Your Smartphone and God’s Grace

Your Smartphone and God’s Grace

If you are reading this post, you most likely have a smartphone, either an android phone or an iPhone.

When you bought the phone, some applications came with it. Those applications are basic features you need to be able to use the phone conveniently. But you will agree with me that there are some things you cannot do with the phone unless you visit the Playstore on your android phone and Appstore on your iPhone and download the apps. For example, simply because you have a smartphone does not mean you can do mobile banking if you don’t download and activate your bank application on your phone.

Google and Apple are aware that there are many things you need to do with your phones, but they can’t possibly build all the applications and make them come with the phone. Or maybe they can, but for reasons best known to them, they didn’t just do that. Rather, they built a platform that enables you to download as many applications as you can to help you use your phone more efficiently.

Imagine buying a very expensive android or iPhone and refusing to download other apps required into your phone. Although you will be able to use the phone, there is a limit to what you can do with the phone. To even take it further, some applications merely downloading into your phone does not mean you can use them. You have to subscribe with your money to be able to maximize the full features.

Follow me –we are going somewhere.

This analogy may not be a perfect one, but it can help us have a real-life idea of what the Grace of God or Divine grace is. When God created man, He programmed him with basic capabilities and capacities. This basic feature is so sophisticated that man could do and has done many wonderful things with it. You don’t need to go back to God to use this capacity to do “great things.” The operative word being “great things.”

You don’t need God to make money. You don’t need God to excel academically. You don’t even need him to become a global figure. In fact, you don’t need God to achieve anything that has no eternal value. God has deposited that innate capacity in you already. You can struggle your way into becoming something great in life. That’s the fact.

But then, as believers, we have not been called to do just “great things.” Hear what Jesus has to say “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even *greater things* than these because I am going to the Father.”

What kind of work was Jesus doing? The works that have eternal value. If you must become like Jesus in both life and action, you need something more than the basic features that God has given to every man. You need to download more applications into your system from the App store. In fact, you need to subscribe to and activate these applications. And it is called – The Divine Grace.

The Concept of Grace

I will say, Divine Grace, is God acting in your life to do what you can’t do on your own. In other words, the Grace of God is the help of God. So, any man that operates under the Grace of God works at a level higher than the natural realm. It’s more than doing the basic things of this life. Everything that God has ever done on earth beyond natural human capability has been by his Grace. The salvation of mankind from sin, Satan and Flesh, has to be by Grace.

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”… Titus 2:1; For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesian 2:8.

You can do good works by your natural ability, but you can’t do God’s work effectively without subscribing to his Grace. And as believers, we have not been called to do good works. Anybody can do good works. The earnest expectation of the creation from the Children of God is not good works. The creation has seen a lot of good works. We have been called to God’s work and what empowers a man to do God’s works is the Grace of God.

The Purpose of Divine Grace

Now let’s look at the purpose. To what intent is the Grace of God revealed to man?

For salvation

“For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men”… Titus 2:11; For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, Ephesian 2:8. By now, you should be aware that no level of goods works can save a man from his sin; only the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary can.

For instruction

For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to everyone. It instructs us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions and to live sensible, upright, and godly lives in the present age. Titus 2:12. The Grace of God does not bring freedom to sin but freedom from sin. That’s why one of the fundamental functions of Grace is instruction and teaching. The scripture above made it clear what the Grace of God teaches us to do.  There is a particular passage that we have often misinterpreted;

“Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” – Romans 5:20.

This passage does not mean Grace is only available amid abundant sin. It does mean, if you are living in sin, the help – which is the Grace of God – is available right there to help you overcome that sin. Note that nothing in a human’s innate ability can overcome sin. Only the Grace of God can. But once you overcome that sin and decide to move deeper into Him, you will begin to work in His deeper grace.

This is what I mean; a man who lives in sin needs the grace to overcome it. But when the same man overcomes the sin and advances into doing greater things for and with God, he receives the Grace for the work as well.

Using our mobile app analogy, some people are just satisfied with the free version of some applications, but others have gone beyond the free version and have launched deeper into the paid version. Both the people using the free and the paid versions use the app, but at different levels. Similarly, a sinner who needs to overcome his sin and a Christian who is casting out demons and getting people baptized in the Holy Ghost are using the same Grace, but both are operating at different levels of Grace.

May we desire to move past the level of just asking for Grace to overcome sin; brethren, they are deeper things we need to do for the kingdom, and it’s urgent. We can afford to keep on wasting time on the elementary of faith. It’s time to launch into the deep.

For Help

“Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace *to help us in our time of need*.” Hebrews 4:16.

The Christian life is a journey; it starts with conversion (salvation) and continues with transformation (growth). This journey starts with Grace, continues with Grace, and ends in Grace. After we have been saved by Grace, we need the same Grace for the transformation process of becoming like Christ.

Simply put, the Grace of God is for help. As seen in our smartphone analogy, you wouldn’t download and activate any app if you think you don’t need it. You can’t possibly download all the apps. But if you need a function beyond what your basic apps can do, you quickly visit the Appstore or Playstore.

Similarly, for a Christian, the help of God comes in the package of his Grace. So, when you say, God helps me, you are saying God, make your grace abound in my Life. It also follows that it is somebody who is insufficient of himself that needs help. Listen to what Paul reported about God when he asked him to take away he turns on his flesh. “And He (God) said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness.”

You might have heard that you are unlimited, but that’s not true. No man is unlimited. God fashioned man to be a dependent being – to depend on fellow humans and on Him. Like a smartphone, you may have an unlimited inherent capacity, but some of these capacities cannot be launched until you subscribe to God’s apps store – His Grace. Until you realize that you are not independent of God, you cannot work in the Grace because his grace is for help, and if you don’t need help, you don’t need his grace. God does not waste His Grace.

Accessing and activating Divine Grace

If you want to download more apps into your smartphone, what do you do? You simply go into the AppStore and download it. All you need is a smartphone and access to the internet. The smartphone stands for salvation, and access to the internet talks about prayer. Every believer in the Lord Jesus Christ has already been granted access to divine Grace. All you need to do is to download this grace and activate them in the place of prayers.

It is important to mention that if you have not accepted the Grace of God at the salvation level, it will be difficult for him to instruct, teach and help you. It’s like buying a smartphone. If you don’t have an android phone, you cannot access the play store, neither can you access the AppStore if you don’t have an iPhone. Salvation is your ticket to access the Grace of God.

Have you been saved by the precious blood of Jesus, or better put, have you accepted the finished work of Christ on the cross of Calvary? If no, you can do it right now. There is very little God cannot do with your life if you don’t have a special relationship with him through his son. You can just whisper to him right now and ask him to come into your life and save you. That’s all you need.

But if you have done this before – “So, let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most”. It’s amazing that this statement was made for Christians.

Conclusion

What a Friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
O what peace we often forfeit,
O what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!

 

 

 

My Career – How do I Know God is Involved?

My Career – How do I Know God is Involved?

Have you ever been to a construction site? I mean, where they are building an edifice or a big auditorium.

Now, create a mental image on such a place and think of the happenings around there. I am sure you will discover that there are all sorts of engineers with different specialities, not to mention various skilled and unskilled labourers.

You will also notice that they all work on different parts and aspect of the project.  But towards a common goal, which is to achieve the original plan in the blueprint.

Think of the earth as the construction site. You are one of the workers, and God is the architect and owner of the building. God is up to something; he is building a kingdom on earth. He has a master plan, and he has recruited you to be part of the construction process. This will lead us to the first truth:

your career is part of God’s big plan – emphasis on GOD.

Yes, your career is not about you; it is about the master plan. It is more significant than you, which is why you can’t just do whatever you like. You must play according to the rule and build according to definite instructions. This very first reason underscores the importance of divine direction.

The people working on this site (in our analogy above) were paid to do what the owner wants. If at any point, they decide to build something different, and the owner finds out; he will stop sponsoring the project. That is the second truth we want to derive.

God will not sponsor a project he did not initiate. Do you want to have God as your possession? Be part of his project.

If your responsibility in the master plan is to build the kingdom from the classroom and you end up in the bank, you are on your own. I am not trying to scare you, instead to make you see the importance of divine direction in career.

Many people think career is not spiritual; thus, they can decide to do anything they want with it. Well, you can indeed do whatever you wish to, but in the end, it will amount to nothing as far as heaven is concerned. You may be successful in the eyes of men, but in God’s eyes, you are entirely out of the master’s plan.

Your self-will and dedication can yield results. Moses struck the rod instead of talking to it, and it yet yielded result. He was successful in bringing out water as far as the people were concerned, but with God, he failed.

Yes, the flesh can yield result, but the result kills. Thus, the achievement is not the yardstick for measuring whether you are in the right career path as far as divine direction is concerned.

How Do I know God is Involved?

I love the definition of a career on the University of Dubuque’s website – “Career can be defined as the total of decisions that direct your educational, social, economic, political and spiritual endeavours and reflect your unique personality, characteristics and basic life values”.

First, career is a decision. It is bigger than the job, and it is more than the course of study at the university. Unfortunately, most young people are just interested in getting a job and not in building a career. If you are a career-minded person, they are some jobs opportunity you will not bother applying. Even when you find yourself there, you will see it as just a means to an end.

If you are looking for a formula for divine direction, you will be disappointed. It doesn’t exist anywhere. But one thing is consistent among people that have received divine guidance for a career – they are people who love God enough to please him and trust him enough do his will.

Loving God

So the question is, do you genuinely love him? Do you desire to please him more than anything? The problem sometimes is not that we don’t love God, but we love other things more than God. It could be our ego, reputation, money etc. When it comes to picking between doing God’s will and these things, we would instead go for them and ask God for forgiveness later. It is difficult for a man with such a mindset to receive divine direction for a career.

Trusting God

The second part is trust. A man can Love God and ready to do whatever God tells him, but doesn’t trust him enough to pull him through. Such a man will always try to help God. He erroneously believes that heaven helps those who help themselves.

Seeking God’s face becomes an alternative. If it doesn’t work, he goes back to God, but if it works, then God is involved.

A man, who must receive divine direction for career, must be ready to LOVE him unconditionally and TRUST him with all he’s got. The love prepares your heart to receive divine instructions, and the trust gives you the stamina to obey the instruction to the later.

Avoid the extremes

I’ve once met a young man, who finished NYSC for almost two years, and I asked what he was doing, He said he is waiting on the Lord. Like Really? Are you doing nothing for nearly two years in the name of waiting on the Lord? I asked.

Please don’t get inflicted with the ‘waiting-on-God-Syndrome’.

Don’t get me wrong, there’s nothing wrong with waiting on God. However, that does not mean you should do nothing; waiting on God is not passive. Read through your scriptures, the people used by God were not idle. People like Moses, Elisha, Matthew, James, Gideon etc. They were doing something, and God visited them on their duty post.

If it comes to your heart, and your motives are right, go ahead and pray about it. If God did not say otherwise, then do it. It can only be possible for those who genuinely love him and are ready to do his will.