General Mangu’s bravery and legendary gallantry in the battle field has fetched him accolades beyond the shores of his battalion. Other Generals in enemy camps acknowledge his profound influence upon his comrades. Outwardly, they plan to eliminate him, but inwardly they desire to emulate him. The world of history can’t afford to lose such a man of honour… probably the last of his kind. He would do everything within his capacity to defend both his Country and his Comrades. Severally when faced with the choice of saving himself and surviving, or defending his comrade and risk dying… he always chose the latter. One may never find a finer soldier and combatant than General Mangu.
Every time he went to battle and returned, he came with several bounties from the battle. Because he was such an unusually efficient Commander, he never returned without extra-large bonuses which he shared lavishly with his family, friends and even people unknown to him. General Mangu had two sons. These two sons always relished in the fact that their Dad was the best General in the entire region and they even brag about his accomplishments among their friends.
One day, while General Mangu was in his bedchamber getting ready for work, one of his sons, Zeph stumbled on him half-dressed and for the first time in his entire life, he saw all the scars that produced the large bounties he had always enjoyed. He realized that for every bounty his Dad brought home, he had practically survived near death situations that could have taken his life. He realized that for every bounty, there were at least 3 scars as its badge of honour. Initially his Dad was embarrassed but eventually he would let Zeph touch those scars and feel the depth of the wounds that produced those scars. It was literally a miracle that his Dad was still alive having gone through such ordeals at war. He went to war for those who may never even know what he goes through in battle. Despite all the trauma he went through, he never transferred aggression to his kids or wife. He remained stable and ever ready to listen and hear them out.
Zeph told Karman his brother about his profound experience with their Dad. It had so much impacted Zeph and his perception of his Dad that he had to tell Karman all about his peculiar experience. Karman laughed it all off. ”Aren’t soldiers meant to fight anyway? Why make a big deal about a man simply doing his job? His job is to provide while mine is to enjoy… hahaha?” Karman said. Zeph was offended by Karman’s attitude to their Dad’s sacrifices and had a sharp contention with him over it. He would eventually leave Karman to his ways.
After the experience, Zeph valued all the more the bounties that came from his Dad’s military trips. One day, moved with so much passion and empathy, Zeph begged his Dad to allow him follow him to the battle field. General Mangu immediately stopped him dead in his tracks as he attempted to buttress his point, but Zeph would not listen or budge either. He went ahead and bought the necessary kit to make himself battle ready. He was not going to accept “NO” for an answer. He would eventually follow his Dad to battle on the dangerous terrains of war, blood and sweat. He was not put in a very dangerous position but he sure had first-hand experience about what his Dad went through to bring home all those bounties he had lived all his life enjoying.
There are those I call Redemption Beneficiaries, and there are those I call Redemption Comrades. Did Christ finish all the works there needs to be done as far as our salvation, healing and provision are concerned? Yes He did… does he expect us to do all over again, the dead works of the law as touching the same things He went through on our behalf? Never! But does He expect us to live our lives with an understanding of what He went through on our behalf and extending the same providence to those who need it? Absolutely!
There is a level of understanding that simply relishes only in the benefits of Redemption; The Forgiveness of sins, The Adoption as Sons, The Authority of the Believer, The Gift of The Holy Spirit, The Gifts of the Holy Spirit, The Gift of Righteousness, The Fruit of the Spirit, Direct Access to The Father, Ministry of Angels, Supernatural Prosperity, Divine Healing, Excellent Spirit, Unusual Wisdom, The Love of God, Spiritual Advocacy, Divine Protection, The Fellowship of the Saints, Communion of the Spirit, Divine Encounters and Visitations, Supernatural Miracles, Unmerited Favour, Eternal Deliverance… and the list goes on and on. I am almost shocked at the long list I am able to develop by just giving a little thought to how much Christ has brokered for us eternally through His Redemptive sacrifices. It is mind blowing! I can understand the distraction of those who are completely blown away by these eternally inexhaustible depth of riches loaded in these benefits that they forget there is another level of understanding. Each one of these takes a few eternities to exhaust in depth! Lol. These are benefits we need to understand how they can be accessed and deployed by Faith, we can never do anything in the flesh to deserve them.
Philippians 3:21 (KJV) That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS, being made conformable unto his death
There is another level of understanding that goes beyond the inexhaustible benefits of Redemption, and seeks to see how to Partner with Christ in sharing His Everlasting Love with a dying world. This is what Zeph did with General Mangu his Father. Those in this realm are the Comrades. It is at this point, that the believer desires to get into a fellowship of suffferings with The Christ, where the hand downs just don’t cut it for him anymore. Babies can sit there and cry for more give-aways all they can, but I want to know You Lord and the Power of Your resurrection, especially the Fellowship of Your sufferings that led to the ultimate sacrifice of You dying for me on a couple of sticks. When a believer shows such passion towards His Lord… God would not rebuff… He will open the curtain and the veil covering the back-end of the Redemption software, where we will see a lot of blood, sacrifices, sweats, denials, necessities, fastings, agonies, journeys, shipwrecks, infirmities, spits, thorny crowns, the wooden cross… that’s where he sees them. The front page is attractive, it’s got too much benefits, but a curious searcher wants to know what produced all of these grandeour. This level is not compulsory, Paul pressed into it by desire and a holy dissatisfaction with hand outs… Lord, take me to the back-end he screamed! THAT I MAY KNOW YOU!!!…
It is in this back-end we see eternal values such as Kingdom Service, Forgiving one another, Ministry Partnerships through Tithes and Consistent Giving, Holiness, Charity to God’s Beneficiaries (Widows, Orphans, Aged and the Poor. Since whoever gives to them lends to the Lord Proverbs 19:17… You can’t be God’s beneficiary and be less privileged!). Doing all these things never pay back what Christ did for the believer, and they never can… they only seek to know more intimately the Saviour to whom we owe our very lives.
These were the things Paul sought to pursue in God. Don’t get me wrong, he never outgrew the first level, he only broke into the second level by pursuit and love, just like Zeph did with General Mangu. The next time Zeph takes his share of Daddy’s bounty, he would sure know, at least to an extent how much it’s worth.
Do you wish to KNOW THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERINGS?