Great Sermon: Utilizing The Power Of The Knees

By Isaiah Ogedegbe:

“And Elijah said unto Ahab, Get thee up, eat and drink; for there is a sound of abundance of rain. So Ahab went up to eat and drink. And Elijah went up to the top of Carmel; and he cast himself down upon the earth, and put his face between his knees, and said to his servant, Go up now, look toward the sea. And he went up, and looked, and said, There is nothing. And he said, Go again seven times. And it came to pass at the seventh time, that he said, Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand. And he said, Go up, say unto Ahab, prepare thy chariot, and get thee down, that the rain stop thee not. And it came to pass in the mean while, that the heaven was black with clouds and wind, and there was a great rain. And Ahab rode, and went to Jezreel. And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel” (1 Kings 18:41-46).

Elijah was a prophet of God who made things happen in the place of prayer. Things do not just happen on their own; there are people who make things happen in the place of prayer, and one of such people was Prophet Elijah. He informed King Ahab that the rain would soon fall, and this was a good news. However, Prophet Elijah knew that unless he backed his words with action, his words might fail to come to pass. While Prophet Elijah gave King Ahab permission to return to the comfort of his home, to eat and drink, the prophet himself forsook pleasure and comfort, and dwelt in the place of prayer, backing his words with action. He went up to the top of a mountain called Carmel, where he knelt down and prayed his words into fulfilment.

It is possible that Elijah heard from God before telling King Ahab that the rain would soon fall. If that is the case, the fact that God had spoken to him expressly did not stop the prophet from contending for the abundance of rain in the place of prayer. Similarly, as people of God, we might have received many precious promises through God’s Word; but that should not stop us from praying them into fulfilment. We must go on our knees like Prophet Elijah and contend for those good things in the place of prayer.

It is important to note that for our prayer to receive answer, our faith and persistence must be intact. Prophet Elijah prayed for the first time and believed God for a sign. So he sent his servant to go and look toward the sea for a confirmation. The servant returned with a discouraging report, saying, “There is nothing.”

If you were the one, what would you do? Probably, you would get up and say, “I have tried.” Prophet Elijah remained on his knees and continued to pray for the second time, the third time, the fourth time, the fifth time, the sixth time and the seventh time, and then the confirmation came. The servant returned to him the seventh time and said, “Behold, there ariseth a little cloud out of the sea, like a man’s hand.” That was it!

How many times have you prayed and it seems as if the answer is delayed? Maybe it is even more than seven times, but I want to tell you that if your faith and persistence are intact, your answer will surely come. To Elijah, he had not tried his best in the place of prayer, unless he had seen the hand of God at work in his life. Pray until something happens (Luke 18:1-8; Isaiah 62:1, 6-7).

Here are four things you should know about the power of the knees:

1. Our knees are our spiritual weapon (Ephesians 6:12). They are mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds (2 Corinthians 10:4). A prayerful Christian is a powerful Christian, and vice versa.

2. Our knees are bowed to express to God how helpless and defenceless we are; kneeling is a sign of our humble submission to God’s help and defence over our lives. By kneeling down to pray, Prophet Daniel was indirectly telling God that he was helpless and defenceless, and he humbly submitted himself to God’s help and defence over his life (Daniel 6:10-11).

I remember the words of the second stanza of that hymn, Jesus Lover of My Soul, which read:

Other refuge have I none,
Hangs my helpless soul on Thee:
Leave, oh, leave me not alone,
Still support and comfort me:
All my trust on Thee is stayed,
All my help from Thee I bring;
Cover my defenceless head
With the shadow of Thy wing.

3. Just as a ladder, our knees elevate us from the natural realm to the supernatural realm. While we are still in the natural realm, we can see nothing like Elijah’s servant. As we begin to dwell in the place of prayer and continue therein, we are elevated to the supernatural realm, where we can see the hand of God at work in our lives and situations. That is where we can see only positivities and possibilities.

4. Our knees make our words and our works to count. If Prophet Elijah had not backed his words with the action of prayer, his words would not have counted. It is not enough for us to say that we will succeed in life. We must also do the needful by backing our words with the action of prayer, in order for them to come to pass. As I said earlier, our knees make our works to count, be it singing, preaching, etc. If we must function effectively and efficiently in the various areas of our calling, then let us be kneeling Christians (Psalms 91:1).

NB – Isaiah Ogedegbe is a Warri-based preacher and the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. Please contact him on phone: 08134836494 or +2348134836494. Thank you.

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Great Sermon: Prayer Is The Key To Divine Intervention

By Isaiah Ogedegbe:

The English word “intervention” comes from the Latin word “intervenire” which means two things: (1) To come between (2) To interrupt.

Let me start with the first meaning: “to come between.” Divine intervention means God coming between us and the challenges facing us, in order to remove them from our way. When God comes between us and the challenges facing us, those challenges cannot, and will not, survive the presence of God.

In Exodus 14:19-20, the angel of the Lord “came between” the Israelites and the Egyptians, and what was light to the Israelites became darkness to the Egyptians. If God had not come between them, the enemies would have prevailed; but God came between them, and confused the enemies of Israel.

Similarly, as people of God, there are times when we come to the “Red Sea” of our lives. I mean, when we are faced with challenging situations. At such a moment, we need God to come between us and the challenges facing us, in order to remove them from our way. At such a moment, we need divine intervention, a manifestation of God’s presence that separates us from every form of evil.

In Isaiah 64:1-4, we read the words of Prophet Isaiah, who was desirous of divine intervention. Mind you, his prayer came at a time when Zion was a wilderness and Jerusalem was a desolation, as revealed in verse 10 of the same chapter. Prophet Isaiah knew that unless God intervened, Zion would remain a wilderness and Jerusalem would remain a desolation. Hence, he prayed: “Oh that thou wouldest rend the heavens, that thou wouldest come down, that the mountains might flow down at thy presence…”

It is important to note that divine intervention is God’s reaction to our action of prayer. If there is a person to pray, there is a God to answer. Divine intervention can come, if we pray in faith and with passionate intensity like Prophet Isaiah. God is looking for a person like Jacob who will wrestle with Him in the place of prayer, saying, “I will not let thee go, except thou bless me” (Genesis 32:26). God is also looking for a person like Jabez who will be dissatisfied with his or her present condition and cry out for a positive change. “And Jabez called on the God of Israel, saying, Oh that thou wouldest bless me indeed, and enlarge my coast, and that thine hand might be with me, and that thou wouldest keep me from evil, that it may not grieve me! And God granted him that which he requested” (1 Chronicles 4:10).

Let me now deal with the second meaning of the word “intervenire” in Latin which means to interrupt. Divine intervention means God coming down to interrupt, to stop, to bring to an end, to truncate, or to destroy the works of the devil. In 1 John 3:8, the English Standard Version of the Bible puts it this way: “The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.” What are the works of the devil? We find them in John 10:10 which says, “The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” In the same verse, Jesus says that He has come to intervene. In other words, He has come to interrupt, to stop, to bring to an end, to truncate, or to destroy Satan’s nefarious activities such as stealing, killing and destruction. These are His words: “I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.” Those three words, “I am come,” are indicative of divine intervention. Jesus has come to intervene in our lives and situations, to undo what Satan has done.

It is also important to note that divine intervention is intended to make things better for us. Whenever God intervenes in the affairs of His people, miracles begin to happen and testimonies abound. Miracles or testimonies are a product of divine intervention; they are the outcome of divine intervention. Whenever God intervenes, weeping turns into joy (Psalms 30:5) and stumbling blocks become stepping stones.

In Isaiah 64:1-4, Prophet Isaiah said that one of the things that would happen after God had rent the heavens and come down, was that the mountains would flow down at His presence. Only a miracle would make a mountain that is very hard and solid, to melt like wax and flow down. Prophet Isaiah was trying to say that when God intervenes, the challenges facing us would melt away and flow down at His presence.

Psalms 97:5 says, “The hills melted like wax at the presence of the LORD of the whole earth” and Psalms 114:5-7 also say, “What ailed thee, O thou sea, that thou fleddest? thou Jordan, that thou wast driven back? Ye mountains, that ye skipped like rams; and ye little hills, like lambs? Tremble, thou earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob.” Whenever God intervenes, the “Red Sea” or the “mountains” facing us will flee away or melt away at His presence. All these things can happen, if we pray in faith and with passionate intensity like Prophet Isaiah.

NB – Isaiah Ogedegbe is a Warri-based preacher and the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. Please contact him on phone: 08134836494 or +2348134836494. Thank you.

Great Sermon: The Valley Experience

By Isaiah Ogedegbe:

What is a valley? According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a valley is “an area of low land between hills or mountains.”

What is the valley experience? The valley experience is a crucial moment when a believer is faced with challenging situations. It is described as the “night” in Psalms 30:5 which says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.” It is easier to praise God and believe Him when a man is on the mountain, than when he is in the valley. In Acts 16:25, Paul and Silas could still praise God and believe Him in their valley experience. The Bible says, “And at midnight Paul and Silas prayed, and sang praises unto God: and the prisoners heard them.” When Job had his own valley experience, he “fell down upon the ground, and worshipped” (Job 1:20).

The valley experience is a crucial moment when a believer is faced with seeming impossibilities. For example, when a man is in the midst of the valley, he is between mountain and mountain. His view is obstructed by the mountain at his right and by the mountain at his left. At such a crucial moment when we have no one to turn to, we must look up to our God for help. Psalms 60:11 says, “Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.” When we are faced with seeming impossibilities, we must turn to the Lord for help; “for with God nothing shall be impossible” (Luke 1:37). When David had his own valley experience, he turned to no one but God. In Psalms 61:2, he said, “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”

It is important to note here that it is God who allows us to go through our own valley experiences and here are four reasons why God allows us to go through them:

1. Faith is tested by God through the valley experience. In Ezekiel 37:3, God asked Prophet Ezekiel this question: “Son of man, can these bones live?” God asked him this question to test his faith. As I told us earlier, the faith of Job, Paul and Silas was also tested by God through their valley experiences.

The valley experience is characterized with dryness, but the dryness gives way to wetness as we believe God’s promise to us in Isaiah 41:18 which says, “I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water.”

The valley experience is also characterized with deadness, but the deadness gives way to life as we believe God’s promise to us in Ezekiel 37:12 which says, “Therefore prophesy and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel.” Because I live, ye shall live also (John 14:19).

2. The power of the tongue is utilized through the valley experience. In Ezekiel 37:4, the Bible says, “Again he saith unto me, Prophesy upon these bones, and say unto them, O ye dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.” As children of God, we have been instructed to utilize the power of the tongue in the midst of our valleys. The valley experience is not a moment to keep silence, because a closed mouth is a closed destiny. If a man who is in the midst of the valley keeps silence, he may not come out of the valley. In Psalms 23:4, David utilized the power of the tongue in the midst of the valley when he said, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

Your mouth is a vehicle that can take you out of the valley experience. The Bible tells us in Job 22:29, “When men are cast down, then thou shalt say, There is lifting up.”

It is only those who say that there is lifting up, when they are cast down in the valley, that will experience divine lifting. Those who are cast down in the valley and who say that there is no lifting up, they may remain in the valley forever. There is lifting up for us in Jesus’ name.

3. The eyes are focused on God through the valley experience. As I told us earlier, when a man is in the midst of the valley, he is between mountain and mountain. His view is obstructed by the mountain at his right and by the mountain at his left. That is a moment to focus our eyes on God, looking up to Him for help. No wonder David said in Psalms 121:1-2, “I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.” Hebrews 12:2 says, “Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.”

4. The Lord is glorified through the valley experience. Ezekiel 37:13 says, “And ye shall know that I am the LORD” and Ezekiel 37:14 says, “Then shall ye know that I the LORD have spoken it, and performed it, saith the LORD.” God desires to be glorified, that is, to be known as the Lord in our lives and He fulfills that desire by taking us from the valley and placing us on the mountain for all the people to see and glorify His holy name. Isaiah 40:4-5 say, “Every valley shall be exalted, and every mountain and hill shall be made low: and the crooked shall be made straight, and the rough places plain: and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together: for the mouth of the LORD hath spoken it.”

I want to conclude my message by telling us four things we can do, in order to come out of our valley experiences and they are:

1. Have faith in God. The Bible tells us in Mark 11:22-24, “And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God. For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith. Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” Believe that God can take you out of the valley experience.

2. Utilize the power of your tongue until you come to the state of perfection. In Genesis 1:3, God could have said, “Let there be everything,” but instead He said, “Let there be light” and there was light. God went on and on until the whole world was in the state of perfection. Genesis 1:31 says, “And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good.”

In Ezekiel 37:8, things got better after Prophet Ezekiel prophesied upon those dry bones, but the condition of the people could not be described as “very good” because there was no life in them. God was teaching Prophet Ezekiel a lesson that not until you have arrived at your best, never stop declaring God’s promises concerning your life, even if things have gotten better. God says in Isaiah 62:6-7, “I have set watchmen upon thy walls, O Jerusalem, which shall never hold their peace day nor night: ye that make mention of the LORD, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”

3. Wait upon the Lord in prayer and fasting. No wonder David said in Psalms 40:1-2, “I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry. He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.” Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.”

4. Praise God in the midst of the valley and He will lift you out of it. Do not wait until you are lifted out of the valley before you praise God; praise God in the midst of the valley and He will lift you out of it in Jesus’ name. Isaiah 24:15 says, “Wherefore glorify ye the LORD in the fires, even the name of the LORD God of Israel in the isles of the sea.”

NB – Isaiah Ogedegbe is a Warri-based preacher and the Publisher/Editor-in-Chief of this site. Please contact him on phone: 08134836494 or +2348134836494. Thank you.