was quite personal to him), stepped out and bowed in total submission to the will of the Father with His gaze set on the glory. We must follow Him.
Until recently, I continued to wonder why this interaction was recorded. After all, on the surface this seemed to be very personal to Jesus. In some way, it showed a weak Messiah, One that suddenly appears worried and somewhat perplexed.
This side of the “Man” should have been hidden, after all not everything He did was recorded. But God’s immediate response to this Jesus’ prayer (“Father, bring glory to your name”) which seemed more like a cry to me, gives insight to what was at stake.
“I have brought glory to it and I will do so again.” It’s all about His glory. Even in those last minutes, when the weakness of man could be a good reason to rob God of His glory, the Lord Jesus stepped out and gave the Father an opportunity to manifest His glory in another shade.
God responded, “I have brought glory to it, and I will do so again”. Oh that in my life and walk with God, He will find occasion to glorify His name. Paul puts it this way to the Philippians,
“According to my earnest expectation and my hope, that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.” (Phil 1:20 KJV)
God is still waiting for the believer that will create the right atmosphere for Him to demonstrate His love for His Son in another spectacular way.
It could be embarrassing as it was for Abraham, having waited for the promised child for many years, or very costly as it was in the case of the Lord Jesus; hanging on the cross separated from the Father, His friends and family, because of sins He did not commit.
It could demand great courage as in Joshua, David and Daniel. Our duty to the unsaved in the world is our life mission, whether they are among unreached peoples or in city Cathedrals. The Lord leaves no room for excuses or exemptions.
Our passion for what cost Him His life must be fervent; as fervent as the zeal that drove Him to the Temple at age 12 and led Him on for over 20 years, until He cried, “It is finished!” on that cross.
Missions must cease from being another program of the church to the reason we meet in a church. Our perception of missions must align with God’s plan man’s redemption.
Getting Counted In
Words will never be enough. Action is needed to deliver to the Son, His due – the Nations. He is asking for the soul of all men and He has the right to so do.
If we truly and honestly claim to understand the cause and cost of the Cross of Christ relative to our individual calls as Message Bearers in this generation; we owe it to the Lord Jesus to stand up for all that He stands for and be counted in.
God calls us to think, pray, give and live with a global perspective that should affect people around us for the advancement of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. Dr Ralph D. Winter said, “Nothing that does not occur daily can ever dominate your life.”
Unless we commit now to living sacrificial lives from day to day for the glory of God, we may never hear Him call us to step-up and engage exciting opportunities to serve Him in a global way.
We should remember that the call to live justly under Kingdom principles will be increasingly difficult until Jesus returns. He said so Himself. But we are encouraged to face life with and in faith.
“The just shall live by faith…” (Heb 10:38 KJV). Our prayer life and study of God’s word must deepen as we mature in age.
However, if the Holy Spirit does not play the key role in our growth and quest for eternal significance as Message Bearers, we’d have lived in vain. He is the driver of God’s global agenda.
To pursue God is our principal call. To pursue a call with His glory as our major objective is the perspective we need to sustain a smile on the Father’s face. He’d better be smiling on you.