WHEN YOU SEE PEOPLE AT THE TOP FIND OUT HOW THEY GOT THERE BEFORE WISHING TO BE THERE
– Bishop David Abioye at COZA’s 12 Days of Glory.
*The cheapest way to be erased is to stop raising others.
*Those who raise others never gets erased.
* Your pocket may be empty, you may look like a slave but never forget that God already made you a king and a priest.
* Only priests who serve will become kings to rule.
* If God does not give you a name, you cannot earn a name
Heaven is real and it can be reproduced on the earth; because from the beginning, that was God’s intention. God’s place is heaven but He wanted a place where He could go to, called the earth. The earth from the beginning was made to be a duplicate of Heaven. And that is to say everything God has in heaven, He wants to see on earth.
We are familiar with the scriptures in Genesis 1:1: in the beginning, God made the heaven and the earth, but the earth was without form. Heaven was perfect, earth was imperfect. Heaven had a form, heaven is a place of organization – perfect organization, no error, no fault in heaven. And when God first saw the earth, it had no form, no shape, it was void, empty, and God said ”I’m interested in this place”. It took Him 5 days to prepare the earth for a man He had in mind – a man like Him.
And when He was done, all of the treasures of the earth was fully prepared, and on the 6th day, He made a proposal to the trinity. All of the things He did was done by Himself but He said to the trinity – the Son and the Holy Spirit – ‘let us make man, not just any kind of man but a man in our image’. Image means a duplication, a replication. ‘And after our likeness’, that is behaviour. God had the picture of a man and the behaviour, how a man should behave. ‘Let us make man in our image and after our likeness, and let us give Him authority as we have it. Let him have dominion, let him be in charge and let him be in control. We will create for him a system, a government that is obtainable in heaven, on earth here. And we will come down and be visiting him.’ And God trusted man so much that everything He created, He brought them to the man and said ‘name them, I believe in you’. And every name Adam gave to the creatures, God did not alter. What an authority! What a dominion! And that is talking about you. That’s what God did for man and God came down to visit the man to see how he was doing. We never heard that God interrupted with anything the man did, because He gave him His image, His likeness, His authority, His wisdom – man was highly inspired by God just breathing into him His very breath. In the mind of God, God did not create man to be inferior to Him, according to Psalms 8.
Psalms 8:4-9 (KJV)
‘The angel’ in that scripture is not referring to the heavenly beings, it’s referring to God Himself. There are three kinds of angels, God Himself is one, then the angel over the church as we see it in Revelation and the heavenly being we call the angels – the ministering spirits. So He made him (Man) to be lower, a little lower than Himself. Of course we know that man sinned and fell, and from that moment, God still had this man in mind: ‘I want to get him back, I want to get that man back!’ And that’s how pursues all of us today, He wants to get you back. God created man for relationship, He wants a relationship with you. He wants to get you back, and through Jesus, He did the work.
See what happened again, in Revelation chapter 1 verses 5 and 6. He hath made us what he made the first Adam, kings, He has made us kings. You may not feel like it, but that’s what He made you. It’s your choice to now exhibit what He has made you. It’s one thing for you to be made something, but through ignorance or pious behaviour, you do as if you were not made that person. And sometimes, in the name of being humble, some people relegate themselves, they despise themselves. But God already made you. Your pocket may be empty but He already made you, you may look like a slave but He already made you. He made us Kings and priests just as He had it as His intention from the onset, and it has not changed, and it will not change. You see, God does not change His mind even when we don’t realise it. In Revelation 5:10, he added something to it. He made us kings, He made man to be on Earth, He himself in heaven. Man was His representative.
I want us tonight to quickly look at something here, He made us kings: that represents royalty, to rule and to reign with Christ. But by assignment and responsibility, He made us priests. So we are dual-made by God, first as kings to enjoy rulership, and secondly as priests to offer services. Priests are ordained by God to offer services. Kings are known for distinction, priests are known for dedication.
Many believers don’t realise this: your level of dedication determines your distinction in this kingdom. And as it were, He already made us. Don’t struggle to be a king, strive to be a servant. Oh we live in a world today where everybody wants to appear to be king, to be a ruler, to be in charge, to be in control. We live in a generation where very few people want to be identified as a servant. Checking through scriptures, everyone who became distinct and distinguished in this kingdom was actually addressed by God as servants.
Ask me what I want, if there is any title I want from God, I want Him to call me a servant. It’s automatic, if you are a servant, you’ll become a king in this kingdom, if you serve, you will become a ruler. So we are called not just to enjoy inheritance with Christ, but to also defend the interest of Christ. There is inheritance and there is interest of Christ.
We are called not just to be beneficiaries of God’s riches, but to serve as a blessing to mankind.
BIBLICAL EXAMPLES OF DEDICATED SERVANTS
1) ABRAHAM: was referred as a servant of God, “Abraham my servant”. He lived his life from the onset of his call as a servant. When he was leaving, he took Lot with him – his brother’s son. Everything Abraham became, Lot was a duplicate of it. The Lord told me yesterday, He said the cheapest way to be erased is to stop raising others. Those who raise others never get erased. If you don’t want to be erased, keep raising others, keep serving others.
Lot, after leaving Abraham, was going to be destroyed with Sodom and Gomorrah, and Abraham went on his knees interceding. He was secured, he had no need to be praying for somebody else, like many of us today, but he behaved the servant again, he offered services until Lot was rescued. Abraham was a servant, his name has refused to die.
Those who live for others, live forever. Those who die for others to live don’t die. Those who live for self have reduced themselves. If you are full of self, you will end as less. That was Abraham, distinguished, distinct, never to be forgotten.
2) MOSES: Moses the servant of the Lord, that was the common title, ‘Moses my servant has died’, ‘but my servant Moses is not so, a man with whom I speak mouth to mouth and face to face’. The servant, the distinct, the distinguished.
3) David: I’m mentioning these names because they are names that have refused to die. It’s over 3000 years now that David passed on, a few decades ago, he was being celebrated, 3000 years after he declared Jerusalem as the city of the Lord. He served his generation (Acts 13:36).
They were really men meant to be for royalty but they demonstrated loyalty. Loyalty to the kingdom is what empowers you for royalty with Christ in the kingdom. For if we suffer with Him we shall reign with Him. If you serve with Christ, you will rule with Christ. That’s what Timothy said. Only priests who serve will become kings to rule. The pathway to royalty is loyalty. Are you loyal to the kingdom? Are you just looking for the inheritance to benefit from or the services to render in the kingdom?
I’ll like you to reflect on this especially on our Covenant Day of Kingdom Dedication.
4) JESUS CHRIST: ‘I am among you as one that serves (Luke 22:27).’ Jesus the servant became Jesus the ruler. The extent of your rulership is defined by the limit of your stewardship. In this season of prayer and fasting, one of the things we need to pray about is the renewal of our dedication to the Lord. Many of us pray about so many things but we don’t pray about the real thing. Solomon didn’t pray two prayers, he prayed only one prayer, and the Bible says ‘the saying pleased the Lord’.
Luke 22:27 (KJV) For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth.
Paul by revelation began to talk about Christ in Philippians 2:5-11 (KJV). Christ had the mind of humility and of servanthood. He made Himself of NO REPUTATION, not LOW REPUTATION. Jesus had ZERO reputation. Today, that’s what many people seek after, how to be recognized, how to be applauded, how to be seen as great, but He made Himself of NO REPUTATION.
You cannot make yourself great. Trying to make yourself is a waste of energy. If God does not give you a name, you cannot earn a name. God gave Abraham a name, He gave Moses a name. Some people came and said ‘Moses are you the only one? Everytime Moses, Moses..everything Moses.’ He still kept quiet and God said ”aren’t you afraid to talk to my servant? I made him, you can’t destroy the one I made.” That’s why people who are made by God don’t defend themselves. If God made you, any effort made by any man or group of persons can never bring you down. That’s why I don’t bother to defend myself, I didn’t make myself, let the one who made me fight for me and defend me. If you are made by God, no one can unmake you. You can’t make yourself.
Jesus waited for the Father to make Him. He made Himself of NO reputation. Untl you come to zero, God does not make you have surplus. You have to come to zero. The lower you go, the higher He makes you. ‘I am among you as one that serveth’, He made Himself of NO reputation. And when He had done that and God was satisfied, He gave Him a name above all other names, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow and every tongue should confess. That’s why you will discover that people who are made in this kingdom, you don’t see struggle around them, you don’t see sweat around them, they are just simply made! I didn’t struggle to be where I am today, no, so I don’t have to struggle to keep my self there. If you make your self, you have to struggle to keep your self there.
People who matter most in this kingdom are servants. From the old testament to the new testament, the story is the same. So, assume your priestly office and God will take you to your kingly office. Only those who bow to serve will ever rise to lead. Only those who stoop to wash the feet of others will ever rise to take the lead.
To pastors who may be here, don’t look for a congregation. I was privileged to start pastoring a church of 4 people (including my self), but I so pastored them that they can’t forget me. Spiritual services, material services and physical services. There is nowhere I pastor that you don’t feel me. And by the grace of God, there is no one who leaves me that does not miss me. By reason of touchable and tangible services rendered. This afternoon, a widow in our church then, when I was privileged to serve i Maiduguri, came with her children and grandchildren, and they were calling me grandfather, by reason of the services rendered. We need to set our priorities right, stop thinking ‘what will I get from this?’, what you’ll get is secondary, it will automatically come.
The services you render as a church worker is very critical and very crucial. You are here in any service department or any service group or unit, don’t bother about what others are doing. You are not there for them, you are there as a servant. Everywhere I have been to, I embrace opportunities to serve because that is the ladder to your kingship and rulership. I have been in many departments including technical unit, infact that was my first assignment under God’s servant Bishop Oyedepo. I was a recorder of his messages and then, there was no microphone, no public address system but a tape recorder. We would buy tape and record, and I had to catch every statement he was making. So I would take the tape recorder, when he moves this way, I move the tape recorder.
I have served as church usher before, I have served as children Sunday school teacher before, I have been in the choir before… because I don’t want to see anything go down. I have found my self as it were, tearing my self into various places because I don’t want to see a gap anywhere. Just looking for what to do. Those were the things that the patriachs did, Abraham, Moses, he was everywhere, to a point that he almost lost his life pastoring 3 million people until he received counsel from his father-in-law on how to manage himself. He never bothered to die, as a matter of fact, he got to a point where he told God ‘if you will not rescue this people, take me. If you take their name out of the book of life, don’t write my own there.’ He was passionate and dedicated, willing for others to live even if it means he would die.
5) PAUL: ‘For me to live is Christ, to die is gain. So, whether I live or die, I’m already dead.’ That’s the meaning of dedication: dead to self, alive to God, living so others can live. I got no business being in ministry if it is for my self, but for others, their wellbeing. So let’s be conscious of our priestly assignment and it will become natural for us to enjoy our kingly position.
We have the story of a man called Rehoboam; he was Solomon’s son. Solomon became a tyrant before he died, his heart for God was turned and he became a tax collector who was oppresing God’s people, and when he died, his son came. And the elders met the son and spoke to him hoping that he would change. They told him ‘look, if you serve these people, they will serve you for life (1 Kings 12:6-7).’ The peope you serve are the people you will lead.
Look at a leader, the level of his leadership is determined by the people that he serves. If you are a pastor here, don’t make a mistake, people are not listening to you because you are an orator amd eloquent, they are listening to you because you serve them. If you touch people with your service, they will give you their hands to lead them. I don’t ask people to follow me, I will so serve you, and it becomes your decision to willingly offer me your hand to lead you. I believe in voluntary followership. Not coerced followership. I have never begged any church member to stay in my life. And that doesn’t mean I won’t greet you, if you leave the church, I meet you outside, I’ll embrace you, you’ll never imagine that you ever left the church, but you will miss me. Halleluyah.
I have never preached to or prayed for any member for what I would get from them. My tone of prayer has not changed meeting anybody. It is the same simple prayer. I’ve prayed for people and they asked me ‘is that all?’, I said that’s all! I don’t waste time praying, because I know what to say by the grace of God. People ask me ‘why is your prayer always short?’ Me: Because I know what to say! And I say it and I go to take my rest for the doer to do it. I am only a speaker and He puts His word in my mouth, I speak it and I take my rest. This microphone doesn’t bother itself at all, when I finish using it, I drop it and it takes its rest. I say it and I go to take my rest.
I PRAY THAT THE SPIRIT OF DEDICATION WILL COME UPON YOU!
WHAT ARE THE CORE AREAS OF PRIESTHOOD SERVICE WE ARE TO RENDER?
1) SPIRITUAL: Praying and fasting for kingdom advancement.
When we were growing up in the faith, we never learnt or knew about praying for things for ourselves, but for the kingdom. Praying thy kingdom come oh Lord. Most people who are thriving in ministry today, they pray less for things. They are always praying for the expansion of the kingdom on earth. They are loyal to the heavenly kingdom to come on earth here. They are jealous for their senior partner – God in heaven, for whatever is there to be duplicated on earth here. And so, Jesus taught us that when we pray, this is how to pray (Matthew 6:9-11). ‘Our Father who art in heaven hallowed be thy name, THY KINGDOM COME! Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ After that comes ‘give us this day our daily bread’.
When last did you pray for the kingdom? When last did you pray for this church and other churches? When last were you moved to focus on praying for God’s kingdom to expand on earth? We have the story of the woman (Anna) who for 84 years served God in prayer and fasting, from her widowhood (Luke 2:37).
Most people who are thriving in ministry today pray less for things. They are always praying for the expansion of the Kingdom on earth.
Jesus taught us to pray according to Matthew 6:9-11. When last did you Pray for the Kingdom, when last were you moved to focus on the Kingdom of God on earth.
When you are praying and fasting for the Kingdom, you are serving the Lord. I want you to do that from now on.
I can’t remember when last l prayed for myself. The last coat l bought for myself was in 1998, why? Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and all these things shall be added to you. Kingdom addiction is key to addition from God. Addiction to God is key to addition from God.
2. Soul Winning and Soul Establishment.
When last did you win a soul for Jesus? There are plenty opportunities to win a soul, your banker, mechanic, tailor e.t.c. Soul winning and soul establishment, our world is dying and we are watching, we have the answer in our hands, we need to go to where they are.
Luke 14: 21-23
A car that is not used to bring people to church is a can. Anything you have that is not useful to others is useless.
Everywhere you go, people are eagerly looking for help. Get them saved. Someone is sick and you refer them to doctors when you are the doctor they need. We have so many technical ways to bring people to Christ.
2 Corinthians 5:17-20
You are saved to save others.
3. By Giving Towards Kingdom Needs.
Lavishing your resources for the well being of the Kingdom. David did that. David never waited for God to tell him what to do, he told God what he wanted to do. Some of you are waiting for God to tell you to give before you can give.
4. Serving In Church Units And Departments
David said l would rather be a house keeper in the house of God – Psalm 84:10
There are many who are too big to serve in the house of God and they reduced their opportunity.
When our church started in Kaduna, Bishop David Oyedepo will wake up in the morning, put on shorts and sweep the church. When you see people at the top, don’t wish to be there, find out how they got there.
Don’t copy the position, study the process. Don’t practice greatness, climb up to greatness by following the paths others followed.
It is important that your services must be acceptable to be reward-able.
How do l do these things?
Not with eye service, not as men pleasers.
– Serve God lovingly. Genuine service begins with love. Passion for God, Compassion for people
1 Chronicles 29:3
1 Kings 3:3
Love is the greatest motivator to serve.
If you are not compassionate, you are not a priest.
Miracles was out of compassion in the Ministry of Jesus. I have discovered that whatever is in your heart, God will put in your hands.
– We must render our service dedicatedly.
Serve God in such a way that you will just forget yourself.
Abraham served God and he became the greatest farmer. If you serve God, there is no limit to your lifting. David served God, Solomon, Daniel, e.t.c served the Lord, they didn’t go to school, God taught them through inspiration.
Inspiration is superior to education. Inspiration is God teaching while education is teachers teaching. Inspiration – instant solutions to sudden problems. You cannot be dedication to the Lord and not be distinguished in life
Serve him fervently.
As a young pastor someone made a statement that all these young pastors, it is because they don’t have work that they are in ministry. I said he will come back to bow to me. Several years later, he came on his knees. Be not weary in service, it is only a matter of time, it will show.
1 Corinthians 9:16
Don’t serve God forcefully. Serve God joyfully.
2 Corinthians 9:7
What are the rewards of dedication?
1. Glorification: Glorification awaits dedication.
John 12: 23-25. Joseph from slavery to prisoner to palace…. fruitfulness awaits dedication. David, Moses, Abraham were all dedicated and they brought forth fruit.
Many of us may not know this, when the New Generation banks came to Nigeria, most of the Managing Directors were children of elders, pastors, deacons….. God saw the dedication of their Father’s and produced those great children. What you are doing goes beyond you, it extends to your generation.
– Long life is preserved when you serve the Lord. He will take sickness away, I don’t pray for healing, He can’t afford for me to be sick. He knows how dedicated l am to Him. If your driver is sick, you have to drive. God thinks of me, if this fellow is sick, who will preach in Maraba, Massaka etc? He knows what l am doing for Him. You shall serve and He will take sickness from you, make you fruitful and give you long life. Get busy with your priesthood and watch him establish you as a king.
Be blessed of the Lord!
Receive the Spirit of dedication!
From today, the dedication to the Lord and His Kingdom will become your delight in the Name of Jesus.
If you are not born again, you will suffer again. Being born again is your escape route. Don’t ignore this please, l am appealing to you, you are so precious, you need to do that quickly, don’t waste time. Salvation is not to be assumed. I was about sixteen years old when l gave my life to Christ before then l was very zealous but l lacked peace and joy, l was living in guilt. These are the three things that happen when you are not born again, you need to be saved. Perhaps you have given your life to Christ but you backslided, you have an opportunity to repent and return back to your saviour. You need to surrender or rededicate your life to Jesus.
Courtesy: Church Gist