Uncontrollable Unexpected

Posted on June 7, 2020

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Uncontrollable Unexpected

by Pastor Afolabi Oladele

Ever heard of the phrase, uncontrollable unexpected or unexpected uncontrollable?  In the last four weeks for me, hardly a week passed without such an event. From the demise of believer friends like:

  • Pastor Carl Bompart, the retired pastor of the Fort Lauderdale Church of the Nazarenes, where on a number of occasions I had been guest minister until his retirement. Since the passing of his wife some seven years ago, he was never the same. I had visited with a number of times, the last being in January of 2019, one still held out hope that he would come through. It was not to be; to
  • Dr. Ravi Zacharias a renowned Indian-Canadian Christian apologetic whose ministry I had come to follow closely since my family’s Canadian sojourn; and
  • Dr. Mrs. Arene, a former colleague at work, truly an example to women and daughters in the faith.

As if these were not enough, then came a roll of former colleagues, Maikanti Baru, Mark Ofuhrie and Tony Ekefre and last, two days ago, a corporate giant, friend to both myself and my childhood friend, Jimi, Sir Omotosho. One or two were younger but the others were older but not far apart age-wise.

It was following the memorial service for Ravi that brought home Luke’s recording of Paul’s testimony on David serving the Lord acceptably (Acts 13:36).

For David, after he had served the purpose of God in his own generation, fell asleep and was laid with his fathers and saw corruption. Acts 13:36 (ESV)

Listening to the testimonies of Ravi’s ministry colleagues and workers, his children and grandchildren spoke volumes about a balanced life in the service of the Lord. What a legacy of grace at such a time of unparalleled satanic siege upon clean and godly ministries and upon believing ministers’ homes! I would be untruthful to say these things didn’t get under my skin, with the adversary reminding me of a local adage that translates: the death that didn’t get you but got your peer is sending you a message.’

It was in this state of mind that I set to write a posting on hardness of heart, not knowing that the Lord was going to use this to re-teach to me something I learnt some two decades ago, from Andrew Wommack on the same subject. I went back to re-listen to those messages and out of my devotions this morning came these words, that I pray will help as many as are in the season of unexpected uncontrollable. Yours may not be the unexpected demise of loved ones, it may be the failure of health or finances from unexpected job loss, this truth will liberate you as you focus your minds on the faithful covenant keeping God and His promises.

Let me restate two basic unchanging facts of the scriptures:

  • What a man focuses upon, his heart becomes sensitive to; what you do not focus upon, your heart is insensitive to it or better said, your heart is  hardened to it (See Mark 6:45-52, note particularly vs. 52).  The disciples’ hearts were hardened as their concentration was on their struggle for survival as against remembering and focusing on the awesome power of God that wrought the miracle of provision in the desert place. Mary’s heart was sensitive to God while Martha’s heart was hardened (Luke 10:38-42). It’s not sin alone that hardens the heart, where your focus is, that’s what your heart is sensitive to and
  • A man cannot be tempted with what he is not thinking of (See Hebrews 11:13-19, note particularly, vs. 15 and vs.19). You cannot go to where your heart has not already gone. That’s the key to overcoming all manner of temptations. Proverbs 23:7 says, For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he.

These two scriptures explain James 4:4,5. But more to the point on unexpected uncontrollable, the more I thought on these sad events, the more my heart was being drawn away from God to the events; and subsequently my heart was being drawn away from the promises God had given. Fear began to set in until I remembered Hebrews 2:14-16 and Revelation 5:6; I was reminded that fallen flesh and blood had death inherent in it but the redeemed flesh and blood can categorically declare: O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? (1 Cor. 15:55).

The Lord took me specifically to Proverbs 3:19-26 (AMPC/NLT) and showed me what Abraham experienced in the time he was waiting for a child. The promise to him was: Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have! (Genesis 15:5) and I will certainly bless you. I will multiply your descendants beyond number, like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will conquer the cities of their enemies (Genesis 22:17).

Since they were living in tents anyway and cooking outside, simply looking up and focusing on the stars brought the remembrance of the promise. Similarly as Abraham had to wash his feet anyway, he was obliged to see the uncountable sand those feet had plodded through daily. I drew from the passage referenced in Proverbs 3 that as long as I focused on and constantly considered the wisdom, understanding and knowledge of God that wrought all those things, I should sleep soundly and not be afraid of unexpected uncontrollable when (not if) they come. The same sentiment was expressed by Paul in his writing to the Romans in Romans 1:20, 21 – For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.

So dearly beloved be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, fearing nothing, not even death because the same power that raised the Christ from the dead will quicken our mortal bodies. So what unexpected uncontrollable are you faced with? Christ is the answer to all our longing; He is the answer to all our need, Saviour, Baptiser, the Great Deliverer, and Redeemer. He surely is the answer, look to Him, ye ends of the earth and be saved. Shalom.

Photo by Krists Luhaers on Unsplash

1 thoughts on “Uncontrollable Unexpected

  • Mimilicious

    What more can we say, but to look to the sky and be constantly reminded of God’s promise. And when the stars are no more; as we tread the earth, the sand draws our attention to the fact that whatever God says, He will do. Thank you Sir.

    Reply

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