I apologize to everyone who clicked on yesterday’s #OnlineBibleStudy and found a blank page.
I was on the road yesterday and I published the post before 11am when mails go out thinking that I would type up the study from my journal and update in a minute but that minute turned into hours as I only got a restful minute by 11pm when I got back home…
And on a lighter note… I didn’t know that there were many of you guys in tune with Wednesdays on here oh. Yesterday pushed you guys out. Hehe
I apologize again…
Here’s this week’s #OnlineBibleStudy below…
So I have been learning a few things lately…
One is that men like to provide for women… not the men who have let stinginess seep into their genes oh… the ones who allow the natural gene get into them.
This isn’t to say that women should lay low and be lazy… but it’s just a lesson I’m learning that when you find a man who takes his provision role seriously, don’t go all “so this is all you can do on him”, show him gratitude and that aspect of him will come alive more and more.
Let’s stop here, we’ll talk about this more in Frances’ Love Letters *wink*
Another lesson I am learning is that there are so few persons in today’s world who give God alone time during their day.
Too many people stand right up from the bed and get into the normal course of their day… and then they are confused on how to know God’s mind towards their lives, their purpose and visions… God only shows those things to our hearts as we spend time with Him…
We’ll delve into more of this next week in the “Help Me To Walk In Purpose Series” we just started.
And then a final lesson I am learning which is what I want to base on today is that TOO MANY PEOPLE WASTE THEIR TRAINING PERIOD.
You see someone who’s basically in a quiet/waiting season whiling away the time on movies and things that aren’t bad in themselves but are simply not beneficial in the season where God has them.
How can we know the times and seasons and know what is obtainable in each one of them?
I was speaking to a sister yesterday and she said something about me while talking about someone else.
She said “he is just like you, he is very close to God”.
I saw that, paused for a bit and asked God… am I really very close to You?
Because all I have been hearing for the past few weeks is to get closer…
Use this traning season to get filled more and more of you and of your word.
And I haven’t
And so one man’s training season kept pulling on my heart.
What did this one man do with his training season?
I outlined the story of Paul’s conversion in last week’s study and today, we’d be having insight into what Paul did when he became converted to “the Way”.
Let’s start from Galatians…
“Dear brothers and sisters, I want you to understand that the gospel message I preach is not based on mere human reasoning.
I received my message from no human source, and no one taught me. Instead, I received it by direct revelation from Jesus Christ.
You know what I was like when I followed the Jewish religionâhow I violently persecuted Godâs church. I did my best to destroy it. I was far ahead of my fellow Jews in my zeal for the traditions of my ancestors.
But even before I was born, God chose me and called me by his marvelous grace. Then it pleased him to reveal his Son to me so that I would proclaim the Good News about Jesus to the Gentiles. When this happened, I did not rush out to consult with any human being. Nor did I go up to Jerusalem to consult with those who were apostles before I was. Instead, I went away into Arabia, and later I returned to the city of Damascus.”
-Galatians 1:11-17 NLT
Paul says after he was converted, before his ministry really kicked off to the Gentiles, he went away into Arabia.
So first thing we must know is that the training period is not a time for drinking and feasting, it’s a time for going away into the silence by yourself.
To do what?
To DRINK OF JESUS.
Paul says “I received my revelation of the message directly from Jesus”.
When he was ALONE, in Arabia, the desert.
And just to make certain that no human being gave the gospel to him…
He went on to say…
“Then three years later I went to Jerusalem to get to know Peter, and I stayed with him for fifteen days.
The only other apostle I met at that time was James, the Lordâs brother. I declare before God that what I am writing to you is not a lie.
After that visit I went north into the provinces of Syria and Cilicia. And still the churches in Christ that are in Judea didnât know me personally.
All they knew was that people were saying, âThe one who used to persecute us is now preaching the very faith he tried to destroy!â
And they praised God because of me.”
-Galatians 1:18-24 NLT
He didn’t go to Judea to even the “big” apostles, he went instead into Arabia ALONE as led by God.
Even the Christians in Judea didn’t know him personally…
See, the training period isn’t a time to seek popularity or to desire to be known by people (I inserted in my journal “have I been doing this Lord?”)
It’s a time to STAY IN THE PLACE where God has placed you.
-“Receiving revelations directly from Jesus – from God’s Word”.
-Growing in fullness of stature until the time when your public showing is at hand…
The desert of Arabia, the wilderness, is a time for preparation – preparation in the word – revelation in God – prayers – preparation in God and not things that won’t hold you up where you are going.
So you stay in place – in preparation until God reveals to you that you should go…
You WAIT for the time of the showing of your public ministry to Israel.
Until then, you stay in the desert of Arabia.
Not mourning or crying but preparing and receiving revelations from Jesus.
Not seeking doors or popularity but seeking God.
Now we must know that some persons desert of Arabia might be quiet seasons but some deserts may be the job they currently work at.
It maybe killing you, drilling you but still you are to stay there until God reveals to you that you should go.
“Then fourteen years later I went back to Jerusalem again, this time with Barnabas; and Titus came along, too. I went there because God REVEALED TO ME THAT I SHOULD GO”
And then when Paul went out after his wilderness season, this was what happened…
“While I was there I met privately with those considered to be leaders of the church and shared with them the message I had been preaching to the Gentiles. I wanted to make sure that we were in agreement, for fear that all my efforts had been wasted and I was running the race for nothing.
And the leaders of the church had nothing to add to what I was preaching. (By the way, their reputation as great leaders made no difference to me, for God has no favorites.)
Instead, THEY SAW that God had given me the responsibility of preaching the gospel to the Gentiles, just as he had given Peter the responsibility of preaching to the Jews.
-Galatians 2:6-7 NLT
The other apostles had nothing to add to what he was preaching because he had used Arabia for what it was meant for, filling up himself with the truth of the word from Jesus.
The apostles SAW… he didn’t have to tell them/show himself to them, his time in training had made them know that he indeed had been with Jesus, just like they also had been known to have been with Jesus.
Remember the apostles own experience in Acts Chapter 4?
“The members of the council were amazed when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, for they could see that they were ordinary men with no special training in the Scriptures. They also recognized them as MEN WHO HAD BEEN WITH JESUS.”
-Acts of the Apostles 4:13 NLT
The training period is meant to work this knowledge in us, that when we come out, we don’t have to even tell anyone, they look at us and can see that we have been with jesus.
Because our hearts have been filled up with Him and of course out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks, so what people should see when we speak after our time in the wilderness is Jesus – no more, no less.
And if this haven’t/isn’t happening yet, then maybe we aren’t using our training season well.
Remember that when Jesus began His public ministry to Israel, men were awed at His teaching, but it didn’t start then, it started in the 30years of preparation before the showing of his ministry unto Israel.
So let’s ask ourselves…
Am I currently using my training/wilderness season for what it’s meant for?
Am I being built up in the Word?
Am I spending time in the Word at all?
Jesus and the Apostles were only able to bear the weight of persecution, stress, etc in ministry because of the stamina they have built before…
We are praying for open doors and platforms…will your current spiritual strength be able to bear the open doors?
Do you have spiritual stamina enough to stand and not buckle when God brings your ministry/career/work into more light?
Answer those questions and make changes…
There’s always MORE we can do/press into.
Finally, remember that the deserts/wilderness are usually dry seasons.
But if you use them well, different amazing things will happen to you…
“John grew up and became strong in spirit. And he lived in the wilderness until he began his public ministry to Israel.”
-Luke 1:80 NLT
“And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.”
-Luke 2:52 KJV
Signs that you are using your training period correctly…
(1) You’ll grow
(2) You’lll wax strong in spirit
(3) You’ll grow in wisdom, might and grace
(5) You’ll find favour increasingly with God and man
(6) Your relationship with Jesus will deepen in leaps and bounds
(7) God Himself will bring your public ministry to light.
And remember that all these growth are predicated on just one thing…
“Grace and peace to you many times over AS YOU DEEPEN IN YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH GOD AND JESUS, OUR MASTER.”
2 Peter 1:1-2 MSG
So if you’re currently in the Desert of Arabia, lay aside the desire to “climb and ascend doors” for a bit and let your heart’s cry be to ascend in Christ.
In revelations in the Word.
I don’t mean that you should forget about praying for open doors but FOCUS on what really matters here…
What God is watching out for in you… build the spiritual stamina for where you see God taking you…
There’s always More we can do…more time in the Word and fellowship with Jesus…
God help us all.
Father please grant me grace to walk in accordance with the times and season you have set before me.
Help me Holy Spirit… reveal Jesus unto me… fill me up with yourself.
Help me to press in Lord…there’s more…there’s more.
Help me Lord.
In Jesus name, I have prayed, amen.
Till our next #OnlineBibleStudy,
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Ify HalimMarch 10, 2016 at 11:51 am
Thanks for this Frances. For some reason, I didn’t even know that Paul had a wildernesss season too! Too many half-baked leaders in our world today, Sadly in the church too. May God help us wait with Him in our training season until we are ready.
Frances OkoroMarch 10, 2016 at 6:44 pm
Oh Lord don’t release us till we are ready… the flesh doesn’t like this kind of prayer but depth is better than rising fast with no stamina..
Lord help us…