On The Path Of Winners
BY BAYO OGUNMUPE
Open Yourself To Miracles
BY yielding to God’s commands, you open yourself to the miracle working power of obedience. What you give to God as tithe or donation isn’t an ordinary gift anymore than the rod of Moses was an ordinary stick or the mantle of Elijah was an ordinary cloth. As you will discover, it has miracle working power.
One of my heroes is Joshua, because he rose to power from the lowly position of secretary to Moses. I always cite it that God confers power to those nearest to power. In Joshua’s battle for Jericho, we can visualize the army marching around the city seven times with the priests blowing their trumpets. On the final circle, Joshua commanded the people, “Shout, for Yahweh hath given you the city,” Jos 6:16. Miraculously, the walls of Jericho came tumbling down and the Israelites marched triumphantly into the city. And Joshua, his army and people rejoiced.
His next target was the distant city of Ai, a march of fifteen miles from Jericho. First a score of Joshua’s men were sent to spy out the land. That is the classical way of fighting an enemy. Is the President tackling the Boko Haram invaders the same way? No. as a sexagenarian, a journalist of 40 years, the Otaoji of Arondizuogu, the sanmori adini of Gumel, and Akede Adini of Ilasamaja, I have never heard or seen the presence anywhere in Nigeria of the State Security Service, the National Intelligence Agency, the Defence Intelligence Agency and the Directorate of Military Intelligence. I only read about them in the newspapers. Any wonder Boko Haram is trouncing Nigerian armed forces! It is as if the Federal Government is conniving at the balkanization of Nigeria. It is not managing the country as it ought to. But unlike President Goodluck Jonathan, Joshua sent spies to Ai, and his spooks reported, “No problem. Don't worry. Let the army rest. There are only a handful of men in defence of Ai.”
Then, Joshua sent 3000 men to capture Ai – a fraction of his vast army for every Israelite was a soldier. But they were in for a shock. Thousands of his troops were killed and the Israelites fled before the men of Ai, (Joshua 7:4). Joshua was humiliated. What went wrong? If God had promised victory, why were they so defeated? Scripture says that, “The children of Israel committed a trespass in the accursed thing,” Joshua 7:1. That was the root of Joshua’s difficulty. Earlier, God had told Joshua to tell his men that when they capture Jericho, “all the silver and gold are consecrated unto the Lord,” Joshua 6:19. Since those things were sanctified, they became cursed for anyone to touch. And anyone touching a cursed thing stands accursed, Joshua 6:18.
After his Ai defeat, Joshua ordered an inspection of the tribes. When they questioned the tribe of Judah, Joshua found Achan who confessed that he took Babylonian garments, gold and silver which he buried in his tent. Thereupon, Achan lost everything, his life, family and possessions, because he touched what was sanctified. That was why Israel lost at Ai, because they were all affected by the disobedience of one person – Achan. We believe the reason we are now ravaged by Boko Haram is because we Nigerians, Christian and Muslim are not obedient to the words of God. For our perusal, there were three reasons why Israel lost at Ai. They are, one, they were affected by the disobedience of one. Two, they were not operating at full strength. Joshua underestimated his enemy. Three, the vision of a greater Israel was not clearly communicated to the troops. However, victory was attained after Chan had been executed and his property confiscated.
Belshazzar is my second example of how the sin of one man can affect a whole nation. Belshazzar, the king of Babylonia threw a party for his nobles. And suddenly in the middle of the party he declared that he wanted someone to go to the house of Yahweh to bring the golden goblets. When the goblets arrived the drunken king lifted his glass high saying: Drink, drink, singing praises to their gods of brass, wood and stone. Jehovah didn't wait to punish him. Within the same hour, fingers of a man’s hand came forth and wrote upon the walls therein: “Thou art weighed and found wanting,” Daniel 5:27. That night, like a flood, the armies of his enemies invaded the land and he was slain. Thereafter, his kingdom was divided between Meads and the Persians. Even though Belshazzar had material possessions, he lost it all and died because he took what belonged to God. Thus, obedience to God’s orders is the secret of attaining abundance. God has absolute power, because God is absolutely holy. That’s why He says, “I will sanctify a portion of your increase.” Sanctification unleashes the miracle working power of obedience. When God touches pieces of naira bills in your treasury, He can multiply them until a mountain of obligations disappear. Give to the distressed as an act of faith and worship and watch the miracle begin.
Our champion today is Valery ByKovsky, the Russian cosmonaut who orbited the Earth 81 times in the space craft Vostok 5, from June 14 to 19, 1963. Born in August 1934 in Pavlovsky, Russia, ByKovsky started flying at age 16. He joined the Soviet army in 1952 and in 1959 he became a fighter pilot. In the early 1960s he was trained as a cosmonaut at Zhukovsky Military Academy. On June 16, 1963 after ByKovsky had been in orbit two days, the Soviet Union launched Vostok 6, carrying Valentina Tereshkova, the first woman to travel in space. The two ships held parallel orbits, at one point approaching to within three miles of one another, but did not rendezvous. They returned to Earth three hours apart.
For his successes as a cosmonaut, ByKovsky was made a member of the Soviet Communist Party on June 18, while still in orbit and on his return he received Moscow’s highest honour, Hero of the Soviet Union and the Order of the Red Star. He was chief of Cosmonaut Training for the Apollo-Soyuz Test Project which began in July 1975 and was command pilot of Soyuz 22, a 190 hour flight that began on September 15, 1976.