What a devil worshiper teaches us about honor
Very often, we tend to loosen our guards when everything goes well in life. The possibility that an attack from Satan could lurk over our heads remain far from our minds during beautiful times.
Peter said: Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour.
(1 Peter 5:8)
‘Being alert’ does not only refers to prayer. ‘Being alert’ is a state of remaining awake not only in our prayer life but also in other areas of our Christian life such as stewardship , knowledge, prophetic, wisdom and honor to name a few.
The current world crisis we are facing shall definitely pass. But when it is over, the world will have changed totally. And I believe that one of the biggest take-away the Church will take is this one: ‘To remain alert (even in good times)’.
The level of awareness will increase. We will become more aware of prophetic related subjects, because frankly this pandemic has caught most of us off-guard. I mean…it really did…
Though there are many fields of life in which we have to remain alert, there is one field I would like to discuss: ‘ the awareness in honor’.
All too often, when things go well, when the economy is booming, when a church community is thriving, when our personal lives are flourishing, we tend to relax the values attached to honor. But we should become more careful during thriving times because times of prosperity are the seasons where Satan-the-devil has something to devour.
I am by no means claiming to be perfect, but in the two decades I have spent in the Lord, I have observed how believers tend to relax and neglect the standards of honor when everything is doing well.
And I mean:’ honor towards heavenly dreams and prophecies, honor with finances, honor towards God-sent, honor towards each other.
Jesus said: ‘Whoever welcomes a prophet as a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and whoever welcomes a righteous person as a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. And if anyone gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones who is my disciple, truly I tell you, that person will certainly not lose their reward.”
The explainer of Matthew 10:41-42 will be included in the second part of this message.
I won’t discuss much the above passage but let me show you something that was done by a pagan king who was also an idol worshiper. And you will see a huge contrast with believers.
In Genesis 41, the Pharaoh of Egypt gets a dream that was too hard to interpret. None of his advisors were able to produce a clear explanation on the meaning of his dreams until he got referred to Joseph by one of his cupbearer.
And this is where the contrast occur between a pagan idol worshiper and many believers:
1. The Pharaoh already had advisors in his courts. And none of them could help. Sometimes God will send you a person who has never been or trained in your crew. You gonna have to admit that the solution to some of your problems will come through somebody who has never been in your inner circle. How many times have we seen a ‘God-sent’ being rejected because he/she is never been part of the inner crew circle? How can an idol worshiper understand it (reference Genesis 41:38-39) but some of the most senior believers can’t get that?
2. Joseph, a ‘God-sent’ was different:’ he was Jewish and a foreigner’. Yet it does not stop the Pharaoh to make him second in charge within the land. Instead of looking at the skin or the nationality of Joseph, the Pharaoh looks at the Spirit of God within him (reference Genesis 41:38). It is amazing how a pagan idol worshiper is teaching so much about receiving a ‘God-sent’. Many believers have failed to receive and enjoy the rewards of a ‘God-sent’ because they were consciously and unconsciously too focused on the ‘God-sent’ skin color, nationality or external difference instead of looking at the Spirit of God in them.
3. By the time Pharaoh got his dreams, Egypt was fine and Joseph even predicted 7 years of economic prosperity. But in spite of the good economic times, the Pharaoh did not relax or neglect Joseph. During good times, some believers would have neglected Joseph by probably giving him the silent treatment or by ignoring him. You see, good times tend to produce a false sense of security. Instead of relaxing and procrastinating himself like many senior believers would have done, the king-idol-worshiper quickly reacts and HONORS Joseph by giving him a position of service unto him.
4. The Pharaoh, the idol-worshiper who never knew Jesus, honors Joseph and gets a reward from honoring Joseph. When God sends you someone ,If you want things to go well in your organization or in your personal life, just treat and honor that ‘God-sent’ well. How come pagans like Potiphar and the Pharaoh understood that principle and yet some of the most senior believers fail to grasp that? It is also interesting that in the Pharaoh’s court advisory group were sorcerers and idol worshipers and yet none of them oppose the decision of appointing Joseph in high office. As believers who know Jesus, there is definitely a lot we need to learn from this story.
5. Here is the final point:’ when God sends someone to you during good times of prosperity, it becomes all too often easy to see the ‘God-sent’ as irrelevant. Don’t make the mistake of overlooking any disciples that God sends to you, in good times or in bad times. The very ‘God-sent’ you overlook or ignore could be the main person whom God will use during your times of troubles. But if you are carnal or if the advice of men supersede what God says to you, then you will miss out.
You know my friend, I have been in ‘da house’ (as a Christian) for over two decades. I am not claiming any perfection. Many of the teachings I share today are inspired from God, His Scriptures but also from life experiences (success and failures) and observation. And ‘observation’ is one of my best skills. I observe very well and I was given the ability absorb knowledge just in ‘observation’.
I am approaching my 40’s, so what I am about to write are things learned and observed through thick experience:
I have seen people praying for a life partner (husband, or a wife) and when God sent them the right person, they decided to ignore them. Later, their lives went South…
There has been Christian leaders who, during their careers, crushed every spiritual son and daughter that God sent to them. But on the last day of their lives, the spiritual succession was a real nightmare…many of those ministries don’t exist anymore…
There are people whose lives have gone South simply because they were too excellent at dishonoring the people God sent to them. And even worse, they refuse to repent and they hold on to their pride. So much that their lives are now heading to the ‘South Pole’…
But there are people who, when God spoke, were quick to receive and honor the ‘God-sent’. Those obedient people did not focus on criteria such as race, financial status, gender, nationality ,etc… They obeyed the voice of God by welcoming His emissaries, and they produced good results by the hundreds, the thousands, and the millions. These are the models to follow.
You don’t need a master’s degree to know how to receive an emissary of God. Look at the Pharaoh:’ when it came to the dream he received, he was dumb as ‘Dr dumbie’ but he was quick to understand the rewards of honoring Joseph.
Just open the door:’it’ s a good start’. You don’t have to be stiff. Some Christians, in their wrong theology, think that they have to be stiff-puff-tough like Popeye or William Munny. If Jesus was able to welcome prostitutes and tax thieves, what are you trying to prove by acting tough when God sends you people?
I have used the lowest form of teaching by using a 'devil-worshiper' as the model of a person who honored in the right manner. If this low example can't teach you anything about honoring others, then I don't think anything else will.
If a guy like the Pharaoh, a devil-idol worshiper consulting sorcerers, got it right. Then us, who have the Spirit of Christ, we should get it right.