On their way to the promise land, the leaders of Israel decided to send a team of spies to check out the land they were to take over.
They sent out twelve spies, one from each of the twelve tribes. And the spies got back after performing their duties with two reports.
The first report drafted by a very large majority said that the land was good, but had giants that would not let them arrive at where God wanted them to go.
That was majority report and we all know that the majority is not always right. It said that the children of Israel were like grasshoppers before there enemies.
Their choice meant that they should remain where they were or simply go back to Egypt.
In the church today, among Christians, we have taken on their identity of a grasshopper; we have concluded that we are minorities, we don’t have money and we don’t have what it takes to succeed.
We believe that we don’t have what others have and that other people are bigger than us and, so we have remained in our comfort zones.
Today, I want to go to the Bible to show you that it is important that you remove the grasshopper mentality from your hearts if you want to move forward.
Genesis Chapter One, verse 26 -30 (NIV) reads:
26 Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals,[a] and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”
27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.
28 God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
29 Then God said, “I give you every seed-bearing plant on the face of the whole earth and every tree that has fruit with seed in it. They will be yours for food.
30 And to all the beasts of the earth and all the birds in the sky and all the creatures that move along the ground—everything that has the breath of life in it—I give every green plant for food.” And it was so.
I want to tell you that from the beginning God created you in his image. If you want to see how God looks like, look at the mirror and you will see yourself, wonderfully and fearfully made in his image.
Secondly, you need to know yourself and your identity. Your identity is that God who created you in his image and breathe his life into you.
Your very breath comes from God. His life is in you. Somewhere in the New Testament, one of the apostles, told believers that God lives in them and they live in God. This, I believe is the reason he also gave you dominion over everything that moves on earth, in the sea and in the air. God’s intention has been for you to dominate the earth.
After the destruction of the earth by the flood, God renewed this promise to Noah turned this promise into a binding covenant with Abraham.
Of course, sin came into the world and there was a period of silence that God did not speak to man, according Bible scholars.
The gulf that existed between man and God could not be removed by the efforts of man. Our righteousness, the Bible says, are like filthy rags.
By our efforts we could not reach God and God himself had to initiate the reconciliation.
He sent down, his only begotten son to die on the cross, to become the propitiator for our sins. Christ that did not know sin became sin so that we sinners could become the righteousness of God.
On the cross of calvary everything that had been committed by us were paid for by Christ. It was a lasting a payment that we cannot exhaust; the payment is so big that no matter how far you have gone in your sin, no matter how far you have moved away from him, he is still waiting for you to come to him.
That payment was for reconciliation with God and for restoration of all the promises and covenants of God with man.
His mercies flows forever and his mercies don’t come to an end. When you become a Christian, you are now sinless you because of Christ and all the promises that God made to Adam and Abraham are yours for the taking!
That is who you are in Christ. You are not a slave to sin. Christ took away the sins that made you a slave.
John Chapter 10 V9-10:
9. I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved.[a] They will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
What is John saying? In my understanding, the salvation God gave us through Christ, is not just so that we can go to church to sing, and pray. What does abundant life mean for us if we are living in poverty?
Now to politics:
Abundant life means everything about our lives; our lives at home with our families; our life in the offices; that’s what Christ has come to give us.
He did not come to save us and go back home without food. Christ did not come to save us so that we will come to church and sing pray and go out defeated in other areas of our lives.
He did not save us so that we will be living and hiding in fear and running away from our enemies!
Why do we have the problems? That we have these problems simply mean that we don’t know who we are. But that we are the sons and inheritors of God’s promises. The Bible tells us that God has given us everything that pertains to life and godliness. That is what the Bible says.
The same way that the 10 spies sent to the promised land came back with a bad report, so today we have decided to write a bad report for ourselves. We have decided that we are grasshoppers living in fear.
We have told ourselves that we are not able to go into the land to overcome and eat the fruits of the land.
Nobody has said we are not able! We are the ones that have said we are not able to. One of the biggest mistakes anyone can make for his life is to think negatively.
King Solomon himself did say that: Proverbs 23:7a- For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.
Nobody can stop you. If you think that you are weak, you already are weak. What is exactly in your heart?
Let me tell you a practical example. A friend of mine told me this story some years ago. He gave the same set of books to two different groups.
He told the first group that the books are very good and people were searching for them. The group left and within a short time sold all the books and came for more.
To the second group, he said that the books were average so they needed to work hard to convince people to buy them. He told them he was not sure the books would sell well.
Sure enough, they did very badly and returned most of the books. When you go out in the morning thinking that things would go wrong, sure enough you would most probably meet with your expectations. It’s a spiritual law.
Psalm 42:7– Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
What is inside you keep attracting its kind! So, the question I keep asking myself every day, is what is in my heart?
Possessing the gates:
The theme of this summit is possessing the gates. And what is the gate? In the Old Testament, the gate referred to the place of the noble, of men of authority and decision makers.
It was a place, you wish to say, that those who are diligent in their ways used to meet and take decisions that affected everybody, including those who were absent.
These were the people who took life and death decisions, people that determined what would happen.
As ambassadors of Christ, his representative here on earth who have been enjoined to occupy till he comes, we are supposed to act on behalf of Him who is the governor of all universe and rules in the affairs of men.
Who else but the believer can act right and extend God’s impartiality to all people.
The Bible says in Proverbs 29:2 – When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn.
What does occupy means? To occupy, in this context means to increase. When the Bible says that we should occupy it means that you should increase before he comes back. Remember the promise and command to Adams, Noah and to Abraham.
Jesus himself was leaving for heaven and He commanded his disciples to make disciples of all nations. He is therefore, not coming back for a church that is weak, fearful and hiding! He is coming back for victors who have obeyed his command of occupying!
Heaven bond and victors here on earth –Mark Chapter 10 V 28-30:
28 Then Peter began to say unto him, Lo, we have left all, and have followed thee.
29 And Jesus answered and said, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my sake, and the gospel’s,
30 But he shall receive an hundredfold now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions; and in the world to come eternal life.
The abundant life that Christ has for us is here on earth, not in heaven. The streets of heaven are paved with gold, so gold may not have so much value in heaven. But here on earth it is important.
A key promise for our obedience to his command is abundant life in this present world! And in the age to come eternal.
We don’t know yet what it is like, but the Bible says that there will be pleasures forevermore, no sickness, no shedding of tears and no sorrow!
These promises come with challenges, very serious challenges for us to arrive at where we should be.
Ephesians 5:27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.
Revelation 21:8– But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars–they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur. This is the second death.”
Jesus is coming back for the righteous, people who are cleansed by the blood of the lamb and are as bold as the lion.
He is not coming back for cowards. As you can see the Bible categorises and dumps cowards together with idol worshippers, murderers, liars and the sexually immoral.
Jesus knew that obeying his command would be difficult and he forewarned us
John 16 :1-4
1. “I have told you these things so that you will not fall away.
2. They will put you out of the synagogues. In fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God.
3. They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me.
4. But I have told you these things so that when the hour comes, you will remember that I told you about them. I did not tell you these things from the beginning, because I was with you.
He warned further in V33:
I have told you these things so that in Me you may have peace . In the world you will have tribulation. But take courage; I have overcome the world!”
People who win are those that ignore their fears and move out. If you don’t venture out you will win nothing. You can sit down here in this chapel and pray from here till next year and still die of hunger or lose.
If the Children of Israel had remained in Egypt praying, they would not have arrived at the promise land. You have to conquer your fears and move out of your comfort zone to succeed, to reach your potentials and be what God wants you to be.
Its when you move out that you will see the miracles of God and witness his great power. So if you are waiting for everything to come together perfectly and the stars to align, you will lose your destiny and will end frustrated.
You may recall that the water of the red sea did not fall back until the priests had stepped into the water.
From my understanding God has done everything that he needs to do for us. We are the ones failing in our part of duty.
Peter chapter 1:1-3: His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through the knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence.
Through these He has given us His precious and magnificent promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, now that you have escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.
Two simple illustrations: The rod that Moses used to perform all the wonders in Egypt was not a new rod. It had always been with him and was used for ordinary things until God opened his eyes in the desert to see the rod for what it was.
The second example is the sling that David used to kill Goliath. It had always been with David and he had used it for so many other things.
As a matter of fact, King Saul and other Army officers did not think much of it and they attempted giving him other weapons.
It is time to ask God to open your eyes to show you who you are so that you can fulfil your destiny.
It is also time to ask God to open our eyes to see what he has given us to use to achieve his purpose here on earth.
God is not looking for a committee. God is not looking for a crowd to do what he wants.
He is looking for a man, one man who will answer his call to perform his own part of duties.
2 Timothy1:7 – For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, love and self-control.
All of the scriptures, all of the law is summarized by Jesus in Luke 10:27 as- Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbour as yourself.”
One problem that we have in the church is that we don’t love ourselves. Anyone that does not love his neighbour that he sees cannot love God that he does see.
We hold malice and anger against one another. If we don’t love our relations, how can we love strangers.
Contrary to the scriptures, we hate strangers and don’t demonstrate the love of Christ to them. One way to escape such is to pray for the people that have offended us.
We should pray for the person you are angry with or at. Don’t pray that the person may die or evil should befall them but pray that God should help that person.
My job today is simple. Number one, you must remember that the grasshopper mentality is not ours.
We are a victorious and an overcoming church. Christ is not coming back for a church that is living in fear.
He is coming back for people that are as bold as a lion. People that are going to the enemies’ gate and camps to possess the land.
A presentation by Rimamnde Shawulu Kwewum, at the Political and Economic Summit, organised by the
Youth Wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria (Youth CAN), which held ECWA Goodnews, Minna, Niger State on June 5, 2021.