CALLED TO BE SAINTS

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Apostle William T. A. Olubiyi, ThD, DMin., is a teacher of the word. A speaker at churches, fellowships and several conferences. A vibrant preacher in Revivals and Crusades. He is the man of multiple grace, whose passion straddles both his professional calling, EDUCATION and his divine calling, DISCIPLESHIP. He engages in ministering and counselling among the youths across various fellowships. He had saved many straying youths through his numerous Revival and soul touching messages. A passionate deliverance minister, Christian Education facilitator, trainer and a seasoned rural rugged mission- research strategist. He is an advocate of personal development education and uses every opportunity to talk on the need to encourage the growth of the whole person: physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.

Submitted: March 02, 2017

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Submitted: March 02, 2017

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"CALLED TO BE SAINTS"
 
BY:William T. A. Olubiyi, ThD, DMin
presiding apostle & revivalist,
Sword of Fire Revival Ministries Int'l
Nigeria, West Africa
 
 
You are here for a purpose. God has a plan for your life, an assignment from on high, and the top priority of your life should be to discover that plan and to fulfill it to completion. Yes, God wants you blessed beyond measure but you must understand that the kingdom of God is not about getting what you want when you want it. Paul says in Rom. 4:17,18 that "the kingdom of God is not food and drink, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. For he who serves Christ in these things is acceptable to God and approved by men." The Message Bible says, "God's kingdom isn't a matter of what you put in your stomach, for goodness' sake. It's what God does with your life as he sets it right, puts it together, and completes it with joy. Your task is to single-mindedly serve Christ. Do that and you'll kill two birds with one stone: pleasing the God above you and proving your worth to the people around you." The secret to fulfilling your purpose is to put God first in everything you do.
 
Knowing who you are in Christ is the most valuable thing you will learn in life. There is nothing better than to have the confidence that God loves you and to know you don't have to impress people in order to have a sense of self-worth. As a member of God's holy family you are being offered righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit, and these are the things you must pursue with all your heart and soul. Matt. 13:44 says, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and hid; and for joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys the field." This man pursued this treasure and paid a great price to get it. Are you willing to do the same? Are you willing to lay aside the cravings of the flesh in order to be holy as God is holy? Are you willing to do whatever it takes to pursue those things that matter most in the eyes of God? The things you actively pursue in life has everything to do with your joy and the fulfillment of your destiny, so make sure you are pursuing the right things.
 
Matt. 6:33 says, "But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you." The Amplified Bible says, "But first and most importantly seek (aim at, strive after) His kingdom and His righteousness [His way of doing and being right - the attitude and character of God], and all these things will be given to you also." The world is seeking ways to be rich and famous but God is telling you to seek His way of doing things. People in the world are wasting their lives trying to do the very thing God said He would do if they would seek first His kingdom. Jesus prayed in vs. 10 of the same chapter, "Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven." Jesus is saying that God's kingdom is the place where His will is done, the place where the King reigns and has dominion over all things. To seek first the kingdom of God means to seek the advancement of those things He reigns over. As you do that, He will add everything you need to fulfill your destiny here in this life.
 
Today's headlines reveal that God's will is not being done all over this planet. Why is that? Ps. 115:16 says, "The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord's; But the earth He has given to the children of men." The free will of man is what determines whether or not God's will gets done on earth as it is in heaven. God gave the earth to Adam and he turned the authority of ruling it over to the devil when he sinned. In the wilderness the devil said to Jesus, "All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore, if You will worship before me, all will be Yours" (Luke 4:6,7). 2 Cor. 4:4 calls the devil "the god of this age" and this shows that the kingdom of God is not reigning over all this world. God is not in control of everything that happens here like most people would think. But He can and will reign over your life if you will exercise your free will and allow Him to do so. This is not automatic. He will only reign in your life to the degree that you are yielding to Him.
 
Once you surrender your will to the will of the Father, your mission in life is to help others see the light so that they'll allow Him to reign in their life as well. This is what it means to seek first the advancement of God's kingdom. You can help change the world by touching the lives of those around you one by one. But first you must allow Him to reign in your life. You must face and deal with the problem of sin and then set out on a journey where you are continually being led by the Spirit of God. John the Baptist brought a message of repentance to the people and so did Jesus. He said in Mark 1:15, "The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. repent, and believe in the gospel." The Amplified Bible says, "The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent [change your inner self - your old way of thinking, regret past sins, live your life in a way that proves repentance; seek God's purpose for your life] and believe [with a deep, abiding trust] in the good news [regarding salvation]."
 
The Bible in its entirety reveals to you the will of God for your life. Each and every page points to a central theme which is clearly expressed in 1 Peter 1:15,16, "But as He who called you is holy; you also be holy in all your conduct because it is written, 'Be holy, for I am holy.'" The Message Bible says, "As obedient children, let yourselves be pulled into a way of life shaped by God's life, a life energetic and blazing with holiness." Born as a man, Jesus brought from the Father a message of repentance which, in turn, leads to a life of holiness. God said in Lev. 20:7,8 (MSG), "Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am God, your God. Do what I tell you; live the way I tell you. I am the God who makes you holy." You were made in the image of God and, since it is His desire for you to be like Him, a life of holiness should be the ultimate goal of your life. Consider what Paul said in Eph. 1:4, "Even before He made the world, God loved us and chose us in Christ to be holy and without fault in His eyes."
 
Paul wrote in 1 Cor. 1:2, "To the church of God which is at Corinth, to those who are sanctified in Christ Jesus, called to be saints, with all who in every place call on the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, both theirs and ours." The Message Bible describes saints as "Christians cleaned up by Jesus and set apart for a God-filled life." You are called to be a saint in God's kingdom and Heb. 12:14 (NLT) reveals how important holiness truly is, "Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord." The Bible records the story of two people who were perfectly holy and without sin in their lives. They enjoyed a unique and almost unheard of relationship with their Heavenly Father. They walked with Him and shared their most intimate feelings and desires, and He did the same with them. Theirs names were Adam and the one called "the second Adam," Jesus. Nothing could separate them from the close and ultimate fellowship they had with their God. Nothing, that is, except sin.
 
The book of Genesis tells how Adam ate the forbidden fruit and, along with his wife, was forced out of the Garden of Eden. On the cross, Jesus was made to be sin on behalf of man and the Almighty was forced to turn His back on His beloved Son. The Lord's greatest pain was upon Him as He cried out, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" (Matt. 27:46). Since light and darkness don't mix, sin will always separate you from having close fellowship with your Heavenly Father. Because he loves you so much, it is His greatest desire that you get sin out of your life so you can "be holy as He is holy" and fellowship be restored. It was for this reason that Jesus came to earth. Because you are born again, God no longer sees you by yourself but rather sees you united with His Son. A marriage, a heavenly covenant, was performed the moment you asked Jesus into your heart. A wonderful and exciting journey now takes place as you begin a lifetime of letting God reign in your life as you allow Him to mold and shape your life "until Christ be formed in you" (Gal. 4:19).
 
Your main concern in life is to seek first the expansion of God's kingdom and this is what the fulfillment of your destiny is all about. Christianity is not just about getting God to help you live a better life, to help you build your own personal kingdom. No, you are here to help build His kingdom and it all begins with you actively dealing with the issue of sin in your life. Nobody has to tell you that there is an enemy arrayed against you, a thief who comes to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). The name of that enemy is Satan and his biggest weapon is sin. It cannot be emphasized enough the alarming words of Is. 59:2, "But your iniquities have separated you from your God; and your sins have hidden His face from you so that He will not hear." Sin has a dire effect in the life of a believer in that it hinders his fellowship with God. It is hard to believe that a Christian man will have a close relationship with God if he is committing adultery on his wife. Habitual and gross sin in the life of a believer is a terrible thing and is not to be tolerated.
 
While it is true that all believers will trip and fall into sin, some more than others, it is never necessary for them to do so. Jesus broke the power of sin on the cross and showed the world how to live a sin-free life. 1 John 2:1 says, "My little children, these things I write to you, that you may not sin." This should be the goal of every believer. God's desire for you is to be holy as He is holy and this means to be without sin. Since He commanded you to be holy, you can rightfully surmise that a life of holiness, a life where sin does not have a stronghold on your behavior, is an achievable goal. In order to attain a life of holiness you need to purge yourself from all sin. 2 Cor. 7:1 says, "Therefore, having these promises, beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God." The Message Bible says, "With promises like this to pull us on, let's make a clean break with everything that defiles or distracts us, both within and without. Let's make our entire lives fit and holy temples for the worship of God."
 
The way to be released from the bondage of sin is through the gateway of repentance. As you walk and grow in the Christian faith a deep love relationship develops between you and your loving Savior. A wholesome dread of displeasing Him begins to grow in your heart and this in turn will compel you to face head-on the problem of sin. Daily you are to crucify the flesh and to become a slave of righteousness. Gal. 5:24,25 says, "And those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit let us also walk in the Spirit." Heb. 6:1 lists "repentance from acts that lead to death" as the first of many basic foundations for Christian living. You should never condone or attempt to excuse your sin. The two things you should do is confess your sin and then forsake it all together. Forgiveness comes when you confess your sin (1 John 1:9) while repentance is the act of forsaking your sin. Forgiveness is an attitude of the heart whereas repentance is an action. If corrective action is not taken then one will wonder if you were truly sorrowful in the first place.
 
The road to holiness always begins with a godly sorrow for having sinned. David wrote in Ps. 38:18, "For I will declare my iniquity; I will be in anguish over my sin." James 4:9 also says to, "Lament and mourn and weep. Let your laughter be turned to mourning and your joy to gloom." The Message Bible says, "Quit dabbling in sin. Purify your inner life. Quit playing the field. Hit bottom and cry your eyes out. The fun and games are over. Get serious, really serious. Get down on your knees before the Master; it's the only way you'll get on your feet." Do not confuse a genuine godly sorrow with the prideful sin of feeling sorry for yourself. When a person fells sorry for themself they regret having sinned but doesn't do anything about it. Basically, they're just sorry they've been caught and regret that they have to pay the consequences for their sin. It is pride that causes a person to feel sorry for themself whereas humility will push a person to the point where they'll strive to prevent sin from becoming a stronghold in their life.
 
Godly sorrow will cause a heaviness to come to your heart and this is what compels you to rise up and do what's necessary to get the sin out of your life. After telling you to mourn for your sins, James next tells you to "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord, and He will lift you up" (James 4:10). Before you ask for forgiveness you must first humble yourself and admit you have sinned. You must own up to what you did wrong and take upon yourself the responsibility of doing something to change your sinful behavior. Humility is the ability to hear the truth about yourself. David said in Ps. 32:5, "I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I have not hidden. I said, 'I will confess my transgressions to the Lord, and You forgave the iniquity of my sin.'" The word "confess" means 'to acknowledge or say the same thing as.' The worst thing a person can do is run away from God when a sin has been committed. Acknowledge your sin and run to God because He is merciful and is able to cleanse you completely from anything that is inconsistent with His own moral character.
 
God is faithful and just and can be counted upon to keep His word. He is just in forgiving you of all your sins because Jesus paid the price for them on the cross. There is no sin too great or too small that is not covered by the blood of Jesus which He willfully poured out for you. One of the most remarkable chapters in the Old Testament is Psalm 51 which records the actual words of David's confession after being confronted with the sin of adultery and murder. Like David you must admit you sinned, regret the actions of your sin, plead the blood of Jesus over your sin and, most important of all, you must forsake your sin. As you do these things you must believe that God has indeed done what He promised, namely, to cleanse you from your sin and restore you back to fellowship and service. Having received forgiveness and cleansing you are next to forsake your sin and yield yourself completely to God. This is what repentance is all about and in doing so you will be restored to full fellowship with God.
 
Remember, forgiveness is an attitude whereas repentance is an action. Forgiveness will not do you much good if no action is taken to remove the sin out of your life. Your deep sorrow and remorse for having sinned should make you so contrite in your heart to the point that you are willing to change your sinful ways. Repentance always brings change and Is. 1:16 tells what the actions of a repentant believer are, "Wash yourselves, make yourselves clean; Put away the evil of your doings from before My eyes. Cease to do evil." The Message Bible says, "Go home and wash up. Clean up your act. Sweep your lives clean of your evil doings so I don't have to look at them any longer. Say no to wrong." Also, James 4:7,8 says, "Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners; and purify your hearts, you double-minded." Do not play games with yourself and God by thinking you can ask Him to forgive you without the willingness to change.
 
The devil is trying to rule over you and everybody else on this planet. If you are not submitting to God then you won't be free from the influence of the enemy. If you're not in submission to God, don't expect the devil to submit to you. With submission comes authority and the ability to reign in life. In Acts 19:13-16 the sons of Sceva were not submitted to God and tried to cast an evil spirit out of a man. They tried to exercise dominion over this spirit and failed miserably. The spirit laughed in their face and "leaped on them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded." The enemy knows that if you're not submitted to God, he doesn't have to be submitted to you. If you don't submit to God and perform the proper actions that true repentance demands, you are only hurting yourself. If you refuse to change your ways and habitual sin becomes a stronghold in your life, you will not "escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive to do his will" (2 Tim. 2:26). There is always a price to pay for habitual sin for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap (Gal. 6:7,8).
 
The only way to walk in authority like Jesus walked is to walk in submission to God. Jesus said to the Father, "Not My will, but Yours be done" (Luke 22:42) and you must say the same thing. Allow God to reign in your life. Focus on what He wants more than on what you want. You are a soldier in the army of the Lord and a soldier follows the orders of the Commander-In-Chief. God said in Job 11;14 (NLT), "Get rid of your sins, and leave all iniquity behind you" and this is what you must do. If you don't do this you won't be successful in resisting the enemy and causing him to flee from you. A special promise is given to the church in 1 Cor. 10:13, "No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it." This verse clearly shows that there is no reason for any born again believer to sin. No, the devil didn't make you do anything. When you sin, you do it knowingly and willingly.
 
Jesus walked the earth as a man and if He can walk daily without sinning then so can you. He came to be your example and when tempted to sin in the wilderness the first words out of His mouth were "It is written." A walk of holiness is accomplished by daily absorbing the Word of God into your heart. Ps. 119:9-11 says, "How can a young man cleanse his way? By taking heed according to Your word. With my whole heart I have sought You: Oh, let me not wander from Your commandments! Your word I have hidden in my heart that I might not sin against You." Repentance is always coupled together with obedience to God's Word. Is. 1:19,20 says, "If you are willing and obedient you shall eat the good of the land. But if you rebel you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken." Your primary goal in life is to become as Christlike as you possibly can be and for that to happen you must put your spiritual gears in motion and with great determination and tenacity hook up with God as He leads you on the road to perfection.
 
There will be times when you miss the mark and fall short of your goal. Paul tells you precisely what your attitude should be during those times when you do fall. Phil. 3:12-14 says, "Not that I have already attained or am already perfected, but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead. I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus." When you fall, the apostle Paul says to press on with your walk with the Lord. Go forward and don't look back at past failures. 2 Cor. 5:17 says, "Old things have passed away, behold, all things become new." Lot's wife looked back to Sodom and Gomorrah and was turned into a pillar of salt. Be like Joseph who despite all his setbacks always looked forward to the blessings he knew God would one day give him. Keep going forward knowing in your heart that God also has a planned destiny for your life.
 
Don't seek for the things the world is searching for but rather seek for the will of God to be done on earth as it is in heaven. Seek for Him to rule and reign in your life, seek for His kingdom to come. And where is His kingdom at? Jesus said in Luke 17:21, "For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you." God is reigning in every heart that has yielded to Him and has confessed Him as Lord and Savior. God allows people to choose whether He reigns over them or not. If they're not yielding to the God of heaven then they are being governed by the god of this world. It's one or the other. There is no other choice even though millions are being deceived into thinking they're in charge of their own life. They wish. No, if they're not being ruled by God, they are being ruled by the evil one. If you've made Jesus the Lord of your life then you can wake up each morning knowing that God's eternal kingdom is inside of you. Where you go, the kingdom goes. This is great news for it's in God's kingdom where His will is done on earth as it is in heaven.
 
The kingdom of God exists but is not yet manifested in its fullness on the earth. He is not reigning over all of mankind but only in the hearts of those who will receive Him and yield to Him. He reigns in the hearts of those who are called to be saints. If you've made Jesus the Lord of your life then His kingdom is inside of you and yet it is a kingdom that is not of this world (John 18:36). There are other kingdoms on the earth but not all of them are God's kingdom. This is why the first thing Jesus told you to pray for in the Lord's prayer is "Thy kingdom come." You want God's kingdom to rule in your heart and not some other kingdom. In heaven there is no sin, no sickness, and no poverty because God is in complete control there. His will is being done in that glorious place and He wants the same thing to happen in your life. It's up to you to make the right choice that allows Him to reign in your life, the proof being that His will is being done in you, through you, and round about you. Making Him Lord and dealing with sin shows that your heart is in the right place.
 
God told Nicodemus, "Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3). Young's Literal says, "Verily, verily, I say to thee, if any one may not be born from above, he is not able to see the reign of God." To get into the kingdom from above, you must be born from above. Jesus said to the Pharisees in John 8:23, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of the world; I am not of this world." When you get born again you also will not be of this world. The kingdom of God is inside of you and good things will happen in your life as a result of that. As you yield to the God of the universe, He will reign in your life the same way He reigns in heaven. Your part is to seek first the kingdom of God and His part is to add all these blessings to your life. When you get healed of your diseases and get your bills paid, God's kingdom has come because His will is being done in your life just like it is in heaven. These blessings are favorable in His eyes and they now belong to you.
 
Paul quotes Isaiah in 1 Cor. 2:9, "Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor has entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him." The Amplified Bible says these blessings are prepared for those "who hold Him in affectionate reverence, who obey Him, and who gratefully recognize the benefits that He has bestowed." The kingdom of God is a valuable thing. It's like treasure hidden in a field and, when you see how valuable it is, you are willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to get it. Those who are spiritual value the things of God more than anything else in their life. On the other hand, those who are carnal value the things of the world more than they value things which are spiritual. 1 Cor. 2:14 says, "But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned." Those who play golf on Sunday instead of going to church don't know what's really important. These people are carnal and don't even acknowledge how precious and valuable the kingdom of God actually is.
 
Jesus said in Matt. 13:45,46, "Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who, when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it." The kingdom of God is valuable and the cost cannot be too great for you to pursue it and take possession of it. You are called to be saints and are willing to lay aside all your personal plans in order for His will to be done in your life as it is in heaven. The things of God mean more to you than the things of the world. This world is quickly passing away but the kingdom of God lasts forever. Why sacrifice your eternal future for a temporary pleasure that is here today and gone tomorrow? Get sin out of your life and begin to walk in the light. Be led by the Spirit and seek first His kingdom every day of your life. You are in the world but are not of this world. You're different from most people because you have a higher value system than they do. You value the kingdom of God so much so that you'll do whatever it takes to get it. After all, that's what saints do.


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