And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden ~ Ezekiel 36:35.
It serves the pleasure of the Almighty God to present His children to the world as living testimonies of His goodness and kindness. And, He is ever eager to see us enjoy His pact of plenty, success and breakthrough upon the earth.
Life remains petty and miserable until its coasts are enlarged. But, as it is very clear from scriptures, pettiness, misery and woes are all contrary to God’s primordial passion for man (Genesis 1:26-28). Outstanding success on earth, therefore, is one of those things that God is very anxious to give to the believers.
Many have lived and died as failures in great sorrow and penury without any appreciable record of achievements in life. That is not how God planned it. The important question is:what really went wrong then?
The truth is that many people fail to realize that greatness has a beginning. They live as people at the dead ends of their lives, and think that even God has finished with them. They then ignore and despise new beginnings, and consequently, they miss the essential ingredients of sustainable greatness. But, “Cush … began to be mighty upon the earth” (1 Chronicles 1:10).
See, even the end is not always the end; it could be the beginning of something better if we can look up to God and maintain His factors in the central plumb-lines of our destinies (Amos 7:7-8).
For most times, a beginning and an ending appear as two different places, but, in real life, you must define your own ending by choosing a right beginning, and continuing thereafter to adjust and readjust on your course of godly virtues. It is safe to say that both the beginning and the end are, most times, intertwined.
Great endings are products of good beginnings. Under God, you must choose the time of your transition, and you must never despise your beginning just because you think it appears small, or because some other people despise you. In Job 8:7, we hear this: “Though thy beginning was small, yet thy latter end should greatly increase”.
Great things often appear small at the beginning. In fact, the oak tree is a constant reminder that great things can come out of small beginnings. Jesus Christ whose name rings the salvation bell to the entire race human round the world was actually born in a manger, and to a little known Carpenter. Of a truth, little can become much when God is in it.
Begin With God, and Go Forward With Him
The limitations we often experience today are as a result of our disobedience to divine instructions: ‘enlarge the place of thy tent, … spare not’ (Isaiah 54:2-4). When we rule out nothing to obey God, and leave nothing undone in our efforts to prepare for future exploits, then breakthrough becomes certain in our trails. And, when you make God your beginning, you never lack a colorful destiny!
In life, there is one thing better than the best: the unique. And there are two things better than success: greatness and significance. But only God can empower them all! Therefore, greatness and peculiar success are guaranteed only for the man who puts God first in his life (Matthew 6:33).
Whenever you plan to see a new level of greatness, get God first. You don’t get a great ending with a fouled godless beginning. But, a bad beginning also cannot keep you from a good ending if you are wise enough to realign with God on the way.
Before anything ever existed on earth, God had been in existence: “In the beginning God…”(Genesis 1:1). Until He stepped in, everything was void, dark and in confusion, but as soon as God stepped in, the earth began to manifest His glory.
God is not just an optional factor of your success, He is the Priority Matter and a Sure Foundation for every durable greatness on earth. And, all the labour of man is futility without His input. Jesus said, “Without me you can do nothing” (John 15:5), and the Apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ which strengthened me” (Philippians 4:13).
You cannot make any mark in life until God has put His mark on you. You will have no effect until He has affected you seriously. And, you can never impact your world until God has imparted you, neither can you be made until He has made you (Matthew 4:19).
Whatever your calling is on earth, stop trying to form what you want to see. You need God to give form to your life. Everything you seek to build without God will not stand for long; God is the builder of every enduring legacy (Hebrews 3:4). We are told that Abraham "looked for a city ..... whose builder and maker is God".
Life has no valuable meaning without God, and the absence of God is the reason for many forms of destruction in homes and businesses today. God loves humans but humans love themselves instead, and that’s where problems begin.
You need God to breathe life into those dead issues of your life. And, you also need Him to sustain even the things that are functioning well. David, the illustrious King of Israel seemed to know this fact very well when he said: “Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it ......" (Psalm 127:1).
You cannot enjoy genuine goodness except God is involved (James 1:17). When you begin with God, your glorious end is guaranteed, ab initio. And, when you stay with God in the course of your life’s journey, you become brighter than the best, and a great ending becomes truly secured for you.
Living a Lifestyle of Discipline, Diligence and Godly Modesty
People always start with vigour and deep aspirations, but as we journey on in life, it is the God-factors of virtue, power, character, passion, etc., in our lives that will determine what will happen, and it is our reactions at such happenings that will define the robustness of our staying power to the glorious end!
Yes, be at all times regal and majestic, but also be disciplined, principled and modest in all things: “Let your moderation be known unto all men. The Lord is at hand” (Philippians 4:5). Candidates of enduring greatness don’t burn their candles at both ends.
Never overdo things! Wise people say "simplicity is genius" and that "a man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can let alone". Know pretty well that excess of everything, including eating, clothing and family pleasure, is bad.
Friends and brethren, in conclusion, it doesn’t matter how small you start, just end well. Many humongous things in life started small. Every full-grown man was once a baby, and every mansion was once a set of blocks and sand scattered all around.
The most important thing is to start with God where you are, and you can still get to your destination. But, you must first fight off every form of “small-goat” mentality, and allow the Most High God to increase you and make you great (Luke 15:29). You shall no longer live like a failure, in Jesus Name. Amen. Happy Sunday!
- Bishop Taiwo Akinola,
Rhema Christian Church,
Otta, Ogun State, Nigeria.
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