Alas, Easter is here brethren and we are filled with the Resurrection Power. We are washed white as snow. We have lit from the Paschal candle and we have overcome darkness. We have no excuse but to break forth. This made me reflect on our Coordinator’s (Brother Tony) message given at a fellowship earlier this year titled “Break Forth.” He used Isaiah 58:8 as his anchor verse but permit me to refer to Isaiah 58:7-9 which reads thus;
Brother Tony started by explaining what breaking forth meant by saying that it was to open spontaneously or to appear suddenly or to burst forth. This now reminds me of how it must have been when Jesus uttered the word “Telestai” on the cross. Imagine the earth quaking as blood and water gushed out from his side and hit the ground. Imagine the veil at the temple splitting into two from the top revealing the inner sanctuary. Imagine the souls in captivity springing forth and being set free. Imagine the sunrise that must have been on that Easter Sunday bursting right through the darkness and voidness. Brother Tony explained that to break forth also meant to live in liberty from every chain or obstacle and to step onto the next level.
He asked us from what areas we were breaking forth and urged us to reflect on not only our family life, but also our finances and ministerial life. Were we really breaking forth? He explained that this new state that is obtained is a “limitless possibility” since there is a force behind your breaking forth that must be appreciated.
Brother Tony took us through scriptural references to further explain this force that lay behind the “limitless possibility.”
1. Pentecost Experience: In Acts 2:2, it states “And suddenly out of the sky came a sound like a strong rushing wind and it filled the whole house where they were sitting.” We all know this verse but have we fully appreciated that from this experience, the disciples were empowered to do what they couldn’t have imagined doing before?. Peter who denied Jesus three times converted 3000 people on that singular day. They were all raised to the next level and broke forth in power.
2. Healing Experience: Peter was also seen to have reached the next level when he made the crippled man walk at the Beautiful Gate of the Temple in Acts 3:6 upon saying “I have neither silver nor gold, but what I have I give you: In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Messiah, walk!” The manifestation of this power was so strong that his breaking forth even made the cripple himself break forth as he “went with them into the Temple walking and leaping and praising God.” Brother Tony explained that our light will break forth and when it breaks forth, our light will attract other people. I have seen this happen in some people. Aren’t there some people you just wonder how favored they are or how good things always seem to happen around them and you see those in their midst also being favored just by being in their midst? Dare I say that these are such people that have the light of God breaking forth from within them and this light is truly infectious!
3. Destined for Greatness: “Genesis 41:40-43 recounts the destiny reserved for Joseph as Pharaoh proclaims “You shall be over my house, and all my people will obey your orders. Only I myself will be greater than you…Thus he was put in charge of the whole land of Egypt.” Indeed, nobody can deny the force behind Joseph’s breaking forth from a slave to Premier of Egypt.
4. Jabez: Jabez broke forth by God granting his prayer in 1Chronicles 4:9-10. He had been given the name to recall that in pain his mother had given birth to him, but instead of limiting himself, he prayed that God should bless him, give him land and protect him from harm. God granted his request and expanded his coast making him spring to the next level.
5. King David: We all know that David was highly favored by God but do we realize that this was possible because of his absolute trust in God and in His word? Psalm 118:17 showed David’s complete trust in God’s power and his personal triumph over any fear of death in his proclamation; “I shall not die, but live to proclaim what the Lord has done.” Only when he had conquered this fear and put his trust in God, could God release the force needed to break David forth.
WHAT IS NEEDED TO BREAK FORTH
Brother Tony explained that what was needed for our healing to come in a flash as assured in verse 8 is a realization on our part. We must realize the power and authority to heal which are needed to break forth. In essence, we must move from a position of timidity to one of commanding situations which must obey our words. This is more pertinent now that we are in the Easter season. We have seen the power of God’s creative words in action and God has restored our dominion over ALL the earth which includes all living and inanimate things. So why do we not move from this timid position to one of empowerment? This shift is vital to our breaking forth which manifests itself in INSTANT HEALING.
Verse 8 assures us that “our righteousness will be our vanguard” (godliness will lead you forward) which means that we would only be able to move forward by virtue of our right standing with God. He explained that we must elevate our righteousness since we are like filthy rags in the sight of God. He reminded us that our righteousness is enabled by God’s grace. As I lit that paschal candle and professed the Catholic faith handed down from generations at the Easter vigil, I imagined myself being washed completely clean and being given a fresh shining white garment to wear. This white garment is my vanguard. It is a garment I must strive to keep clean in the coming days, months and years. This righteousness must be preserved in order to lead me on to my breaking forth. It is my prayer that we all obtain God’s grace to make us righteous and break forth in Jesus name. Amen
HINDERANCES TO BREAKING FORTH
Brother Tony mentioned that we should stop pointing fingers of blame at each other and urged us to lift our spiritual lives and walk with God. As I read verse 7, it struck me again how the corporal works of mercy were also being stressed. Surely, there are preconditions to our light breaking forth and these are given in verse 7 which reminds us to not only fast by sharing our food, but also to shelter the homeless, clothe the naked and not turn away our kin.
These works of mercy are again stressed in verses 10-11 where we are assured that “Yahweh will guide you always and give you relief in desert places. He will strengthen your bones; he will make you as a watered garden, like a spring of water whose waters never fail.”
We were then referred to verse 12 which goes further than the reassurance of protection and prosperity given in the earlier verses to talk about being a restorer of ruined houses – “Your ancient ruins will be rebuilt, the age-old foundations will be raised. You will be called the Breach-mender and the Restorer of ruined houses.” Alleluiah!!
Such power made manifest in the breaking forth must be ours. Do you know what it means for God to make us like a watered garden whose waters never fail? Indeed in this Nigeria of today, what more could we ask? What greater assurance in the power behind us breaking forth do we need? Why do we not lovingly fulfill the conditions of the works of mercy which are nothing compared to the great mercy shown towards us in Jesus’ death? As we enter the 2nd quarter of this year, let me urge those of us who feel dampened that the goals targeted in January 2016 have not been reached, NOT to give up. We can still break forth and indeed we shall. We must lose our timidity and imbibe mercy. Only then can we embrace the Resurrection power of our Lord and elevate ourselves. Only then will our light break forth. Only then will the Glory of Yahweh protect us from behind and make us the Restorer of ruined houses and dreams.
As we approach the Feast of Divine Mercy this Sunday, may the good Lord grant us His grace to obtain the true righteousness needed to break forth and to shine forth His Easter glory in Jesus name. Amen. Alleluia!