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8 Min Read

Go Forward

Published on

January 16, 2023

On the 1st of January 2005, while returning from the New Year Service of the church I was attending at the time, I stumbled on a crumpled N500 note lying helplessly on the floor. Innocent and not very enlightened, I took this as a “sign from heaven” that my New Year was going to be a blessed, supernatural and eventful year. I picked the money, went home rejoicing and narrated to family and friends how I was confident about how the year would turn out, as a result of my “new-found wealth” Lol.

Too many Christians are like me, especially at the start of every new endeavour or enterprise, seeking external confirmations and verifications for their beliefs, looking for signs, signals, spectacular events that ground their confidence further in what they claim to believe. For example, they make statements like the following:

“God, if I’d do well at this interview, let me see 7 red cars on the road today.”

“God, if indeed I should ask this girl out, let her wear a blue dress and say hello to me today.”

“If I should start this business, let rain fall for 2 days non-stop”

“If this year will be great, let someone ‘dash’ me X amount before 6pm today.”

Granted, the above may be extreme examples but I’m sure we all have varying examples of how we put out “fleeces” like Gideon in attempts to prove God or verify our belief. In fact, some other times, we may not directly ask for signs, but when something that remotely looks like a ‘sign’ happens, we latch on to it and anchor our faith to it passionately.

The Problem with Sign-Seekers

For the Jews require a sign…— 1 Cor. 1:22

Scripture records that Jews always require a sign for everything they hear or read. You couldn’t walk up to a Jew and encourage them about an aspect of their lives and God’s promise about it; they’d ask you for a sign. You couldn’t tell a Jewish man who has just suffered a loss or heartbreak that God will restore him; he’d ask you how sure you were about this, and request that you pray to God to give him a sign that your words would actually happen.

For Jews, words, no matter how encouraging or promising they sound, don’t cut it. If there is no sign, an outward evidence to back up the words, they’d struggle to believe it, if at all they even believe.

This was why it was easy for most Jews to miss Jesus. Sign-seekers miss God. Signs are great, but they are misleading because the devil can manipulate them. Satan can appear as an angel of light and supply you with the theatrics you require to facilitate your believe in something that’s not of God.

The Origin of this Dysfunction

At the root of this dysfunction of ‘sign-seeking’ is man’s insatiable desire to know the future before taking a step in the present. Inherent in every human being is a subtle wish to be able to glimpse into the future and know how things shape out as they journey towards it. This is why many consult herbalists, false prophets and mediums. There is a certain level of confidence that comes with knowing or seeing events before they happen.

Imagine if you could determine how the next 11 calendar months would unfold; wouldn’t that excite you? If you could somehow see all the hurdles, challenges, victories, losses, accomplishments and breakthroughs lined up in 2023, wouldn’t that make you much calmer, less anxious, and more confident?

Why does God expect faith of the Believer? Why can’t we know it all before we start it all? Why really do I have to patiently wait through life and just expect and believe that all will be well? It is this ability to predict the future and then positioning ourselves in the present that the biggest technological innovations of our day strive to achieve.

However, God’s response to the Believer is different!

What it Means to Go Forward

And the Lord said unto Moses, wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:

But lift thou up thy rod, and stretch out thine hand over the sea, and divide it: and the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea — Exodus 14:15–16

The above story is that of the Israelites after their escape from Egypt. Recalcitrant Pharoah had ordered his army to pursue after the Israelites and they were now closing in on them. With the Egyptians behind and the Red Sea ahead, the Israelites were terrified and bewildered. In spite of Moses’ constant assurances of God’s protection, they murmured their preference to have been left alone in Egypt than to die in the wilderness in the raging Red Sea.

In response to them, God gave two instructions; the first was to the Israelites and the second to Moses. To the Israelites it was, GO FORWARD. To Moses it was LIFT UP YOUR ROD AND STRETCH IT TO THE SEA. These two instructions are pivotal for your 2023, and this is where I want you to pay attention and read with your heart.

This year, God is calling and inviting you to uncharted territories, unexplored zones, unclear paths, unexpected relationships, unpredictable opportunities and uncomfortable responsibilities. Your natural tendency will be to question God, complain, provide evidences that show how unqualified you are, prefer a settlement with the known and familiar, and shudder at the thought of embracing the new.

It is God’s nature to place you in situations that stretch you and test the quality of your faith. Many of us have dwelt too long on the same mountain for several years and now God is saying GO FORWARD. God knows your potential because He sees the full version of you, so He is constantly pushing you to environments and opportunities that at first seem built to destroy you, but end up becoming places that unearth the next level of your talents and giftings. God wants to get the glory in your life and He doesn’t want your intellect to get in the way. No matter how smart you are, you still don’t know yourself well enough as God does.

The instruction to you is GO FORWARD. It doesn’t have to look like you would win. You don’t have to feel like you can do it or that all will be well. Don’t ask for signs and signals that prove all will go well. Just GO FORWARD. Going Forward requires that you trust Him Implicitly and Absolutely. The Red Sea is looming large and raging wide before you, yet God says, GO FORWARD.

And I will bring the blind by a way that they knew not; I will lead them in paths that they have not known: I will make darkness light before them, and crooked things straight. These things will I do unto them, and not forsake them — Isaiah 42:16

As true as it is that many times God’s Word will fortify you with courage, many other times, you’ll be in distress and will have to keep GOING FORWARD even when there is no hope or clear way out. This is because God specializes in leading you in paths you have no clue about, lighting up every dark road and straightening every crooked path. That’s why He confidently tells you to, GO FORWARD!

But as you GO FORWARD, heed God’s instruction to Moses: LIFT UP YOUR ROD AND STRETCH IT TO THE SEA.

All of 2023 is like the Red Sea in front of you. Seas split when rods are lifted and stretched in their direction.

What is your rod?

Your rods are the words of your lips, the confessions of your mouth and the utterances you make in the direction of your mountain.

For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned. — Matthew 12:37

Whatever 2023 will unfold will be dependent on your words as you go forward. You determine your upliftment or your downfall by your very own words. This is the year you want to be selective and very choosy with your words. Angels are on guard ready to execute. You have to stretch the right rods in the direction of every opposition and watch it part.

You want to stretch a rod over your finances. You want to stretch a rod over your health. You want to stretch a rod over your marriage. You want to stretch a rod over your family. You want to stretch a rod over your business and career. Don’t stop stretching rods over your future. Take each month of the year and stretch rods of life, healing, protection, provision and promotion over them.

Your life will not go in the direction of your desire, but in the direction of your utterance, so if you desire something, make sure you’re stretching rods of the right words over it consistently. Our words stir our lives even in the face of storms, winds and mighty seas. Until there is a change on the outside that matches your words, don’t stop speaking the right words. Speak to every single thing in your space, both living and non-living things. The whole of creation responds to words.

Putting it all Together

Don’t be a Sign-Seeker this year. God wants to do BIG THINGS and is inviting you out of your comfort zone. Dare to Step Out!

Journey into the wild like Abraham. Step into the unknown like Noah. Don’t seek to comprehend it all. It is by faith that you understand. (Hebrews 11:3)

Lift Up and Stretch Out your Rod as you speak words of life to every situation before you. Seas will part!

2023 will be a truly remarkable year for you!!

GO FORWARD!!

Peace Bamidele

@askpeace_

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