ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 32

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 16:10 – En-Slave-Ment

Joshua 3

 

Joshua 16:10  And they drave not out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer: but the Canaanites dwell among the Ephraimites unto this day, and serve under tribute.

 

The expression “serve under tribute” in the King James translation means to keep in bondage so as to work under a heavy burden; in other words, slavery.

It is interesting to me that the nation of Israel, having just thrown off the shackles of slavery, would enslave another nation. It does not seem okay to me but since God did not complain, I guess it must have been okay to Him.

Right there is my first lesson; my sense of right and wrong may not always align with God’s. I might think something is not fair but that might just be exactly what the all-knowing all-seeing God wants to be done. The converse is also true; some things I consider absolutely right might not be what He wants done. The will of God is not always made obvious by my sense of morality.

A beautiful example from the scriptures is found in the life of the apostle Paul. In Acts 16:6-7, Paul, on two occasions, wanted to enter into some place to preach the gospel of Jesus to lost souls and God said no. Looking at the situation, it would have seemed somehow for Paul to say to his partners, “God has forbidden us from preaching the Gospel here” after all, God wants everyone to be saved. What does He have against these people? Well, it turns out God had nothing against them because much later in his life, Paul got to preach the gospel in those places evidently at the instance of the Lord. The issue was not the preaching but the congregation. God wanted them in Macedonia at that particular time.

I have a couple of contemporary testimonies in the same light but I’ll tell one. A well-known minister of a well-known church ministry received a seed in the form of a truck load of tiles for his church. Which pastor would not rejoice over that? But here comes the minister and said that God does not want him to receive the seed? Is he serious? As the “seed” was being taken away, a bomb was discovered hidden among the tiles.

Lesson? What is good and what is bad is determined by God and I should pay attention to him always. I can’t see which of the sheep are wolves in sheep’s clothing but God has X-Ray vision, He can’t be fooled.

Now to the issue of forced labour or slave labour. I observe that there is nothing a slave can be asked to do that a regular employee can’t be asked to do. Slaves are not slaves because of their job description but because of the job conditions. And the conditions are not really the lack of pay as much as it is the burden of doing the job against their own will. It’s a job they can do but do not want to do. Does that not describe a lot of us today? We stay on the job though we don’t want to do it simply because the employer holds the whip of a salary over our heads. Oh well.

I know someone who changed his working conditions and though he was acquired as a slave, he changed his portfolio and became a major benefit to his employer. His name was Joseph. Joseph’s power to effect a prison break was not in escaping his work schedule but in changing the mentality under which he carried out his duties. He went over and above his work load because he didn’t consider the slavery aspect of his portfolio. He focused on the big picture God had painted for him and so he saw himself working with God to effect the saving of many lives. So when the Bible says God was with Joseph, it wasn’t a figure of speech. And Potiphar saw it.

I challenge you to do the same; rather than complain about your working conditions and your lean pay-cheque, find the big picture of your life and focus on it. Consider how your present job fits into God’s master plan for your life and you would quickly notice how much energy you bring to work every single day and how quickly you can finish your work quota. You will find that you have more free time at work and if you do the godly thing, you would assist someone else on the team to get something done. In no time, the bosses would notice your efficiency and high morale and might think of upgrading your pay or promoting you to management level. I am quite sure that was what happened in Joseph’s case (Genesis 39:3-4)

Many of us pray for promotion on the job forgetting that God would only gives us favour before our superiors but we have to take it through diligence at work and that when the promotion does come, it means more work for us.

As a man thinks in his heart, so he is. To be a slave, you have to remain in a slave’s mentality (En-Slave-Ment). Don’t think like a slave.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 31

Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 15:13-17 – Shifting Confrontation

Joshua 3

 

 

Caleb conquered Hebron, chasing out the giants (the sons of Anak) there. The giants ran away from Hebron and settled in Debir. Then he put forth a challenge for someone to conquer Debir and Othniel, his nephew did.

 

I see a few lessons in this portion of scripture:

  1. The giants have always been a major issue for Israel. Forty five years before this account, Israel cowered before the giants and failed to lay claim to the Promised Land. And now they are back and the giants are still there. Kicking out the giants must have been a major morale booster and Caleb provided it. And he did it so well that Othniel, who probably had never seen a giant before this time, was convinced that he too could sack the giants were he ever to face them. And when the chance came, he rose to the challenge and defeated the giants in Debir and possessed the place.

 

Many times, those of us who lead others make edicts, decrees, laws, rules, guidelines or policies, whatever we call them, for our followers to abide by but we do not submit ourselves to the same. Our examples become a source of difficulty in ensuring compliance amongst those who are looking up to us.

 

Let us precede motivational speeches with motivational actions. That’s what Jesus did (Acts 1:1). His words were powerful but so were his actions.

It is interesting to me that, after the death of Joshua, the first person to rise up to deliver Israel from oppression of their enemies was Othniel, as recorded in the book of Judges.

 

You never can tell how far your example would go. The value of inspiring people to greatness by the examples we set with our own lives can, therefore, never be truly quantified.

 

  1. Israel saw the giants forty-five years before and ran away. Then Caleb came and drove them away but the giants simply moved to another part of the land and resettled until Othniel faced them again. The bible doesn’t say he killed them so I doubt he did, he too must have driven them out to claim the land.

 

Many times we face some difficulty or other in our lives, some we tackle, others we ignore or avoid. Most times, we deal with problems that relate to our jobs or businesses but we avoid the ones that arise in our relationships with people. Rather than resolve the issue that’s creating tension between us, we avoid the person. Even amongst us Christians, we resort to discussing the other person with someone else with no intention of resolving the situation, and so the tension spreads and in a matter of time, we have two factions in church fighting each other over a personal problem that has “gone viral” (Proverbs 26:20, James 3:16). The situation is the same amongst friends and spouses. Jesus told us how to resolve brotherly conflicts, we should take to his instructions just as much as we take to his promises.

 

Matthew 18:15 – 17  Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother. But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established. And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.

 

Problems don’t go away until they are solved, they simply relocate.

 

  1. For those of us who are young and upcoming leaders, the next time your boss gives you a “giant” assignment, do it, even if all it does is make him look good, because one day soon the experience will come in handy when you’re set for your next phase of leadership. Othniel rose to the challenge that Caleb set before him and that was just it, he kept rising.

 

  1. Caleb drove out the giants from Hebron and didn’t go after them himself when they resurfaced somewhere else. He asked someone else to go. He had shown them that the giants could be subdued and how they can be subdued, it was an opportunity for them to practice what they had learnt and this was necessary because “Caleb, the giant slayer” would not be around forever.

 

Being a good role model is one good way to raise future leaders; delegation is another.

ISRAEL: SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 30

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

Joshua 15:12 – Family Tree

 Joshua 3

Joshua 15:12  And the west border [was] to the great sea, and the coast [thereof]. This [is] the coast of the children of Judah round about according to their families.

I’ve heard a lot about generational curses and familial curses but not much is said about generational blessings and familial blessings when, clearly, it has been there all along. The devil got his idea for afflicting people under generational curses by copying God’s idea of generational blessings. The blessings came first but we seem to recognize, focus on and magnify the curse over the blessing. Typical.

God recognizes families and in His plan, He makes provisions for each family to be blessed with their portion of inheritance in Him. There is a blessing that began from Abraham, through Isaac, got to Jacob and still persists today.

I am convinced that, if you look well, you will see something that God put in your family that is good for your family … it doesn’t have to be money, maybe a special skill that could bring in great wealth for your family. Funny thing is this special gift might not seem special to you because you grew up with it and you’ve become used to it, but if you think about it, there is something that seems very natural and easy for you that your friends and colleagues have a hard time doing and when they commend you and try to make you out as someone special, you tell yourself, “it’s no big deal, all my siblings can do this … some even better than me”. Isn’t that a blessing in your family? There are families of singers, actors, successful farmers, excellent business men, pastors … the possibilities are endless.

Joseph did not have to tell his father and brothers the meaning of his dreams. Immediately he told the dreams, they all knew what the meaning was and they were so sure of it that it drove his brothers crazy with jealousy. The gift to interpret dreams, at least, was in that family.

There is a blessing that God put in your family so that all the families of the earth can be blessed by it. I dare you to look for that blessing that God has put in your family. And when you find it, thank God for it … then get to work.

Genesis 12:3, Psalm 133.

The Saint and the Bottled Spirit.

Hello there. 

I was asked a questioned recently and I thought to share it with you.

Enjoy.

​Q‬: Hello, I have one question.what does God really say about ALCOHOL SHOULD WE DRINK IT OR NOT DRINK IT? 

See Deut 14 VS 26 – says drinking 

Jesus himself turned water 2 wine….

And I know in the bible wine and alcohol are the same…

 Or is it drinking alcohol n don’t b drunk?? …… or don’t  drink at all
PD: What is the objective for asking this question, please?

Meaningful contributions on such a topic comes when one knows what the seeker’s objective is. A discussion might be better than a monologue so that the web of questions can be navigated.
Q‬: When people ask me this questions about alcohol I do shake and not know what to say….

There are so many scriptural verses which support drinking alcohol but not being drunk and that’s why I wanna know because most youth use that as legal backing 4 drinking anything …..

Check 1st Tim 5 vs 23

Check 1st Tim 3vs 3

PD: Indeed, the Bible doesn’t say to not drink alcohol. The word “alcohol” does not even exist in the Bible. When the Bible was being written, alcohol had not been discovered as an entity although it was in existence. The the word of God is clear about staying away from “strong” drink. It is with our modern science we have come to find out that it is Alcohol that makes a drink strong.

Furthermore, in the language of the Bible, there is a distinction made between wine and strong drink

Prov 20:1 Wine [is] a mocker, strong drink [is] raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.

The word “wine” here refers to the essence of the vine, as fermented. And “strong drink” means strong intoxicant. And the scripture follows that only fools would think they would not be mocked by it or that would be able to control its rage. So, in this text, whether it is wine or strong drink, the instruction is to avoid it except one is intent on folly.

In the case of the new testament, the word “wine” is used as a generic term with reference to the essence of the vine and does not specify alcoholic or strong drinks as opposed to the nonalcoholic type but it is suspected that the origin of the word is drawn from Hebrew word used for wine so, perhaps they are the same.

But Christ turned water into wine, didn’t he? Yeah, he did. But again, the Bible language could not describe non-alcoholic wine because the words of those days could not relate to the agent called alcohol. And because Jesus, the God-Man being good, He would not give to man something that could hurt him so right off the top, I can confidently state that the same God who said to avoid intoxicants in His book would not come on ground and serve the same at a wedding and make the celebrants commit foolishness.

Also, Timothy was told, nay, instructed by the Holy Apostle Paul to take a little because of his stomach. People have proposed ulcers as Timothy’s diagnosis but being a doctor I can confidently tell you that there are many stomach maladies and none of them, including ulcers, is relieved by Alcohol. Some are even caused by alcohol and if a genuine ulcer patient takes alcohol, the consequent pain is enough to inform him to refuse it next time. There is the other common to alcohol as a cause known as Mallory-Weiss Tears. It is very painful and should alcohol come into that stomach, the patient would be dancing in pain. On the other hand however, these stomach conditions mentioned and several others are, at least temporarily, relieved by taking fluids. The weakest in this regard is water including water, and before the advent of antacids, the strongest was milk. Non-alcoholic wine is somewhere in between. 

Putting something in the stomach to coat the raw areas (otherwise known as ulcers) was the basic mechanism of action and is still so even in modern day antacid suspensions. Water does not last long in coating and some people being lactose intolerant might have developed other gastro-intestinal symptoms, some of which worsen the abdominal pain accompanying these stomach conditions. Wine was easier to come by on a larger scale than milk could have been more available and perhaps cheaper and gives some coating/soothing effect that lasts longer than water.

I can therefore assert that the wine recommended to Timothy by Paul was free of alcohol. Not just because it was spiritually wise but also because it made common sense to not take something that would worsen your pain.

Now, since the Bible says to not get drunk with wine … to not get intoxicated with wine; this means that there is a clear recognition that something must be present in that wine that makes it capable of intoxication and if that agent is absent, if one drank a lot of it, would be labelled greedy, gluttonous and a lover of drinks but the adjective “drunk” would remain incorrect and out of place. That is to say, no matter how much non-alcoholic wine you took, you can’t get drunk.

So the issue is with alcohol. 

And thus, though the Bible language could not refer to Alcohol directly, it recognises Alcohol by its effects. It is the same way with Bacteria; they are not specifically mentioned in the Bible but the they are recognized in the Bible by their effects and the word gives directives on how to handle them. Therefore, to say “in the Bible, Alcohol and Wine are the same” would be incorrect.

Of course, I can tell you, as a doctor, that alcohol is a culprit in many cancers and diseases of the human body, some of which either have no cure or the cost would leave people penniless and praying for death to come soon. But, that would mean I am basing my stand on human science based arguments of risk versus benefit. However, we are sons of God and the basis for our lives is not what science can prove or disprove but on the word of God. Simple!

So, let’s look to the Bible.

The Bible contains the word of God passed across in different styles of writing: some are direct clear instructions leaving no room for misinterpretation; some are  teachings (ranging from concise to elaborate) that require skill to correctly understand and apply and yet others are coded revelations that use word pictures or visions, dreams and trances to convey a message that can only be accessed with the aid of the Holy Spirit. No matter what the style is, there are two things that are clear: 

1. Without the Holy Spirit and a godly conscience, you can not get the truth out of the Bible even if it is written a language you understand implicitly. It is actually possible to take the Bible and mislead yourself if you approach it without the Holy Spirit.

2. Literalism with the Bible for every single aspect of our daily lives is not possible and therefore wrong. If the Bible were to cover every single detail of our lives with a literal directive by saying to do or not to do, it would be impossible to go through it all, to say the least. 

Concerning the life of Jesus alone, the Bible says this

Jn 21:25 And there are also many other things which Jesus did, the which, if they should be written every one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that should be written.

That means if the whole world could not contain a book that details all of Jesus actions, how many worlds would it take to detail everything every human would need to walk through life? And who would read it? … Who could? And who could keep up with the many revisions that would become necessary as mankind pushes his boundaries into new experiences of existence (e.g. air travel, space travel, robotics and nano robotics, pharmacology and so on).  Only God could contain, read that much stuff and stay ahead of all that man could ever come into … and that is why He is God and seeks to guide us all the time.

Now, back to literalism and the issue at hand, to say that anything the Bible does not say is wrong is automatically right simply because it not written in the exact words is, sadly, folly and short sightedness. 

Let’s look at some examples. There are things we do all the time that not “stated” yet we do them without doubting God’s intentions. 

We have on record that Jesus wept but no record that He laughed so why do we laugh. Does that not make laughing sinful? There is no record that Jesus went to the toilet but we do so everyday. The only meals on record that Jesus took were the Passover which is made of unleavened bread and harsh wine, why do we bother with three square meals and ice cream? Contrary wise, there are things that are documented in the Bible but we do not do. Someone danced till his clothes fell off but we don’t do that and it doesn’t bother us. Jesus said we should lay down our lives for our friends and then he took to The Cross and died for His friends; when was the last time anyone of us died for anyone?

When you look at the above examples, you tend to shake your head and laugh, right? You think it’s stupid thinking. Well, that is how stupid it is to wait to see it written down before you believe the Bible takes a stand on some subject. It is equally as unwise to take everything for face value. You could destroy yourself … this was the basis of the “second temptation” of Jesus after his first 40 day fast.

Learn to draw a line between what the Bible says and what the Bible teaches.

So, does the Bible say to not drink alcohol? No. Does that mean as a son of God, I should? No. Why? Because the Bible teaches me to avoid intoxicants, and anything that could potentially take control of my senses and make me act contrary to my divine nature. Alcohol is merely one of such drugs.

And as for the actions of people we respect in religious circles who have beliefs and lifestyles that contravene the scriptures on this and any other matter, if it is based on ignorance, God will educate them and if it is based on an excuse they have adopted to shut their sense of right and wrong as well as the Holy Spirit, God will attend to them. Leave them alone. Look to Christ in all things.

Aggie Hurst, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country

A Touching True-Life Heart Warming Missionary Story:

A long but excellent read.

David and Svea Flood

In 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son David, from Sweden to the heart of Africa—to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to go out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.

This was a huge step of faith. At the remote village of N’dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his village for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts.

They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. Their only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood — a tiny woman missionary only four feet, eight inches tall, decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, after many weeks of loving and witnessing to him, he trusted Christ as his Savior.

But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near N’dolera to go on alone.

Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth (1923), the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina (A-ee-nah).

The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. After seventeen desperate days of prayer and struggle, she died.

Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. His heart full of bitterness, he dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife and took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he said, “I’m going back to Sweden. I’ve lost my wife, and I can’t take care of this baby. God has ruined my life.” With two year old David, he headed for the coast, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself.

Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious illness (some believe they were poisoned by a local chief who hated the missionaries) and died within days of each other. The nine month old baby Aina was given to an American missionary couple named Berg, who adjusted her Swedish name to “Aggie” and eventually brought her back to the United States at age three.

The Bergs loved little Aggie but were afraid that if they tried to return to Africa, some legal obstacle might separate her from them since they had at that time, been unable to legally adopt her. So they decided to stay in the United States and switch from missionary work to pastoral ministry. And that is how Aggie grew up in South Dakota. As a young woman, she attended North Central Bible college in Minneapolis. There she met and married a young preacher named Dewey Hurst.

Years passed. The Hursts enjoyed a fruitful ministry. Aggie gave birth first to a daughter, then a son. In time her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and Aggie was intrigued to find so much Scandinavian heritage there.

One day around 1963, a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. She had no idea who sent it, and of course she couldn’t read the words. But as she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There in a primitive setting in the heart of Africa was a grave with a white cross and on the cross was her mother’s name, SVEA FLOOD.

Aggie jumped in her car and drove straight to a college faculty member who, she knew, could translate the article. “What does this say?” she asked.

The instructor translated the story:

It tells about missionaries who went to N’dolera in the heart of the Belgian Congo in 1921… the birth of a white baby girl… the death of the young missionary mother… the one little African boy who had been led to Christ… and how, after the all whites had left, the little African boy grew up and persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village.

The article told how that gradually the now grown up boy won all his students to Christ… the children led their parents to Christ… even the chief had become a Christian. Today (1963) there were six hundred Christian believers in that one village.

Because of the willingness of David and Svea Flood to answer God’s call to Africa, because they endured so much but were still faithful to witness and lead one little boy to trust Jesus, God had saved six hundred people. And the little boy, as a grown man, became head of the Pentacostal Church and leader of 110,000 Christians in Zaire (formerly the Belgian Congo).

At the time Svea Flood died, it appeared, to human reason, that God had led the young couple to Africa, only to desert them in their time of deepest need. It would be forty years before God’s amazing grace and His real plan for the village of N’dolera would be known.

For Rev. Dewey and Aggie Hurst’s twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college presented them with the gift of a vacation to Sweden. There Aggie met her biological father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered four more children, and generally dissipated his life with alcohol. He had recently suffered a stroke. Still bitter, he had one rule in his family: “Never mention the name of God because God took everything from me.”

After an emotional reunion with her half brothers and half sister, Aggie brought up the subject of seeing her father. The others hesitated. “You can talk to him,” they replied, “even though he’s very ill now. But you need to know that whenever he hears the name of God, he flies into a rage.”

Aggie could not be deterred. She walked into the squalid apartment, with liquor bottles everywhere, and approached the seventy-three-year-old man lying in a rumpled bed.

“Papa?” she said tentatively.

He turned and began to cry. “Aina,” he said, “I never meant to give you away.”

“It’s all right Papa,” she replied, taking him gently in her arms. “God took care of me.”

The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped.

“God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him.” He turned his face back to the wall.
Aggie stroked his face and then continued, undaunted.

“Papa, I’ve got a little story to tell you, and it’s a true one.

You didn’t go to Africa in vain. Mama didn’t die in vain. The little boy you both won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. The one seed you planted just kept growing and growing. Today (about 1964) there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you and Momma were faithful to the call of God on your life.”

“Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you.” The old man turned back to look into his daughter’s eyes. His body relaxed. He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.

Over the next few days, father and daughter enjoyed warm moments together. Aggie and her husband soon had to return to America—and within a few weeks, David Flood had gone into eternity.

A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, where a report was given from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo). The superintendent of the national church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel’s spread in his nation. Aggie could not help going up afterward to ask him if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood. “I am their daughter.” The man began to weep. “Yes, madam,” the man replied in French, his words then being translated into English.

“It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother’s grave and her memory are honored by all of us.” 

He embraced her in a long, sobbing hug. Then he continued, “You must come to Africa to see, because your mother is the most famous person in our history.”

In time that is exactly what Aggie Hurst and her husband did. They were welcomed by cheering throngs of villagers. She even met the man who so many years before, when she was less than a month old, had been hired by her father to carry her down the mountain in a soft bark hammock. 

The most dramatic moment, of course, was when the pastor escorted Aggie to see her mother’s grave, marked with a white cross, for herself. She knelt in the soil of Africa, the place of her birth, to pray and give thanks. 

Later that day, in the church service, the pastor read from John 12:24:

“I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.”

He then followed with Psalm 126:5: “They who sow in tears shall reap in joy.”

(An excerpt from Aggie Hurst, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986].)

I came across this story and thought to share it with you because it made a great impact on me.

ISRAEL : SECOND REPUBLIC … PT 29

LESSONS FROM THE BOOK OF JOSHUA

Joshua 14:13 – Friends in High Places.

 Joshua 3

Joshua 14:13  And Joshua blessed him, and gave unto Caleb the son of Jephunneh Hebron for an inheritance.

… And Joshua blessed Caleb.

You know I actually laughed when I saw this just now (Thursday 5th June 2014, 7:17 am). I laughed because when I tried to apply the setting to our current practices of Christianity and church stuff, I don’t see it happening much.

It would have been easier if it had read “Moses blessed Caleb”. Moses was the mighty man of God, much older than Caleb and He was the one who prophesied over Caleb the pleasure of the Lord over the state of His heart after they spied out the land. In a sense, it was Moses who ordained Caleb “into the ministry”. It would have been so much easier but it says Joshua blessed Caleb.

To bless someone and actually have that blessing rest practically, one would need to have a certain divine authority to do so, a power over and above the blessed. The Bible says “without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better.” (Romans 7:7). Also, to receive a blessing, the blessed would of a necessity, recognize and submit to the authority of the blesser. It is so much easier to do when the blesser is a senior believer and minister for Jesus.

But Joshua and Caleb were colleagues. Although Joshua was “in the ministry” before Caleb, Caleb was the pioneer of the “good report” that earned both of them the commendation of God and the blessing of living long and physically entering into the promised land; Joshua joined him later (Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9). So Caleb had some right to think that he and Joshua were at the same level in the ministry. To add credence to such an idea, many years later, only Joshua and Caleb were left alive from their generation of Israelites. I guess they must have been seen together often, inseparable pals, the two senior elders in the “Church of Israel, Desert Headquaters”. What Joshua knew, Caleb knew; they were the only two who had certain information so in a way, Caleb could stand in for Joshua at any meeting. It must have been easy to see them as equal.

The only two spectacularly supernatural things in Joshua’s diary of exploits was the parting of the River Jordan and the leveling of Jericho’s walls. That would have impressed the young generation of Israelites but remember, Caleb saw the plagues that leveled Egypt, walked across the bed of the vast Red Sea, and a host of other jaw dropping stuff that the last administration had on file. So Caleb could have easily said, “yeah, big deal, Joshua. You’ll have to do better to impress me”.
But Caleb did not make that mistake which many of us make today. He recognized Joshua as the head of the “ministry”, bore in mind that God had Moses lay hands on him to transfer the spirit to Joshua by which Joshua led the nation. And when it was time to claim his portion of the promised land, Caleb did not make a demand of his friend who happened to be the president, nor did he just walk in to take the land, he appealed to the nation’s leader, God’s appointed man over Israel, including himself, to let him have that land.

Think about this, when your buddy was appointed the leader of your department, did you submit to him in everything? When he gave a directive, did you respond as quickly as you did with the previous boss or did you wait till the last minute because you know he can’t fire you because of your friendship? When your friend was appointed a Pastor and he was declaring a blessing over the congregation, did you submit to him to receive that blessing or did you have to wait for the Senior Pastor before your faith was stirred. Possibly, the conflicting relationship is between you and your husband. When he is blessing his family during devotion time, do you say amen on behalf of your entire family, yourself inclusive, or just the children?

It’s my experience that a lot of people in leadership have to sacrifice their relationships and friendships in order to be able to do their jobs righteously, without fear or favour. It’s my experience that many of us turn against our friends when he starts acting like he is “one big oga (boss)”. We call it “see finish” others say ‘familiarity breeds contempt”.

If you have been guilty, you can repent. You can walk up to that friend of yours and offer your support and submit yourself to his authority, publicly and in the privacy of your heart. Believe me, you’ll be the better for it because it makes his job of being a blessing to you a lot easier.

Hebrews 13:17  Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you.

Matthew 10:40-41  He that receiveth you receiveth me, and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me. He that receiveth a prophet in the name of a prophet shall receive a prophet’s reward; and he that receiveth a righteous man in the name of a righteous man shall receive a righteous man’s reward.

The flip side of the coin is those of us who have been appointed to serve in leadership positions, whether in secular settings or church settings; we should ensure we do what we have been assigned to do – bless the people. It’s still quite tough for me as a person, but the truth is this, “I have received a commandment to bless” so I should not refrain from declaring the blessing over God’s people. I have been appointed to lead so I should; else I am failing in my duties.

I used to refrain from “acting” like I have any authority over people just so I would not be seen as being pompous on account of my new found authority and power but over time, I have found that I was not helping the people I was put in the position to help either. And the first day I stood in my office and declared stuff over people because that was what they needed, their lives changed and they blessed God.

If your friend is your reason for “falling God’s hand” in your place of assignment, call that friend and discuss as friends. Remind him of your commitment to him as a friend and then ask for his permission to be a blessing to him as you should because the fact is, your friend is one of the reasons God put you in that place; he needs to be blessed too. God chose you to be the channel of blessing to him, he needs to accept you otherwise the intended blessing will not reach him. And when your friend is in pain because he didn’t receive from you, it won’t be easy on you either.

Mark 6:4-6  But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house.  And he could there do no mighty work, save that he laid his hands upon a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief. And he went round about the villages, teaching.

Romans 3:3-4  For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect? God forbid: yea, let God be true, but every man a liar

Hebrews 3:19  So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief.

One of my leaders (I call him elder JP) said to me back in 1995, “It takes a special anointing to be your Pastor’s friend”. I agree; I’ve seen it. It’s not easy to maintain close friendship with your leader and still be his committed follower but it is possible; David and Jonathan did it, Joshua and Caleb did it, so can we.