Chew On This by Carlton Babatunde Williams by Carlton Babatunde Williams - Read Online

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Chew On This - Carlton Babatunde Williams

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OUT!

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

Special thanks to Ms. Patricia Walker and Mrs Clara Robin-Coker for the long hours spent editing the manuscript. Your hard work made this book possible.

INTRODUCTION

In 1Timothy 4:15, Paul said these words to his spiritual son Timothy, ‘Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all.’ We all desire progress, growth in every area of our lives. As Christians there is a deep longing to know more of God, not just merely mentally but more importantly, experientially.

Paul’s recipe for progress is simple: Meditate on the truth of God’s word and give it your full attention and obedience. Progress in every area of your life will be a natural by-product of this focus.

Simply put, ‘to meditate’ means to mutter. When meditating on a verse of scripture, take that particular verse and mutter it to yourself over and over again. As you do so, picture yourself in that verse; make it personal. All your mental powers should be involved in the process. Turn it over and over in your mind. The picture of a cow chewing the cud is a good one as a parallel to meditation.

I began writing this two years ago. I started with the intention of writing devotions but it soon became apparent that I had more of a flair for writing teaching material. I wouldn’t call these sermons and don’t quite like the ring to ‘sermon-ettes’ (sounds like something unfinished). Whatever they are, I believe they will be of benefit to anyone who studiously meditates on the material. Having a compilation of 52, let’s call them ‘chewies’, is intentional – one for every week. Take them around with you and chew them over a bit at a time and watch how quickly you begin to walk in the power of God’s word.

I dedicate this book to everyone with a longing for more… and I pray that as you meditate, the Holy Spirit will open your eyes to behold wondrous things out of His word.

Carlton Williams

THE YEAR OF RESURRECTION

Hebrews 11: 33 – 35 ‘Who through faith…received their dead, raised to life again…’

Abram faced an impossible situation. He was ninety-nine years old and his wife Sarai was eighty-nine. She had been barren since her youth and was now way past her childbearing years. Their situation was hopeless. They couldn’t have a child.

But then God comes on the scene and introduces Himself. In Genesis 17:1, He introduced Himself to Abram as, ‘… Almighty God.’ The Hebrew word used here is El-Shaddai which literally means ‘the Many-Breasted One’. God was saying that He is more than enough to satisfy our every need and desire. There is nothing impossible with Him.

In Romans 4:17 Paul expands on the personality of God. Paul says God is, ‘…the God who gives life to the dead and calls things which do not exist as though they did’. It doesn’t matter how bleak your situation looks or how dead it is. God is saying to you, ‘I am El-Shaddai’. There is nothing impossible with Him. It doesn’t matter how far gone your life is, when God comes on the scene everything changes. The One who created the universe, who created time and space, who created humanity, can change any unfortunate situation in which you find yourself.

Yet God has ordained that His power will only be exercised in response to man exercising faith in Him. Through His word, God constantly tried to paint a picture in Abram’s heart of His miraculous power and His desire to give Abram a son. Abram laughed in His face, Sarai laughed too. They couldn’t see it. For as long as they didn’t believe God’s word, they limited the operation of His power in their lives.

The children of Israel did the same; they grieved El-Shaddai continuously in the wilderness as they complained and murmured out of unbelief. Their doubt and unbelief limited their experience of the Great Provider’s power. He was grieved as their unbelief denied Him the pleasure of displaying His grace and power in their lives.

Abram, renamed Abraham, did not remain faithless. As he focused on what God had promised instead of his situation, he became ‘…fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised’ (Romans 4:21 NIV). His faith was no longer based on the probability that his body would produce; he faced the fact that his body was dead. There was nothing in the physical realm that supported the fact that he would have a child. His faith rested in the word of God and its integrity alone. He realised that ‘God is not a man, that He should lie, nor a son of man that He should repent. Has He said, and will He not do? Or has He spoken, and will He not make it good?’ (Numbers 23:19) He expressed his confidence in God’s promise by continually thanking and praising God even though nothing had changed in the physical yet.

Through his faith in God’s word, Abraham received his dead body raised to life again and his wife Sarai, renamed Sarah, whom all had called barren, gave birth to a son Isaac as God had promised. There is nothing impossible with God. But, as Jesus said to the father of the boy with an evil spirit (Mark 9:23), ‘…Everything is possible for him who believes.’ The power of God only flows through the channel of our confidence in His word. As we walk in confidence in God’s word and act on what He has said, His power will be demonstrated every time.

This is a year of resurrection life. Men and women of faith are going to receive their dead raised to life again… dead dreams are going to come alive again. Things that have previously been considered impossible will be revisited as we begin to allow God into our situation through faith in His word. We will experience Him as ALMIGHTY once more. He will be Almighty to save, Almighty to heal, Almighty in our bodies, Almighty in our careers, Almighty in our homes, Almighty in our lives!

This is a time of resurrection from the dead… take His word and frame your world with it! The Almighty is on the scene

CREATE YOUR WORLD

1Timothy 1:18 ‘This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare.’

A prophecy is an inspired utterance in a known language. It is an expression of God’s mind to the recipient. Paul is challenging Timothy to take action based on the word of God that had been spoken over him. Down through the ages, what separated men who really excelled in their lives for God from those who lived a purely mediocre existence was not the availability of the word of God; it was the willingness to take action on the words God had spoken with courage and faith in the face of opposition.

In the book of Hebrews chapter 4, the writer chronicles how a whole generation of Israelites missed out on what God had promised them, even though God’s will for them was clearly understood. Their failing? In verse 2, the writer says, ‘…but the word which they heard did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in those who heard it.’ The profit or benefit we receive from God’s word is determined by how we respond to it. Mixing faith with the word of God means trusting in His word and taking action based on it the way we would if we really believed it.

When Joshua was given leadership of the children of Israel by God after Moses had died, God re-iterated His promise to Joshua. He confirmed in Joshua 1 that He had given them the land and the exact area that was their inheritance. He assured Joshua that He would be with him and never leave him or forsake him. However God kept repeating a particular phrase. We see this phrase in verses 6, 7 and 9: ‘only be strong and of good courage.’ After the Lord had finished His conversation with Joshua, Joshua gave instructions to the leaders of the people about the next step. All the leaders confirmed their allegiance to Joshua’s leadership, but again repeated that familiar phrase in verse 18, ‘…only be strong and of good courage.’

Courage is the ability to take action in the face of opposition and fear. God was telling Joshua that even though He would be with him, to experience what God had promised, Joshua would need to take action in the face of fierce opposition by believing in the presence and power of God to put him over. Joshua would have to ‘create his world’ by actions he took based on the word of God. Joshua took massive, courageous action and received the inheritance that God had promised.

Paul’s admonition to Timothy was the same; Timothy must ‘…wage the good warfare…’ using the prophecies that had been spoken over his life. Timothy would have to take those words and ‘go to war with them.’ Why did Paul call it warfare? Because there would always be circumstances, situations, external and internal pressures that would tell him why it was unlikely that what God has promised would come to pass. Paul was challenging Timothy to take action on God’s promise and stick with it until he won. He called it a ‘good’ warfare because he had God’s guarantee of victory.

Hebrews 11 is full of people who received God’s word, allowed that word to dominate what they saw, spoke and acted upon. They took massive action on the word of God, assured of victory, until they experienced what God has promised. The chapter is full of action words; they, ‘…subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens, women received their dead raised to life