Good to be back!
Aren’t you just grateful to God you are alive to witness the new year! 2020 is the culmination of another decade and I assure you that there are some really cool things God has in store for you this year.
Late last year, I began to consider a very instructive verse of Scripture which I hope to share with you today. It brought quite a lot gaps in our faith walk to light and realigned my understanding on how to get results, God’s way.
Here is another year with endless possibilities and limitless potentials, many will draw up long lists of goals, to-dos and visions… but statistics tell us only less than 5% ever get to achieve those lofty goals come December each year. What could be the missing link?
Jesus, our perfect example makes this missing link abundantly clear in Scripture.
Hebrews 12:2 (KJV) Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Paul here, had already established that Jesus is the Author and Finisher of our Faith, and he thereafter propounds a framework which exemplifies the variables, coefficients and dimensions of the Faith He exemplifies.
I like the way The Passion Translation puts it;
We look away from the natural realm and we fasten our gaze onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!
Here it says, His example is this… That is, the example of how Jesus walked by Faith to get a result that pleased the Father was about to be expounded. I know in college, your teachers hardly gave sufficient examples that helped in tests and exams. They just seemed to always cherry pick the easiest of the bunch and left you to figure out the complex ones that showed up in your tests.
Example. 2a + b= 8 where a = 3, find b
Test question. -4x^2 – 8y= -4xy find x and y
Really? Like seriously!
Too many talking points, but I’ll just pass.
But I’m glad Jesus isn’t that mean… lol. He gives such an example that contains the core of the variables and factors required to answer any and every question you will ever face in life. His example is perfect, if you will follow His example, plug in your unique coefficients into His framework, you will inadvertently get your answer, 100% of the time. His example is fail proof!
What is this example?
For every walk of faith, which we are indeed to live by… Jesus via his timeless example, says that there are 4 key factors that are indispensable. This lesson couldn’t have come at a better time than now when we are full of hope and belief about all that the year 2020 holds for us.
For Jesus and indeed for everyone of us, there are 4 key factors to consider;
The Joy Set Before Him: This speaks to the Vision, the Desire, the Goal, the set Objective… that exciting image of a desired future you have in your heart. For Jesus, it was the joy of saving you and I and getting us reconciled unto God as His beloved Children. That joy was so compelling for Jesus. The Bible says when He saw the effect of all that He would through and how it all culminates in getting us saved… He was satisfied. Isaiah 53:11.
Every joy must be “set”. What does it mean for something to be set? It must be dimensional. It must be compelling and must be exciting enough. You must be able to specifically articulate your joy. Where there is no specific vision or goal or joy, the people cast off restraint, there is no “energy” to forge ahead. Proverbs 29:18. Once that joy isn’t well set, it doesn’t create the right motivation. Any little distraction becomes strong enough to move your gaze off your goal.
In the year 2020, your desire as influenced by the Holy Spirit must and should be well set. What are the things the Lord is laying in your heart to be executed this year? Let them be very clear. Get a picture version of that desire and conceive it in your imagination. Every thought and imagination has its material equivalent, get acquainted with the unseen version and the seen will soon catch up with it.
This part, being the most exciting is where a lot people stop. Their walk of faith begins and ends at the place of having a desire, but failure to move to the next phase will render your desire a mere wishful thought which carries no substance. Jesus didn’t just desire to have all men saved… He died to make it happen.
Cross Coefficients: For every joy desired, there is a Cross to endure. Observe that the cross is not to be enjoyed, but endured. What are the cross coefficients of your joy? This is where the real work is. Leave those who keep making big and outlandish wishes for the year, but fail to pay attention to the requisite cross coefficients, they will come back the next year with the same prayer requests. As powerful as God is, as immortal as Christ is, Salvation could not be brokered for mankind without the cross. Every joy has its cross.
This cross speaks to the personal responsibilities, the routines, the daily habits, the regiments, the disciplines and the demands of the joy. They are not very fancy, so not many people get excited about them, however they are the source codes and the laborious coding hours behind the exciting website of the Joys. Without them, you can as well wave your website a good bye. The cross is the real McCoy, that’s the key element to achieving your goals.
Jesus made it clear in Matthew 9:23 that anyone who only fancies the idea of being called his disciple but is not willing to carry his cross, deny himself daily and follow him can not essentially be his disciple. Discipleship is not in wishes, it is in disciplines. In Luke 14:27, Jesus reiterates this same principle and parallels it with the concept of counting costs for a building project. The cross is the cost for the joy. Every joy has a cross coefficient. Look for the cross, agree with it, decide to endure it. Become one with your cross and no man will deny you of the joy.
We however need to be aware of another very tricky variable which could render all your resolve to endure the cross useless. Every cross has a social consequence. By choosing that cross, you have also made a series of choices which have social implications.
Despise the Shame: The shame is the social consequence of your cross. The cross isn’t fancy like I mentioned. It will ensure that you are not able to do some of the things you used to be free to do. It will ensure you don’t go out as often as you used to. It may even limit the number of your friends to a handful. It will impact on your social realities. Some people will say something is wrong with you… some of your friends will not find you “cool” anymore. But it’s okay, the cross has such effects.
God told Noah to prepare an Ark to save his household. Thereafter Noah decided to embrace the cross of building an Ark. He would go out every day, pick out a tree, fell it, shape it into dimensions, beat it into alignments, pound, hammer, chisel, saw… boy, he was busy. Such crosses sure have very serious social consequences, his friends and used to be colleagues at work said he had gone crazy. No one believed him. Folks who had never seen rain, sure found it hard to believe there was going to be flood… it was ludicrous. But he knew what he saw and embraced the cross, however hard it was.
In your journey of faith in the year 2020, you must be willing to despise the shame attached to the cross coefficients of your joy. That’s the value chain! Your decision to do the will of God has shame coefficients. Those who value people’s opinions over and above God’s commendation like King Saul, will not enter into the rest ordained for them this year. God only rewards those who seek Him diligently, unashamedly.
Hebrews 11:7 (KJV)
By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith.
Many of us allow the world to condemn us, and we make ourselves victims of their opinions… when it comes to your walk of faith, you are the one to condemn the world. You’re the one to weigh their opinions in a thimble and scale it twice as empty. The world has nothing on you. Why look at their faces anyway? God told prophet Jerry not to look at their faces because looking at their faces makes you risk obedience to the will of God.
Moses is another man who effectively despised the shame. Imagine being known as the heir to the most powerful throne at the time, and then receiving some “calling” and thereafter choosing not to be called by that powerful surname. Imagine refusing to be called Dangote, or Trump or Otedola… especially in a generation where even those completely unrelated to these names claim them so passionately. Here we have a rightful bearer of the name deciding to not be called by a name that confers so much honour, respect, authority and pleasures. Moses must have seen something, What did Moses see?
By faith Moses, when he was come to years, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter; Choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season; Esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt: for he had respect unto the recompence of the reward.
Hebrews 11:24-26 KJV
Guys… when it comes to doing the will of God and achieving all that God has in store for you in the year 2020, you will come face to face with the social consequence of your decision to follow God, please honour and obey God. It is part of the price. It was actually a badge that the disciples wore with so much pride. Remember when they were beaten and told not to preach again in the name of Jesus? They were so excited that they could be counted worthy to suffer affliction and shame for Christ sake. Paul says that he may know the power of God’s resurrection and become intimate with Christ’s sufferings… Phil 3:10
What a perspective!
The Glory: Only those who embrace the cross and shame coefficients of the joy ever enter into the 4th dimension, which is the Glory. Here, only God is active, man is inactive. Man is only a recipient of God’s lifting. When Jesus entered that realm, the Bible says God gave Him a name that is above every name, that that name, every other name in the 3 dispensations now and confess to His Lordship and supremacy. Jesus didn’t make these declarations, The Father did!
The glory is not designed to be used to gloat or mock those who shamed you while you were bearing the cross. Notice Jesus, after resurrection didn’t appear to Pilate, asking him “how clean are your hands now?” Neither did he poke the soldier mocking Him to prophesy, saying “how many Word of K’s do you need now?” Stop trying to “blow”, just so you can mock your mockers, let God lift you, the mockers will find their level.
Your own role is to focus on bearing your cross and despising the shame, let God do the lifting!
As we conclude… I advise that you deconstruct all your Joys for the year 2020 into crosses. Further break them down to monthly crosses you must bear in order to achieve that lofty joy in December. Embrace those crosses, choose them over all else, accept responsibility for them. Be committed to them. Condemn the world and their opinions and be on your way to glory.
This framework works for every single life endeavour, across all fields ranging from Ministry, to Career, to Family Life, to Government, Arts and Entertainment, to Business… name it. It is a fail proof example, simply plug in your coefficients based on your context and work out the answer.
I love you… have a remarkable 2020!