By Pastor Bankie Olusina
At a time, passing from stage 2 to the 3rd stage was difficult for the Lord Jesus. So He went into the garden and prayed until the decision to go to the cross was no longer just that of the Father, but it became His own too. Our sacrifices are not fully accepted until we get to that point.
Many people like the sound of saying they are only doing what they are doing because the Lord wants it so, but it is not so good. It shows they are not fully persuaded about the wisdom of God; it is not actually a sign of spirituality. Imagine a man asking a woman for her hand in marriage, and telling her that it is only because the Lord said he should. I actually know a man who did that. He told the lady that left to him he wasn’t particularly interested, but that he had to obey the Lord. How would you like to be told that as a woman? ‘The Lord loves me, and has a plan for me, but the husband who He wants me to marry is not interested, He is just obeying the Lord.’ Not exactly an exciting thought, is it? You feel just like an assignment and not a loved woman. It certainly wouldn’t be nice to live in a home where everything is done only because the Lord wants it, while we actually have no feeling about it.
See, we will all pass through stage 2, but our obedience is not complete until we reach stage 3. Yes the Lord may have shown me His plan to marry that woman, but I am to pray until I want her too. The Lord doesn’t want a marriage where every day you are enduring and telling your spouse, ‘I am only here because the Lord wants me to be there.’ No, it is not good. We must get to the point where even if the Lord were to say, ‘come out,’ you would feel. Derek Prince’s story is instructive for me in this regard.
Two years after his first wife went home to the Lord, he had a revelation that the Lord wanted him to marry another woman. He saw this in a kind of dream or vision. He was perplexed and told the Lord he didn’t really love the woman. To make a long story short, a day came that he saw the lady wearing the dress he had seen in the vision, when she came to speak with him about something, and love for her just flowed his heart. After that day, he wanted to marry her. He now loved her and did what was necessary to woo the woman. It was no longer the decision of the Lord; it had become his decision too. That is what it is supposed to be.
Obedience to the Lord is not just for the sake of obedience, but it is so that we will be converted into His own nature. We often overlook this purpose of God. Even though it may seem very spiritual to be able to say ‘I heard God,’ actually it is not at all a sign of spirituality. The Lord rather wants people He doesn’t have to ‘talk’ to. He wants children who are developed enough so that in themselves they are like Him and can make God-like decisions, decisions so God-like they can be trusted to judge angels (1 Corinthians 6:3).
Spirituality is not the ability to hear God, but the development that has taken place inside us so that we think like Him. A spiritual man knows the mind of God through understanding of the nature and character of God. Remember there was a man, Ahithophel, who understood life so much that through reasoning he could give counsel so wise it was as if you inquired of the Lord (2 Samuel 16:23). For the Christian, we are to be spiritual Ahithophels. Within the limit of the knowledge we have, we are to understand the mind of God so much that we think like Him. And if we learn anything new by the special operation of the Spirit of God, then we are to seek to understand the wisdom therein and make that wisdom part of us. We are not to take pride in ‘God told me,’ but that ‘Yes, I have the mind of Christ.’
Let us end this with the words of David:
The Lord is good and decent.
That is why he teaches sinners the way they should live.
He leads humble people to do what is right,
and he teaches them his way.
Every path of the Lord is one of mercy and truth
for those who cling to his promise and written instructions.
For the sake of your name, O Lord,
remove my guilt, because it is great.
Who, then, is this person that fears the Lord?
He is the one whom the Lord will teach which path to choose.
He will enjoy good things in life,
and his descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord advises those who fear him.
He reveals to them the intent of his promise.
Psalms 25:8-14 [GW].
(For more on this subject, please read my book GUIDED BY THE SPIRIT)