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A Pastoral letter

GOD’S PRESENCE: A NECESSITY FOR VICTORY

Text: Joshua 6: 1 – 21

God’s abiding presence is critical for us to grow and succeed as Christians. In 2018 as Staff, Students and Associates in NIFES, you must determine how you want to grow in your work and walk with GOD. We should consider deeply the life of Joshua, the Leader after Moses in the Book of Joshua – which in summary is “An advancement into God’s purpose for His people” – (the victory over nations and lands to be conquered by Israel and inherited). Here we see that as Joshua took instructions from the Lord and obeyed Him wholeheartedly, victories were assured. God had initially told Joshua to be bold and courageous and seek His presence by meditating on God’s law day and night. In obedience to this injunction, Joshua found favour before God and the followers and all he did became successful. To us in NIFES, it doesn’t matter what the enemy has put forward or around us to hinder us from achieving our objectives as individuals and as an organization, as long as we determine to walk in obedience to God, Victory is assured. Certainly, scheming and oppositions may come against us as we strive to do the right thing and obey God completely, but we must be ready to believe that God would attend to us as the challenges and needs of life and ministry arise. Our God will give us victory over the adversary (Num. 23).

This year 2018, is the year God will bring us into our rest. It is a year of Jubilee and an end to tireless struggles.

We should look up and trust God for Victory particularly in the following areas:

  1.  More Ministry Impact in terms of conversions and re-dedications.
  2.  More students to reach out to with greater impact in numerical strength and quality of lifestyle.
  3. More testimonies and reasons to thank the Lord for in our personal and family lives as well as breakthroughs in ministry.
  4. The glory of the latter shall be greater than the former.

“Victory Assured” however comes with instructions on what to do and what not to do. Please I plead with you fellow workmen – Let us follow God! Be ready for confrontation from the pit of hell but do not fear – God has promised the Victory already! Our response to the attacks on our faith and calling would reveal the level of our Faith and confidence in God Almighty. Speak out in faith like Joshua and take over the Campus and indeed Nigeria for Christ. Take over all that the devil has stolen from you in the past: Your health, wealth, confidence, joy, etc. A man of “no” faith when confronted with difficulties would say – It’s Impossible. A man of little Faith would say – God can do it. A man of Great Faith would say – I am sure God will do it! However, a man of perfect Faith would say – It is done!

Brethren, Let’s believe God to fulfill His word to us in 2018.

To access our God-given victory, we must aim at the following:

1. Be a Warrior: Particularly in the place of prayer because we are going to engage in battles. We must engage the Spiritual realm in spiritual places and tear the devil’s kingdom and schemes down. Victory will come through intense warfare. God Himself will give the strategies for combat and as we follow – victory will be ours. We must maintain a vibrant prayer and fasting life. Such spiritual disciplines should become our “Spiritual habits.” We must not neglect Prayer Vigils, Meditations and Scripture Engagement; remember the Word of God is Powerful! Determine to work on your Spiritual Personal Development Plans (PDP) for your spiritual growth – Don’t be careless, be Alert!

2. Stand as Spiritual Priests (Vs. 4). We must not be found wanting in our calling as Priests. We must maintain sanity and serenity in our Priesthood – Be a carrier of God’s presence. When we walk uprightly, in obedience and soberness our victory is assured over whatever life throws at us. I encourage you in 2018, to do all you can to access all you can to carry God’s presence. Moses said “if your presence doesn’t go with us, Lord, we don’t want to leave this place.” Please do not move ahead of God. Go with Him, Go with His presence. Do away with every pollution. Stay away from every accursed thing. Abstain from evil. Overcome temptation! Dearly beloved, I cannot overemphasize the need for you and I to avoid pollution of our inner-man. It is important that we live in tune with God, overcome sin and anything (weights and encumbrances) that would seek to paralyze our faith and confidence in God.

3. Live in complete obedience: Obey God even when the instruction seems too simplistic, weird or does not make sense. The Song writer says, “Trust and Obey, for there’s no other way to be happy in Jesus but to trust and obey.” Be sensitive when God is speaking and – Obey. Don’t allow your thoughts to be overcrowded – you may be hearing many voices when you are caught up with busyness and over-activity. It’s important that you free your mind and spirit to hear God and work with Him. May we rejoice in our work in 2018; Laugh, be free, be joyful. Walk in Obedience!

4. Be a True Worshiper. Let praises, worship, and thanksgiving flow out of us freely. Don’t let the burdens overwhelm you. II Corinthians 20:14-15, 24. Victory is assured when we depend on God and worship Him wholeheartedly.

Finally, I want to declare to you brothers and sisters that this is our year of rest and release from heavy burdens. Don’t keep murmuring about NIFES, rather, Let’s keep praying for the peace and well-being of NIFES, for in NIFES’ prosperity, we too would find our individual prosperity and progress. Trust God for a Turn-around for every situation. Let’s be conscious of all that God has spoken to us during the NIFES New Year Retreat (8-10th January 2018). Brethren once again study the Book of Haggai: Consider your ways, repent, return to Him fully and God will bring His presence and blessings down.

Shalom!

Rex Onuh

National Director

January 2018

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