Sunday, 29 June 2014

Dominion through Worship

" But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  
 God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.” John 4:23 - 24

Noah obeyed God and he and his family ,and the other living creatures who went with him into the ark  were the only survivors of the rains and flood  which  destroyed all living beings on earth. Genesis  8 :13 -19. 
When Noah stepped out of the ark  after the flood , he saw the devastation all around him. Destroyed by the flood were his homestead , his livestock and farmland , all his neighbours and friends and the life he had known for decades were all swept away by the great deluge.
The scene before Noah was that of a total wipe out by flood waters with no immediate remedy in sight for Noah and his household .
God saw Noah and his household surveying the devastation all around them .
Then God waited , expecting to see and hear reactions from them .
There were two options before Noah ; either he offered sacrifices of thanksgiving unto God  for sparing his life and for sparing the lives of his family ; or Noah could have chosen the other option which was that Noah and his family could have raised up a huge lament  to God ; bewailing the loss and destruction of their houses , lands ,fields , farms, livestock and other worldly possessions .Noah could have cried out  like this :
" Oh my God ! All we see  every where is muddy , smelly water !
God why did you allow millions of souls to perished here? !
Are you not supposed to be a merciful God ?!
 Everything is gone ; our  homes and land,  our crops  and livestock !
How can we farm and what shall we eat ?!  God?! Can you see us now ?"

 Sacrifice has been aptly described as" the giving up of the indispensable third leg of the stool".
 The heart of men is linked to their worldly treasures which is everything which they hold dear.
 Sacrifice is  that offering which is as special and precious as it is costly to the giver .
The word  "sacrifice", would readily ,come to mind as the giving of spiritual offerings of songs, dancing , of cash or goods to God and the giving of donations  to needy  human beings.
 There are diverse forms of sacrifices in the forms of either spiritual offerings to God or giving something valuable as donations and gifts to help the disadvantaged.
God appreciates all sacrifices which are offerings from genuine hearts
 Usually the poor and the needy would appreciate immediate reliefs and so they would prefer cash donations  to cashless ones. 
Gifts in cash and kind minister to immediate human needs quicker and more effectively than greeting and hugging the poor and the needy  or preaching and singing  to them.
Therefore cashless sacrifices are not accorded the same value and appreciation as those made in monetary forms . 

Sacrifice is not only that offering or donation which is tangible and which is in form of offerings of cash and goods only .  
Offering praise and  prayers  are worthy sacrifices acceptable  to  God so also are
offerings in the form of  goods , money , time , efforts  or talents  to minister to God  and fellow men
 There is a wrong perspective which views certain offerings as a waste of time and money because such offerings are viewed as "mammon-worship"  or  as "sowing  to the wind".
Under this umbrella of perceived "wasted sacrifices" are the time, money or efforts given as donations  to non-religious charitable organisations or spent on non-religious  activities such as on personal needs , on  business or office  work , on family and friends , on leisure and hobbies , or on any other activities  which  are  not  related to spiritual purposes. 
Some have even asserted that their religious organisation is better than all others and as such , they are the only people acceptable  to God as the only  qualified recipients and reliable supervisors  of all offerings  made by their members.

" By him therefore let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.
 But to do good and to communicate forget not : for with such sacrifices God is well pleased ". 
Hebrews 13 :15 -16 .
 Acceptable sacrifice  to God could be in the form of donating money , time , efforts and talents to God and also to all mankind.
For some  people , their worthy sacrifice could be committing  their lives unto God as an offering
A worthy  offering unto God is the offering of a life-style of obedience to God through crucifying the flesh and abstaining from all vices , from  all pleasures and comforts or it could be laying down one's  pride , prestige or self esteem  to serve God  and man.
 It is a worthy offering unto God when one spends  time and  effort in waiting on the Lord in prayers and in  searching  for more understanding and knowledge of God through learning and studying the Scriptures ; in order  to be able  to minister the Word of God , effectually. 11Timothy  2: 15.
Sacrifice could also be in the form of giving up all  forms of distractions , worries and fears as a sacrifice of faith unto God.
 Also, sacrificial offerings could be in the form of giving one's time to attend Church  fellowships or to attend other Charity functions  as forms of worshipping God .
 Acceptable sacrifices unto God is not  offering our time , only to attend church ; but offering our  talents and efforts  to function as nonsalaried Church  volunteers and doing all types of volunteer Charity work  .Acts  6: 1-7
For some people their most precious offering is giving up their time and talents to serve God.
They would state that the monetary  value of their time,  talents and efforts is far higher than if they gave cash in lieu of these . 
Therefore such people  see it as a valuable sacrifice to forfeit their efforts, talents and  time  which they would have spent  with their families and friends, spent on watching TV, on the Internet , on enjoying  their hobbies and the time they would have invested on building their businesses or careers or  the time spent working extra hours to earn extra money as over-time bonuses . These forfeitures  are their  own worthy sacrifices indeed. 

Just as there  as there are different dimensions of sacrifices, there are great rewards for every
kind of sacrifice . 
 "Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. 
For I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you clothed me, I was sick and you visited me,
 I was in prison and you came to me.’  
Then the righteous will answer him, saying, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you drink? And when did we see you a stranger and welcome you, or naked and clothe you? 39 And when did we see you sick or in prison and visit you?’  
 And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me." Matthew 25:34- 40. ( ESV)

There are also different  motives for offering sacrifices to God  and men .
 In whatever amount  or forms it is presented , a worthy sacrifice must come with the motive of  being a genuine offering  from the spirit and soul of the worshipper .  
The widow's mites . Mark 12 : 41 - 44 .
Sacrifice becomes Worship when it is done in the spirit . John 4:23 - 24. 
 When we worship in the spirit  and in truth  we move from the natural realm into the spiritual realm of offering sacrifice unto God . Then we begin to see things they way God sees it and we begin to speak the word of God which is the creative word which created the dominion which God gave to Man in the beginning.
Genesis 1: 26-28.
  Worshippers offer sacrifices as a  wilful  forfeiture , relinquishing or giving up of something of great value  to them ; in acknowledgement of who God is and not only  for what they are expecting  to receive from  God
 Therefore Worship cannot flow from the carnal  heart  which  is devoid of  love and appreciation toward God.
Offering gratitude and praise to God bestows upon  the worshipper  the  uplifting aroma  flowing from the  fullness of God's presence .
Now , visualise this : When Noah went into the ark before the Flood , he went in with limited numbers of males and females of clean and unclean animals, birds and  other living creatures , as he was instructed by God to select them . Genesis 8 :1-3.
When Noah emerged from the ark , instead of moaning about  the loss and destruction around  him, Noah led his household in offering sacrifice and he blessed the Lord his God.
Out of Noah's very limited stock of animals , he willingly offered several of them unto God as a burnt  offering.
"And Noah builded an altar unto the Lord; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar " . Genesis 8 : 20.
Noah's " third leg of the stool " was the offering of the animals which he selected from his limited number of animals and he offered these as a burnt sacrifice  to God .
By his sacrifice , Noah gained dominion over the chaotic scene before him and Noah's sacrifice was a sweet-smelling offering unto God.
 It pleased God when He saw that the first thing Noah and his household did was to make the choice of building an altar to offer a sweet -smelling sacrifice to Him, Genesis 8 :20- 21
 When faced with seemingly insurmountable , prevailing  challenges, go into "the Worship  Mode".by honouring God with your sacrifice of worship .
Worship in the spirit attracts divine intervention which  bestows  triumph also known as DOMINION.r
 When we are in the midst of chaotic situations , God does not expect us to recount to Him the obvious negative facts . God sees us and He knows about  them all , already.
  And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do.
  For they think that they will be heard for their many words. 
 “Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.  Matthew 6:7,8 ( NKJV)
Worship is the  sweet-smelling sacrifice  unto God which births Dominion and retains Dominion.
 When the grateful heart  offers praise , worship and thanksgiving to God , it attracts God's pleasure and His intervention  resulting in more power for  more Dominion.

Dominion births more divine intervention which leads to even more  praise and thanksgiving..
Retain your dominion by blessing the Lord and acknowledging  His goodness and His grace in every situation. 
May you manifest DOMINION in every aspect of your life , continually . Amen.
Our confession  always should be :
" I will bless and worship the Lord at all times . 
His praise shall continually  be in  my  heart and in my  mouth ! 
My soul shall make  my boast in the Lord  and I declare that I have DOMINION over every situation by the power of  the Word of God  which works in  me ".

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