It was 1992, I was 15yrs young and had just recently had reason to rededicate my life to Jesus Christ. I had a strong lure of temptations from the world, I had a few things I was battling with, but it had been impressed on me over and over again, the magnitude of God’s finished work on my life, and the fact that he had me in mind. I had come to love God, and somehow thirsted for more than the ordinary.
On this particular occasion, I was at a youth camp organized by the Baptist Student Fellowship of Emmanuel Baptist Church. I was young and a small in stature. It was a 3 days retreat, we were all young, and away from home, in a quest to hear more about God, have fun and get to bond together. We were over 150 in number, and the camp was big. Shortly before the program opened, I looked behind me at the crowd of people who had come to meet with God, and I prayed a silent prayer to God. “God please, I want to be your favourite”. God answered me immediately!
God make it abundantly clear to me, that he had no favourites. He said he will draw near to those that draw near to him, and lift up those who come running in faith to him. If I was going to be seen by the world as a favourite, it would have to be because I drew nearer to him than anybody else did. It isn’t God’s responsibility to distinguish a man, a man first distinguishes himself and God responds.
In response to God’s words, I made a commitment to God that day, that I would draw near to him, and distinguish myself. I asked for grace to carry out my desire, and made a commitment to God that all through that retreat, I will neither eat nor drink, but will utilize every of such times to meditate and pray. I made a commitment that I would do it secretly, but embark there and then on my first ever 3 days absolute fast. I drew near to God and he drew near to me. I can’t begin to explain the significance of this time in what has become of my life, that’s the place where my life took shape, and I have since ensured that I handle my responsibility for a distinguished walk with God with a serious sense of duty.
Your life, my life, our lives are what we make of it. God is not at fault for your not living your dreams or walking in your gifting, you are. It’s not your wicked uncle, your step mother or your elder brother that is the source of your pain, you are. Your background is not sufficient reason why your back should be on the ground, you are. You and I have the major role to play in the direction of our lives and our relationship with the almighty. A father carries the child that comes running, the person that gets a hug is the one that reaches out. The one that is given is the one that asks, the one that finds is the one who sought, the person to whom the door is opened, is the one who knocks. Bush meat doesn’t run from the forest, into the market to buy pepper, tomatoes and source to undo itself in your cooking pot. No matter how blessed or gifted you are, ripe apples won’t fall on your laps if you don’t sit under an apple tree. Every blessing or opportunity you will get, is based on your commitment to move, to take action, to distinguish yourself to stand out!
The same way you can walk with sheep and expect to hunt with lions, the same way you can’t sleep in the laps of Delilah and expect to wake up in the bosom of Abraham, this same way – you can’t expect to live as one blessed by the heavens, without making a demand for it by sacrifice. To migrate out of earth, an object must be pushed by sufficient force to exceed that which norms all who reside on earth – gravity. What that means is, to live above the normal, you must not be normal. To live a distinguished life, you must distinguish yourself. What are some of the norms in society today, and how can you be different.
1. Corruption – “If I become President, I will…. everybody is doing it”. Corruption is a word used in many ways to describe something that is decaying or spoiling. It’s an order of sin. To distinguish oneself, one must flee corruption.
2. Indiscipline – The bible says he that rules is spirit is greater than he that rules a nation. How many people have sufficient control over themselves to tell themselves, I will do this, I won’t do that? How many people have control over their appetites, over their emotions, over their drives? If you can get gate to be disciplined, you are ahead of the crowd.
3. Godlessness – Many have a form of Godliness but deny the power thereof. In English – they go to church, but really do not have a relationship with God in a way that they can be powerful. Many seek God for what he can give, not for who they can become. Many don’t even seek God, they just follow religious routine. By seeking to know God and establishing a routine of worship and devotion, you set yourself out of the crowd. Many also say they know God but do not fear him, or how can you explain the flagrant abuse of his will and laws? By fearing God, you are a peculiar minority.
4. Hearers – Many hear… few do! That’s the law of life. Anyone that hears and does is like one who builds his house on a rock. He will not be shaken in his achievement of his ultimate goal. Anyone who hears and does nothing, is like one whose house is built on sand, he’ll have the appearance of stability for a while, until his roots are tested. Your ears are filled with plenty that you have heard already, this is time for you to join the few who act. Act. Take action, what you need is not more time, it’s more commitment. Act.