The devil is angry at you for destroying his work. You are an arm of Jesus who came to this world to destroy the works of the evil one just as stated in 1 John 3:8. When you pray against him, his works get destroyed in one way or the other and that is by no ways pleasing to him. He takes it serious and takes stock of those actions. You take away his efforts from the little and precious time he has as the Bible declares in Revelation 12:12 that he is clear that his time is short.
When you preach, pray for the sick, cast out evil spirits, not support his work, etc. and you have done so with success so great you won’t believe it. The devil cannot do you any harm because you are protected beyond his control. God won’t allow him to do as he please in your life while you live in this world.
Now that you are here; a Christian and have at any time before attacked the devil, you are an adversary to him. Should you miss Heaven, you are in trouble because you will pay dearly in hell for having destroyed his work. At that time, you will have no one to protect or even rescue you at all. You will be at his total disposal for eternity.
I want to encourage us Christians and pastors to press on whatever the price we have to pay. Don’t give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). Sometimes as a believer you need your fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord to help you realise a spiritual mistake that will cost you eternal life in Heaven. Please be wise enough not to despise advice from brethren, especially when their exhortation is based on scriptures (Proverbs 12:15).
I will highlight a number of things we should be careful to observe as we strive to enter through the narrow gate which the Bible warns that very few people find. This gate is narrow for all people and the rules are the same even for pastors (Matthew 7:13). If you want to make it to Heaven, take note of the following points which are taken from the Bible and finely highlighted by Reverend Abraham Yakubu in his testimony that is freely and widely shared on the internet.
- Salvation. Ensure that you have received salvation. Without salvation we shall by no means escape the great judgment ahead (Hebrews 2:3). Christians, including pastors, labour in vain if they have not received salvation.
- Restitution. This is an activity of taking back what does not belong to you. Pay your tax, television license, the pledge you made, payback money you borrowed from someone, release property that belongs to bereaved children, release the wife you are illegally staying with, return items that you don’t own to the rightful owners, etc. It is important to prioritise restitution as it counts so much as a requirement to enter into the Kingdom of God.
- Forgiveness. Total forgiveness, not just a lip service, is mandatory. You must forgive from deep within your heart. Christians are called to forgive all offenses, it does not matter what it is. Your wife has cheated on you, your child robbed you off your money, your employer deprived you some of your rights, someone has insulted you, forgive.
- Giving. Give to the needy and support the work of the Lord with your money.
- Worldliness. Christians are called not to love the world and things of this world. Among the many worldly traps for Christians, self-beautification, love for money, pride or love for glamour and immodesty are prominent. 1 John 2: 15 -16 says, ‘Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world.’ Similarly, Romans 12:2 says, ‘Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.’
- Works of service we do in the body of Christ. Whatever we do for God is not in vain. However, if you exploit, manipulate and destroy the church of God by any means, you will be judged for that too. Be careful not to go against God’s will while you are doing works of service in church.
- Idle words. In Matthew 12:36 Jesus says, ‘But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the day of judgment for every empty word they have spoken.’ All the words that we speak, even those we write on social media and anywhere else, count and therefore shall be accountable for before God.
- Accountability. Quoting Romans 14:12, everyone who ever lived in this world and got to the age of accountability will have to give an account before God on the day of judgement. The way we respond to people when they make requests to us, the things we do both in public and in private, our thoughts and all that we do while we live.
- Love. Love comes with a lot of instructions in the Bible. This includes loving one’s neighbour and possessing the qualities of love which are detailed 1 Corinthians 13.
- Virtue. For the grace of God has appeared that offers salvation to all people.It teaches us to say ‘No’ to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age…” (Titus 2:11-12).
- Separation. Be separated from the ungodly.
- Consecration. Consecration is to present ourselves to the Lord as a living sacrifice as written in Romans 12:1. God will not work with anyone or use anyone that has not first offered themselves to Him. He won’t overstep our will. For Him to do the work in us that He desires, we first need to offer ourselves to Him. We should not do His work as if we are forced but rather voluntarily be driven to do the work.
- Self-sacrifice. Christians should live up the standard of loving the Lord with all their hearts, soul, mind and strength.
- Soul winning. This is the main business for God. He wouldn’t have let Jesus Christ die on the cross if souls were not the target. Therefore, unless you are working on the real business of God, you haven’t started working for Heaven.
- Standing firm in the word of God. This is basically being a Christian apologist. What the Bible says, you stand for it whatever the cost. Not only that, but practice Bible teachings.
- Perfect heart. Your heart will tell you when you have to sort something out. It is the heart that will tell you that something is not right between you and God and the course of action to correct that. Do your best and ask God to help you get your heart cleared of any form of burdens.
- Faithfulness. Whenever you promise something, such as marriage promises, those promises must be fulfilled in total. Don’t let your words lead you to sin (Ecclesiastes 5:6). Leaders, Managers, presidents, kings; be faithful to your followers, followers be faithful to your leaders.
- Mercy. Luke 6:36 require us to be merciful because our Father is also merciful. If it is within your powers to show mercy to someone, do it.
- Walking uprightly. This is doing things the right way. Time keeping forms a great part of it.
- Humility. This is being meek, lowly, and have absence of self. This is a heart matter, not just what people see on the outside but what you truly are in the inside.
- Fearfulness and unbelief. Fear does not come from God. It a result of unbelief. Fear no one or anything but trust God to be above every circumstance. For example, when you are conservative about the truth because of circumstances that put your life or social welfare at stake, you already have missed the mark. Fear nothing but God alone who has the power to put people in hell (Matthew 10:28).
- Fruits of the spirit. Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Opposites of these words come from the evil one.
- Holiness. The Bible is clear that without holiness, no one will see God. Only God has the power to make holy. Ours is to let Him. It is the righteousness that only God can give. He speaks and ours is to listen and abide. There is no minute in which a Christian ought not to be holy.
You may have had divine experiences with God and have a wonderful testimony to share. However, that encounter is not a guarantee or a license to live your life anyhow. God will still judge you. The consequences that come with our actions shall befall us even when God is still merciful to us.
Moses and Ezekiel are examples of faithful men of God who had divine encounters with God and afterwards took God for granted. May we always know that God shows no favouritism to anyone except the one who keeps His commandments.