THE SILENCE OF THE LAMB
The silence of the Lamb is the voice of redemption
“He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth.” Isaiah 53:7 (NLT)
You might be going through some harsh and very challenging situation, and you have committed your situation before God for intervention, rather than getting a speedy intervention, God is silent about it. God might be telling you indirectly like Paul, “Three different times I begged the Lord to take it away. Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:8-10 (NLT)
Sometimes, you might not hear an answer or get a response from God on some issues of life. It does not mean that God is angry against you. It does not mean you are paying for your sin. It does not mean that the devil is having an upper hands. The silence of the Lord, might mean that you need to look so deeply because, a way of escape is inside what you are going through.
“No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.” 1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)
Remember, “And he said to them, “Out of the eater came something to eat. Out of the strong came something sweet.” And in three days they could not solve the riddle.”
Judges 14:14 (ESV)
From what is choking life out of you is life. From what is killing you is deliverance. From what is eating you up is meat. From that bitterness of life is sweetness. From that unfavorable circumstances is favor.
I pray for exceptional grace to walk through the flood of life but won’t drown you. I pray for the strength and confidence in God for you to pass through the fire of life but it won’t consume and burn you. May you in faith receive the wisdom of God to know what to do.
KNOWING THE WAY OF GOD
Anytime you miss the way of God, your heart has definitely gone astray.
“But,” God says, “I was very angry with them, for their hearts were always looking somewhere else instead of up to me, and they never found the paths I wanted them to follow.” Hebrew 3:10 (LB)
The way of God is not in prophecy, though prophecy can attest. The way of God is in your heart, and prophecy may witness to what is already in your heart.
“But faith’s way of getting right with God says, “Don’t say in your heart, ‘Who will go up to heaven?’ (to bring Christ down to earth). And don’t say, ‘Who will go down to the place of the dead?’ (to bring Christ back to life again).” In fact, it says, “The message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart.” Romans 10:6-8 (NLT)
Therefore, “Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life.” Proverbs 4:23 (NLT)
Earnestly with all sincerity say this prayer; “Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.” Psalms 139:23-24 (LB)
“This command I am giving you today is not too difficult for you to understand, and it is not beyond your reach. It is not kept in heaven, so distant that you must ask, ‘Who will go up to heaven and bring it down so we can hear it and obey?’ It is not kept beyond the sea, so far away that you must ask, ‘Who will cross the sea to bring it to us so we can hear it and obey?’ No, the message is very close at hand; it is on your lips and in your heart so that you can obey it.” Deuteronomy 30:11-14 (NLT)
Who killed Jesus?
The set of people who antagonized, rebelled and eventually killed Jesus were the people in the church. His opposition did not come from “sinners”, but from the people who believed in God.
“From then on Jesus began to tell his disciples plainly that it was necessary for him to go to Jerusalem, and that he would suffer many terrible things at the hands of the elders, the leading priests, and the teachers of religious law. He would be killed, but on the third day he would be raised from the dead.” Matthew 16:21 (NLT)
Why? It was as a result of lack of understanding.
How? They thought that Jesus came to destroy the law, not knowing that He came to fulfill it.
“Don’t misunderstand why I have come. I did not come to abolish the law of Moses or the writings of the prophets. No, I came to accomplish their purpose.” Matthew 5:17 (NLT)
The law in itself can kill and destroy a man – I mean when you read the letter of the law, you don’t grasp full understand of the intention (purpose) of God on that. The elders, priests, and teachers of the law could not understand the angle Jesus was coming from. They were guided by the letter of the law but Jesus was instructed by the spirit of the law.
“He has enabled us to be ministers of his new covenant. This is a covenant not of written laws, but of the Spirit. The old written covenant ends in death; but under the new covenant, the Spirit gives life.” 2 Corinthians 3:6 (NLT)
Those who are guided by the letter of the law dwell on the judgment angle of it (Remember the woman caught in adultery) but those who are guided by the spirit of the law dwell on the purpose of it – That made Jesus to see differently from what the elders, priests and teachers of the law were seeing.
THE PLACE OF UNDERSTANDING
Solomon advised so strongly of the relevance of understanding.
“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)
Understanding simply means good judgment, and good judgment must be thoroughly developed.
“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)
DEVELOPING GOOD JUDGMENT
Always give chance for explanation: God did with Adam and Eve. When He came to the garden after they sinned, He asked them questions and allowed them to explain. He wanted to get a confession from them, so that he could help, and not destroy them. Genesis 3 – (It is the same principle being used in the court of law today; and the main purpose of prison to offenders is reformation)
Be slow to speak: Even if you learnt of someone committed sin, slow your roll, don’t just speak about it. Human being will always paint a picture of gloom and condemnation and referred to what the repercussion of such offence should be.
“Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them. As he was speaking, the teachers of religious law and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in the act of adultery. They put her in front of the crowd. “Teacher,” they said to Jesus, “this woman was caught in the act of adultery. The law of Moses says to stone her. What do you say?” John 8:1-4 (NLT)
Rather than responding quickly and immediately to that, Jesus was quick to hear but slow to speak (James 1:19), and when He spoke, He judged rightly, not to destroy the woman, rather to reform her and help the accusers to understand the spirit of that law and stop dwelling on the letters of the law.
“They kept demanding an answer, so he stood up again and said, “All right, but let the one who has never sinned throw the first stone!” Then he stooped down again and wrote in the dust. When the accusers heard this, they slipped away one by one, beginning with the oldest, until only Jesus was left in the middle of the crowd with the woman. Then Jesus stood up again and said to the woman, “Where are your accusers? Didn’t even one of them condemn you?” “No, Lord,” she said. And Jesus said, “Neither do I. Go and sin no more.” John 8:7-11 (NLT)
Many of us have absolute faith in God but not in His timing. We never laid it to heart that, “faith in God includes faith in His timing.”
Having faith in God is great, much more, having faith in His timing compliments for the desired miracle and expectation.
FAITH IN GOD
It is an expression of confidence in God’s ability.
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.” Matthew 19:26 (NLT)
FAITH IN HIS TIMING
It is trusting in the ways, approaches and the routes God is taking you through in order to demonstrate His ability. It might be longer, shorter or tiresome. It is His prerogative.
“Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?” He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.” Acts 1:6-7 (NLT)
JOSEPH: A CASE STUDY
Joseph believed in the ability of God to deliver him but God did not do it when he thought was the perfect time.
“This is what the dream means,” Joseph said. “The three branches represent three days. Within three days Pharaoh will lift you up and restore you to your position as his chief cup-bearer. And please remember me and do me a favor when things go well for you. Mention me to Pharaoh, so he might let me out of this place.” Genesis 40:12-14 (NLT)
Joseph was sure that in three days, his deliverance could be guaranteed.
“Pharaoh’s birthday came three days later, and he prepared a banquet for all his officials and staff. He summoned his chief cup-bearer and chief baker to join the other officials. He then restored the chief cup-bearer to his former position, so he could again hand Pharaoh his cup.” Genesis 40:20-21 (NLT)
But that was not the timing of God. He shut the mind of the chief cup-bearer. He forgot within three days.
“Pharaoh’s chief cup-bearer, however, forgot all about Joseph, never giving him another thought.” Genesis 40:23 (NLT)
Sometimes, where you expect help, favor or deliverance from might not be the avenue God wants to use. If God does not send such your way, then you can’t get it from there. He knows what will ultimately give Him glory and He does not want to share His glory with no one. (Isaiah 42:8) Rather than getting upset or even for someone disappointing you or for dashing your expectation, count it all joy.
“Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow. So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing.” James 1:2-4 (NLT)
It was after two years that the perfect timing came for Joseph.
“Two full years later, Pharaoh dreamed…The next morning Pharaoh was very disturbed by the dreams. So he called for all the magicians and wise men of Egypt. When Pharaoh told them his dreams, not one of them could tell him what they meant….Finally, the king’s chief cup-bearer spoke up. “Today I have been reminded of my failure,” he told Pharaoh. “Some time ago, you were angry with the chief baker and me, and you imprisoned us in the palace of the captain of the guard. One night the chief baker and I each had a dream, and each dream had its own meaning. There was a young Hebrew man with us in the prison who was a slave of the captain of the guard. We told him our dreams, and he told us what each of our dreams meant. And everything happened just as he had predicted. I was restored to my position as cup-bearer, and the chief baker was executed and impaled on a pole. Pharaoh sent for Joseph at once, and he was quickly brought from the prison. After he shaved and changed his clothes, he went in and stood before Pharaoh.” Genesis 41:1-14 (NLT)
Remember, He makes all things beautiful in His time. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Any opportunity in life that does not match the assurance from God is a trap in disguise.
Opportunity sometimes is an alternative to assurance, and could be very appealing. (Genesis 16:1-4)
Opportunity could be an advantage but eventually regretful. (Genesis 3:1-8
Opportunity is an immediate gratification with what is available. (Genesis 16:1-4)
Assurance is superior to opportunity
Assurance may linger but brings joy in the morning (Psalm 30:5)
Assurance comes with pictorial message (Jeremiah 1:11-12; Genesis 13:14-17; Genesis 15:4-5)
Righteousness is in assurance (Genesis 15:4-6)
CASE STUDY 1: ABRAHAM AND SARAH
God gives assurance. His assurance is the spoken word to you but the devil always comes to offer alternative in opportunity.
In Genesis chapter 15, there was nothing to show for it but God assured Abraham of a son, and never to set his eyes on his servant as his heir.
“Some time later, the LORD spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, “Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.” But Abram replied, “O Sovereign LORD, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” Then the LORD said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the LORD took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” Genesis 15:1-5 (NLT)
But in Genesis 16 Satan offered alternative (opportunity) through Sarai;
“Now Sarai, Abram’s wife, had not been able to bear children for him. But she had an Egyptian servant named Hagar. So Sarai said to Abram, “The LORD has prevented me from having children. Go and sleep with my servant. Perhaps I can have children through her.” And Abram agreed with Sarai’s proposal. So Sarai, Abram’s wife, took Hagar the Egyptian servant and gave her to Abram as a wife. (This happened ten years after Abram had settled in the land of Canaan.) So Abram had sexual relations with Hagar, and she became pregnant…” verses 1-4 (NLT)
Always cross check with God (Proverbs 3:5-6) whenever opportunity presents itself, even if it seems complimentary to what God had told you earlier.
Satanic opportunity always shows up through someone close to you, people you can trust and environment you are familiar with.
God gives assurance but Satan offers opportunity.
Remember, the “just shall live by faith”, and not by sight.