Sunday 26 January 2014
Key passage: “That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit” (John 3: 6).
When we are born of the flesh by our mother, we obtain citizenship (the citizenship of the Federal Republic of Nigeria or wherever else we are born). In the same vein, when we are born again, we obtain another citizenship- a spiritual citizenship. This heavenly citizenship is as written in Philippians 3:20. Our stay here on earth is just to wait for Christ to come and relocate us to heaven.
Our citizenship of this unseen territory is superior to the citizenship of physical residence. This is because the things that are seen are temporal and the things that are not seen are eternal (2 Corinthians 4:18). Therefore, upon assumption of spiritual citizenship, we should recognize that we have been called to follow a new set of laws, practices and behaviors. These laws are different from those which governed us prior to our becoming born again. Our new laws are superior.
Unfortunately, a vast majority of Christians do not recognize this change or the extent of the change, thus they continue to superimpose the practices of the old nationality into the new one. The extent to which you appreciate this great change and follow our new lifestyle will determine the extent to which you will be great. I pray that God will give us wisdom to understand and live the change!
In light of the above, earthly citizenship requires us to make the pursuit of success, position, power, money, influence etc. our life’s ambition. Conversely, the superior heavenly citizenship demands that we approach life differently: “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness”…Matthew 6:32 & 33.
Natural citizenship teaches us that if we want something badly we should be very aggressive in our pursuit of it: Use our networking and interpersonal skills. Deploy our connections. But our superior citizenship teaches differently: If we want to be the greatest, we should serve. Greatness in our nationality comes from service and slaving for other people as unto God (John 20:20-28)
Natural citizenship tells us that we should not let anyone take us for granted. We should retaliate and dominate wherever we find ourselves. However, our heavenly nationality tells us to be humble. James 4:6 says
“But He gives more grace. Therefore He says:
“God resists the proud,
But gives grace to the humble”
Similarly Philippians 2:8 says
“And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name.“
The lower you go (in humility and service), you increase God’s responsibility to lift you higher.
The natural citizenship tells us to be crafty, street smart, cheat, falsify, sit down & expect windfall and reap where we did not sow. However, our superior nationality teaches us to be diligent. Proverbs 22:29 says
“Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.”
Natural citizenship teaches us to celebrate our achievements, to consider ourselves ‘one in a million’, that we are superior, or that we are whiz kids and geniuses. In contrast, our superior nationality teaches us to “acknowledge Him in all our ways”. Proverbs 3:5-6 says
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.”
Do not be distracted or tempted to return to old ways of living. You are accountable on a higher pedestal. Simply, decide which citizenship you hold dear. You already have placed your faith in some of the word of God that have heard: that is why you are in church today. Faith inspires obedience.
Hebrews 10:35-6 says:
“Therefore do not cast away your confidence, which has great reward. 36 For you have need of endurance, so that after you have done the will of God, you may receive the promise“.
Take the second step of believing in all of the word you have been hearing since you obtained the superior citizenship, go and obey God. Greatness is embedded in our covenant with God. It is dangerous for wealth and power to dwell in the hands of those who do not fear God. God desires to empower those who fear him.
You Will Be Great
Worshiping the LORD
Classical Music Performance