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ABRAHAM’S CHILDREN IN TROUBLE PART 1

Dr. D. K. Olukoya

Beloved, this week, we are looking at the first part of a message entitled, “Abraham’s children in trouble.” We shall be praying as we go on with the message.

Luke 13:11: “And behold there was a woman which hath a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bowed together; and could in no wise lift up herself.” This means that a sickness could be engineered by a spirit and in such a case; doctors are virtually helpless since their knowledge can only deal with the physical and not the spiritual. Applying a physical solution to a spiritual sickness will only worsen the situation, as the physical medication will only act as a fertilizer to strengthen the problem. This may also result in the victim acquiring a new demon that may make him become a drug addict. If you have any infirmity in your body, you have a wonderful opportunity to deal with it, for God does not design infirmity for His children, because He knows that they will not be able to serve Him with infirmity. Although having the spirit of infirmity will not disqualify one from getting to heaven, but it will ravage one’s body here on earth. You cannot do much for the Lord with a sick body. Infirmity may be ravaging your body whilst your spirit can make it to heaven. Therefore pray a prayer of command like these:

1. I cast out every spirit of infirmity, in the name of Jesus.
2. Every owner of infirmity, carry your load, in the name of Jesus.

The woman in our text was tormented by the spirit of infirmity for 18 years. Close your eyes and pray the following prayer points:

1. Every longstanding infirmity, I destroy your feet by fire, in the name of Jesus.
2. I refuse to live with any sickness, in the name of Jesus.

Doctors certainly have terminologies for all sicknesses, including the spiritual ones. Luke 13: 12: “And when Jesus saw her, he called her to him, and said unto her, woman thou art loosed from thine infirmity.” Jesus could see the rope with which she was bound hence he loosed her from it. Verse 13 – 16: “And he laid his hands on her: and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. And the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because that Jesus had healed on the sabbath day, and said unto the people, There are six days in which men ought to work: in them therefore come and be healed, and not on the sabbath day. The Lord then answered him, and said, Thou hypocrite, doth not each one of you on the sabbath loose his ox or his ass from the stall, and lead him away to watering? And ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom satan hath bound, lo, these eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the sabbath day?”

Her adversaries were not bothered about her plight but were more concerned with the breaking of their law. They wanted people healed only from Monday to Friday but not on the Sabbath day. These were enemies right inside the church! I pray that those who are not happy with your progress shall be disgraced, in Jesus’ name. Beloved, the interesting thing here is that though that woman was a daughter of Abraham, she was in bondage by an invisible rope. By great faith in God, her spiritual father, Abraham, was made a source of blessings to the whole world and she, like many today, must have appropriated the blessings to herself. In spite of this she was still in bondage.

Abraham did not have access to the reference and study Bibles as we have today. He had neither the computer Bible nor any example to follow, yet he exercised a high level of faith that even challenged God to make him a source of blessing to the whole world. This is why people the world over tend to appropriate the blessings of Abraham to themselves. But then, who are the children of Abraham?

THE CHILDREN OF ABRAHAM

Galatians 3:6-16: “Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. Know ye therefore that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So then they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. For as many as are of the works of the law are under the curse: for it is written, Cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the law to do them. But that no man is justified by the law in the sight of God, it is evident: for, The just shall live by faith. And the law is not of faith: but, the man that doeth them shall live in them. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us: for it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree: That the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles through Jesus Christ; that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith. Brethren, I speak after the manner of men; Though it be but a man’s covenant, yet if it be confirmed, no man disannulleth, or addeth thereto. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” Verse 29: “And if ye be Christ’s, then are ye Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise.”

Those who are in the household of faith, who belong to Christ, are the children of Abraham. Therefore if you do not have the faith of Abraham you cannot claim to belong to Abraham. And if you are Abraham’s seed, you will behave like him. God intends all believers to become Abraham’s seeds and to inherit his blessings. The woman in our text belonged to Abraham but she was in bondage. The same thing is true for most believers today. Many Abraham’s children are bound. Their situation could be likened to the story of a gorilla that was put in a cage for years. The enemies of the beast visited it and threw stones at it. Its friends came as well to give it banana. It kept on living like this for long until a white man came forward to buy it. His offer was accepted and he brought it out of the cage and kept it in a good environment to enjoy liberty. But to the amazement of the white man, the gorilla could not appropriate its freedom because it was used to confinement in the cage. A lot of people are like this.

A person under bondage cannot enjoy the blessings of Abraham. The Bible tells us that the blessings of Abraham extend to both our physical and material prosperities. If the spirit is sick, the sickness would affect the physical and this explains why the devil is first interested in ravaging the inside of a man. Knowing full well that when the inside is polluted, every other thing you set your hands to do will equally be affected. The spiritual, physical and material matters are the three common areas in which a person can be under bondage.

A person can be under the bondage of drug or debt: bondage is bondage. There is no small bondage. But when you operate in the faith of Abraham, people may tend to view you as being fanatical, they may feel you are intolerant of others. But when you begin to reap the blessings, they will begin to wonder how it happened. A man once told the story of a colleague at his place of work whom was a prayer addict. He said he always used his free period to pray while others were either at the canteen or doing something else. Then things started to happen: he was soon made a supervisor. Later on, he became a manager. Eventually, he resigned his appointment only to come with a big car to visit his former colleagues. He was still praying all the while? But people often call those who pray like this mad people. Those who operate in faith are called mad people because faith is not logic. Whoever comes to God with the expectation to receive from Him must first of all forget whatever knowledge he has. What faith attempts to do may sometimes be illogical, unreasonable and unscientific.

While I was studying abroad, we used to have students’ Christian movement which met every Friday for fellowship. We used to invite men of God to come and preach to us. One day, a man was invited, though a white man his complexion showed he had been terribly affected by the scorching sun. When he started to minister he said: “Do you know that there is a particular witch that goes about every church in this city to rain curses.” The white man sitting by my side exclaimed: “This is outrageous.” But I admitted within me that the man got the point, even though that was the first time I heard a white man mention the subject of witchcraft. He then asked us to pray a corporate prayer, which we were not used to praying. As the prayer began, confusion ensued. The lady that led the praise worship was the first person that was carried out. We could see that the man carried the touch of power. This man told us what happened in a rural area of India which was a very long distance to a hospital. A snake bit one man and in the midst of the perplexing situation a man surfaced from nowhere and issued a command that the snake’s poison should come out, in the name of the Lord. Instantly, the poison started to flow out. The man said even though he had been a Christian for long, he was greatly challenged by the faith of the Christian Indian.

Abraham was asked by God to sacrifice Isaac, his son, who was his dearest treasure and future hope. He did not argue with God for he knew that it was God who provided the son and could provide another Isaac by resurrection. It was the same Abraham who argued with God when He wanted to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah. He did not even tell Sarah or Isaac himself or his slaves about his adventure with God. This would have been termed sheer madness by his people. There is no such thing like bad news for a person moving in faith. Bad news poses a challenge to our faith and as we move forward in faith, we have the courage to challenge God with bigger problems that come our ways. Many people pray against cancer but have not succeeded in dealing with common headache. Many people are praying that God should remove every obstacle on their ways, but they forget that that would make them to be lazy and good for nothing soldiers to God.

When I was in the junior school, I was always beaten up by the grown-ups. As I kept complaining, somebody encouraged me to try to fight back whenever they came to attack me. One day, one grown-up challenged me and I dipped my fingers into his eyes so that he could not see. Then I carried him and threw him on the ground and took to my heels. From that day he kept a distance from me. What did I do to deliver myself? I flexed my muscle and it worked. This underscores the saying that the best method of defence is to attack. God has not called His children to be harassed by the enemy.

The question now is, why are the children of Abraham always in trouble?

1. Sin: Abraham’s children are wedded to sin. And since Mr. Sin is the husband whilst the sinner is the wife, an evil covenant is formed. Mr. Sin will continue to force the sinner to commit sin regularly. As long as the wedding is in place, trouble will continue to have a field day in the sinner’s life.

Sometime ago, I went to preach somewhere and a boy of 16 was brought to me for prayers. His problem was that he was addicted to prostitutes. He had stolen about forty thousand naira of his mother to patronize prostitutes. He told me he was in a senior secondary school and that he was born again. But here was a born again Christian whose life had been damaged by the sin of immorality. He was so devastated that all his private parts were full of terrible sores. Nevertheless, he still maintained he could not stop going to prostitutes. This is an example of a life married to sin.

At times when you give some people prayer points and tell them to keep away from anger if they want answers to the prayers, they will say they cannot guarantee that. It is because there is an evil marriage in place. If you remove the issue of sin from the Bible, there will be no Bible, and there would not have been the need for the Saviour to come to the world to sacrifice Himself for mankind. You may attend a lot of Bible colleges, but if sin is not dealt with in your life, all the knowledge you might have required amounts to nothing. All your lecture topics would be mere theories. That is why the Bible says that people will shun sound teachings in the last days and would heap up for themselves teachers with itching ears.

2. Ignorance: The second reason Abraham’s children are in trouble is ignorance. Hosea 4:6: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.” This is not referring to satanic people, but God’s own people. If Samson had known that the lap of Delilah would spell doom for him, he would have fled. A person can be so stupid in ignorance that God may find it difficult to help him. I told a sister 13 years ago that she needed to go for deliverance ministration. She told me she did not believe in deliverance because her church was not preaching it. She said once you believed and you were born again, you were automatically delivered. To my surprise, she came calling after 13 years that she needed deliverance. For those 13 years, she was suffering because of ignorance.

Another lady was staying with her husband in England. One day, she had a dream that a white lady came to strip her of her wedding gown and ring. When she related the story to her husband during breakfast the following morning, he dismissed it as a figment of her imagination and as such nothing was done about it. But before the week ran out, a white woman had already taken over her home while she found herself back in Nigeria! Why? Ignorance. If immediately she woke up from that dream, she prayed to reverse the dream, what happened to her would have been averted. Even though she was born again, she did not know how to deal with the dream, hence there was nothing the Almighty could do in that situation. Even the Bible says that some people are bent on exhibiting wilful ignorance. I pray that God would have mercy on such people.

3. Breaking the laws of faith: This can also lead Abraham’s children into bondage. When you break the laws of faith, the promise of Abraham would not be fulfilled in your life. What does it mean to break the laws of faith?

i. Faith must be rooted in the word of God and not in your brain or what you think or feel or your personal opinion.

ii. Faith must be confessed with the mouth. The Bible says, "If any of you shall say unto the mountain, be thou removed and be cast into the sea and do not doubt in his heart, but believe that what he had said shall come to pass, it shall be so." In the beginning, before things began to happen, the Bible says, "God said, Let there be light." God spoke and things began to happen.

iii. Faith must be blind to opposing circumstances. That is, your circumstances may look hostile and unfavourable, but you should be blind to it.

iv. Faith must not be moved by sight. The Bible says, “We walk by faith and not by sight.” Once you allow what you are seeing to move you, faith jumps out of the window of your life.

v. Faith must continuously give praises to God. When a person is always full of praises and thanks to God, his faith will be on top. Do not say, “Why should I praise Him when He has not done anything for me.” A pastor once talked of a believer who was always grateful unto God by giving sacrificially unto God. This believer was operating a salt business. One day, a great flood flushed his large stock of salt away. When his pastor heard of this unfortunate incident, he was afraid to visit him because he could hardly find words of the Bible to console and encourage him. But as he summed up courage to visit him, he found to his amazement, the man and members of his family rejoicing. He said, “Pastor, don’t worry. God took away my stock of salt to make room for a larger one.” So, when the devil sees that people are always happy and rejoicing in a particular family, he runs away. But if he finds otherwise, he would pitch his tent with them.

vi. Faith does not make negative confessions. Someone who moves by faith will not be confessing evil to himself. He will not say, “Oh, this headache, or this asthma will kill me.” No. You must speak good things to your life and believe that all the problems are gone with Christ on the cross. One way most of us pull down this country is through our confessions. The other day, I was in a bank, I heard a woman saying, “Oh, this country is finished,” simply because the bank official complained of her signature being irregular. She forgot that we are still living in this country, whether we like it or not, and if it is good, we will enjoy it and if it is bad, it is to our disadvantage. Why do we have to destroy the country with our mouths? Uttering words like “bastard,” “that your foolish dad will soon come,” “dunce,” “idiot,” etc, to your children, will make them behave exactly like that.

vii. Faith does not entertain wrong thoughts. Some people contemplate suicide as a means of escaping the troubles of this world. A brother told me of a Christian who committed suicide in Zimbabwe and people began to wonder how a Christian could take his own life. But Zimbabwe is one of the enclaves of white men whose peculiarity is to commit suicide. So they told the Nigerian brother that the victim had gone to heaven to enjoy the peace he could not find on earth. A person who prays fervently for an accident-free journey and then begins to think negatively of the journey, is not operating in faith.

viii. Hebrews 6:12: “That ye be not slothful but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promise.” According to this passage, faith must be married to patience . One of the greatest virtues that God gives to man is patience. Many people want to run faster than their legs can carry them. Some want to run 100 meters while they are still crawling. You need to be patient to allow God to sort out your life. You may say your application is being delayed. Well, it may be that God wants to remove somebody for you in that company or He may first of all want to close the mouth of the lions that are sent there by the enemy to attack you. When you plant maize, you don’t dig it up every morning to check how it is growing. If you do that, the maize will not grow. You need to exercise patience with it.

ix. Faith does not give up. If you are a child of Abraham, you will not give up. I have witnessed many impossible situations in my life, which the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob had turned around. This is the God that Elijah called upon on Mount Carmel and He answered by fire.

x. Faith must be resistant to discouragement and fear. That is why you must not have fearful and discouraged friends, otherwise you have work to do. If your faith is subject to discouragement and fear, it is not the Abraham-type of faith but the faith of Thomas. Thomas said, “Except I move close to him, see the hole of the nails in his hands and thrust my finger through them, I will not believe.” And it was a shameful thing for him when he saw Jesus, for Jesus declared to him that blessed were those who did not see and yet believed. The faith of Thomas is synonymous to that of modern-day doctors and scientists who believe in observation and experiment.

xi. Faith must be released to operate. Perhaps an illustration will serve to explain this: A woman in the Bible decided within herself from home not to be distracted by the crowd. She said, “If I can touch the helm of His garment, I shall be made whole” She released her faith and received her needed miracle without “permission.” But Jesus knew what she did, because He was aware of the virtue that went out from Him.

xii. Faith is fed by the word of God, but starved by word of the devil. The devil is the best preacher. Therefore if you listen to him, the faith in you will be starved. He will say, “There you are, those who are to minister to you have left before you got there,” “Upon all your beauty, you are still waiting and praying to get married. For how long will you do that.” If you listen to him he will destroy you.

xiii. Faith never cries, grumbles or complains. You should not become a modern-day Jeremiah.

xiv. Faith forgets past failures. You don’t say because your prayer has not been answered, you will give up you faith. No.

xv. Faith is quenched by living in any known sin.

PRAYER POINTS.

1 Every enemy of Abraham’s blessings in my life, be bound, in Jesus’ name.
2. O Lord, magnetize angels of blessing to me, in the name of Jesus.
3. Every spirit working against me in my household, be exposed and disgraced, in Jesus’ name.