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BACKWARD NEVER! (Living In Abundance. Jn. 10:10b. Oct. 2011)

 

There is the temptation to imagine that ‘Backward never!’ is the exact opposite of ‘Forward ever!’ and that the two are mutually exclusive. In other words one might be tempted to think that if one is not moving backward the fellow is automatically moving forward and vice versa. The reality is that in between the two extremes is yet another possibility at the middle: Stagnancy; A situation where someone, somehow, remains on the same spot for so long; neither moved forward nor backward. The fact is that for anyone who has stagnated in one position for so long there is a greater danger that the forces of retrogression could become so overwhelming that the fellow would inadvertently and unconsciously begin to move backward. It is far easier and less energy consuming, to fall from a height than to climb to a height. The energy needed to move backward is far less than the energy needed to move forward. I have also observed that sometimes God would completely close a particular door in order to allow another to open. Quite often the transition period between the closing of a door and the opening of a new one, though short, is misunderstood to appear even worse than the ‘pleasant’ experience under the closed door. The Bible tells us in Lk. 9:62 that nobody putting his hands on the Plough and looking back is worthy for the Kingdom of God. For Christians therefore looking back or any consideration whatsoever of moving in the reverse direction wouldn’t be an option. As a result of our human nature, when we are confronted with the realities of the transition period, some would rather wish that they were left behind in ‘Egypt’.  What we do at a point of divine transition is absolutely important. It is at that point that many go into unfair comparisons of ‘Apples’ to ‘Oranges’. They begin to compare where they were before to where they are at that particular point in time which to all intents and purposes is transition period. They would say for instance: “You know I used to eat three times a day but now I eat only once and that man of God is still telling me to be patient! He must be joking”. “I used to have 4 exotic cars and now I can barely maintain one and they say I should still believe in God?” And I say, hold on! You may just be, going through a ‘wilderness experience’.

You may still say to me: “Common on pastor! I used to be able to pay my mortgage but now not only can I not afford to pay, my house is about to be foreclosed and you keep preaching?” Yes I keep preaching and I still say hold on! You must decide not to go back because like he did with Israel God could indirectly be asking you to keep matching forward to a Red sea where an Earth-shaking miracle is waiting for you to take you closer to your land of Canaan.

 In Ex.14:1-30 we read the familiar story of the Children of Israel. God had demonstrated to them that he is Jehovah Nisih. He had performed awesome miracles in the sight of Pharaoh to convince him to let the Children of Israel go. Now, between a closed door experience in Egypt and the opening of a new one in the Promised Land there was a wilderness experience. Children of Israel lifted up their eyes and saw the advancing army of Pharaoh and began to complain. Some of them were so worried that they went to Moses and blamed him for attempting to bring them out of the Land of captivity. I am convinced that some of them at that point in time would have decided to go back to Egypt. But God told them that going back was not an option; they were told to move forward. But move forward to where? He asked them to move forward toward the banks of the Red sea. For a moment I would want you to put yourself in the shoes of Israel as at particular time. At the back was the ferociously advancing, destructive army of Pharaoh and his men; right in front was the Red sea flowing dangerously across threatening to consume whatever stood on its way and Moses was still urging them to move forward? Consider also for a moment what would have happened had any one of the fleeing Israelites decided to go back and possibly apologize to the advancing army of Pharaoh. That fellow would have been disgracefully turned into a sacrificial Captive. God asked Israel to move forward. He knew he had a plan to divide the Red sea. He knew he had the capability to cause the dry ground to rise for the Children of Israel to walk upon. He simply asked them to keep moving and they obeyed. In the end Israel laughed last as they walked across to the other side while their enemies drowned in the Red sea.

The story was told of an Island full of Gold and precious resources. The only means to that Island was by Boat. There were dangerous inhabitants there. The owner of the Island had decided to give the Island as possession to a set of new inhabitants who had become favored in his eyes as obedient children. Meanwhile he  knew that the new set of people he had given the Island as possession were fearful and had no understanding of their innate potentials for victory. Instead they had a great propensity to take to their heels at the slightest indication. Therefore the owner of the Island made a provision for the new inhabitants to be taken to the Island by a special Boat. The new prospective occupants were not given all the details. All they were told was that the Island was full of Gold and all precious deposits; they were told that the Island was a place flowing with ‘milk and honey’. They were also told that they could meet some opposition on the Island but they were not told the exact capacity and capability of the Opposition. This was because the owner of the Island knew that the new occupants were going to engage in a battle that they had already won. Therefore when the Boat took the new group of occupants or ‘invaders’ to the Island, the owner of the Island instructed that the Boat be destroyed; it was burnt. Since the Boat was the only means of coming in or leaving the Island the new occupants realized that backward movement was not an option, the only one way was to fight and move forward to victory.  Friend for you as a child of God, the Boat is already burnt. You have already been identified with Jesus Christ of Nazareth and to denounce him now is not an option; to go back to the kingdom of darkness now is not an option.

You can’t afford to go back now. What will you tell the world when you get back there? That Jesus Christ of Nazareth did not die on the cross? that resurrection and salvation is false? That there is no power in the blood? God forbid!

 In Jn 6:60-66 Jesus preached a simple message and even many of his disciples said it was too hard and they left. Of course that was the end of their ministry. Orpah was in the same camp with Ruth, but when the going got tough she moved back and sealed her destiny. Lot’s wife was warned, but when the intimidating sound of transition became unbearable she looked back and turned into a pillar of salt. Paul was moving along with Demas. However it got to a point when Demas became choked with the cares of the world, ‘looked back’, and terminated his ministry. (Gen. 19:17, 26, 2 Tim. 4:10).

Child of God you must decide this day that, no matter what, for you and for your family it shall be ‘Backward Never’ in the mighty name of Jesus. Even when it appears as if God is marching you towards a destination as unknown and strange as the Red sea; keep moving. I am convinced that an awesome unprecedented miracle is on the way. Before you know it, the Red sea will part and a dry ground will emerge and you will walk through to your divine Canaan in the Mighty name of Jesus.

 If you have not given your life to Christ please do so now for tomorrow might be too late.

God bless you.

 Pastor Fidelis Nwachukwu

RCCG Throne of Grace Parish

32 E. Washington St

Hagerstown MD 21740, USA

Email: rccgthroneofgraceparish@ymail.com

Website: http://www.rccgthroneofgraceusa.org

 

 

Posted on Monday, October 31, 2011 at 12:13am