2014: Time to Provoke the Heavens… Pastor Agu Irukwu 2 Kings 3 The nation of Israel had held all

their surrounding nations in servitude. They collected heavy taxes. One day, Moab, one of the taxed nations rebelled against Israel. Jehoram, the King of Israel chose not to overlook this affront so he formed an alliance with Jehoshaphat, the king of Judah and the king of Edom to enforce the heavy tax regime on Moab. The three kings in the alliance set out on a journey that lasted longer than it should have. I believe God's hand was responsible for the delayed journey. Maybe you are in the same situation, saying, 'I should have arrived already. How come I'm still waiting? I want to say to you too, maybe God is taking you through this longer journey to achieve His plans and purposes. Hang on, God is at work on your behalf. After some days, the three kings arrive at their destination, but they had run out of water for their soldiers and animals. That’s a place of hopelessness. A place where you are on the verge of giving up. A place where your outward appearance seems okay but you are crying inside and asking God how and why? There were two reactions to this situation. The king of Israel says God has brought us here to embarrass us. Jehoshaphat had a different reaction. He says God is in control of everything. He advises that they should see a prophet to seek the counsel of God. They decide to see Elisha who had poured water on Elijah's hand. Before giving any guidance, Elisha asks the minstrel to play the harp. As they worship, Elisha begins to hear God’s instructions to guide the three 3 kings. There's something about worship that creates an avenue to hear God. God tells them to make the valley full of ditches without worrying where the water would come from. He assures them that they would have water enough for them and their animals and also have victory over the Moabites. Sometimes God tells us to do certain things that are against our better judgment or conventional wisdom but if we obey, the results are always astounding. The kings obey God's instructions without question. Today, many of us try to understand the infinite God with our limited human mind. The God of the Bible can never be understood by the human mind. Don’t limit God. What seems so complex to you is an easy thing for God. One day the Israelites woke up and found water and advanced on their enemies, the Moabites. The word of God is about to be fulfilled, but then the king of Moab does something unusual. He sacrifices his son and the advancing armies retreat. Somehow, this heathen king of Moab understood that ‘Heaven Belongs to the Bidder’. As Christians, we don’t ‘bid’ in a commercial sense as others do, but we must demonstrate our seriousness to enforce the victory that has been won for us. The King of Moab saved his city and turned the battle in his favour, by sacrificing his son in full view of the advancing armies of Israel and her allies. (2 Kings 3:26-27). It is time for us to provoke the heavens on our behalf. You can learn a lot from this story on how to provoke God on your behalf in 2014 and beyond. There are things we can do here in the natural to trigger a response from heaven. One of them as we learnt from the story is Sacrifice. Sacrifice produces a response from heaven. The ultimate sacrifice was done to trigger our salvation and God expects us to sacrifice in one area of our lives or the other to trigger a response from heaven.

There is a way you pray that will touch heaven and trigger a response. The Sacrifice of Giving: If you must move from comfort to wealth. (Acts 16:16). In a generation that was so corrupt. The Sacrifice of Praise and Worship. Jonah too prayed and heaven had no choice than to respond to him (Jonah 2). The moment you sincerely commit to Jesus. chains that hold you down will be loosed. Let the heavens know you are bidding high. Our prayers are like incense and we can fill heaven with the aroma of our petitions. God spoke to the woman. Be led by the inner promptings of the Holy Spirit and wait (persevere) until your change comes. We don’t have to fight to win. The Sacrifice of Waiting: The heavens belong to the highest ‘bidder’. The Bible says. 2. There is something about holiness that God finds irresistible. heaven made sure his family was preserved. you must give a sacrifice. please call Santos on 0803 425 4092 or Bukola on 0812 216 7403. God visited him and gave him a blank cheque. God rejoices in heaven when one sinner truly repents. the same fiancé turned around and fixed their wedding date. (Revelations 5:8). If you need to talk to someone. The fight has been won. in the same night Solomon sacrificed a thousand bulls. 6:7-9. For things to change. The church prayed for Peter in Acts 12 and provoked an angelic visitation to set him free. 2 . In 2 Chronicles 1:7. When the world was to come to an end. When you worship God sincerely. One day. intensely and persistently. (Job 14:14) 5. There is a way you can commit yourself to doing right by God that so touches and provokes the heavens to move on your behalf. you must provoke the heavens. A guy prayed for a hundred days for a particular lady whom he said God told him was his wife. If you choose to live by God’s word at all times. Noah’s righteousness and commitment to God evoked a response in heaven Gen. there's a time to provoke the heavens. One sacrifice that is sure to provoke God to move on your behalf is to give your life wholly to Jesus. to forgive you and be your personal Lord and Saviour. Don’t just follow any formula. They sent up their praises and worship and God responded with a violent earthquake that shook the foundations of the prison and loosed not just their chains but the chains of all the other prisoners. He will begin to turn your life around for good. I invite you to go right ahead and ask Jesus to come in to your heart. Learn to praise and worship God this year until the heavens open over you! 4. We sacrifice to trigger heaven to release what has been prepared for us. There's a time to give your regular offering.Let me share five sacrifices that can trigger a response from heaven. 3. The Sacrifice of Holiness. There is a way you can praise God that will trigger a response from heaven just like Paul and Silas. Another lady was at the altar praying for about six months because her fiancé said it was over between them. 1.(Luke 15:10). you will be amazed how God will move on your behalf. On the hundredth day of the fast. but we sacrifice to possess what is already ours. The Sacrifice of Prayer. If you want to provoke God’s favour over your life. God Himself sacrificed His son for us. We don’t have to sacrifice again. We can be led by the Spirit of God to do certain creative things to trigger a response from heaven.