This is the story of four men who were lepers. They were in a desperate situation; a life and death situation. It was a time when the city of Samaria was under siege by the Syrians. Israel ran out of supply completely and the people were facing starvation. They were completely surrounded by powerful enemy forces. Women resorted to cannibalism in order to survive. They started to eat each other's children.
The king at this point decided to take the life of the prophet in anger. He is not the only one who blames his pastor or God for not getting an answer to his problem. John the Baptist blamed Jesus for his remaining in jail. A brother was mad at his Bishop for not fasting and praying hard enough to get him out of financial tightness. The king's anger provoked a prophetic word from the prophet that God would bring relief within 24 hours.
But what I want us to see is the role played by four men who were lepers. These men changed their circumstances. George Bernard Shaw
Said: "People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can't find them, make them."
Let me share with you three keys for changing your circumstance.
Trust God. Recognized doubt produces tragedies. Know that with God nothing shall be impossible. The King's official who did not believe the word of the Lord spoken through the prophet was trampled and died. God can use the ordinary to accomplish the extraordinary. The bible says God uses the foolish things to confound the wise. In the hands of God even lepers become a terror to well trained soldiers.
Move forward. Take risks but keep your eyes open. These four lepers confronted their fear. They took chances. They weighed their options. Nothing ventured nothing gained! I could hear them sing "I know that I can make it; I know that I can stand. No matter what may come my way, my life is in your hand."
It's easy to see why some people fail. They are under the lordship of an unholy trinity - acidity, frigidity, timidity.
Some fail because of acidity. Their personalities are bitter. They are poisoned with negative thinking. There is acid in their souls.
Others fail because of frigidity. They're cold. They lack the warmth of affection to attract good people. Love is missing in their lives.
Still others fail because of timidity. They demand guarantees of safety before they move. They need all the problems solved before they make a commitment.
Today, move forward with faith. Take at least one step forward in some area of your life. One thing is certain: You'll never get ahead until you start advancing.
You cannot conquer what you don't confront. They took their lives in their hands. Fear does not have to keep you. They took a step of victory.
What is a step in the right direction?
A step that makes you to trust God- a step of faith. Fear confronted is faith activated and faith activated is problem liquidated.
A step that moves you closer to the solution not farther away from it. This is the step in the right direction.
All those who achieved great things did not have all the answers at the beginning. They had no guarantees of safety and success when they began. You cannot become great by doing only what is convenient. You never can tell how much you can get away with until you try.
Be a blessing to others. They shared the good news. Your influence is determined by your impact. It is not what you acquire for yourself that makes you great, it is what you help others acquire. It is not just what you become; it is what you help others to become. It is not just what you achieve; it is what you help others to achieve. It is not how high you climb; it is how many you help to climb. Every gift God gives you is targeting the larger body. God use channels not warehouses. You are blessed to be a blessing. Until you are a blessing you are not blessed.
I have developed an acronym that can guide you in moving forward. It is called A.D.V.A.N.C.E.
Ask God for direction. There is nothing as frustrating as moving in the wrong direction. Three steps never lead to progress: a step in the wrong direction, a step taken at the wrong time and a step taken out of sequence.
Develop a plan of action.
Verify your facts.
Act promptly and confidently.
Never look back. Keep your eyes on your goal.
Change your plan if need be but not your goal. Harness new information to assist you. You may slow down to make adjustment but never quit.
Expect to succeed. Expect doors to open. Expect things to work out well. Have a positive mental attitude.
The greatest motivator is the reward of achieving your goal. Don't remain on that spot a moment longer, take that step; ADVANCE! God will meet you on the way.
Rev (Dr) Olowojoba is the Snr. Pastor of Dayspring Bible Church, Sabon-Lugbe, Abuja & President, Dayspring Christian Ministries.