Kept By God – Stewarding Success: Sermon By Deaconess Mary Kamau
Scripture Reading: Numbers 13 and 14 (AMPC)
What is your current definition of success?
In the generation we find ourselves in, we tend to prepare for failure more than success. However, we need to prepare much more for success than we prepare for failure.
The world has its own definition of success e.g. work hard, go to school and then get a good job. The world has defined a good job as something that will give you status.
God has a different definition of success. Worldly wisdom has defined success and tried to reduce the time you will take to get there and how long you can stay.
But with God, success is more about staying power. In God, it’s granted that you will be successful. You can take that to the bank. God is more interested in whether you can stay successful.
In the world, when you make yourself successful, you have to work hard to maintain that success. When God makes you successful, He takes it upon Himself to sustain you there and take you from glory to glory.
One of the ways we try and make ourselves successful is by how we view ourselves in light of what God has said we are. We compare what we have against who we are and that is a mistake we make as believers.
When it comes to success, there is a death in us that needs to happen.
The more favoured you are, the more responsibility is put on you.
When God says something about Himself, that is who He exactly is. When God tells us to wait for something in our lives, there is something that He intends us to get from the waiting period. It’s upon you to ask and find out why God is making you to wait.
When God makes you wait for your prophetic word to come to pass, He is teaching you to steward success. Even though things may not be changing for you positionally, there is a change happening to your condition.
Things can never change for you positionally before you are changed conditionally.
God can never allow you to enter the promised land until you are changed conditionally. Something has to give when it comes to our condition.
Believing in who God is, is a choice and it has nothing to do with what He does or not do.
One of the reasons God keeps us waiting is because He wants to give us roots. One of the realities is that we either have no roots or have shallow roots. For you to be able to steward success and glory, you need to be grounded. You need to have the right roots for success and glory. It’s the difference between if the success/glory will break you or it will prosper you.
One of the things the word of God does in our lives is it checks if you have the ability to handle it. It’s active and living. It checks whether it will kill you or give you life.
Another reason for waiting is to check whether you have mastered the truth of who God is.
God does not keep us waiting because He is mean or He is punishing us.
If you choose to disqualify yourself, that word will still come to pass. God will choose another vessel. You have to choose for yourself to believe what God has said.
There are three key areas in light of success, growth and glory: the mountain of time, the mountain of character and the mountain of identity.
Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil. He ate nothing during those days, and at the end of them he was hungry. The devil said to him, “If you are the Son of God, tell this stone to become bread.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone.’”
The devil led him up to a high place and showed him in an instant all the kingdoms of the world. And he said to him, “I will give you all their authority and splendor; it has been given to me, and I can give it to anyone I want to. If you worship me, it will all be yours.” Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God and serve him only.’”
The devil led him to Jerusalem and had him stand on the highest point of the temple. “If you are the Son of God,” he said, “throw yourself down from here. For it is written: “‘He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.’” Jesus answered, “It is said: ‘Do not put the Lord your God to the test.’” When the devil had finished all this tempting, he left him until an opportune time.Luke 4:1-13 (NIV)
The wilderness has a way of showing us who we really are.
1. Mountain of Time
Mountains are a places where men meet God; where we see God and know who we are. It’s important to know your time and season when it comes to success. Jesus understood the time and seasons and therefore He understood that it was not His time to turn the stone into bread. In the duration of waiting, it gets to a place in our lives where stones start looking like bread.
What makes us tired of waiting is because we do not understand why God keeps us waiting. When you understand the why of the waiting, it gives you strength to wait.
Time has a purpose when it comes to fulfillment of our prophetic words. God has already factored everything you need to be equipped with before the word can come to pass.
The other reality on the mountain of time is faith. It takes faith to wait especially when you cannot see anything happening. It is when you are waiting that your faith is actually working. Faith bridges eternity with time.
You can never run away from the purpose of time. It’s our understanding of time that makes us see it as an enemy.
Are you fighting time, running away from time or are you governing time?
2. The Mountain of Identity and Inheritance
Satan tempted Jesus with an inheritance that is already Christ’s. He later sat at the right hand of the Father.
Do you know what is already yours? How well do you know what is yours?
Esau gave up what was his because of his hunger! The lineage after him was disinherited.
Will you protect what is yours? What is the eternal value of what you have?
You need to first understand who you are, before you can understand what you have. #SELAH
We struggle with our prophetic words because we do not fully understand who we are.
We need to allow God to define us. He will shock us when he tells us who we are.
Prophetic Insight + Identity = Executive Ability
When the Lord tells us something, we need to say yes and ask questions later.
We need to get over ourselves and get rid of pride to think we can accomplish the word of God by ourselves and that we can disqualify His purpose when we mess up.
We need to cease being the clay that contends with the Potter.
We need to understand that the decisions we make in light of our identity will affect the generations that proceed from us.
Our greatest responsibility is to be in agreement with and to obey God’s word.
We should not allow our background or limitations to influence what we believe God thinks and says regarding us.
Don’t trade off that which God has given you to get that which you don’t know you already have.
Your understanding of your identity and inheritance is what informs our thrust to go and reach out to the lost.
3. The Mountain of Character
Character is an expression of who has held your heart. There is a humility that comes with accepting that you are.
There is the fruit of the Spirit and then there are gifts of the Spirit.
Who holds your heart when no one is seeing? What informs your words and actions?
But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].Galatians 5:22-23 (AMPC)
We need to be consistent.
Let no one despise or think less of you because of your youth, but be an example (pattern) for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, and in purity.1 Timothy 4:12 (AMPC)
Our character will be formed all through our lives. God will define our character all of our lives.
Let us go back to the basics. It matters little how much spiritual activity we can engage in if our character is off.
When we get power, our character will be exposed.
The true test of our stewardship and of our character in success is in our ability to hold back, in our ability to know what to say or not to say, in our ability to know what to do and what not to do.
May our condition and position be ready to be elevated.