FREEDOM OF THE SOUL #
We all long for freedom as it’s the essential right of every human being, because without freedom, everything else has no meaning. But when Jesus said in the Book of John 8:36, that when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed, He was talking about the liberation of the spirit of man.
Just think about it for a moment. If one had all the fame, popularity, possessions, position in this world, yet was imprisoned, all of this can’t profit you anything. It cannot be useful to you. In the same way, if someone has wealth, possessions, position, everything you could dream of in this world, but yet in sadness, anxiety, depression, worry, all of this cannot be useful to you. You have to get out of prison first.
Today are you are imprisoned by pain, disappointment, sadness, depression, worry? For many, the reason why they’re imprisoned seems to be more important than the fact that they actually are. Think about this for a minute. If you were sent to release someone from prison and instead of them following you to freedom, they just remained in that prison cell and began complaining to you, complaining about how unjust their arrest was, about how they don’t deserve to be there, about how unfair life has been to them, what would you think?
The reason of our unhappiness, the reason of our sadness matters so much to us, but it doesn’t matter to God. Whether you are unhappy because of the mistakes you’ve made or because of the harsh treatment you receive, or because of the difficult situation you’re facing, or because of the injustice that’s dealt you, whenever you’re sad, satan has access to oppress your soul and afflict you. So, every time you connect yourself to God again, God has to repair you from the destruction that sadness, I mean, satan has caused in your life.
“There’s a great lesson that helped me so much through the years of my mentorship under Prophet TB Joshua -especially when I was going through hard times or even fighting sadness in my own life, was that this journey with God needs joy, which only comes from a free spirit. It took a long time for me to truly grasp this truth. But when I did, I mean, when the penny dropped, everything changed. My whole life changed.”
THE PLAN FOR SUCCESS #
Apostle Paul said in Philippians 4:4 that we should rejoice always. This was a command that he not only taught but his life was a reflection of it. Just look at Apostle Paul’s life. Whether he was arrested, beaten, falsely accused, afflicted with a thorn in his flesh, sickness, slander, nothing took his joy away because that joy was the result of a relationship with Jesus. Yes, he was connected to Jesus by way of a special relationship, a relationship that came by divine revelation. You see, Jesus knew that the troubles in this world would rob his followers of peace and cause their faith to fail. That is why the Bible says in Hebrews 7:25 that He’s praying for us. Do you know that Jesus is praying for you? That is why Jesus has given us a special weapon that the enemy of our soul cannot withstand. That weapon is the Word of God. But the problem we face today, so many of us, is that the Word of God that we read keeps disappearing from our hearts and when it’s not in our heart, that’s when the enemy of our soul, comes and tempts us, and we find ourselves falling. We find ourselves falling into temptation – temptation of sadness, disappointment, a temptation to look at God in a bad light, a temptation to complain.
So that means the eternal question is in this complex and contradictory world, how do we keep the Word of God in the midst of our heart? Because it’s only when the Word of God is in your heart that it becomes effective against the devil’s schemes, that it becomes a source of inner joy that nothing can destroy. The plan for success is laid out in the Book of Joshua 1:8 when it says the instruction of God is to meditate on the Word of God day and night, because when you meditate in the Word of God, the Word of God keeps returning to you. And when the Word of God keeps returning to your heart, joy keeps returning to you, success keeps returning to you, peace keeps returning to you. The more the Word of God is inside of us, the better equipped we are to resist satan, the better equipped we are to resist sadness. Because sadness imprisons our soul. Are you in prison today? Whatever the reason of that sadness, that sadness makes you disallow God and gives satan an opportunity to fire your brain with negative thoughts. Because when you’re unhappy, satan is happy. Remember that.
WORRY INTERFERES WITH GOD’S SPIRIT #
Don’t let go of that truth. The reason of our unhappiness matters so much to us but it doesn’t matter to God. Sadness is synonymous with satan, whereas joy is Jesus. It’s time to get into joy and get into Jesus. When you attach yourself to Jesus, He starts repairing all the damage that sadness has caused you. Just look at your life and think about all the damage that sadness has caused you. You know, when you’re sad you can’t make any rightful decision. When you’re sad, it’s like your real self cannot operate. You can’t achieve your full potential. A happy heart can’t be envious, jealous, backbite, complain. In a happy heart there’s no room for all of these. Many, because of sadness, quit their job. Many, because of sadness, quit relationships. The wages of sadness are lost opportunities. Think about how much destruction sadness has caused in your life. And you realize that you have the key in your hands, the key to open that locked door. But you have to allow God. Allow God to rescue you. And when we give in to sadness, we give in to satan; satan has no power except the power that you give him. Remember, the only way out is to keep the Word of God in your heart. The Holy Spirit promised to bring to our remembrance the Words of God at a time when we most need it. But if the Word of God is not in your heart, there’ll be nothing for the Holy Spirit to remind you of at that time of test, that time of temptation, that time of trial.
Jesus promised us in the Book of John 16:22 that for those who keep the Word in their hearts, nothing can take their joy away. What is taking your joy away today? Is it bad news? Maybe someone you love dearly has hurt you. Maybe you lost your job. Maybe you’re in a financial crisis. Maybe you’re feeling insecure in the country or situation that you’re in. Let me tell you something that no matter how you’re feeling right now, no matter where you are, someone somewhere wants to be like you. Someone somewhere wants to have what you have. Worry interferes with God’s Spirit in our lives. But joy is our conquering power. Is worry interfering with God’s Spirit in your life?
OUR CONQUERING POWER #
You were created as a vessel for God to use. But God cannot use a discouraged servant. We have to overcome such attitude as Christians. How? By saying about ourselves what the Bible says about us. What does the Bible say?
• Are you sick? The Bible says in Isaiah 53:5 that by His wounds, we are healed.
• Are you weak? The Bible says in Psalm 27:1 that God is the strength of my life.
• Are you experiencing failure? The Bible says in Romans 8:37 that we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Are you feeling trapped that you can’t get yourself free? The Bible says in John 8:36 that when the Son sets you free, you are free indeed.
• Are you in lack? The Bible says in Philippians 4:19 that God shall supply all my needs according to His riches and glory.
When you begin to speak God’s Word over your life, our word works in harmony with God’s Word and it works wonders. When that Word is Spirit and life. I mean, when that Word is in your heart. You might say, I’ve been trying to speak God’s Word. I’ve been trying to confess positively, but my situation is still bad. Let me tell you something. When you continue to speak right, you’re training yourself to think right and act right. It’s like water – when you swallow water, where will it go? It has to go down. In the same way, when you continue to meditate on the Word of God, turning it over and over in your heart, it will go into your heart and it will change your character. It will change your actions.
It’s a journey. But remember, this journey needs joy. What are you facing? The purpose of life cannot be fulfilled without heat of trials. You just have to realize that. That is why we need to prepare ourselves for battle. Because we’re living in a world where the enemy of our soul will not want our purpose to be fulfilled, our purpose to glorify God. That is why we need to put up a fight. And what is the weapon that we use to fight? It’s not physical strength. It’s not human wisdom. It’s not man-made strategies. The weapon that God has given us to fight -joy is your conquering power! Satan cannot withstand joy. Many times, the joy of the Lord attracts persecution and attack. And when the attack comes, many of us are tempted to lose our joy. And we do not know that that joy is our conquering power. And we do not know that that joy is our conquering power. That joy will enable us to go through our situation and come out stronger. Daniel entered the lion’s den but came out stronger. Why? Because he was in a relationship with God. He had joy in his heart.
A FRUIT OF FAITH #
As long as you hold onto your confession of sadness, sadness will not leave you. Remember what happened to Peter when Jesus met him at the seaside, after a night full of frustration, full of disappointment, full of sadness. Jesus said, drop your nets! What did Peter respond? Peter said, “I’ve been trying, I’ve been doing this without a catch, without success!” He was talking about his past failure. He was showing his sadness, his disappointment. But what did Jesus say? Jesus said, “Look, this time I’m supporting your position! Drop your nets for a catch!” And Peter obeyed! And he had the biggest catch he could ever imagine in his whole life! Obedience to God’s Word brings joy in your heart. God released Paul and Silas in the prison cell. Why? Because they had joy in their hearts. They were singing praises. You can’t sing praises when you’re sad. Not praises that come from your heart. Many of us are pretending to be happy today. We’re pretending to smile. But behind that smile, we’re in pain. The only way you can have true joy is when you know it is a fruit of faith. Because true joy is something only believers have. Happiness is something that we can find in the situation around us but true joy is something only believers have.
The day that we realise that God is actually monitoring us spiritually, everything will change. Because you need a free spirit to connect to God. Any pain, any disappointment, any sadness, any worry, any anxiety – it should not affect your joy. The joy of the Lord is your strength. (Nehemiah 8:10) Are you facing attack? Remember satan doesn’t attack sadness because he is sadness. If he sees you with joy, he wants to afflict you with bad news, afflict you with anything that can remove your joy. But God often works through the circumstances of life. Jesus is with you through it all. That is what gives you joy.
RELEASE YOURSELF! #
It’s often only when we lose something that we value it. If we have so much comfort, so much blessing, should we not expect some difficult situations, some afflictions, to check our comfort, to make it the more valuable? Unfavourable situations produce disobedience, desperation, unfaithfulness, worry, anxiety, anger. In such a state of mind, the adversary has a great advantage over us unless we employ prayer and watchfulness. Yes, it’s time to watch and pray. Are you ready today to get out of your prison of pain, of sadness, of depression? Are you ready today to connect yourself to the Repairer, the Restorer, Jesus who wants to repair all the destruction that sadness has caused you? He’s close to you right now. He’s close to your heart. He’s knocking at the door of your heart. Just let Him in -through His Word and by His Spirit. Don’t live any more of your life behind bars, behind the prison that you put yourself in. Release yourself today! How? By allowing God. Connecting yourself to God. He’s the Source of our joy. He’s the Source of our strength. Connect yourself to Jesus – the Repairer, the Restorer, and you’ll have joy like the Psalmist discovered. “You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Psalm 16:11)
It’s joy that nothing can destroy. That is the promise of God for you. I don’t care what your situation says. I don’t care what statistics say. The promise of God is to give you joy for the journey. Because, remember, we’re on a journey with God. We’re on a journey and it’s not smooth. Jesus never promised it would be smooth. The only way you can remain steady, walk steady in an unsteady world is when you’re connected to Jesus by way of a special relationship, through divine revelation of His Living Word.
“Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18
As a believer, you can be happy, whereas there’s nothing to be happy about on the outside. Why? Because joy is a fruit of faith. That is the joy that Paul and Silas had in the prison cell. That is the joy that the apostles of old had when they were beaten when they were arrested because of their faith in Jesus. Ask yourself why could they have joy in that situation? You can be happy whereas there is nothing to be happy about on the outside, because that joy comes from inside. It comes from a free spirit that’s connected to God, that nothing, nothing can destroy because it’s a deep inner relationship with God. When your spirit is free, it’s sensitive to the Spirit of God but when it’s bound or burdened, it loses its sensitivity and becomes useless as an instrument. Worry, anxiety interferes with God’s Spirit in our lives but joy is our conquering power.
Just try it and see. Your situation needs joy. Remember, satan wants you to cry. When you laugh, you’ve defeated him. Satan wants you to be unhappy. He wants to detach you from your relationship with Jesus. He wants you to focus on your problem. He wants you to focus on your weakness. But faith focuses on God. And what gives us joy? That relationship with Jesus. Because there’s no condemnation in Jesus. Joy is a heart that is upright, that stands for something. Defeat and failure are things of the past. You’re linked up with God. Your redemption is a fact. You’re justified. You’re no longer condemned. This should give you joy. Every day begin to speak over you what the Bible says about you. By saying what God’s Word says about us, we become overcomers. Are you an overcomer?
You can ask God to give you joy. It’s a gift from God. Even the faith that we finally exercised to receive Jesus was the faith that God Himself put in our heart. It’s not about you. Success is not about your weakness. It’s not about your shortcoming. It’s about what Jesus did for you on the Cross. He made you fit for God. That is the reason for our joy.
You don’t know how beautiful you are. You don’t know how blessed you are. Dress up, smile! Give a hug to someone you love. Give a phone call to someone that hurt you and say you forgive them. The greatest thing you can do that gives you joy -open your Bible and read what God’s Word says about you. Insert your name where the message is personal. And meditate over that Word. Because when the Word of God keeps returning to you, success keeps returning, joy keeps returning, peace keeps returning to you. That is the promise of God -to give you joy for the journey, in Jesus’ name.
“You have heard the message of today: JOY FOR THE JOURNEY. Can’t you see why you must be joyful? Because the journey is fantastic! If you are called by God for success, every step of your journey is documented from Heaven and nothing out of God’s control can happen to you. Jesus is the beginning, the middle and end. He’s with you to take to you where you have never been before. Trust Him, believe Him. Remember, the joy of the Lord is your strength. That joy is not given by men but by God. Stay in faith and we can’t wait to hear your testimony -how the message has touched your heart, your life in Jesus’ name. Remember, the joy for the journey!”